My feed

to access all these features

Whether you're interested in Roman, military, British or art history, join our History forum to discuss your passion with other MNers.

History club

Anyone know what a turf correspondent was?

12 replies

Genealogy · 11/01/2022 00:36

This is something that’s come up in the 1891 census for a couple of brothers who are potentially on my family tree. Their families seem to keep moving between Newmarket and Lambourn so there’s definitely a “horse” connection somewhere. They also seem to be recorded as staying at inns / public houses a few times.

Google just comes up with journalists, but would that have been a full time job then? Records from that entire side of the family are a bit sparse, unfortunately.

OP posts:
Sickoffamilydrama · 11/01/2022 00:39

My guess is they reported the horse racing.

ilovesooty · 11/01/2022 00:39

A racing reporter / journalist I think.

PastMyBestBeforeDate · 11/01/2022 00:39

Definitely horse racing. I'd have said journalist but maybe they did go around racing meets and report back on the races factually for someone to write up in the paper.

MrsEricBana · 11/01/2022 00:39

turf correspondent:
furnishes racing news and reports to newspapers and sporting journals; selects probable winning horses for publication in sporting columns of newspaper.

LovedayCL · 11/01/2022 00:40

Is it a racing reporter? Turf accountant is a bookie.

Genealogy · 11/01/2022 00:42

Thank you all! Seems an odd thing for two brothers to randomly end up doing when they’d had a variety of manual/agricultural jobs before, though.

OP posts:
SilverRingahBells · 11/01/2022 00:44

Horse betting was big business and the daily sporting papers were the only way to follow the form. I can imagine that you'd be able to make a living at it.

CheeseMmmm · 11/01/2022 00:50

My guess (turf in this case 100% horse racing) -

Reporter type people. Watching races then
could be-

  • Writing up for papers or.. whatever ways share info more widely then about horse racing..

Write up probably stuff like-

*Race results, runners riders, non runners, how many lengths won by, majority opening odds at start... Brief packed with
* Longer piece that includes interesting things during race
*Feed into assessments on form for future races...

CheeseMmmm · 11/01/2022 00:53


Feeling happy at my guess Grin

In the Victorian era, there was a wide range of sporting newspapers that carried racing news to a greater or lesser extent. These include Bell's Life in London (forerunner to the Sporting Life), The Sporting Times and The Sportsman (not to be confused with the short-lived 2006 newspaper of the same name). In 1840, Bell's Life is reported to compete with the Sunday Times as the two weekly turf newspapers.[30] There were also four monthly magazines at that time – the Old Sporting Magazine (founded 1792), the New Sporting Magazine (founded 1824), the Sporting Review (founded 1837) and the Sportsman (stated to have originated in 1829, so not the same as the Sportsman above which was founded in 1865).[30] However, coverage of horse racing in newspapers is believed to date as far back as the Evening English Chronicle in 1779

CheeseMmmm · 11/01/2022 00:54

Interesting discovery about family OP!

CheeseMmmm · 11/01/2022 00:55

I took so long to write my guess that everyone already said it!

Boadicea2 · 11/01/2022 00:56

I thought it might mean bookmaker, but a bit of googling turned up this in a dictionary of occupations from 1921
turf correspondent
furnishes racing news and reports to newspapers and sporting journals; selects probable winning horses for publication in sporting columns of newspaper.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.