Author Archives: oldmanuscripts

Bad and dubious debts – 2nd May 2017

Frequently inventories, particularly those of merchants, have lists of those owing money to the deceased. These are sometimes divided into ‘sperate’ and ‘desperate’ debts. Prior to transcribing these inventories I had never come across the word ‘sperate’, but once seen … Continue reading

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Burnt china – 2nd April 2017

Another 18th century inventory that came my way recently made mention of “Six Burnt China Plates, One Burnt China Tea Pott” This was a term I hadn’t come across before, and puzzled me.  To burn a plate might be careless, … Continue reading

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And so to bed (2) – 10th April 2017

Another inventory, another new term – what is a ‘Millpuff bed’?  One worthy Bristol merchant appeared to have several of them in his house. A millpuff bed is a mattress stuffed with ‘millpuff’, which is a coarse type of wool … Continue reading

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One brass hearth & creepers, brass slice and tongs”….. – 5th March 2017

“One brass hearth & Creepers brass Slice and Tongs  –     £01      01s        00d” While working on transcription of an inventory recently I found myself wondering ‘what is a creeper’ in relation to a hearth?  It was not a word … Continue reading

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Time for ….. tea, coffee, chocolate? – 12th March 2017

I have recently come across several inventories that tell me that in the kitchen are to be found a coffee pot and a chocolate pot, as well as the tea kettle.  I have tea pots and coffee pots in my … Continue reading

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Huckaback or Harateen? 19th March 2017

Inventories often feel to me like someone opening wide their front door and inviting me in to their homes, to have a good old nose around.  They can bring  to life the social history of different periods, give you a … Continue reading

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In the kitchen, one dog wheel – 12th February 2017

A 1732 Bristol merchant’s inventory has ‘In the Kitchen’ “One Dogg wheel in a frame” – valued at 6 shillings. Knowing that there are ‘fire dogs’, metal bars for resting logs on in the hearth, I began by assuming that … Continue reading

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