AND TO MY DEAR WIFE
Many wills from earlier years have survived but not many inventories. Whilst the wills themselves may mention land and tell us a little about relatives, inventories tell us quite a lot. Often, as in the example below, we get some idea of the number of rooms in a house.
We know that John Brock had three hearths (one was the average): presumably one would be in the kitchen, probably one over the chamber in the kitchen, and maybe one in the chamber over the Drink House.
The bedsteads would be double beds with either feather or flock mattresses but they didn't seem to possess many blankets.
No china or earthenware is mentioned and since he appears to have been a yeoman farmer - no silverware.
"Wearing Apparel" didn't amount to much and would have been kept in the coffers or hung on hooks.
They would have been more or less self-sufficient, killing their own pigs for bacon etc., and producing their own butter, cream cheese and milk. They would also have brewed their own cider but what else can we glean from this inventory?
Well there is no mention of poultry or eggs, and no mention of flour but sadly by the time John Brock died, his wife had pre-deceased him and so evidence of a feminine presence seems to be missing, namely no mention of wool, sewing materials, ornaments and the like. The two books mentioned would almost certainly have been a bible - probably recording family births, marriages and deaths, and the other - perhaps one on animal husbandry. We will never know.
Although John Brock was not a wealthy man, to equate the value of his estate with present day prices, you need to multiply by about seventy-two.
How about making an inventory of your household possession and valuing them!
The inventory of the goods and chattels of John Brock of Arle in the parish of Cheltenham in the county of Gloucester lately deceased taken on Saturday 21st day of November 1719
|Imprimis Wearing Apparrell and money in purse||5||00||00|
|In the barne|
|About a load of wheat in the straw||2||08||00|
|About a load of pukse and barley straw chaffe & plowing||1||10||00|
|Two Fatt piggs||3||15||00|
|Three Store piggs in the backside||1||01||00|
|Nine milking cows and a bull and one horse att||27||00||00|
|Seven two-year heiffers att||10||10||00|
|Ffive 0ne-year heiffers||3||15||00|
|Fforty ffive sheep in the ground||11||05||00|
|Three stooks of hay in the ground||20||00||00|
|Fifteen hurdles in the ffields||0||05||00|
|One dray and other wood||0||03||00|
|Ffour sack baggs||0||05||00|
|Two fflitches of bacon on the rack||1||15||00|
|In the day house|
|About 7 hundred of cheeses||9||10||00|
|A cheese press and churne and one cowle and one skeel and six cheesefats, one table and five shelves||0||15||00|
|In the chamber over the drink house|
|One bedstead, six pair of sheets, three draper napkins, one tablecloth, one bed and one bolster and one pillow and one blankett and one coverlid||4||15||06|
|A scoop full of beans about 6 bushells in it||1||01||06|
|Two pair of plate buttons and a razor||0||02||03|
|In the dayhouse chamber|
|One bedstead, bed bolster, one blankett and one rugg||0||15||00|
|In the chamber over the kitchen|
|One bedstead, matt and bed and bolster, one blankett and rugg||1||00||00|
|In the cider house|
|One hogshead full of cider||0||15||00|
|One hogshead empty, 3 barrells & one runlett empty||1||00||00|
|Two cowels and one large skeel||0||10||00|
|One pair of costrells||0||10||00|
|A stack of coles||0||06||00|
|One woollen turne, one hair sieve, one pair of butterscales and one large beame and scales and weights||0||06||00|
|One leather bottle, twealve glass bottles||0||01||06|
|And one other tram||0||01||00|
|The brass in the kitchen|
|One brewing kettle, one lesser, 2 brasse potts, one warming pan, one skillett, one other kettle, one brass ladle and two skimers and a small kettle||2||10||00|
|Ffour dishes of pewter||0||10||00|
|One dozen of trenchers||0||02||00|
|One table and fforme||0||08||00|
|One bacon rack||0||01||06|
|One spitt and one gridle iron||0||01||08|
|One ffire shool and one pair of tongs||0||02||00|
|One jack and three iron wedges||0||04||06|
|One pair of Bellows||0||00||06|
|And two ladders||0||05||00|
|Other odd things||0||08||08|
|From other side||105||14||03|