What was a Malster's job

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What was a Malster's job

Postby apowell » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:53 pm

Hi,

My x3 Great Grandfather Jame Powell born abt 1803 Montgomeryshire, Wales profession was a Malster which I think is to do with making up the hops etc to use somehow in the brewing of beer. Malster seemed to be the only job he did from at least the 1841 census until his death in the 1880s and I think was the main reason he moved with his family to Tipton, Staffordshire. I couldn't work out why he always seemed to be living next door to pubs on the census returns and I thought maybe he had a drink problem :shock: . I was relieved when I found out what a Malster did which I think explains the reason why he lived near pubs all his life.

The question i have is how would one get involved in this profession and would it have been passed down within the family. I'm sure it would take some skill and knowledge to be able to become a Malster or would it ?

The little bit of information I have found out seems to be that Farmers or agricultural workers would sometime state on the census returns that they were malsters which given the fact these workers worked with hops and barley would make sense. I have no idea what type of family James came from but could it have been some sort of farming or agricultural background.

My x3 Great Grandfather seemed to have got on ok but didn't seem to have made that much money from being a Malster because he died in Sedgley workhouse.

Any ideas on how someone got into the profession of a Malster and what exactly they did?

Would they have had to serve some form of apprenticeship?

Any ideas :P

Regards
Adrian
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby Jimmy » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:06 pm

Maltster / Malster Brewer, Made or sold malts.

My ancestor Richard Shaw in 1851 he was an Ag lab,

1861, Ag lab.
1871. Publican.
1874, on his daughters marriage he was a Malster.
1881. Malster.
1891. Living on own means, so it must have paid.
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby gardener » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:34 pm

I think that being a maltster could rage from very small scale to big scale.
There is a whole book about it from 1845 here
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WBkZ ... &q&f=false

And some interesting stuff on this Exeter site http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/_pub ... Beer_House
According to that a new law in 1830 resulted in lots of little beer shops springing up and also allowed pubs to brew their own so I expect the census will have lots of people in the trade. I bet the beer varied a bit too!
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby snoopysue » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:54 pm

Being in the Brewing trade was common. My many times great grandfather was a Brewer in Sedgley after being an iron moulder (or possibly at the same time), another great grandfather was a publican after being a coalminer. Neither of them was very well off (although the brewer did have a grocers shop as well).

My mum says that small breweries were all over the place. The publican seems to have had a bit of a drink problem as my grandfather said that he was always visiting other establishments during opening hours, and rarely came home sober - he only left a few pounds in his will.
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby apowell » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:43 am

Hi everyone,

Many thanks for your replys and help which I found very interesting including the link to the book.

I've found out a little more information about James which is starting to make some sense why he may have become a Malster. He was born out of wedlock in Montgomery, Wales and his mothers Ellen Powell name appears on the 1802 Montgomery Quart' Rolls. The states the father was George & Grandfather John Farmer who agree to owe the Lord King the sum of £40 for the child. Interestingly James Powell on his wedding entry signs his own name and the handwriting is very neat and well written. Is it possible John Farmer the Yeoman farmer paid for an education and maybe set James up as a malster ? If he was born out of wedlock and from the documents found his mother was a pauper unable to read or write, how would he have gained an education :?

These are only ideas but I'm following up on the documentation.

My surname is Powell but if Ellen had married George I would carry the Farmer surname not Powell and who says history doesn't affect the future :grin:
Regards
Adrian
Last edited by apowell on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby Antie Em » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:50 am

My Great Uncle owned Kates Hill Bewery in Dudley and also the pub next door. On some census's he was a publican and on some was a maltster - his soon who worked the brewery with him was also recorded as a maltster
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Re: What was a Malster's job

Postby apowell » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:02 am

Hi Antie Em,

Thank you for your reply and interesting information on your Great Uncle who seemed to have done very well for himself but my ancestor James didn't seem to have done that well out of the Malster trade eg. no mention of pub or brewery. He was a working malster all his adult life so he must have made a reasonable living and I think on one census returns he's listed journeyman malster which may mean he did general malster labouring work. It's only guesswork but what I don't understand is if he was able to read and write to a good standard why didn't he set himself up better because he sadly ended his life in Sedgley workhouse in his early 80's.

Regards
Adrian
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