George Graham. Surgeon, Brampton. 1783-1847

George Graham was a surgeon in Brampton. During his working life he encountered both the poor and the non-poor. His name appears on voucher PR60/21/13/5 which relates predominantly to child deliveries with fees ranging from 15s to £1.5s. As one item on the bill relates to the Workhouse it is assumed that the mothers were poor.[1] The mothers are referred to by the prefix ‘Miss’ and a surname. One is simply referred to as ‘a pauper in Brampton’. Excepting a Miss Robb or Ross and the pauper however, it is possible to determine who some of those concerned are.



Cumbria Archives Service, PR60/21/13/5, Brampton Overseers’ Voucher, Dr Graham, 22 Mar. 1816


Four have been identified: Robert, illegitimate son of Margaret Dobson 11 March 1814, Forrest Head. Ann, illegitimate daughter of Ann Atkinson, spinster, 5 May 1815, Brampton; George, illegitimate son of Sarah Taylor, weaver, 5 November 1815 Brampton; and Margaret, illegitimate daughter of Margaret Wallace, 12 January 1816, Brampton.

From parish registers, four have been identified: Robert, illegitimate son of Margaret Dobson, 11 March 1814, Forrest Head; Ann, illegitimate daughter of Ann Atkinson, spinster, 5 May 1815, Brampton; George, illegitimate son of Sarah Taylor, weaver, 5 November 1815, Brampton; and Margaret, illegitimate daughter of Margaret Wallace, 12 January 1816, Brampton.[2]

Other vouchers bearing Dr Graham’s name are for medication but it is not clear who they are for. Medicines include, Cream Tartar 4d, Cordial Mixture 3s, Diuretic Mixture 3s, Bronchial Mixture 3s, Opening Powder 6d, and Tonic Powders 5s. Although the precise ingredients are not stipulated, Dr T J Graham’s Modern Domestic Medicine (1837) may give some idea as to the ingredients used.[3]

Dr Graham was born at Bankhead, Canonbie, Dumfriesshire on 15 October 1783 in the Esk Basin. This was once known as the ‘Debatable Land’ between England and Scotland where the Graham, Armstrong, Bell and Elliot families administered the law. George Graham had five siblings: three sisters Sarah (1777-1862), Janet (1778-1841) Margaret or Peggy (1786-1836), and brothers William (1781- 1849) and John (1789- 1838). Sarah married farmer Richard Johnstone (1773-1873) and Janet also married a farmer, John Hope (1779 -1866). [4] George’s parents Peter Graham (1740-1825) and Ann Nichol (1747-1831) left the farm at Bankhead around 1790 and moved the short distance to Cubbyhill near Longtown.[5] George became a Surgeon, John became a silk mercer in London, and William took over the farm.


Dr Graham gained his Surgical Diploma in Edinburgh and began practice initially in Longtown Cumberland aged 23. His name is amongst those balloted for the Militia but he did not serve, a substitute took his place[6]


Working Life
Dr Graham began practice in Brampton in 1811. His name can be found in the 1829 trade directory at Market Place. [7] He was one of three surgeons in Brampton; the others being T. Gilbanks, H. Dobson and W. Fleming. In 1834 he was joined by an assistant William Armstrong (1812-1886), also born in Canonbie. Dr Graham purchased a property in Market Place in the centre of Brampton for £400 in 1836 and began a Doctors’ Partnership with Dr Armstrong in 1839. [8] They can be both found on the 1841 Census at Front Street, Brampton. They were joined in the practice by John Graham(1820-1893) George Graham’s nephew, one of his brother William’s 12 children. John Graham continued in the practice till 1861 when he sold up to leave for London along with his wife.[9] William Armstrong continued to be involved in Brampton affairs, becoming Justice of the Peace for Cumberland and Chairman of the Brampton Poor Relief Fund in 1878. He died at Garden Terrace, Brampton, 5 August 1886.[10]

Brampton Stocks, 2019

Some of Dr Graham’s work involved the administration of justice. Local newspapers give an insight into what is hoped were the less common events in his working life. In 1836 he ordered the release of a Jwhonnie Steeson (sic) from his punishment in the stocks Market Place, Brampton. The event was recalled by local poet Peter Burn (1831- 1902).[11] In 1841 at the trial of Jane Hogg and her mother Mary Hogg for the murder of Jane’s newborn child, Dr Graham gave evidence. Jane and Mary Hogg were both found guilty but the death sentence was commuted. The Jury asked for leniency for Jane. Lord Chief Justice Denman said of her mother Mary if I were perfectly convinced that she had destroyed the child for the purpose of saving the expense of keeping it … I should have no choice but to leave her to the executioner’. [12] He felt that all the facts were not known. Jane was given a life sentence, Mary was transported on 2 May 1842 to Van Diemen’s Land never to return.[13]

All three doctors were together two years before Dr George Graham’s death at the celebration of the Earl of Carlisle’s birthday at the Howard Arms, Brampton.[14]

octor Graham’s death is reported in the Carlisle Patriot, 2 July 1847:At Brampton on the 26th ult George Graham Esq surgeon aged 63 much respected by a wide circle of acquaintances‘. [15] He was buried at Lanercost, two miles from Brampton.[16]


This is a work in progress and subject to change with new research


Sources
[1] Cumbria Archives, PR60/21/13/5, Brampton Overseers’ Vouchers, 22 March 1816
[2] Cumbria Archives, PR60/7, Brampton, St Martin’s Parish. Register of Baptisms, 1813-1835
[3] Thomas J. Graham, Modern Domestic Medicine. A popular treatise illustrating the symptoms, causes and distinction and correct treatment of the diseases incident to the human frame; embracing the modern improvement in medicine (7th edn., 1837), https;// books.google.co.uk, accessed 14 Mar. 2019.
[4] www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, accessed 14 Mar. 2019.
[5] Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society, Canonbie Parish Church Monumental Inscriptions (2006).
6] Cumbria Archives, Q/MIL. Militia Liable Books, 1690-1831, (1806-1812)
[7] W. Parson and W. White. Directory and Gazetteer Cumberland and Westmorland (1829).
[8] Cumbria Archives, DCART/B/2/19/2, Deeds and Probates re: Clarke’s property in Market Street[Place] purchased by George Graham Surgeon of Brampton (B1); Carlisle Patriot, 10 November 1838; Carlisle Journal, 12 April 1843; Carlisle Patriot, 13 August 1856
[9] Carlisle Journal, 11 January 1861
[10] Carlisle Journal, 10 August 1886
[11] Carlisle Journal, 20 January 1893
[12] Carlisle Journal, 7 August 1841
[13] www. convictrecords.com.au, accessed 14 Mar. 2019.
[14] Carlisle Journal 20, September 1845
[15] Carlisle Patriot, 2 July 1847
[16] Cumbria Archives, Carlisle, PR 121/9, Lanercost, St Mary Magdalene Parish Burial Register, 1813-1870

Ann Keen and Catherine Keen, boot and shoe dealers, Lichfield

Ann Keen’s listings in trade directories from 1818 to 1851 and her listing in the 1851 Census as a boot and shoe dealer (mistress) belies the notion of the short-lived female-owned business.

Ann Keen was born to William and Mary Keen in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, and baptised on 30 December 1771. She died, unmarried, in 1853, and was buried at Christ Church, Lichfield.

Parson and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory lists a William Keen, ironmonger, grocer, druggist and tallow chandler, with premises in Eccleshall’s High Street. By this date Ann Keen was already established as the proprietress of a shoe warehouse in Market Street, Lichfield. She was one of two female shoe dealers listed in the town; the other being Margaret Pinches of Boar Street. In comparison, ten male boot and shoemakers are listed.

Thus far 11 bills covering the period 1822 to 1829 have been discovered linking Ann Keen’s business to the overseers of St Mary’s, Lichfield. More may come to light. She was supplying men, women and children with ready-made shoes rather than making them. The vouchers show that Ann was assisted by Catherine Keen. What relation Catherine was to Ann is not clear at present, although Catherine might have been the daughter of Ann’s brother Walter baptised in Eccleshall on 31 March 1769. Until Catherine’s Keen’s marriage in 1823, it was Catherine who drew up the bills for the supply of shoes and took payment from the overseers. Following Catherine’s marriage to Moses Smith, a tobacconist from Hanley, Staffordshire, Ann initially employed an assistant J. Beattie, who like Catherine drew up the bills. Later, Ann took to signing the bills herself, or they were initialled by ‘WB’. At the time of the 1851 Census Ann Keen was living on her own in a property on the south side of Market Street.

Catherine’s marriage to Moses Smith was relatively short-lived. Smith died in 1831. By his will Catherine inherited all his stock-in-trade, money, securities for money, debts household furniture, plate, linen, chattels, and personal estate and effects, upon trust during her natural life. His unnamed children (a son and daughter) were to inherit on Catherine’s death. Catherine Smith and George Keen (Moses Smith’s brother-in-law and assistant in his tobacco business) were appointed the executors. An entry in White’s 1834 directory shows that Catherine continued her husband’s business as a tobacconist in Slack’s Lane, Hanley.

Sources

Staffordshire Record Office

BC/11, Will of Moses Smith of Hanley, Staffordshire, proved 7 March 1832

D20/1/11, St Mary’s Parish Register, Lichfield, 30 June 1823

D286/2/11, Christ Church Parish Register, Lichfield, 9 July 1853

D3767/1/5, Holy Trinity Parish Register, Eccleshall, 31 March 1769, 30 December 1771

LD20/6/6/21, Lichfield, St Mary’s Overseers’ Voucher, Ann Keen, settled 18 June 1822

LD20/6/6/, no item number, Lichfield, St Mary’s Overseers’ Vouchers, 14 August 1822, 25 June 1825, one undated [1825], and 29 June 1826, for example

TNA, HO107/2014, 1851 Census

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), 165, 175, 184, 188, 189

White, William, History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Staffordshire and of the City of Lichfield (Sheffield: 1834), 157, 569

White, William, History, Gazetteer & Directory of Staffordshire, 2nd edn. (Sheffield, printed by Robert Leader, 1851), 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

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

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

The parish of East Hoathly

East Hoathly tithe map, 1839. East Sussex Record Office: TDE 48/1.

East Hoathly is a small village located in central East Sussex. It lies just over four miles south east of Uckfield, off what is now the major route running south eastwards towards Eastbourne. To the north and east the landscape is dominated by the rolling hills of the High Weald and to the south the South Downs. In the eighteenth century the parish encompassed some 2,000 acres of woodland and mixed agricultural land together with numerous ponds. Most of the parish was divided into small farms occupied by tenants renting from local landowners including the wealthy and politically influential Pelham-Holles family.

East Hoathly tithe map, 1839. East Sussex Record Office: TDE 48/1.

During the eighteenth century East Hoathly contained only a handful of houses, largely clustered around the conjunction of roads at the centre of the parish. The church lay just to the south-west of this centre. However, the parish also incorporated a number of small hamlets with a scattering of houses including: Grays, Blackboys, Whitesmiths, the Nursery and Halland. By 1801 the whole of the parish contained only 56 domestic houses, occupied by 76 families. Over the next forty years the number of houses doubled, so by 1841, 119 houses were recorded in the parish. During the same period, 1801-1841, the population of the parish rose from 395 to 607. In 1841 only 31 out of the 607 inhabitants were recorded as having been born outside of the county, suggesting a reasonably stable population with relatively few in-comers.

The Rector

Country Characters No 7, Vicar, Thomas Rowlandson, 1799. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, PID:
digcoll:3996479.

The church and the rector were central to village life, but the clerical living was not particularly generous. By 1872 it was worth only £261 per annum. In addition, the church was in increasingly poor repair and in 1856 it was demolished in favour of a new building. From 1752 to 1794 the rector was Thomas Porter. Porter had followed his brother, Richard, into the living and remained there until his death at the age of 74. He also held the nearby living of Ripe. According to the diarist Thomas Turner, Porter was an outgoing-man, and was often the centre drinking parties that went on into the small hours of the night. At the same time, Porter was also apparently assiduous in performing his clerical duties, although these were admittedly light. There were no more than a dozen baptisms a year during the eighteenth century and sometimes as few as four. But by the nineteenth century, this had risen to between ten and twenty per year. Marriages remained fairly constant at two to four a year, while burials amounted to less than a dozen per year. Porter was also quite diligent in pursuing his extra-clerical business, acquiring significant parcels of land and property in the area.

Thomas Turner (1729-1793)[1]

While in many ways East Hoathly was an unremarkable rural parish in southern England, it is notable as the home of Thomas Turner, shopkeeper and prolific diarist of the mid-eighteenth century. Turner was twenty-one when he first came to the parish in 1750. He married Peggy Slater in 1753 and the first of his surviving diaries date from 1754. Turner initially came to the parish in order to run a small general shop. At first he rented premises in the centre of the village, purchasing the property shortly after 1765. But Turner was much more than just a shopkeeper. He threw himself into parish life and administration. His meticulous accounting was put to good use in service of the village. He briefly kept the local school and later became both a churchwarden and overseer of the poor. He also acted as occasional surveyor, assisted the local tax collector, wrote wills, gave advice and acted in law on behalf of many of his neighbours. All of this was carefully noted in his diaries, together with vivid accounts of the everyday life of the parish. The last surviving volume ends in July 1765.

Occupations

Other than the church, the parish supported the general shop run by the Turner, a small school and at least two public house, one of which was the King’s Head. However, the overseers’ vouchers make it clear that several other craftsmen and women were operating in the parish, including shoemakers and cobblers, a butcher, a miller, carpenters, builders and blacksmiths, together with tailors and seamstresses. These were augmented by local petty officials: for instance the excise officer, postmaster and schoolmaster, most of whom had dealings with Thomas Turner in his capacity as churchwarden or overseer of the poor. In the early nineteenth century there was a slight drift away from the agricultural occupations that dominated the parish workforce, with a growing number concerned with ‘trade, manufacture or handicrafts’. The numbers recorded in this census category grew from 15 families in 1801, to 35 families out of 97 in 1831.

Halland House and the Duke of Newcastle

West front of Halland House drawn in 1783 by S.H Grimm. BL Add MS. 5671 f.47 (no 82)

The largest house in the parish belonged to the Duke of Newcastle. The family seat, Halland House, was located in the hamlet of Halland, and straddled the parish boundary with the adjacent parish of Laughton. By the later 1760s the Elizabethan house was dilapidated and was substantially demolished. What remained, continued to be used as a generously proportioned farm house.

Through most of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries there were regular public open days or celebrations at the house, where both the local gentry and parishioners of all classes enjoyed the hospitality of the Duke of Newcastle and other members of the Pelham-Holles family. Thomas Turner recounted in his diary,

About four p.m., I walked down to Halland with several more of my neighbours, in order for a rejoicing for the taking of Cape Breton, etc., where there was a bonfire of six hundred of faggots, the cannon fired, and two barrels of beer given to the populace, and a very good supper provided for the principal tradesmen of this and the neighbouring parishes,[2]

Despite the attendance of notable members of the aristocracy, judiciary and political allies of the Duke at such events, Turner commented in his diary that the celebrations ‘might be more properly done by distributing something to the poor.’[3] Charitable donations by the aristocracy were commonplace in the eighteenth century and often distributed through the local overseers of the poor including gifts of food and fuel.[4] Thomas Turner was assiduous in noting their distribution in East Hoathly.

The ‘Old Poor Law’

In common with many small rural parishes East Hoathly did not maintain a workhouse and cared for its poor in the community. Pensions were paid to a small group of regular, often elderly or otherwise infirm paupers. Food stuffs, clothing, footwear and fuel formed regular components of parochial support.

The village doctor besieg’d, Thomas Rowlandson. Wellcome Library no. 10978i .

The parish also provided medical care and medicines for the needy poor. A local apothecary or surgeon provided treatment and dispensed medicines when called on to do so by the overseer of the poor.  Occasional ad hoc payments were made for specific items and small sums given to the itinerant poor. At least one parishioner was supported in Bethlem Hospital, an institution for the insane poor in the City of London. A number of illegitimate children and babies were maintained by East Hoathly parish. These infants were boarded out locally and subsequently apprenticed, usually in an adjacent parish. In addition, the parish ensured that repairs were made to cottages and other dwellings that housed their impoverished men and women. Labouring work was given to the able poor particularly when these cottages or the church required maintenance.

In the year ending Easter 1776 East Hoathly raised £199 through the Poor rate.[5] By Easter 1803 this had more than doubled to just over £418. Of this, £358 was spent on relieving the poor and a further £13 on the removal of paupers, overseers’ expenses and legal costs. In 1803 the parish was permanently caring for 22 adults, 3 children under 5 and a further 13 children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Louise Falcini

[1] For a fuller biography see David Vaisey. 2004 “Turner, Thomas (1729–1793), diarist and shopkeeper.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 14 Aug. 2018. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-48266.

[2] Thomas Turner, The Diary of Thomas Turner, 1754-1765, ed. David Vaisey, New edition (East Hoathly: CTR Publishing, 1994), 161.

[3] Turner, 161.

[4] Naomi Tadmor, Family and Friends in Eighteenth-Century England: Household, Kinship and Patronage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 85–89.

[5] To the nearest whole English pound.

Thomas Martin c.1759-1826

Thomas Martin was a man of many parts.  His early life is a mystery, but in 1781 he was married to Margaret Lowthian in Carlisle, and by 1787 was settled in the parish of Dalston.  The couple had six children born in the parish up to 1802, at which point Margaret would have been aged approximately 45.  The Dalston baptism registers give occasional occupational labels to fathers, and Thomas Martin gathered three different designations in a thirteen-year period.  He was identified variously as a cotton manufacturer, a joiner, and a publican, but he is remembered for other skills as well.  He was a salaried overseer for the parish in the 1810s, a workhouse manager in the 1820s, and he may well have had architectural credentials (perhaps in confirmation of his success as a joiner at scale).  He was said to have been the supplier of plans for the first restoration of Dalston church in 1818.

When writing his will, Martin identified himself as an innkeeper.  It is interesting to note, though, the occupations of his children which also ran from the practical to the professional.  Among his sons Richard was a warper (in the textile industry), while George was an innkeeper in Scotland; the son he didn’t mention in his will, Isaac, was a surgeon.   This was a lower-middling family with aspirations to gentility, and numerous family skills.  Even so, the next generation seems not to have lived long enough to capitalise on their father’s investment in this part of Cumberland.  Sons Richard and Isaac both died in the 1830s (aged 48 and 43 respectively), and by 1890 there was no-one in the parish of Dalston named Martin.

Sources: Carlisle marriage of 10 March 1781; Dalston parish registers, baptisms of 1 July 1787, 5 July 1789, 31 July 1791, 17 August 1794, 24 April 1797 and 1 January 1802; J. Wilson (ed.), The Monumental Inscriptions of the Chruch, Churchyard and Cemetery of St Michael’s Dalson, Cumberland (Dalston, 1890), p. 101; Carlisle Archives PROB/1826/W246 will of Thomas Martin 1826; SPC 44/2/49 Dalston overseers’ of the poor vouchers, Thomas Martin legal accounts 6 February 1816-17 March 1817, and 18 October 1819 to 15 October 1821.

 

 

Thomas Gill c.1737-1789. A Pauper Funeral. Skelton Parish

Voucher PR10/V/14

Thomas Gill lived in Lamonby and Leath in Skelton parish. He was described as a labourer in the parish  according to the records available. It is assumed that he took on labouring work most of his life and that his income and ability to make a living would be very dependent on his ability to work. Skelton being a rural area the work would most likely involve that related to agriculture.

Family

He married Elizabeth (Betty) Gibson when he was 37 and she was 21 on 23 November 1774. It is possible that Gill had been married before as Skelton poor law vouchers show that the parish overseer arranged a binding into an apprenticeship for a Thomas Gill’s son in 1772. Whether this was this Thomas Gill’s son is not known. Thomas and Elizabeth had 5 children William (b.1775) , Hannah (b.1776), Mary (b.1779), Margaret (b.1781) and Elizabeth (b.1786.) When Elizabeth was born Gill was referred to as a pauper. By the 10 March 1789 Gill had died aged 49;  his family were presumably left  to struggle on. His son William had already died in 1775 aged 2 months. Hannah, his daughter, was alive in 1799 and had a son, Thomas. His birth is recorded as illegitimate on 23 May of that year. If his wife Elizabeth remarried or how long she lived is unknown.

Funeral Expenses

Assuming the family were unable to pay for his funeral, Skelton parish appears to have borne the cost. The parish  provided similar provisions for the pauper funeral of Edward Tinkler in 1793 as well as others. With similar items on the small bills and petty cash vouchers, the expense for Gill’s funeral included bread from Wm Nicholson,  £0.4s.0d, Ale and Beer from Ann Todd £0.2s.0d,  butter from Wm Hodgson £1.6s.0d, cheese £0.2s.0d, sugar £0.1s.6d, barley 2 quarters £0.0s.5d, cakespice £0.0s.2d, tobacco 2 0z £0.0s.3d, candles £0.0s.4d,  a shroud £0.2s.6d, 10oz tea, a coffin £0.12s.0, and Church fees £0.1s.6d; the total cost being £1.8s.5d.  Who consumed the food is not known. This may not be comparable with a pauper’s funeral in the larger cities. The respect afforded the poor in death may have been dependent on parish finance and those who administered them.

Footnotes

In rural areas the fear of resurrectionists and anatomists was probably less than in the larger cities with medical schools. These schools could procure  bodies for research in unethical ways. The Anatomy Act of 1832 proposed to address this by allowing poorhouses, workhouses and hospitals to give up bodies not claimed by friends of relatives to surgeons and teachers of anatomy. Some argued that this would benefit the poor by reducing the cost of medical advice while also helping medical science. The likelihood is it perpetuated the poor’s fear of the workhouse.

The following is taken from Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society iv, 425-435, Rev R.W. Dixon, ‘Hayton: The Old Registers’.

Before poor law unions the poorhouse Hayton was at Street House. It is to this the agreement between Thomas Wharton of Faugh and the churchwardens refers to. Thomas Wharton  had an agreement with Hayton Parish for a year in 1773 for ‘letting of the poor’ for a year. The Parish provided clothing and apparel. Wharton was to mend their clothes and stockings. £5 being appointed for the purpose. Under 1 year olds to be counted with their mother as one person. He was to provide meat, drink, washing and lodgings for the paupers. He was given a weekly allowance of £0.1s. 2d for each pauper adjusted if they left before the week was out. A yearly salary of £12.10s was given to him. If the pauper died in the house he was to be buried at the expense of the parish. What this provision entailed can only be surmised. This practice may have continued with an arrangement  with Thomas Milbourn of Towtop in 1776 for letting of the poor for one year.

Sources

Cumbria Archives

PR 102/30 Churchwardens and overseers account book 1740-1796. Includes memorandum on agreement for letting of poor for one year to Thomas Milbourn of Towtop p Hayton,Yeoman, 1776

PR 10/V/14 item 12 March 10 1789 Skelton Overseers Vouchers 

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

Liverpool Mercury, 20 January 1832

 Rev R W Dixon Hayton: The Old Registers’, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. vol iv, 425-435

E.S Thomson, Beloved Poison (London: Churchill, 2016)

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

archaeologydataservice.ac.uk

This is a work in progress subject to change.

Ringmer Workhouse

Like many parishes in the second half of the eighteenth century, Ringmer had a small workhouse to accommodate the poor. Unlike many such houses, it has an interesting array of surviving sources, even before we start to unfold the overseers’ vouchers.

The overseers’ accounts for Ringmer contain sporadic (if not consistent) evidence about the occupancy of the house and its layout/contents.  The number of peepill/peapell in the workhouse in 1766, for example ranged from 17 to 34 inhabitants at any one time, always including a count of two for the master and mistress.  An series of inventories surviving for 1790-1806 indicate the structure of the building, which was described as a poorhouse in 1790: at that date it had a governor’s room, Kitchen, back kitchen, brewhouse, bakehouse, pantry and storeroom, plus beds in a ‘chamber’ and in the ‘garret’.  There were thirty occupants at the time suggesting there was little attempt to separate the inmates (men from women, adults from children) at this date.

There is also evidence of the way in which the house was managed. In 1758 John Pring was a salaried master, paid thirty shillings per month for his custodianship in looking after the workhouse. This means that Pring did not have a personal interest in recruiting more workhouse poor, since he was paid a flat rate rather than per head of the pauper residents.  By 1773, though, the parish had changed its approach to workhouse management.  In that year the vestry made an agreement with Jos Peckham, a cordwainer, to keep the poor in the workhouse at the rate of two shillings six pence per head per week.  From this sum Peckham was charged with feeding the poor, and washing or mending their clothes, but not with the purchase of new clothing.  In additional recompense, Peckham could keep whatever earnings or benefit from the labour of the poor he could extract.  This second sort of contract encouraged workhouse masters to fill their house to capacity, and find a form of productive work for the paupers to perform.  We have no record yet of what the paupers thought of the masterships of either Pring or Peckham.

 

Sources: The Keep, PAR 461/31/1-3, Ringmer overseers’ accounts 1754-1821; M. Diggle, ‘Ringmer Workhouse 1787-1806), Sussex History 1:8 (1979), 15-18.

Description of Lichfield from the Universal British Directory

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

Lichfield is a pretty large town, one hundred and seventeen miles from London.

This city is uninfluenced in the election of its members of parliament.

The city has power of life and death within their jurisdiction, a court of record, and a picpowder court. Here is a gaol for both debtors and felons, a free school, and a pretty large well-endowed hospital, for a master and twelve brethren. The county of the city is ten or twelve miles in compass, which the sheriff rides yearly on the 8th of September, and then feasts the corporation and the neighbouring gentry.

The cathedral, which stands in the Close, was originally built about 300. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 766. In 1148 it was rebuilt, and greatly enlarged in 1296. In the Civil Wars it was several times taken. When the civil war broke out the nobility and gentry garrisoned the close and defended it against parliament.

Here are three other churches, one of which St Michael’s, has a churchyard of six or seven acres. In the neighbourhood are frequent horse races.

A bill is now about passing for a canal from Wyrley canal to Lichfield, to join the Coventry canal at Huddlesford. A considerable manufactory of horse-sheetings is carried on here by Mr John Hartwell.

The late Dr Samuel Johnson was born in this city, 1709. His father Michael was a bookseller. He more than once held the office of chief magistrate. When arrived at a proper age for grammatical instruction Samuel was placed in the free school of Lichfield. Mr Garrick, so famous for his talents in the dramatic line, received the first rudiments of his education at the same free school.

Markets here are on Tuesday and Friday.

The principal inns are the George kept by Mr Burton; Swan kept by Mr Luke Ward; and Talbot, kept by Mr Jackson for gentlemen travelling on horseback.

Bankers: Catharine Barker and Son, and Francis Cobb.

Seats in the neighbourhood are Elford Hall, the seat of Lady Ann Andover; Fisherwick Hall, the seat of the Marquis of Donegal; Packington, the seat of Thomas Levett; and Freeford, the seat of Richard Dyott.

Source

Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 3 (London: c.1794)

Frederick Morton Eden on Lichfield in 1795

The following is an edited version of the entry in the second volume of Eden’s State of the Poor.

Lichfield contains three parishes, viz. St Mary’s, St Chad’s and St Michael’s: the first has most houses and inhabitants, but no land; the other two have few houses but a considerable quantity of land.

In 1782 the number of houses in Lichfield was 722, and of inhabitants about 3,555; it is supposed, that, since that period, the population has considerably increased.

In the whole city 408 houses pay the window tax; the number exempted could not be ascertained.

The prices of provisions are: beef and mutton, 5d the lb; veal, 4½d; bacon, 9½d and 10d the lb; milk ¾ of a quart for 1d; butter 1d the lb; potatoes, 4d the bushel; bread flour, 5d the stone; coals, 6d the cwt.

Farms are generally small: the principle articles of cultivation are, wheat, barley, oats, turnips and clover.

The poor are maintained in their own houses: about 23 pensioners, at present, receive £2.17s.6d a week; six of these are bastards: several house rents are paid, and casual reliefs are given to many of the necessitous.

St Mary’s and St Chad’s each have a workhouse. In St Mary’s workhouse there are, at present, 41 Paupers; they manufacture a little blanketing for the use of the house. The bill of fare till very lately included puddings and bread and cheese dinners about 3 days a week. On account of the scarcity of bread and flour the following diet is used: Breakfast—every day, milk pottage. Dinner — Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, meat and vegetables; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, broth and cold meat; Saturday, bread and cheese. Supper—every day, bread and cheese.

It is necessary to observe, that a great part of the other parishes bury at St Michael’s [see separate entry on Thomas Clerk], and children at their own churches: it is owing to this circumstance that burials greatly exceed births [at St Michael’s].

In 2 or 3 small parishes in this neighbourhood, which consist of large farms, there are very few Poor: the farmers, in order to prevent the introduction of Poor from other Parishes, hire their servants for 51 weeks only. I conceive, however, that this practice would be considered by a court of justice, as fraudulent, a mere evasion in the matter, and that a servant thus hired, if he remained the 52 week with his master, on a fresh contract, would acquire a settlement in the parish. August 1795

Source

Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, A History of the Labouring Classes in England, 3 vols (London: 1797), II.

John Summerland (b.1767), Uttoxeter

John Summerland was the son of Joseph and Hannah Summerland. He was born in Uttoxeter in May 1767. He has entered historical consciousness through Michael Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation in which Foucault describes Summerland’s treatment at the Quaker Retreat in York for mental illness. Using William Tuke’s description of John Summerland as a being a man of Herculean size and strength, restrained by chains upon arrival and subsequently rehabilitated through Tuke’s treatment, the case is often present as a pivotal moment in the treatment of mental illness. In 2015, however, Jon Mitchell used the archives of the Retreat to present a different image of the ‘wild’ John Summerland, as a man prone to periods of instability, but also a man capable of reasoned thought, contemplation and conversation.

From the correspondence between the Summerland family and the Retreat, it is evident that his father Joseph, his brother William, and his uncle Samuel Botham, all took an active interest in John’s progress organising his admission, funding his stay and hoping that he could gain useful employment as a gardener. Moreover, in his father’s will provision was made for John’s inheritance to be placed in trust. In the correspondence of Samuel Botham it is revealed that John had recently returned to Uttoxeter from America and whilst both in Uttoxeter and in America he had attended Quaker meetings on a regular basis.

Sources 

Borthwick Institute, University of York, Retreat Archives, RET 1/5/1/7 Correspondence.

Michael Foucault, Madness and Civilisation.

Staffordshire Record Office, BC/11, Will of Joseph Summerland, 29 April 1808; B/C 11, Letters of Administration for William Summerland, Uttoxeter, 13 January 1835.

Jon Mitchell www.blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2015/03/setting-the-record-straight-mania-or-sick-man? accessed 10/07/2016.

www.quakersintheworld.org/quakers-in-action/92  accessed 11/07/2016.

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