Elizabeth Wilson (fl. 1785-1788): Money Troubles Part Two

PR 10/V/12, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, Elizabeth Wilson to Isaac Dodd, 25 June 1786

 

One of the vouchers from Skelton initially caused a bit of a puzzle. This was resolved when it became apparent that it was from Elizabeth Wilson to Isaac Dodd, the Skelton vestry clerk. This was not the only letter that Elizabeth had written to Isaac. Like Elizabeth’s previous letter, (see https://thepoorlaw.org/2018/12/29/elizabeth-wilson-fl-1785-1788/), this one, dated 25 June 1786, came from Kendal and was to be left at the Black Bull, Penrith.

It begins ‘I received the money but both genes was light’. Once more she was talking about guineas given to her and their validity. Their light weight was the source of her unease and the consequent effect this had on its monetary value.

 

The Guinea was minted in Britain between 1663 and 1814. It weighed approximately one quarter ounce of gold. Its value could fluctuate with the rise and fall in the price of gold. By 1717, however, its value was fixed at 21shillings. The guinea Elizabeth was given was most likely a George III guinea. During his reign these were issued in six different obverses and three reverses. From 1761 to 1786 the guinea showed a crowned shield on the reverse. In 1787 the guinea was called the ‘spade guinea’ referring to the crowns shield in the shape of a spade on the reverse.

It was the weight of the coin that concerned Elizabeth. These coins not only lost weight with wear but irregularity of shape meant they were the target of counterfeiters; clipping being one such offence. Pieces were shaved from the edge of the coin to melt down for the gold to be sold or made into other coins. Elizabeth was obviously aware of the problem of counterfeit coins. Warnings appeared in the newspapers of the time. The following appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle:

Counterfeit guineas are now in circulation in Whitehaven which seem to have been produced only a few days since. They are much thinner than the real guinea poorly relieved and so badly executed that they can pass upon none but the very ignorant.

In 1786 the Derby Mercury reported concerns about counterfeit copper coins being released into general circulation and the impact it would have on the lower classes. The Mayor offered a reward of five guineas for help in bringing those responsible to justice.  Nearer to Skelton at a later date and at the instigation of the Mint, Richard Irving was prosecuted by Thomas Ramshay and received a sentence of six months hard labour for knowingly possessing counterfeit coins when arrested by Hesket Newmarket Poorhouse doorway. Previously he had been a husbandman of good character, but was now selling pots and living in camps at the hedge-sides.

Another profitable crime was that of ‘uttering’.  This often involved a genuine coin or coins being swapped for a counterfeit one while making a purchase. Women were often involved in uttering or passing of bad coins. The notion being they were more easily trusted and able to dispose of the false coins.

Elizabeth Wilson’s upset seems to be directed at the coins she has been sent rather than any malice towards Isaac Dodd.  She finished her letter: ‘My mother desiers (sic) to be remembered to you all so no moor[more] at present from your frend (sic) and well wesher (sic). However by November 1787 she is still having trouble with the weight of the guinea.

Sources

Cumbria Archives

PR 10/V/12, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, Elizabeth Wilson to Isaac Dodd, 25 June 1786

Newspapers

Newcastle Chronicle, 4 August 1781

Saunders Newsletter, 20 September 1786

Derby Mercury, 19 December 1786

Carlisle Journal, 19 October 1839

Websites

www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0 March 2018 accessed 13/01/2019

https://wwwlondonmintoffice.org accessed 13/01/2019

This is a work in progress, subject to change with further research

Jane Sewell (1759–1823) Parish of Skelton, Cumberland

Voucher PR10/V/14/7 December 4 1788 Jane Sewell

Jane Sewell’s name appears regularly on the surviving vouchers for Skelton parish, between 1784 and 1788, usually receiving the sum of £0.19s.6d for the maintenance of her child. Sometimes the bills are signed by her father John or by her with her mark, a cross. Therefore, it is presumed Jane was not literate enough to sign. Jane’s name also appears on the list of those receiving payments in the Churchwarden and Overseers’ Account Book of 1788 (see Ann Stubbs). The payments being made by Isaac Dodd, Vestry Clerk.

Baptised on 3 May 1759 in Skelton parish, Jane was the daughter of John Sewell, a yeoman. She appears to have lived most of her life there. She was in Skelton when Rev Tovey Jolliffe purchased the place she occupied in 1820. (See the separate blog on Jolliffe). Jane had five siblings: Izilla (1760–1766); John (bap. 1763); twins, Timothy and Mary (bap. 1765) who both died within a few days; and Zillah (bap. 1766). Their father died on 17 April 1813.

Jane had 4 children Mary (bap. 1779), Henry (bap. 1784), Anne (bap. 1788) and Rahel (bap. 1793). The father of one is known. All baptized in Skelton. She actively sought financial assistance for her children. The Warrants for refusal to pay on Bastardy orders at Cumbria Archives reveal a letter written by William Wilson, Justice of the Peace, asking the Constables to summon the Overseers to explain why Jane has been refused relief.

William Wilson, letter PR 10/72-80 (74)

Whereas Jane Sewell of your parish hath this day made oath unto me William Wilson that she the sd [said]Jane Sewell is very poor and not able to provide for herself and bastard child and that the Sd [said] Jane Sewell did at several times apply to the overseers of the poor of the parish and was by them refused to be relieved. Then one therefore does require you to summon two of the overseers of the poor of Skelton parish to appear before me on Tuesday next at the house of Mrs Roper, Sun Inn, Penrith, in the county at the hour of eleven o’clock in the forenoon to show cause why relief should not be given to the Sd [said] Jane Sewell.

The letter is dated 28 September 1784. From the vouchers that have been found it appears Jane did eventually get her relief.

By 1793 Jane was once again seeking help for her children. Again through the jurisdiction of William Wilson.

As on the oath of Jane Sewell of Skelton in the said county of Cumberland single woman that on the seventeenth day of June last the said Jane Sewell was delivered of a female bastard child at Skelton and that John Nicholson of Skelton is the father of the said bastard child is now living and likely to become chargeable to the said parish of Skelton.

The Constables of the parish were ordered to bring Jane Sewell to Isaac Wilkinson’s house to be further examined while John Nicholson was also to attend to make his lawful defence. The putative father was responsible for the maintenance of illegitimate children, the parish authority releasing funds until the father could do so. In 1792 this was the case with Jane’s brother John Sewell. He was ordered first to pay £1.3s 6d to the Overseers of Skelton then £0.1s.9d weekly as he was adjudged to be the reputed father of Mary Jackson’s child.

Jane Sewell was buried at Skelton the 30 March 1823 aged 63.

jane Sewell claim against John Nicholson PR 10/72-80 (76)

Sources

Cumbria Archives Carlisle
PR 10/81, Skelton Oversees of the Poor and Churchwarden accounts book, 1734-1817

PR 10/72-80, Skelton Warrants for refusal to pay on Bastardy orders, 1779–1806

DCC 1/47, Deeds Mostly small properties in Skelton mainly sold to Thomas James and Thornbarrow (p. Hutton) and Penrith, 1736-1801 and to the Rev Tovey Jolliffe Rector of Skelton 1796-1820

Voucher PR 10/V/14/7, Skelton Overseers’ Vouchers December 4 1788 (Jane Sewell)

PR 10, The register of the parish church of Skelton 1580-1812 baptisms burials, and marriages, marriages and deaths 1813-1832

www.londonlives.org

Elizabeth Wilson, (fl.1785-1788)

Elizabeth Wilson Voucher PR10/V/16 Skelton

 

Brief research shows that Elizabeth Wilson’s maiden name was Mathews.  Where or when she was married is unknown. She was the daughter of John Mathews (1700-1783) and Grace Sewell (1704- 1788). Their marriage was registered in Skelton parish 15 July 1731. Grace was baptised 13 April 1732 and her brother Joseph on 21 May 1735.

Elizabeth Wilson received money to help with the care of her mother on 1st November 1785. Other vouchers signed by Isaac Dodd, Vestry Clerk,  are of a similar freehand format. The payment to Elizabeth  was  delivered by the hand of Isaac Holm. It is assumed that the money was collected from or sent to a predetermined place known to Skelton people. Very often this would have been an inn or a well-known shop.

Letters from Elizabeth Wilson to Isaac Dodd were addressed with instructions to be left at the Black Bull, Penrith. The Black Bull was situated in the Corn Market area of Penrith. It had eight lodging rooms and stabling for 21 horses. In 1790 a Mr Murthwaite was the victualler there. Rye was sold outside the Black Bull, wheat at the Black Lion, oats at the Fish Inn and White Hart Inn, and barley at the Griffin. All were situated in or near the Cornmarket area.

By 1785 it appears that  Elizabeth was looking after her mother probably at her home, following John Mathews’ death two years earlier aged 83. He is described as a poor man in the parish register. A voucher of June 1785 lists the clothes and property of Grace Mathews to be delivered to her daughter. Isaac Dodd and Thomas Moses signed at the bottom. Her belongings may have been all she possessed. They Included:

  • 1 Chaf bed
  • 3 blankets
  • 1 pare [pair] of harden sheets
  • 1 bolster and pillow and draw
  • 2 Toppings 1 Rug
  • Bed hangings
  • 1 Bedstead
  • Two Gowns
  • 3 Petticoats
  • 1 Hankerchief
  • 2 Blue Aprons
  • 7 Checked Do[Aprons]
  • 1 pare[pair] of shoes
  • 4 Shifts
  • 2 pare[pair] of Stockings
  • 1 pare[pair] of Clogs
  • 6 Caps
  • 1 chair

The first letter to Dodd in November 1787 has Tindal [Tindale near Farlam] written at the top. She expressed her concern that he has not sent cloth for shifts as the money is not enough to buy clothing on top of her other outgoings. Saying she needed to be able to keep her mother clean and cannot do this without a change of clothes. Asking him to show the letter to the Overseers’, she continues:

I have  tobacco and everything to find. She has been a year and a half that she could not dress herself nor go to bed without help. If you don’t send cloth or money I must be obliged to send her back. I have now had her 3 years at May day.’ 

Elizabeth did get the money sent to her, however, as stated in her letter:

‘I received the money but had a great deal of trouble with a guinea which was not weight. When you send again write on the letter full weight or I shall have no chance with the carrier.’  

Counterfeit coins were problematic around this time and up until the 1830s. Punishment could be severe. Weighing a coin was a way of trying to determine its authenticity. It may have been that Elizabeth thought she had been given money that had been clipped, or that it was a newer design of coin recently minted that she did not recognise. 

The last letter of 15  June 1788 updates Isaac Dodd:

‘I received your letter with cash £0.2.9 in due time as for my mother and me we have had a very bad winter for she lay ever since Martinmass, but thanks be to God she has got it over. She was buried May the 29th 1788. So the money as it happened deferred the expenses of the funeral.’

The hand writing in the two letters differs so Elizabeth may have sought help to write them.

John and Grace Mathews

Further vouchers from the parish of Skelton have been found since this original blog was written that show Elizabeth Wilson’s parents John and Grace received help from the Parish prior to Grace being cared for by Elizabeth. In February 1781 an account of their belongings at Skelton poorhouse was made. The overseer for the poor being a John Pool of Unthank quarter. [photo below] After John’s death on 26 February 1783 Ann Steele  received a payment of £1.6s.6d. for the maintenance of Grace. The payment was made by Isaac Dodd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

Cumbria archives and Library.

Andrew Graham, Secret Penrith  (Amberley 2016)

The Register of the parish of Skelton Cumberland 1580-1812 Baptisms, Marriages and Burials

PR 10/110-112 Letters to the Vestry Clerk

PR 10/V/15 Voucher Cumberland. Small Bills and Petty Finance 1700-1834

Newspapers accessed at www.britishnewspaperarchives.co.uk

Carlisle Patriot, 20 September 1823

Carlisle Journal, 19 October 1839

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 21 August 1771

Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser, 30 July 1782

 

 

 

Ann Stubbs. fl (1782-1793)

Letter from Anne Stubbs to Isaac Dodd PR 10/112

Anne Stubbs lived in Skelton parish during some of her adult life. It is difficult to determine  where Anne was born as her age is not specified on any documentation .  An assumption can be made that she was born around 1760.  The first evidence we find about Anne’s life is 5 May1782 when her son John was christened in Skelton parish. The records list his birth as illegitimate. John did not survive beyond infancy, dying aged 11 months on 2 April 1783 in the village of Unthank within Skelton parish. There is no evidence to be found of Anne Stubbs being given financial assistance with this child.  Anne had a further illegitimate child, a daughter, Mary, christened in the parish, on 30 November 1788. She did get financial help with Mary.

Anne Stubbs’ name appears on the bills of the Vestry Clerk Isaac Dodd in 1789. Payments vary in amounts and cover different time periods. The voucher of May 30th 1789 is typical of those found with Isaac Dodd’s name on:-

Received of Isaac Dodd the sum of one pounds and five shillings for the use of Ann Stubbs being one       shilling per week since the 4th Dec due 28 June. Rec’d by me  Anne stubbs [signed by Anne]

The  Overseer of the poor and Churchwarden account book shows Ann’s name on a list of poor chargeable to the parish in the year 1789.

The list is as follows:-

  • Mary Teasdale            £0.4s.0
  • Elizabeth Gill               £0.2s.6
  • Hannah Dalton           £0.2s.6
  • John Bell                      £0.1s.11
  • Mary Lowden              £0.1s.0
  • Jane Bowman              £0.1s.3
  • John Mulcaster            £0.1s,6
  • Jane Varah children    £0.2s.6
  • Jane Sewell child         £0.1s.0
  • Ann Stubbs child         £0.1s.0

Earlier that year on 10 May Ann Stubbs wrote to Isaac Dodd. The letter, addressed to the Black Bull Inn, Penrith, reads:  ‘Friend Isaac  This comes to let you know that I desire that you will not fail either coming or sending the money to Thos Dockerow [Thomas Dockray] for the rent is to be paid at whitsunday and I desire that you would get the shilling from Sally Eoutledge [Routledge] that is dew to me———————So no more for present from yours    Anne Stubbs ‘ (image above)

Most parochial matters were administered by the parish but the county became involved in legal matters such as vagrancy. The Vagrancy Act 1744 allowed people to be apprehended for various reasons, among them wandering  and begging. It is for this that Anne was brought before Joseph Potts, Justice of the Peace, on 2 March  1792 for him to discharge his duty. The written account of Anne’s miscreation is on a standard pre- printed form with strikeouts and inserts as needed:

‘Where as Ann Stubbs was apprehended in the said Botchergate Quarter as a rogue and vagabond wandering and begging there; and upon examination of the said Ann Stubbs taken upon oath by me Joseph Potts Esquire one of his Majesty’s Justice of the Peace in and for the said County of Cumberland which examination is here upon indorsed. It doth appear that the lawful settlement of her, the said Ann Stubbs is at the Parish of Skelton in the said County of Cumberland. Therefore to require you the said constables of Botchergate Quarter to convey the said Ann Stubbs to the said Parish town of Skelton Cumberland to which she is to be sent. To deliver her to the constable and other officer of the said place of Skelton within the said County of Cumberland together with the pass and duplicate of the examination of the said Ann Stubbs to be provided for according to law. And you the said Churchwardens, Overseers of the Poor are hereby required to receive the said Ann Stubbs and provide for her.’

The examination of Ann Dodd under oath determined where her right of settlement was. The account is hand written and difficult to read in parts (image below) Anne appears to tell them that she had been living at Wardle Hall, Unthank, for one year. John Wilson being a yeoman there.  She believed her legal settlement to be in the parish of Skelton. Any other views as to what she thinks of her present situation or an explanation as to her presence in Carlisle are not recorded. Was Anne’s daughter alive and left at Skelton? Was she looking for work or visiting relatives?. She may just have been trying to get back to Skelton. Her apprehension may have afforded her free assistance home.

The rest of her life is a conundrum. A baptism in Skelton parish of a Mary Ann Stubbs in March 1814 may be her daughter Mary’s child but this is just conjecture.

Extract of transcript of examination of Anne Stubbs 1792 PR 10/78

A further voucher PR 10/V20 1796-7 shows that a Mary Stubbs was having her board paid for at William Hogg’s for 1 week at £0.1s.11 and Joseph Nelson’s  at £0.1s 6d a week for 24 and a half weeks amounting to £1.16s.9d. This is most likely Anne Stubbs'[ daughter

Joseph Potts Esq was Mayor of Carlisle three times as well as Justice of the Peace. He died in February 1793.

Sources

Cumbria Archives PR 10/81,  Overseer of Poor and Churchwarden account book  1734-1817

Cumbria Archives PR10/V/15/1 Skelton Overseers Voucher 30 May 1789  (Ann Stubbs)

Cumbria Archives PR10/V/20/ Skelton Overseers Voucher 1 June 1797 (Mary Stubbs)

The Register of the Parish Church of Skelton 1580-1812 Baptisms, Burials and marriages

www.ancestry.co.uk

www.londonlives.org

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

Thomas Martin c.1759-1826

Thomas Martin was a man of many parts.  His early life is a mystery, but in 1781 he was married to Margaret Lowthian in Carlisle, and by 1787 was settled in the parish of Dalston.  The couple had six children born in the parish up to 1802, at which point Margaret would have been aged approximately 45.  The Dalston baptism registers give occasional occupational labels to fathers, and Thomas Martin gathered three different designations in a thirteen-year period.  He was identified variously as a cotton manufacturer, a joiner, and a publican, but he is remembered for other skills as well.  He was a salaried overseer for the parish in the 1810s, a workhouse manager in the 1820s, and he may well have had architectural credentials (perhaps in confirmation of his success as a joiner at scale).  He was said to have been the supplier of plans for the first restoration of Dalston church in 1818.

When writing his will, Martin identified himself as an innkeeper.  It is interesting to note, though, the occupations of his children which also ran from the practical to the professional.  Among his sons Richard was a warper (in the textile industry), while George was an innkeeper in Scotland; the son he didn’t mention in his will, Isaac, was a surgeon.   This was a lower-middling family with aspirations to gentility, and numerous family skills.  Even so, the next generation seems not to have lived long enough to capitalise on their father’s investment in this part of Cumberland.  Sons Richard and Isaac both died in the 1830s (aged 48 and 43 respectively), and by 1890 there was no-one in the parish of Dalston named Martin.

Sources: Carlisle marriage of 10 March 1781; Dalston parish registers, baptisms of 1 July 1787, 5 July 1789, 31 July 1791, 17 August 1794, 24 April 1797 and 1 January 1802; J. Wilson (ed.), The Monumental Inscriptions of the Chruch, Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s Dalson, Cumberland (Dalston, 1890), p. 101; Carlisle Archives PROB/1826/W246 will of Thomas Martin 1826; SPC 44/2/49 Dalston overseers’ of the poor vouchers, Thomas Martin legal accounts 6 February 1816-17 March 1817, and 18 October 1819 to 15 October 1821.

 

 

Thomas Gill c.1737-1789. A Pauper Funeral. Skelton Parish

Voucher PR10/V/14

Thomas Gill lived in Lamonby and Leath in Skelton parish. He was described as a labourer in the parish  according to the records available. It is assumed that he took on labouring work most of his life and that his income and ability to make a living would be very dependent on his ability to work. Skelton being a rural area the work would most likely involve that related to agriculture.

Family

He married Elizabeth (Betty) Gibson when he was 37 and she was 21 on 23 November 1774. It is possible that Gill had been married before as Skelton poor law vouchers show that the parish overseer arranged a binding into an apprenticeship for a Thomas Gill’s son in 1772. Whether this was this Thomas Gill’s son is not known. Thomas and Elizabeth had 5 children William (b.1775) , Hannah (b.1776), Mary (b.1779), Margaret (b.1781) and Elizabeth (b.1786.) When Elizabeth was born Gill was referred to as a pauper. By the 10 March 1789 Gill had died aged 49;  his family were presumably left  to struggle on. His son William had already died in 1775 aged 2 months. Hannah, his daughter, was alive in 1799 and had a son, Thomas. His birth is recorded as illegitimate on 23 May of that year. If his wife Elizabeth remarried or how long she lived is unknown.

Funeral Expenses

Assuming the family were unable to pay for his funeral, Skelton parish appears to have borne the cost. The parish  provided similar provisions for the pauper funeral of Edward Tinkler in 1793 as well as others. With similar items on the small bills and petty cash vouchers, the expense for Gill’s funeral included bread from Wm Nicholson,  £0.4s.0d, Ale and Beer from Ann Todd £0.2s.0d,  butter from Wm Hodgson £1.6s.0d, cheese £0.2s.0d, sugar £0.1s.6d, barley 2 quarters £0.0s.5d, cakespice £0.0s.2d, tobacco 2 0z £0.0s.3d, candles £0.0s.4d,  a shroud £0.2s.6d, 10oz tea, a coffin £0.12s.0, and Church fees £0.1s.6d; the total cost being £1.8s.5d.  Who consumed the food is not known. This may not be comparable with a pauper’s funeral in the larger cities. The respect afforded the poor in death may have been dependent on parish finance and those who administered them.

Footnotes

In rural areas the fear of resurrectionists and anatomists was probably less than in the larger cities with medical schools. These schools could procure  bodies for research in unethical ways. The Anatomy Act of 1832 proposed to address this by allowing poorhouses, workhouses and hospitals to give up bodies not claimed by friends of relatives to surgeons and teachers of anatomy. Some argued that this would benefit the poor by reducing the cost of medical advice while also helping medical science. The likelihood is it perpetuated the poor’s fear of the workhouse.

The following is taken from Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society iv, 425-435, Rev R.W. Dixon, ‘Hayton: The Old Registers’.

Before poor law unions the poorhouse Hayton was at Street House. It is to this the agreement between Thomas Wharton of Faugh and the churchwardens refers to. Thomas Wharton  had an agreement with Hayton Parish for a year in 1773 for ‘letting of the poor’ for a year. The Parish provided clothing and apparel. Wharton was to mend their clothes and stockings. £5 being appointed for the purpose. Under 1 year olds to be counted with their mother as one person. He was to provide meat, drink, washing and lodgings for the paupers. He was given a weekly allowance of £0.1s. 2d for each pauper adjusted if they left before the week was out. A yearly salary of £12.10s was given to him. If the pauper died in the house he was to be buried at the expense of the parish. What this provision entailed can only be surmised. This practice may have continued with an arrangement  with Thomas Milbourn of Towtop in 1776 for letting of the poor for one year.

Sources

Cumbria Archives

PR 102/30 Churchwardens and overseers account book 1740-1796. Includes memorandum on agreement for letting of poor for one year to Thomas Milbourn of Towtop p Hayton,Yeoman, 1776

PR 10/V/14 item 12 March 10 1789 Skelton Overseers Vouchers 

The Register of the Parish Church of Skelton:  Baptisms, Burials and Marriages 1580-1812

Liverpool Mercury, 20 January 1832

 Rev R W Dixon Hayton: The Old Registers’, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. vol iv, 425-435

E.S Thomson, Beloved Poison (London: Churchill, 2016)

www.gutenberg.org. Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland. (accessed 9 Dec 2018)

archaeologydataservice.ac.uk

This is a work in progress subject to change.

Description of Whitehaven from the Universal British Directory c.1796 and James Hogarth’s contribution to the town

The following is an edited version of the entry in the fourth volume of the Universal British Directory.

Whitehaven is a seaport and market town, distant from London three hundred and fourteen miles, one hundred and thirty four from Manchester, seventy nine from Lancaster, fifty seven from Kendal, twenty seven from Keswick, thirteen and three quarters from Cockermouth, and seven from Workington. The town is situated between two hills, and the harbour lies in a bite from the sea, and the tide formerly used to flow where the town now stands. A storm did great damage to this place in March 1793, when the tide rose six feet above its usual height. In the American war Paul Jones landed here and spiked up the guns, and set fire to two ships in the docks; but by the vigilance of the inhabitants, there was but little damage done, and he was forced to retreat.

Whitehaven has grown up by the encouragement of the Lowther family, from a small place, to be very considerable by the coal trade, which is so much increased of late, that it is the most eminent port in England for it next to Newcastle; for the city of Dublin, and all towns of Ireland on that coast, and some parts of Scotland, and the Isle of Man, are principally supplied from hence. It is frequent in time of war, or upon occasion of cross winds, to have two hundred sail of ships at a time go from this place to Dublin laden with coals.

It is a large, rectangular, well-built town, about one third bigger than the city of Carlisle, but containing three times the number of inhabitants. These inhabitants are all perfectly well lodged, all embarked in profitable employments, of one kind or another; so that they are in a continual scene of unaffected industry, and carry on their affairs with great dispatch, and yet without hurry or confusion. They have a plentiful and commodious market, supplied by and supplying both necessaries and conveniences to a very extensive neighbourhood. The country roundabout, and especially towards St Bees, is admirably cultivated, and strewed with neat and pleasant houses.

In regard to the port, which has a custom house, and a proper appointment of officers, it is now well secured by numerous and costly works, and has every convenience its situation will permit.

The number of ships belonging to this port in September 1792 was 477, tons, 56,415.

The coal mines at this place are perhaps the most extraordinary of any in the known world.

Here are three churches, viz. St James’s, Trinity and Holy church. Likewise Methodist, Quarter and Presbyterian, meetings. James Hogarth Esq. has been a very great benefactor to this town. In 1785 he built a church on Mount Pleasant, which cost sixteen hundred pounds; but as he could not get it consecrated, he opened it for the Methodists. The above gentleman continued building for forty two years, in which time he built two hundred houses, which are still his property: he also built ten square ships, from two hundred and fifty to four hundred tons each. He is the principal subscriber to the Dispensary, and wishes to advance it to an hospital. He also erected a charity school, and endowed it with twenty pounds per annum; he was the first subscriber to the Sunday schools, and still continues one of the principals. He erected and manufactory of work for the poor; he likewise gave a premium for industry. What is remarkable, he always did his business without a clerk.

Market days: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; fair day, August 12.

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 4 (London: c.1796)

The Westmorlands of Wigton

Isaac Westmorland I (1728-1790) Grocer and West Indies Importer, Wigton, Cumbria.

Isaac Westmorland II (1755-1824)   Tallow Chandler, Wigton, Cumbria.

Isaac Westmorland III (1787-1855)   West India Merchant, London.

 

Isaac Westmorland I (1728-1790)

There are three generations of identifiable men with the name Isaac Westmorland, but the records are not always clear which one is being referred to. What follows is currently a “best fit”.

The first Isaac was born in Crosthwaite, Cumberland, and married Martha Peat in 1753. He was probably a grocer and a West Indies importer of sugar and rum. He is also listed as an Overseer of Wigton in 1760.[1] Isaac and Martha had six surviving children, John, Robert, Isaac, Agnes, Martha and Peat.[2]His eldest son, John 1754-1820 is listed on the Hair Powder Tax register of 1790 as a “Housekeeper” [3]He is also listed on the Land Tax Redemption Register for the Township or Quarter of Woodside, Wigton, Cumberland.[4] He was probably a merchant in Kingston, Jamaica in 1780. John is listed on the Sunfire Insurance records in 1791, no occupation is given, so it is likely that he was insuring his property rather than his business.[5] John was unmarried, and when he died in 1820 his will left most of his property to his two sisters, Martha Thornthwaite and Agnes Westmorland who were probably twins, being born in the same year and baptised on the same day, 28 August 1766.[6]

Martha Peat had a brother, Arthur, born in 1741. An Arthur Peatt is listed on the Legacies of British Slave-ownership website as being someone with West India connections. In his biography mention is made of a slave trading company ‘Peatt and Westmorland’ in Kingston, Jamaica in 1777. This may have have been part of the connection all three Isaac Westmorlands had to the West Indies.

A Miss Westmorland is noted on John Wood’s 1832 map of Wigton as owning property in Wigton. One of these parcels includes the buildings and land next to the Half Moon Inn in King Street.[7] This is possibly Agnes as in the Parson and White Directory for 1829, a Miss Agnes Westmorland is listed among the Gentlemen and Yeomen as living on High Street.[8]

Another son of Isaac’s, Robert (1759-1844), died in in Southwark, London. It is possible that he was a lawyer as a Robert Westmorland appears in the UK Articles of Clerkship in 1785 as working at Ball Court, Cornhill and the clerk articled to him is Peat Westmorland. It is possible that both brothers were London Lawyers.[9] Peat Westmorland is also mentioned in the London Land Tax Records in the St Stephen Wallbrook precinct in 1792. In the churchyard in Wigton he is mentioned among the family headstones as having died in St George’s, Grenada in 1815, aged 47.

There are two groups of lease and release documents in the archive for 1772 and 1784, for the same property. Isaac was taking on the lease of the property in each case from Ann Gardner. Isaac Westmorland Junior’s signature appears on one document as a witness.[10]

 

Isaac Westmorland II, (1755-1824.)

Isaac is listed in the Sun Fire insurance records in 1791 as a Tallow Chandler and because this information is given, he was probably insuring his business. [11]

Hutchinson, in his History of Cumberland, 1797, notes the existence of a ‘soap boilery, the property of Mr Isaac Westmorland’ as one of the ‘public works of note’ in the town.[12]

So far, one voucher for Isaac Westmorland has been identified, he supplied soap, blue, starch and candles in January 1777.[13]

Isaac was active in the town, he is mentioned in the Cumberland Paquet in 1781 as one of the signees on a petition against Sunday trading in Wigton[14], and again in 1783, as a member of the ‘Wigton Association’ for the prevention of offences and for bringing the perpetrators to justice[15]. Isaac was married to Betty Atkinson in 1782. They had three sons and two daughters. There may have been others, but these are either mentioned in Isaac’s will or to be found on the headstones in the churchyard.

The headstone in the graveyard of the parish church notes that his eldest son, John, died aged 19 in Jamaica in 1802.

In 1805 there is an advertisement in the Cumberland Pacquet for the sale of the Half Moon Inn and the letting of the soap boilery and related buildings due to the illness of the proprietor, Isaac Westmorland.[16] In 1811 he is listed in Jollie’s Directory as ‘not in trade’ but living in Church Street. A John Westmorland, Esq. who may be his brother John, is listed in the same publication, again, ‘not in trade’ and living in Corn-market.[17]

Isaac’s will mentions his two daughters, Martha and Betty and his son Arthur, but no mention is made of his son, Isaac, who was born in1787.

 

Isaac Westmorland III, (1787-1856.)

Isaac III seems to have moved to London. He is listed on the Legacies of British Slave-ownership website as a partner in the firm Stewart and Westmorland. The same website notes that an Isaac Westmorland, then in partnership with James Thompson and Charles Osbourne at Billiter Square London was declared bankrupt in 1816.

He married Hannah Cheesewright in Islington in 1819 they had nine children. The 1851 census records them living in Camberwell, their eldest son, John being 17.

The website lists 11 associated claims for slave ownership compensation for the partnership in 1836. In some cases the company is listed as the Mortgagee, in others Owner in Fee.

The partnership was dissolved in 1854. Isaac died aged 68 in 1856.[18]

 

 

[1] CRO PR/36/119 within Vestry Minutes Book 1735-1885.

[2] Ancestry.com, England, Select Births and Christenings,1538-1975 [Database online]

[3]  CRO Carlisle Q/RT/11 Hair Powder Tax Certificates 1795.

[4] Ancestry.com UK Land Tax Redemption, 1798 [Database online]

[5] London Metroplolitan Archives, Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Group, CodeCLC/B/192/F/001/MS11936/367/569656 Insured: John Westmorland, Wigton, Gentleman. Date 1790 May 15

[6] Ancestry.com, England, Select Births and Christenings,1538-1975 [Database online]

[7] CRO John Wood, Map of Wigton, 1832.

[8] W.Parson and W.White, A History, Directory and Gazeteer of Cumberland and Westmorland with Furness and Cartmel, (Whitehaven:Moon,1984) First Published, 1829.

[9] Ancestry.com. UK Articles of Clerkship, 1756-1874 [Database online]

[10] CRO, Carlisle, DX748/203, DX748/195,196.

[11]London Metropolitan Archives, Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Group. Code CLC/B/192/F/001/MS11936/381/591605. Insured: Isaac Westmoreland, Wigton, Tallow Chandler. Date 1791 Aug22.

[12] W.Hutchinson, A History of the County of Cumberland, Vol.2 (Carlisle: Jollie,1797),p.468.

[13] CRO, PR36/V/757

[14] Cumberland Paquet, 24 April 1781.

[15] Cumberland Paquet, 30 September 1783.

[16] Cumberland Paquet, 29 October 1805

[17] Jollies Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811 P.68

[18]Isaac Westmorland’, Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, http://wwwdepts-live.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/view/42306(http://wwwdepts-live.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/42306) [accessed 14thNovember2018]

Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe (1750–1830), Rector of Skelton (1791-1830), Landowner and Philanthropist

Skelton -inside St Michael’s Church Photograph taken August 2018 by M Dean

The Reverend Tovey Jolliffe had various posts in Hampshire before becoming Rector of Skelton on 11 June 1791. The living of Skelton was in the patronage of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, from where he had obtained his qualifications (B.A 1768, M.A 1772 and B.D 1781). From 1795–98 he was also Rector of Brooke, Hampshire.
Jolliffe was born on 16 January 1750 at Newport, Isle of Wight, to James Jolliffe (1717– 95) and his second wife Frances Smith (1716–87). Shortly after coming to Skelton Tovey married Grace Dobinson (1751–1832) in Carlisle on 27 May 1793. Two of Grace’s sisters, Catherine and Mary, had also married clergy, whilst a third sister, Elizabeth, remained unmarried. M. Yates’ letter in the Memorials of a Family in England and Virginia 1771–1851 recounts: ‘It is talked that Miss Grace Dobinson is to marry a Parson whose name is Jolliffe. He has a living near Greystoke’. Tovey and Grace Jolliffe set up home in Skelton.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries local affairs were run by parish vestries with the local squire and parson often in charge. There are several accounts of Jolliffe’s involvement in the parish affairs. Newspaper items respond favourably on his provision of coal and beef to the poor at Christmas.
The Carlisle Patriot noted:
On Friday week, the Rev. Tovey JOLLIFFE, of Skelton, with his usual liberality, distributed a quantity of excellent Beef to the poor inhabitants of that village. It is the constant practice of this benevolent gentleman to give large quantities of Soup to the same people every week during winter. He also supports and superintends a Sabbath School, and the children undergo a weekly examination by him.
The last occasion on which he donated food was the Christmas before his death when he gave 30 stones of beef and 636 pecks of coal. Others of means also did the same. The Earl of Lonsdale gave beef, blankets and clothing to those in the Lowther Castle area, and Joseph Cowper of Unthank gave soup to the poor at Christmas. Jolliffe’s visits to the poorhouse with supplies of tea, sugar and soup are reported as regular occurrences too. Jolliffe contributed to the subscription for relief of the Waterloo sufferers following the Napoleonic Wars.

Jolliffe concerned himself with the education of the children at Skelton school. The disbursements record that in 1819 and for the next 18 years until he resigned his post and moved to Workington, Robert Loraine, schoolmaster of the parochial school, was paid £16.3s.5d every half year. The trustees of the school were led by Rev’d Jolliffe. In 1798–9 Overseers of the Poor and Churchwarden account books report Jolliffe striking out one churchwardens and replacing him with one of his choice.

Rev’s Jolliffe’s entry in Account Book PR 10/81

The Rectory provided Jolliffe with an income, some coming from tithes and rents. In 1823 Leeds Intelligencer Jolliffe’s name is on a list of gentleman who had reduced tithes in order to help those struggling with high wheat and grain prices as well as stagnant wages. In publishing the list it was hoped that pressure would be exerted on others to do the same.

From early on, Jolliffe had purchased small pieces of land around Skelton and continued to do so for the remainder of his life. As open ground started to be replaced by enclosed land, opportunities arose for the creation of a market in land purchase. In 1796 Jolliffe’s mother’s cousin (Betty Smith) died leaving Jolliffe half of Hale Manor and the tenement of Stile House in Arreton, Isle of Wight, near where he was born. By his death in 1830 he had at least 27 properties including fenced of areas of land, allotments, orchards and property to his name in Skelton. He also had property mortgaged to him between 1798–1814. One property he purchased in 1820 was occupied by Jane Sewell (b.1759). Sewell’s name appears on overseers’ vouchers between 1784 and 1788 for the maintenance of her child. Payments of £0.19.0 and £0.16.0 were made by Isaac Dodd, clerk. The parish register records the birth of this child, Mary, as base born in 1779 and a further illegitimate child, Ann, being born to Sewell in 1789. Jane had lived in Skelton since 1781. What happened to her after Jolliffe purchased the property is unknown.
Jolliffe collected rents for the properties he owned. Tenant Joseph Robley who had a 21-year lease paid £36 a year; William Whitelock and Joseph Thompson paid £82 a year each. A churchwardens voucher of 1802 shows a payment made by William Whitelock:Rec,d of William Whitelock by the hands of Rev’d Jolliffe the sum of one pound, one shillings and sixpence due to the estate of the late Jos Sanderson.

Jolliffe had also purchased land in Carlisle. Evidence for this is found in 1830 when a meeting of benefactors and subscribers for the building of an Infirmary in Carlisle agreed to purchase land at Coldcoates from Jolliffe.
Jolliffe died suddenly on Sunday August 1830. His remains were interred in Skelton Parish Church. A memorial can be seen in the church today. It reads:
Underneath are deposited the remains of Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe B.D 39 years Rector of this Parish who die on the first of August 1830 in the 81st year of his age. Also of Grace his widow who died at Carlisle the 19th day of June 1832 aged 82 years.
Grace died at her home in Castle Street, Carlisle. Tovey and Grace had no children.
The Jolliffes appear to have amassed an estate of considerable value. Jolliffe left a new cottage and garden to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Joseph Cowper had the two thirds of Jolliffe’s estate he purchased from the Jolliffe family valued in 1839. It records the purchase price as £2200.
Jolliffe is also listed as a donor to King’s College, London. His contribution was £50.

Information for future research
Both Tovey and Grace Jolliffe left wills accessible at Cumbria Archives Carlisle
Robert Loraine, schoolmaster, married Mary Marie Wright in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, on 27 October 1834. Her father was John “Squire” Wright (1752–1821) of Hutton in the Forest
William Whitelock died 8 May 1817 aged 78 years. He is buried in Skelton Churchyard along with his wife, Rebecca, who died 28 November 1820, aged 80 years.

Sources
Cumbria Archives, Carlisle
PR 10/V/24 Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, 1804-5
PR 10/V/12, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, 1784
PR 10/V/16, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, 1788
PR 10/14, Lease for 21years at £36 a year from Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe to Joseph Robley, 24 March 1792
PR 10/15, Lease for 21 years at £82 a year from Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe to William Whitelock and Joseph Thompson, 24 March 1792
PR 10/81, Overseers of the Poor and Churchwardens account books entry. 1798-9 by Rev T Jolliffe
DCC 1/63, Personal account and memoranda book of Joseph Cowper of Unthank, Valuation of Rev. T Jolliffe estate 1839
DX 748/214, Deeds of house on Castle Street, March 1798
DX 748/215, Lease and Release of piece of waste ground, formerly bought by Watson Carnaby, March 1798
DX 1/47 Deeds, mostly of various small properties in Skelton, mainly sold to Thomas James and family of Thornbarrow (p. Hutton) and Penrith, 1736-1801, and to the Rev. Tovey Jolliffe, rector of Skelton, 1796–1820
DCC, 1/32, Deeds relating to the purchase of the Skelton estate of the Rev. Tovey Jolliffe deceased, in which Joseph Cowper of Unthank Esq. (with his brother John of Carleton Hall and of Stamford Street, Blackfriars, London, as co-party) bought two-thirds of it from the Jolliffe family, 1831–34

Isle of Wight Record Office
JER/SEL/1A/16, Schedule of deeds re. BROOK ESTATE, I.W., delivered to Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe, clerk, mortgagee, by James and William How, 6 August 1806

Newspapers
Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser, 21 December 1821, 5 January 1824, 10 January 1826, 23 January 1827
Carlisle Patriot, 22 January 1820, 30 December 1820, 22 January 1830, 23 January 1830, 19 June 1830
Hampshire Chronical, 9 August 1830
Leeds Intelligencer, 9 March 1823
Oxford Journal, 14 August 1830
Stamford Mercury, 13 August 1830
Secondary Sources
The Skelton Parish Histories. Skelton Parish Council Millennium Project (2000)
A. E. Tirrell, Memorials of a family in England and Virginia 1771–1851
Websites
www.theclergydatabase.org.uk
www.ancestry.co.uk
www.nfknowlege.org/record/na-254cdec Probate will of Betty Smith, parish of Carisbrooke, dated 4 October 1796, proved 7 February 1804
www.kingscollections.org/calendarscollection/1880-1881/page-572 accessed 9 November 2018
This is a work in progress, subject to change with additional research.

Memorial Skelton Church to Rev Tovey Jolliffe photograph taken August 2018 by M Dean

 

Wigton Vestry Members, 1788, 1822-1834

The following list of Wigton Vestry Members, 1788, 1822-1834 is drawn from the vestry minutes. The year 1828 is not included. In most years the occupation or status of the person was also recorded. Where possible these have been checked against entries in trade directories. Some occupations not included in the minutes have been taken from the directories.

Surname First Name Location Status Years
Armstrong Thomas Standingstones yeoman 1822-34
Atkinson John 1788
Barnes John Dockray yeoman 1824-31
Barwick Joseph 1788
Barton William Wigton, spirit merchant 1829
Baxter Abraham Aikhead farmer 1827
Baxter William Wigton grocer 1826-30
Blackstock John Akehead 1822-24
Bradshaw William Wigton spirit merchant 1822-23, 1826
Clark Wilfrid 1788
Crookdake William Wigton gentleman 1823-26
Crozier John Aikhead farmer 1834
Dalton George Wigton farmer 1829-34
Dalton Richard Wigton currier 1831-34
Dodgson William Wigton manufacturer 1826-27, 1832-34
Donaldson John Wigton brewer 1830-34
Edgar James 1788
Fiddler Edward Wigton manufacturer 1833
Fiddler Jos Mains yeoman 1829-31
Furnass John Wigton hat manufacturer 1830-34
Halliby Anthony Wigton callico printer 1823, 1825
Henderson John Moorhouse yeoman 1822-23, 1825-34
Hewson Joseph Wigton blacksmith 1832-34
Hodge Joseph Highmoor 1822-23
Hodgson Jonah Ashburn Wigton common brewer 1829
Hodgson Joseph Wigton attorney 1823-32
Howson William 1788
Irving J chairman 1827 1827
Irving Thomas Wigton innkeeper 1822-23
Ismay John Wigton stationer
Ismay Jos 1788
Little William Lowfield House farmer 1834
Lowes John Faulder Wigton brewer 1825
Manduel John Oakshawhill yeoman 1827
Mc Alpin Duncan Wigton calico printer 1830-34
Mc Alpin Thomas Wigton calico printer 1822, 1824, 1826-28
Matthews Richard reverend 1822, 1824-26, 1829, 1832, 1834
Meals John Wigton spirit merchant 1826-34
Messenger John 1788
Moor Joseph Wigton mason 1824
Parkin Joseph New Street, Wigton gentleman 1822-32
Parkin William Wigton manufacturer 1825-27
Pattinson John New Street, Wigton manufacturer 1822, 1825, 1827, 1829
Pattinson Joseph Wigton manufacturer 1822-24, 1826, 1830
Pattinson Isaac Wigton gentleman 1830-31
Pattinson William Blair Wigton 1823, 1827, 1830
Pingney John Wigton farmer 1824-25
Reed William Wigton currier 1827, 1832-34
Reymond[?] John Spittal farmer 1834
Richardson Joseph Wigton painter 1832
Rigg Samuel Wigton mercer 1824-26, 1829-30
Robinson John Wigton 1823
Robinson John jun Wigton mercer 1826-27
Rooke John Aikhead yeoman/gent 1824-26, 1829-32, 1834
Sandorson John 1788
Saul John Wigton painter 1833
Selby Matthew Dockray yeoman 1833
Shadwick Joseph Moorhouse miller 1829
Sheffield Joseph Wigton butcher 1826, 1833
Simonds James Wigton gentleman 1829-34
Simonds John Wigton farmer 1831, 1833
Smith John Mains 1822
Strong John Wigton yeoman 1833-34
Studholme Joseph Wigton attorney 1823-24, 1826-32, 1834
Taylor John Wigton 1822
Twentyman Timothy Wigton gentleman 1823-27, 1830, 1832-34
Westmorland Isaac Wigton 1822
Willis John Wigton attorney 1830-32
Wilson Matthew 1788
Wise Robert Wigton shopkeeper/grocer 1822, 1824-29, 1831-33

Sources

Cumbria Archives, Carlisle, PR/36/119, Wigton Vestry Minute Book, 1735-1885

Francis Jollie, Cumberland Guide and Directory (Carlisle: 1811)

E. M. Parson and E. W. White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (1829)

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 1: Cheshire – Northumberland] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828)

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