Richard Brown (1763–1831), joiner and undertaker, Dalston


Figure 1: Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/39/5, Richard Brown, 31 August 1830.

The overseers’ voucher above for a coffin, dated 31 August 1830, is addressed to ‘the Late Richard Brown’.[1] 

A memorial stone in Dalston records:

Erected

to the memory of Richard Brown, of Dalston

who died August 26th 1831

Aged 68 years

Also of Matilda, his wife

Who died December 11 1831,

Aged 67 years

Also of Elizabeth, their daughter

Who died March 31st 1799

Aged 7 years

Also of Richard, their son

Who died December 18th 1811

Aged 11 years.[2]

Brown was a joiner and undertaker. According to James Wilson he had ‘a wooden shanty in the small garth by the Grammar School, belonging to Mr Jackson … “He [X] dropt down dead when screwing down a coffin at the New Rookery: Dr Watson tried to blood him, but without effect”’.[3]

The question that arises is whether the Richard Brown (deceased) named in the voucher is the same Richard Brown whose details are recorded on the memorial, even though there is a discrepancy of a year in the dates. It might simply be that the person who wrote the bill, put ‘1830’ instead of 1831, or that James Wilson made an error when transcription error in his
Monumental Inscriptions.


[1] Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/39/5, Richard Brown, 31 August 1830.

[2] James Wilson, The Monumental Inscriptions of the Church, Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s, Dalston, Cumberland (Dalston, W. R. Beck, 1890), 6.

[3] James Wilson, The Monumental Inscriptions of the Church, Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s, Dalston, Cumberland (Dalston, W. R. Beck, 1890),140.

Benjamin Holland (1794–1877), Hairdresser and Perfumer, Lichfield

Benjamin Holland submitted quarterly bills amounting to 12s each to the overseers of St Mary’s, Lichfield, for dressing hair and shaving the poor.[1] The earliest surviving bill is dated 1822; the last dates from 1837. The wording of the bills does not make it clear as to whether Holland went to the workhouse in Sandford Street or whether the inmates went to his premises in Tamworth Street. Given the limited opportunities during the day for inmates to leave workhouses, it was probably the former. The bills were drawn up by Benjamin. The money was either collected by Benjamin or by his first wife Sarah. After Sarah’s death, the bills were signed by Benjamin only.


Figure 1: LD20/6/6/ no item number, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Benjamin Holland, Michaelmas the 29, 1827

When Holland started his business is unknown, but he is listed in Parson and Bradshaw’s directory of 1818 and in Pigot’s directory of 1828–29.[2]

Holland was the son of George and Mary Holland, and was baptised at St Chad’s, Lichfield, on 24 January 1796.[3] By his first wife Sarah, he had three children: Thomas, baptised 22 February 1824; Mary, baptised 25 May 1828; and William, baptised 27 June 1830.[4]


Figure 2: LD20/6/6/ no item number, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Benjamin Holland, 1828.

Sarah (b.1792) died in 1832 aged 40 and was buried on 12 January at St Michael’s.[5] This was common for the city. St Mary’s had no burial ground whilst St Michael’s extended to seven acres.

Benjamin Holland married subsequently spinster Mary Collins at St Chad’s on 20 March 1834. The register was signed by Holland: Mary with her mark.[6]

At the time of the 1841 Census the Holland household consisted of Benjamin, his second wife Mary, his three children by his first wife, and a female servant Catherine Sawyer, aged 20.[7] A Catherine Sawyer, daughter of paper maker William Sawyer and his wife Sarah of Stowe Street, was baptised 9 December 1821 at St Chad’s.[8]


Figure 3: LD20/6/6/ no item number, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Benjamin Holland, 1829.

Ten years later, the household consisted of Benjamin and Mary, son William, aged 19, a cordwainer; and William Sawyer, aged seven, described as a nephew.[9] Searching parish registers shows that a William Sawyer was baptised on 19 October 1843 at St Michael’s. His mother was Catherine Sawyer, spinster, was a workhouse inmate.[10] Were these William and Catherine Sawyer the same people who later became part of the Holland household? Their ages fit.

The Lichfield Poor Law Union Minute Book for 10 November 1843 contains the following entry: ‘Ordered that proceedings be taken against the Putative Father of Catherine Sawyer’s Bastard Child chargeable to [the parish of ] St Chad.’[11]

By 1861 the Holland household had contracted. Aside from Benjamin and Mary, the only other person resident at the time of the Census was nephew William, now a clockmaker.[12]

By 1871 the household consisted of just Benjamin and Mary.[13] Throughout this time the Hollands were resident in Tamworth Street.

Benjamin died in 1877 aged 83. He was buried at St Michael’s on 25 March.[14]


[1] SRO, LD20/6/6/, no item nos., Lichfield, St Mary’s Overseers’ Vouchers, Benjamin Holland, 1827, 1828, 1829.

[2] Parson, W. and Bradshaw, T., Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: J. Leigh, 1818), 174;  Pigot and Co., 1828, National Commercial Directory for 1828-9, Cheshire, Cumberland &c  (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co.), 716.

[3] SRO, D29/1/8, St Chad’s Parish Register.

[4] SRO, D20/1/4, St Mary’s Parish Register, Baptisms.

[5] SRO, D27/1/8, St Michael’s Parish Register.

[6] SRO, D29/1/8, St Chad’s Parish Register.

[7] TNA, HO107/1008/2 1841 Census.

[8] SRO, D29/1/3 St Chad’s Parish Register.

[9] TNA, HO107/2014 1851 Census.

[10] SRO, D27/1/7, St Michael’s Parish Register, Baptisms.

[11] SRO, LD458/1/2, Lichfield Union Minute Book, 4 February 1842 – 12 November 1847.

[12] TNA, RG9/1972 1861 Census.

[13] TNA, RG10/2913, 1871 Census.

[14] SRO, D27/1/12, St Michael’s Parish Register.

William Snape, Mercer and Draper, Lichfield, part II

William Snape died in 1833 (see entry for William Snape, 9 July 2019). He left no will. His widow, Ann, applied for letters of administration to the Bishop’s Court in Lichfield by which she would gain the authority to administer her husband’s estate.[1] The papers state that William died on 22 March 1833. His personal estate amounted to no more than £600. As was customary for the time, those wishing to administer the estate of a deceased entered into a guarantee or bond to carry out all necessary duties in relation to it. In this instance, those entering the bond, calculated at twice the value of the estate, were Ann Snape and John Dadley, gentleman, of Edgbaston, Warwickshire.

One of the responsibilities in dealing with a deceased’s estate was to ‘make, or cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased’.[2]  To do this involved calling in all debts, and settling accounts with creditors. Although it came after probate was granted, Ann Snape placed the following notice in Aris’s Birmingham Gazette:

‘Persons having any claim or demand upon the estate of Mr. WILLIAM SNAPE, of Lichfield, Draper, deceased, are requested to send the particulars thereof and the nature of their securities, if any there be, to -Mrs. Ann Snape, his Widow.’[3]


[1] SRO, P/C/11, Admon William Snape, 30 August 1833.

[2] SRO, P/C/11, Admon William Snape, 30 August 1833.

[3] Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, 14 October 1833, p. 3.

Elizabeth Dawes, Grocer, Lichfield, part II

Elizabeth Dawes’ husband, Benjamin, died in 1817. In his short will dated 14 July 1813, witnessed by William Willdey and Thomas Roberts, he left his wife all his goods and property.[1] His wearing apparel was to be distributed by Elizabeth at her discretion to Benjamin’s brothers, William, Edward, Joseph, and James Dawes, and to his sisters Sarah Bradney and Anna Bradeny. The sisters lived in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. If Elizabeth remarried the property ‘she was then worth shall be held in trust for Ann Willdey my niece but not to be paid to the said Ann Willdey till my wife Elizabeth Dawes’ decease’.

Elizabeth was appointed as the sole executrix giving an indication of Benjamin’s confidence in his wife to settle his estate and to manage her own finances. As suspected (see the entry for Elizabeth Dawes, 9 July 2019) Benjamin and Elizabeth had no surviving children to whom the grocery business could be left.

William Willdey, who witnessed Benjamin Dawes’ will, was most likely the father of the Ann Willdey included in the 1841 Census who was living with Elizabeth Dawes.[2] William Willdey married Ann Barisford on 23 June 1799.[3]


[1] SRO, P/C/11, Will of Benjamin Dawes, 1 September 1817.

[2] TNA, HO107/1008/3, 1841 Census, Elizabeth Dawes, Lichfield.

[3] SRO,  D20/1/4, St Mary’s, Lichfield, Parish Register.

Sarah Oliver (c.1778–1852), Grocer, Brampton

The reconstructed life of Sarah Oliver is a combination of a few ‘definitelys’ and many ‘maybes’. She is most visible in historic records as a widow, but even then the traces she left are few. She has come to attention because she supplied Brampton’s overseers with groceries.

The Marriage Bond Index held at Carlisle, lists Sarah Bell, a minor, who married Henry Brough Oliver, bachelor.[1] The bond was dated 22 October 1798. Sarah’s mother Jane was her guardian and the bondsman was Thomas Bell. This may be Thomas Bell the younger who ran the Howard Arms in Brampton and or Thomas Bell the elder, of the Bush Inn and a carrier operating a service between Carlisle, Brampton and Newcastle.[2] There were, however, many people in Brampton with the surname ‘Bell’.

There is a record of a Henry Brough Oliver born 11 November 1776, baptised 10 December 1776, at St John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, the son of Richard and Jane Oliver.[3] A Henry Brough Oliver and a Richard Oliver served as officers in the Eighth (King’s) Foot Regiment c.1792–98.[4] Henry and Richard Oliver of Intack, Cumberland, both held game certificates and were thus licensed to shoot game.[5] Henry Brough Oliver died in 1808, and was buried in Knarsdale, Northumberland.[6]

Henry and Sarah Oliver had several children: twin sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, baptised in Brampton 24 March 1803; and two other twin sisters Isabella and Sarah baptised in Brampton 13 March 1807.[7] There was possibly a fifth daughter Mary born 1 September 1808, in Knarsdale. There was also a son Richard Brough (23 January 1800) who became a doctor with a practice in Carlisle, before becoming the medical superintendent of Bicton Heath Lunatic Asylum, near Shrewsbury.

The Olivers are not listed in the Universal British Directory of the 1790s, but S. Oliver is listed as a grocer in Jollie’s 1811 directory.[8]

Henry was a cotton manufacturer, but a notice in the Tradesman or Commercial Magazine, and later in the London Gazette show that a commission of bankruptcy was brought against him in July 1808.[9] In 1811 the London Gazette, carried the following notice:

The Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt, bearing Date the 6th Day of July 1808, awarded and issued forth against Henry Brough Oliver, late of Brampton, in the County of Cumberland, Cotton-Manufacturer, Dealer and Chapman, intend to meet on the 26th Day of December next, at Eleven of the Clock in the Forenoon, at the Bush, in the City of Carlisle, in the County of Cumberland, in order to make a Final Dividend of the Estate and Effects of the said Bankrupt; when and where the Creditors, who have not already proved their Debts, are to come prepared to prove the same, or they will be excluded the Benefit of the said Dividend. And all Claims not then proved will be disallowed.[10]

Despite the declaration that a final dividend was to be paid on this occasion, this was not the end of the matter. Fifteen years later, another notice in the Gazette called the creditors of Henry Brough Oliver to a meeting at the Office of Messrs. Mounsey, Solicitors, Carlisle, ‘to take into consideration and determine upon the best mode of proceeding as to a certain sum of money, lately become due to the said Bankrupt’s estate; and on other matters and things relative thereto’.[11]

As a grocer, Sarah Oliver was in regular contact with Brampton’s overseers between 1818 and 1820.[12]  In the 139 days between 22 December 1818 and 10 May 1819, for example, purchases were made on 70 separate occasions. Some of her stock came from fellow Brampton grocer Isaac Bird. She settled her account with him in cash, and once in tobacco.[13]

Oliver supplied Brampton’s workhouse with imported items including tea, coffee, sugar, and pepper; and domestic items including, candles, soap, starch and flour.[14] Oliver did not sell a more restricted range of goods than male grocers also located in Brampton. Her goods were identical in name to the flour, soap, starch, blue, candles, tobacco, barley, tea, coffee and sugar supplied by Joseph Forster.[15]  Moreover, prices paid per stone, pound or ounce, were very similar. It is entirely possible that the quality of goods differed, but neither the vouchers nor Forster’s ledger make such distinctions possible.

In the early 1820s Oliver moved her business to Scotch Street, Carlisle, where she acted as agent to the London Genuine Tea Company.[16] Daughters Elizabeth and Jane, became milliners and dressmakers; they are listed in Jollie’s1828–29 directory, as also being resident in Scotch Street.[17] In 1834 Richard Hind, ironmonger, of English Street, Carlisle, married Mary Oliver, of Scotch Street.[18]

Sarah Oliver died Carlisle in 1852.  Her death was reported in the Carlisle Patriot: ‘Yesterday, in this city, aged 52, Sarah, relict of the late Mr. Henry Brough Oliver, of Brampton, deeply lamented by her family’.[19]

This is a work-in progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.


[1] Cumbria Archives, Carlisle, Marriage Bond Index.

[2] Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture, 5 vols. (London: c.1795), V, Appendix, 27–9. 

[3] St John the Evangelist, Smith Square, London, born 11 November, Baptised 10 December 1776, Henry Brough, son of Richard and Jane Oliver.

[4] Historical Record of the King’s Liverpool Regiment of Foot; http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U197827 accessed 12 Feb. 2019

[5] Carlisle Journal, 4 September 1802, p.1; Carlisle Journal, 24 September 1803, 3.

[6] The Monthly Magazine, vol. 26 (R. Philips, 1808), 492.

[7] Cumbria Archives, PR60, Brampton, St Martin’s Parish Registers, 1663–1993.

[8] F. Jollie, Jollies Cumberland Guide & Directory (Carlisle: 1811)

[9] Tradesman or Commercial Magazine, 1, (July–December 1808), (London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1808), 271.

[10] London Gazette, 26 November 1811, 2301.

[11] The London Gazette, 25 February 1826, 437.

[12] Cumbria Archives Service, Carlisle, PR60/21/13/5/100, 6 April 1819; PR60/21/13/5/124, 8 January 1819; PR60/21/13/6/710 February 1820, Brampton Overseers’ Vouchers, Sarah Oliver.

[13] Cumbria Archives Service, Carlisle, DCLP/8/38, Isaac Bird, Grocer, Brampton, Ledger, 1817-19.

[14] Cumbria Archives Service, Carlisle, PR60/21/13/5/124; Brampton Overseers’ Voucher, Sarah Oliver, 8 January 1819.

[15] Cumbria Archives Service, Carlisle, DCL P/8/47, Joseph Forster, grocer, Brampton, ledger, 1819–31; William Parson and William White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829), 426.

[16] Carlisle Patriot, 30 August 1823 and 3 December 1825.

[17] J. Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 1: Cheshire – Northumberland] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828), 71; W. Parson and W. White, History, Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland & Westmorland, (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829), 165

[18] Carlisle Journal, 1 November 1834, 3.

[19] Carlisle Patriot, 27 October 1832, 3.

Wild Boar Stuff

A draper’s bill presented to the overseers of Brampton listed three items as ‘wild boar stuff’. What exactly was ‘wild boar stuff’ and was it really made from ‘wild boar’? ‘Stuff’ was a generic name given to cloth used for making garments. Often the fabric was made from wool, or a mixture of wool and other fibres.

The OED defines ‘hog wool’, as ‘wool from a yearling sheep; the fleece produced by a sheep’s first shearing’. The term originated in the mid-eighteenth century.

John Luccock’s 1809 essay on wool notes, ‘The hog wool, or the first fleece produced by a lamb more than a year old, was greatly esteemed under the old modes of manufacture; and had not the machinery recently adopted rendered it desirable to obtain staples of a uniform length, which is not so easily effected in this class of fleeces, it would still maintain its pre-eminence, as it does in all places where the yarn is spun by hand’.[1]  Might this explanation mean that ‘wild boar stuff’ was actually derived from hand spun hog wool?

The Journals of the House of Lords vol. 60 contains a discussion on South Down wool, noting the increase in demand for hog wool: ‘All the Cloth made from the better Sorts of Foreign Wools have a more felting Property in them. That (producing a sample of Worsted Stuff) is made of South Down Hogs, probably South Down and Merinos together.’[2]

One suggestion is that it might be wool from the mangalitsa pig. This long-haired breed was not developed until the mid-nineteenth century by cross-breeding wild boar with Hungarian domesticated pigs, so cannot have been used to make the ‘wild boar stuff’ listed in the draper’s bill. Equally, there seems to be no reference to the use of its fleece for textile production. Another suggestion is that the ‘boar’ might refer to the colour of the textile, or perhaps the texture.

Any further information on ‘wild boar stuff’ would be welcomed.

John Styles adds that in Florence Montgomery’s Textiles in America
‘Wildbore’ [spellings varied] is defined as a fairly coarse worsted used for women’s gowns. ‘Stuff’ at this period generally means a worsted fabric, the sort of thing made either at Norwich or in the West Riding.

Sources

William Beck, The Drapers’ Dictionary: a manual of textile fabrics, their history and applications (London: The Warehousemen and Draper’s Journal Office, 1882).

Polly Hamilton, ‘Haberdashery for use in dress, 1550–1800’ (unpublished PhD, University of Wolverhampton, 2009)

Journals of the House of Lords, vol. 60 (1828), Appendix 3

Wilhelm W. Kohl and Peter Toth, The Mangalitsa Pig (2014)

Oxford English Dictionary


[1] John Luccock, An Essay on Wool, Containing a Particular Account of the English Fleece (London: J. Harding, 1809), 133.

[2] Journals of the House of Lords, vol. 60 (1828), Appendix 3, 84.

Peter Burn (1792–1877), Gardener, Brampton

Two vouchers have come to light showing Peter Burn supplying seeds and plants to Brampton workhouse. The first from 1816 includes early cabbage plants, onion, Welsh onion and leek seeds and ‘green plants’. The second from 1819 included early cauliflower. Such information adds to the current understanding of pauper diets which, derived from workhouse dietaries or daily allowances, often do not specify vegetables other than potatoes.  

Even though Burn’s bills to the overseers were modest in amount, totalling £1 5s 6d, his business was evidently profitable as he held more than £1000 of stock in the Carlisle City and District Banking Company.[1] In 1851 he employed two men and two boys.[2] He was still working in 1871, employing five boys.[3]

Burn is listed in Parson and White’s 1829 directory as a gardener with premises in Front Street.[4] By 1851 he was living in Church Lane with his wife Margaret.[5]

Burn was born in 1792 in Bellingham or Ridley, Northumberland.[6] His wife Margaret (née Johnson) was born in 1797 at Alston, Cumberland.[7] She may have been his second wife. The 1841 Census for Brampton does not list Margaret Burn, but does list a Peter Burn, and children Thomas (15), Peter (10), Elizabeth (20), Sarah (15) and Margaret (14). As was the practice at the time, most of these ages have been rounded. A quick search through FindMyPast and Ancestry show that a Peter and Sarah Burn’s children were Thomas (bap. 13 September 1822), Peter (bap. 8 September 1830), Elizabeth (bap. 20 August 1819), Sarah (bap. 13 June 1824) and Margaret (bap. 17 November 1826).[8] Sarah Burn the elder died in 1838.[9]

Living with Peter and Margaret in 1871 were his widowed brother Bryan, a retired railway guard, and two unmarried granddaughters, Sarah aged 22 (a housekeeper), and Elizabeth aged 15.[10]

Peter Burn died on 19 February 1877. His will contains three codicils and was proved at Carlisle on 26 April by two of his executors; his son Peter, a draper, and John Armstrong, a gardener. Burn’s effects were under £600.[11]

This is a work in progress, subject to change as new research is conducted.


[1] Anon, A List of the County Banks of England and Wales, Private and Proprietary (London: M. A. Marchant, 1838), frontispiece, 138.

[2] TNA, HO 107/2427, 1851 Census; RG 9/3907, 1861 Census.

[3] TNA, RG 10/5209, 1871 Census.

[4] W. Parson and W. White, History, Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland & Westmorland, (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829), 417.

[5] TNA, HO 107/2427, 1851 Census.

[6] The 1851 Census records Bellingham, the 1861 Census, Ridley. TNA, HO 107/2427, 1851 Census; RG 9/3907, 1861 Census.

[7] TNA, HO 107/2427, 1851 Census; RG 10/5209, 1871 Census.

[8] Ancestry.co.uk; FindMyPast.co.uk, accessed 25 April 2019.

[9] Buried 26 February 1838, Ancestry.co.uk; FindMyPast.co.uk, accessed 25 April 2019.

[10] TNA, RG 10/5209, 1871 Census.

[11] National Probate Calendar, Peter Burn, 26 April 1877.

Blue Duffle

The Cumberland vouchers make frequent reference to the purchase of blue duffle.William Beck’s The Drapers’ Dictionary cites Booth’s Analytical English Dictionary of 1835 which describes duffle as ‘a stout milled flannel, but of greater depth and differently dressed. It may be either perched or friezed (napped), and is sold in all colours’. The name is generally thought to have derived from Duffel (now in Belgium).

In The Compleat English Tradesman Daniel Defoe notes that ‘The manufacturing towns of Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland is employ’d in the coarser manufactures of those counties, such as Kersies, half-thicks, yarn stockings, Duffelds, Ruggs, Turkey-work chairs and many other useful things’.

What was the blue duffle being used for? In all likelihood it was used to make coats or cloaks for the poor, perhaps as a type of uniform for the workhouse, or as part of a set of clothes provided for parish apprentices. Joan Lane notes that clothing for apprentices, including particular items that identified them with specific trades, was a common requirement, and that factory apprentices were expected to attend church looking reasonable. She continues that male parish apprentices ‘received a shirt, waistcoat, breeches, stockings and shoes, with a coat and hat for outdoors. A girl was given a petticoat, one or two shifts … with a gown, apron, stockings and shoes … Coats and cloaks were hardly ever bought for female pauper apprentices’.[1]

Five news items provide further information on the uses of blue duffle:

Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Advertiser, 14 March 1787, described how John Bell, aged 17 or 18, had run away from his apprenticeship from shoemaker George Sugding, in Workington. He was wearing a turned blue coat and vest, black breaches and a woollen hat. At the same time another apprentice, Jonathan Atch, aged 17, also absconded. He was wearing a blue upper jacket, a double-breasted blue vest and blue breaches, all duffle.

Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Advertiser, 23 May 1797, detailed the elopement of Daniel Hodgson and Mary Johnston, the wife of James Johnston. Johnston, aged 67, was reported as wearing a white thickset coat, and a blue and white striped waistcoat. Johnston, ‘a stout made woman … pitted with the small pox’, was wearing a a dark stamped gown and bed gown, a brown or blue quilted petticoat, black worsted stockings , a blue duffle cloak, and a black silk bonnet.

Twenty dozen pairs of stockings and ‘some webs of blue duffle and blue worsted stuff’ were stolen from Bridekirk manufactory, Annan. Carlisle Patriot, 14 March 1818.

Carlisle Journal, 7 August 1841, William Dixon gave evidence against John Cope for stealing a jacket belonging to Isaac Sherwin of Aspatria. When apprehended in Maryport, Cope was wearing a blue duffle jacket beneath which was the stolen jacket. Cope was found guilty and sentenced to six months hard labour.

In 1843 the Carlisle Journal reported an inquest. The headless body of a man was washed ashore opposite Eskmeals. The clothing consisted of a blue and white striped shirt, a red flannel shirt, a blue duffle jacket, and white woollen stockings. \lsdpriority

Sources

Cumbria Archives Service, Carlisle, PR60/21/13/3/ no item number, Brampton Overseers’ Voucher, settled 31 May 1795

Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Advertiser, 14 March 1787

Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Advertiser, 23 May 1797

Carlisle Patriot, 14 March 1818.

Carlisle Journal, 7 August 1841

Carlisle Journal, 9 December 1843

William Beck, The Drapers’ Dictionary: a manual of textile fabrics, their history and applications (London: The Warehousemen and Draper’s Journal Office, 1882), 106

Daniel Defoe, The Compleat English Tradesman vol II, (London: printed for Charles Rivington, 1727), 59–60

Joan Lane, Apprenticeship in England, 1600–1914 (London: UCL Press, 1996), 27–29


[1] Joan Lane, Apprenticeship in England, 1600–1914 (London: UCL Press, 1996), 29.

Ann Keen and Catherine Keen, boot and shoe dealers, Lichfield

Ann Keen’s listings in trade directories from 1818 to 1851 and her listing in the 1851 Census as a boot and shoe dealer (mistress) belies the notion of the short-lived female-owned business.

Ann Keen was born to William and Mary Keen in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, and baptised on 30 December 1771. She died, unmarried, in 1853, and was buried at Christ Church, Lichfield.

Parson and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory lists a William Keen, ironmonger, grocer, druggist and tallow chandler, with premises in Eccleshall’s High Street. By this date Ann Keen was already established as the proprietress of a shoe warehouse in Market Street, Lichfield. She was one of two female shoe dealers listed in the town; the other being Margaret Pinches of Boar Street. In comparison, ten male boot and shoemakers are listed.

Thus far 11 bills covering the period 1822 to 1829 have been discovered linking Ann Keen’s business to the overseers of St Mary’s, Lichfield. More may come to light. She was supplying men, women and children with ready-made shoes rather than making them. The vouchers show that Ann was assisted by Catherine Keen. What relation Catherine was to Ann is not clear at present, although Catherine might have been the daughter of Ann’s brother Walter baptised in Eccleshall on 31 March 1769. Until Catherine’s Keen’s marriage in 1823, it was Catherine who drew up the bills for the supply of shoes and took payment from the overseers. Following Catherine’s marriage to Moses Smith, a tobacconist from Hanley, Staffordshire, Ann initially employed an assistant J. Beattie, who like Catherine drew up the bills. Later, Ann took to signing the bills herself, or they were initialled by ‘WB’. At the time of the 1851 Census Ann Keen was living on her own in a property on the south side of Market Street.

Catherine’s marriage to Moses Smith was relatively short-lived. Smith died in 1831. By his will Catherine inherited all his stock-in-trade, money, securities for money, debts household furniture, plate, linen, chattels, and personal estate and effects, upon trust during her natural life. His unnamed children (a son and daughter) were to inherit on Catherine’s death. Catherine Smith and George Keen (Moses Smith’s brother-in-law and assistant in his tobacco business) were appointed the executors. An entry in White’s 1834 directory shows that Catherine continued her husband’s business as a tobacconist in Slack’s Lane, Hanley.

Sources

Staffordshire Record Office

BC/11, Will of Moses Smith of Hanley, Staffordshire, proved 7 March 1832

D20/1/11, St Mary’s Parish Register, Lichfield, 30 June 1823

D286/2/11, Christ Church Parish Register, Lichfield, 9 July 1853

D3767/1/5, Holy Trinity Parish Register, Eccleshall, 31 March 1769, 30 December 1771

LD20/6/6/21, Lichfield, St Mary’s Overseers’ Voucher, Ann Keen, settled 18 June 1822

LD20/6/6/, no item number, Lichfield, St Mary’s Overseers’ Vouchers, 14 August 1822, 25 June 1825, one undated [1825], and 29 June 1826, for example

TNA, HO107/2014, 1851 Census

Parson, W. and Bradshaw, T., Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: J. Leigh, 1818), 165, 175, 184, 188, 189

White, William, History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Staffordshire and of the City of Lichfield (Sheffield: 1834), 157, 569

White, William, History, Gazetteer & Directory of Staffordshire, 2nd edn. (Sheffield, printed by Robert Leader, 1851), 5

Young Parton’s Thigh

D10/A/PO/25, Colton Parish Overseers’ Voucher, 19 February 1756.

A brief and partially faded voucher has turned up amongst those for Colton. It reads ‘19 Febry 1756 To reducing Young Partons Thigh 11s 6. Jany 21 1757 Rd of Mr Clark the contents above in full Gilbt Hordeane’.

This produced much speculation amongst the volunteers. Had Clark given Hordeane the reduced bit of Parton’s thigh? What had caused Parton to require the reduction of his thigh? What exactly is thigh reduction?

Currently, thigh reduction treatment involves surgery. The  removal of fat and skin from the thigh area is designed to recapture a more youthful figure; but surely this was not practiced in the mid-eighteenth century? Of course it was not. As usual volunteers on the project were able to provide the answer: ‘Thigh reduction’ refers to setting a fracture. It may refer to a displaced fracture where the two ends of the bone are out of alignment. Reduction and manipulation involves the stretching of the bone to pull them back into alignment.