Thomas Parker of Uttoxeter: Notes on a Possible Scandal?

From 1815 the law forbade officers of the Poor Law from profiting from their civic positions by awarding contracts to themselves for the supply of goods and services. Thomas Parker was master of Uttoxeter workhouse in the early 1830s, but the poor law vouchers show that he was also charging the parish for goods supplied to the workhouse from his grocery business. In themselves the majority of goods are typical of those supplied by other grocers, but one item caught our attention: copperas (ferrous sulphate). This was a favourite ingredient used to ‘revive’ used tea leaves by boiling the leaves with the copperas. This set me thinking about other ingredients that were used to adulterate food and drink. Many such as cocculus indicus (an extract of the South East Asian fish berry containing a poisonous picro-toxin related to curare), opium, and oil of vitriol (dilute sulphuric acid) were illegal and harmful. Others including liquorice, treacle, pepper and ginger were often used to add flavour to beer. Although not harmful, they were cheaper substitutes for ingredients such as malt and hops. Uttoxeter workhouse produced beer, bought malt, hops, and barm to brew (fermented froth produced during the malting process); there are frequent purchases of liquorice, treacle, pepper and ginger. Were the workhouse masters using such ingredients in a fraudulent capacity?


SRO, D3891/6/34/9/10a, settled bill to Thomas Parker, 4–29 October 1829

SRO, D3891/6/37/2/8, handwritten invoice, Michael Clewley, 31 May 1831

SRO D3891/6/37/3/10, handwritten invoice Bagshaw and Son, 9 April–28 May 1831

Nancy Cox, Retailing and the Language of Goods 1550–1820 (London: Routledge, 2016)

Peter Shears, ‘Food Fraud – A Current Issue but an Old Problem’, Plymouth Law Review (2008)

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

Description of Wednesbury from the Universal British Directory

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

Wednesbury is a market town, eight miles from Birmingham, six from Wolverhampton, three from Walsall and five from Dudley. The church is a very fine old Gothic structure. This place is rendered famous for its coal, the best in the kingdom for smiths work, on account of its extreme heat. It runs from three to fourteen yards in thickness, which makes it very valuable to its respective owners, who clear from one to three hundred pounds a week from the sale of that article only. This place also produces that sort of iron ore called blond-metal, used to make nails and horse shoes, and all sorts of heavy tools, as hammers, axes, &c. There are several vessels of diverse sorts made here, which are painted with a reddish sort of earth dug hereabouts, which they call slip. One of the collateral branches of the Birmingham Canal enters this parish about half a mile, to some coal mines not yet opened, and to the iron-works of Messrs. Samuel and John Hallen, iron masters. About two miles from hence are the very extensive iron-works of John Wilkinson, Esq. at Bradley Moor. Its principal manufactories are, guns, coach-springs, coach-harness, iron axel-trees, saws, trowels, edge-tools, bridle-bits, stirrups, nails, hinges, wood-screws, and cast iron goods. Enamel paintings are also done here in the highest perfection and beauty.

Here are three meeting houses, namely, Presbyterians, Quakers and Methodists.

The mail from Ireland, Shrewsbury, and a great part of Wales, passes and repasses through this place every day: the post office is open at all hours.


Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory, vol. 4 (London: 1796)

George Foster (1788-1845), Gardener and Seedsman, Uttoxeter

George Foster supplied the parish overseers with an extensive range of seeds and plants for the workhouse garden. One bill for February 1833 consisted of:

6 Quarts Beans,  6 Pints Peas £0.2.10d
4oz Onion, 3oz Carrots,  Turnip 2, Lettuce 2, Celery 2, Savoy 3 £0.0.9d
Leek 6, Radish 4, Parsley 2 £0.1.0d
Quart Green Beans, Carrots 4oz £0.0.11d
100 Plants £0.0.9d
300 Winter Plants £0.2.3d
4oz Early Turnip £0.0.8d
100 Savoy Cabbage £0.0.9d
Score Cauliflowers £0.0.6d
2 Score Broccoli, 6oz Cabbage seed £0.1.6d
½oz Winter Cabbage £0.0.4d
200 Strong Quick Cabbage £0.3.0d
100 Strong Quick Cabbage £0.1.6d

Another bill for beans, onions, leek seeds and cabbage, costing £2 3s 6d, was submitted in March 1830.

Listed as resident in Carter Street in the 1818 directory, Foster had removed to Smithy Lane by 1834.

George, the son of William and Mary Foster, was baptised on 10 August 1788. He married Hannah Martin at St Mary’s, Uttoxeter, on 13 July 1816. Hannah was older than George. The 1841 Census, when Foster’s address was given as ‘Yew Tree’ (the same as that given in Pigot’s directory of 1835), gives George’s age as 52 and that of Hannah as 65. The instructions to Census enumerators were that the ages of people above the age of 15 should be rounded down to the nearest five years. This may have happened in Hannah’s case, but William’s age was recorded accurately. Also living with the Fosters was Joseph Martin, probably Hannah’s brother. He was aged 70 and described as being of independent means.

In his will, dated 29 February 1840, Foster’s dwelling house near Smithy Lane, Uttoxeter and an additional dwelling house, garden and croft and land in the possessions of John Burton and James Lassetter together with all other property, monies, securities, goods, chattels, rights, credits and personal estate were bequeathed to his wife. Hannah was appointed his executrix. His probated estate did not exceed £100.


J. Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Derbyshire to Wales] (1835)

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

SRO, B/C/11, George Foster of Uttoxeter, 23 April 1845

SRO, D3891/6/42/184, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 15 Feb 1833

SRO, D3891/6/36/6/69, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 24 Mar 1830

TNA, HO 107/1007/14, Census 1841

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

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

Archangel Mats is not a Swedish Tennis Player

Archangel mats appear a number of times in the overseers’ vouchers for Uttoxeter prompting us to ask what they were and what they were used for.

Archangel mats (sometimes referred to as Russian or bass mats in the vouchers) were produced in substantial numbers and exported through the port of Archangel averaging 905,000 pieces annually in the period 1837–1842. The mats, made from sedge and flags (aquatic plants with long narrow leaves), were durable and close textured. They had several uses including for packing around household furniture when moving and for covering trunks and cases. They were supplied to Uttoxeter’s brickyard where they may have been used to protect the clay bricks whilst they were being dried out before firing. They were also supplied to the workhouse garden where they would have been used to protect fruit trees and to cover cold frames and cloches to protect young and tender plants from frost and bright sunlight early in the growing season. Aquatias noted that, ‘Experienced growers only spread the mats when the bell-glasses turn white with frost, and take them away as soon as the glass is thawed. To save the trouble of shading with mats, certain growers prefer shading with limewash’.

Gardener and nurseryman William Rogers (see separate entry) supplied mats on three occasions between 1824 and 1834. On the last occasion ‘24 large Russia mats’ were supplied at a cost of £1 18s 0d. Rogers appears to have been making a decent profit on this transaction as in the early 1840s Archangel mats were being sold on the London market at £3 10s per 100 including duty at five per cent. Two years earlier Porter and Keates had supplied two dozen Archangel mats for £1 13s 0d.


P. Aquatias, Intensive Culture of Vegetables on the French System (1913. Carlisle, Massachusetts: Applewood Books, 2009)

Graham Brooks, ‘Industrial History of Cumbria, brick-making’, accessed 10/01/18

J. R. McCulloch, A Dictionary, Practical, Theoretical and Historical of Commerce and Navigation (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1844)

SRO, D3891/6/32/4/11, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 31 Mar 1826

SRO, D3891/6/32/18/4, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 4 Aug 1824

SRO, D3891/6/39/5/15, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 31 March 1832

SRO, D3891/6/40/10/9, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 31 Jan 1834

The Tradesman or Commercial Magazine, vol.11 (July–December 1813) (London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1813)

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

John Dumolo (d.1840) Plumber and Glazier, Uttoxeter

John Dumolo of Uttoxeter supplied the parish overseers with a range of goods and services including glass for the workhouse, lamp black, oil, putty, paint of various colours, solder, turps, lead, red lead and buckets. Charging for his labour, he repaired glazing (including window casements), pointing and leading, repainted when required and made several repairs to a pump (including a valve). Vouchers survive for Dumolo for the period 1826 to 1837. His last receipt for January 1837 gives a good flavour of the range of goods and services he provided over the years.

Pint Black Paint, Pot & Tool £0.1.0
Pint of Oil £0.0.7
Pint of Lamp Black £0.0.8
1 Pint Glue, 1 Pint Lamp Black £0.1.4
1½ Pints Salmon Colour, Glue £0.0.8½
5 Squares Crown £0.1.10½
3 Squares Common £0.1.1½
4½ Ft New Leaded £0.2.½
12 Squares common £0.4.6
Repairing Valve to Pump £0.2.6
1 Man ¾ day to do £0.2.9


Although these amounts were not enormous, Dumolo’s contact with the parish overseers provided him with regular repeat business. He was also paid for repairs, including glass, to Doveridge workhouse. This is one of the few instances where we find a business getting work from more than one parish.

The Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices reveals that in 1796 plumbers Elizabeth and William Dumolo apprenticed Thomas Mollatt and in 1805 John and Elizabeth Dumolo apprenticed John Colclough.

Aside from business, John Dumolo and a Miss Dumolo each contributed £0-10-0 to the British and Foreign Bible Society (Uttoxeter Branch) and in June 1831 Dumolo declared his support for the parliamentary reform bill.

John Dumolo left an extensive will and appointed his friends Thomas Woolrich, surgeon and druggist; William Smith, saddler; and William Smith mercer and draper, as trustees.

Whilst John Dumolo made provision for a number of his relatives, it was not an equal division. Perhaps he had already made some in-life gifts. The chief beneficiaries were Mary Ann Kimber and Edward Kimber, the children of his sister Ann.  They were bequeathed his house in High Street, Uttoxeter together with the grates, cupboards, and other fixtures, with the shops, his five seats in the pew in the church, and his land at Uttoxeter Heath. Property in High Street in the occupation of hosier Joseph Roe went to Mary Ann Kimber

Rents and profits from part of his estate were to be used to provide annuities of £5 each to his sisters Ann Kimber and Elizabeth Salt. The stock-in-trade and working tools of his business were left in equal shares to Elizabeth Salt and Edward Kimber. If Elizabeth died before John Dumolo her husband Rupert Salt, should he be living, was to receive Elizabeth’s share of the stock and tools. The business itself was to be continued by his brother-in-law Rupert Salt and his nephew Edward Kimber in an equal partnership for their mutual benefit. John Dumolo’s household goods, furniture, plate, linen and china were bequeathed to Mary Ann Kimber for her own absolute use; his books, wine and other liquors were left to Mary Ann, Rupert and Edward in equal shares.

Dumolo’s money, securities and book debts, his farming stock, horse and other personal effects were to be gathered in where necessary, sold and disposed of to settle his debts and pay his funeral and probate expenses. Any residue was to be placed at interest on mortgages or securities. The income and dividends arising were to be divided equally between his two sisters.  It is only after this provision that it becomes apparent that there were other relatives of John Dumolo. After their deaths income and dividends arising were to be divided between Rupert Salt, Mary Ann Kimber, nephews Thomas Kimber, William Kimber, William Dumolo, his nieces Blanche and Louisa Dumolo and grocer George James Kimber, the son of his nephew Thomas Kimber. No mention is made of the parents of the Dumolo nephews and nieces.

The last part of Dumolo’s will appears to be missing.


Derbyshire Record Office, D1197 A/PO 1492, Doveridge Overseers’ Vouchers, 29 April 1834–14 Feb 1835

The Ninth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society (London: J. Tilling, 1813)

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

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 2: Nottinghamshire–Yorkshire and North Wales] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828)

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

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

Staffordshire Advertiser, June 1831

Staffordshire Record Office (SRO), D3891/6/32/19/4, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 2 Aug 1828

SRO, D3891/6/32/19/6, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 22 Sep 1826

SRO, D3891/6/33/3/010, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, Apr 1828–22 Apr 1829

SRO, D3891/6/34/11/005, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 18 May–9 Nov 1829

SRO, D3891/6/35/3/48, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 27 Jan 1831

SRO, D3891/6/37/10/34, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 12 Jan 1832

SRO, D3891/6/39/13/7, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 25 Jan 1833

SRO, D3891/6/40/10/21, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 25 Jan 1834

SRO, D3891/6/41/1/22, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 17 Jan 1835

SRO, D3891/6/44/54, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 2 Jan 1837

SRO, D3891/6/45/9/1p, Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, 21 Dec 1837

TNA, PROB11/1921, John Dumolo, 23 Jan 1840

TNA, IR1/36 and IR1/40, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices, 4 Feb 1795, 22 Jan 1805

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

Thomas Moore (1801–1865), butcher, Tettenhall

White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire (1834), lists four butchers in Tettenhall: Charles Hayward, Thomas Matthews of Tettenhall Wood, John Moore, and Thomas Moore of Compton. William Nicholls, victualler and butcher is listed in Parson and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory.

Thomas Moore (1801–1865), most likely the son of Thomas and Mary Moore who married at St Michael’s and All Angels, Tettenhall, in 1794, was married to Sarah (b.1799) from Claverley, Shropshire. Between them they had nine children Harriet (b.1825); William (b.1827) who became a butcher; Ann (b.1828) and Ellen (b.1831)  who became servants; Sarah (b.1832); Elizabeth (b.1834); Thomas (b.1836); Joseph (b.1840) and Charlotte (b.1841). Thomas was buried in St Michael’s and All Angels, Tettenhall, on 13 March 1865. As butchers were generally amongst the better off shopkeepers, it is perhaps a little surprising to find two of Moore’s children listed as servants in the 1841 Census. More usually they might have been expected to work within the family business. By the time of the 1861 Census the Moores had moved to Tettenhall Wood and only two of Thomas’ and Sarah’s children were still living at home: William and Charlotte. Both were unmarried.


TNA, HO 107/998 Census 1841

TNA, HO 107/2017 Census 1851

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, Part 3 (1818), 41

Staffordshire Record Office, D1364/1/18, St Michael’s and All Angels, Tettenhall, Parish Register.

Staffordshire Record Office, Tettenhall Workhouse Purchases 12 Apr 1825 – 5 Apr 1827 Tettenhall St Michael’s and All Angels Burials 1824–1856.

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

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.

Thomas Clerk (1758–1836), and other Gardeners and Seedsmen, Lichfield

Thomas Clerk and his wife Betty (1762–1840) lived in Bird Street. They had three children: Thomas (b.1796), Elizabeth (b.1801) and Frances (b.1804). All the children were baptised at St Mary’s church in the centre of Lichfield. St Michael’s parish register, however, notes that ‘Thomas Clerk of Bird Street’ was buried on 4 July 1836. He does not appear to have left a will. Betty was also buried at St Michael’s. For an explanation of why the burials of Thomas and Betty took place at St Michael’s see the entry on Lichfield extracted from Frederick Morton Eden’s State of the Poor.

Between 1823 and 1832 Clerk was one of two regular suppliers of plants and seeds to St Mary’s workhouse, Sandford Street; the other was Joseph Sedgewick of Boar Street. The workhouse leased its garden from a Mrs Simpson. This may be Mrs Maria Simpson of St John Street, listed in White’s directory.

Between them Clerk and Sedgewick supplied mustard, cress, radish, onion, lettuce, cabbage, Savoy cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, parsley, leeks, Windsor and long pod beans, Altrincham carrots, Prussian and imperial peas, celery, turnip, early turnip, and Cockney potatoes, an early-cropping variety. On occasion Maria Sedgewick took payment instead of Joseph.

Pigot’s directory notes that the grounds around Lichfield produced ‘a great abundance of vegetables’, but lists only Clerk and Segdewick as nurserymen and seedsmen. There were, however, a large number of gardeners in Lichfield. White’s 1834 directory lists 32 in all. Twelve of them had addresses on Green Hill, and a further six were located in Sandford Street. Of all the gardeners listed, only Clerk was also listed in Pigot’s directory as a seedsman.

Occasionally, other suppliers of seeds and plants submitted bills to the workhouse. Of these, Jackson and Nichols appear in White’s directory, whereas George Sandford, James Bird, Joseph Mould, Winslow, and Handley do not. In 1826 James Bird billed the workhouse for ‘Potatoes for the workhouse garden’; the money was received by Elizabeth Bird. Seed potatoes were delivered to the garden by Handley and Winslow in 1834. In the same year George Sandford supplied 150 celery plants. Samuel Jackson of Market Street supplied early gem, early beans, onion and carrot seed, mustard and cress, radish and lettuce seed, between 11 February and March 27 1835.


Staffordshire Record Office

D20/1/3, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Parish Register

D27/1/8, D27/1/10, D27/1/16, D27/1/18 Lichfield, St Michael’s, Parish Register

LD20/6/6/3, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Mrs Simpson, rent

LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Thos Clerk, 30 May 1823

LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Thos Clerk, 29 June 1824

LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Thomas Clerk, 9 March–17 May 1825 settled 30 June 1825

SRO, LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, James Bird, settled 1 August 1826

LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Thomas Clerk, 8 March 8 Mary 1826 settled 5 February 1827

LD20/6/7, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, J. Sedgwick, 20 March 1832;

LD20/6/7, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, J. Sedgwick, 7 April 1831–17 December 1832

LD20/6/7, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, April-June 1834

LD20/6/7, no item number, Overseers’ voucher, Lichfield, St Mary’s, George Sandford, 1834

LD20/6/6, no item number, Overseers’ Vouchers, Lichfield, St Mary’s, Samuel Bird, 1835[?]

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory for 1828-29, Cheshire, Cumberland [&c.] (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co.)

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

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