Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Diarists.                        5
Commissioners for the approbation of Publique Preachers sitting at Whitehall" (a body of men partly ministers, partly laymen, appointed by Cromwell and his Council for the proper filling-up of benefices in England and Wales), he "removed fully and wholly from Lindfield to Horstead Canes" (sic), where he immediately commenced his diary (from February, 1655), and continued it up to within a few days of his death in 1679. It occupies 60 pages of the first volume of the Sussex Archaeological Collections; and the greater part of the entries relate to the price of things bought and sold, the amount of tithe taken for lands, crops, &c, and the personal expenses of the Rev. Giles Moore.
But ever and anon a fact crops up which helps to diversify the otherwise dry and matter-of-fact character of the diary. Thus, how business was carried on in Sussex more than 200 years ago may be guessed from the fact that the Rector bought his "coverletts," blankets, bolsters, &c, of William Clowson,* "upholsterer itinerant, living over against the Crosse at Chichester, but who comes about the country with his packs on horseback?' This, in fact, was the way in which business was chiefly carried on in Sussex in the 17th century. The roads were too heavy for vehicles, and "packmen," who rode on horseback, were the chief carriers of " dry goods." Still, some of his heavier furniture Mr. Moore procured from London, notably, "a bed, with purple rug, curtaines, &c, which cost mee altogether £20. 16s. 7d."
If this was dear, house labour was cheap. To his man­servant, Mr. Moore paid £$ a-year; and to his maid-servant, Rose Coleman, £3. What would be said to such salaries at the present time, even if doubled to allow for the deprecia­tion of gold ?
If Mrs. Moore had kept a diary (would that she had !) she would doubtless have told us what her weekly household
* Was this William Clowson an ancestor of that William Clowes who went from Chichester ioo years later and established the world-famed printing business of Clowes and Son ? Names got very much altered—cropped or augmented—in past ages.
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