A small, coverless book, the size of an
exercise book, has come to light. It contained at one end, in faded
brown ink, detailed accounts of the expenditure of William Halford, the
Rector of Ightham, in Kent and at the other "the profits of the
parsonage" for the years 1750-54.
The total profits in 1750 were £271 19s. 2~d., and they
consisted of occasional fees, tithes, and moneys received from the sale
of farm produce. The Rector sold peas (a gallon for 6d.), pea haulm,
oats, wheat (4s. 3d. a bushel), barley (2s. a bushel), malt, oats, rye,
chaff, dung, straw (in 1750 this brought in £10 17s.), a stack of hay,
apples, walnuts, cyder, mead, onions, and clover seed. Among many other
transactions, 18 ducks were sold for 8d. each, an old cow for £4, a pig
13s. 6d., a calf 8s., and 30 stone of pork for £2 15s. He received 13s.
6d. from Widow Linton for a copper pot, and 5s. from Dame Basset for
"hogg meat ". His housekeeper, Mrs. Dryland, was in charge of
the cows, and at intervals "milk and butter money" from her is
included. At the end of the financial year he offset house expenses—garden
produce, feed for horse and cows, dogmeat, straw for the thatch, and
"wheat used in house and at Christmas ". After September,
1752, the sale of produce, except for apples, ceases, but Thomas Dodd
then started to pay £53 yearly rent, and possibly
over the farm. In April, 1753, there is a curious entry : "Holly,
for rent of parsonage, £5 ", which is repeated in 1754, but from
the outgoings, life seems to have gone on there as before.
A Mr. Dawson was employed as curate at £40 yearly, and
there is an entry : "Of Dawson, fees, 17s." The fee for burial
was 2s., a wedding 5s., a christening is., banns is., a certificate is.
The two largest tithe payers paid £18 6s. 6d. and £17 15s. 6d.; others
ranged from is. upwards. Seventeen acres of tithe wood brought in £10
4s. The Rector also received interest from sums of money, up to £100,
which he lent.
From payments to the staff, it is clear that Mrs. Dryland
received £5 a year, and she remained throughout the period. A maid and
a manservant, who received £2 10s. a year each, were not content.
Susan, Mary Hind, Betty Wells, Mary Haslam, and Mary Cook succeeded each
other. Pol was paid is. for wheeling goods and is. wages, and then
disappears. Cornelius was replaced by Tom, and Giles followed. Giles had
clothes provided and 4s. "for his pocket". Four months later
his wages accumulated to 17s. 6d. Durling was employed on farm work on a
piece work basis. He thrashed peas, wheat, barley,