The Routledges of Brampton

Robert and Mary Routledge ran a Grocer’s business in Brampton. Mary was referred to as Molly Calvert in the Brampton Parish Register when their children were baptised. They were baptised in nearby Lanercost, Mary 23 August 1766 and Robert 17 June 1760. They also married there 7 January 1796.[1]

Mary Routledge supplied goods to the poor of Brampton, but it is not known if this was a regular order that she had to supply them [2]

Mary (Calvert( Routledge Grocer's Bill for goods supplied in February 1820 to the poor of brampston
Mary (Calvert) Routledge March 9 1820. Bill for supplies to the poor PR60/21/13/7/8

A bill for goods supplied in February 1820 and settled promptly 9 March 1820 totals £2.1s.7 1/2d for the month. Items included being:-
1 lb candles, 10d
1 lb whitening 1d
1/2 lb starch 4d
1/2 stone soap 9d 5s. 3d
1 gill of sweet oil for weavers, 6d
1 stone salt, 4s 6d
2 oz black pepper, 6d
1lb treacle, 6d
2 oz coffee, 5d, 1/2 lb sugar, 5d 10d
Typically tea or coffee were itemised together along with the sugar.

Robert Routledge is listed in Jollie’s 1811 trade directory as a Grocer.{3].As occurred with other women Mary took over the business from her husband after his death 12 July 1815. At this time of their eight children 7 were still alive, Catherine (1808-1811) having died young. The oldest 18 years the youngest 3 years .[4]

Mary is listed in both the 1829 [5] and 1834 [6] trade directories. In 1834 at Front Street, Brampton where she is also a dealer in earthenware. Her business near fellow female Grocers, Elizabeth and Jane Tinniswood who also sold confectionery.

When Robert died he left a will (at this time unable to access), [7] which may reveal under what basis the business was left to Mary as well as other assets. After Mary’s death 21 May 1843 [8,9] the business continued with the two unmarried daughters, Margaret (1797-1880) and Ann (1807-1881) not the son’s.They continued to be listed in the trade directories [10] and on subsequent census up till 1871 as Grocers and China Dealers . When they [Margaret and Ann] died within 6 months of each other they both left reasonable healthy estates of just over £800 each. It is not known if any other family member took over from them.

Of their siblings eldest daughter Mary (1797-1881) married David Latimer in 1818. The son of David Latimer Cabinet Maker from whom a voucher also survives. [11] David was principally an agricultural labourer. He and Mary had a large family some of whom died at a young age.They remained in Brampton.

Eldest son John (1800-1859) was appointed High Constable in Brampton in 1834, where he may have gained additional income from the letting of a farm Kingwater near Lanercost.[12 ]. He was referred to in the Carlisle Journal as being known in Brampton as “Laird” Routledge . They also go on to say that when his house was demolished in Brampton a small bricked up window was found where as Relieving Officer in 1836 he would hand out relief to the poor.[13]

Two son’s Robert and William left Brampton.. Robert (1803-1861) was an Inland Revenue Supervisor in Manchester, while William (1804-1875) became a Clergyman and Schoolteacher in Devon.

Youngest son George (1812-1888) [14] served an apprenticeship with Charles Thurnam, Publisher in Carlisle from 1827 to 1833 before moving to London. Initially working for others and supplementing his income by working in the Tithe Office. He established his own Bookselling and Publishing business in London and New York . He returned to the place of his birth in later life; being a wealthy man he bought the land on which stood the cottage of his well as other estates once belonging to his forebears. Described by the local newspaper as a pioneer of cheap literature in this country, beginning life in a humble way and gaining distinction through energy and intelligence[15]. When he died 13 December 1888 his disposable estate was valued at £95.139.


[1] England Select Marriages, 1538-1973 [accessed at, 4 March 2020]
[2] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/7/8, Brampton Overseers Voucher, 9 March 2020 or PR60/21/13/6/8 line 2-30
[3] F. Jollie, Jollies Cumberland Guide and Directory (Carlisle: 1811).
[4] [accessed 4 April 2020]
[5] Parson & White’s, Principle Inhabitants of Cumberland & Westmorland (1829).
[6] Pigot’s, Directory of Cumberland and Westmorland (1834)
[7] Cumbria Archives, Wills, PROB/1815/W614
[8] Cumbria Archives Wills, PROB/1843/W912
[9] Carlisle Journal, 27 May 1843, p. 3 col. g.
[10] Slater’s, Cumberland Directory, 1855.
[11] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5/11, Brampton Overseers Voucher, March 2 1815.
[12] Carlisle Journal, 11 December 1841, p.1 col. d.
[13] Carlisle Journal, 7 January 1898, p.5. col. d.
[14] England Births and Baptisms Parish Records, 1538-1955 accessed at
[15] Carlisle Journal, 18 December 1888, p.2 col. d.

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

William Gillard, Grocer, Tea Dealer, Fruiterer and Poulterer, Lichfield

SRO, LD20/6/6/400, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield St Mary, William Gillard, 31 March 1832

William Gillard’s bill for ‘sundries as particularized in book’, is not very revealing about the goods he supplied to St Mary’s Lichfield. From the printed billhead, however, we learn that he was a grocer, tea dealer, fruiterer and poulterer who also sold pickles, vinegars, sauces and Stilton cheese. The illustration of a shop interior shows the products he sold, how they were stored and displayed on shelves, in nests of drawers, in bottles, canisters, jars, boxes and chests. The use of a printed billhead also reveals that Gillard aimed to supply not just the poor but also those further up the social scale and indicated the sort of service they could expect.

William Gillard, baptised on 14 August 1785, was the son of Thomas Gillard of Lichfield.[1]

At the time of the Census in 1851, Gillard was living in St John Street with his wife Mary.[2] He was described as Crier of the Court of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace. Pigot’s directory of 1828–9, listed him as grocer, tea dealer and keeper of a register office for masters and servants with premises in Boar Street.[3] Mary was born in Morpeth, Northumberland.

William Gillard’s will (giving his address as St John’s Cottage), made ample provision for his wife, provided that she did not remarry after her husband’s death.[4] Part of his personal estate was to be sold and the money invested in stocks and securities to provide her with an annual income. The trustees of William’s estate, his son Charles and Richard Walthow were to permitted to sell part of his estate only with the written consent of his widow. Mary was given a lifetime interest in William’s household goods, plate, china, linen, pictures, books, and chattels.

William and Mary’s children received the following:

Mary Ann, the wife of William Mander, £250.

William Taylor Gillard, £60.

Elizabeth, the wife of Alfred Eggington, £250.

Charles Gillard, £60.

Maria, the wife of Thomas Pear, £250.

Jane, the wife of John William Proffit, £250.

Henry, £80.

The bequests to William’s daughters were independent of their husbands.

Following the death of their mother, any moneys, stocks and securities were to be divided equally among the children.

Gillard died aged sixty-eight and was buried in St Michael’s on 17 January 1854.[5]

[1] SRO, D20/1/3, Lichfield St Mary baptisms and burials.

[2] TNA, HO 107/2014, Census 1851.

[3] Pigot & Co., National Commercial Directory, 1828–9, pp. 716–7.

[4] SRO, P/C/11, William Gillard.

[5] SRO, St Michael’s Parish Register.

Ann Wilcox seeks parish relief

In 1832 pauper Ann Wilcox, or more likely schoolmaster A. Peacock, wrote to the parish of Alrewas in Staffordshire from Portwood, Stockport.


In consequence of you not remitting to Mr Pickford, overseer of this place, I have not received any support for the last five weeks last Saturday and I am at this time in a starving condition owing to extreme ill health. I have not been able to do any thing towards a living.  I am exceeding sorry to be troublesom[e] but I am sorry to say that I shall be obliged to go before the Magistrates to send me to you.

I am Gentlemen Your humble Servant Ann Wilcox.

The above is correct A Peacock Schoolmaster.[1]

Wilcox wrote because she had not received relief, but contained within her letter was a threat. Without the money, she would go to the magistrate as the law entitled her to do. The magistrate might send her back to Alrewas as her legal place of settlement. This is a common tactic found in pauper letters. Providing in-parish relief to a pauper was usually more expensive than providing out parish relief. The threat of returning was usually enough to get a parish to pay up.

[1] SRO, D783/2/3/13/5/1/1, Ann Wilcox, Portwood, to the Overseers of Alrewas near Lichfield, Nov. 12 1832.

Miss Elizabeth Proud of Hard Bank Mill

Elizabeth was born in 1818, the second daughter of Elizabeth and John Proud (see . She was baptised on 28 June at the parish church of St Mary Magdalen, Hayton. Her father died in 1823.  Hard Bank Mill continued to operate with Elizabeth’s mother in charge of operations. In the 1841 Census, Elizabeth and her siblings, Jane and Edward, were listed as wool carders.

After the death of Mrs Elizabeth Proud in 1851,  her daughter Elizabeth appears on Census returns as either manager at the mill or as housekeeper for her brother. It was common for female occupations to go unrecorded. She received no inheritance from her mother in her will, but she may have received in-life gifts. Her mother’s estate was divided between  Jane and Edward.

It is unclear from local newspaper reports on the stealing of fleeces in 1848, whether Elizabeth or her mother was running the Mill at the time. The report in the Carlisle Journal (11/8/1848,CASCAT) does not make this clear.

Elizabeth continued to reside at the Mill until her death in 1873. Her small estate was left to her sister Jane. Edward continued to be associated with the Mill until it was sold.

Elizabeth Proud, Woollen Mill Owner and Manufacturer, Hard Bank Mill Hayton

Elizabeth Proud (née Ellwood) of Cumrew, outside Carlisle, came from a farming family. A Betty Ellwood, the daughter of John Ellwood and Elizabeth Dodd, was baptized at Cumrew on 12 November 1786.

Nothing is then heard about Elizabeth Ellwood until her marriage to John Proud, a wheelwright, from Haltwistle on 15 October 1806.[1] When signing the register, Elizabeth wrote her name as ‘Elizabeth Brand (late Ellwood)’. This might imply that she had been married previously, or that for some reason she had been adopted by a family named Brand, even though her father was still alive. As Elizabeth was a minor at the time of her marriage to Proud, her father John gave consent to his daughter’s marriage.[2]

John Proud may be the same John Proud listed as a corporal in the Coldstream Guards in 1815.[3]

There are no records of children being born to John and Elizabeth Proud until 1815. All the children were baptised in Hayton, near Hard Bank Mill.

Jane (1815–51), baptized14 May 1815.

Elizabeth (1818–73), baptized 28 June 1818.

John (1819–38), baptized 14 February 1819.

Mary (1821–21), baptized 20 May 1821.

Edward (1823–1901), baptized 10 August 1821.

John Proud died in 1823.[4]

An announcement regarding the sale of ‘Proud’s Hards Bank Mill’ in the Carlisle Express and Examiner in 1874 states that the mill had been established in 1823, the year John Proud died.[5] This raises the possibility that either John Proud had only recently acquired the mill before his death, or that Elizabeth had entered the premises after his decease. As there was no announcement in the local newspapers to say that Elizabeth intended to continue the business after her husband’s decease, the latter scenario is a distinct possibility. Attached to the mill was a farm of 51 acres.

In 1824, Elizabeth took parish apprentices to work in her mill as the following entries in Parish of Hayton Register Book for Parish Apprentices, 1806–1833 show.[6]

24 December 1824 William Nixon 15 (son of Thomas Nixon and brother of John Nixon 14) workhouse, apprenticed to Elizabeth Proud weaver Hardbank term of apprenticeship to 21 years, no fee, overseers parties to indenture Wm Graham, Jno Brown, John Westgarth, John Wilson, Wm Barker William Penrith. Magistrates attending Thos Lowry John Heysham.

24 December 1824 William Brown 13, Jane Brown mother, workhouse, apprenticed to Elizabeth Proud weaver Hardbank term of apprenticeship to 21 years, no fee, overseers parties to indenture, Philip Bushby, John Brown, John Westgarth, John Wilson, Wm Barker William Penrith. Magistrates attending Thos Lowry John Heysham.

In Pigot’s 1828–29 directory, Elizabeth Proud is listed as a woollen carder and spinner at ‘Hardbank Mill’.[7] As a manufacturer, she supplied a basic grey cloth and yarn to the parish poor and workhouse. [8]

She also occupied a house and shop in Front Street, Brampton, next to the Pack Horse Inn. Consisting of a shop with two rooms above, it was offered for sale in 1829.[9]

There are several entries for Elizabeth Proud, manager of Hard Bank Mill in Carlisle’s newspapers, although as both she and her daughter, also called Elizabeth, ran the mill it is difficult to determine, at times, which one is being referred to.[10]

One report in the Carlisle Patriot in 1832 concerns the appeal for relief of a certain Elizabeth Tinniswood, a pauper, single and with child.[11] Tinniswood been brought up in Hayton Workhouse until she was eleven. She was then sent into service with Mrs Proud and it was ‘fair to assume she had been hired’. Elizabeth Proud stated that the pauper had ‘lived with her and her husband for four years, and had worked for her meat; but she had never been hired, and was at liberty to go away whenever she liked: when witness parted with her, she merely told the overseers that she had no more occasion for her’. Tinniswood too stated that she had worked ‘in the woollen mill for her meat and clothes but never was hired’. Assuming that this is the same Elizabeth Proud, these events must have occurred before the death of John Proud in 1823. The case was adjourned.

In the Carlisle Journal in 1848, Elizabeth Proud was mentioned as the manager of ‘Hard Bank Carding Mill’ in the prosecution of William Graham. Graham was accused of stealing a number of fleeces, selling them subsequently to Proud.[12]

The 1841 Census rounded down adult ages to the nearest five. For Hardbank Mill it lists the following people.[13] Elizabeth Proud the elder is not listed, although she was still alive.

Jane Proud 25 Wool carder
Elizabeth Proud 20 Wool carder
Edward Proud 15 Wool carder
William Hamilton 20 Weaver
William Brown 25 Weaver
Richard Creighton 25 Wool carder
William Dalton 15 Wool carder
William Watson 13 Wool carder
Jane Watson 15 Wool carder
Barbara Creighton 12 Wool carder
Elizabeth Newton 60 Independent


It may be that weaver William Brown is the same as the one apprenticed in 1824.

Elizabeth Proud of the ‘Carding Mill Hayton’, was buried on 13 March 1851.[14] She was 64.

This blog has been researched by Ellie Berry, William Bundred, Margaret Dean and Angie Davidson.

[1] CAS, DHN/C/612/222, Howard Family of Naworth papers.

[2] Carlisle Marriage Bonds, 7 Oct. 1806, p. 133.

[3] [accessed 21 Sept. 2021].

[4] National Burial Index of England and Wales, 26 Nov. 1823.

[5] Carlisle Express and Examiner, 6 June 1874, p. 4.

[6] CAS, PR102/125, Parish of Hayton Register Book for Parish Apprentices, 1806–1833.

[7] Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 1: Cheshire – Northumberland] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828), p. 66.

[8] CAS, PR102/110.

[9] Carlisle Patriot, 23 May 1829, p. 1.

[10] Carlisle Journal, 11 Nov. 1848

[11] Carlisle Patriot, 7 July 1832, p. 2.

[12] Carlisle Journal, 11 Aug. 1828, p. 4.

[13] TNA, HO107/168, 1841 Census.

[14] Hayton Parish Register.

Phineas Stone (d.1796) of Wednesbury and a Haddock

Phineas Stone has only one voucher in our project dataset, but he snagged our interest owing to the disjunction between his occupation, as a gunlock filer, and the typical purchases of the overseers of the poor.  What business did they have with a refiner of gun parts?

The parish overseers paid Stone for a ‘voice’ or vice weighing 36lb on 3 February 1789.  This equipment was for the use of Jonathan Addock or Haddock, and was costed by weight.  At three pence per pound, the total cost of the vice came to nine shillings.  Therefore the parish was buying a tool for use by Haddock, presumably to enable him to earn money.  Unfortunately we have no clues as to what Haddock usually did for a living.  He was a some-time pauper and who needed parish help to pay the burial fees when his wife Ann died 1793, but otherwise we are not really any wiser.  We can only speculate that, like many men in the parish and the wider West Midlands, Haddock was engaged in metalworking of some kind.

A rather tidy workshop showing the manufacture of metal buttons in the Netherlands: engraving by Prevost c.1751-72 image courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

The Stone family fortunes were also in decline, but not so drastically as to require the need for parish assistance in the vouchers we have catalogued.  Shortly before Phineas died in 1796, his son Phineas (1775-1811) got married and had a son of his own, unsurprisingly baptised Phineas (1797-1837).  Of the three men named Phineas, all of whom were lockfilers, the eldest left an estate worth under £300, but his son was worth under £100 at the time of his death in 1811.    The youngest Phineas was killed in 1837 by the throwing over of a coach.


Sources: baptisms of 1 May 1775, 12 March 1797, and 19 January 1834, marriage of 7 September 1796, plus burials of 30 August 1793, 6 December 1796, 4 July 811, and 8 August 1837, all Wednesbury St Bartholomew. Probate for the will of Phineas Stone granted 1797.  Probate for the will of Phineas Stone granted 1811. SRO D 4383/6/1/9/2/95 Wednesbury overseers’ voucher 1789; D 4383/6/1/9/3/111/4 Wednesbury overseers’ voucher 1793.

John Tunstall and Family, Papcastle

In 1828 William Nichol of Bothel brought an action against John Tunstall claiming the horses he had were not his. They were seized despite his attempts to stop it.   As a consequence, Tunstall must have felt he would struggle  to make a living  and  applied to William Askew, a bleacher by trade living in the village of Goat and overseer of Papcastle, for relief. Askew suspecting that Tunstall’s place of settlement lay elsewhere and faced with the prospect of a large family needing relief,  sought their removal to Greysouthern where he thought  their place  of settlement might be.  The services of Joseph Steele and Son, attorneys of Cockermouth, were employed to investigate. This is just one example of the cases taken on by Steeles for the parish of Papcastle and demonstrates the lengths they went to to determine the facts.[1]

In 1828 John Tunstall and wife, Ann Fletcher, were living in Papcastle just outside Cockermouth. A considerable number of their children were all baptized in the Parish of Papcastle. They were: John (1811), Thomas (1812), James (1814), Fletcher (1816), Jane (1817), twins Sarah (1821) and Mary (1821), Ann (1823), Martha (1824), William (1826) and Joseph (1828). With the exception of one, William who died in 1823 aged three, all went on to live into adulthood.[2]

John Steele. Journey to Examine the Registers, April 1829 SPC110/1/3/2/5

John Tunstall’s grandfather James Tunstall (1742-1820) had inherited his father’s Moses’ (1700-1757) farm and pottery named Fox House, at Broughton in 1757. Moses was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, and married Sarah Jackson in  Duffield, Derbyshire, the place of her birth in 1730. They moved north helping establish some of the potteries of West Cumberland. Moses’ aunt, Margaret Tunstall (1678-1748) and her husband Aaron Wedgewood (1671-1746) of the Wedgwood pottery family of Stoke had already  moved from Staffordshire, starting a pottery at Harker Marsh near Dearham at the beginning of the eighteenth century.[3] However, John Tunstall didn’t venture into the pottery trade of his forebears.

The Tunstall case at the Easter Assizes 1829 was described in two local newspapers. The removal order issued was challenged by the parish of Greysouthern.

Joseph Steele and Son expenses. 14 Nov. 1828
SPC110/1/3/2/5 8

The following is a summary of events from the evidence given. John Tunstall’s challenge was to prove Papcastle as his place of settlement.

Tunstall was baptized in the parish of Bridekirk on14 December 1788. Papcastle was a township of Bridekirk. His father Thomas Tunstall (1768-1840) was born in Great Broughton. He married his first wife Sarah Johnstone on 15 July 1788 at Dearham. She died on 20 November 1801 and in 1803 he moved to Greysouthern where he rented a property for over £40 a year, therefore gaining a settlement there. In 1804 he married Jane Walker, a widow. Tunstall worked in the local coal mines. Tunstall got into difficulties around 1808 and subsequently his son, John, managed his property while he was in Carlisle Goal.

John Tunstall then moved to Papcastle to work for Thomas Fletcher, and married his granddaughter Ann Fletcher in  June 1810. When Thomas Fletcher died the main beneficiary in his will was his daughter Jenny Fletcher, Ann’s mother. The Tunstall family and Jenny lived together. John Tunstall supported his family by taking on a variety of  work. Reliant on a horse and cart, he also used to lead wood ( convey wood) for Jenny, . Although her father is described  as a yeoman in his will Thomas Fletcher may have diversified into wood leading. Following a difference of opinion and Tunstall claimed he went to rent a property of his own.

Tunstall Family Removal
SPC110/1/3/2/5 8  April 1829

There are many contradictions in the depositions taken from various people and confusion about who leased what from whom. The voucher lists the detailed expenses incurred by Steele’s to determine the truth.

Among those examined were Richard Blackburn and William Atkinson, present when the property belonging to John Pooley was let. Pooley,  stated he would never let property to Tunstall as he was a servant to Jenny Fletcher. William Twentyman, who leased all of Pooley’s property for three years, subsequently sublet parcels  to others. In the interim, Twentyman died, so it fell to his son Robert to be questioned about the letting arrangements. Robert said he couldn’t remember events. William Dean of Keswick who had said he paid rent to Jenny Fletcher for Tunstall for one of the properties had also died in January 1829. His wife, Mary,  was asked to travel from Keswick to Carlisle to give evidence.

Various family members were called upon including Jenny Fletcher, Thomas Tunstall, his father, John Tunstall his uncle resident at Fox House Farm and Pottery and joint lease holder of the Glass House Pottery, Ginns, Whitehaven, Martha Fletcher (Barton), his sister in law and Jenny Fletcher’s youngest daughter born in 1796; and others.

The dictum was that John Tunstall had not legally held any property. The result was that Tunstall’s settlement was that of his father’s a few miles away at Greysouthern and the Removal Order was upheld. [4]

In subsequent years John Tunstall continued to live and work around the area. His wife Ann (baptized in the parish of Papcastle, 11 March 1785) died in 1856.  John then went to live  with his son Thomas in Appleby. Both stated their occupation as carter in 1861. John died around 1864.[ 5]

Jenny Fletcher remained in Papcastle. With members of John’s family around her in 1841 she was  living with  John’s son Thomas and his wife Martha (Spark) and their two children. Next door was Mary (Miller) wife of John’s son James and two children. Mary had been recently widowed, as James had been killed in a waggoning accident in May 1841. [6]

William Askew, married to Eleanor Blackstock, had three sons:  Robinson, William and Henry. All three  predeceased  him. In later life he moved into Cockermouth. His obituary in 1864 suggested he had become quite wealthy. His estate valued around  £5000. [7]

Joseph Steele was born in the port town of Whitehaven in 1758. He moved to Cockermouth where he became an apprentice attorney with John Wordsworth, the father of the poet William Wordsworth. By 1785 he had married Dorothy Ponsonby and they went on to have six sons and one daughter, Dorothy. His wife  died in 1799 and Steele remarried in 1804. With his second wife,  Mary Hodgson, he had a further four sons. His  fourth son, Miles, become an attorney in London but died in Nice, France, in 1827.[8]  His eldest son John  joined his father’s business and worked on the Tunstall case.  Joseph Steele died 27 February 1844, two days after his second wife.[9] The business in Cockermouth continued in the hands of John and Edward Bowe Steele a son from his second marriage[10] until John became MP for Cockermouth in 1854.

Steele and Sons  main  bill  came to  £30 14s 1d in September 1829. With hindsight  it perhaps doesn’t seem to have been the financially prudent thing to do to issue the removal order, but looking to the future the parish of Papcastle may have feared the burden of the Tunstall family should they not be able to support themselves in the future. However, the Tunstalls, according to subsequent census returns did support themselves except son John  who periodically received parochial relief.

[1] Cumbria Archives, Papcastle Overseers’ Voucher, SPC110/1/3/2/5 8, Nov. 1828 to April 1829
[2] England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [accessed at, 2 April 2021]
[3] Sibson Florence,  The History of the West Cumberland Potteries, Volume II, (Distington: Cope Publishing, 2008).
[4] Carlisle Patriot, 2 May 1829, p.2; col. d,e.;  Cumberland Pacquet and Whitehaven Ware’s Advertiser 5 May 1829, p. 3 col. a;    Wake Henry Thomas, 1878 , All the Monumental Inscriptions in Bringham and Bridekirk 1666-1876 at     Cumbria Archives, PROB/1812/W543, Will of Thomas Fletcher.
[5]  General Record Office, Search Index
[6] 1841 Census HO107; Piece: 161; Book: 7; Civil Parish: Cammerton; County: Cumberland; Enumeration District: 14; Folio: 14; Page: 22; Line: 5; GSU roll: 241278
[7] Whitehaven News, 8 December 1864, p. 5, col, d;    Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England [accessed at, 14 April 2021]
[8] Carlisle Patriot, 10 March 1827 p. 2, col. a
[9] Carlisle Journal, 2 March 1844 p. 2, col. g
[10] Slater’s Directory (1848), p. 26.


The principal people have  been named  from  the  bill only as it is length.

Thomas Fletcher’s  signed his Will made in 1809 with his mark. Having considerable property in the Papcastle area most of those who were to receive a legacy were his family. It being stipulated how each dwelling was to be allocated most of their names are prefixed by reputed. For example his reputed wife Jane, his reputed daughter Jenny Fletcher , grandson Thomas son of his reputed son Thomas Fletcher of Cockermouth, and his reputed great grandson Thomas Fletcher natural son  of Ann Fletcher who was the natural daughter of his  reputed daughter Jenny Fletcher.  Jenny Fletcher’s other two daughter’s  Martha (Barton) and her twin Mary were to receive twenty pounds.



John Lakin lies dead in a fever ward

Among the overseers’ vouchers for Alrewas, Staffordshire, are a few letters relating to paupers. In a few short lines, one in particular, summed up a person’s life. In April 1832 Alrewas vestry received a letter from J. Halton of Stockport.

‘Gents, One John Lakin aged 49 lies dead in our fever ward and we have been called upon to provide for his funeral.  It appears he belongs to your place, by birth, having been born out of wedlock and that you have frequently relieved him, in different places. The last time was at Christmas 1827 or 8. This being the case you will, we trust, refund the cost of his funeral amounting to £1.5.0.  He was by trade a tailor. Your attention will oblige, J. Halton’[1]

The parish registers for St Mary’s, Stockport, lists a John Lakin aged 59, having been buried on 11 April 1832. His residence was given as The Dispensary. Despite the ten year age difference, this is the same man. Halton had been quick off the mark, sending the letter the day before Lakin’s funeral.

Halton’s letter, though short, is cleverly constructed. It points out that having been born illegitimately, Lakin’s legal settlement was his place of birth, in this case Alrewas. It notes that Alrewas had previously provided poor relief for Lakin, thereby establishing precedent for payment of his funeral. Lakin’s death also makes it clear that this is the last time that Alrewas will be called upon for relief, which might have induced the parish further to pay up.

[1] SRO, D783/2/3/13/4/1/1, J. Halton, Stockport, 10 April 1832.

Charles Cook, Apprentice Shoemaker

From 13 June to 23 July 1827 Charles Cook, the son of Widow Cook, was on a six-week trial as an apprentice boot and shoe maker. As was fairly standard for parish apprentices, Charles was supplied with a jacket, trousers and waistcoat, two pairs of stockings, a hat and  five yards of calico to make two shirts. The cost of drawing up the apprentice indenture and attorney’s fees amounted to £1 11s 6d, bringing the amount expended by the parish on Cook’s apprenticeship to £3 7s 0d.[1] In addition, there was the apprentice premium itself which added a further £10 to parish costs. Given that the total expenditure on Cook’s apprenticeship by parish of Whittington, Staffordshire, equated to the yearly income of a well-paid female domestic servant, this was not an inconsiderable sum. It was one which the parish deemed acceptable as it would shift parish responsibility for Charles Cook onto the shoemaker.

Cook, however, was not living in Whittington, but at Grove Cottage, Edmonton St, Camberwell, Surrey, with his mother Sarah. Charles Cook may never even have set foot in Whittington, but the village would have been his legal place of settlement if his father had been born, or had acquired legal settlement there.

Charles was apprenticed to James Rogers of Stretton Ground, St John’s, Westminster, for a term of seven years.[2]

It is possible that things turned out alright for Charles Cook, for there is an entry in the 1841 Census for a Charles Cook, a shoemaker living in Wellington Street, Camberwell, with his wife and three children.[3]


[1] SRO, Whittington Overseers’ Vouchers, D4834/9/3/11/7, [1827]; D4834/9/3/11/18, 12 Jun 1827.

[2] SRO, D4834/9/7/37, 12 June 1827; D483 4/9/7/37, 23 Jun 1827.

[3] TNA, HO107/1050/6, 1841 Census.

Catherine Johnson and Catherine Godwin, Inmates, Rosliston Workhouse

Like many parishes Whittington, near Lichfield, had no workhouse. Instead, it relied on providing outdoor relief, paying rent on properties to house some of its poor and sending paupers to Rosliston Workhouse in Derbyshire.

Around 1802, Rosliston together with the parishes of Caldwell, Coton-in-the-Elms, Croxall, Linton and Stretton-in-the Fields united under the terms of Gilbert’s Act of 1782 to provide for the poor. Arrangements were made with other parishes, including Whittington, whereby paupers could be sent to the workhouse with the costs borne by the parish to whom the pauper had the legal right of settlement.

In 1818 Whittington paid Rosliston Workhouse for twelve weeks board for Catherine Johnson. As with most people from this time we know little about Johnson, but we do know that by 1820 at the latest she had been joined in the workhouse by Catherine Godwin, also from Whittington. For the next two years overseers’ vouchers provide glimpses into their lives. Bills were submitted each quarter by Rosliston for Johnson and Godwin’s board, soap and coal.

Johnson and Godwin contributed to their own maintenance through their needlework skills. Several bills list thread, tape, bindings, linings for bodices, the spinning of flax and the provision of calico, worsted and fustian cloth. One bill of 3 January 1820 notes ‘cutting out and assisting Johnson to make cloth’. Other clothing related items include the provision of aprons, stockings, capes and gowns for both women.

There were also medical bills. One in 1820 was for ‘dressing for Johnson’ and ‘dressing for Godwin’ from a Dr Adams. The services of a midwife were paid for by Whittington for Catherine Godwin at the start of 1821, but all did not go well for we find payment for laying the child out, taking the child to church, a coffin and a burial. Nothing further is then recorded about either Johnson or Godwin in the vouchers.


SRO, Whittington Overseers’ Vouchers,

D4834/9/3/2/7, 1818

D4834/9/3/4/31, 3 Jan. 1820

D4834/9/3/4/32, 3 Jan. 1820

D4834/9/3/4/2, 20 Mar. 1820

D4834/9/3/4/3, 25 Mar. 1820

D4834/9/3/2/40, 30 Dec. 1820

D4834/9/3/2/41, 21 Jan 1821

D4834/9/3/2/42, 24 Mar. 1821

D4834/9/3/2/43, 24 Mar. 1821