My ancestor Richard Hall loved lists – even lists of lists. Quite why some of these lists have survived the centuries is a bit of a mystery. OK, it has helped that the males in my family have all been inveterate hoarders, but I still find it strange that at no stage have any of the women in the family come along and binned the whole lot, as being a load of rubbish. Only now, 250 years, can you say that they have any historic value!
Take Richard’s shopping lists: I have dozens of them. This is an example, showing two sets of purchases from ‘Messrs Johnson’ – which I take to be the name of a shopping emporium in Burford in the Cotswolds (the nearest large town to where Richard lived). Decipher it yourselves – and let me know if you hit any stumbling blocks and I will give you a transcription!