Parish Workhouses up to 1834

English workhouses have their origins in sixteenth-century European ideas, when anxieties about vagrancy and unemployment prompted the generation of compulsory work schemes.  The first experiment in this vein in the British Isles was founded at the former palace of Bridewell in London during the 1550s, where food and lodging were offered in exchange for labour.  Provincial towns opened their own ‘bridewells’ from the 1560s onwards.

Bridewell Hospital: a ruined corner of the courtyard and staircase, with a vignette of a room. Engraving by B. Howlett 1813 after T.H. Shepherd: Wellcome Images https://wellcomecollection.org/works/epp3bkxn

The Elizabethan poor laws of 1598 and 1601 incorporated the idea of setting the poor to work, to be funded by an annual local tax.  Parishes were permitted to acquire a stock of materials for employing paupers.  In the case of textiles, for example, a parish might buy wool and then insist that poor people spin it into yarn in exchange for a small cash payment or other benefit.  Most parishes that tried to apply this policy quickly found it too expensive to maintain.  The money earned from selling the finished produce, such as spun wool, rarely covered the costs of the materials.  The law had not specified a location for work, and parishes did not try to supply a single workplace for this activity.

The second half of the seventeenth century saw the rise of a new ideology, that of setting the poor to work at a profit.  It was thought that proper management of the right sort of work would not only cover costs but also remove the need to raise a local tax.  This encouraged some towns to apply for an individual Act of Parliament to become a Corporation of the Poor.  Corporations allowed multiple urban parishes to work together to raise a tax and run a large institution collectively.  Bristol was the first town to take up this option, and Exeter was the first place to construct a large, purpose-built workhouse. 

It soon became apparent to Corporations that it was not possible to render the workhouse poor self-supporting.  The sorts of people who required relief – the young, the elderly, the sick or disabled – were often not well-placed to undertake work of any kind.  Nonetheless, the hope of finding the right formula for making the poor profitable remained beguiling, and parishes continued to establish workhouses on this basis throughout the eighteenth century.  A workhouse policy was promoted early in the century by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, or SPCK, and the process of opening a workhouse was made easier by a general Act of Parliament in 1723. This Act allowed parishes to buy, rent, build or collaborate with each other to run workhouses.  The Act also introduced a new element to the use of workhouses, because it enabled parishes to insist that poor people enter them, if they wanted to receive parish poor relief (rather than receiving cash or other benefits in their existing homes).  This workhouse ‘test’ was applied inconsistently, with some places never making relief dependent on workhouse entry and others trying to impose the rule sporadically. Nonetheless, it became a very important precursor to the insistence on delivering relief only in workhouses, that dominated ideas from the 1820s onwards.

Regulations for the workhouse at Dymock, Gloucs: Wellcome Images https://wellcomecollection.org/works/ma25kafs

By 1800 it was no longer thought feasible to make the workhouse poor generate a profit, but a new goal emerged to render the poor as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Benjamin Thompson, an American known to history as Count Rumford, devised a workhouse diet based around soup that yielded the maximum number of calories for the lowest possible cost.  After 1815 and the economic disruption that followed the Napoleonic wars, sentiments towards the poor became more harsh.  Selected parishes made their workhouse as punitive as possible: Southwell in Nottinghamshire followed this policy, and became a model for the ‘reformed’ workhouses established after 1834. 

Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count von Rumford: Wellcome Images https://wellcomecollection.org/works/w3tavr7h

Many parishes made use of workhouses in the approximate century 1723-1834 but not all of them were influenced by these ideas about workhouses, or applied them consistently.  A parish might begin with the intention of delivering all poor relief in the workhouse, and setting the poor to work, but would typically lose enthusiasm for both of these requirements.  Instead workhouses became places to accommodate the elderly poor, and offer nursing to them at scale, or to give homes to the young and orphaned poor before they were apprenticed at parish cost. By 1776 there were around 2000 workhouses across England, with some in every county.  The majority were fairly small-scale, housing 20-50 people, and did not have stringent rules.  Some paupers even used them flexibly, seeking admission to their local workhouse in winter or in times of unemployment or sickness and moving out as opportunities came their way for independence. 

Detail from ‘A Consultation’ by C.J. Winter (1869), after Rowlandson: Wellcome Images, https://wellcomecollection.org/works/d2xacjzt

Therefore, it should be no surprise that this project has already revealed a number of different parish approaches to workhouse management.  Volunteers in Staffordshire have contrasted the Uttoxeter workhouse, which set adult men to work in a brickyard, with the Tettenhall workhouse that held around 30 residents at one time who tended to be elderly or very young.  Cumbria volunteers have studied parishes with or without workhouses, and archival volunteers in East Sussex working on East Hoathley have encountered no workhouse so far.  This level of variation is what we would have expected, but the vouchers allow us to look in much greater detail at the way workhouses operated for their resident poor and for their local economies.  Even when there was no work in workhouses, they represented an important component of parish relief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

Staffordshire Record Office

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

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

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

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

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

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

TNA, HO107/2014, 1851 Census

Parson, W. and Bradshaw, T., Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: J. Leigh, 1818), 165, 175, 184, 188, 189

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

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

Stephen Foster

Stafford Record Office Ref D1149/6/2/8/52 Darlaston, Staffordshire Paupers’ Vouchers.

A Settled bill from Richard Meek to Richard Taylor for £1 3s 5d dated April to Oct 1823 for Shoe repairs and new shoes. The names included Stephen Foster for “shoes with high heels for a lame foot.” As a retired Podiatrist I realised that Stephen probably had a form of club foot called Talipes Equinus in which the heel cannot reach the ground; similar to a horse’s foot hence the name.

Looking for Stephen I discovered several Stephen Fosters in Darlaston and reconstructed the family using a very informative Will and the St. Lawrence Parish Records.

 

Transcription of part of the Will of Stephen Foster dated 1813

Stephen Foster of Darlaston, Gunlockforger I give and devise:-

  1. unto my wife Hannah Foster for her natural life all and every my messuages tenements or dwellinghouses shops gardens hereditaments and real estate. After her decease I give and devise unto my son in Law William Bailey all that messuage tenement or dwelling house situate in Darlaston aforesaid and the shop near the same now in the occupation of the said William Bailey And also a necessary house near the said premises which is used by the occupiers of all my buildings in Darlaston. And also a pigstie near the said necessary house.
  2. After the decease of my wife I give and devise to my son Stephen Foster All that messuage tenement or dwelling house in Darlaston with the shop near the same now in the occupation of my said son Stephen and also full and free liberty power and authority to throw the shop slack through the window of the said shop and to fetch and carry away the same as often as shall be necessary but so nevertheless that the said shop slack be not suffered to obstruct the road to the shop hereinbefore given and devised to the said William Bailey more than is absolutely necessary And also the coal house and pigstie adjoining the said house which is now in the occupation of my said son.
  3. After the decease of my wife I give unto my son Josiah All that messuage tenement or dwelling house with the shop in the garden near to property [of] my son Job Foster And all that garden ground or void land the whole width and extending from the eastern part of the last mentioned shop to the back road to the Church and are now in my own occupation except the said shop which is occupied by my said son Josiah
  4. I give and devise to my sons Stephen and Josiah All that newly erected shop situate in Darlaston near the said other shops and now in my own occupation To hold the same unto and to the use of my said sons Stephen and Josiah as Tenants in common and not as joint Tenants. Provided always that the owners and tenants or occupiers of all the said messuages tenements or dwellinghouses shops and premises shall have an equal right to the pump standing near and belonging thereto and to have and take water therefrom and that the said pump and the well shall from time to time be repaired amended and kept in repair at the joint and equal costs and charges of the owners of the said messuages tenements or dwellinghouses and premises. And that the owners and tenants or occupiers of the said premises aforesaid shall have an equal right to the entry or passage and to pass and repass thereby to and from the street in front of the said premises to and from the back part of the respective premises.
  5. I give and devise to the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah All the void land at the back of the said dwelling houses except the garden ground or void land herebefore devised to my son Josiah. To hold the same unto the use of the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah as Tenants in common and not as joint tenants
  6. I give and bequeath to my said son Josiah my suit of black cloaths [sic] and to the said William Bailey and my said sons Stephen and Josiah all other my wearing apparel equally.
  7. I give and bequeath to my Grandson Richard Foster son of my late son George Foster one complete set of gunlock forgers tools to be chosen from my tools by him.
  8. I also give and bequeath to my said son Stephen all the rest of my tools belonging to my trade of a Gunlock Forger.
  9. I give and bequeath to my son Josiah the sum of fifty pounds.
  10. I give and bequeath to my executors hereinafter named all my household goods and furniture money securities for money book debts personal estate and effects, for my wife to have the use of all my household goods furniture bedding linen and other household effects for and during the term of her natural life
  11. Upon further trust to put and place the remainder of my said money personal estate and effects out at Interest upon government or real security and to pay all the Interest and product thereof unto my said wife for and during the term of her natural life
  12. And from and immediately after the decease of my said wife I give and bequeath to my son Job the sum of one Hundred pounds, to my son Stephen the sum of fifty pounds to the said William Bailey the sum of fifty pounds to my grandson Richard Foster the sum of Twenty pounds , to my grandson John Foster the sum of twenty pounds, to my grandson Stephen Foster the sum of twenty pounds, to my grandson Stephen Carter the sum of Twenty Pounds, and to my grandson George Carter the sum of Twenty Pounds.
  13. And from and immediately after the decease of my said wife I give and  bequeath all the rest and residue and remainder of my said household goods and furniture, money, securities for money, book debts, personal estate, and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and not herebefore given and disposed of to my daughter Elizabeth the wife of the said William Bailey and to my said sons Stephen and Josiah equally.
  14. And Lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my friend Francis Taylor of Darlaston, Miner my said sons Stephen and Josiah and my son in Law William Bailey joint executors of this my Will. In Witness whereof I the said Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained and written on three sheets of paper, to the first two sheets set my hand and to this third and last sheet my hand and seal the this third day of January One Thousand and thirteen.

Signed Stephen Foster  Witnesses Thos. Brevitt, Butcher, Darlaston and A. Rooker, Surgeon, Darlaston

.

Codicil dated 12 Mar 1813 removes Francis Taylor as an executor. A more shakey signature from Stephen. Wit: Moses Foster (Darlaston), William Foster (Darlaston) and Jno. Sketchley Clk to Messrs Crowther, Wednesbury.

The Chart above shows the family but curiously no Baptism has been found for either Job or George Foster. Job appears to have been born circa 1765 calculated from his age at burial but George who was dead before 1813 has no age given so I have guessed it based on the age of his first child.

There were 4 Stephen Fosters alive in 1823 – Stephen born 1777 s/o Stephen; Stephen born 1799 s/o Job; Stephen born 1800 s/o George and Stephen born 1817 s/o Josiah.

Stephen born 1777 and his brother Josiah inherited property from their Father so I have discounted these and their children as being less likely to need the help of the Overseers of the Poor.

That leaves the two Stephens born 1799 and 1800 as likely candidates. These were the sons of Job and George both of whom Stephen the Gun lock Forger claims in 1813 to be his sons but he leaves them considerably less than his other sons (Stephen and Josiah). It could be that he had previously provided for them, but this part of the family may be considerably less well off financially. It could be that Job and George were either adopted or illegitimate sons.

There is also a curious familiarity of the Names.

Frances Taylor is named as an executor. Could he be related to the one who went to Tettenhall to become Governor of the Workhouse? William Bailey – a William Bayley has supplied goods and services to the Darlaston Workhouse. A Rooker is also the surgeon to the Darlaston Workhouse.

Both Stephen who died 1813 and his wife Hannah are buried with an abode of Church St. Using this and the description of the various properties in the Will I am wondering if they can be identified. The Will states that he gives to Josiah ‘And all that garden ground or void land the whole width and extending from the eastern part of the last mentioned shop to the back road to the Church’.  Also’And that the owners and tenants or occupiers of the said premises aforesaid shall have an equal right to the entry or passage’

Using Google Earth and Maps it appears that this property might be between Church Street and Cramp Hill as there is an entry to the Church from Cramp Hill.

 

(Google Maps)

There is a Passageway between what is now Hair by Wendy and Kirans Balti making me wonder if the car park etc behind might be the land in question. Or they could be a little further along to the right of the photograph.

Halberber Root or Halbert Weed?

Darlaston Pauper’s Vouchers at Stafford Record Office contain  an account from 23 April to 22 May 1817. (ref. D1149/6/2/2/20)

This is a list of all bills received, and presumably paid, during the month and a list of smaller cash payments one of which is for Halberber Root.  I have been unable to discover anything with this name but have found Halbert Weed or Neurolaena Lobata.

Although no reference was made to the use of the root, it appears in several references as a medicinal plant such as:

  1. MEDlCINAL PLANTS OF JAMAICA. PARTS 1 & 11. By G. F. Asprey, M.Sc., Ph.D. (B’ham.), Professor of Botany, U.C.W.l. and Phyllis Thornton, B.Sc. (Liverpool), Botanist Vomiting Sickness Survey. Attached to Botany Department, U.C.W.l. NEUROLAENA LOBATA (Sw.) R. Br. Cow Gall Bitter: Halbert Weed; Bitter Wood; Bitter Bush;  Goldenrod. In Jamaica Neurolaena lobata is thought to be useful for treating stomach disorders. Early writers speak of its use as a bitter and also as a dressing for sores, wounds and ulcers. Barham thought it to be diuretic. In Honduras it has a reputation as a malaria remedy.
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3971758/The Journal of Natural Products.  Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass. (Asteraceae) is a herbaceous plant distributed widely in Central America and north western parts of South America. In Caribbean traditional medicine, the leaves of this plant have been used for the treatment of different types of cancer, ulcers, inflammatory skin disorders, diabetes, and pain of various origins. In some regions, N. lobata is also used to treat or prevent a variety of parasitic ailments, such as malaria, fungus, ringworm, and amoebic and intestinal parasites.13

Elizabeth Wild and Solomon Smith, of Betley, Staffordshire

The following voucher comes from the parish of Betley, Staffordshire and is an agreement by Solomon Smith, the son-in-law of Elizabeth Wild, to indemnify the Churchwardens and Overseers regarding her maintenance. In return for agreeing to pay the Churchwardens and Overseers a fixed sum of money, Smith was to receive what amounted to an annuity.  Perhaps Smith was banking on his mother-in-law living for longer than the value of his £20 indemnity. We have come across no other vouchers similar to this.

Transcription:-

8 March 1797

I promise to pay to the Churchwardens and Overseers of Betley in the County of Stafford the sum of Twenty pounds in Case any Charges and Expenses heretofor (sic) be upon them on account of my mother in law Elizabeth Wild whether as to her maintenance funeral or otherwise They undertaking to pay me two shillings a week during her natural life As witness my hand

The mark X of Solomon Smith

 

Soloman Smith married Mary Wild on 3 Nov 1782 at Church Lawton (Cheshire BTs) only about 7 miles away from Betley.

Soloman Smith was possibly the illegitimate child baptised at St. Peter Ad Vincula, Stoke on Trent. 9 Oct 1725 Soloman son of Catherine Smith.

Mary Wild was baptised at St. Margaret’s, Betley, Staffordshire on 11 Jun 1763 and was the daughter of Ralph and Betty Wild (spelt Wyld)

Ralph Wylde married Elizabeth Cotton on 16 May 1749 at St. Margaret’s, Betley, Staffordshire and so far only 2 children’s baptisms have been found in St. Margaret’s Parish Records, Betley, Staffordshire

  1. Peter Wyld bapt 17 April 1759 at St. Margaret’s Betley Buried 12 Sept 1819
  2. Mary Wyld bapt 11 Jun 1763 at St. Margaret’s Betley

Ralph Wild was buried 2 Aug 1785 at St. Margaret’s, Betley

So far the burial for Elizabeth or Betty Wild is not identified and so do not know if Soloman Smith made a good investment.  2s per week = 104s pa. £20 divided by 104s = 3.8yrs.

INSKIPS OF DILHORNE.

Document Ref D5/A/PO/7 seen in Stafford Record Office is a book (think of a largish School exercise book) recording weekly and extra payments over the years 1813 and 1814 for the Parish of Dilhorne, Staffordshire. Unfortunately the first page is missing. What stood out immediately was the number of payments to members of the Inskip family totaling 32 over the 2 years span.

Of the 32 entries 25 of them appear to be relating to Richard Inskip, his wife or family.

Studying them further the conclusion is that they relate to more than one Richard Inskip as one records paying Richard Inskip for his horse and cart taking Sherratt’s family back. Two entries mention that they paid 4 shillings and 3 shillings to the wife of Richard Inskip Stone Mason. Probably as a Stone Mason he had a horse and cart and Richard Inskip 1763 – 1840 Wheelwright in his Will left a Blacksmith’s shop, house and a piece of land.

This leaves other payments to Richard Inskip’s wife and family totalling £20 4s 0d.  This was a large amount of money https://www.measuringworth.com calculates it could be as high as £84,000 in 2018 value.

It was rather complicated trying to find out who Richard Inskip was as Richard was a popular name in the Inskip Family. In the end it required traveling back 5 generations to Richard Inskip a Blacksmith living in Blythe Bridge, parish of Dilhorne (which is next to Forsbrook) and his descendants.  Most of these were straight forward as they had a Blacksmith’s shop in Forsbrook, parish of Dilhorne and also a Wheelwright’s. These descendants account for the odd payments to Richard (stone mason) Thomas and Ralph.

The payment on 16 Oct 1813 for “expences at Lane End, Mr Smith, Mr Smalie and John Whalley with Mary Inskip” is more problematic as I could not find any Mary Inskip other than Mary Ridge who married Richard Inskip on 21 Sept 1802 in Dilhorne. The problem was that I had one too few Richards as the ones I had found were married to other wives who were still alive in 1813 and 1814.

Researching for a Richard Inskip born before 1785 (ie old enough to marry in 1802) brought up a man who was transported in 1833/34 and was worth considering.

Registers of convicts in the hulk ‘Cumberland’, moored at Chatham, with gaoler’s reports, 1830-1833

“Richard Inskip aged 56 for stealing a quantity of cord. Convicted 28 Feb 1833 at Stafford. Of Bad character disposition and ordours? An old offender (595, 597.)  Lifetime in Prison convicted of uttering base coins. V.D.L. [Van Dieman’s Land?] per Moffatt [A Ship] 26 Nov 1833. Born Lane End, Black Hair, Heavy Eyes, Black Lashes. Short oval visage. Can read and write. 5 foot 7½ inches tall. Married with children. Pitted with Small Pox, high cheek bones. Severely scarred on left side.  Wife lives by the side of Edward Onions & Wm Field? Under Mrs Batkins, Lane End, Staffordshire”

Registers of convicts in the hulk ‘Dolphin’, moored at Chatham, with gaoler’s reports, 1829-1835 Is similar to the above but adds that he is sentenced to 7 years and he has 7 children

New South Wales And Tasmania: Settlers And Convicts 1787-1859 Richard Inskip assd. To Dr. Desailly

https://www.digitalpanopticon says he was freed in 1840.

The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette 24 Jan 1840 THE GAZETTE. FRIDAY MORNING JANUARY 24, 1840. GOVERNMENT NOTICE, No. 11, Colonial Secretary’s Office, January 21. The period for which the under-mentioned persons were transported, expiring at the date placed after their respective names, certificates of their freedom may be obtained then, or at any subsequent period, upon application at the Muster Master’s Office, Hobart Town, or at that of a Police Magistrate in the interior: The list includes – Richard Inskip 28 Feb. [1840]

In 1812 /1813 Richard Inskip was accused of Felony. Lane End 27 May 1813. Richard Inskip was accused of stealing a horse. Reading the depositions of witnesses in Stafford Record Office (ref. Q/SB 1813 T/204-206) we learn that on the night of 4-5 June 1812 Thomas More of Penkhull and Robert Jones of Rhuabon lost a 4 year old Dark brown horse 15 hands high with white hind legs a blaze on the forehead and a brown muzzle.  No more was heard of the horse until the following August when acting on information they found him “working another team in Cresser” [possibly Creswell]. 

The horse was stolen around the time of Rugeley Fair in June 1812. Several people saw Richard Inskip with the horse in his stable in Forsbrook.  Richard Inskip associated with Wm. Roberts who told George Hurst he was William Smith. They were seen together at the Golden Lion at Lane End.[Now Longton]

27 May 1813 Richard Inskip’s evidence was that he left Rugeley about 4.0pm on 6th June with 4 men. He says he bought the horse for £14? 15s. He had left her with Copestick at Stallington and then fetched her and put her in his stable at Stone house, Forsbrook.

Joseph Copestick of Stallington says on 8th Richard Inskip brought a horse to him asking that it be laid in his land. Richard Inskip fetched the horse on the 28th and paid 20s for the said lay.

Joseph Gosling says that Robert Jones and Thomas More came and claimed the horse on his father’s farm and he took them to Richard Inskip of Forsbrook who had visited the horse in his father’s stable. Richard Inskip said it was his horse that he had bought on the 7th June when returning from Rugeley Fair. It was a stranger who sold it to him. It was suggested that they all go to the Wheat Sheaf at Stoke and send for the Farmer who was said to be present at the time. Richard Inskip ran away towards the place they got the horse from. The examinant ran after but could not catch him.

Hugh Davies, collier, says he was told by  Ann Smith of Hanley that Richard Jones of Hanley collier, advanced William Roberts thirty shillings upon a watch which was left in pawn to him, to be redeemed when Inskip and Roberts sold a horse. The watch was not redeemed

Joseph Heath a Blacksmith in Forsbrook said that Richard Inskip bought the brown horse at Rugeley Fair last June 1812 and Richard Inskip asked him [Joseph Heath] to cut 2-3 inches off the tail. He had not been cut before.

Ruth Neath says she has known Richard Inskip for near 2 years and has seen him with William Roberts who has stayed in his house.

Thomas Smith of Forsbrook said he had expected to meet Richard Inskip at Rugeley Fair on 5th June but did not see him. He saw him the next day and asked why he had not come and Richard Inskip gave some excuse he could not remember.

Case sent to the Assizes.

Staffordshire Summer Assizes 1821 Richard, Inskip for Uttering counterfeit money, at Cheddleton—6 Months and sureties for 12. (John Mare admitted evidence.)

The Quarter sessions case of 1813 and its connection to Lane End or as it became Longton and Forsbrook suggested a connection to the payment on 16 Oct 1813.

There was no baptism for a Richard Inskip in Dilhorne or Longton / Lane End but there was one in St. Peter Ad Vincula, Stoke on Trent on 27 Aug 1767 and he was the son of Edward and Mary Inskip. There was at least one older sister for Richard baptised at St. Peter’s and this was Hannah baptised 12 July 1761 the daughter of Edward and Jane Inscip of Lane End.

Edward was not such a common name in the Inskip family and his baptism was found back in Dilhorne on 12 Feb 1727 and he was the son of Thomas and Sarah Inskip who may have married in 1723 at St Alkmund’s, Derby, Derbyshire.  Thomas died 1737.

There is a problem with the Dilhorne Parish Records. Thomas must have been born before 1705 to have married in 1723 and there is something of a gap in the Parish Records. Browsing the Parish Register there are retrospective entries by either the new Vicar or Parish Clerk of items found after the previous Vicar had died.  Unfortunately Thomas Inskip is not included but there only appears to be one couple baptising children at the time so Thomas was probably the son of Richard Inskip, Blacksmith 1662-1708.

This gives a connection between the Inskips of Longton / Lane End and Dilhorne.  If Richard and Mary married in All Saints Dilhorne and baptised children there it suggests that they may have been living there for some time.

They appear to have had the following children

  1. George Ridge Inskip baptised 1803 in Stone, Staffordshire died 1815
  2. Ralph Inskip baptised 1805 in Dilhorne
  3. John Inskip born about 1808 in Dilhorne [name supplied by Inskip one name study]
  4. ??????
  5. James Inskip baptised 1815 in Longton
  6. Mary Inskip baptised 1816 in Longton
  7. George Inskip baptised 1818 in Longton
  8. Eliza Inskip baptised 1821 in Longton
  9. Joseph Inskip baptised 1825 in Longton.

The youngest child, Joseph, was baptised at the New Connextion Chapel, Longton which records “Joseph Inskip born 3 Nov 1825 and baptised 4 Dec 1825 the 9th child of Richard Inskip, Labourer of Lane End by Mary daughter of William Ridge, Potter of Lane End.”

The Dilhorne Overseers may have been supporting Richard’s wife Mary and his children until they managed to get them back to Longton.

The 1841 Census HO107/991 folio 6 shows Mary Inskip aged 60 living in Willow Street, Longton with her son Joseph aged 15 a collier and her son George appears to be married and living a few doors away.

Staffordshirebmd.org.uk has a death entry for Mary Inskip aged 75 registered in Burslem. No death certificate has been bought but Mary’s son John is living in Haywood Pl, Burslem in 1851 working as a Potters Fireman.

No death has been found for Richard Inskip but he was still alive in 1845 when the Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette reported on Sat 1 Feb 1845 “Case against Richard Inskip was dismissed. Inskip had challenged Turner to fight, and got the worst of it”

 

Ann Barnard (1805-1882), Gnossall

The collection of Poor Law Vouchers for the Parish of Gnosall in Stafford Record Office contain several bills from Stafford Lunatic Asylum. Two have notes added to them concerning Ann Barnard.

(D951/5/81/56) Bill from Stafford Lunatic Asylum 26 Dec 1821

Gentm. It is very much the wish of the Physician to this Institution to give A Barnards a trial out & we recommend that she should in the first instance be taken care of in the Workhouse. She will be given up any time after next Saturday. J.G. [John Garrett]

The next has a more curt note. ( D951/5/81/57) Bill from Stafford Lunatic Asylum 26 March 1822

Gentm. I am directed to request that you will remove Ann Barnard for the sake of giving her trial at home as it appears to us she may now be removed on trial with safety and probable advantage – I am further directed to call your attention to the [heavy?] amount of the arrears & to require that you will order their payment. I am Gntm. Your Obed. ———  John Garratt

NB A quarter’s maintenance was £4 17s 6d. However this probably was not paid as a further Bill appears (D951/5/81/63) dated Nov 1822 from Stafford Lunatic Asylum for £81 13s 1d (16 Nov £71 13s 1d and 23 Nov £10.)

Not all records for Stafford Lunatic Asylum have survived but fortunately a book for 1821-22 has and it contains a page transcribed below but is difficult to read as it has poor writing and several abbreviations which are in red and any suggestions as to what the abbreviations are would be welcomed and an extract is shown below. Ann obviously has Post Natal Depression.

D4585/6 Stafford Lunatic Asylum 1821-22

Feb 12. Ann Barnard

This is a pauper from Gnosall, who became deranged about a fortnight since, having been delivered of an illegitimate child three weeks before. She seemed disposed at first to destroy the infant and on Tuesday attempted suicide by making a slight incision under the chin with a shoemakers wife knife (sic) Her mother was insane for 3 months after childbirth. Takes food irregularly, is thirsty and confined in her bowels. Is very violent and obliged to be put under restraint. H Cath all? Auror? 21 Has been freely [purged?] and is more calm, says her own [wickedness?] has [induced?] her present malady. Her disease now appears the Melancholic form Can—- an– Cith[????] 29 Is still obliged to be kept under restraint owing to a propensity to commit suicide. Cant? March 15th [– Digit gn x1d -ugend dos?] 12 Is generally improving [Cant Uain Cith?] 27 Cost.[Costive?]

1 May a little better. 22 June the disease has [now expanded?] the violent form. [Uanst Cilt al—-?]

30 Oct Continues in the subacute form of disease expresses extreme anxiety to return to her friends. 18 Nov Has employed herself more than usual lately but expresses the same anxiety to return home. Discharged on trial Dec 2 1820 re-admitted Dec 7th Continued quiet for about 2 days and then became violent, undressing herself. Said the room was in flames etc. 14 Ʀ [sign for prescription?] Digitales gn x1[orN?]d. The [S?]iving to be used. Discharged on Trial April 3rd 1822 Readmitted April 13th 1822. Has attempted suicide by throwing herself into a well.

July 9 Continues in much the same state, is constantly requesting to be allowed to return home. Oct 14 no alteration.

Jan 13 1823 Has become emaciated from her anxiety to go home a trial recommended. Feb 22 discharged on trial.

Bearing in mind that Ann Barnard was admitted on Feb 12 the Gnosall PR was searched and the Baptism found in St. Lawrence, Gnosall 10 Jan 1820 for Richard son of Ann Barnard single woman.

A further search for an unmarried Ann Barnard of child bearing age brings up a probable baptism on 29 Dec 1805 at Gnosall and she was the daughter of Susannah Barnard. (no Father.)

Ann Barnard does not appear on the 1841 Census, nor is there any record of a burial in either Stafford or Gnosall between 1823 and 1841 but there is a probable marriage for Ann Barnard (signed X) in St. Lawrence, Gnosall on 27 Dec 1827 to William Richards. Witnesses Charlotte Halls X and Joseph Badger. (Gnosall, St. Lawrence PR have the burial on 21 June 1839 of Joseph Badger age 42 which indicate that he was the Parish Clerk)

Ann & William Richards can be found in the 1841i and the 1851ii Census across the county border in Shropshire, but are back in Gnosall in 1861iii and1871. Having started as an Ag. Lab William then becomes a Blacksmith before acquiring a small farm of 19 acres by 1881.

William and Ann Richards have 7 children listed in the Census

Thomas born 1831 in Shropshire

John born 1834 in Shropshire

William born 1837 in Shropshire

Mary born 1839 in Shropshire

George born 1839 in Shropshire

John born 1842 in Shropshire

Mary Ann born 1844 in Shropshire

It was a pleasure to find that Ann survived to a ripe old age – hopefully without a re-occurance of Post Natal Depression. Her burial is seen in St. Mary’s Moreton. 6 July 1882 Ann Richards of Moreton. Age 77. Her husband lived a little longer and a burial is seen in St. Mary’s Moreton. 7 Jan 1887 William Richards of Moreton age 83.   Moreton is part of Gnosall Parish.

In none of the census records has Ann’s son Richard Barnard been found. He did not die before 1830 as Staffordshire Apprentice Records have a record dated 15 May 1830 iv in which Richard Barnard Age 10 years, son of Ann of the parish of Gnosall is apprenticed to Joseph Bekcher a Farmer otp. Until 21 yrs [Probably Joseph Belcher]

After this there is no trace of Richard. He is not found on the 1841 census but no burial has been found. He could possibly have gone to America as one Richard Barnard is found travelling to America from Ireland. Or he could have gone into the Army as another is found in the Military Records and Greenwich Pensioners on Find My Past

Notes

i  1841 Census HO107/904 folio 22. Uckington, Atcham, Shropshire

ii1851 Census HO107/1987/folio 356 Burlington, Shiffnal, Shifnal, Shropshire,

iii1861 Census RG9/1904 folio 37 Lower Road, Gnosall, Newport, Staffordshire

iv      D951/5/94

Sources

Staffordshire Record Office

D951/5/81/56, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 26 Dec 1821

D951/5/81/57, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 26 March 1822

D951/5/81/63, Gnossall Overseers Voucher, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, Nov 1822

D4585/6, Stafford Lunatic Asylum, 1821-22

Young Parton’s Thigh

D10/A/PO/25, Colton Parish Overseers’ Voucher, 19 February 1756.

A brief and partially faded voucher has turned up amongst those for Colton. It reads ‘19 Febry 1756 To reducing Young Partons Thigh 11s 6. Jany 21 1757 Rd of Mr Clark the contents above in full Gilbt Hordeane’.

This produced much speculation amongst the volunteers. Had Clark given Hordeane the reduced bit of Parton’s thigh? What had caused Parton to require the reduction of his thigh? What exactly is thigh reduction?

Currently, thigh reduction treatment involves surgery. The  removal of fat and skin from the thigh area is designed to recapture a more youthful figure; but surely this was not practiced in the mid-eighteenth century? Of course it was not. As usual volunteers on the project were able to provide the answer: ‘Thigh reduction’ refers to setting a fracture. It may refer to a displaced fracture where the two ends of the bone are out of alignment. Reduction and manipulation involves the stretching of the bone to pull them back into alignment.

A Blog post about Clogs

PR10/100/18, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, An account of Grace Matthews clothes and goods, 2 June 1785

Clogs feature in both the Staffordshire and Cumberland vouchers. In 1829 and 1830, for example, the overseer of Uttoxeter Mr Wood paid John Green for the following:

2 Sept  1829 Pair of Clogs 1s 4d John Green Mr Wood
7 Nov  1829 1pr clogs 1s  8d
18 Nov 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10
21 Nov  1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Norres 1s 6d
18 Dec 1829 1pr of clogs ordered by Mr Wood 1s 10d
8s 2d

 

10 Jul 1830 4 pr boys clogs 5s 4d John Green Mr Wood

Clogs were also by the overseers of Darlaston, Staffordshire: in 1818 Thomas Challinor was paid for three pairs.

In Skelton, Cumberland, the inventory of Grace Matthews goods and clothes included one pair of clogs. There is a separate blog entry for Matthews.

In Wigton, Cumberland, Thomas Watman’s 1773 bill refers to the calking of clogs.

Details of two further vouchers from  Wigton (1771) and Skelton 1791 are shown below.

6 Dec 1771 John Barnes
John Little
Daniel Steel
Daniel Steel
John Barnes
John Little
£0-3-8
£0-0-11
for 3 pairs of clogs
Ironing 3 pairs of clogs
1 Jun 1791 Thomas Mather William Stalker Thomas Mather £4.19.0 Maintenance, repair of clogs & 6 mths house rent

In his State of the Poor Frederick Morton Eden recorded: ‘Some years ago clogs were introduced into the county of Dumfries from Cumberland, and are now very generally used over all that part of the country, in place of coarse and strong shoes. The person who makes them is called a clogger. “All the upper part of the clog, comprehending what is called the upper leather and heel quarters, is of leather, and made after the same manner as those parts of the shoe which go by the same name. The sole is of wood. It is first neatly dressed into a proper form; then, with a knife for the purpose, the inside is dressed off, and hollowed so as to easily receive the foot. Next with a different kind of instrument, a hollow or guttin, is run round the outside of the upper part of the sole, for the reception of the upper leather, which is then nailed with small tacks to the sole and the clog is completed. [The Staffordshire vouchers often contain quantities of ‘tacketts’]. After this they are generally shod, or plated with iron, by a blacksmith. [Calking clogs – adding iron strips or plates to improve their durability – appears on numerous bills for Cumberland]. The price of a pair of men’s clogs (in Dumfrieshire) is about 3s including plating; and, with the size the price diminishes in proportion. A pair of clogs, thus plated, will serve a labouring man one year … at the end of that period, by renewing the sole and plating, they may be repaired so as to serve a year longer… [Many of the Cumberland bills are for making such repairs]. They keep the feet remarkably warm and comfortable, and entirely exclude all damp.”

At Lancaster, Eden noted: ‘Ironed clogs, which are much cheaper, more durable, and more wholesome than shoes, are very generally worn by labouring people’.

The noise clogs made alarmed those unused to it. In August 1797 Henry Kitt recorded: ‘We were annoyed at first by the harsh clatter made by the clogs of the boys playing in the street … We were soon, however, convinced that these wooden shoes, capped with plates of iron, were well adapted to the use of the peasants who inhabit a rough and marshy country’.

Sources

Frederick Morton Eden, The State of the Poor, vols. I & II (1797)

Henry Kitt, Kett’s Tour to the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, vol. 5 (1797)

Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle

PR10/100/18, Skelton Overseers’ Voucher, An account of Grace Matthews clothes and goods, 2 June 1785

PR36/v/2/49, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, 6 December 1771

PR V/36/3, Wigton Overseers’ Voucher, Thomas Watman 1773

Staffordshire Record Office

D1149/6/2/3/93, Darlaston Overseers’ Voucher, 19 October 1818

D3891/6/34/9/018, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 2 September to 18 December 1829

D3891/6/36/8/12, Uttoxeter Overseers’ Voucher, 10 July 1830

Richard Bills (1777-1849), Ironmaster, Darlaston, Part Three

As noted in the Richard Bills blog part one, his main connection with the Darlaston overseers’ came through the provision of grocery goods. A number of the bills were sent to Charles Green (see entry Charles Green (1778 –1856), Overseer, Darlaston).

Bills, however, was a gunlock-maker and ironmaster iron master. He also served as churchwarden for St. Lawrence’s, Darlaston, in 1815. Samuel Mills served in the same capacity in 1858 and between 1862 and 1864.

According to Pigot’s 1828-29 directory there were a number of gunlock-makers in and around Darlaston, including Richard Bills and Samuel Bills, and one woman, Elizabeth Bayley.

Richard Ashmore

Elizabeth Bayley

William Baylis

Richard Bills

Samuel Bills (is this a misprint in the directory; should it read Samuel Mills?)

William Golcher

Joseph Harper

William Howell

Philip Martin

William Partridge

Thomas Rubery

Charles Spittal

Thomas Stone

Charles Thornhill

Bagley Turner

John Griffiths Whitehead

Job Wilkes

William Wilkes

Thomas Worley

Samuel Mills was the son of a butcher, Thomas Fellows Mills and his wife Elizabeth. Thomas’ early death, in 1806, aged 23, however, occurred when Samuel was not yet one. In 1813 Thomas’ widow, Elizabeth, married Richard Bills.

Richard’s business was located in Furnace Lane, Lower Green. When he attained the age of 21, Samuel Mills was made a partner in his step-father’s business.

Aris’s Birmingham Gazette (15 June 1829) contained an advert for Bills and Mills at Darlaston Green Iron Works for a ‘steady man to undertake the management of a Mill for polishing shoe heel tips’.

In February 1849 the London Gazette carried the following announcement:

Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore existing between the undersigned, Richard Bills and Samuel Mills, carrying on trade at Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, as Iron Masters, Steel Manufacturers and Coal Masters, under the firm or style of Bills and Mills, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. All debts owing to or by the said partnership will be received and paid by the said Samuel Mills, by whom the trades will in future be carried on. Dated the 7th day of February 1849.

Richd Bills

Saml Mills

Richard Bills died soon afterwards. The business, however, prospered to become one of the largest iron company’s in the region, with around 2000 employees on a site covering 55 acres.

Richard’s connections with the iron industry, however, stretched beyond the immediate area of Darlaston. In April 1810 he loaned £500 to Hannah Lees (née Buckley, 1764–1831), the owner of Park Bridge Ironworks, a large concern near Manchester. It is not clear, at present, how Bills and Lees came to know each other. Perhaps it was through their shared business interests, or through family connections. Nevell believes that in all likelihood the loan was used to finance the building of new weir on the river Medlock and a water-powered building (purpose unclear) referred to in a lease April 1810.

The Park Bridge Ironworks had been established by Hannah’s husband Samuel Lees (1754-1804) in 1786. His death in 1804 left Hannah with their six surviving children (three others had died in 1800) aged between fifteen and two. The management of Samuel’s estate was conducted by his widow Hannah. Although the business was left in trust to Edward, in 1806 Hannah took over the lease of the site. Under her the ironworks expanded significantly.

Sources

Frederick Hackwood, A History of Darlaston (Wednesbury: Horton Bros., 1887)

London Gazette, 9 February 1849

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

This blog has benefited enormously from the information available from the following websites:

Mike Nevell, Salford University: https://archaeologyuos.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/hannah-lees-of-the-park-bridge-ironworks/ accessed 09/07/2018

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Samuel_Mills accessed 09/07/2018

http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/articles/Darlaston/NotablePeople.htm accessed 09/07/2018

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