Joseph Shields (1795-1858), Yeoman, Schoolmaster and Grocer, Dalston

SPC44/2/52/3 John Sanderson Nov 29 1836 to Feb 28 1837 2s 6d

Schooling had been available in Dalston from the late 1600s. Jonathan Rowland, who died in Dalston on 28 August 1742, had been a schoolmaster for 50 years.[1]

With the development of local industry the population of Dalston grew along with the need for children to receive tuition. This could have provided Joseph Shields with the opportunity to increase his income by combining the roles of schoolmaster and grocer with yeoman. Alongside Dalston’s Grammar School (rebuilt in 1815) available to the poorer children of the parish, there were 16 further schools by 1831.[ 2]

Joseph Shields name appears on four overseers’ vouchers for Dalston Parish. [3] They are dated between 1835 and 1837 and concern the schooling of four boys: George and Thomas Roddick, John Sanderson and John Hind. A charge of 2s 6d was made for each boy for a fixed time span of one quarter per year. John Sanderson’s tuition lasted from 30 November 1835 to 1 March 1836.[4] Three girls from the local factory were also tutored for thirteen weeks each at 1d a day. The bill for them amounted to 3s 3d.[ 5] The 1d may have been deducted from their pay at the factory. The payments were made by James Finlinson, at one time Governor of the workhouse, and later Overseer and Surveyor of Dalston.[6]

SPC44/2/52/1 [c.1836] Dalston Parish Joseph Shields for tuition of John Sanderson, Ruddock brothers and 3 Girls from the Factory

Joseph Shields was born on 30 April 1795 in Kirkoswald, Cumberland. He was the son of Joshua Shields (1762-1841) and Margaret Boustead (1762- 1821).[7] Joseph moved to Wetheral and then to Dalston where he married Isabella Crozier, the daughter of Edward Crozier (1798- 1860) and Isabella Lambert (1795-1836) on Christmas Eve 1823. Both Joseph and Isabella signed the register suggesting they had had some education. When their son, Edward, was baptised on 11 June 1826, Joseph’s occupation was given as yeoman at Fountainhead, Near Dalston, but records for the subsequent baptisms of daughters Margaret (7 September 1827) Sarah (10 April 1830) and Isabella (14 August 1831) describe him as a schoolmaster.[8]

In 1834 Shields was listed as the teacher of boys and girls at Buckhowbank, Dalston. Others who also taught there were a Mr Monkhouse, Joseph Thomlinson, Thomas Stubbs, John Richardson’s wife, Esther MacLean (Cumdivock) John Davidson (Gaitskill),Widow Bailey (Raughton) Ann Blaylock (Stockdalewath), Mrs Twentyman and Miss Dugdale. [9 ]

The 1841 Census shows Shields’ occupation as a grocer. When his wife Isabella died (September 13 1845). [10] When the marriage details of his daughters Sarah and Isabella appear in the local papers, he is noted as a schoolmaster. [11] Mannix and Whellan’s directory (1847) lists him as a grocer and schoolmaster. [12] This switching between occupational titles was commonplace. Sometimes it reflected the social status connected with a particular trade or profession; at others it may have reflected the economic importance attached to their different occupations.


The overseers’ voucher does not make any reference to where the children were taught. Dalston Monumental Inscriptions notes refer to Joseph as ‘Keeping a hedge-school at Corsica’.[13] This refers to Corsica Cottage at Buckhowbank, Dalston. It could be that Joseph taught from a room in his own house. He later owned Sunny Vale near Stockdalewath.

The Carlisle Journal of 1853 [14] has a notice for a house , barn and outbuildings to be let at Sunny Vale. Stockdalewath. The same property was again advertised for rent in November 1857, with three acres of land attached being occupied by a Mr Waugh.[15] Further income for Joseph. This property was subsequently put up for sale after Joseph’s death (21 May 1858).[16]

Joseph’s will of 19 May 1858 gave instructions that his money (less than £20) and that from the sale of his property Sunny Vale should be divided between his 4 children: Edward who was living in Australia, having emigrated in 1857; and daughters Margaret (Brown) in Whitehaven, Isabella (Carlile) in Buckhowbank, and Sarah (Wannop), in Liverpool.[17]

Sunny Vale National Library of Scotland https://maps.nls.uk Dalston Ordinance Survey Map 1862

Sources
[1] Cumbria Archives, DRC/2/95, Wilson, J., 1890, The Monumental Inscriptions of the Church, Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s Dalston, Beck, W., (1890)
[2] Cumbria Archives, PR 41/52, Schools in the Parish of Dalston.
[3] Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/52/1-4, Dalston Overseers’ Vouchers, 30 November 1835 to April 3 1837, Joseph Shields to James Finlinson for tuition of children.
[4]Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/52/2, Dalston Overseers’ Vouchers, 30 November 1835 – 1 March 1836.
[5] Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/52/1, Dalston Overseers’ Vouchers, May 31 to July 21 undated year
[6] Cumbria Archives, Vestry Notices Dalston Parish PR 41/152 List of schools and teachers, 1834.
.[7] Cumbria Archives, PR 9/2, Kirkoswald, St Oswald Parish, Baptism, Marriages and Burials 1659- 1809.
[8] Cumbria Archives, PR 41/8, Dalston Parish Register, 8 Baptisms 1813-1832; PR 41/10, Marriages, 1813-1837.
[9] Cumbria Archives, PR 41/152, Vestry Notices Dalston Parish List of schools and teachers, 1834.
[10] Carlisle Journal, 20 September 1845.
[11] Carlisle Patriot, 18 March 1854, (Isabella Shields); Carlisle Journal, 20 June 1856, (Sarah Shields).
[12] Mannx and Whellan, Directory of Cumberland, 1847.
[13] as [1] Notes et the end of the book with regard to headstones transcribed.
[14] Carlisle Journal, 8 January 1853.
[15] Carlisle Journal, 6 November 1857.
[16] Carlisle Journal, 13 July 1858
[17] Cumbria Archives, PROB 1858/W985b 19 May 1858.

Research is a work in progress and subject to change.

Any information about ‘Hedge Schools’ in England is welcome

Sunny Vale 2019

John and Eleanor Gate (fl. 1753-1776) ‘Whipping ye Dogs out of the Church’

SPC 44/2/53 Dalston workhouse Account Book 1746-1775
SPC 44/2/53 Dalston Workhouse Account book Payment to Eleanor Gate 1786

A voucher dated 1786 has a payment to Eleanor Gate (nee Carrick) for £1.7s.6d. It does not stipulate what this is for but it may relate to the role that she carried out for St Martin’s Church, Dalston, in the years prior to this.[1]

The marriage of John Gate to Eleanor Carrick was registered in Dalston on 10 June 1725.[2]

Amongst the payments and supplies of clothes and clogs for the poor in Dalston Poorhouse’s account book each May from 1753 appears a payment to first John Gate then Widow Gate for £1.0s.0d forwhipping ye dogs out of ye church, opening & shutting ye sashes, sweeping ye church &c for 1 year’. John Gate first received the payment when Isaac Snowden was the master of the poorhouse when he was paid £5.0.0 a year. After John Gate’s death (buried 5 February 1763), his widow Eleanor took over the role. The payments usually appeared at the same time as those to the master of the poorhouse. Eleanor continued to appear in the account book receiving payments until just after John Mark was appointed master of the poorhouse on 3 February 1771. By 1774 ‘Whipping ye dogs out of the Church’ no longer appears to have been a paid task, however, Eleanor received the same payment for the other previously listed tasks. [3]


Dog whippers were engaged by the church to keep order at a time when dogs were perhaps not welcomed but tolerated when they accompanied their owners to church. The role may have also extended to controlling misbehaving children, waking those who had fell asleep or dealing with anything that disrupted the service. This was carried out at other churches. Some dog whippers were provided with a whip, wooden tongs and a uniform. [4]

SPC44/2/37 Payment May 6 1764 to Eleanor Gate for whipping ye dogs out of the church

References
[1] Carlisle Archives, Dalston Voucher, SPC44/2/37 line number to be assigned. June 12- October 5 1786
[2] Carlisle Archives, PR 41/3 Dalston St Michael’s Parish Register of Baptism’s Marriage’s and Buriel,s 1679-1749
[3]Carlisle Archives, SPC 44/2/53 Dalston Workhouse Account Book 1746-1776
[4] Daniel Scott, Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland (1899)

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


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

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

A memorial stone in Dalston records:

Erected

to the memory of Richard Brown, of Dalston

who died August 26th 1831

Aged 68 years

Also of Matilda, his wife

Who died December 11 1831,

Aged 67 years

Also of Elizabeth, their daughter

Who died March 31st 1799

Aged 7 years

Also of Richard, their son

Who died December 18th 1811

Aged 11 years.[2]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[9] TNA, HO107/2014 1851 Census.

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

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

[12] TNA, RG9/1972 1861 Census.

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

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

Charles Thurnam and Sons. Bookseller, Printer, Binder and Circulating Library, Cumberland

CAS, DCL P/8/55, Butcher’s cash book, 1836-1837, Charles Thurnam label

Parish vestries utilized printed documents and books to record the business they carried out. These were supplied by stationers including Charles Thurnam.

There is evidence that Thurnam supplied Dalston Parish with Registration Manuals at 2s. 6d, and Notices for County Voters 6d. [1] He also supplied memo books 2s 6d. [2] From 1820 onwards, he supplied Hayton parish with Apprentice Indenture forms. [3] Local business were supplied with cash account books.[4] He directed some of his advertising at Parish Councils in the following manner:-

To Magistrates, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor This day is published price 9d per pair the new form of Orders and Indentures for binding parish Apprentices. [5]

and

To the members of the Select Vestries, Parish Overseers &c. Just published 12s A Summary of the Law of Settlement by Sir Gregory Lewin also by the same auther price 14s a Treatise on the maintenance of the poor’. [6]

Charles Thurnam Dalston Overseers Voucher SPC2/44/47/6 1837
CAS, SPC44/2/47/16 Dalston Overseers voucher, Charles Thurnam, 1837

Charles Hutchinson Thurnam was born on 15 April 1796 in Edinburgh. He was the youngest of three brothers. His father Timothy Thurnam (c.1770- 1798) married Dorothy Graham (b1768) daughter of William Graham late surgeon of Carlisle at Grey Friars, Edinburgh, on 11 January 1819. [7] Timothy Thurnam became a surgeon in the Army. In 1798 when Timothy was 28 he died when the ship carrying him to India sank. At some point after this, Charles along with his two brothers William Graham Thurnam (b.1792) and John Dodsworth Thurnam (b.1794) moved to Dalston, a village 4 miles from the city of Carlisle. Their mother may have been with them, however, a death did occur of a Dorothy Graham married to T. Thurnam in St Cuthbert’s Parish, Edinburgh, in 1799. [8 ] This Dorothy Graham might be the mother of the three Thurnam boys.

Charles was to see both his brothers die at a young age. William joined the army in 1807 and died from wounds received at Doola (Doolia) near Malligaum, India, while serving in the army of the East India Company on March 14 1823 aged 31.[9] John Dodsworth died as a result of illness on 20 May 1829 aged 26. [10]

Charles moved to Carlisle and began his stationary business at 5 English Street in 1816, selling books and journals as well as patent medicines.[11]. It was common at the time for booksellers to sell medicines. A year later he established a subscription circulating library lending ‘best sellers’ and other popular works that reflected public demand. Probably beyond the reach of the poor, it was particularly popular with middle-ranking women, although some raised concerns about the effect the books would have on their morals and manners.[12]

On 11 January 1819 Charles married Ann Graham (1800-1857) daughter of John Graham, surgeon, in Carlisle. While they went on to have a large family, many of their children died at a relatively young age. William and Harriet as infants , Mary Elizabeth (1840-1843) aged 3, and Charles (1821-1840) aged 19.[13]. Margaret Dorothea (1819-1879), Isabel (1829-1878) and Ann Harriet (1834-1917) remained unmarried and compared with others in the family lived to a good age. Ann Harriet ran part of the stationery business that had expanded into music. Her sister Katherine (1826-1875) married Henry Edmund Ford (1821-1909) organist at Carlisle Cathedral who also was involved with the music side of the business.[14]

Charles expanded the business by becoming an insurance agent. Charles’ own life insurance helped pay off mortgages after his death. [15] The Circulating Library continued to grow. By 1827 it had 1000 books on its list, and continued in exostence until the 1950s.[16]

Other traders in the city benefitted from Charles’ patronage. An account with a city butcher to whom he supplied a cash book, shows some of the items he bought in April 1837, beef 7s 9d, kidney 1s, a calf’s head 3s, as well as a lot of mutton.[17] The bill for 1837 totalled £5.7s.9d. John Robson, a chemist, also provided him with supplies: 2 oz Olives and 1 oz Cinnamon in September 1832 as well as turpentine, glue, vinegar and six books of gold leaf.[18 ]

DCL P/8/55 Charles Thurnam account in Butcher’s cash book 1837

Charles seems to have been driven to succeed being regularly seen in English Street collecting parcels in the early hours from the coaches that ran between Edinburgh, Carlisle and London. In August 1835 the Proprietors of the Carlisle Patriot asked Charles to take over the printing of the newspaper from the old Patriot Office. This became inconvenient for Charles and soon afterwards he removed the presses and other materials to his own premises. On the 16 August 1836 a meeting of the newspaper proprietors was called at the Bush Inn, Carlisle. An order was issued to return the press which belonged to the Patriot Committee. An altercation followed this meeting between Charles and Dr John James. At some point Dr James sustained some injuries and issued a writ for assault against Charles Thurnam 29 August 1836. There were no witnesses to give evidence as to the cause of his injuries although William Nicholson Hodgson, pawnbroker, gave evidence at the Christmas Sessions 1837 to the effect that he heard the ‘scuffle’. [19] The matter seems to have been resolved and Thurnam’s business prospered.

After Charles’ death on 28 April 1852, the business was taken over by his widow Ann and trustees (their sons William Graham (1836-1859) and James Graham (1837-1872) were under 21).[20] Charles left annuities to his daughters in his will including his second eldest daughter Anna Maria Brisco (1822-1872) who married Josiah Foster Fairbank (1821-1899) in 1854 and moved to Scarborough. The same year family history repeated itself on 29 June another son Dodsworth John (1828-1854) died at sea. With the death of their mother Ann on 31 January 1857, the business continued in the hands of William Graham and his brother James Graham.[21]

In 1859 William had become ill and, seeking to improve his health, he went to Rome but died whilst there on 8 August.[22] With the death of James Graham in 1872 the ownership of Charles Thurnam and Sons by a member of the family ceased. Later owners continued to trade under the Thurnam name. The name Thurnam perhaps now having a proven brand recognised in the city.

Charles and Ann Thurnam had one more son, George (1825-1868). He was never mentioned in his parents wills although he did start working with his father. After 1841 he appears to have moved away from Carlisle. An engraver by trade first marrying Mary Ann Mayne in Lambeth, London, on 14 June 1846 then after her death Margaretta Long in Hammersmith, London, on 4 January 1863.[23] Both Isabel and Margaret Dorothea left a legacy of £100 each to his children George Charles Thurnam and James Edward Thurnam. [24]

Margaret Dorothea and her sisters Ann and Isabel had shares in properties at Brownelson and Lingyclose Head near Dalston and properties once occupied by Thurnams and Sons at English Street, Kings Arms Lane and Peascod Lane, Carlisle. In 1916 Ann lived at 22 Hartington Place, Carlisle, which had been purchased by Margaret Dorothea. Margaret Dorothea and Isabel left shares of their estates not only to each other but to their named nephews and nieces. Margaret Dorothea also left legacies to various charities and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

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

Sources
[1] Cumbria Archives SPC44/2/47/16 Dalston Overseer Voucher 1 February 1837-20 January 1838; SPC44/2/48 no line number Dalston Overseers Voucher April 13- May 21 1831.
[2] Cumbria Archives, SPC44/2/48 no line number Dalston Overseers Voucher April 13- May 21 1831
[3] Cumbria Archives, PR102/126 Apprenticeship Indentures ,1783-1833, St Mary Magdalene, Hayton (Charles Thurnam (1820 onwards).
[4] Cumbria Archives DCL P/8/55 Butcher (T Mitchell?) meat sold book 1836-1837.
[5] Carlisle Patriot, 2 August 1817.
[6] Carlisle Journal, 25 April 1829.
[7] www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk accessed 8 July 2019.
[8] www.scotlandspeople.cov.uk accessed 8 July 2019.
[9] www.Books.google.co.uk Alphabetical List of Officers of the Indian Army 1760-1834 Bombay Presidency, Edward Dodwell. Accessed 7 July 2019.
[10] Headstone at St Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle, Cumbria 1 July 2019.
[11] Cumberland News 4 November, 1916, p. 5.
[12] Carlisle Patriot, 5 April 1817
[13] Carlisle Journal, 3 June 1843
[14] Cumberland News, 5 July 1991
[15] J. Pigot and Co. National Commercial Directory Cumberland & Westmorland and Lancashire Pigot Directory 1829 (London and Manchester, 1828), Charles Thurnam, English Street, Carlisle.
[16]Carlisle Patriot 10 March 1827

[17] see 4
[18] Cumbria Archives, DB 138/1 Accounts John Robson Chemist 3 Account Books goods bought by named customers, 1834-1845.
[19] Cumbria Archives, DHOD/13/153 Papers Assault, Dr James Surgeon of Carlisle.
[20] Carlisle Patriot, 1 May 1852.
[21] Cumbria Archives DRC/22/95, J. Wilson. 1890 The Monumental Inscriptions of the church Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s Dalston W Beck (1890).
[22] Carlisle Journal, 20 May 1859.
[23] www.ancestry.co.uk accessed, 1 July 2019.
[24] Cumbria Archives, PROB 1879/W880, Will of Margaret Dorothea Thurnam, 1879.

Footnote
Charles Thurnam and Ann Graham were buried at St Michael’s Church Dalston Cumbria Archives (Dalston Monumental Inscription of the church of St Michael 1890)
When Thurnam and Son’s celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was reported she was the last survivor of the family along with her nephew Dr William Rowland Thurnam (1868-1941) son of James Graham Thurnam and Elizabeth Irving. A survivor of Tuberculosis he specialised in it’s treatment Others were found while researching this blog amongst hem Edmund Brisco Ford (1901-1998) an Ecological Geneticist, Grandson of Henry E Ford and Katherine Thurnam as well as the descendents of Josiah Fairbanks and Anna Maria Brisco Thurnam.

William Snape, Mercer and Draper, Lichfield, part II

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

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

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


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

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

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

Elizabeth Dawes, Grocer, Lichfield, part II

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

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

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


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

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

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

William Snape (c.1774-1833), Mercer and Draper, Lichfield, Staffordshire

William Snape was a mercer and draper in Market St, Lichfield, who was used by the overseers to supply fabrics, cloths and threads to the workhouse. He supplied fabrics such as blue linen, drab calico, Irish linen, blue print, buttons and thread.[1] This suggest that the workhouse may have been making some form of uniform or sets of apprentices’ clothes (see ‘Blue Duffle’ entry 28 March 2019). We have vouchers for him supplying the workhouse between 1824-1830. The bill from 1824 has a pre-printed ink header across the top. It shows a tombstone with a shrouded urn on top with two figures either side one of which represents Liberty with her scales and sword. This suggests that his business was doing well as he could afford to add the headers.[2] The bills are still hand signed though by him, proving that he was literate. The header also states that William furnished funerals meaning that he supplied all the drapes, clothes and fabrics used in the funeral and he would rent them out. This at the time had become a lucrative business.

William Snape, son of Isaac Snape, was baptised on 24 July 1774. William Snape’s registered age in the calendar of wills was 59. This would mean his year of birth would be 1774. William Snape the elder married Anne Jackson in 1801 in St Mary’s, Lichfield.[3] We believe that they had a son, also called William, as there is a baptism that took place in May 1806 with reference to them.[4] At the moment we have no evidence suggesting that the son carried on the business or went into the same profession as he is not listed in any trade directories and we have no vouchers after the date William dies. There is however, a Mrs Anne Snape listed in White’s 1834 directory. She is not listed under any business, and had moved from Market St to Beacon St. This suggests that she was living off independent means.[5] There is a possibility that it could be the widow of William Snape as she is listed as Mrs Anne Snape. William did not leave a will when he died, however, letters of administration were drawn up after his death.[6]

The vouchers suggest that the business of William Snape was lucrative and successful as the total amount paid for the four bills we have is £22 9s 6 ½ d. It is then surprising to find that on 17 April 1821 there was a bankruptcy case in the London Gazette for William Snape, ‘of the City of Lichfield, Mercer, Draper, Dealer and Chapman’.[7] There were then three meetings arranged on the 14, 15 and 29 of May at the Talbot Arms, Rugeley, Stafford. The first meeting was for Snape to make a full ‘disclosure of his estate and effects’ and also for any creditors to prove their claims. The second sitting was to choose assignees, who were responsible to gather in all the debts owed to William Snape and the administration of his bankruptcy. The final sitting on the 29 was to finish the examination and for William Snape to declare everything he had, to state all his debtors and creditors. The solicitors for the case were Mr Thomas Gnosall Parr, of Bird Street, Lichfield and Messrs. Constable and Kirk, solicitors, Symond’s-inn, Chancery Lane, London.[8] The date for the final dividend to be paid was 16 December 1822 at the Talbot Arms, Rugeley, where all creditors should prove their debts and that any claims after that date would be disallowed.[9] This suggests that it brought an end to everything that the commissioners were going to do, therefore freeing Snape from the bankruptcy. We know that he recovered as the vouchers state that he was supplying the workhouse just two years after being cleared of his bankruptcy.

William Snape died and was buried in March 1833 at St Michael’s, Lichfield.[10]


[1] Staffordshire Record Office (hereafter SRO) LD20/6/6 no item no., Lichfield, St Mary’s overseer’s voucher, 1824; SRO LD20/6/6 no item no., Lichfield, St Mary’s overseer’s voucher, 1830.

[2] SRO LD20/6/6 no item no., Lichfield, St Mary’s overseer’s voucher, 1824.

[3] SRO D20/1/9, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish registers, 1801.

[4] SRO D20/1/3, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish Records, Baptisms, 1806.

[5] William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834).

[6] SRO P/C/11, Lichfield, Calendar of Peculiars, 30 August 1833.

[7] London Gazette, 17 April 1821, 877.

[8] London Gazette, 16 October 1821, 2059; London Gazette, 17 April 1821, 877.

[9] London Gazette, 23 November 1822, 1929.

[10] SRO D27/1/9, Lichfield, St Michael’s, Burials, 29 March 1833, 191.

Elizabeth Dawes (1769-1852), Grocer, Lichfield, Staffordshire

Elizabeth Dawes was a grocer in St John’s Street, Lichfield, who was used by the overseers of the workhouse to supply groceries and sundries such as rice, oatmeal, potash and salt from June to September 1823.[1] The workhouse made 22 purchases from her business between these months suggesting that her business was in frequent contact with the workhouse. In a second bill from February to March 1823, she was selling the same items: rice, black pepper and treacle. Although it is a shorter bill it proves that she was in business with the workhouse for at least nine months.[2] The first bill was not written by her but by another party. The second, however, was written and signed by her as demonstrated by a comparison between the handwriting on the bills and her marriage certificate.[3] This means that she was not illiterate but that she possibly employed someone showing that the business must be stable and possibly profitable.

Elizabeth Dawes was registered under ‘Shopkeepers and Dealers in Groceries and Sundries’ in Pigot and Co.’s 1828 directory and White’s directory of 1834.[4] In Pigot’s directory she is registered along with 16 other ‘Shopkeepers and Dealers in Groceries and Sundries’, three of whom were women and nine were men. Twelve grocers were also listed separately, none of whom were female. As she was listed in Parson’s and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory as a ‘Grocer and Tea Dealer’, this means she was running the business for at least 16 years.[5]

Elizabeth Barisford was born in 1768.[6] She married Benjamin Dawes on 24 September 1797 in Lichfield at St Mary’s.[7] Benjamin died and was buried in St Michael’s, Lichfield, in 1817.[8] We do not think that they had any children as there are no baptisms recorded for the Parish of St Mary’s with a reference to them.[9] However, in the 1841 Census there is a Jane Wildley, 20, listed as living with her but the connection between Elizabeth and Jane is not stated.[10] Elizabeth is also listed as having a female servant, called Mary Hall, aged 13, living with her. This is an indication of her middle class status as she could afford to employ a servant. A servant would free up Elizabeth’s time allowing her to focus on and run her business instead.

By the 1851 Census Elizabeth was 83 and registered as an inmate annuitant which means that she was living off the profits of her investments or savings suggesting that her business had been successful enough to support her retirement. She had also moved address and was now living on Tamworth Street. She was now a member of someone else’s household possibly family but we do not know.[11] Whilst she was no longer working, the fact that she was also no longer living in her own house suggests that she might be living in reduced circumstances.

Elizabeth died on 10 July 1852 at the age of 84. She was buried in St Michael’s. Lichfield alongside her husband Benjamin.[12]


[1] Staffordshire Records Office (hereafter SRO), LD20/6/6 No item no., Lichfield St Mary’s overseer’s voucher, 1823.

[2]SRO LD20/6/6 No item no., Lichfield, St Mary’s overseer’s voucher, 1823,

[3] SRO, D20/1/9, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish Register, 24 September 1797.

[4] John Pigot and Co., Pigot and Co.’s National Directory, 1828-1829, part 2 (Manchester and London, 1828), 717; William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834), 161.

[5] W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory (1818), 186.

[6] St Michael’s Church Yard, Lichfield, Gravestone; D20/1/9, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish Register, 24 September 1797.

[7] SRO, D20/1/9, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish Register, 24 September 1797.

[8] SRO, D/27/1/9, Lichfield, St Michael’s Parish Register, 1 April 1817.

[9] SRO, D20/1/9, Lichfield, St Mary’s Parish Register, Baptisms.

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

[11] TNA, HO107/2014, 1851 Census, Elizabeth Dawes, Lichfield.

[12] Lichfield, St Michael’s Church Yard, Gravestone.

Jane Davidson (1748-1863), Grocer, Brampton, Cumberland

Jane Davidson was a grocer who was used by the overseers of Brampton to supply the workhouse with standard dry goods such as tea, sugar, barley and tobacco.[1] For one bill in 1819 she received £1 6s 11 ½ d. This was for supplies of grocer’s goods that she had made on 11 occasions between January and April. Although we only have one voucher, this shows that she was in regular contract with the workhouse. It gives the impression that she was not just used once and was actually a frequent supplier to the workhouse. The supply of tea in a small amount such as 2oz, as written in the voucher, suggests that it was not for the general use of the inmates and that it was more likely used for medicinal purposes, or for the use of the master and mistress of the workhouse.

Davidson was born in 1748.[2] She married Robert Davidson, a grocer, however we do not know when but we know it was before 1816 as this was when Robert passed away.[3] Jane Davidson had two daughters and a son; Mary who married George Hadden; Jane who married Thomas Hobson; and Thomas. [4] As well as this she also had at least 13 grandchildren, eight by Mary and George Hadden, and five by Jane and Thomas Hobson.[5] She also had a stepson via Robert’s first wife of which nothing is known.

In his will Robert Davidson left the business to his wife Jane and not to his eldest son.[6] This suggests that he had trust in her to run the business and to look after it. The stereotype is that the eldest son would inherit the business, however, it was quite common that businesses were inherited by widows. Robert was illiterate as he signed his will with a cross. This probably meant that the accounts and the books for the business were not done by him but most likely by Jane. This could be why he trusted her to run the business.

Jane Davidson, grocer, is not registered in either Jollie’s 1811 directory or Pigot’s 1828-29 National directory.[7] This suggests that their business could have been a more stable, locally based one so therefore they did not need to advertise nationally, and even after the death of Robert in 1816 Jane Davidson did not place herself in any other directory suggesting that she had maintained the stable business.

Jane Davidson used at least one local shop to maintain her stocks. The ledgers of Isaac Bird, grocer, Brampton, state that she settled a bill adding up to 15s 11d in 1819.[8] One example of this is that she bought ¼ stone of shag tobacco at 2s 7d presumably to stock her own shop as the amount is too much for her own personal use.[9]

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


[1] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5/101, Brampton overseers’ vouchers, Jane Davidson, 20January-6 April 1820.

[2] In the Burial ledger her age was given as 79. Cumbria Archives, G.Bell and C. Yellowley (ed.), Brampton Denary Burials Part 1, 1813-39, 49.

[3] Cumbria Archives, G.Bell and C. Yellowley (ed.), Brampton Denary Burials Part 1, 1813-39, 49.

[4] Cumbria Archives PROB/1816/WI462A C/1/18/9/5, Will and Inventory of Robert Davidson, 9 September 1816.

[5] Cumbria Archives, G.Bell (ed.), Brampton Baptism, Marriage and Burials, 1813-39.

[6] Cumbria Archives PROB/1816/WI462A C/1/18/9/5, Will and Inventory of Robert Davidson, 9 September 1816.

[7] F.Jollie and Sons, Jollie’s Cumberland Guide and Directory 1811 (Carlisle:1811); John Pigot and Co., Pigot and Co.’s National Directory, 1828-1829, part 1 (Manchester and London, 1828).

[8] Cumbria Archives, DCLP8/38, Isaac Bird, Grocery, Brampton, Ledger, 1817-19.

[9] Cumbria Archives, DCLP8/39, Isaac Bird, Brampton, Ledger, 1817-19.