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The classic study of boatmen in a local context is Mary Prior, Fisher Row: Fishermen, Bargemen and Canal Boatmen in Oxford, 1500–1900 (1982). The families that lived in a row of fishermen's houses between two streams in Oxford formed an occupational community in the 16th century. They were joined by bargemen in the 17th century and canal boatmen after the opening of the Oxford Canal in 1790. Fisher Row was a tight‐knit community in which occupations were inherited. A stable group of families, linked closely through intermarriage, provided the core of the community, in contrast to the comings and goings of others. The canal boatmen who came to live in Fisher Row in the 1790s had distinctive dress, customs, and styles of boat decoration. See also Harry Hanson, The Canal Boatmen, 1760–1914 (1975), Sheila Stewart, Ramlin Rose: The Boatwoman's Story (1993), which deals with the horse‐drawn narrow boats on the Oxford Canal in the first half of the 20th century, and Barrie Trinder, Barges and Bargemen: A Social History of the Upper Severn Navigation, 1660–1900 (2005).

Subjects: History.

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