One who slaughtered, prepared and sold meat. A Caddy Butcher dealt in horse meat.
Until relatively recent times when new slaughtering regulations came into force, in villages and towns all over Herefordshire the sight of farm animals being quietly herded through to the back of butcher shops was part of day to day life, and I cannot ever remember seeing or hearing any distressed animals.
Here in Herefordshire we are still lucky in that a great many of our butchers source their meat from very local farmers, and the animals have but a short distance to travel to the nearest slaughterhouse.
April 1844 News from a Ledbury Butcher
A Herefordshire Butcher, one of the lieges of Ledbury, had the carcass of a calf mangled by a Lawyer’s dog. The “injured individual” called upon the owner of the offending animal to ask his advice. The Lawyer, on hearing the facts told him that he was entitled to compensation. “Then – you must pay me 4s 6d” said the Butcher exultantly “for it was YOUR dog”. “Very Well” replied the attorney, at the same time laying down the money, which his client pocketed in great glee and was then taking his leave. “Stay” commanded his advisor, your have to pay me 6s 8d for my advice!” The countenance of the knight of the cleaver fell instantaneously. The sunshine of his face was overcast by a thundercloud, but he was fairly caught and there was no escape. He paid the fee and left the house 2s 2d poorer that when he crossed it’s threshold.