Following on from high-lighting some of Richard’s lists, here is a repeat of an earlier blog about the entire list of household contents at One London Bridge, at the time when Richard’s son William was in residence:
When Richard and William terminated their partnership (selling hosiery and general haberdashery from Number One London Bridge) they commissioned an Inventory of the items at the premises. This excluded trade items but covered all the furniture and effects, right down to bed-linen, pictures and books. The inventory was dated 15th May 1794. William stayed a haberdasher but concentrated on the import of silks – and eventually became Master of the Haberdashers Guild (1820). His place in the family business was taken by his younger brother Francis, who remained living over the shop for another twentyfive years.
The list reveals that the building (other than the shop and counting room) consisted of thirteen separate rooms. No mention is made of a privy – presumably because it was outside.
Even the shop had a feather bed – no doubt because an apprentice slept there overnight. Indeed it is the sheer number of beds which catches the eye. Assuming that a bolster would not have been appropriate to a single bed, it looks as though there were seven double beds, one single, plus a “straw pallice” i.e. palliasse. In theory sixteen people could be in occupation. From the description of the Hall household it is assumed that there were only two domestic servants “living in” – presumably in “Room No. 3 – Left hand” with its “Stump bedstead…a wainscoat chest of drawers, round table, square dressing glass” (i.e. mirror) and stove with “tin fender”.
The other rooms contain rather more furniture and benefit from “window curtains” (as distinct from “bed curtains”).
In the main bedroom there is a half tester bed (i.e. with a canopy) with what is described as “Harrateen furniture” (Harrateen being a type of woollen fabric, used here for the drapes, canopy and curtains). The main bed had a goose feather mattress and pillows – other mattresses appear to have been mostly “feather” (of unspecified origin) or “flock” or straw. “Scotch carpet” appears to have been laid in strips – presumably around the sides and bottom of the bed – in most rooms. Only the Dining Room had a Wilton carpet.
As the Hall family would only have justified half the beds, the rest were either an indication that rooms were let out (a common way of generating an income, then as now) or shows rather more than one apprentice or shop assistant living in.
I appreciate that a mere list can seem as dry as dust, but just in case any novel writers out there are looking for authenticity, here is the list of all the things at One London Bridge this week, 218 years ago.
Inventory of the Household Furniture Linen China & Books taken at Mr Wm. Hall, hosier
No.1 London Bridge May 15, 1794
No. 1 Right hand and spair back
A half-tester bedstead and crimson Harrateen Furniture
A goose-feather bed, bolster and pillow. 2 blankets and a quilt
A truckle bedstead – a feather bed. Bolster, three blankets and a quilt
A walnut chest of drawers. 6 stained chairs – canvas seats
A corner night chair. A table clock – black Ebony Case by Smolling (?).
3 slips of carpets. A Harrateen window curtain
No 2 Right hand front
A bath stove, serpentine fender. Shovel, tongs and fender
A 4-part bedstead, Linen furniture. A feather bed, bolster & pillow
3 blankets. A linen quilt. A pair glass in a walnut tree Gilt frame.
A walnut tree kneehole dressing table. A ditto low chest of drawers.
6 black dyed chairs – matted seat A square Scotch carpet 2 slips of Ditto.
A wainscoat. Pillow, Chair, Table. 5 paintings on Glass.
No 3 left hand
A Stump (?) bedstead. A feather bed bolster & pillow. 3 blankets a wainscoat chest of drawers a ditto round table. A square dressing glass
A Scotch carpet. A brass front stove, tin fender.
No 4 Back room
A high wire fender. A parrot cage. 3 Cloaths horses. A large round table
A (?) Lanthorn (lantern). Sundry boxes. A folding board and sundries
A hatch and stairs
No. 5 Spair back room
A 4 part bedstead with Green Damask furniture – a goose feather bed bolster,
2 pillows, a flock mattress. A blanket, a green damask window curtain.
A Mahogany one drawer table. An oval swing Dressing Glass.
4 Mahogany Chairs – horse hair seats. Sundry fossils and shells.
A basin stand, a wainscoat bureau. A Scotch carpet to go around the bed.
No. 6 – Spair right hand front room
A bath stove. Shovel tongs and poker. A 4 part bedstead, mahogany feet.
Pillows. Printed cotton furniture. A feather bed, bolster, 2 pillows. A straw pallice.
3 blankets, a white cotton counterpane. 2 sets of cotton festoon window curtains.
A compress front mahogany Chest of drawers. A swing glass in a Mahogany frame.
A Mahogany double chest of drawers. 6 Mahogany chairs, horsehair seats.
A Scotch carpet and 2 bedsides (i.e. slips). A Mahogany basin stand Jug and Basin
A small ditto Cloaths Horse. Side bed. A small feather bed.
2 pillows, 2 flannel blankets a Marseilles quilt, an India picture. 2 China jars & Covers. 2 ….(?) & 2 pieces blown glass.
No. 7 – Spair left hand
An iron grate on hearth stones. A harrateen window curtain & rod
A Mahogany cloaths press with folding doors & drawer under.
A Mahogany bureau. A small ditto. An easy chair. Cushion. Linen case.
A Scotch carpet 2 setts of window curtains. ….….(?) A purple ditto.
4 Diaper Table cloths,2 small ditto. 4 Damask Breakfast Ditto
4 Diaper Table Cloths. 1 pair Lancashire Sheets
4 pairs Russia Ditto, 3 pair Ditto. 2 pair Lancashire Ditto, 2 odd sheets
8 pairs Pillowcases, 6 Diaper Hand Towels. 9 Huckerback towels – 2 Jack Ditto
2 old Ditto. 20 hand towels. A breakfast cloth – 2 Pudding Ditto
A cotton counterpane. A sett of blue check bed Curtains
One vol. Folio ½ bound. 1 Ditto unbound. 5 Ditto 4to (Quarto). Plates to ditto. Miscellaneous Tracks (tracts) relating to Antiquity. Baileys Dictionary. Buchans Domestic Medicine. Thompsons Travels. Non-conformists Memorial, 2 volumes, Winchesters Tracks. Philadelphian Magazine. A Dictionary. Harveys Meditations. Herberts Poems. James Beauties (?). 36 bound books. Sundry pamphlets – 4 bound. Pashams Bible. Hymns & Psalms. A family bible. Crudens Concordances. Clark on the Testament.4 maps of Europe Asia Africa & America. An orrery. 3 Portraits framed & Glazed.
No.8 Spair back room
A fretwork Mahogany Tea Table. A Japan Ditto. A variable (?) one-draw Table.
A Draft Board. A slip of floor cloth. Sundry stones shells & fossils.
A painting of fruit, sundry shells in a drawer.
No. 9 Dining Room
Fender shovel Tongs & Poker. 3 sett of blue Damask festoon window curtains.
A steel stove. 2 oval pier glasses in carved gilt frames. A square pillar & claw Table.
2 square mahogany Dining Tables with 2 flaps. A round Ditto.
A Mahogany Dumb Waiter. 6 Ditto Chairs Sattin hair seats brass nailed. 2 Elbow Ditto. A Wilton carpet.
A marble slab on a Mahogany stand – a Mahogany book Case, Glass Doors.
A Harpsichord in a walnut tree case by Kirkhoffe …(?), a violin, a flute, a high Mahogany Chair, a Ditto stool, a Japan’d Urn, a Mahogany stand, 2 waiters.
Cut(lery) and knife tray. Sundry Moths & insects framed & Glazed. Sundry Stones Shells & Fossils. A Canary Bird & Cage. A Mahogany Knife case.
A set of cruets with Silver Tops – 2 small miniature portraits.
No. 10 Kitchen
1 Trivet, 2 Crane Hooks. Footman(i.e. kettle stand) 2 Spits…(?) Dripping Pan Stand.
2 Gridirons. A copper Boiler. A Tea Kettle. 2 Porrage pots & covers. 3 Saucepans.
A chocolate pot. A pair of Princes metal candlesticks. 1 pr shorter Ditto.3 high brass Ditto. A brass ladle. A tin fish kettle plate & cover. 5 Saucepans & covers.
6 candlesticks. 10 patties. Loose tea ware (?). Bread basket. Japan Sugar Ditto. 3 Tin Cannisters. 14 Oval & round dishes.12 large plates. 6 small Ditto.
Sundry Queens Ware. 4 water (?) plates. A meat steamer(?) lined with Tin. A Deal table with 2 flaps.6 wood chairs. A pair of bellows. Salt box. Spice Box.2 sieves. A Japan Patent Jack. A Deal cupboard under Dresser. A Hatch on stairs.
No. 11 Store Room
An eight day clock in a walnut tree case by Wright. A Square Mahogany 2-flap Dining Table. A 2-flap Deal Table. A small cloaths horse. A plate warmer.
2 Frying pans. A footman (i.e. kettle stand). A tin Fish Kettle. A copper warming pan. A brass Ditto. A small Lanthorn (lantern). A Japan Tea Tray. 3 Flat irons & 2 stands.
A pewter(?) water dish. 4 round dishes. 10 plates. A tureen. A copper stew pan. A bell. Metal Saucepan.
1 brass 1 copper Urn. Part of a set of China containing 35 pieces. A tea-pot
Cover.6 cups & saucers. 6 blue and white cups & saucers. Basin. 6 candle
Basins & Saucers. 27 china plates. 3 Ditto bowls. A dragon basin. 2 mugs.
A tureen cover. 14 soup plates. 4 Dishes. 9 Patties. 4 basons.2 jugs. 4
Round dishes. 15 pieces of Queens Ware.4 Red dishes & sundry Jars. 2
Glass Decanters. 20 wine & jelly Glasses. A Tumbler. A Mahogany
knife tray. 2 Waiters. 1 Japan Ditto. Candle box, lamp, 2 pairs of plated
Candlesticks. A dish cross (?). 2 pairs of snuffers. A plated stand. A plated
Cruet (?) with 5 glasses. 12 brown-handled knives & forks.12 small Ditto.
Shop No. 12
A feather bed, bolster & pillows. 2 blankets & a rug.
No. 13 Cellar
A beer stand. 2 wash tubs. 2 pails. Sundry Garden Pots
All the Effects in the Foregoing Inventory is valued at One Hundred & Twenty Five pounds fifteen shillings & 6d by
for Samuel Burton, Houndsditch.
The family interest in astronomy was reflected in the “orrery” – a clockwork mechanism used to show the movement of the planets around the sun, and named after the Earl of Orrery. Some years earlier the Earl had commissioned the instrument maker J Rowley to make just such an instrument copying the invention of George Graham.
The list of linen is interesting with its reference to “Diaper Table Cloths” – diaper meaning “diamond patterned”, Huckerback towels – which the Oxford Dictionary defines as being “made of stout linen or cotton fabric” and “Jack Towels” meaning roller towels. The family appear to have been musical, with a “harpsichord in a Walnut Tree case” along with a violin and a flute. Ornaments seem to have been dominated by shells and fossils,many of which are still in my possession, along with miniature portraits and “sundry Moths and Insects framed and glazed”.
Even the canary in its cage was listed in the inventory (in the Dining Room, next to the Mahogany Knife Case). The parrot cage in the Back Room was presumably without an inmate (since none was mentioned) but indicates the popularity of keeping caged birds as pets.
The total value of the entire household contents came to a modest £125.15s.6d. (the equivalent of perhaps £6,500) but this may well have reflected that at ten pounds per room this was a “family valuation”.
A picture showing One London Bridge (then, the postal address of premises North of the River Thames, immediately to the left of the Church of St Magnus the Martyr, and behind the old water wheel).
Many more details about One London Bridge can be found in The Journal of a Georgian Gentleman but I find it fascinating to think that I actually know in which room in the house some of the items I now own were originally kept.