Posts Tagged ‘1880s’

The Reverend George Grisdale Hicks’ gift

September 7, 2016

The small charities which have been administered by the church are probably a cause of much work and soul searching these days. In the 1880s the Reverend George Grisdale Hicks left £50 for the purchase of a consolidated 3% annuity, the income from which was to be spent ‘for the benefit of deserving and necessitous inhabitants of East Lavington to be selected for this purpose by the said Vicar by way of gifts in money, clothing, fuel or other articles in kind, or to be applied in any other way the said Vicar may choose for the benefit of the aforesaid deserving and necessitous inhabitants’.

And here we see the certificate for the 3% consolidated annuity.


Certificate for the Reverend George Grisdale Hicks’ Gift

If our maths is correct this yields £1.50 each year. The paper working administering this probably costs more and the benefits which can be given out are tiny. Sensibly, a number of small and similar charities have been merged.

But the surprising question here is, ‘Who was Reverend George Grisdale Hicks?’ He was not a vicar at Market Lavington Church.

All we can say is that in 1881 he was a boarder at Fiddington House where Charles Hitchcock was in charge. Hicks was listed as a clergyman without cure of souls and he had been born in Coberley in Gloucestershire in about 1835. We have not yet found what brought him to Fiddington House but he is not listed among the patients who were resident at this private lunatic asylum.

He died soon after this census.

Anybody who can tell us more – we’d be interested to hear.



Broadwell – about 1880

March 25, 2016

Broadwell features quite often on this site and that is only right and proper. For Broadwell was until living memory for the oldest residents the source of water which allowed our community to develop and prosper. Without Broadwell there’d have been no Market Lavington.

Our earliest image is the 1837 sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow – click here to see it. This painting, recently passed to the museum, dates we think, from around 1880.

Broadwell ca 1880 - a painting believed to be by James Gye

Broadwell ca 1880 – a painting believed to be by James Gye

The cottage we see belonged to Merritt’s the blacksmiths so let’s imagine it is Mr Merritt in the doorway. We can see the pump on the left. It’s no longer there but its former position can easily be spotted. In the 1837 image another cottage stood at the extreme left but that has clearly been demolished and it looks as though the wood may have been planted and fenced off.

The crossing is clearly a ford which has ducks swimming over it (not a common site at Broadwell) but for those who needed dry feet there are some well spaced stepping stones. It all looks an idyllic scene.

We believe this may have been painted by James Gye, grandfather of Tom who died last year. It isn’t signed but is clearly charmingly naïve and similar to another painting which the late Tom had told us was by his grandfather.

Whilst not pre-photography this dates from before common use of the camera so helps fill in a gap in our history. We feel very pleased to have this item in the museum.


A Pestle and Mortar

January 15, 2015

Many years ago when our curator was a fairly new steward, a visiting bell ringer popped into the museum and enquired as to whether we had any bell metal mortars.

Specific requests like this are quite rare but we have a record system and things can be looked up. Our future curator was thus able to come back with an ‘I’m sorry, nobody has given us one yet’ and then produce a standard pestle and mortar.

Well we still don’t have one made of bell metal but it seemed like time to give our ordinary mortar, complete with associated pestle, an airing on the blog.

A 19th century pestle and mortar at Market Lavington Museum

A 19th century pestle and mortar at Market Lavington Museum

They do not look to be an original pair. That pestle (the beating and grinding stick) is surely too big for the mortar (the dish) but both are believed to date from about the 1880s.

The mortar and the active end of the pestle are made of a ceramic material, hard enough so that it doesn’t get worn away, yet not so brittle that it breaks easily. We think the lovely, tactile handle of the pestle is made of ash wood but if that’s a bad guess then maybe a timber expert out there will put us straight.

There are marks on the base of the mortar.

Museum and manufacturer marks

Museum and manufacturer marks

The top two numbers are our museum identifiers. Marking such objects is quite a problem since the marks need to be permanent, yet removable. Suffice to say they are precisely that. The other marks – the large letter I and the word Turner are, presumably, maker’s marks but we have not identified anything more about them.

Our gut feeling is that the hefty pestle would originally have been intended for a pharmacist, crushing his potions whilst the mortar may have been rather more domestic. However, the two items arrived at the museum as one item and had been in the possession of a resident of White Street in Market Lavington.


Ho-Ho Hoe

December 25, 2014

Forgive the pun – but hey, it is Christmas Day and that, by now traditionally, is the least busy day of the year on this blog. Viewer numbers are usually very small. We’ll even try a low pun to get the numbers up.

Now what on earth else are people doing on Christmas day? Apart, that is from seeing friends, family, giving and receiving gifts, eating, drinking and generally being merry, maybe attending a church service or some other gathering etc etc.

Well, they could be out in the garden and it is a garden tool – or part of one, that we are looking at today. And yes, of course, it is a hoe.

A local blacksmith made hoe dating from the 1880s

A local blacksmith made hoe dating from the 1880s

It’s a reminder of past times. These days if you want garden tools you go to a shop and buy them. Back in the 19th century you went to your local blacksmith and had one made. This hoe was made by a local blacksmith some 130 years ago. It has suffered the ravages of time – it really is quite rusty.

Obviously there is no handle but it would have been quite substantial. This hoe blade is a hefty item with a width of about 25 cm (10 inches) which is much wider than most current hoes. Its shape suggests that it was a hoe which cut down weeds on the push and pull strokes.  Of course, neither the front nor the back is particularly sharp now.

With another Santa ‘ho-ho hoe’ can we at Market Lavington Museum wish all our many readers a very happy Christmas under whatever name you care to call this season of the year.

A lily pot

October 30, 2014

We think of Edward Box as being the man who had the brick works in Market Lavington for most of the second half of the 19th century. And that is true, but of course, it was actually the brick, tile and pottery works and it is a pot that we’ll look at today – a pot designed for growing a lily.

Lily pot made by Edward Box of Market Lavington in about 1880

Lily pot made by Edward Box of Market Lavington in about 1880

Here is the pot and we can see straight away it does have a broken rim and that broken off part is missing and may well have been lost 100 or more years ago.

Anything made by Box of Market Lavington must date from that second half of the nineteenth century and we estimate this one as from around 1880.

The image above shows it has been decorated by two horizontal lines around the pot but it also has a vertical line motif running right round the shoulder of it.

Lily pot decoration

Lily pot decoration

Not surprisingly, we can see this pot has suffered other weather related flaking in the past – but how good to have something from our brickworks that is definitely not a brick or tile.



Golden Jubilee medallion

August 29, 2014

It was a couple of years ago that we really had a royal year at the museum as we celebrated the diamond jubilee of our present queen.

Today we look back to 1887 and the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria via another of Norman’s metal detector finds.

1887 Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee medallion - a Market Lavington metal detector find

1887 Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee medallion – a Market Lavington metal detector find

This medallion measures less than two inches (5cm) across. It shows a profile view of Victoria in the middle and traces four major events in her life on the four branches of the cross.

Starting on the left we have that she was born in 1819 and this branch of the cross shows a shamrock plant to represent Ireland which was all, then, a part of the one country.

At the top we have that she was crowned in 1838 (she became queen in 1837). That branch of the cross shows a crown.

On the right we have that she married in 1840. Her husband, of course, was Albert. We also see here a thistle to represent Scotland.

And at the bottom we have jubilee year of 1887 with an English rose.

The medallion looks as though it might have had a bar at the top and may have been held to a garment with a ribbon and pin.

We imagine somebody was sorry to lose it. Maybe they’d be happy to know that nearly 120 years after it was made it now has a home at Market Lavington Museum.

A clothes drainer

August 8, 2014

Our curator recalls that his mum used to spend hours at a kitchen sink hand washing clothes. Our archivist remembers that her mum used a dolly tub and posser. The way we wash clothes has changed out of all recognition in a short time – if you call fifty to sixty years a short time.

Today we are looking at an item which dates back more than 120 years. It is really part of history, and yet the reason for having such an object is really very obvious. It is a simple wooden rack.

An 1880s clothes draining rack at Market Lavington Museum

An 1880s clothes draining rack at Market Lavington Museum

Here, the 19th century rack is placed over a galvanised basin, but more probably it would have been over a copper. Clothes removed from the copper could be placed on the rack to drain. The advantages are obvious. The hot water was reused and whilst some heat would have been lost, much of the heat energy was returned to where it was wanted. The other benefit was that the water didn’t end up on the floor or anywhere else.

It’s a simple device and provides a good solution to a washday problem.

The rack came from Mr Joe Wells whose mother and grandmother ran the laundry at Sands Farm in Easterton. Joe’s mother had been Ann Fidler, born in Easterton and his grandmother had been born as Ann Hopkins in about 1839.

This item is on display in the washday area of our museum kitchen.

Letter Scales

February 20, 2014

At Market Lavington Museum we have a set of scales for weighing letters that date back to the 1880s. They were given to the museum, many years ago, by Rose Crouch who had been a Hiscock before she married.

Victorian letter scales at Market Lavington Museum

Victorian letter scales at Market Lavington Museum

The scales are beautifully made in brass on a wood base and with a velvet lining. We think the weights, wrapped up in this photo, come from different scales.

The purpose is obvious. You could weigh a letter and then look up what value stamp was needed to post it. When made, you wouldn’t have needed a separate table of weights and prices for they are embossed on the scale pan.

Postal charges (for 1880) are embossed on the scale pan

Postal charges (for 1880) are embossed on the scale pan

Three rates were given. For letters weighing less than an ounce it was a penny. That’s an old penny of course with 240 of them to the pound. Between one and two ounces upped the cost to a penny halfpenny (1½d) and then up to four ounces cost tuppence (2d).

Using the retail price index as a measure of inflation, that old penny in 1880 is much the same as 35p today which makes stamps much more expensive now. But if you consider incomes, the equivalent of earning a penny in 1880 is £1.82 today, so in terms of income it is much cheaper to send letters now.

We think these scales are lovely items – a real treasure of Market Lavington.

John Sainsbury at Parham Farm

January 14, 2014

We recently showed a picture of the Sainsbury family at Parham farm in the Fiddington area. The photo was taken in the 1880s and John Sainsbury, the farmer, was not in the photo. Today we’ll make good that omission by showing a photo, probably taken on the same day, of John with cows, at the farm.

John Sainsbury at Parham Farm in the 18880s

John Sainsbury at Parham Farm in the 1880s

This farm fell foul of the new railway line when it was built at the end of the nineteenth century. It no longer exists. We believe the photo dates from the 1880s John was born in about 1847.

Sainsbury has been a very common name locally and of course, John is also common. We can’t be certain which John this is but it could be that his parents were James and Harriett who lived in Easterton which was, then, a part of the parish of Market Lavington. As a teenager, John may have been a servant working for a family in Imber. We think John married Elizabeth Giddings in 1868 and that he died in 1909.

Maybe somebody out there can tell us more.

The Sainsbury Family at Parham Farm

January 6, 2014

Back in the nineteenth century a branch of the Sainsbury Family farmed at Parham. Then, as the century came to a close there were changes. The new railway was being built and, as we understand it, Parham Farm had to go. However, we have a couple of photos and here is one of them.

The Sainsbury family at Parham Farm - probably in the 1880s

The Sainsbury family at Parham Farm – probably in the 1880s

We believe this photo dates from the late 1880s and shows the farm and members of the household. There is what looks to be a fine oak tree and a useful cart for transporting people. As it was over two kilometres from Parham to the centre of the village, the cart was no doubt much in use.

We cannot name the people individually, but we can list family names from the 1891 census.

The head of the family was John, born around 1847. He is not shown on this picture. His wife was Elizabeth who was born around 1848. She could be sitting on the bench with the young child.

The children they had were: Elizabeth (1870), Frederick (1871), Sarah (1874), William (1876), Bertram (1879), Florence (1881), Lily (1883), Vernon (1885), Arthur (1887) and Stanley (1890).

With the demise of their farm, the family were able to find a new home at Manor Farm in Chirton. The 1901 census there gives some alternative names. Florence was then known as Edith, Vernon is called Edgar and Stanley has become Herbert.

The birth place of members of this family are confused. On the 1881 census John and the children were said to have been born in Easterton. In 1891 the older members of the family were said to have been born in West Lavington and the younger ones in Market Lavington. In 1901 they all say Market Lavington.

This suggests that they were all born in the area known as Fiddington – this strip of land did, indeed, swap parishes.