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.

John Shaw, Grocer and Tea Dealer, Uttoxeter

John Shaw of Carter Street, Uttoxeter, was principally a grocer and tea dealer with a side line in the manufacture of sewing cotton and linen thread, the latter probably in association with Robert Shaw. Apart from John, the 1818 trade directory lists a number of other Shaws: Robert Shaw, linen and cotton manufacturer, Sheep Market; Mary Shaw, lace worker, Pinfold Lane; and perhaps most significantly because it may have enabled John to access workhouse contracts, a Job Shaw, governor of the House of Industry, Uttoxeter Heath.

Like many nineteenth-century grocers, Shaw carried a range of foodstuffs: loaf sugar, moist sugar, mixed tea, Congou tea, coffee, treacle, ginger, pepper, mustard, rice, saltpetre, black pepper, currants, raisins, and clove pepper. He also stocked soap, candles, tobacco, black lead, soda, whiting, starch and blue.

Shaw was prosperous enough to have illustrated pre-printed billheads such as the one dated 30 November 1835 which provides further evidence of the goods he stocked including tobacco, pickling vinegars, and ‘every description of eating and other oils, butters, hops, seeds, &c’.

There is a stylised westernised depiction of a ‘Chinaman’ dressed in flowing robes and wearing a bamboo dŏulì or rice hat. He is sat by the coast on chest of Fine Hyson tea with his left arm resting on a canister of ‘Turkey and all other Coffees, Cocoa &c’. Behind him is a pagoda, similar to the one at Kew Gardens in front of which is a large six sided, oval jar. Out at sea is a tea clipper.

Representations of Chinamen are seen on other billheads, often in conjunction with other generic figures (see ‘Advertising a Global Outlook’ post), and raises interesting questions relating to national sentiment.

Transporting tea was hazardous, with ships subject to storms, shipwrecks and smuggling. To compensate for erratic supplies to the domestic market, tea was often adulterated, reused and imitated. There was a thriving trade in second hand tea purchased from servants working in grand households, or from hotels to which the unscrupulous added a range of adulterants to ‘improve’ its colour and taste: ferrous sulphate, verdigris, and carbon black, were favourite additives. Such adulteration was widespread and often commented upon, but only occasionally was action taken against those involved: in 1818 eleven people were tried and convicted in London for adulterating tea. But it was not just that adulteration existed but who was believed to be doing the adulteration. Thomas Short’s A Dissertation upon Tea (1730) and John Lettsom’s Natural History of the Tea Tree (1772) both alleged that it was the Chinese. Such accusations grew during the rest of the century, increasing significantly in the nineteenth. The reality was that most of the adulteration was carried out in Britain by domestic dealers and suppliers eager to overcome shortages.

Shaw’s representation of the ‘Chinaman’ as a means of advertising his wares comes just prior to the introduction in the late 1830s of Indian and later Ceylon tea from Britain’s expanding empire. Purchasing and consuming products from the empire was regarded as patriotic; Indian and Ceylon teas were increasingly associated with Britishness whilst Chinese tea was regarded with suspicion. Like the representation of the Chinese figure in ‘Advertising a Global Outlook’, Shaw’s ‘Chinaman’ is presented as placid and unthreatening. It would be interesting to know whether later bills presented by Shaw continued to adopt the ‘Chinaman’ as a sales technique, or whether he had succumbed to national sentiment.


John Burnett, Plenty and Want: A Social History of England from 1815 to the Present Day (London: 1989)

Peter Collinge, ‘Chinese Tea, Turkish Coffee and Scottish Tobacco: Image and Meaning in Uttoxeter’s Poor Law Vouchers’, Transactions of the Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society, XLIX (June 2017)

Frederick Filby, A History of Food Adulteration and Analysis (London: 1934)

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: 1818)

Liza Picard, Dr Johnson’s London: Life in London 1740–1770 (London: 2000)

Erika Rappaport, ‘Packaging China: Foreign Articles and Dangerous Tastes in the Mid-Victorian Tea Party’ in Frank Trentmann (ed.), The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World (Oxford: 2006).

SRO, D3891/6/42/75, Bill to Overseers from John Shaw, 30 November 1835

James Walvin Fruits of Empire: Exotic Produce and British Trade, 1660–1800 (London: 1997)

N.B. This  is a work in progress and will probably be amended as further information from vouchers and other sources becomes available.

Jane Baxter (1792–1867) and the Brick-Makers of Uttoxeter

Uttoxeter had a number of brickworks situated on the Heath near to the workhouse. It is almost certain that most of the bricks were used locally. Indeed, Kingman has calculated that as around 40 per cent of a brick’s cost could be accounted for by its transportation the distance between production site and final destination was often short. The poor law vouchers contain payments for the digging out of clay, for the transport of other raw materials, particularly coal from Stoke-upon-Trent and Cheadle, and for brick production, but not for transportation. The latter costs may have been covered by the purchasers. Pitt’s history of Staffordshire (1817) notes that in the town ‘The houses in general are well built of brick, and commodious. The wharf belonging to the Grand Trunk Canal Company, with several large warehouses enclosed by a brick wall, … has contributed much to the prosperity of this small but flourishing town … There are several neat mansions of brick, built in the vicinity of the wharf’.

Until mechanisation in the nineteenth century, brick-making was both relatively small-scale and seasonal with manufacturers often engaged in other occupations. Clay tended to be dug between autumn and spring, with the actual process of brick-making occupying the summer and autumn months.

The only Utttoxeter brick-layer noted in the 1793 Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture was William Hubbard who also doubled as a maltster. No brick-makers were listed. What is perhaps surprising is that even by the time of Parson and Bradshaw’s 1818 directory although the number of brick-layers had increased there were still no brick-makers listed. John Allen of Balance Hill, John Allen of Pinfold Lane, William Blurton, John Chatfield, William Eglison, William Hubbard, Neville Newbold, and John Walker were all brick-layers. Edward Hooper was both a bricklayer and builder, and more unusually John Tunnicliffe of High Street was listed as a brick-layer, grocer and flour dealer. Thomas Salt is described as the ‘agent for the sale of tiles of all descriptions, fire and floor brick, & Quarrie’s patent water, etc, pipes’. Many of these items are listed amongst the overseers’ vouchers.

The situation had shifted considerably by 1834. Brick-layers included Joseph Blurton, Anthony Chatfield (who crops up many times in the vouchers), Edwin Chatfield, John Chatfield and John Chatfield junior. A number of brick-makers are also listed. They included Clement Baxter, John Hudson, Margaret Parker and (unless this was a place rather than a person) the unlikely sounding Parish Yard. All were located on the Heath. In Uttoxeter were John and William Hales.

Jane Baxter, the daughter of George and Jane Baxter, was baptised on 3 February 1792. Her siblings included Clement (1780–1841), George (1786–1852), James (baptised 13 October 1789), Peter (baptised 17 October 1796) and Edward (1794–1859). George Baxter, a yeoman, died in 1802. In his short, probated will (£100) he left all of his real and personal estate to his ‘loving wife Jane’ for her own enjoyment and disposal. No mention was made of any children. His executors were William Chatfield, yeoman, and William Rogers, gardener (see entry 2 Feb. 2018)

At what point Clement Baxter entered upon the brick trade is unknown. The earliest reference we have is in the 1834 directory. His will of 1841 (£200) described him as a brick-maker. He bequeathed all his real and personal estate to his sister Jane appointing her as his sole executrix. We may ask why Jane was bequeathed the brickworks ahead of her brothers. Although it is often thought that males always inherited businesses before females, this was not necessarily the case. If it was felt that the men in the family were already established in their own occupations, or regarded as feckless or lazy, women often inherited. It may also have been a way of securing an income for the unmarried Jane thus reducing or eliminating her dependence upon the family. She also had practical experience in the brickworks operated by Clement. Her name appears in a number of overseers’ vouchers showing that she was dealing with the accounts. On 14 July 1829 there is a settled bill for 300 bricks costing 8s, whilst in March 1830 she received £5 8s 0d for a delivery of dung. This involvement would have placed her in a good position. She knew who the customers were and more importantly those who paid on time and those who did not. She would have known where raw materials could be obtained and the price to pay for such items.

In both the 1851 and 1861 Census returns Jane Baxter is recorded as being unmarried and living alone on Uttoxeter Heath. In 1851 she is listed as a brick-maker mistress. She is also listed as a brick-maker in White’s 1851 directory alongside Porter and Keates who by then had added brick and tile making to their other activities as grocers, tea dealers, ironmongers, chandlers, hemp and flax dressers, and nail manufacturers.

Following Jane Baxter’s entry in the 1851 Census is the entry for Peter Baxter, a brick maker journeyman; his wife Charlotte and their son Isaac, a cordwainer journeyman, and brick-maker journeyman John Norris. In all likelihood Peter was working for his sister. Whilst Peter was a brick-maker journeyman in 1831 he applied to the overseers for a pair of new shoes for his wife costing 6s. In 1835 he received £1 0s 0d for clothes for an apprentice. Clearly, although in work, his income was insufficient at times. The 1851 Census also lists widow Elizabeth Baxter (69) living on the Heath with her sons Thomas (35) a carter and labourer, and Edward (33) a brick-maker journeyman. Both were unmarried. Elizabeth was possibly the widow of Jane’s brother George. Other brick-makers on the Heath were Thomas Parker and his son Charles described as a brick-maker/servant, and master brick-layer William Godrich.

By the time of the 1861 Census much had changed. Jane was out of business; Peter, now widowed, had become a servant, and Isaac has disappeared from the record. Norris was still a brick maker. Also listed as a brick-maker was G[iddeon?] Prestbury.

Jane died in 1867 and is buried in the churchyard of St Lawrence, Bramshall.


Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes, Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture (1793)

Bramshall, St Lawrence Memorial Inscriptions

Mike Kingman, ‘Brickmaking and Brick Building in Staffordshire 1500–1760’, (Unpublished PhD Thesis, Keele University, 2006)

Mike Kingman, ‘The Adoption of Brick in Urban Staffordshire: the Experience of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1665–1760’, Midland History, 35:1, (2010)

C. C. Owen, The Development of Industry in Burton-upon-Trent (1978)

William Parson and Thomas Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory, 3 vols (Manchester: J. Leigh, 1818), II

William Pitt, A Topographical History of Staffordshire (Newcastle-under-Lyme: J. Smith,1817)

SRO, D3891/1, Uttoxeter Parish Registers

SRO, D3891/6/34/12/040, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 14 Jul. 1829

SRO, D3981/6/36/1/22, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 7 Mar. 1830

SRO, D3891/6/36/6/21, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 20 Nov. 1831

SRO, D3891/6/43/3/7, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 30 Jun. 1835

SRO, D3891/6/42/19, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Vouchers, 6 Oct. 1835

TNA, IR27/360, Court of Probate, Wills and Probate

TNA, H.O. 107/2010, Census 1851

TNA, R.G. 9/1955, Census 1861

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.