Friday, 30 January 2009

A Freeman of the City of London

8 December 1739
Paid to Mr Smart attorney to himself before his maid Servant in his Kitching In Wheavours Hall in Bazing Hall Street by Gild Hall to pay in to the Chamberlins Hands that is John Bosworth Esqr to make me free of the City of London Twenty Five Punds one Shilling.

This is a truly astonishing sum of money! Thomas did not earn that working for Thomas Hinchcliffe so he must have been subbed from home. In the eighteenth century all middle class professions required investment - the training of a naval officer, the purchase of a commission in the army, the education of a clergyman, living in London while training for a lawyer - all required substantial financial resources. It seems that being a London merchant was just another in the same vein. (reference for the costs of training - MF Odintz's PhD "The British Officer Corps 1754-1783. University of Michigan 1988)

John Bosworth, later Sir John, was elected Chamberlain in 1734. The election was hotly contested. He is listed as a tobacconist of Newgate Street. There was, I think a monument to him in Christchurch Newgate St but the nave is a shell.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

19 June 1739
Bout of Mr John Browning a Flute and Cane with China Head too 15/-

(don't I wish I had those two items to take to Sothebys!!)

25 June 1739
Bought of Mr Payne and Paid him for them
7½ yds of fine Barrigon for Coat & Breeches £1.17d6d
2 yds Broad Scarlett Serge Denim 13/-
4½yds fine Shallon
30 June
Paid Mr Payne for making Coat and 2 pair of Breeches and finding all Triming £1.14s

So Denim wasn't always blue. "Barrigon" doesn't seem to mean anything in English - I need to do some more investigation of that.

16 June 1739
Spent with Mr Porter at a Baudy House in Drury Lane for funn 2/-

Although this account is rather later, it refers to a House in just the same part of London

From the “Memoirs of William Hickey 1749-1775”

Writing of visits to bawdy houses, he says.
“In these houses we usually spent from three to four hours, drinking Arrack punch, or, as far as I was concerned pretending to do so, for being a composition I had an uncommon dislike to, I never did more than put the bowl to my lips, without swallowing a drop, and romping and playing all sorts of tricks with the girls. At a late or rather early hour in the morning, we separated, retiring to the private lodgings of some of the girls, there being only two that resided in the house, or to our homes, as the fancy led, or according to the state of finances”

23 September 1739
Cupping & Bathing at the Bageno in Newgate Street 5/-

Thomas had visited one of the first Turkish Baths in the country, though it had actually been in Newgate Street since 1679. In 1708, the charge was 4/- so either inflation or "Cupping" (still performed by alternative practitioners today) cost 1/-.
(source)Walter Thornbury, Old and New London (Thornbury & Walford) 1878
30 October 1739
Paid for part of a Boat with Mr Ashton and Mr Genison to see all the barges on Lord Mare's Day 12d and spent 12d

The Lord Mayor was Sir John Salter, who was a director of the East India Company. Portrait from the Fitzwilliam Museum collection...

Saturday, 24 January 2009

May 14 1739
I had a Summons from Gildhall to Shew Cause why I served as a journeyman in the City of London being not Free

No, Thomas was not a slave. He was not a Freeman of the City of London which he should have been before becoming a journeyman there.

The building is the same one Thomas saw.


30 October 1738
Spent at Lord Mares Show with Mr Lowery 1/6

The Lord mayor was Micajah Perry, a merchant in the tobacco trade who dealt extensively with Virginia. Below is Hogarth's picture of the Lord Mayor's Show. The picture is dated 1747. The "new" coach in use today was introduced in 1757 so this picture might well show the coach Thomas saw.

5 November 1738
Went to see the cannons fired at the Tower. spent 9d

I haven't found out whether this was part of what was then still a Thanksgiving for the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot but I rather think it was.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Thomas Plays Tourist Again

1 Oct Walked to Hampton Court with Mr Hall and see all the Room's & Gardens & the Maze and lost me. Walked back the same day 3/6

Today, that's a 14 mile walk from Thomas's work in Ludgate Hill.

Ludgate Hill hasn't moved, nor has Hampton Court Palace so why "Today" in that sentence?

Google maps says the shortest walking route is over Southwark Bridge which wasn't built until the next century. Thomas probably didn't use a ferry or a waterman as he records no expenditure on that so he walked using London Bridge. That makes the journey a mile longer!
This picture of London Bridge is a little later - 1753 but the bridge was essentially the same when Thomas crossed it to go to Hampton Court.

Thomas isn't Well

3 Aug 1738
bout 3 Doses of Physick 3/-
Bleeding by a Surgeon near us 2/6

Unfortunately, he doesn't say what was wrong.

16 Aug 1738
Paid for my part of Milk and Bread that I and the Rest of the Journeyman went halfes to feed a young Fawn with which we keept two Months 4/-

And had it gott Ready at the Sun Tavern in Ludgate Street and Cost me in getting ready and spent 5/6

A many was the Eating of it.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A Rite of Passage and More Shopping

June 15 1738
Treated Mr Vear Mr Inston Mr Lowery Mr Tayler as its Costomary to do When a journeyman gose to a new Place at the Sun Tavern in Ludgate Street 10/6

This is such an enigmatic entry. Is this Thomas finally doing what is "costomary" for his move to Thomas Hinchcliffe or has he moved again?

A later entry tells us that Mr Vear traded in "Black Fryers" and Thomas spent 6d there on the 7th July.

July 14
Bout of Mr Ward Linen Draper 6 yds of fine Mufling an Ell wide £1.16s0d

Paid for 12 neck Clothes Making 2/6

I wonder whether Thomas was a dandy, so fussy about his neckcloth, that some were spoiled each day and had to be relaundered without being worn? "Mufling" must be "Muslin", almost the old ff for s? Thomas's spelling is a bit random at the best of times and I'm not sure that spelling was actually that fixed at this date. An Ell was not defined in English Law but seems to have been around 45".

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

A Visit To Dr Meade's House

April 30 1738
Dined at Kentish Town Mr Paynes Gave Maid 1/-

May 3 Spent Mr Henson in Gutter Lane 8d
May7 Spent at Kensington Mr Millner 9d
10 Spent at Charing Cross Mr Byfields 7d

13 Bout a pair of Sisers in Cheapside 2/6
Two Shoo Brushes 12d Blac. Ball 12d
Bout a Common prayer Book 2/-

Do you think "Blac. Ball" was shoe polish? This carries on for a bit.. various shopping with the tradesmen mentioned but generally little idea of what he bought. However, then we get a more interesting entry.

May 29 Spent with my Bror at Lyons Inn Coffee House

Lyons Inn was one of the Inns of Court and the coffee house must have been close to it. It’s position in Wych Lane, just off the Strand, is shown by the red block on this map. Thomas uses a lot of abbreviations "Bror" is brother and is John Tye who was older than him.

I can’t find a picture of the coffee house but here is the Inn of Court.

And this is a later view down Wych Lane but the houses are 17th Century so Thomas must have seen them. And that is St Clement Dane's tower you can see above the rooftops.

30 Went with my Bror & Mr Hall to Dr Meades House and see all his House and Raritys that he brot from a Broad an Egiptian Mummy Gave Man 2/-

Well, Dr Mead was a very important and interesting person. To quote from Old and New London: Volume 4, by Edward Walford (1878)

"The house at the corner of Powis Place (No. 49), now incorporated into the Hospital for Sick Children, was the last home of Dr. Richard Mead, the celebrated physician and "archiator" of King George II., who died there in 1754. Born at Stepney in the year 1673, Dr. Mead lived to become the friend of Drs. Radcliffe, Garth, and Arbuthnot, and he had sufficiently established his reputation as a physician as to be called in consultation to the sick room of Queen Anne, two days before her death. On the accession of George II. Dr. Mead was appointed Physician in Ordinary. He had in the meantime held several important positions, including the post of Physician to St. Thomas's Hospital. The doctor's last, and perhaps the most useful, of all his works is his "Medical Precepts and Cautions."

Dr. Mead, no less celebrated as a patron of artistic and literary genius than in his own walk of life, was one of the first collectors of a private gallery, which he threw open freely to art-students and to private amateurs. His house, indeed, may be said to have been the first academy of painting in London. At the bottom of the garden at the back of his house the doctor had constructed a museum, in which was brought together a large collection of pictures and antiquities, besides which he had an extensive and valuable library. His doors were always open to the poor and indigent for advice; men of intellect were sure of finding from Dr. Mead all help and aid. He kept continually in his pay a number of scholars and artists of all kinds, who were continually at work for him, or, rather, for the public. No foreigner of taste and learning came to London without being introduced to him, and being asked to dine at his table. His library was open to every one who wished to consult it, and he allowed his books to be borrowed by the studious. Dr. Mead's library, medals, and pictures were sold by auction and dispersed after his death, in 1754."

This is Dr Mead

This reference came from British History online, a wonderful searchable resource.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

This and That

23 March 1738
Spent with Mr Newsholm the other side of the water was forst to pay for him 5/-

24 Paid Mr Paynes Brother for makeing waistcoat and Breeches and finding all trimmings for them they was for second mourning for Queen Caroline. he gave me a receipt £1.10s 6d

Mr Newsholm must have been one of those people who forgets his wallet or only has a very large note. Thomas is obviously not impressed at having to pay for him.

Queen Caroline was the wife of George II. She died on 20 November 1737

An Evening at the Theatre

February 22 1738
Went to Drury Lane play House to see Hamlitt Intertainment Harliquin ship wreck 2/6

Here is a picture of the inside of the theatre in 1775. It is the same building (which was demolished in 1791), designed by Sir Christopher Wren which Thomas visited.

An evening at the theatre typically consisted of a tragedy followed by a comedy and Harlequin Shipwrecked was one such.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Thomas Goes Shopping!

16 February 1738

Bout of Mr Payne the Back St Clements the things as under
8 yds Light Grey fine Camblitt 2/6 yd £1-0-0
15yds Bla. Lace to Lace yr Coat 18-9
3½yds Bla. Padusoy for a Waistcoat £1-11-6
2½yds Bla. allapeen 5-0
3½yds Supr fine Shalloon 7-7

Lots of unfamiliar words there - Camblitt? Seems to be a variation of Camlet, a fabric possibly made from camel hair or derived from the Arabic for Goat but most fabrics of this name were only woven to look like fabric from those fibres.
Padusoy - a woven silk with a corded texture
Shalloon -A lightweight wool or worsted twill fabric, used chiefly for coat linings.

Allapeen - now I'm going all academic on you....

This definition comes from

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820 ,Nancy Cox and Karin Dannehl (2007)

Alepine[allo-peen; allopeen; allapeene; allapeen; alapeene]

A TEXTILE in the form of a mixed STUFF, either of WOOL and SILK, or of MOHAIR and COTTON, used primarily for men's CLOTHING but also for UPHOLSTERY [Montgomery (1984)].

OED earliest date of use: 1739

Found described as BLACK, DOUBLE, SINGLE

Sources: Inventories (late), Tradecards.
References: Montgomery (1984).

Wow! Thomas has pushed the date of first use as recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary back by a year!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Wigs, Lodgings and Stuff

14 Feb 1738
Paid Mr Millner for Ten Weekes Lodging which is in full £1-0-0
Gave his maid for her Trouble 0-2-6
Paid Mr Adameson for shaveing me and dressing my widge 0-5-0
Paid Washerwoman for Washing and for mending my stockings 0-5-9
Letter from Brother & Grandmother 0-0-8

I’m a bit puzzled – Thomas says he is living with Mr Hinchcliffe but is paying someone else for lodgings. Does “living with” mean “working with” at this date? He would certainly seem to be an apprentice rather than an employee as his pay does not possibly pay his living costs!

“Widge” is wig (perhaps you saw that immediately but it took me a while).
Thomas probably wore a wig like this.

This portrait shows William Kirke (1715 –1773) who is about the same age as Thomas.

William’s son John Kirke (1752-1779) married Thomas Tye’s niece, Dorothy Tye Bright (1753-1826) (she was the daughter of Thomas's sister Dorothy)

And did you notice the huge cost of two letters? And Thomas had to pay it. Receiving a letter was an expensive business until Roland Hill's Penny Post in 1840.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Thomas Moves Job..

13th April 1738 - I went this day to live with Mr Thomas Hinchcliffe a the Great Wheatsheafe on Ludgate Hill - Silk Mercer. he to give me fourteen pounds a year the first year and eighteen pounds a year the next.

A little online research shows that the Great Wheatsheafe was not a pub. You remember that stuff you learned at school about pub signs being left over from when people couldn't read? As there was a Silk Mercer's shop on Ludgate Hill ten years earlier referred to in Old Bailey proceedings (shoplifting!) as "at the Wheatsheaf and Star" - Thomas Tye seems to have been at the Great Wheatsheaf. There was a Wheatsheaf yard. I think I feel a visit to the museum of London coming on!

£14 doesn't seem to be enough for Thomas Tye to live on - not when he can spend 4/6 on one day of sight seeing. I think he had money from home!

A little Googling has revealed that Thomas Hinchcliffe supplied the Queen in 1712

Thomas Hinchcliffe, mercer, for blue Florence taffeta for three window curtains for the Queen's closet, etc. £161:16s 9d

This is an entry in the Civil List for that year, found at British History on line

The Queen in question was Queen Anne who had died by the time our Thomas came to London.

Here is Ludgate - it was demolished in 1780

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Thomas Finds a Job

March 29 1738 - Went to Mr Paynes Silk Mercer behind St Clements by the Strand to help him in the shop until I gott a place for my vittles and stayed with him till the 13th April.

Here is a picture of St Clements as it was that day. A few years earlier and it would have had a shorter tower. Today it is the church rebuilt after World War II, but it is still in the same place and Thomas would surely recognise it.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Here is Thomas's book. I think it must have had a lock at one time but the brass plate on the front is all that remains.

Here is a typical page from inside. It's all written in the same, now brown, ink.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

February 1737/8 Continued - More Sight Seeing!

27th Bout a Fine Hatt 12/-
28th Went to See The Tower - Horse Armer, small armes, cannon & to see them loin the crowns & cost me 4/6

The Tower Menagerie was first opened to the public in the 18th century. The fee to get in was 3 halfpence or a cat or dog to feed to the lions. I can't find what the fee for any other part of the Tower was. I wonder if the queue to see the Crown Jewels was as long in the 18th century as it often is in the 21st!

8 March 1737/8
Went to the Oppero in ץe Haymarket 5/-

The "ץe" is not "Why EE" but "Thorn e". Thorn is an obsolete letter pronounced in English "th".
Wikipedia will tell you all about it.
Now, which opera was it? If it was by Handel it was Faramondo or Alessandro Severus. I must do some more research into that.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Thomas goes to London

This is where Thomas’s book really begins. I think the previous pages were filled in to avoiding wasting paper!

Feb 4th 1738 Thomas Tye went up to London in Mr James Waddel’s waggon from Mansfield and cost me in expenses and carriage of box £1.8s 6d and gott to London Feb 4 1737/8

Paid Carriage of my box to my lodgings in Little Tothill Street Westminster 1s

17th Went to see St Paul’s Church Wispering Gallery & up to the Cupola 2/-
Eating 6d.

Thomas, aged 25, had come to London for business reasons. As well as visiting St Paul’s which must have been a wonder of the age, he dined in a chop house, bought books, most expensively a leather bound bible (18/6) and visited one of the coffee houses where London merchants met to do business as well as consume the then very trendy coffee. Even that was quite a journey from his Westminster Lodgings, being in Chelsea!

St Paul's is one thing which Thomas would still recognise in modern London

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A Family Argument?

Thomas seems to be unhappy about his sister Dorothy's marriage settlement.

"14 May 1749 White Sunday My Sister Dorothy Tye was married to Mr Joseph Bright Surgeon both of East Retford. John Bright Attorney brother of the said Joseph Bright and Thomas Tye Brother of the said Dorothy Tye was in trust for her in her marriage settlement. John Bright signed the marriage settlements. I, Thos Tye did not signe her marriage settlement or any other writing whatever concerning the same either before her marriage or after as witness my hand the 10 day of September 1764 Thos Tye.

I wrote this that my wife and everyone might know it."

(White sunday is what we now call Whit Sunday)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Thomas Tye's family

This post will have to be updated at intervals as I do more research, but this is what I know (or think I know) at the moment.

John Tye ( - 1693) married Sarah Levet, daughter of John Levet. They had at least 8 children, 2 girls, Mary and one another, and 6 sons, Richard(1677- ), John, Joseph, Robert, Thomas & William(1681-1748).

John Tye (1679-1719) was baptised in Pinxton, Derbyshire, married Elizabeth Brown (1686-1728) daughter of John Brown. They married in Nottingham (I think).

They had 6 children - Elizabeth(1710-1726/7), Dorothy(1711-1794), John(1711/2-1751), Thomas (who wrote the account book I'm blogging), Mary(1715-abt1795) & Anne(1716-1797).

Thomas married Elizabeth Newton( - 1778), daughter of Samuel Newton at St Peter's Nottingham in 1764. She died on February 3rd 1778 and was buried 4 days later in St Peter's churchyard.

This is a post of very dry facts but I will put some flesh on these bones in time.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Book with No Title

My husband's uncle left him all his books. We had just moved house when the executor asked us to collect them and we really didn't have room for them. On the off-chance, however, I scanned the shelves for anything of interest.

I noticed a green book with nothing on the spine. Most books have a title on the spine, don't they?

I pulled out a treasure! It is mostly an account book (how dull!) but the interesting thing is the date. The book was written by one Thomas Tye. Thomas was born about 1712. He was in business, mostly in the City of London and he recorded all expenditure with great care. He also recorded tit bits of news and information. Some of this is fascinating. I will transcribe selected entries here.

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