Wednesday 20 June 2012

Opinionated Clergyman

A selection of entries from the unofficial 1816 census for Rothbury, Northumberland, as taken by the local clergyman:

Joseph Hindmarsh is married and has three sons - the eldest 19. They have 2 Bibles and 2 Prayer books. The house is not very clean but it seems to be the fault of the hovel in which they live rather than that of the inhabitants.

James Tues, aged 78, and his wife, live by themselves in great poverty and yet are contented. They only have 2 shillings a week allowed to them by the Parish and the old woman earns about 2 pence a day by spinning, and on this they live without a murmur. They have 1 Bible and 1 Prayer book.

Mr Gray was apprenticed to a grocer, married a woman who had £1,500, took a farm under Sir J.Riddell ... and manages it with the utmost economy. He has two sons and two daughters, three male servants and one female, [and has] 2 Bibles. He goes to the meeting at Thropton but calls himself a dissenter rather than a Presbyterian; a disciple of Belsham's & Paine's apparently in religion as well as politics. He abuses constituted authority, admires himself prodigiously, and like other factious brawlers for freedom, plays the tyrant at home. His cottagers are in a wretched plight. He was turned out of the room on Easter Tuesday, 1815, after dinner, for turbulence and licentiousness. 

George Dixon and his wife have two sons and two daughters, the eldest 6 years old. They have 1 Bible, a clean house, but go to the Meeting. This man in May 1814 bought a cow off his master John Bolam for £18 which sum he gave him a promissory note, payable 6 months afterdate in Nov.1814. He paid the money, but did not recover his note, which remained in the hands of a Banker, who now prosecutes him for payment.

[thanks to Pennie Redmile]

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