ENG-CUL-COPELAND-L ArchivesArchiver > ENG-CUL-COPELAND > 2009-01 > 1233313122
From: "Chris Dickinson" <>
Subject: [CUL-COP] a 1665 debt
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 10:58:42 -0000
I've been trying on another forum to work out why John Bragg of Swinside owed so much money at his death in 1665. I've just posted this there - perhaps some of you may be able to help out here?
In my further attempts to squeeze this lemon dry, it has struck me that over
a period of 30 years, the value of the farm's sheep tripled.
1665 Probate inventory of John Bragg:
Great beasts £22 120s
old [?] sheep £14
Lambs £2 10s
1674 Probate inventory of his wife Isabella Bragg:
Beasts, a horse and sheep £9
[presumably her widow's portion from the previous list]
1692 Probate inventory of his son Robert Bragg:
Beasts of all sorts £29 14s
Horses and Mares £4 00s
Sheep £36 16
Sheep at Gill £8 12s
Robert's total inventory was £107 against his father's £65, and debts of £6
against £44. Evidently a lot more prosperous.
The 1665 inventory was taken in July and the 1692 one in April. To what
extent, if any, would the time of year make a difference in valuations?
Tupping in the northern lowlands started on 18 October [St Luke's Day],
lambing in mid-March, or on the fells November & mid-April. Washing,
clipping and re-smitting June-July, salving in November. I suppose it's
possible that the July inventory was inflated because the sheep hadn't yet
One possible interpretation is that the 1665 farm was understocked and that
the 1692 figure was more of a norm; and that the 1665 debt may therefore
represent a sudden (or slowly over years) restocking process. Any comments
Bear in mind that I am absolutely not a farmer - city boy entirely!
|[CUL-COP] a 1665 debt by "Chris Dickinson" <>|