Kendal workhouse manufactured hardens ( a type of cloth) for approximately 50 years. This took place during part of the tenure of Daniel Dunglinson governor of the workhouse.
In 1797 Frederick Morton Eden described the workhouse as being a commodious building in an airy situation, kept with great neatness and propriety, with 55 separate rooms, 35 lodging rooms with an adjoining garden from which the poor were provided with vegetables. The bread allowance was plentiful and on beef days each person was allowed half a pound without discrimination for age or sex. In April 1795 there were 136 inmates in the workhouse, 57 males and 79 females. Seventy-six of them were under 30, 27 between 30 and 60, and 33 over 60.[1 ]
The harden manufactory was credited with reducing some of the costs of the workhouse and the poor rates paid by Kendal township. While having access to charitable funds from the Kendal Fell Fund, generally the workhouse profits were attributed to the harden manufactory. It was run while being mindful not to undercut the ordinary trader.[ 2 ]Parson and White’s 1829 trade directory listed it as a manufacturer of carpets.
The manufactory did have a manager. In 1815 it was Thomas Harrison (c. 1791 – 1815). who died aged 24 in 1815. Then, at some point this role was carried out by John Mann (1802-1875). The extent to which Daniel Dunglinson can be credited with the profitability of this enterprise can only be speculated upon. Equally, there is no evidence of his wife’s involvement in the workhouse.
By 1818 typhus fever was prevalent in Kendal . A proposal was made for a ‘House of Recovery’ to be erected to combat infectious diseases for the benefit of the poor and wider community; the cost to be offset by the profits from the harden manufactory.[ 5 ]
In 1823 the number of paupers in the workhouse was put at 118 , 44 employed in useful work the average net cost of each pauper a week being 1s 4d at the lowest , 2s 4 1/2d at the highest. 
The harden production continued until closed by order of the Poor Law Board, the stock related to the manufactory was put up for sale in 1849.  John Mann become Governor in 1829 after Daniel Dunglinson  finally tendered his resignation, along with his wife Margaret Dunglinson (1802-1877) in October 1848.
 Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, A History of the labouring classes in England 3 vols, (London, 1797), III, pp.750-771.  Kendal Mercury, 14 February 1846, p.2, col.e  Parson and White, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland, (White and Co., 1829), p.665  Lancaster Gazette, 11 March 1815, p.3, col. c  Westmorland Gazette, 29 August 1818, p.3  Westmorland Gazette, 19 April 1823, p.3, col. b  Westmorland Gazette, 9 June 1849, p.3, col. b.  Westmorland Gazette, 29 February 1832, p. 4, col. e.  Westmorland Gazette, 14 October 1848, p.2, col. e.  Kendal Mercury, 28 March 1840  www.ancestry.co.uk
Kendal workhouse sometimes referred to as Kirkby in Kendal as there was another workhouse called Kirkland in Kendal at this time.
Daniel Dunglinson was the governor of Kendal Workhouse, Westmorland, for over 20 years. He was baptised at Crosthwaite, near Keswick, in the adjacent county of Cumberland. His parents were Daniel Dunglinson (1730-1814) and Dinah Fisher (1731-1810). His name can be found on letters and bills sent to Threlkeld parish, four miles from Keswick, between 1805 and 1811 concerning Sarah Sowerby. It is assumed that Sarah’s parish of settlement was Threlkeld and she had not gained any settlement rights in Kendal.
A letter with an attached bill to Joseph Dixon, overseer, in Threlkeld from Daniel Dunglinson reveals that Sarah had become a resident in Kendal Workhouse. [1 ] Expenses for Sarah include £1. 11s. 4 1/2d for casual relief June 23 to August 18 prior to her admission to the workhouse in 1805.[ 2] This was a lot of money. Prior to this, Sarah’s name appears on their St. Thomas’s Day account sheets receiving casual relief of £4. 5s. 0d. in 1801  and in 1803 £0.7s 0d. She found it necessary, however, to ask for further help. A letter written on her behalf (5 December 1801) by D. Morland asks that she be remembered at Christmas as she is more feeble and ‘she struggles to get her meat‘. She hopes something will be sent as kindness has been shown to her in the past. 
While in the workhouse various requests and payments occur between Kendal and Threlkeld. Typical examples of expenditure for Sarah are:-
May 5 1807 26 weeks board at 3s. 6d. total cost £4. 11s. 0d. Her board for 26 weeks had increased by 7 November 1809 to 4s. a week. Items of clothing and fabrics, for example, a handkerchief, 1s. 11d.; flannel for petticoats, 3s. 1 1/2d.; 2/4 yards bratting, 1s. 10d., 10 December 1805; new shoes, 7s. 6d. 16 April 1807.[ 9] Items requested, 2 brats 1s. 4d., and 2 shifts, 5s. 5d.; 4 August 1807. [10 ]
In November 1806 Sarah had been ill but was recovering. By August the following year Daniel Dunglinson wrote‘the old lady has been poorly for some time back and confined to her bed. She is something better at present and getting to stirring about in her room’.  Sarah had been requesting items of clothing for herself. Threlkeld was slow to agree the request as a letter from Thomas Winter overseer in Kendal to Threlkeld December 1807 reveals. He again asks for their agreement to having these items supplied to her 
Sarah’s name appears on a bill for a pair of hose and other items on 31 January 1811 but is absent from the St.Thomas Day account of 1812.  Sarah having died that year, had been a resident in the workhouse for seven years.
Other inmates, if the Kendal Mercury accounts are accurate, were there longer. One example on the 14 May 1836 is given of a Betty Holmes who had been in the workhouse since 1801. A servant in Kendal she had jumped from a window when ‘love crazed her brain’, subsequently losing a leg and never regaining her reasoning. Kindly regarded by charitable ladies of the town, she was allowed to visit them once a fortnight. [15 ] Unlike Betty nothing could be found to give an idea of Sarah’s life before she entered the workhouse. Access to the workhouse day book may give more information. 
The vouchers, along with adverts in the newspapers every January from 1821 as a supplier of oats to the workhouse,  give an indication of the length of tenure of Daniel Dunglinson at Kendal Workhouse. His wife died in 1828, Daniel died the following year. His obituary (4 April 1829) reads ‘For may years he filled the office of governor of the workhouse with credit and respectability, he was a truly upright honest man greatly respected in society. [18 ] He was at the workhouse either at or just after the inception of the production of hardens [sacking type fabric] at the workhouse in 1801. . See separate post.
Daniel and Mary (Bailey) Dunglinsons children Of their children, William the eldest was once a weaver, married to Mary Peill. Together they were responsible for Keswick charity houses and the workhouse, Mary carrying on alone after Williams death in 1845. Henry (1793-1817) married Margaret Lindsey and died aged 23 shortly after their first son Daniel was born. Daniel (1795-1797 ) died in infancy. John (1797-1860) is difficult to positively locate. He may have moved to Shoreditch, Middlesex. marrying first Hannah Sharp (c1784-1832) then Dinah Banks (1804-1876). Only daughter Dinah (1799-1887 ) in later life can be found first in Liverpool running a boarding house, then in London. 
The puzzle of the several James Finlinsons and their Occupations
Every now and again in the poor law vouchers we come across an unusual surname and think that this would be a good person to research, based on the belief that the more unusual the surname, the easier they will be to locate in the records. All too often, we find the sources confusing with more than one person sharing the same name. What follows is about two people sharing the name James Finlinson who had a tendency to move around a great deal.
One James Finlinson (1783-1847),was a man pre-occupied with parochial office becoming Governor of the Workhouse, Assistant Overseer, Registrar, Surveyor and Manager of Roads for the parish of Dalston. Despite his accumulation of posts, James has been somewhat of a difficult person to trace especially before his appointment as Governor of the Workhouse in 1825. He and his wife, Elizabeth’s (1784-1869) association with the poorhouse lasted for many years.
In 1825 James and Elizabeth were appointed as Governor and Matron of Dalston Workhouse with the salary of £14 per annum and a room for a loom. In 1826 a new workhouse in Dalston was built. On 26 April 1827 James was appointed assistant overseer of the poor for Dalston with a salary of £13 and keeper of the workhouse with an additional of £12.
In the Militia List, Cumberland Ward, for 1818, is a James Finlinson, weaver, aged 32, of Buckabank. Given his occupation, this is likely to be the same Finlinson who became the workhouse governor.
Finlinson is one of those people whose association with parochial office spanned the old poor law and the changes brought about by the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act. In 1843 he was appointed as manager of the roads and in November 1844 resigned as Overseer.
He was reappointed Overseer in February 1845.
Dalston Vestry minutes of 1844 show that Finlinson’s offer regarding Dalston workhouse was resolved. Rent of £6 10s per annum was accepted for part of the workhouse, including the kitchen, vestry room, lodging room above vestry room, the garden and one out building.
James’ parents were James Finlinson, yeoman, of Houghton and Ann [Nancy] Corry who were married by licence on 30 October 1779 at St Michael’s, Stanwix, (licence granted 24 October 1779). At the time their first child John was baptised at Stanwix 28 October 1781, James and Ann were living at Pepper Moss. John went on to marry Mary Wood, and became a farmer at Warblebank Westward.
James was baptised at Bolton parish church, Cumberland, in 1783. Other children followed: Sarah, baptised 24 July 1785; Ann baptised 6 March 1791, both at Bolton. Joshua, son of James Finlinson of Little Dalston, husbandman, and his wife Ann late Corry, was baptised 11 June 1797 at Dalston.
Joshua became a blacksmith and parish clerk in Thursby. He is buried in Thursby churchyard. Also buried in Thursby churchyard are James (d.23 February 1834, aged 81), and Ann (d.20 February 1824, aged 70).
James Finlinson the younger, married Elizabeth Pape on 11 May 1809 at St Mary’s, Kingston-upon –Hull, by banns.
Why they married in Hull is a mystery.
One theory is that James was serving in the Military, but no mention of James has been found in Military records.
Elizabeth was baptised in Mordon, Sedgefield, County Durham, on 18 December 1784. Her parents were Robert Pape, a cordwainer, and Ann. The family moved to Whitby, Yorkshire, where a daughter, Ann, was born on 10 January 1789 (baptised 13 January 1789 at St Mary the Virgin, Whitby). Robert Pape was buried in the same church on 20 October 1812, aged 63.
In the 1841 no occupation for James or his wife Elizabeth is stated. In their household is a William Finlinson, aged 15, who most likely was the son of Joshua blacksmith of Thursby.
James died on the 25 November 1847. He is buried in Dalston churchyard. The inscription on his grave reads:
In Memory of James Finlinson many years assistant overseer for this parish,
who died Nov. 25th 1847, aged 65 years
Also Elizabeth, his wife,
Who died November 13th 1869, Aged 85 years.
This stone was erected
By the members of the Loyal Caldew Lodge,
Dalston, of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, M.U.,
As a token of respect for his valuable services
After his death, although this has not been determined for certain, it seems that Elizabeth continued to live in what was the Poorhouse for a while. In both the 1851 and 1861 Censuses she had her sister Ann were living at the Forge, Buckabank. Her occupation was given as laundress and that of her sister as a boot binder.
One of the other James Finlinsons in the area was a schoolmaster. He also had a wife Elizabeth. James married Elizabeth Shepherd on 5 September 1796 at St George’s, Bloomsbury, London. This James and Elizabeth Finlinson certainly had two children baptised Helen (25 January 1804) in Wigton, and Joshua in Penrith (6 June 1807) who went on to become a Church of England clergyman.
There were also three daughters of a schoolmaster James Finlinson and Elizabeth Finlinson who were baptised on 20 October 1814 at St Mary’s Carlisle, but, despite the title ‘schoolmaster’, it is not certain yet as to which James and Elizabeth were their parents.
Dalston Memorial Inscriptions, p.79 No. 224
Parson and White, Directory of Cumberland 1829, p. 372, James Finlinson Governor of the Workhouse
Mannix and Whellan Directory of Cumberland 1837, p.193, James Finlinson Registrar Dalston
James Finlinson entries in the Carlisle Journal and Carlisle Patriot:
Unless there is reference in the newspaper articles to Dalston, it is difficult to determine to which James Finlinson they refer
Carlisle Journal 5 Jan 1811
Advert for Pupils J Finlinson Grove House near Wigton
Carlisle Journal 17 Aug 1811 p.1 col.D
Letting of farm at Bog-Hall Bolton parish near Wigton.
James Finlinson was owner & occupier of the estate
Carlisle Journal 27 Nov 1819
Letters to the Carlisle newspapers regarding a dispute over recording a County meeting. James Finlinson was said to be an obscure schoolmaster of Carlisle
Carlisle Patriot 8 Jan 1820
Private Tuition offered to inhabitants of Carlisle by J Finlinson
Carlisle Journal, 19 May 1838 p.3, col. D.
Correspondence with a Mr J Routledge of Brampton regarding Jane Hall a pauper belonging to the parish of Cumwhitton
Carlisle Journal 26 Feb 1842 p.1 col. B
Nominations for Election of Guardians of the Poor James Finlinson for Dalston
Carlisle Journal, 5 March 1842, p.1, col. E
Nominations for Election of Guardians of the Poor James Finlinson for Dalston
Carlisle Journal, 7 May 1842, p.1, col. A
Notice of order of road diversion Barras Lane Dalston. James Finlinson Surveyor of the Parish of Dalston.
Carlisle Journal, 27 April 1844, p.3, col. C
Alterations to Highway at Hawksdale James Finlinson surveyor
Carlisle Journal, 20 July 1844, p.3, col. C
Poilce Intelligence case of John Cairns false entry of birth J Finlinson overseer & registrar
Carlisle Journal, 10 August 1844, p.3, col. H
Under reports from the Cumberland Assizes
James Finlinson assistant overseer for Dalston witness in case of George Cairns who was prosecuted for obtaining money under false pretences from the registrar of births deaths & marriages for Dalston district.
Carlisle Journal, 27 February 1846, p. 1, col. D
Election for the Guardians of the Poor James Finlinson for Dalston
Carlisle Journal, 6 March 1847, p.1, col. F
Notice of Appoint of Joseph Shields of Buccabank as Deputy Registrar to James Finlinson
Thanks to Margaret Dean, and Bob Nichols for their help.
Although baptised in Swinton, Berwickshire, Alexander Cockburn and his brother John (1781-1835) were to establish themselves in business in Carlisle. John may have arrived first, with Alexander joining him later. Marrying Mary Storey, the daughter of Johnathan Storey, a spirit merchant in Shaddongate Parish, the register describes Alexander as a pipe maker in 1817. The Cockburn brothers also had a small premises in Fisher Street where they also sold tobacco. 
Clay for the pipes was available locally. The Pipery was situated near the Mill Race in Shaddongate. Once a small suburb of Carlisle, it was on the road to Dalston just outside the city walls. At the end of the eighteenth century Shaddongate saw an influx of migrant workers looking for employment opportunities in the manufacturing industries. Many of these workers were of Irish and Scots origin.
Alexander and Mary’s daughter Margaret was baptised 28 February 1819  by which time Alexander also had a Grocer’s shop at Annetwell Street within the area of the old city. Shortly after this in 1823 the canal was opened improvng trading links especially to Liverpool. It was here that another brother James (1801-1868) moved. Initially a flour miller, he married his first wife Ann Storey (1805-1852),  the sister of Mary Storey in 1824. While the brothers’ sister Mary Anne Hepburn (1797) married Steven Somerville and lived in Edinburgh, other siblings were Alison (1783-1811), Robert (b.1786), Margaret (b. 1789), Agnes (b.1791), and Isobel (b.1801).  Their parents being Alexander Cockburn (1752-1825 ), a fewer or blacksmith, and Margaret Service (1757-1829). 
Alexander and Mary don’t appear to have had any more children, before Mary died in childbirth on 22 November 1824 aged 29 at Annetwell Street. 
The brothers continued with their Pipery in Shaddongate despite the unrest that had developed in the area. Living conditions were poor, overcrowding common for many. The migrants being unfairly blamed for some of the trouble. After the ‘Shaddongate Riots’ of 1826, the Cumberland Pacquet and Whitehaven Ware’s Advertiser described the arrival of Benjamin Batty to direct efforts to restore order in the area. He was to instigate the formation of a police force to combat insubordination in the suburb. His first attempt to restore order in February 1827 led to him having to take refuge in Mr Storey’s house after being set upon. It is possible this could have been Mary Story’s father’s abode.
24 January 1831 Alexander married again. His wife Jane Ross (1793-1873).  was the widow of Hugh Ross and the daughter of John Tallentire and Jane Henderson. A son, John Tallentire, was born 21 December 1834.
For a brief time John Cockburn, after trading as a haberdasher and paper dealer, became a bookseller at 34 Scotch Street, once occupied by Mr Jollie the publisher. At the time, Alexander was listed at Irish Gate Brow [Annetwell Street].
On Alexander Cockburn’s headed bill of September 1835 to Dalston’s Overseers he is described as a grocer supplying goods to Agness Ha[e]rdman for 23 weeks at a cost of £2.17s. 6d.  Agnes’s life is a mystery.
Well established in Carlisle, Alexander was elected a Counsellor.  All appeared to be going well. He owned three farms which he let.  Then on 16 September 1835 brother John died aged 54  and on 3 January 1837 a fiat of bankruptcy was issued against Alexander.  The fact being made well known by various newspapers. The Cumberland and Westmorland andWhitehaven Ware’s Advertiser further reiterated his status ‘Peter Dixon was elected to Alderman of the Corporation of Carlisle on Tuesday in the rooms of A Cockburn a bankrupt’. He relinquished the office of Alderman on 9 November 1836,  and his farm properties were advertised for sale.  Creditors were asked to make it known what they were owed. The Pipery in Shaddongate was advertised for lease, by the now owner Mrs Armstong in May 1838.  A Certificate was issued in April 1837  which would effectively discharge him of what was asked of him under the bankruptcy proceedings, while final dividends were paid out in 1838. 
Denton Corn Mill was offered for lease by Mrs Dixon  and Alexander was successful in taking over the Mill. He placed a notice in the Carlisle Journal of 1838 as follows:-
A Cockburn having entered on this commodious mill respectfully informs the public that the arrangements which he has made enable him to execute all orders in this line with the greatest care and expedition’. 
Alexander Cockburn was not re-elected Councillor in November 1841 at the Municipal Elections for Caldewgate Ward. The next year, on 21 May 1842 Alexander died aged 48.  His death appeared in the Liverpool Standard and Commercial Advertiser on 27 May, where brother James was living at Aigburth, Toll Gate near Liverpool. The obituary emphasised his role for Carlisle Corporation. Alexander was buried at Holy Trinity Church where his brother John had also been buried, in close proximity to where they had been in business together.
His wife and son didn’t stay on at Denton Mill.  They lived in Stanwix Village for a while, as did daughter Margaret who later married William Roxburgh (an estate agent from Liverpool who at one time lodged with them). James Cockburn died in the Workhouse Liverpool 1868 where he appears to have sought surgical treatment. Jane Cockburn died 18 April 1873 aged 80,  but before her will could be enacted, her son John Tallentire died 24 April 1873 aged 38 intestate. By then, John Tallentire was a fairly successful building contractor of Bolton Place, Carlisle. As he had no close relatives, the estate went to John Alexander Cockburn (son of Alexander Cockburn’s brother John) of Allenwood Paper Mill.
Sources Carlisle Patriot, 26 April 1817, p,3. col. e.  Pigot & Co., National and Commercial Directory Cumberland Westmorland and Lancashire for 1828-29 (London and Manchester, J Pigot & Co., 1828).  Carlisle Journal, 2 March 1844, p.4, col. b.  Cumbria Archives, PR/47 25, St Mary’s Parish, Carlisle, Baptism Register 1813-1822  Liverpool, England Church of England Marriages and Banns 1754-1935 [accessed at www.ancestry.co.uk, 6 June 2020]  Berwickshire Swinton and Simprim Church of Scotland Birth serach [accessed at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk 6 June 2020] Alexander Cockburn and Margaret Service gravestone at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/125134655 Carlisle Patriot, 27 November 1824 p,3. col,e  Ware’s Cumberland Pacquet and Whitehaven Advertiser, 13 February 1827 p,3. col,e  Cumbria Archives, PR/47 14, St Mary’s Parish Carlisle Marriage Register 1825-1837  Cumbria Archives, PR/47 27, St Mary’s Parish, Carlisle, Baptism Register 1830- 1853  J. Pigot, National Commercial Directory of Cumberland and Westmorland (London and Manchester: J Pigot & Co., 1834 [accessed at www.ancestry.co.uk p. 23]; Carlisle Journal 9 August 1834  Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/48/159 Dalston Overseers’ Voucher, September 1835, Alexander Cockburn Grocer , dealer in Tea, Hams, Bacon Butter Flour &c Carlisle Patriot, 26 December 1835 p,3. col,e Carlisle Journal, 15 August 1835 p,2 col,e Carlisle Journal ,19 September 1835 p,3 col,f Carlisle Journal, 7 January 1837 p,2. col,c  Ware’s Cumberland and Westmorland and Whitehaven Advertiser ,24 January 1837, p,2. col,d Carlisle Journal, 21 January 1837 p,3. col.b Carlisle Journal, 29 July 1837 p1 col,e Carlisle Journal, 12 May 1838 p,2 col,d Perry’s Bankruptcy Gazette, 8 April 1837, p,6 Carlisle Journal, 15 September 1838 p,1 col,a  Carlisle Journal, 30 December 1837 p,2 col,f  Carlisle Journal ,17 February 1838 p,1 col b Carlisle Journal, 6 November 1841 p,3 col,6 Carlisle Journal, 21 May 1842 p.3 col f Liverpool Standard and Commercial Advertiser, 27 May 1842 p,8 col g Carlisle Journal, 28 May 1842 p,1 col,c Carlisle Patriot, 30 July 1847 p, 2 col,h  Cumbria Archives, PROB/1873/W346A269, Will of Jane Cockburn Cumbria Archives , PROB/1873/96, Administration John Tallentire Cockburn 9 May 1873
This is a work in progress subject to change with new research
footnote Margaret Cockburn [Roxburgh] died 15 January 1848 at her Stepmothers home in Carlisle Carlisle Journal 21 Jan 1848 James Cockburn 2nd wife was Jane Pickering (Graham) married Liverpool 11 February 1855
The salaried assistant overseer of Kirkby Lonsdale, Stephen Garnett, is one of the few characters we’ve come across who appears in the historical literature before the start of the vouchers project. Historian James Steven Taylor identified him as a generator and hoarder of parish correspondence, when he (Taylor) wrote about the pauper letters which survive for the parish.
He was baptised in Yorkshire and had moved to Kirkby Lonsdale by the time of his marriage in 1787. Garnett made a living as a grocer, an occupation much surveyed by this project. He was also a methodical and careful man: having been entrusted with the task of managing poor-law correspondence for his home township, he went on to gather over 1200 letters and other documents between 1809 and 1836. As beneficiaries of his record-keeping, is it unkind of me to suggest he might have been obsessive?
The majority of items in the collection are letters from or about the paupers who were legally ‘settled’ in Kirkby Lonsdale but who lived elsewhere. Paupers requested poor relief by post, and tended to ‘threaten’ to return home. They might prove more expensive if on the doorstep than if relieved at a distance. Letters were addressed variously to Mr Garnett, Mr Garner or Mr Gardner.
Garnett was paid £10 a year for his services to the township, a modest salary, and an early example of a wage being given to a deputising overseer of the poor. He was described as a ‘Guardian’ of the poor, terminology used because Kirkby Lonsdale had formally adopted ‘Gilbert’s Act’ for the purposes of poor relief. It entered a union with sixteen other townships in the early nineteenth century and built a workhouse for use by all the locations in the union in 1811.
Most of the letters were written to Garnett, but a small selection of copy letters survive from him to other places. They show that he could write with some asperity, in protection of Kirkby Lonsdale’s finances. See for example his letter to a fellow overseer Mr John Scorah in Wakefield, 1825:
Kirkby Lonsdale Novr 1st 1825
Yours of the 30th Ult. is now before me Respecting a man of the name of Isaac Middlebrook it would have been well if he had given you more Information as respecting himself stating the grounds on which he claims a settlement here, I have examined the towns Books but can find no such name in them nor is any such person known here by the oldest Inhabitant
On this account I cannot authorise you to relief him on our account, but i wish to be rightly understood it is not our wish to put any obstackels [sic] in the way or cause any unnecessary trouble, if he can tell whear his parents lived or whith whoom he himself lived and by what means he gained a settlement it will be attended to, when we receive this Information we shall be able to tell wether it is in this Township or some other Township in this parish, thear being nine different Townships in this parish all maintaining their own poor
I am Sir yours Respectfully
The preservation of so much paper by one man is striking, if not entirely unique. We might suspect that a similarly full collection of letters (and vouchers) for the parish of Colwich in Staffordshire might well be owing to the incumbency of John Wetton in the post of assistant overseer there.
Sources: J.S. Taylor, ‘Voices in the crowd: The Kirkby Lonsdale township letters 1809-36’, T. Hitchcock, P. Sharpe and P. King (eds), Chronicling Poverty. The voices and strategies of the English poor 1640-1840 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997); www.workhouses.org.uk
William Miller at one time had a connection to Greystoke Parish but moved to the Durham area with his wife Isabella. No direct narrative is available from the Miller family from 1826 to 1834. The events in their life are told through some of the letters between those involved in the administration of the Old Poor Law in Greystoke, Cumberland, and Wolsingham and Lanchester, both County Durham. William Miller appears to have become so poor that even if he were capable of writing a letter, the cost of postage may have prevented him from doing so.
On 26 June 1826 an epistolary advocate made the case for the Miller family when there was a downturn in the family’s circumstances. Curate Joseph Thompson, writing from The Parsonage, Lanchester, gave an account of what he believed to be the truth of their predicament. He explained that while camping on the roadside for two to three days for the purpose of selling besoms to help pay the rent, a fire not only destroyed their belongings but also burned to death their youngest son John (1825- 1826).
‘As far as I can learn I verify believe it to be correct he had no more than one shilling and sixpence on the morning of the misfortune and since then has been unable to earn anything.’ 
Isabella, his wife, although burned, survived as did two other sons Jacob (1821-1830) and James (b.1823). When John was born William Miller was described as a Potter. Thompson went on to explain the misfortune was no fault of their own. Referring to the same incident, Thomas White (1764-1836) of Woodlands, Lanchester, wrote to Thomas Burn. While appearing to illicit some sympathy for the family, he sought a response as they said that they belonged to Greystoke Parish.
‘The poor woman [Isabella Miller] was very much burnt in endeavouring to save the child and the Overseers have of course been at a considerable expense. I therefore write this to state things in order that you may know what to do with these miserable people who say they belong to your parish.’
By 1829 the Millers had another two sons, William (1827-1830) and John George (known as George) (b.1829). William, the father, was described as a besom maker in the parish register. In October the same year they were once again in difficulties. Robert Moses (1774-1841) Overseer of Wolsingham wrote to Thomas Burn attesting that William Miller had no employment, no means to help himself, and the children were much distressed.
‘He has neither Galloway [pony] or Ass to carry them to other markets. The rent due at Martinmass will be £1.12.6’ .
Matters were even worse by 1830. Sons William died on 4 April and Jacob aged 9 died and was buried on 20 July. Another son James (who had been born 24 August 1823) was baptised. A further letter from Joseph Wooler (1776-1865) of Whitfield House, Wolsingham, dated 6 April 1830 makes the case for William Miller being deserving of relief. He was in debt partly as the result of a coroner’s bill for 20 shillings, and described by Wooler as willing to work for as little as 1 shilling a day, having done some work for his son in the Tan yards.  Perhaps William and his family were just managing to make ends meets until burdened by the coroner’s bill.
In 1834 William and Isabella were in Wolsingham with four children: James, George [John George] , Mary (b.1833) and Ann Watson (1831–1834). The children were sick with smallpox but were receiving help. Wolsingham acknowledged a receipt from Greystoke for rent: 4 weeks at 2s 6d and 5 weeks at 4s 6d when the family were ill, as well as 11s for a child’s coffin and funeral for Ann being. At this point the registers describe William as a labourer.
When his children were ill with smallpox, William Miller had sought medical assistance , but on the doctor’s refusal to help he then applied to the magistrate, Mr Wilson, who ordered overseer Robert Moses to ask the doctor to attend them. One bill from J Davison, Surgeon, Wolsingham, or £7.14s.6dbetween April and June 1834 was principally for attending George Miller.
The medical bills became a contencious issue. Robert Moses wrote to Greystoke in May 1834 admonishing Greystoke declaring that, once well, the Millers would be removed if the doctor’s bill was not settled.
‘As you object to paying the bill as soon as the Doctor says the family can be removed I shall send them.’ 
He concluded that the Millers’ removal would be welcomed by many of the inhabitants of Wolsingham.
‘ Which are much annoyed by their children begging about the streets.’
A Removal Order was issued by Wolsingham but was suspended in April 1834 due to the families illness.  Robert Moses informed Thomas Burn of Greystoke that he had been compelled to issue the order as he had not heard from him for at least a month.  Thomas Burn replied on 5 May 1834 saying he had not received a copy of the suspension of the Removal order, so could not pay anything until he did. Robert Moses wrote back three days later with a copy of the order. 
‘I do not believe that you are behaving fairly towards me in objecting to pay the Doctors bill.’
The negotiations concerning the doctor’s expenses continued to the point of legal action being proposed by Wolsingham.  On 7 October 1834 Thomas Burn wrote to Robert Moses highlighting what Greystoke Parish believed to be discrepancies in the doctor’s bills. He advised Moses that after a meeting of the Vestry he had been ordered to write as they needed an explanation of the costs in the bills. One amounted to £13.4s.0d and the other to £9.18s.0d . The vestry consulted medical men whose opinion was that the bills were too high.  In a more conciliatory tone he added:
‘We are bound to go by the law but you don’t we will meet any time upon fair terms.’
The Miller family if they were removed to Greystoke, did not stay. They moved on and became part of the Durham mining community. By 1841 they were in the Parish of St Oswald, Durham. William was a miner living with Isabella and children James, George, Ann (b.1836) and Jacob (b.1841). The coroner’s bill was paid in 1835 when John Cockburn was Assistant Overseer of Greystoke.
Sources  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/-/F 11.1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 28 June 1826 (Joseph Thompson to the Overseers of Greystoke)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/1/F 14.1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 27 June 1826 (Thomas White to Thomas Burn)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67-I .9 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 29 October 1829 (Robert Moses to Thomas Burn)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67-J 17 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 6 April 1830 (Joseph Wooler to Thomas Burn)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 6.1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 6 May 1834 (Receipt from Greystoke to the Overseers of Wolsingham)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H2.3 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher 8 May 1834 (Robert Moses to Thomas Burn)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 10.1-88 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, April – June 1834 (Receipt for Account of J Davison Surgeon)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H2.3 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 8 May 1834 (Robert Moses to Thomas Burn)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 18.1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 28 April 1834 (Suspension of removal order from Wolsingham to Greystoke of the Miller Family)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 2.2, Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 1 May 1834 (Robert Moses to the Overseers of Greystoke)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 5 May 1834 (Thomas Burn to Robert Moses)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 2 3. Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 8 May 1834 (Thomas Burn to Robert Moses)  Cumbria Archives PR5/67/H 3 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 30 august 1834 (Thomas Burn to Robert Moses)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 5.1 Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 16 September 1834. and PR5/67/H 7.1. 7 October 1834 (Thomas Burn to Robert Moses)  Cumbria Archives, PR5/53, File of Vouchers 1829- 1835
Miller family records accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk Durham, Births Marriage Deaths and Parish Records Durham 4 May 2020
The game of Top Trumps depicting people found by the Small Bills project arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and in less than five minutes my son was demanding an explanation of the different categories of score.
Like similar games, each card has a subject (in this case a woman, man, or child associated with the Old Poor Law) and scores in five categories. The scores are frequently assigned approximately or randomly rather than according to a system or to strict data – at least that has been my assumption when playing these games with my children. Therefore the scores are not rigid indicators of research, but either approximations or entirely made up (to ensure a good range of scores across all of the characters).
‘Life Story’ provides a score out of five and notionally indicates the extent to which we can know the details of someone’s life. The East Sussex diarist Thomas Turner is the only one of our people who left such a lengthy personal document, so in honour of this fact he is the only person with the top score of five. Everyone else gets between one and four, based loosely on how well we can hope to research their biography, and find out details of their lives.
Agency is given as a percentage, and alludes to the range of action open to each person. The dead pauper Charles Aldritt has an agency score of zero, whereas the litigious Cumbrian businessman Charles Thurnam has the highest score (95%) in recognition of his willingness to throw his weight around.
Surname rarity has a greater measure of system behind it. I looked at the prevalence or otherwise of each surname according to the website https//:forebears.io and then converted the rankings into a score out of 1000. This process awards Ann Tomsat the highest score of 995, and gives Elizabeth Wilson just 10.
Persistence refers to the number of decades (out of ten) where we might hope to be able to trace the person in historical records, including but not limited to the vouchers. I had to tinker with this set of scores a little, so they do not necessarily represent what I know to be true or feel to be possible for all characters: the risk was that, otherwise, many people would have had a score of just one!
Finally Poverty Rating ranks the cards from one to thirty based on the severity of their poverty relative to each other. In this category the Staffordshire child Nancy Wilkes gets a score of 29: I was very pleased with the illustration for this card!
More information on some of the people featured in the Old Poor Law Top Trumps can be found in the blogs on this website.
On 10 August 1811 wholesale ironmonger George Backhouse of Kendal billed Kirkby Lonsdale Workhouse for a single item, a digester, costing £1 11s 4d. In a pamphlet from around 1740, entitled Cheap provision, recommended to the publick in general, and poor in particular, the purpose of a digesterwas to dissolve bones that could be used in soups and broths. It was not evident how a digester worked.
‘An excellent Broath is made with Bones, dissolved by a digester, and thicken’d with Rice. To make a nourishing and satisfactory Dinner of it Put Half a Pound of Meat, of any Sort, salt or fresh, or both, or Ox Cheek, Cow Heel, Calves, Feet &c cut into Bits, into a Gallon of Water, after you have made it boil and froth up, put in a Pound of Rice, let it Boil for three Hours, adding another Gallon of Water warm’d’. To this, may be added with discretion, ‘any garden stuff … Pease, Turnips, Potatoes, Parsnips, Leeks, … and it may be season’d with Ginger, Jamaica or black Pepper’.
Sixty years later, the snappily-titled The economy of an institution, established in Spitalfields, London, for the purpose of supplying the poor with a good meat soup, At One Penny per Quart. Principally extracted from the Papers of the Society, and published with a view to the Establishment of similar institutions, in towns, villages, and populous neighbourhoods produced by the Society for the Relief of the Industrious Poor, reported that a digester had been installed in Spitalfields, but it was not yet in use. The committee was of the opinion that ‘most of the nutrient may be extracted from the bones by the usual mode of preparing the Soup’, to wit they had four boilers, two of one hundred gallons each and two of 150 gallons each.
The society gave the following recipe for one hundred gallons of soup: eight stones of beef, 16 stones of shin of beef, 46lbs of pease, 36lbs of Scotch barley, 24lbs of onions, 8lbs of salt, 10oz of black pepper. These were to be placed in a boiler filled with water and simmered overnight. In the morning the water was to be topped up.
The reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor thought a digester saved both food and fuel. The reports gave a description from the Birmingham Soup Shop on how a digester functioned. ‘Soup is prepared by previously dissolving the meat and bones in the digester; a vessel which … is capable of dissolving bones to jelly within a few hours’.
‘The bones are cut into small pieces with an axe, and part of them put into the digester, which is filled two-thirds with water, and the lid screwed down; when the first operation takes place, for two of three hours, with a light weight on the valve. What then remains undissolved is put a second time into the digester, with the rest of the bones, and the same quantity of water, greater weight being laid on the valve, equal to 40lb or 50lb on the square inch. When the bones are supposed to be nearly dissolved, and the vessel cool enough to open, the meat is added … and the whole boiled together for two or three hours, with only a small pressure on the valve’. For this to work successfully, ‘some skill, and a great degree of attention is required’.
 Cumbria Archive Service, Kendal, WPR19/7/1/5/1, Kirkby Lonsdale Overseers’ Voucher, George Backhouse, 10 August 1811.
Cheap provision, recommended to the publick in general, and poor in particular (London[?], 1740[?])
Cheap provision, recommended to the publick in general, and poor in particular (London[?], 1740[?]), pp.1-2.
 Society for the Relief of the Industrious Poor, The economy of an institution, established in Spitalfields, London, for the purpose of supplying the poor with a good meat soup, At One Penny per Quart. Principally extracted from the Papers of the Society, and published with a view to the Establishment of similar institutions, in towns, villages, and populous neighbourhoods (London: W. Phillips, George Yard, Lombard Street, 1799).
 Society for the Relief of the Industrious Poor, The economy of an institution, p. 15.
 Society for the Relief of the Industrious Poor, The economy of an institution, p. 14.
 Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, The reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor (London: printed by W. Bulmer and Co., 1798-1800), p.151.
 Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, The reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor (London: printed by W. Bulmer and Co., 1798-1800), p. 166.
 Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, The reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor (London: printed by W. Bulmer and Co., 1798-1800), p. 164.
 Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, The reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor (London: printed by W. Bulmer and Co., 1798-1800), p. 164.
William Wetherell was baptised on 6 March 1785 at Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland. He married Martha Davidson on 31 January 1803 in Dalston, Cumberland, where he made and repaired shoes and clogs. He appears in the Pigot’s 1829 Trade Directory listed under Clog and Patten Makers (& shoes). By this time William and Martha had eight children bapised in the hamlet of Raughton Head, near Dalston: Thomas (1803-1880), Richard 1806-1857) , Jane (1808-1890) Ann (1810- ), James (1813-1814), Martha (1815-), William, (1817- ), and Margaret (1819-1842).[2 ]
His bills to the Select Vestry of Dalston from 1835 to 1837, are mainly for the repair of clogs or calking of clogs, less often new clogs and once for a pair of shoes. The price of new clogs varied according to size (see Blog about Clogs 9 January 2019). For example, the Roddick brothers got new calked clogs on 19 October 1835, priced at 3s for George, and 2s 6d for Thomas. On 13 July the following year they received the same again. On this occasion Thomas’s clogs cost more at 2s 9d. Like the Roddick brothers items on the bills are mainly for children of working or apprentice age.
George and Thomas Roddick, John Hind and John Sanderson also appear on the bills of Joseph Shields, Schoolmaster, who had a Hedge School at Corsica Cottage, Buckhowbank. The family of George and Thomas Roddick received parish relief payments between 1830 and 1835.[ 4] John Sanderson was the illegitimate son of Ruth Sanderson. His mother received payments from the Parish between 1824 and 1831. Her other two children Joseph (1817-) and Sarah (1821-) like John being born at Dalston Workhouse.
Clogs would have been the favoured footwear of those who worked in the industries which grew around Dalston; as well as the cotton mills of Northern England. The River Caldew provided the water power for the industries of Dalston at this time. With extensive cotton mills, a flax mill, and forge there was a constant demand for Wetherell’s footwear . The wood (sycamore, beech and willow) used to make the clogs was either sourced locally and stacked to dry out, or alternatively seasoned clog sole blocks were bought in.
Wetherell usually had an apprentice or a few other shoemakers working for him; advertising in the local newspaper when these were required. 
‘Shoemaker Wanted two good Journeyman shoemakers for strong country work will meet with constant work if suitable’
As there are only vouchers for the short span of time it is not discernable for how long Wetherell had been supplying the Vestry of Dalston. By 1838 John Brown, previously a shoemaker in Carlisle, appears to be doing similar work for the Vestry and for the same individuals named on Wetherell’s bill.
Wetherell’s wife died in 1845. He appears in Slater’s trade directoryof 1848 as does John Brown. Both were still trading in Dalston. Retiring shortly afterwards, he subsequently married his housekeeper Margaret Ladyman (baptised in Temple Sowerby 1803), at Gretna 12 August 1854  and died 12 November 1870. He was succeeded by his son William who married Jane Dewers, and their sons James and William. Two other sons followed their father into the same trade. Thomas married Mary Ann Nelson and set up his business in Skelton. Successive generations joining and continuing the business. Richard married Isabella Roper and traded in Carlisle, while sister Jane married John Olivent Bewsher also a shoemaker, eventually emigrating to the United States.
Sources  J Pigot & Co., National, Commercial Directory Cumberland & Westmorland and Lancashire  England Birth and Baptisms [accessed at www.findmypast 10 May 2020]  Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/48 160, Dalston Overseers’ Voucher, 15 June 1835 – 12 December 1835; SPC44/2/43 7, Dalston Overseers’ Voucher, William Wetherell11 July 1836- 5 September 1836.  Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/32, Dalston Account Book for Weekly Outdoor Relief. 1826-1840.  Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/35, Dalston Account Book for the Maintenance of Illegitimate Children, 1833-1836 Carlisle Journal, 5 November 1836, p.2.  Carlisle Archives SPC44/2/47/4, Dalston Overseers’ SPC44/2/43/7, Dalston Overseers’ Voucher 2 December 1837-28 May 1838 ( John Brown)  Cumberland 1848 ( Slater’s County Directory)  England and Wales National Probate Calendar, Index of Wills and Administration. 1858- 1995 [accessed at www.ancestry.co.uk 10 May 2020]  Carlisle Patriot, 19 August 1854, p.5.
This is a work in progress subject to change with further research Additional information from Cumbria Archives DSO 242, Carlisle Shoemakers Guild, 1800-2003 DGC 2, Shoemakers Guild, 1795-1934 Penrith Observer, 28 February 1956, p.6 (Old time clog shoe and timber trade).
As a small child one of my favourite card games was Happy Families. As soon as the Carlisle volunteer group found Robert Chicken among the overseers vouchers for Dalston, therefore, I knew I wanted to write about him. He was also the initial inspiration behind our own card game.
He was baptised in 1794 in Kirkbampton, the son of John and Mary Chicken (nee Skelton). In July 1823 he married Elizabeth Chambers at Great Orton, and the couple went on to have three children: John, Robert, and Dinah. He married a second time to Elizabeth Rayson in 1833 and had another son Thomas. Indicating their level of prosperity, the family kept one male servant/apprentice and a female servant in 1841.
Chicken was a victualler and publican in Dalston parish. By 1829 he was running the Waggon and Horses inn at Hawkesdale at Bridge End. At some point the establishment was renamed the Bridge End Inn, and under this name has survived into the twenty-first century. In the nineteenth century Hawkesdale was a small but arguably elite township, the latter claim confirmed by the residence of the Right Reverend Bishop of Carlisle at Rose Castle, Hawkesdale.
Chicken supplied the parish of Dalston with meat (beef, mutton, and offal rather than poultry) and other consumables in the period 1834-37, including one and a half gallons of ale for a funeral. The meat came from his shop in the Shambles, Carlisle, rather than directly from the inn. Chicken has been illustrated in the Top Trumps game of this project using an image of a butcher’s shop, but it seems likely that butchery was not the foremost part of the family business. They identified in censuses and directories with the innkeeping part of the concern and we only know about the early history of the butcher’s shop because it is cited in an overseer’s voucher. The property in the Shambles was given up by the Chicken family in late 1846, towards the end of Robert’s life.
Robert died at the relatively young age of 53. His second wife Elizabeth outlived him by over thirty years and died in 1883. She remained in the parish of Dalston and at first continued the tavern business: she employed her step-daughter Dinah as a barmaid in 1861. By 1871 and at the age of approximately 75 she was still living in Hawkesdale but had given up the inn to another female proprietor, Sarah Rayson, who was presumably her younger sister or niece. Elizabeth lived in Green Lane with her son Thomas, a brewer’s traveller, ensuring that two of Robert’s children had some occupational connection to their father’s main trade. The mother and son were immediate neighbours to an elderly mother-and-daughter couple who lived on parish poor relief, but this was not to be the fate of the widowed Mrs Chicken. Elizabeth herself became an annuitant, meaning she bought into a fund for her support in old age, and lived only with a female servant by 1881.
After Robert’s death in 1847, one Joseph Chicken can be found as an innkeeper in Dalston. In all likelihood he was Robert’s younger brother, who also acted as one of Robert’s two executors. Joseph kept the ‘Indian King’, combining it with work as ‘station keeper’.
Sources: Carlisle Patriot 4 December 1846 and 24 December 1847; White, Cumberland and Westmorland Directory (1829); Mannix, Cumberland Directory (1847); SPC 44/2/47/10 Dalston overseer’s voucher paid to Robert Chicken 1837; census for Dalston 1841-81.