Wedmore Genealogy Pages
III. FARMING AND MISCELLANEOUS EXTRACTS.
The Doctor was a bit of a farmer. I now give extracts relating to matters that are not medical. The former entries have related to aches, these will mostly relate to acres, or as the Doctor would have said "yeakes and yeackers."
The first extract I give for the sake of the spelling, which shows the Doctor's pronunciation. In the middle of a number of entries about pills and potions supplied to Cozen William Veale in 1686 comes this entry;
"Then I paid Cozen william for the wokes that he got for me." F. 16 b.
On the same page, he enters that he paid Cozen William 14s. for the Barley Crop in Clements acre, March 26, 1688.
F. 23 b. May 28, 1686. Recd. of William Fisher a peease of leather for ye poumpe in full of all accounts to this day.
William Fisher was the shoemaker who made shoes for the in-patients.
F. 23 b. Feb. 1 1686/7. Bought of Marey George of Bedmister one grose of vialls at 5 pence a dosen. 5 shillings.
May 20, 1686. Bought of Willmuth Powell six dusen of vialls at 7d. ye dusen, six dusen of galley pots at 6d. ye dusen.
Over 90 dozen more of vialls and galley pots are entered on this page as being bought of Willmuth Powell, Joane Jones and Elizabeth George at 6d. per dozen, to be filled with remedies and then dispersed over the neighbourhood and swallowed for good or for evil.
F. 31. August ye last 1686. William Fisher his wax that he sent by the maid the bigest peece wayed just 2 pounds and 3 quarters and halfe an ounse, the lesser peece wayed fiftean ounses, see ye whole was lbs 3..11 1/2 ounses, the which I paid him for when he made ...?
The Doctor frequently lends money without interest. These next are only two entries out of many like ones.
F. 64. 1688. Lent Mrs. Crooke of Wedmore £2 which she promised to pay in a short time in a fortnights time. My sister Ann took it to her.
F. 68 b. July, 1688. Lent James Larder £1, the which he promised to pay me at Pridey faier or thereabout.
Priddy fair means there a date, not a place.
F. 71. In the midst of the pills and potions sent to Cozen William Veale of Sutton comes the yearly entry of 14 shillings paid to him "for ye rent of ye acre of ground in Clemens furlong for ye pease crop. March 29, 1689."
F. 77 b. Jan. 10, 1688/9. John Backer of Allerton rented the halfe ackre of ground at Lobthorne at fower shillings ye years ye time to goe in and out a ladey day.
Lady day is always "a lady day," the 'a' being a relic and survival of the Romish days, when people called the mother of Jesus "our lady," just as we call Jesus "our Lord." I don't know whether anybody still says or writes "a lady day," but it is to be seen in the Parish account books through the greater part of the last century, quite 200 years after "our lady" had ceased to hold her former place in the doctrines of the Church of England.
F. 81. There is not a trace of the Doctor in this page; only the nursery Farmer, the farmer going out of the common ruck and making experiments, is to be seen. No medicines for yeakes, but seeds for yeakers.
"Clover seeds sould to Mr. John Wills of Bleadney at 3d. ye lb., 30 lbs., 7s. 6d."
William Browning had 30 lbs., John Wiseman 4 lbs., John Browne of Theale 45 lbs., Mr. Wickham 5 score lbs., Mr. Thomas Symonds of Brint 100 lbs., William Shepherd 70 lbs., Thomas Tincknell of Allerton 12 lbs., Richard Champion of Blackford 5 lbs., George Stone of Wedmore 3 lbs., Mrs. Savidge 36 lbs. These were sold in 1688 at 3d. and 3 1/4d. per lb.
The remainder of clover seeds sould Yhe next yeare in 1689. Mr. Gabriell Lytheyatt bespoke 64 lbs. Mr. Edward Urch of Mudsley 5 score and four lbs Robert Veascombe 3 score lbs; Thomas Harding of Hibridge 150 lbs; Mr. Hazell of St. Georges 15 lbs ; Mr. William Vowles of Panborough lbs. 32.
These were sold mostly at 5d. per lb.
F. 81 b. March 11, 1688/9. Robert Edgell owed £1..7..6.
" Received of Robert Edgell in a steare of 2 yeares ould 30 shillings, soc that there is due to Robart Edgell 2s. 6d."
F. 83. April 10, 1689. Andrew Hewish of Allerton sent his wife with part of the 2 years rent for ye three yards of Ground at Allerton for ye 2 yeares ending at Chrismas 1688 the sum of 20 shillings. Rests more to pay 8 shillings.
Going through the Journal a second time to take out extracts relating to farming, I catch sight of "couche grass." But on looking into it I find that it ought to have been put among the medical extracts. "Parfitts wife of Limsum, Shusannah Millard that was," has a child sick, and amongst other remedies is a something "to be taken one spunfull at a time 3 or 4 times a day in a decoction of couche grass louts." F. 83. So this extract should have gone among the yackes and not among the yackers. I don't know what louts are.
"The Complete English Herbal" by Nicholas Culpepper, which was first published in about 1650, after describing the medicinal virtues of Couch grass or Dog's grass or Quick grass, says, "Although a gardener be of another opinion, yet a physician holds half an acre of them to be worth five acres of carrots twice told over."
F. 88. Paid to Thomas Ward and Robert Birret for resting in part of pay 5 shillings.
If resting means wrestling, this shows the Doctor in another character, viz., as a supporter of the Sports of his day. But those sports also helped to support him, as bones were sometimes broken. So you have the circle, the Doctor helping to support the sports which in their turn helped to support him.
F. 92. The Doctor, not as a Doctor but as a Farmer, attended all the neighbouring fairs, and his accounts were often settled at them.
F. 92. Dee. 5, 1689. Then Richard Counsell and I came to an account, and thear did apeare due to me John Westover just £6, and then be paid me in part of pay of the £6 twoe pounds and 15 shillings, the rest he will pay about a Ladey deay 1690, the which I acknowledg and doe promise. (Signed) Richard Counsell. Recd. more in part of pay by the hands of his sune Richard five and thirty shillings, 2 halfe crownes of ye money was very small. Recd. more in part of pay of Richard Counsell at Cheder fayer, 1692. Ten shillings.
This small money has been already explained.
F. 96. b. Robert Tincknell of Wedmore owed , £1..10 "for the cure of his heape."
Item debtor for 2 bushell of barley delivered April 15, 1690. And then he paid my sister tenn shillings for ye barley.
F. 97. April 25, 1690. James Tucker of Sand tooke fower yearlens to keeping at 20 shillings for 21 weakes. If ye more (moor) be good I may put them out in more a month and take the munth after Mickellmas, but then I must loose the ode weacke. I put them in to the parke April 25. Likewise agreed for ye keeping of the fower calfes at 1 shilling the weacke, put them in May 16, 1690.... Put ye twoe kine to parke June 4, fecht them away and put them out in more a weacke after Wedmore fayer being July 28. Put them in againe and twoe more Aug. 16. Fecht away ye caulfes Sept. 27. The 3 yearlings fecht away at the 21 weackes end and some odd days. Fecht away ye cowes Oct. 20.
F. 99. Plowwork dune in 1690. John Westover debtor to John Tincknell for 4 oxen halleng of timber from Stowton and Blackford. Item John Westover debtor 2 oxens caring of hay from Meare one day, and one day from Burmead. Item for caring of the bridg to Meare and bringing of one lode of hay from the aforesaid John Tincknell. Item John Westover debtor to Richard Swett for caring of 3 lode of turfes with 2 oxen for Henrey Westover one day,and for caring one lode the next day, and for feching a loade of read at Godney. Richard Swette debtor to John Westover for one days work of the mare to hale. John Westover debtor to John House for 3 days workes of 2 oxen to halle turfes. John Westover debtor to Edward Tincknell for 3 or 4 houers worke of 2 oxen to hall dunge at Sparkemore. Item John Westover debtor to Matthew Barrow for 2 oxens halling of dounge 2 days.
F. 99. William Rowley's disbusments sins Whit Sunday 1690 as foloeth; Whit Mundey paid him at twise £1..5.0. Item Expenses going to Bristoll 1s. 2d. Paid to Thomas Ward for his worke 5 shillings. Paid Mr. Benoney Hill his Jezment for Ester last past (9 shillings erased). Paid William Baudens man for the Trane Souldiers 1s. 6d. Paid to William when he was bound an aprenntis 10s. Expenses at Felten at the same time 3s. 2d. Paid for the indentures and bond 3s. 6d. Sixpens more payed for ye bosses meate at Bristoll 6d. Expended tenn shillings to Bristoll 10s.
I have only given some of the items. William Rowley was the Doctor's nephew, apprentice, and general helper. He was the son of William Rowley who in 1667 married the Doctor's sister Joan. He was baptized in 1668, and buried 1697. His name will be found in his grandfather's will, which I print further on. Benoni Hill, (as I learn from that useful book, Weaver's Somerset Incumbents), was Vicar of Berrow 1662 to 1671, and Vicar of South Brent 1672 till his death in 1699. Jesment is for agistment, a familiar term before the moors were enclosed and tithes commuted.
F. 106. Nov. 25, 1690. Then rented the fower Ackers of Mead ground comanley called Riden at Westhay in the Parish of Meare of Thomas Morris for the year ending at Chrismas 1691 at fower pounds, the money to be paid at Mickellmas next 1691.
F. 107. John Westover debtor to Edwaid Tiocknell for feching the thornes from Riten mead and the stakes from Westom.
The name of this ground, Riden or Riten, is, I think, the plural of an old English word Rithe, a stream. We have the same word again in the ground called Riding stream, near Bagley, where the second part seems to be a translation of the first part, tacked on when the meaning of the older word was beginning to be forgotten. The springy nature of Riding stream agrees with this derivation.
F. 107 b. Hinerey Woodburne of Wedmore debting for ye making of sider at twise for ye yeare 1690, 9d.
F. 107 b. A statement of accounts between the Doctor and Cozen John Pitte of Wedmore during 1691 and 1692, shows Cozen John as debtor to the Doctor for money lent and for various medicines ; and also shows the Doctor as debtor to Cozen John for the following items
John Westover debtor to John Pitte for 4 oxen and one horse and selfe to fech 2 loade of lime at Wells. Item for 4 oxen and horse one day to fech ye 3 trees at Maltfild and twoe at Latcham. Item for ye carridge of ye wood out of ye ox hal. Item for one days work of 4 oxen and horse and twoe men to fech ye 2 lode of hay from ye orchat, ye turfe from Riten mead, and a mallemalle (or mattematte or mallematte?) of bay and one load of hay from Sparkmore. Item for one days work of 4 oxen and one horse to fech 2 load of hay from Burmead and 2 or 3 load from Sparkemore. Item for one days work of 4 oxen and 2 horses and 3 men to fech 9 load from Goodmead, Item for balling ye stones. Item for 3 men with 2 plowes to fech six packes of hay from Cowles ham.
F. 117. Jan, 28, 1691/2, Accounted with WillIam Hodges for his mead tythes, and hee with me for other reckonings, soe we made all even betwixt us to this deay. Sins went and bloded him, etc.
This William Hodges was one of the Doctor's many cousins. Whether he belonged to a younger branch of the Hodges family that 60 years before this was living at the Manor house, I am not at the present moment sure.
F. 123. Bord sawed out by William Cartar and Edmond Banwell June 15, 1693. One stock of aish cut 314 foot, the next 177, the next 134, ye next stock 179 foot.
A descendant of this Edmond Banwell, as we shall see presently, was the first tenant of the Doctor's house when the Westovers died out, and their property passed to Mr. Singer.
F. 123, b. Lent John Smith of Wedmore lower shillings Dec. 4, 1691, the which he pronsised to pay at twelve tid next.
Twelfth tide is an old name for the feast of the Epiphany, it being 12 days after Christmas.
F. 124, b. Jan. 28, 1691/2. Caried to ye widow Barter of Blackford 37 bushells and halfe and a quarter of a pecke of barley which shee bought of me at 3s. ye bushell and then I owed to her for mault 36 shillings for 12 bushells of mault, soe the barley out settled for mault, thear is due to me just £3..16..8 1/2.
F. 132. Lited ye Colle fier in ye grate Nov. 14, 1692, it was ended about July 1, 1693, and then begun ye next colle that John Ducket brought me, see in alle the cole leasted 33 weackes. Lited ye cole fier Dec. 7, 1696, one lode of it wee fecht ourselves, and 30 sackes Peetur Greene brought for mee.
F. 132. b. Oct.
29, 1692. Bought of Thomas Hill 52 lbs of Beafe, 8s. 4d. At another
time of beafe and mutten with ye tongue 57 lbs 9s. 6d. At another time
one shoulder of mutton at rod., and 12 1/2 lbs of porke at 2 1/4 d.
and halffe farthing. One shoulder of mutton 10d.
I don't know whether the
word ` henge" is still in use. In case it should not be I will
explain that it means the heart, liver, lungs etc., (Halliwell).
F. 137. Oct. 27, 1692. Henry Chapell of Wells receaved of me in part of pay for ye gates £2..10..0, and ye Smith for ye Iern at 2 payments 15s. To ye Smith at another time 5s. At another time to ye Smith in full for the hookes and ye small naills 16s.
F. 150. Oct. 14, 1693. Paid Henrey Chappell of Wells for fortnights worke for his selfe and one man and for a levee days for another man when theay made ye Racke and hainged the gats £1..13. .0 Item gave them one shilling to drinke. Paid to Rodger Club for naills and other Iren worke 5s. Paid at Wells to ye Ireen mounger for ye 2 barrs of Iren for ye stable dore 8 pence. Item to Nickolas Thomas for making of fewer holes in the barra 1s. Item to Henrey Bowltinge for ye Cayes and Boults to fasten them on 8d. Item Henrey Chapells dyat for ye fortnight and his 2 menn when they hanged ye gate and made ye racke. 16s. 6d.
It has been suggested that these two entries refer to the clyse which the Doctor put in the Blackford brook for his water meadow. The remains of this clyse can still be seen, or could lately. F. 137, is headed "William Rowley's disbusments," some of which I extract.
Oct. 1692. One shilling William had at Wells. One shilling more in a short time William had. A leven shillings, six pence farthing William had to pay for his Bucke skins. Paid Thomas West 2s 6d. being money he layd on to the pound tax. Paid June 3, 1693 for cloth and other nesicareys to make a coate wascoat and for silvar plate buttens for a payer of Bux leather briches for William Rowley £2..7..3, at which time I delivered a bill of it to William Rowley.
June 14. Paid to Sander Boone for a payer of shooes for William 3s. Twenty shillings William had Wedmor fayer day to pay for his ground that bee heired of Brother Henrey. William had nine shillings when he went for ye shudger to pay for cloth to make shirts. 2s. 3d. William had of me Oct. 9 to pay Lennards wife for making of his shirt with the money he layd out at Wells before. Paid Mr. Smith ye Lord's rent for Brint for ye eare ending at Mickellmas 1693 at Shipham fayer 3s. 6d.
The Christian name Sandy is generally supposed to be a corruption of Alexander. The Sander mentioned above is a link between the two, and helps to confirm the supposition.
F, 139, b. Jan. 7, 1692/3. Thomas Blesley of Allerton rented the yard of earable ground at Allerton, and ye halfe ackre at 10 shillings, the mead to be hained at Crismas 1693, and ye yard for wheat cropp when ye wheat is out. Recd. of Cozen Blesley the sume of 4s. 11d. in money and 5s. 1d. in disbusments for mead tythes, Church and Pore rate paid.
F. 139 b. Feb. 15, 1692/3. Simon Smethes of Crickham sould me borde at 18s. a hundred. Recd. of him 61 foote, 10 inches.
F. 142. April 3, 1693. Let ye aeker of mead ground to John Nuttey at Caswell at 22 shillings, the time to goe out at Crismas next, the money to be paid Nov. 5, 1693.
F. 142. April 7, 1693. Sould to ould Hindrey of Axbridg my teasells, the best sort at £1..18..6 the packe ; the midlens at eaight pence a thousand. Recd. in ernest 1 shilling. Recd. more in full £5.
F. 143. April, 1693, Robart Cowles of Wedmore let his 4 ackers of Med at ham to me at , £4, and him to discharge the freathes, the money to be paid one moiety at Mickellmas, ye other at Crismas, at which my time is out. Paid Cozen Cowles ye one moiety Oct. 6, 1693.
F. 143 b, Richard
Adams and I came to an account and theare did apeare due to me, hee
being payed for the Hisope and clove gilley flowers, just 3s. 3d.
Hyssop and clove gillyflowers would be wanted for medicinal purposes. Old Culpepper (Complete Herbal) says of the Clove Gilliflower:
They are great strengtheners both of the brain and heart, and will therefore serve either for cordials or cephalics. There is both a syrup and a conserve made of them alone, commonly to be had of any apothecary. To take now and then a little of either, strengthens nature much in such as are in consumptions; they are excellent good in hot pestilent fevers, and expel poison.
F. 543. b. William
Westover my unckle his disbesments by me as foloweth.
F. 150. Oct. 1, 1693. Received of Andrew Hewish 8 shillings being rent due for 3 yards of ground for the year ending Christmas 1691. Also received 14 shillings for years rent ending Christmas 1692.
"Now this Feb. 2. 1693/4, let the same 3 yards of ground unto Isacke Petherham of Allerton at 14 shillings, the money to be paid at Crismas, at which time hee is out of the ground. He paid me one giney in full for 2 yeares ending at Crismas 1695. The next yeare let the same ground to Edward Day for 14 shillings, and the halfe acer 3 shillings, soe in ye whole it is 17 shillings a yeare. Recd. in part of 2 yeares rent 20 shillings. Rests more to pay for the 2 yeares rent 14 shillings, the which Edward Day doth promise to pay in 3 weackes time. Jan. 14. Recd. of Edward Day , £1..11..0, being in full for 3 yeares rent for the 3 yards and ye 1/2 ackre at Allerton for the 3 yeares ending at Crismas 1698.
F. 152. Nov. 6, 1693. Sould ye 2 fatt steares, the linded and ye read, to William Gateum a West Country man at £15. I am to keepe them untell, fortnight before Crismas next. Reed. 5 shillings in earnest. See thear is more to cum when he doth fech them just £14..15..0
F. 152 b. Nov. 17, 1693. Then I bought of my kinsman Mr. Henrey Marten of Penard 3 ackers and yard of erable ground, one ackre in Clemance furlong, one ackre at ye upar end of Robart Cowles his close at Rishill, one halfe ackre upon Long Rodford, and 3 yards lying upon Heathens fild on ye sope, at £18, to be settled to mee and my heares and asignes for ever. Paid him in earnest 5 shillings. The rest to be paid a fortnight befor a ladey day next. I am to receive 8 shillings for rent of George Andrus for Clemans ackre, and 7 shillings of William Walle for ye 3 yards.
F. 156, b. Nov. 1, 1694. Paid James Robason for the beane crepe of Bulls lay 11 shillings.
F. 157. March, 1693. Marey Hach bought the dogs to burne Colle in they wayed 47 lbs; she paid at 2 1/2 ye pound for them alle except 2s. 6d.
Mr. Hawkins has showed me some old fire dogs lying about on the premises, which may be the ones here alluded to.
F. 157 b. March 24, 1693/4 Nicholas Zevier of Marke rented the red stard cow at 13 shillinigs for ye yeare ensuing ending March 24, 1694, at which time he must return her without a calfe, hee received her with one.
F. 158. April 20, 1694. Nickolas Saltar of Make rented the black linded cow at 13 shillings for ye yeare ending April 20, 1695. at which time hee must returne her againe without a calfe in as good case as hee had her except the cows being sicke may hindar.
F. 160. More disbusments
for William Rowley as foloeth.
And other items, chiefly rates and taxes.
F. 161. July 4, 1694. Cozen George Counsell bought ye two 3 yeare age naigs at £8 10s.
F. 165. Oct. 1694. Bord naills, halfpenny nails and farthing nails are had from George Ven of Blackford. They are "used about the wain house."
F. 165. Oct. 26, 1694. John Fear and Richard Fear bought the cow at £5..17..6. Immediately afterwards the Doctor has from them 31 lbs of beef at 2d. a lb, and 26 lbs of beef and a tongue.
F. 169. b. April
11, 1695. Then sould ye 3 steares, 2 read and one black, to Mr. Melliar
of Pillton at £23. Recd. in earnest 5 shillings, him to take deliverey
of them at Wells at ye signe of ye Swann and thear to receive my money.
F. 170. b. Among his horses in April 1695, were" the great young black mare," "the black mare Swanne," "the scard mare," "Boney," and William Rowley's mare.
F. 171. April 1695. Bought of Humphrey Isgar twoe oxen, a black and a read, at £12. Gave in earnest 2s. 6d. The same day bought twoe 2 yeare age heifers of William Huchens of Brint at Bridgwater at £4..11..0. One heifer more of Edward Thatchar at £2..10..0. William Rowley bought for me May 3, 1695 twoe oxen ot George Paine of Farington at £13..12..6. Sould the twoe 3 yeare age heiffars at Binegar fayar at £9. William Rowley sould the read cowe and calfe at Wells Market at £5..5..0 to Mr. Clarke of Lovington. Bought at Bridgwater twoe 3 years age steares of one at Chedsey at £11..7..6.
F. 172. May 26, 1695. More disbusments for William Rowley as foloeth. Paid to Humphray Isgar for dicking ye tich (ditch) against ye lane at Brint Cloas 5s. 6d. Paid Wedmore fayer day to William Rowley 6s. Paid Mr. Tryme in part of pay for law against Spencer £1..10..0. Paid to Cole of Brint for shearing and botoming ye rine 10s. Paid to Mr. Iveleaf for the coult £3.
F. 173. Plow worke
dun and to doe as foloing. Imp. my oune.
The above mentioned Mathew Locke is I suppose the same who was in the Madhouse for a short time just 4 years later.
F. 176. July 19, 1695. Thomas Hill's account for meat includes "a muskell of veale liver and ledg of mutton 6s. 4d." and several other legs and scublens of mutton. What is a scublen?
F. 176. b. July 28, 1695. He lent Cozen John Pitt of Wedmore , £1. Afterwards he had from him 7 bushell of beans at 3s. 10d. the bushell.
"Sins I bought
of Cozen John Pitt 63 foot of elmeing Bord for to make an end of ye
house in new house."
F. 179 b. Nov. i8, 1695. Robert Porch of Wedmore owed 5 shillings for the cure of his face which had to be lanced. "Recd. in part of pay in worke for making of my marking iron." What is a marking iron?
F. 180. Nov. 26, 1695. Then concluded and agreed with George Pamar that upon the consideration of £4 to be paid, 40 shillings next Thursday Nov. 28, and 40 shillings more at Crismas next, by me John Westover, the said George Pamar doth sell alle the white lyas cloyc and thinn paviar stones that bee bath now raised this Nov. 26, 1695; and allsoe alle the stones that duth rise in 25 foot square; and allsoe alle the stones in the other quar allredey begun being about 10 foot square more. Alle these stones not allredey raised to be raised at the charge of me John Westover. Wittness to this John Lyde, Edward Lyde, Amus Willey, William Rowley.
Nov. 28. Then paid George Pallmer the above mentioned 40 shillings being the first moietey before Edward Lyde. Allsoe paid him 15s. for ye other 3 loads and 2s. for ye other large Lyas stone for ye stepp.
And then the second moiety was paid by instalments. The first instalment of 5s. was "paid his wife at Sand Towns end." This George Palmer was the son of Stephen Palmer. Father and son both lived at Heathouse.
F. 181 b. Cozen
William Westover borrowed of me fower gineys and one broad peece of
gould, ye gineys at 30 shillings, ye broad peece at 35 shillings, and
a halfe crownes to make it 40 shillings, see in alle it was £8.
From this and several other like entries which I have copied out it will be seen that the coinage was in a confused state. The broad pieces were the coins made on the old plan with hammer and punch instead of with the mill and screw which had been more lately introduced. The old hammered coins or broad pieces of the Jameses and Charleses were finally called in and forbidden to be circulated in the reign of George II, about 40 years after the time of this entry. (Humphreys.)
F. 182 b. Feb.
3, 1695/6 Then sould at Axbridg the twoe oxen, the black and the read,
to Robert Hagat of Froome at £22. Hee is to fetch them ye Monday
Sennit next after and to pay ye money. They cost jist £13..12s.
at holeday fayer at Wells.
F. 183 b. From a memorandum on this page it would seem that Mr. Lyte was Lord of the Manor in 1695, 1696, and to him he pays the Lord's rent. But I am not certain whether this is for his land at Brent or Wedmore. The Lords of the Manor of Wedmore still remain to be made out.
F. 201. July 29,
1697. Then Mr. Richard Dounton came to my house and acounted with me
for my Easter dues for Allerton and Wedmore. For Allerton 5 acres 3s.
4d. and for my other offerings he counted 2s. 6d. It is soe. I payed
him 5s. 6d.
This Mr. Downton was Vicar of Wedmore from 1688 to 1707. (See Wed Chron: Vol. I, p. 254.) It would seem from this entry that he was also Rector of Allerton. He never once appears in the Journal as a patient, nor any of his household.
Mr. Davies, Vicar of Wedmore, had been buried here in December, 1687, and was here at the time of Monmouth's rebellion. But there is no entry in the Journal of any visit made to him or of any remedy supplied to him in his sickness. Possibly he died very suddenly. Or possibly this is the reason. Mr. Davies was a very stiff Churchman, a high Churchman. The inscription on his tombstone, and other things besides, show this. Now if the Doctor at all sided with the Duke of Monmouth, (and I shall presently mention one or two things which make it look as if he, or at any rate, some of his family did,) then he must have been a very low Churchman: because the followers of Monmouth were the low Church party and the Dissenters. Party feeling must have been strong at this time. Within living memory the Crown and Church had both been disestablished for a season: and there were memories of all sorts of wrongs done by one party to the other, done by either to other. And, besides, there were important questions still remaining to be settled. So party feeling ran strong; and one can imagine the high Church Vicar looking upon this low Church Doctor in his parish as a great nuisance. One can imagine his saying, I would die without any doctor at all rather than be visited by that low Church Doctor who mixes with Dissenters and has actually supported a rebellion. So, perhaps, when Mr. Davies was "took," he sent off for "Boulton of Glastonbury." We have seen in the Journal one or two rather contemptuous notices of "Boulton of Glastonbury." Perhaps there was a little party feeling in the matter which caused that contempt. Perhaps it was not merely that ," Boulton of Glastonbury" was a rival practitioner, but a rival politician of the other side. So, perhaps, whilst Dr. Westover chiefly attended the Low Church party and the Dissenters and the rebels, "Boulton of Glastonbury" was sent for to heal those pains from which the High Church party and the Loyalists were not free. The evidence for all this is not much; but when it is added to other things which will be noticed presently, they all mount up and make something. Like coppers put into the plate when there is a collection, they are not much in themselves singly, but they mount up. It is certainly curious that, during the 16 years at least that the Journal covers, there is not a single visit paid nor a single potion sent to Wedmore Vicarage or to any other Vicarage; and it looks as if on account of his Church views and political views he had not the support of the Clergy. "Boulton of Glastonbury" was their man.
F. 201. Aug. 17, 1697. Bought fower hundred of chease of Richard Sweet at 22s. per hundred; at which time I put away eaighte cheases to trey how much they may abtinke at ye Spring that wayed just one hundred and three pounds. Wayed the same chease againe March 2, and then it had shrunke just eaight pounds and halfe.
The shrinkage in less than 7 months thus amounted to rather more than one thirteenth of the whole weight. "One hundred and three pounds" of course is 115 lbs.. i.e. 1 cwt. 3 lbs.
F. 201. Cozen John Pitt of Wedmore, his account for 1697 and 1698, is made up of very djfferent items. Of course, like everybody else, he had several girdells for the itch. There was also £5 due for "the cure of Cozen Elizabeth Pitt being troubled with the distemper of madness."
Item a pecke of
beanes at 5s, 6d. ye Bushell. is. 4 1/2 d.
F. 202. b. Dec. 4, 1697. Then bought 14 gone twooe teath sheep of Mr. Clarke of Litten at 8s. 11d, a peece, which came to just £6..4..10.
F. 204. b. May 9, 1698. Then sent fewer parchment writings, one being a counter part of Mary Thatchers for Benpoole, one counterpart of Henry Westover for Speak Close, the other two was Thomas Hills lease and counterpart for Pillneads mill and 3 ackers at Lascots hill to Samuel Thatcher by my brother Henry Wesrover and James Larder senior.
I don't know what this entry means Speak Close, wherein many a Sunday School feast has since been held, and wherein the 1,000 th anniversary of the Peace of Wedmore was celebrated in 1878, and wherein a member of Dr. Westover's profession has since then built a new house, was never Westover property but Counsell property. But by a curious accident the last of the Westovers and the last of one branch of the Counsells died unmarried at about the same time, and being first cousins the same young lady, Hannah Counsell, was heiress to both of them, who married Mr. Singer in 1770, and had an only daughter who married Mr. J. D. Parsons; so the two properties eventually came together. But this is anticipating what did not happen till about 60 years after the Doctor's death. Speak close is so called from the sharp point that it runs to in one corner. The alternative name for the Lavender plant has the same derivation. So has the word spike, and several other words from which the first letter has got rubbed off. Pilnead is I suppose meant for what we call Pilmead. I did not know before that there had been a mill there: a water-mill of course.
F. 205. April 29,
1698. Then paid Thomas Gilling of Brint 5 shillings or lent it, which
hee will outset againe in worke or in looking to ye ground. I am to
give him 5 shillings a yeare for looking to ye ground and to keep me
from domidg, and sixpens a yeare for scowering ye reine.
Mr. Hill was Vicar of South Brent from 1671 to 1699. There are two Archdeacons at Brent now, but this Mr. Arch deacken was neither of them. It was Mr. Grindall Sheate or Sheafe, Archdeacon of Wells. Whether these dues were his as Archdeacon or as Patron of the living of South Brent, I don't know. What the Doctor calls Jesments are Agistments.
F. 207 b. Aug., 1698. Wedmore fayer day, Lent sistar Ann Tincknell, £2, the which she will pay againe upon demaund. Lent her one guiney more when she went to Bristoll with Jane Ellis, £1..2..0. Jane Ellis laid out 14s. 9 1/2 d. at Bristoll. Sent by William Adams 12 shillings to sistar to pay ye coliar.
F. 209. Nov. 23, 1698. Then paid Edward Sweeat 3s. 8d. for ye quarterley pay for the quarter ending at Mickellmas last past for ye heires of Mr. John Morgan for chiefe rent, soe I hath but 10 pens more to pay for my Lord's rent for the halfe yeare ending at Mickellmas past as aforesaid.
This extract shows who had the manor at this time. Edward Sweet who collects the manor dues was a brother of John Sweet, who at this time was Parish Clerk, and a son of Edward Sweet who had been sexton, "busticeta et vespillo" as the Registers call him. (Burials 1650). Five successive generations of Sweets held the office here of either sexton or clerk, from Edward Sweet, who died in 1676 aged 84 years, to his great great grandson Sampson Sweet, who died in 1873 aged 84 years. After the resignation of Sampson Sweet in 1863, the office of clerk was abolished here. It is curious that the first and last of these Clerk or Sexton Sweets should each have lived 84 years, and that exactly two centuries should lie between them, The one was born under Queen Elizabeth, the other died under Queen Victoria. The one saw the whole course of the great civil war in England which at much cost of blood asserted the rights of Parliament and taught the Crown its place; the other saw those bloodless conflicts which were necessary in order to give the right of voting to many who had it not, and so make Parliament better to represent the nation: or if these conflicts were not quite without bloodshed, yet the blood shed was only that trifling amount which is spilt when noses and fists good-humouredly come into collision.
I will give the complete list of Clerks and Sextons another time. This first Sexton of the Sweet family does not seem to have been a native of the Parish. He was not baptized here, though he was married here three times. Possibly he came from Wookey. The late Mrs. Sellick Williams, Who died in July 1888, aged 88 years, was a sister, daughter, granddaughter, great grand-daughter and great great grand-daughter to a clerk or Sexton Sweet.
F. 209. "Nov. 26, 1698 or thear about," about ten visits were made to Robert Counsell, for which the charge was £2. "Recd. at a ladey day fayer one pound and 15 shillings in full." If this means a Wedmore fair, it is a fair that I have never heard of before. One would expect there to have been a fair at Lady day, as the Church is dedicated to St. Mary; and fairs generally are held on the day of the Saint to whom the Church is dedicated. But very likely it was not a fair at Wedmore.
F. 211. Jan. 25, Poules day. Then bought of Mr. John Daves of Wells the twoe grounds called Goodmeads and the twoe acres called Adamses in fee, and allsoe the refersion of one acre of erable ground beyeand my windmill now in ye teniar of Robart Cowles for his wifes life; the Goodmeads and Adamses at 8 years purchas after the vailue of £10 the yeare which is fower score pounds, the chiefe rent at 20 yeares purchase which was 9 shillings ye year which was £9, see in the whole is just £89, the refersion of ye other acre at £5 more, see the whole fine is just fower score and fortean pounds. Paid him one guiney in earnis for Goodmead and Adamses, and one shilling in earnest for ye acre. Soe rest more to pay at ye seallinge £92..17..6. Or if I pay it in guiney I must have one shilling three pence out of fower score and six guineys and halfe for four score and six guineys and halfe and the guiney in ernest is just fower score and seven guineys and halfe which is nintey fower pounds one shilling three pence soe with the shilling that I gave in ernest for Fowles his acre will make twoe shillings three pence due to me out of my fower score and six guineys and halfe.
Can any living man disentangle and understand this wonderful sentence beginning "'Or if I pay it" ? On Feb. 3 1701/2, he paid Mr. Giffard "by Mr. Daves his ordars" £23. 10s., one quarter of the purchase money. "Mr. Payne, Mr. Daves his clarke," had 22 shillings for making ye conveyance, Mr. Giffard paying one half and the Doctor the other.
F. 212 b. April
14. 1699. Then rented John Goodgrooms 2 halfe acres of plow ground at
Redford at 17 shillings ye crop for 2 crops the wheat crepe and the
next for beanes or pease; the money to be paid when the corn is out.
This mill is gone, but the batch on which it stood can still be seen.
F. 214. Gribles
sould out of ye nurserey at Sparkemore to John Hosie (?) of Westhay
95 at 4d. a peace. £1..15..0.
F. 218. This is a very small fragment of a leaf, the greater part of it being torn off. It contains entries about the buying and selling of heifers, calves and steares. "Shipham fayer," "Cocke fayer" and "a ladey day fayer" are mentioned.
F. 219 b. May 30, 1700. Then lent Cozen William Westover my crane, fewer pooley wheals one toung clavey and twooe teung clavey piuns, a payer of crewes and plainke for ye screwes. Lent him before 18 veallows to bare ye mill.
This looks as if it was the Doctor who disestablished his mill, and sent the sails, etc., for his cousin's mill at Mark. This Wedmore mill will be found mentioned in the will of Surgeon John. Mill batch, or mill moot, still remains.
F. 219 b. May 2, 1700. William Adams put his cowe to keeping to me in Clemance Cloase at fortean pence the weacke.
F. 220. June 10,
1700. Sould Ann Walle 6 1/2 lbs. of black woolle at a 12d. ye pound.
6s. 6d. And 5 lbs. of lokes at 4d. ye pound. 3 lbs. of blacke lamtow
at 4d. ye pound. Recd. in part of pay of Ann wall in worke at haymaking
just 7s. Recd. in part of pay 1s. 4d. in Williana Wall's work abut ye
reecke, and Ann for bruing.
F. 222 (properly
220 b). July 22, 1700. John Westover debtor to Cozen John Pitt for caring
in of the thisels in Clemans Cloas, 6d. For ye caridg of a lead of mortar
out of Goodmead and lime from ye porch 1s. For feching one load of read
at Meare 4s. For 2 dayes caring of my wheat and beanes 18s. For bringing
whome ye trees at Heathhous and and Redford 5s.
Some money lent to Cozen John Pitt is partly repaid "at Candellmas fayer," by which I suppose he means Axbridge fair.
F. 225 b. 1701. John Westover debtor to Jane Ellis his servant inside the sum of £8, the which I John Westover doe acknewledg.
Then he gave her £13..10s. for her to pay William Browning "for ye cowe," and 10s. more for ye calfe, Then, Nov. 26, 1703, Jane Ellis owed him for 16 lbs. of goose feathers. Then he owed her £3 "for a cowe and calfe bought at holeidey deay last past of her." So that she too, like everybody else at that time, was a bit of a farmer. July 21, 1704, she paid him 4 lbs. and 2 ounces of goose feathers, and so on.
F. 226 b. Jan. 1700/1. Recd, of George Marten In worke at planting the sum of 3 shillings in full for medicines for his wife.
This is on what is now the last page of the Journal, the original last few leaves being lost. (I ought to say that this is not the first time that the Journal has been brought to the light of day. It has been the subject of more than one short lecture by the Rev. J. Coleman, now Vicar of Cheddar.)