When workmen presented their bills to the estate, the toll charges were added eg;
Carrying slates with charge for turnpike; 6s0d
Carrying brick with charge for turnpike; 6s.0d
Carrying lime with charge for turnpike; 6s.0d
Carrying 2000slates @£3.10s per 1000. £7.0.0d
Carrying 7 loads of sycamore @12d per foot 10s.0d
Evidence for marling in the Parish from the Townsends/Ince land on Stamford Heath
Receipts are included for the following transactions.
Marling at Stamford Heath £10.5s.6d
Putting marl in cart at Stamford Heath; £25.4s.0d
Marl Pit at Stamford. £19.6s.6d
3 men pumping and loading for 8 days. £3.4s.6d
Marl was clearly an expensive and important product, and produced at the Townsend fields at Stamford Heath, and at Little Heath Pit. Teams of marlers would descend on the village for a month on end, and dig and deliver the marl, used to improve the quality of the farmland and to make bricks. It appears that sometimes the marl was liquid from the description on the bills and receipts.
The marlers were hard workers, had meagre pay, but supplemented their earnings by entertaining villagers at the Ring O Bells or the Red Lion, which would have reverberated to their ribald songs and poetry on most evenings during their stay in the village. They had a culture and folklore of their own, and it’s said that the village fully enjoyed their visits by holding their own Festival at the end of marling, with Sword & Maypole Dancing, Bear Baiting and eating pink & white candy, a special sweet made in the village. The marlers also wore colourful headresses, perhaps in the style of the present day Morris Dancers, which they wore when they danced with village girls during the celebrations.
It seems that funerals were a great expense for the family when someone close died. There were also many rituals to be carried out and paid for, including providing suitable clothing for the mourners. The most detailed accounts I have, relate to the funeral of Robert Townsend in 1791.
In this case Robert had died in Liverpool and a team of men were sent to collect his body and later take his body to church. His body had been laid in St George’s Church in the centre of Liverpool, a fine Georgian building, near to the area where the gentry lived and carried out business.[Rodney Street]
To John Barry
for labour and attending the funeral. 2s 6d
To George Moulton
for labour and carrying him to church 2s 6d.
To John Radcliffe
£3. 3s.0d for oak coffin.
To Mr Barton
£2.12s 0d for black coffin.
To Mr Roper
£ 5. 5s 0d for lead coffin.
The family Doctor was involved;
To Dr Brandreth £5.5s 0d for attendance.
To George Wilkinson Painter.
For painting of achievements 6coats £5.11s 6d
18 silk escutcheons £4.14s.0d
8 crests £1. 0s.0d
Carrying the body.
For hearse to Liverpool and return £ 8.1s.6d
Turnpike & Labour £ 7 9s 6d
For chase to Frodsham £ 12s 0d
St George’s Church Liverpool
For tolling bell at & 6 porters 13s 6d.
From Robert Yoxhall Blacksmith.
4 shoes for bay mare 1s 4d
8 shoes for 2 coach horses (steel) 4s 4d
4 shoes for grey gelding 1s 4d
To remove coach horse shoe 2d
To a bar on a shoe of coach horse 4d
4 shoes on grey gelding 1s 4d
8 shoes on coach horses (steel) 4s 4d
4 shoes for grey gelding 1s 4d
Total 14s 6d
Bill from Messrs Faulkner / Larden
To boddying a gown 2s.0d
50pairs of gloves for funeral £7.7s.0d
3 gowns and coats for servants 12s.0d
Silk banding 1s 0d
18yds black cloth £4.14s 6d
3 ¾ yds ravens black cloth £3. 9s 4d
5 ¼ yds Rumsey shalloon 10s 6d
2 1/2yds white flannel 3s 9d
8 3/8 yds fine black cloth £7.14s11d
To Messrs Wright (Mercer)
Providing hats/scarfs for men at funeral £50.13s.0d
Making capes & lace £ 4. 7s. 0d
2 black buckles 2s 0d
The Funeral of Robert Townsend.
A list of persons attending the funeral of Robert Townsend in May 1791, taken from the list
of people needing gloves, and found in the estate papers.
Immediate family mourners.
Mr & Mrs Birkitt, Mr Hardy, Elizabeth Ince, daughter.
The best shammy gloves for the Gentlemen.
Mr William Forrester, Mr Hall, Mr George Forrester, Mr Thomas Ince, Mr Clegg
Mr Dickinson, Mr Wilkinson, Mr Cheers (Estate Manager) Mr Oldfield, Kelsall,
Mr Forrester of Willey, Mr Mostyn of Mostyn, Mr Nelson, Mr Wingfield, Mr John Adams,
Mr William Adams, Mr Bailey, Mr Barton, Mr Foreshaw, Mr Wright.
Gloves for the men of the common sort.
Jacob Adams, Thomas Brown Clerk of Christleton, Clerk of St Bridgets,
George Moulton*, John Parry*, Peter Gibson*, John Moulton*, Thomas Peers*, John Pritchard*,
Mr Townsend’s two servants.
*These men were workers on the estate, and were paid 2s.6d “ for carrying him to church”.
Gloves for the best sort of ladies.
Mrs Bailey, Mrs Forrester & two daughters, Mrs Lecardby, Mrs Adams, Mrs Foreshaw.
3 pairs of common black shammy for Mrs Townsend’s servant, cook and Mrs Forrester’s maid.
The funeral party would almost certainly have proceeded to the Glass House Inn where Mr Witter kept good ale & an eating house. In the diaries of Henry Prescott we learn a great deal about this particular place, first recorded on the John Ogilby map of Britain in 1685. It seems to have been an excellent eating place where the nobility of the city and county would gather, and meals including whitebait, lobster and Sir Loyn of beef were served. The Inn had a fine cellar of wine & beers and offered a good selection for Henry Prescott himself to sample. Employed as a finance officer for the Chester Diocese, Henry seems to have travelled extensively, and was always trying out the spirits, wines and local beers as part of his unofficial duties.
Certainly the number of times in his diaries that he writes “that he has taken one or two early morning circuits around the Roodeye to clear his head”, indictates that he took his drinking seriously. He travelled to Christleton, not only to sample the local brew, and have a small wager on horses, racing at Farndon, or perhaps gambling with his friends at the Glass House Inn, but also to visit his friend Mr Townsend at The Old Hall, often accompanied by his beautiful wife Suzanna. They would sometimes continue their journey on horse back through to Wareton, (Waverton) to see their son Jack who was the Curate there. He didn’t have a very good reputation, as he was often absent when needed, and seems to have been dismissed from his post because of these bad habits.
The Glass House Inn at Christleton was also a meeting place for funerals, being the first Inn outside the city boundary. There are records of distinguished persons, including the Lord Bishop and Mayor & Corporation, coming out of the city to assemble at the Glass House in order to accompany the body of a notable person being brought from a country house, and being taken for burial at the Cathedral. The whole company would be fed whilst waiting for the burial party to arrive, before walking in stately procession behind the hearse into the city.
When the celebration of the Beating of the Bounds takes place, the stone at the Glass House marking the boundary between Christleton & Great Boughton is one of the first to be visited.
I suspect that many people living today imagine that taxes paid in the past, were relatively simple and straight forward. In fact the running costs of the village community were very complex, as the following bills for taxes paid by the Townsend Family shows. These taxes were incurred by the family, to help the general running costs of the village in 1755. In this instance, they paid towards the upkeep of the church, for having too many windows in their house, the watch tax which was an early form of police service, the poor tax to look after the poor and destitute, and working the roads tax to keep the village roads in a reasonable state of repair.
Miscellaneous Bills & Accounts. 1755
Church tax — 5s.0d
Windows tax- £1. 8s od
Watch tax -- 5s 0d
Poor tax-- £1.10s 0d
Working the roads 10s.6d
Other items paid for Robert Townsend a Lawyer by occupation in that year were;
Bill for tayloring ; £7.16s 6d
Stockings £1. 8s 6d
A new wigg £1.11s 6d
Shoes 19s 10d
Apothecarys bill £10. 0s 6d
Beer £10 9s 0d
Coal £12 13s 6d
In the AAGW collection of papers I have also found several bills for coal obtained from the Port of Chester at a weighbridge called the Chester Machine. One is dated 21st September 1793 for 33cwt.The coal probably came from the Wrexham Coalfield, and there are numerous references to The Nine Coal Exchange in Eastgate Street.
There are also interesting accounts for Mrs Ince at this time. The first Mrs Ince was Elizabeth the second daughter of Robert Townsend, and later wife of Thomas Ince who built Christleton Hall to rival the house of his father in law [now Christleton Law College.] 1793.
Mrs Ince to John Palin Butcher.
16 legs of mutton- @ 7s. £5. 3s 33lb of beef- @ 3 1/2d - 11s.0d
Breast of veal- 2/6d
Mrs Ince to Moulton & Rosingreave
55 trees @ 1s 6d per tree
600 fagots [sticks for making a fire] @ 3s per hundred.
Mrs Ince to Mr Hesketh.
For 6 gallons of Red Port; £2.5s.0d
There is also a fascinating letter from John Cheers the Estate Manager to Mrs Ince about making beer;
Madam. I am very much obliged to you for your friendly behaviour in being such a well wisher relating to my health. I am thank God much better today. I took oil yesterday. Thy beer will be ready tomorrow morning by eight o clock. As to the beer of Friday no such thing, I expected ..yesterday, but I have not seen him yet, or I should have seen you, as you may depend I will in the tavern house after. Wishing you health and ye family.
Madam, From your very humble servant,
The tavern concerned could have been “The Bottom of the Wood” a village ale house close to the junction of Plough Lane with Village Road, now the house named Hen Davarn [The Old Tavern], near the High School entrance and adjacent to the Old Smithy. It might just possibly have been the first “The Ring O Bells”, which stood on the site of the present Parish Hall, and is known to have existed around the 1780’s. However it is more likely that it was the Glass House Inn, which is first shown on John Ogliby’s map, showing roads in Christleton in 1675.
It wasn’t The Red Lion, the present [ Ring o Bells] because this Inn didn’t open until August 1817, when Mr Venables provided
"dinner on the table at 3 o’clock” for his friends"
All the evidence from these papers shows that, although in this instance the estate produced beer for the family, it purchased almost all of its requirements from merchants, in the City of Chester. However it also used the services of men working locally from within the village community to carry out building tasks and repairs, and to provide transport. It’s also quite clear from data to be found in the National Census of 1851, that by that date, Christleton was virtually a self contained village, which could provide food, goods and services covering a whole variety of produce, crafts and trades, which serviced the needs of most village people. The village by this time had expanded rapidly, and several merchants from Manchester & Liverpool found it a good place to live, and also commute to work. The Industrial revolution had occurred, and transportation was becoming easier by both rail and water.