To assist in my family history research I have purchased the microfilm archives of the Overseers accounts from St Nicholas Church. Whilst looking for my family members I have been reading some fascinating entries in the accounts.
The first was mention of a population count taken in 1831. This was done by William Kent and Richard Oakley (Churchwardens), William Kingston and Joshua Jennings (Overseers). Kent and Oakley took the North East side of the town, Jennings and Kingston took the South West side. There were 1025 females and 947 males, making a total of 1972.
The second interesting entry was that of the workhouse expenditure in 1831. I quote;
Beer for washing 3d
Blue for washing 1d
Butter for washing 6d
2 new shoes 1/6d
New mops 2d
Does anyone know why beer and butter is used for washing?
The last mention is that of the weekly pay list for labourers. This appears to be able bodied men who were paid for jobs around the town.There are a number of local names mention in the list and I quote some here;
” James Russell 6 days work and William Ivory 6 days work each in the gravel pit. Issac Welch 1 day, William Saunders 5 days, James Simmons 2 days John Spriggs 5 days, Issac Hunt 4 days……”
The overseers accounts make for fascinating reading with many entries of local names. Many of them as paupers and it is interesting to see how the church paid such an important role in looking after the poor and those in need of help.