Isaac Dodd (1744-1818), Vestry Clerk, Skelton

Voucher PR 10/V/10/6 March 6 1785 payment to Rebecca Dixon

The poor of Skelton received relief from funds made available from charging ratepayers of the Parish. Payments were made by Isaac Dodd, referred to as Vestry Clerk but occasionally Parish Clerk. A few of those mentioned in the vouchers as receiving poor relief are Philip Bowman, Rebecca Dixon, Sarah Moor and Jane Sewell for child maintenance; and Thomas Gill and Edward Tinkler for house rent. William Hogg and Joseph Nelson received payments for providing board for the poor, and John Hutton for help when he was ill.

Voucher PR10/V/14/1 1 September 1788 Philip Bowman
Voucher PR10/V/14/1 1 September 1788 Philip Bowman

Dodd’s name appears on numerous vouchers found between 1783 and 1786. He also received letters from the poor asking for help. One such letter in July 1790 came from William Turner of Whitehaven asking for 20-30 shillings so his daughter can start up a business in a small shop. He says that he is old and in ill health and a burden to her. His daughter was already struggling to maintain herself and her family. William said that he had asked the Parish Officer of Whitehaven for help but they contended that he did not belong to them. It is assumed they don’t think he has a ‘settlement’ in the parish. Therefore, he is writing to Isaac Dodd as he must believe his place of settlement is with Skelton. Notes at the bottom of the letter refer to a Barbara Nelson and that notice is to be taken of Frances Graham, presumably to help determine his case.

Parish Clerk
Isaac was appointed to the post of Parish Clerk by the then Rector, Rev’d Samuel Starkey  (1747-1804) in January 1786 and continued [in the role] after the appointment of Rev’d Tovey Jolliffe (1750-1830) in 1791. In 1810 the Overseers of the Poor and Churchwardens Account Book records that he was paid £1 1s 0d a year. He also received payments for supplying communion wine £2 15s 0d and washing the church linen £0 5s 0d in 1805. His name appears in the account book on other occasions, recording the payments to parish poor and when attending the quarter sessions. Isaac’s name is also recorded frequently as a witness at weddings in the parish. It is not known if he received any payment for doing so. On the birth of his son in 1772 the parish register records Dodd’s occupation as a tailor. It was common for holders of parish officers to have a main occupation.

Family
Issac appears to have been born in Croglin, a small village about 14 miles from Skelton  on the 13 August 1744. His siblings were Joseph (1739), John (1742) Thomas (1747-1747) Mary (1749), William (1752) and Elizabeth (1756). He married Rachel Allonby on 7 July 1768. On 28 September 1768 their daughter Ann was baptised but  the same day Rachel’s death is recorded in the register. Ann survived only a few months after the death of short her mother, dying on the 14 January 1769. Isaac then married  Mary [unknown surname] (c.1748-1797), although the record of the marriage cannot be found in Skelton parish. They had 4 children John (1771), Joseph (1772-1774), Mary (1776) and her twin Betty (1776-1801). Dodd’s second wife Mary died on 19 April 1797 aged 49. Five years later, in 1802 Isaac, now 56, married for the final time Esther Hutton aged 48.

In 1817 Isaac Dodd resigned from his role as Parish Clerk. His signature in the Account Book showing a deterioration in quality from earlier entries. Shortly afterwards he made a short will. It begins: ‘I Isaac Dodd of Skelton in the Parish if Skelton in the County of Cumberland being mindful of my mortality do hereby make publish declare this to be my last will and testament’.

He left any interest from his property to his wife as well as the residue of his personal belongings to her to distribute amongst his brothers and sisters and her brothers and sisters according to her own mind. No one is named. Isaac Dodd died 13 August 1818 and his will was proved on 19 September.  His effects were less than £200. 

An entry in the Parish Register of 1831 shows that an Esther Dodd aged 79 married a Thomas Mulcaster aged 75 of Croglin. It has been assumed this is Isaac Dodd’s widow.

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

Sources 
Cumbria Archives

Cumbria archives  PR10/V/10/6 (Rebecca Dixon) . Skelton Overseer Voucher 6 March 1785

Cumbria Archives PR10/V/14/1 (Philip Bowman)  Skelton Overseers Voucher 1 september 1788

Cumbria Archives PR10/V/1-24 Skelton Overseers Vouchers

Cumbria Archives PR 10/81, Skelton Overseers of the Poor and Churchwardens Account Book 1734-1817

Cumbria Archives PR 10/113, Letter to the Vestry Clerk. July 1790

Cumbria Archives PROB 1818/W405, Will of  Isaac Dodd

Internet

www.familysearch.org  Cumrew Parish Register 1676-1961,  accessed 5 February 2019

www.ancestry.co.uk. England Select Births, christenings, marriages and deaths 1538-1973, accessed 5 February 2019

www.bankofengland.co.uk, accessed 9 February 2019

Peter Dixon and Sons, Cotton Spinners at Longthwaite Mill, Warwick Bridge, 1809-1872

Vouchers from Hayton Parish PR102/114/9-11 concern the purchase of textiles from Peter Dixon & Sons,  Warwick Bridge.[1] The materials purchased included blue flannel, check, grey and black calico. Who the material was for is unstated, however, being of a darker cotton material, it was probably destined for the poor. Their clothes needed to be cheap, hard wearing and slow to show the dirt.

Voucher PR/102/114/10 Warwick Bridge Mill Peter Dixon & Sons
Voucher PR/102/114/10 Warwick Bridge Mill . Peter Dixon & Sons

The mill at Warwick Bridge was called Longthwaite Cotton Mill built in 1790 and run initially by brothers John, Richard and George Ferguson. John died in 1802 and in 1809 Richard and George, offered the mill’s lease to their brother-in-law Peter Dixon (1753-1832).[2] Peter, a merchant from Whitehaven, had married their sister Mary Ferguson (1762-1814) in 1783. [3] Dixon took on the lease with his sons John (1785-1857), Peter  (1789-1866) and George (1794-1860). Dixon’s other children were Richard (b.1788) , Ann (b.1792), Robert (b.1793) Joseph F. (b.1795), Frances (b.1797) Mary (b.1798) and Sarah (b.1800).[4] The brothers Peter and John bought extra land in order to enlarge the mill and improve its access to a good water supply. They built new cottages and provided employment for those living in the local area as well as a few residing in the poorhouse. [5] Women and children employed in the mill were paid 3s to 10s depending on their age. Peter Dixon died in 1832 and the sons sought to expand the business further as the textile industry expanded overall. Peter Dixon jun. was the most influential in the running of the mill.

In 1834 the Dixons bought land in Duke Street, Carlisle. They also bought nearby shops and houses to let to their workers. The cotton mill in Shaddongate and the accompanying chimney were completed on 25 October 1836.[6] At the time the chimney was the highest in the country. The mill was powered by steam rather than water. Production continued at Warwick Bridge, although the Dixons did try to sell the mill, without success staying and building further workers cottages and a school.

What remains of Longthwaite Cotton Mill Warwick Bridge Photograph taken 14th february 2019 M dean
What remains of Longthwaite Cotton Mill Warwick bridge. Photograph taken 14 February 2019 M Dean

The Dixons appear to have tried to look after their workers, for example, building and supporting the school in Shaddongate, Carlisle.[7] They set aside land at both Warwick Bridge and Carlisle for gardens giving an annual premium to those with the best cultivated ground. By 1843 there were 120 cottage gardens at Warwick Bridge. [8]. A church was built at Warwick Bridge at the Dixons’ expense with free seats [9]. Following an outbreak of typhus in Warwick Bridge and the neighbourhood, Peter Dixon jun. made a cash donation of £20 to the House of Recovery in Carlisle. [10]

The Dixons built and lived in substantial residences themselves. Peter and his wife Sarah Rebecca Clark lived at Holme Eden Hall, Warwick Bridge, built around 1840; John and his wife Mary T Stordy at The Knells near Houghton built in 1826 . George and his wife Mary Boucher lived at Tullie House, Carlisle, his father Peter having bought it in 1825. The Dixons were influential in the politics of Carlisle , Peter and George serving terms as Mayor. By 1847 they had a further 2 mills at Cummersdale and Dalston along with the mills at Warwick Bridge and Shaddongate. In total, the Dixons employed about 8000 people.

Peter Dixon died 28 April 1866 and was buried in the grounds of Holme Eden Church. The Carlisle Journal  reported that many villages came to the church  to pay their respects not only to someone who had spent a long life amongst them but who had also shown them true acts of benevolence. [11] By 1872 the cotton industry was less profitable. Proceedings were begun for the liquidation of Peter Dixon & Sons.[12] Peter Dixon’s  estate was sold, including Holme Eden Hall and the workers’ cottages at Burnrigg near Warwick Bridge. [13] Cotton production ceased at Warwick Bridge but the Dixon’s continued for a short while as a new limited company involved in the completion process of the textiles from the Shaddongate factory.

Most of the mills and buildings the Dixons built still exist today being adapted for differing purposes. The largest of which, Dixon’s chimney, is still a well known local landmark with a small tweed mill nearby. Ferguson Brothers opened a Mill at Holme Head, Carlisle in 1824. That building also survives.

Dixon's chimney and Shaddongate Mill Carlisle Photograph taken 14th february 2019
Dixon’s Chimney and Shaddongate Mill Carlisle Photograph taken 14 February 2019 M Dean

Sources

[1] Cumbria Archives. PR102/114/9, Hayton Overseers’ Voucher, 15 February 1833; PR102/114/10, Hayton Overseers’ Voucher, 3 December 1833; PR102/114/11, Hayton Overseers’ Voucher,12 January 1833

[2] Mawson D.J.W., 1976 Longthwaite Cotton Mill. Transactions of Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archeological Society p160-183
[3] Cumberland Paquet and Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser, 9 September 1783
[4] www.ancestry.co.uk, accessed 15 February 2019
[5] Warwick Bridge and District Local History Group, Who worked at the Mill 1792-1845? (Open Doors Publishing, 2014)
[6] Carlisle Journal, 3 December 1836
[7] Carlisle Journal, 3 November 1838
[8] Carlisle Journal, 8 July 1843
[9] Carlisle Journal, 13 July 1844
[10] Carlisle Patriot, 10 December 1831
[11] Carlisle Journal, 8 May 1866
[12] The London Gazette, 19 July 1872
[13] The Whitehaven News, 17 July 1873

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

A Blog post about Clogs

PR10/100/18, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, An account of Grace Matthews clothes and goods, 2 June 1785

Clogs feature in both the Staffordshire and Cumberland vouchers. In 1829 and 1830, for example, the overseer of Uttoxeter Mr Wood paid John Green for the following:

2 Sept  1829 Pair of Clogs 1s 4d John Green Mr Wood
7 Nov  1829 1pr clogs 1s  8d
18 Nov 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10
21 Nov  1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Norres 1s 6d
18 Dec 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10d
8s 2d

 

10 Jul 1830 4 pr boys clogs 5s 4d John Green Mr Wood

Clogs were also by the overseers of Darlaston, Staffordshire: in 1818 Thomas Challinor was paid for three pairs.

In Skelton, Cumberland, the inventory of Grace Matthews goods and clothes included one pair of clogs. There is a separate blog entry for Matthews.

In Wigton, Cumberland, Thomas Watman’s 1773 bill refers to the calking of clogs.

Details of two further vouchers from  Wigton (1771) and Skelton 1791 are shown below.

6 Dec 1771 John Barnes
John Little
Daniel Steel
Daniel Steel
John Barnes
John Little
£0-3-8
£0-0-11
for 3 pairs of clogs
Ironing 3 pairs of clogs
1 Jun 1791 Thomas Mather William Stalker Thomas Mather £4.19.0 Maintenance, repair of clogs & 6 mths house rent

In his State of the Poor Frederick Morton Eden recorded: ‘Some years ago clogs were introduced into the county of Dumfries from Cumberland, and are now very generally used over all that part of the country, in place of coarse and strong shoes. The person who makes them is called a clogger. “All the upper part of the clog, comprehending what is called the upper leather and heel quarters, is of leather, and made after the same manner as those parts of the shoe which go by the same name. The sole is of wood. It is first neatly dressed into a proper form; then, with a knife for the purpose, the inside is dressed off, and hollowed so as to easily receive the foot. Next with a different kind of instrument, a hollow or guttin, is run round the outside of the upper part of the sole, for the reception of the upper leather, which is then nailed with small tacks to the sole and the clog is completed. [The Staffordshire vouchers often contain quantities of ‘tacketts’]. After this they are generally shod, or plated with iron, by a blacksmith. [Calking clogs – adding iron strips or plates to improve their durability – appears on numerous bills for Cumberland]. The price of a pair of men’s clogs (in Dumfrieshire) is about 3s including plating; and, with the size the price diminishes in proportion. A pair of clogs, thus plated, will serve a labouring man one year … at the end of that period, by renewing the sole and plating, they may be repaired so as to serve a year longer… [Many of the Cumberland bills are for making such repairs]. They keep the feet remarkably warm and comfortable, and entirely exclude all damp.”

At Lancaster, Eden noted: ‘Ironed clogs, which are much cheaper, more durable, and more wholesome than shoes, are very generally worn by labouring people’.

The noise clogs made alarmed those unused to it. In August 1797 Henry Kitt recorded: ‘We were annoyed at first by the harsh clatter made by the clogs of the boys playing in the street … We were soon, however, convinced that these wooden shoes, capped with plates of iron, were well adapted to the use of the peasants who inhabit a rough and marshy country’.

Sources

Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, vols. I & II (1797)

Henry Kitt, Kett’s Tour to the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, vol. 5 (1797)

Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle

PR10/100/18, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, An account of Grace Matthews clothes and goods, 2 June 1785

PR36/v/2/49, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, 6 December 1771

PR V/36/3, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, Thomas Watman 1773

Staffordshire Record Office

D1149/6/2/3/93, Darlaston Overseers’ Voucher, 19 October 1818

D3891/6/34/9/018, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 2 September to 18 December 1829

D3891/6/36/8/12, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 10 July 1830

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.

‘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)