Sampson Bartram (1790–1863), Master Blacksmith, Uttoxeter

Bartram’s skills as a blacksmith were called upon for repairs to metalwork and for sharpening tools at Uttoxeter workhouse and brick yard. In January 1831 he was paid a total of £9 6s 10d for such work. A year’s bill for sharpening and mending tools, possibly at the brick yard amounted to £2 14s 0d. An additional £1 15s 5½d was received for a year’s ‘repairs, nails and other metal work for House’, presumably the workhouse. In 1833 he mended and sharpened picks and harrows and in 1835 was paid for repairing tools for stone breaking. A detailed bill of 1835 lists ‘Nails, mending locks, mending a key, mending dung forks, mending of ironwork on alms houses, mended a cow chain, plaits for a wagon, fixed the mangle, mended a pair of stuffers, steeling a brick hammer, 5 dowels, a pair of pincers, window bar repairs, repaired a table, hoop on washing dolly, mended a ladle, mended door handle & mended fire shovel’. He was paid £2 0s 7d.

In March he received £0 3s 0d for repairs and mending locks. On this occasion he was paid by constable James Mills. Sometimes Bartram took in overnight lodgers. In April 1832 he took in Francis Evans and family, William Robson and Thomas Johnson. In September 1832 he was paid £0 3s 0d by the constables of Uttoxeter for 12 nights’ lodgings.

Sometimes receipts were signed by Enoch Bartram. Occasionally, he may have been called upon as a rat catcher.

Bartram was born in Birmingham in 1790. In the 1841 Census Sampson Bartram the elder was listed as living with his sons David, a blacksmith; Sampson the younger, an apprentice joiner; William; and his daughter Hannah in a freehold house in Carter Street, Uttoxeter. Ten years later, Sampson, now 61, was living with his wife Sarah, 55; and William an apprentice blacksmith. By 1861 he was once again listed as a blacksmith. Sarah has disappeared from the record and Sampson was living with William, 30, and Hannah, 27, a housekeeper. The change from blacksmith in 1841 to master blacksmith in 1851 may represent Bartram’s advancement in his profession. The way in which people defined themselves in relation to others, however, in this case through a gradation in status, may also represent one of the ways in which Bartram formulated his identity.

The Census returns reveal only part of Bartam’s family. What follows is supported by documentary material but there are some areas where doubt remains. Bartram married three times. First to Mary (1784–1823) the daughter of John and Mary Allport of Uttoxter. The marriage took place in 1823. Sampson and Mary had at least three children: Enoch (c.1816–1889) who became a blacksmith in Lincoln; David (1817–1899) who moved to Shawnee County, Kansas; and Sampson. There may also have been another child, Amos (b.1820), a cattle drover lodging in Kineton, Warwickshire at the time of the 1851 Census. Bartram’s second marriage was to Priscilla (1807–1838), the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Burton of Uttoxeter. The marriage took place on 3 October 1825 in Stone, Staffordshire. Sampson and Priscilla had two children: William (1831–1905) and Hannah (c.1833–1862). Sampson’s third marriage to Sarah (1783–1858) took place in 1842.


Peter Guillery, The Small House in Eighteenth-Century London, A Social and Architectural History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009),13.

Kansas Territory Census 1865, ks1865-4

Poll Books and electoral Registers, Pirehill South, Uttoxeter, 1832

National Probate Calendar, Sampson Bartram, 11 April 1863

Staffordshire Record Office, D3891/6/34/4/028, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 15 Jun 1829

SRO, D3891/6/35/3/20–21, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 Jan 1831

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/47, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 19 Jan 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/55, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 19 Jan 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/12/55, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 31 Mar 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/6/006, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, Jan–Dec 31 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/1, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 12 Apr 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/2, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 9 Apr 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/11/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, Sep 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/17/1, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 Jan 1833

SRO, D3891/6/40/10/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1834

SRO, D3891/6/41/1/13, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/1/16, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Jan 1835

SRO, D3891/1/7–20, Uttoxeter, St Mary Parish Registers

TNA, HO 107/1007/14 Census 1841

TNA, HO 107/2010, Census 1851

TNA, HO 107/2105, Census 1851

TNA, Census 107/2074, Census 1851

TNA, RG 9/1954, Census 1861

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

Thomas Woolrich (active 1820s-1830s), Chemist and Druggist, Uttoxeter

A bill sent by Thomas Woolrich turns up just once in the overseers’ vouchers for Uttoxeter when, in 1835, he charged 6s for supplying sulphuric acid and a further 6s for manganese. With extensive business interests and multiple income streams, notably as a purveyor of his own ‘horse balls’, as an agent for Sun Life insurance, agent for Heeley and Sons pens, and the supplier of patent medicines, perhaps he had little need to rely on business from the parish overseers. He may also have faced competition from George Alsop and Samuel Garle.

As Woolrich’s business network extended far beyond Uttoxeter, it is no surprise to find that like a number of other residents of the town he was on the provisional committee of the Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield and South Staffordshire, or Leeds, Wolverhampton and Dudley Direct Railway. His claim to fame, however, rested on ‘Woolrich’s improved diuretic horse balls’ available from ‘all respectable medicine vendors in most market towns in the kingdom’. In addition to Uttoxeter, they were also sold wholesale by London agents such as Messrs Barclay & Sons, 95 Fleet Market; Mr Edwards, 66 St Paul’s Church Yard; Sutton & Co., Bow Church Yard; and Butlers’, Cheapside. They could be bought at 73 Princess Street, Edinburgh, and at 54 Sackville Street, Dublin. Closer to home they were sold retail by Drewry & Son, Derby; Whitham, Ashbourne; and Claughton, Chesterfield.

His shop in High Street offered a wide range of patent medicines including John Leeming’s genuine horse medicines; Dr Sibly’s Reanimating Solar Tincture for debility, consumption, nervous complaints, rheumatism, spasms, indigestion, and  lowness of spirits; Barclay’s asthmatic candy; Hayman’s Meredant’s antiscorbutic drops; Lignum’s antiscorbutic drops; Blaine’s celebrated powder for distemper in dogs; and ‘Dr Boerhaave’s red pill no 2 famous for the cure of every stage and symptom of a certain complaint [the] cause of foul ulcerations, [and] blotches’.  Regarding such medicines, Alan Mackintosh notes ‘A few of the supposed inventors were dead and certainly had no real link with the medicine, as in the case of … the enigmatically named Dr Boerhaave’s Red Pill Number Two’.

Woolrich may also have operated an informal registry office for servants. In March 1831 a cook was ‘wanted for a small genteel family where a kitchen maid is kept’. For particulars interested persons should apply to Mr Woolrich. In June two cooks and other domestic servants were wanted in a respectable household near Uttoxeter; a good plain cook of middle aged was preferred. Housemaids and nursery maids seeking positions should enquire of Mr Woolrich, or Mrs Horn and Son, Cheadle. In September a clergyman’s family in a country village wanted a plain cook with a good character reference from her last place. Particulars could be had from Messrs Mort at the Advertiser Office, Stafford, or from Mr Woolrich.

Woolrich subscribed to Thomas Fernyhough’s wonderfully titled Military Memoirs of Four Brothers, Natives of Staffordshire Engaged in the Service of their Country as Well in the New World and Africa, as on the Continent of Europe, by the Survivor.

No specific dates have been given for Thomas Woolrich as there were several in Uttoxeter. In 1787 a Thomas Woolrich apprenticed Francis Woolley as a druggist; another, James Walters was apprenticed in 1790 and a third, William Morley was apprenticed in 1796. Thomas Woolrich senior of High Street, was registered as a voter in the 1832 poll book. Another Thomas, son of Thomas and Sarah Woolrich was baptised in Uttoxeter on 14 April 1782 and was buried 20 September 1853.

Woolrich served as a juror at the quarter sessions in1811 and 1821.


Bradshaw’s Railway Gazette vol. 1, (London: William James Adams; Manchester: Bradshaw and Blacklock, 1845)

Hyde Clark (ed.), The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways (London, John Weale, 1845), pt II, 166

Derby Mercury, 6 Apr, 27 Jul, 2 Nov 1831, 1 Feb, 8 Feb, 9 May 1832

Thomas Fernyhough, Military Memoirs of Four Brothers, Natives of Staffordshire Engaged in the Service of their Country as Well in the New World and Africa, as on the Continent of Europe, by the Survivor (London: 1829)

Alan Mackintosh, The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England: Constructing the Market by the Potency of Print (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) p.244

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, (1818)

Poll Books and Electoral Registers, Totmonslow South, Uttoxeter, 1832

Staffordshire Advertiser 1 Jan, 12 Mar, 26 Mar, 2 Apr, 23 Apr, 11 Jun, 10 Sep 1831

Staffordshire Record Office, D3891/6/41/7/71, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 1 April 1835

SRO, D3891/1/7–20, Uttoxeter, St Mary’s Parish Registers

SRO, Q/RJr, Quarter Sessions Jurors’ Index 1811–1831

TNA, IR 1/34, 1/64, 1/68, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures 1710–1811

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

Samuel Brassington (c.1782–1858), Cooper, Uttoxeter


Overseers’ vouchers survive for Samuel Brassington for the period 1829–1837. For the financial year 1829–1830 he was the parish overseer and in 1831 was a juror at the quarter sessions. In 1824 he had been the parish constable. It was not unusual in Uttoxeter for people to ‘graduate’ from the position of constable to overseer. His role as a supplier of goods and services to the parish, however, potentially brought him into conflict with his position as overseer. As noted in the blog entry ‘Penalties for profiteering overseers’ (October 2017), by a parliamentary Act of 1815 churchwardens and overseers were barred from supplying goods and services (and hence profiting from their positions) during their period in office. There is the possibility that Brassington contravened this Act. One bill, for new buckets for the brick kiln dated April 1829 for ‘cooperage work’, appears to have been settled soon after he took office as overseer. Two other bills suggest also that Brassington may have been circumventing the Act, by supplying goods but not receiving payment for them until after his year of office had ended. Both bills were for miscellaneous items including ladles, buckets and hoops. The first for £2 1s 8d covers the period 26 May–31 August 1829 was settled on 18 April 1830; the second for £0 2s 6d is dated 18 April 1829, but settled on 28 April 1830. From then on no further bills are recorded until 1832.

Some bills took a long time to be settled. One dated 1 July 1828 was not settled until 25 March 1830. Others were presented as part of his responsibility as parish overseer including journeys made to Birmingham and Stafford to bind apprentices.

Tubs, hoops, trenchers, ladles, buckets, barrels, pails and corks were supplied to the work house and to the brick yard on a regular basis.  A typical itemised bill was settled in January 1830. As with most of his supplies, the majority of items were of small value.

2 New Buckets £0.8.0d
1 Barrel 2 Iron Hoops £0.1.4d
21 New Trenchers £0.8.9d
1 New Bowl £0.20d
6 New Trenchers £0.2.6d
1 New bath Tub £1.18.0d
1 Wood Spoon £0.0.4d
1 New Gown £0.3.9d
3 New Cork Bungs £0.1.0d
1 New Sieve £0.0.8d
1 New Lantern £0.2.6.d
1 Barrel 3 Iron Hoops £0.1.9d
2 Rings for breaking stones £0.1.0d
1 New Cork Bung £0.0.4d
1 New Barrel £1.1.0d
1 New Tub £0.5.0d
1 Cup £0.0.4d

Brassington was born in Rugeley, Staffordshire. For much of his life he lived in High Street, Uttoxeter. He married twice; first to Mary (1780–1818) the daughter of Josiah and Mary Piddock of Uttoxeter, and second to Julia (c.1787–1871) from Church Broughton, Derbyshire. Samuel and Mary married in Uttoxeter on 21 April 1814. Samuel and Julia had two children: Julie, baptised on 31 January 1823, and Samuel, baptised in on 26 December 1824

In 1841 Samuel and Julia were living in Uttoxeter’s High Street. No children or servants are listed in the Census. By 1851 Samuel described himself as a cooper employing one man. This was Thomas Allen, a cooper’s assistant, who lived with the Brassingtons. In 1861 Julia, now a widow, was living alone in Balance Street Yard.

In 1871, the year in which she died, Julia, describing herself as an annuitant, was assisted by a servant, Emily Beech. She had moved again to Sheep Market.


W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, (1818)

Poll Books and Electoral Registers, Totmonslow South, Uttoxeter, 1832

SRO, Samuel Brassington, Marriage Bond and Allegation, 1814

SRO, B/C/11, Samuel Brassington, 1858

SRO, D3891/6/33/3/008, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 20 April 1829

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/043, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, July 1829 –15 March 1830

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/066, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 18 April 1830

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/114, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 April 1830

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/44, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 January 1832

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/50, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 28 January 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002f, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 18 September 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002i, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 12 January– 8 October 1832

SRO, D3891/6/38/4002k, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, settled 22 February 1833

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/44, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/50, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 26 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/66, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 26 March 1835

SRO, D3891/6/43/5/8, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 17 February 1836

SRO, D3891/6/45/9/1r, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 11 December 1837

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/055, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 25 March 1830

SRO, D3891/6/36/9/42, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 23 January 1830

SRO, Marriage Allegations and Bonds, Samuel Brassington, 20 April 1814

SRO, Q/RJr, Quarter Sessions Jurors’ Index 1811–1831

TNA, HO/107/1007, Census 1841

TNA, HO107/2010, Census 1851

TNA, R.G. 9/1954, Census 1861

TNA, R.G. 10/2892, Census 1871

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834)

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1851)

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

The Elsmore Family, Great Haywood, Shoemakers, Part Two: Who were the Elsmores?

The Elsmores were Roman Catholics. As a result of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, between 1754 and 1837 all marriages had to take place in the Church of England. The Catholic registers that do survive for this period contain records of illegal marriages. Several Elsmore marriages took place at the parish church of St John the Baptist, Tixall, Staffordshire. White’s 1834 directory notes, however, that adjoining the south wing of Tixall Hall ‘is a modern Catholic chapel, a handsome Gothic structure, with an octagonal tower, and beautiful stained glass windows. The parish church … is a small edifice dedicated to St John the Baptist’. For several centuries Tixall had been a safe haven for Catholics. In 1827 the Clifford family, who lived in the hall, built the chapel. By 1835 they had left the area giving the chapel and an acre of land to the Catholics of the area. In 1845 the chapel was taken down and rebuilt in Great Haywood.

William Elsmore (b.1783) married Susan or Susanna Dale on 13 February 1809. The marriage was recorded as having taken place at St John the Baptist church. Susanna was around six months pregnant at the time. Their son James was baptised 23 July 1809 at St John’s. Susan Dale and her sister Frances were confirmed on 5 May 1802 at Tixall chapel.

For Colwich, the 1841 Census (when ages for adults were rounded down to the nearest five years) lists William (55) a cordwainer, his wife Susanna (50) and five children: Stephen (25), Thomas (20), Mary Ann (16), Frederick (15) and Francis (13). Living next to them was another William Elsmore, (30) a joiner and carpenter; his wife Anne (32), and children Teresa, (4); Louisa, (2) and Ann (1).

The 1851 Census reveals that William, aged 68, was born in Stafford, and Susanna, aged 67, was born in Tixall. Stephen (38), born in Baswich, was a cordwainer like his father. No other children of William and Susannah are listed but living with them were two grandchildren, Cecily aged nine (born in Stowe) and Edward Brian, aged two, born in Campden, Gloucestershire. This may explain the connection with Chipping Campden of Thomas Elsmore, a bricklayer, lodging at an inn in High Street, noted in the 1851 Census.

Another child of William and Susanna was Charles, born 1814. At the time of the 1851 Census he was a ‘post’ boy living in St John Street, Lichfield, along with his brother Francis, an ostler and general servant; and an extended family that included their sister Mary A. Brian (37), a victualler’s wife, born in Great Haywood; her sons William (3), born in Longton; Charles (1), born in Great Haywood; and Henry (6 months), born in Lichfield. Also living at the same address was brother-in-law Edward Guy (36), an agricultural implement maker, born Boston, Lincolnshire; and niece Teresa Elsmore (14), a nurse. Visiting when the census was taken was cousin Harriet Dale (30), born in Tixall.

White’s 1851 directory informs us that William Brian was the innkeeper of the Lord Nelson, St John Street, Lichfield.

James Elsmore (b.1809)

Also in the 1841 Census for Colwich are James Elsmore, a cordwainer, his wife Pamela and their children James (b.1836), Robert (b.1837), Pamela (b.1838) and George (b.1840). James and Pamela (née Wood) were married at Painswick, Gloucestershire, on 15 July 1833.

In the 1871 Census James (61), a master cordwainer employing one man, and Pamela (60) and two of their children, Monica, aged 25, a machinist and Francis, aged 15, a cordwainer were all living next to Great Haywood Catholic school and chapel. On the other side of them were William Elsmore, (60) a joiner and carpenter; his wife Anne (67), daughter Martha, (28) a certified schoolmistress; son William (26) also a joiner and carpenter, and a grandson, Francis (3), born in Broughton, Yorkshire.

Jane, Brian and Ann Elsmore

1841 Census for Great Haywood at Norton Land are Henry and Mary Yates and their children John and Ann; and a Mary Elsmore (30). Henry was an agricultural labourer. Next to them at Swansmoor Farm were Robert Cliff [?] aged 70, a farmer; Jane Elsmore (60); Jane Elsmore (26); Brian Elsmore (24); and Ann Elsmore (20).

In 1861, at Swanmoor Farm, Colwich, were Brian Elsmore, (47) farmer of 114 acres employing one labourer and one boy; and Brian’s sisters Jane (49) and Ann (44).

White’s 1834 directory notes that Swanmoor was three miles north-west of Colwich with two large farms. One belonged to Sir T. A. Clifford, constable, and the other to William Moore.

George Elsmore (b.1814)

In 1861, at Billington, Bradley, lived George Elsmore (47), a cordwainer; wife Ellen, (38); Thomas (12), a cordwainer; and Ann (9).

By 1871 George Elsmore (57), born at Little Haywood, his wife Ellen (48), born Stafford, and their children (all born in Bradley) William (16); Thomas (22), an indoor farm servant; Ann Eliza (19); George (18), a ‘farmer’s son’; Ellen (15); Elizabeth (13); Emily Jane (11); Alice (8); and John (5) were still resident at Billington, Bradley.

By the next census (1881) many of George’s and Ellen’s children were no longer living in the family home. George (67) and Ellen (58) were living with their unmarried son William (26), an agricultural labourer; and a grandson Edward B. Elsmore (5) in Berry Ring, Bradley.

Joseph Elsmore (Farmer)

In 1826 Joseph Elsmore of Swanmoor was appointed as a juror for the Quarter Sessions.

Joseph Elsmore (b.1814)

Joseph was born in Fradswell and became a farm bailiff in the parish of St Andrew, Shifnal, Shropshire, living at Hatton School. His wife Elizabeth (b.1823) was the school mistress and was assisted by their daughter Margaret (b.1857). Living with them was Herbert Merriman (b.1853), and agricultural labourer; and Richard Wedge (b.1861), a groom and domestic servant.

Thomas Elsmore (b.1821)

In 1841 in the parish of St Mary, Stafford, shoemaker Joseph, born around 1821, was living with his wife Mary and their two children William, aged two; and Bernard, aged one.

Joseph Elsmore (b.1821)

Living in the same street in Stafford as Thomas Elsmore (b.1821) was shoemaker Joseph, his wife Caroline and their son Thomas, aged one.

Frederick Elsmore (b.1828)

Like his father William, Frederick became a shoemaker. He appears to have moved around a great deal. In 1841 he was an apprentice shoemaker in Stafford living in the household of his master Samuel Mountford. In 1851 he was lodging in St Peter’s parish Derby. Ten years later he had moved to Walsall Wood. He was still a shoemaker and still living in digs.

Robert Elsmore (b.1784)

In 1851 at Mavesyn Ridware, Staffordshire, Robert Elsmore (67), born in Colwich and his wife Sarah (51) were in receipt of parish relief. Their 14-year-old daughter Rebeccah was dressmaker’s apprentice, and their 11-year-old-son Henry was an agricultural labourer.

William Elsmore (b.1816)

Living at Ellastone, Staffordshire, were William Elsmore (35) a bookkeeper to a builder, (born in Bradley, Staffordshire); his wife Charlotte (42) born in Ellastone, and their children William H. (12), born in Colwich; Bryan T. (9); Jane (7); Frederick J. (4); and Louisa (1). The last four children were all born in Ellastone.

John Elsmore (b.1814)

John Elsmore was born in Great Haywood. By the time of the 1851 Census he was a widowed a farm labourer living in Armitage. His daughter Elizabeth (b.1828) was a laundress, and his son, Thomas (b.1829) was a farm labourer.


Birmingham Archdiocese Archives, P162/1/2, Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths, Roman Catholic Parish Marriages, 1798–1853

Gloucester Archives, P244, IN 1/16, Gloucestershire Anglican Parish Registers, Painswick

SRO, Q/Rjr/1826, Quarter Sessions Jurors Lists (Staffordshire Name Index)

The National Archives, ‘How to look for records of Catholics’

TNA, HO 107/994/11, Census 1841

TNA, HO, 107/1010/1, Census 1841

TNA, HO, 107/1999, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2014, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2015, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2076, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2143, Census 1851

TNA, HO, 107/2146, Census 1851

TNA, RG, 9/1908, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 9/1909, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 9/2018, Census 1861

TNA, RG, 10/2819, Census 1871

TNA, RG, 10/2820, Census 1871

TNA, RG, 11/2634, Census 1881

TNA, RG, 11/2687, Census 1881

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834)

William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1851)

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

Plans for a New Workhouse at Uttoxeter 1838

Following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, many new workhouses were constructed by the guardians of the poor in parishes across the country. The Uttoxeter Union placed notices in local newspapers inviting interested parties to submit plans. The following notice appeared in the Derby Mercury on 14 March 1838.

Uttoxeter Union

Workhouse Plans

The Board of Guardians of this Union hereby give Notice, that they are prepared to receive Plans for the above Building. It is required that each Architect should send in two Plans – one for altering and enlarging the present Workhouse, situate at Uttoxeter; and another Plan for an entirely new one, each to contain accommodation for 200 Paupers, with separate estimates of the expense of each; and also an estimate of the value of the present Workhouse as old materials to be converted to the use of a new building. The Architect whose Plan is adopted by the Board will be employed to superintend the erection. The Plans are to be sent in (free of expense) addressed to ‘The Clerk of the Uttoxeter Union’ on or before the 20th day of March next. Dated at Uttoxeter, the 22d day of February, 1838.

Sandon, Staffordshire Bastardy Records

Sandon Poor Law Documents Reference D22/A/PO/1-2 in Stafford Record Office.

These may be the only references to the Fathers of the children as no Father is recorded in the All Saints, Sandon Parish Records.  (B.B. is probably abbreviation for Base Born)

Item 65. The examination dated 6 July 1811, of Sarah Browning of the parish of Sandon, singlewoman.  On the 16 June 1811 she was delivered of a male bastard child who is likely to become chargeable to the parish.  John Wright farming Bailiff did get her with child.  All Saints, Sandon: Baptism 16 June 1811, Samson Browning B.B. son of Sarah Browning.

Item 66. Examination of Margaret Hind of Sandon dated 4 Jan 1823.  Margaret Hind was delivered of a male bastard child who is likely to become chargeable to the parish. Richard Tomlinson of Sandon, serving man did get her with child. All Saints, Sandon: No baptism has been found for a child to Margaret Hind/Hine or Tomlinson however there is a burial of an infant William Hine on 9 Aug 1828.

Item 67. Examination of Ann Worsey of Sandon, dated 7 June 1823. She was delivered of a male bastard child on 3 May 1823 who is likely to become chargeable to the parish. George Simms late of Salt Labourer did get her with child. All Saints, Sandon: Baptism of William B.B. son of Anne Worsey of Sandon, Servant.

Item 68. Examination of Sarah Trundley of Sandon, widow, dated 21 June 1823. On 23 May 1823 she was delivered of a male bastard child at Gilpel in the Parish of Sandon who is likely to become chargeable to the Parish.  Samuel Tagg of Tillington in said county, Serving man, did get her with child. All Saints, Sandon: No Male baptism found but there is a baptism on 8 June 1823 for Marcia B.B. daughter of Sarah Trundley of Hardywick, Serving woman.

Item 69 Examination of Mary Hall (at Stafford?) 2 Feb 1724/5 She was delivered of a male bastard child within the parish of Sandon.  William Astbury doth acknowledge himself to be the Father.  William Astbury agrees to pay six pence every week that the child is with her. All Saints, Sandon: Baptism on 21 Feb 1724/5 of Johannes son of Maria Hall.

Item 70 Bond of Indemnity.

Ann Hassall deceased was delivered of a male bastard child named Charles in Sandon Parish on 5 May 1748 which is Chargeable to the Parish of Sandon. Charles Hassall of Caverswall Parish yeoman, agreed in Consideration of the sum of £6 6s 0d to save the parish harmless of charges for 12 years.  All Saints, Sandon: Baptism 15 May 1748 Charles Hassall s/o Ann Hassall and John Askey.

Ann does not appear to be buried in Sandon but there is a burial for Hannah d/o Charles Hassall in Caverswall on 26 Mar 1750

The pre-history of the zero-hours contract

Vouchers for the parish of Sandon contain a quantity of settlement examinations, the potted biographies of ordinary working people that chart their employment and rate-paying past. The examination of Jesse Harris taken on 24 August 1813 (exactly 205 years to the day before this blog post) offers a curious side-light on the working life of ostlers.  Harris had been born in Cheadle, Staffordshire and was not apprenticed to any trade. Instead he made a living as a pot-boy and later as a  ‘hostler’.  In the latter capacity he took care of the horses belonging to the customers of an inn or coaching house, perhaps by feeding and rubbing them down, or seeing that they were accommodated in stabling suitable to their owner’s status.  But the life and particularly the income of an ostler was a precarious one.  Harris’s settlement examination refers to ‘the usual manner of hiring Hostlers, Viz to have board and lodging, no wages but such perquisites as the customers pleased to give him’.  At the same time he had no fixed term of employment.  Jesse Harris must have been reasonably adept at his job, however, as he held down the post of ostler at the White Hart in St Albans Hertfordshire for nearly six years before traveling back to Staffordshire.

Betley in 1834

Abridged from White’s Directory of Staffordshire.

Betley is one of the smallest and pleasantest market towns in the county, consisting of one wide street, on the Nantwich Road, 7½ miles, west north west of Newcastle-under-Lyme, near the confines of Cheshire; the boundary line between the two counties extending here through the middle of a fine lake of 80 acres, called Betley Mere, abounding in pike, perch and other fish. The appearance of the houses is uncommonly neat, and the town is greatly ornamented by two very handsome seats, Beltey Hall and Betley Court, the former of which is the residence and property of George Tollet esq and the latter of Miss Fletcher.

The parish contains about 1200 acres of land and 870 inhabitants. Mr Tollet is lord of the manor and the other principal proprietors are Sir T. F. F. Boughey, who has a large estate here, and the Earl of Wilton, who owns Betley Mere.

The market on a Friday has long been of such trivial consequence, that it may be said to be obsolete, but a large cattle fair is held here on July 31, and another is about to be established, to be held yearly in May. The parish wake is on the first Sunday after October 6.

The church, though inferior to many in the neighbourhood, deserves notice, as affording the earliest attempt at Gothic architecture in this kingdom.

The Methodists have a small chapel in town; and the parishioners have the benefit of an endowed school.

A yearly rent charge of £4 4s for apprenticing poor children of Betley is paid out of land called Rushy Heys, being purchased for that purpose with £75, left in 1674 by William Palmer. The poor parishioners have the following yearly doles, viz 10s as the interest of £10 left by Joseph Cope in 1692; 40s for bread, 30s for clothing, and 40s for schooling, left by Marmaduke Jolly; 10s for bread left by Richard Gorton; and 4s for bread left by William Abnet.

The school was rebuilt partly by subscription, in 1826, and has four acres of land. It is now conducted on Dr Bell’s system, and in it is kept a parochial library of 200 volumes.

Here is also opened, once a month, a branch of the Pirehill Savings Bank, which has its principal establishment at Stone.


William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834), 616–17

Yoxall in 1834

Abridged from White’s, Directory of Staffordshire.

A large and well-built village in a pleasant valley near the south western border of the enclosed forest of Needwood, seven miles north-north east of Lichfield upon the Ashbourne Road. It was anciently a market town. The parish includes several hamlets and scattered houses and contains 1582 inhabitants and 4791 acres. The church is an ancient Gothic fabric dedicated to St Peter.

Two cattle fairs are held each year on 12 February and 19 October and a feast or wake on the first Sunday in July.

The hamlets in Yoxall parish are Hoar Cross, Longcroft, Hadley End, Morry, Olive Green and Woodhouses. Hoar Cross Hall, now the seat of H. C. Meynell esq, was anciently the residence of the Willes family and was rebuilt by its late possessor Lord Scarsdale and used as a hunting lodge. Longcroft Hall is the seat of Mrs Arden. At Morry is a large tape mill established about 40 years ago. It produces15 cwt of tape each week. Yoxall Lodge has long been the residence of the Rev Thomas Gisborne.

The parish possesses many valuable benefactions including:

The Town Lands consisting of about 24 acres, let for upwards of £50 a year have been held in trust for the benefit of the parish for more than two centuries. In a copy of the court rolls for this manor, the rents are declared to be for the repairs of Trent Bridge, Hall Bridge and the Church of Yoxall and for the funding of an armed man for the service of the king, or for any other necessary uses for the village of Yoxall as should seem expedient to the ‘major part of the better sort of inhabitants’. But 20s a year is paid out of the rents as the interest of legacies left to the poor by three persons named Robotham, Bell and Sutton.

The Church Lands comprise ten acres, let for £17 7s a year, which is applied by the churchwardens in aid of the church rate.

The Free School was rebuilt by subscription, about 1818, and founded in 1695 by Thomas Taylor. Here is also a Girls’ National School, built in 1817, by subscription.

In 1690 Richard Crosse bequeathed 22 acres calle Bigg Car, for the maintenance of six widows of deceased parishioners.


William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (Sheffield: 1834), 470–72.