Thomas Gill c1737-1789. A Pauper Funeral. Skelton Parish

Thomas Gill lived in Lamonby and Leath in Skelton parish. He was described as a labourer in the parish  according to the records available most of the time. 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  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 quarter £0.0s.5d, cakespice £0.0s.2d, tobacco 2 0z £0.0s.3d, candles £0.0s.4d,  a shroud £0.2s.6d, 10 oz 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 each pauper adjusted is they left before the week was out. A yearly salary of £12.10s was appointed 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

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

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

archaeologydataservice.ac.uk

 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)

Liverpool Mercury, 20 January 1832

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 Poor Law Vouchers Skelton

This is a work in progress subject to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Principal’ inhabitants of Brampton c.1797

The following come from the Universal British Directory.

Gentry John Gill, victualler, George and Dragon
Mrs Armstrong John Graham, maltser
Lieutenant Borrough Graham, victualler, Globe
Mrs David Ewart John Haliburton, farmer
Miss Haddart Miss Haliburton, grocer
John Johnstone, Esq. Hetherington, farmer
Clergy Hodgson, agent to brewery
Rev. Richardson, vicar Holt, excise officer
Rev. Wightman, dissenting minister David Hope, victualler, King’s Arms
Physic Francis Hudless, saddler
Mr Grant, surgeon and apothecary Irving, schoolmaster
Mr Hudson, surgeon and apothecary John James, victualler, Shoulder of Mutton
Mr Martin, surgeon and apothecary Joseph James, victualler, Crown
Mr Townley, druggist Samuel Johnstone, manufacturer
Law Thomas Little, victualler
Mr Tiffin, attorney Thomas Mason, carrier
Traders Martha Maxwell, victualler, White Lion
Miss Armstrong, milliner Thomas Messenger, hatter
Jacob Armstrong, grocer Philip Milburne, ironmonger
Joseph Armstrong, saddler Thomas Moses, mercer & draper
Francis Atkinson, victualler, Horse’s Head John Nickol, mercer
Thomas Bell, sen., Carrier & victualler, Bush Nickol, victualler
Thomas Bell, jun., victualler, Howard’s Arms John Parker, grocer
Mrs Bell, milliner Thomas Parker, sen., tallow chandler
Wm & Thomas Bell, butchers Thomas Parker, jun., butcher
John Borrough, clock & watchmaker Samuel Piers, farmer
James Brown, victualler, Packhorse William Piers, currier
John Charleton, grocer Richardson, clock & watchmaker
Mrs Clarke, milliner Richardson, ironmonger
Crossfield, excise officer William Routledge, tanner
Thomas Currie, grocer John Routledge, currier
Davies, excise officer John Sloan, shoemaker
John Ewart, mercer & draper Mrs Smith, milliner
Simon Ewart, tanner Thomas Talantine, grocer
Fleming, dyer & check manufacturer Thomas Thurwall, hatter
John Foster, painter Mrs Wallace, midwife
Thomas Foster, grocer Mary Wallace, milliner
Sarah Foster, baker Richard Wallace, tailor
  Thomas Wallace, watch & clockmaker

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 5 (London: c.1797)

Description of Wigton and environs from the Universal British Directory

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

Wigton is in the forest of Allendale, 306 miles from London. Here is an hospital for six poor clergymen’s widows, and a free grammar school. Its market is on Tuesdays; fair, 25 March. On the approach to this place, a fine view opens to the northward: a rich vale, bounded by the Scotch hills, over which Scarfell frowns with that pre-eminence that Skiddaw assumes over the neighbouring mountains to the right.

About a mile from Wigton is that ancient Roman station Caer Leol, situate on an easy ascent, and commanding an extensive prospect towards Solway Firth and the Scotch borders. The remains here are very extensive, foundations of innumerable buildings being scattered over many acres.

Near Wigton is Burgh-upon-Sands. It lies on the north side of the river Wathimpool, which towards the north-west is washed by the sea flowing up into the foot of the river Eden.

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 5 (London: c.1797)

Description of Brampton from the Universal British Directory

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

Brampton is an ancient but small market town, containing about fifteen hundred inhabitants. It was formerly a Roman station.

Brampton is still the capital of the Barony of Gillsland, belonging to the Earl of Carlisle; and the baron courts are held here twice a year. Its site is low and uneven; the soil is sandy. The town is rather irregularly built. It is a thoroughfare to Newcastle from Carlisle, Whitehaven, &c. It has two great fairs, at which many thousand (sic) of sheep and black cattle are sold; the fair days are the second Wednesday after Whitsuntide, and the second Wednesday in September. Here are two market days, Tuesday and Saturday; the former is by far the most considerable, the latter only for the town. Messrs. Fleming and Temporly carry on very considerable check manufactory in this place. Messrs. Ramshay, Gray and Co., have a large commodious brewery; and do a good deal of business. There is also an hospital for six poor men and six poor women.

There are two carriers, Thomas Bell and Thomas Mason, who set out with carts every Tuesday evening for Newcastle, and return on the Thursday night following; they go for Carlisle on Monday morning, and return in the evening. A diligence passes between Newcastle and Carlisle through Brampton twice a week carrying passengers, newspapers and parcels.

Immediately on the N. E. of Brampton is a high hill called the Mote, the summit of which is cast up, and appears to have been a beacon to alarm the country in times of danger. Before the union of England and Scotland, these beacons were extremely useful.

On the north of Brampton, about a mile distant, runs the famous Roman wall.

About two miles north-east of Brampton, in a low situation, and surrounded with wood, stands Naworth Castle, the seat of Lord Carlisle. It is a fine Gothic structure, of considerable antiquity. Some reparations have lately taken place, planned with great taste and judgement.

Nine miles from Brampton is Gillsland Wells, much frequented by people of fashion, both from north and south of the Tweed.

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 5 (London: c.1797)

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)

Greystoke in 1829

In Jollie gave a long description of Greystoke Castle. He had less to say about the village itself. ‘Greystock or Greystoke, the village which is the head of this parish, is pleasantly situated near the source of the river Petterill … near the south-east corner of the large and beautiful park in which stands Greystoke castle, a modern edifice, erected about 160 years ago by the Hon. Charles Howard, and greatly improved by his grandson, the late Duke of Norfolk, who bequeathed it and the barony to his nephew the Hon. Henry Howard, who now resides there. [There then follows a description of the castle and grounds] … Greystoke church is a spacious edifice, dedicated to St Andrew.’

It was largely an agricultural parish. The other main sources of employment were limestone quarrying and lime-burning particulalry in the nineteenth century. The medieval church was restored 1818.

Sources

William Parson and William White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829)

cumbriacountyhistory.org.uk/township/greystoke

Threlkeld 1829

Threlkeld is an irregularly built village, situated on the Penrith road, 4½ miles E. by N. of Keswick, on the south side of the mountain of Saddleback, commanding a fine view up the vale of Wanthwaite …The chapel, though it is said to be the oldest in the diocese, is in good repair and dedicated to St Mary … A fair for sheep and cattle is held here on the first Thursday in September. The Towngate estate was purchased with several bequests by the overseers and churchwardens, and is now let for £16 10s a year, of which £4 is given to the school, £7 to the poor, and the remainder is expended for the benefit of the chapelry.

Sources

William Parson and William White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829)

 

Hutton John and Hutton Soil

Hutton John:  A small township with only three houses, 5½ miles W. by S. of Penrith … The hall is occupied by William Bateman, Esq. but belongs with the estate to Andrew Huddleston, Esq. now resident in the East Indies.

Hutton Soil township contains the village of Penruddock, and a number of scattered dwellings, 6 miles, W. by S. of Penrith. The Hon. Henry Howard is lord of the manor.

Sources

William Parson and William White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829)

Skelton in 1829

Skelton Parish is about 5 miles long and 2 broad, and is bounded by Hutton, Newton Reigny, Greystock (sic), and Castle Sowerby parishes. The soil is cold and wet, rising from clay. The common, containing nearly 4000 acres, was enclosed in the year 1767 … Some of the farms are of customary tenure, and the rest are freeholds, held under Sir F. F. Vane, the Duke of Devonshire, and the Hon. Henry Howard, to whom the manorial rights belong … The parish contains three townships, of which the following forma an enumeration, with the number of inhabitants in 1801, 1811 and 1821.

  1801 1811 1821
Lamonby 244 236 274
Skelton 270 285 332
Unthank 215 235 252
Total 729 756 858

Skelton is a neat compact village, pleasantly situated on an eminence, 6 miles, NW of Penrith. The church, dedicated to St Mary and St Michael, is an ancient structure, with a square tower. It was covered with blue slates and thoroughly repaired in 1794 … The Rev. Tovey Jolliffe (see separate entry) has enjoyed the rectory since 1791. The parish school was built in 1750 by Mr Isaac Miller, and in 1817 was endowed by the Rev. Nelson, late vicar of Riccall, in Yorkshire, with £1000 … Three benefaction, amounting to upwards of £6 a year, have been left to the poor. The whole parish is united for the maintenance of paupers.

Sources

William Parson and William White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (Leeds: Edward Baines and Son, 1829)

Brampton in the Early-Nineteenth Century

Jollie described Brampton as follows:

A market town, containing about 1300 inhabitants. No manufactory of much extent has hitherto been carried on here; but cotton and several other articles are manufactured here on a small scale. This town chiefly consists of one main street, which is tolerably built; and lately, some good houses, and a commodious inn, have been erected. Its principal support is the weekly market, which is well supplied with corn and other provisions. A public brewery, established several years ago, adds a little to its consequence and its population. The Earl of Carlisle has made a railed waggon-way from his collieries on Tisdale-fell to this town, which not only supplies the inhabitants with the necessary article of coal at a lower rate, but has tended to increase trade by inducing manufacturers to settle here … Brampton is distant from Carlisle 9½ miles.

The principal inns included the Howard Arms, where the post office was kept by a Mr Bell; the White Lion by Mrs Maxwell; and the Bush by Mrs Bell. Business, trades and occupations included a blacksmith, bookseller, braziers, breeches-maker, butcher, cabinet maker, china merchant, clock and watchmaker, clogger, cooper, currier, drapers, druggist, dyers, farmers, flax dresser, grocers, hair dresser, hatters, innkeepers, ironmongers, joiners, milliners, midwife, nail-makers, painter, parish clerk, saddlers, schoolmaster, boot and shoemakers, skinner, solicitor, spirit merchant, stay maker, surgeon, tallow chandlers, tanner, and whitesmith.

Pigot’s 1828-29 directory offers some additional information:

The town is long and straggling, of considerable antiquity … The working class here are chiefly employed in weaving checks, ginghams, &c for the manufacturing houses in Carlisle, and spinning and weaving for domestic uses. The church is a neat stone building, and has lately been repaired at considerable expense, when a square tower was added to it … Here are also three dissenting chapels and a hospital for six poor men … The market day is on Wednesday, which is well supplied with corn and provisions of all sorts, woollens, drapery, &c … In 1821 the population of the whole parish of Brampton was 2921 of which 2450 were in the township.

Francis Jollie, Cumberland Guide and Directory containing a descriptive tour through the county (Carlisle: F. Jollie and Sons, 1811)

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