102. W.[illiam] L. [add]
Went away 8 October 1722. Boys gave the paper 16 November 1722,
[which] is 5 weeks 4 days. Sent a letter to come again 26 November 1722, 7
weeks. Appeared to answer 12 December 1722, [which] is 9 weeks 2 days.
Brought a paper owning the fact, 7 January 1723, 13 weeks.
Was then ordered by the committee to prepare a paper against the next
committee in order to give the steward satisfaction for his revilings and
false charges which he could not make out. But William Ladd went into
the country and it was 2 months before he came again . . . The committee
met at the house 4 March 1723, 17 weeks, then William Ladd appeared,
but instead of giving satisfaction he said, he came to demand satisfaction,
and his appearance and behaviour gave so great an offence to the
committee they recorded it and advised me to take no satisfaction at all,
esteeming by his appearance not worth notice, concluding that he wanted
to be from under the censure in order to preach or deceive some persons
&c and then told him it would be best for him to be gone over sea.
103. [p. 119] An estimate of the intended alterations and necessary
repairs in the aforesaid work-house.
|To raise a storey 8 foot high and battlements front and rear of brick which contains 6½ rods at £5 10s. per rod
|Seven beams and ceiling joists containing 31 square at 3s. 4d. per square
|Roofing 37½ square at 30s. per square including the guttering and eaves boards
|Plumber's work 60 plates of lead for 7 gutters at 14s. per plate
|To a column in the meeting and 7 posts under the gutter plates
|Pantiling 30 squares at 20s. per square
|Twelve sash frames and sashes with English glass, weights, lines & pullies
|Plasterer's work, 450 yards of lathe & plastering at 9d. per yard
|150 yards of rendering at 3d. per yard
|600 of stopping and whitewashing at 1½d. per yard
|Ripping and tiling the two sides &c.
|Carpenter's work and materials
. . . Deductions of allowance for timber in the old roof
|For the old pantiles
|The difference between sashes and common windows
104. [p. 120] Sundry disorders, 30 March 1720.
It would be tedious, also unpleasant, to hear the whole of the provocations rehearsed; also here are too many to mention the particulars of
those who in their turns are addicted thereunto. But, the ground of it all is
their being under any obligation, either with respect to the orders of the
house, bill of fare and the diet as therein mentioned.
And when we have the advantage of very honest servants, who, equal
and just in their places and not willing to comply with some in the family
in answering requests that are not reasonable nor according to the orders
and bill of fare, also contrary to our knowledge, then such servants are
liable to be misrepresented, also frequently insinuating against them to us
& notwithstanding we know such complaints &c to be without any cause.
Therefore cannot take such notice of complaints as aforesaid as they may
expect. Then what follows from them is that we hold with and incense the
servants against them, when on the contrary it's very well known our
frequent practice hath been and still is to give the cook-maid a thorough
understanding of the orders and bill of fare, the allowances &c, also do
advise and desire her and the rest to give no just occasion to any but to
give each their just allowance, especially such who have an appetite to
And being willing to gratify any in the family who desire spoon victuals
for breakfast &c, instead of their allowance in butter and cheese, then we
make them water gruel, put butter and sugar in it and when we have rice
milk, furmenty we give them that, and then they will take up beer perhaps
drink a little of it and set the rest aside in their pots, so that great waste has
been made by taking up more beer than is drunk, in throwing it away, or
giving it to the children unknown to us, which has been very inconvenient
for them, also putting it at other times into the children's mugs, where it
has been spoiled, and then laying the blame upon the children, saying,
they left it there, notwithstanding we are certain they either drink their
beer or return it . . . If we prevent their taking beer as aforesaid, which
my wife on the 1st instant did, and was treated by Henery West in
particular as follows:
[p. 121] 30 March 1720. Henery West said to my wife, what, will thou take
my beer. Then she told him, he had water gruel with butter and sugar in it.
Also told him, she thought he had no occasion for beer in the morning
except he took out his allowance in butter and cheese as the rest did. And
she further said, thou sees I have taken John Knoll's beer likewise. Then
Henery said, oh, thou only took his beer for an excuse because thou
would take mine, and it's barbarous & cruel indeed of thee to take the
beer away, and more of this sort. Also said, I came home last night at
seven a clock and the maid would give me no supper, but all the city shall
know it. My wife said, if thou tells the whole town it was nothing to her.
Also said, she did nothing to him but what was just & according to order.
Then Henery said that, indeed here is a great deal of justice but here is no
mercy, and I have been very barbarously and cruelly used since I came
here, and said, Quakers! And one that stood near him . . . [said] over
again, Quakers! . . .
But Henery West will not allow us liberty to speak about the orders and
the bill of fare, but he will be very abusive and give us very undue
treatment, calling us lying, envious creatures, proud, arrogant, barbarous, cruel &c, saying, we made them orders on purpose for him, and
them that put him here would have had him better entertained here and
we hindered him, and he valued us not, but will go before our committee
with us at any time, and that very instant spread abroad his hands and
declared himself an innocent, peaceable man, also in very rash manner
calls aloud upon the name of God to witness for him and against us,
likewise calling upon the family to witness the same.
Now we desire it may be considered how liable we are to be abused and
misrepresented abroad when without any occasion it is so frequently
done at home in the hearing of the ancient people, servants and children,
also how difficult it may be to have common justice from people who give
themselves such liberty, and then immediately to vindicate their own
innocence, and account themselves altogether the injured persons. It
seems not only difficult to us as aforesaid, but almost impossible to have
right done us, and such . . . [p. 122] persons brought into good order.
And as their violent and fierce accusations, and several of them secretly
holding together therein, also denying their abusing of us as soon as it is
done, seems plain to us by their threatening it's intended to awe us, or
bring us in fear, as if we could not be capable to make our complaint
appear just against so many who . . . are so resolute in what they assert or
deny as aforesaid.
And if the family goes on as they have for some time past we shall be
liable both ourselves and the rest of the servants to be abused as aforesaid
and obliged to give up more of time than other business will allow, in
order to clear ourselves of so frequent insinuations, for the family having
nothing to employ themselves constantly with, most of their time is spent
in going . . . abroad, and pretty much of their conversation at home
consists in strife and contention, the women especially. And at other
times when they are a little more easy amongst themselves, then are they
incident to whisper and contrive together against the house and those
who have care thereof.
The orders have been read once by the committee to the ancient people
since they are altered, and the little regard that appeared to them by
several, though seemed quite otherwise before you, has discouraged me
from reading the orders since to them though [I] frequently remind them
what are therein contained. A passage relating to this is in pages 126 &
105. [p. 123] The school master's observations on the family was taken at
the same time, which is as follows:
School master's observations &c, 30 March 1720.
People who are brought into adversity by their own mistaken conduct,
either in the management of their affairs or living above their abilities, are
for the most part pretty much cast down, and whilst under this state of
constrained humility seem very willing to comply in promise with a more
regular and orderly way of living, though never so repugnant to their
former practice, on condition their indigence be supplied. But as soon as
plenty is enjoyed and that taken away which caused such an alteration of
mind, their former ill humours & disposition, that was not taken away or
changed, but only confined and depressed, begins again to manifest and
discover themselves [in] contention against order.
The truth of this too evidently appears among the ancient people in this
house, for several of them being at their coming in under the aforesaid
circumstances, viz: in want, in which condition, when . . . the orders and
bill of fare are read, condescend enough in promise with whatsoever is
therein contained. But these resolutions hold not long, for when they
once come to sufficiency the want whereof produced the aforesaid
condescension, they then forget their former condition and neglect the
performance of the promise . . . Their natural dispositions begin
unseemly to manifest themselves in opposition to good order and with
disturbance to those that are concerned to contend for it. They, indeed
very openly, and that too frequently, declare a dissatisfaction with the
victuals in very railing and unsavoury expressions, even in the presence of
the children, servants &c. And because they [are] living in plenty their
desires begin to wander and their humours crave for such things as are not
according to the bill of fare, nor could be prepared without a considerable
addition of servants. For who can suit everyone's humours in respect of
diet, unless each at every meal have according to their own appointment.
And commonly when such are sent them contrary to their desire though
according to the bill of fare they fail not to show . . . [p 124] their
dissatisfaction therewith, either at home or abroad; at home in sending it
back or else in contending with those that bring it or by some such like
unseemly deportment at the reception thereof, or else shortly after will
signify it one to another abroad by telling false reports to those whom
they imagine may possibly adhere and so endeavour to bring a public
scandal upon the house.
Now as [to] their behaviour and carriage, one towards another, it is
often as it ought not to be, for many times there is contention, ill evils and
disrespect showed and are unwilling to help and assist one another in
Thus having given a brief hint of things partly as they are, it comes now
in course to consider of their consequence (which seems chiefly to relate
to three particulars) and also of the improbability of their amendment.
1st To the governors of steward and stewardess, who are first and chiefly
and most frequently concerned against such appearances and so liable to
undergo the greatest exercise, for who can maintain their post meeting
with resistance without cause of disquiet and uneasiness when one
discharges their duty and trust faithfully and administers in their office
justly, and yet meet with little but displeasure, finding fault, discontent &
uneasiness from those they administer to, must certainly have but small
encouragement to persevere nor much comfort in their places.
2d To the children, for the effect thereof we are sensible of an ill
consequence to them when they see ancient people (whom they are
incident to take for example especially in such matters) find fault,
murmur and dissatisfied with their victuals &c. What may they most
reasonably think and incline to? Surely this disorder which so obviously
appears in ancient people will raise no good dispositions nor inclinations
in children nor beget any respect in them towards their governors nor
values and good thoughts of the place, neither content with the fare nor
gratitude toward those that maintain them.
3d And children thus vitiated, ill affected & prejudiced [p. 125] by
precedents have as often as they see their relations the advantage of being
further injurious, for they will readily tell whatsoever they see transacted
and likewise their own sentiments of things and promulgate false reports,
so become very active to discourage others.
To the house such must needs be of very bad consequence, for when
those that so liberally participate of such benevolence and large extent of
charity convey (instead of gratitude) false and scandalous reports concerning the administration & management thereof amongst those that are
benefactors or any way concerned in contribution to the same, will
undoubtedly very much diminish friends' satisfaction they might justly
expect in the dispense and bestowing of their charity and tend to
discourage and prevent others that might be disposed for the advance of
Now the amendment of these things seems very improbable whilst the
house remains under the same circumstances. If the committee should
bring them in question about these doings they would directly deny them,
for I [have] both heard and seen some find fault with the victuals in a very
contemptible way & shortly after of his own accord utterly denied it,
saying, there was no better victuals in the kingdom, or in words to that
purpose. Or if they should use some sharpness to those most addicted to
disorder, by displacing them they would account themselves to those that
probably believe them misrepresented and severely dealt by. So would
they more vigorously endeavour to publish the above named reports, and
those left behind would not be heartily reformed, but only under a little
awe and fear, for its a very difficult task to produce order where the
contrary is implanted and sprung up. And most know that it's no easy
matter to bring aged people, that love nothing worse than to be under
government, from their accustomed habits.
Josiah Forster, School master.
106. [p. 126] 30 March 1720
This committee having been diverse times and from sundry persons
informed of several persons in this family who have been and it's to be
feared still are very disorderly and refractory therein, likewise we
ourselves have now as at other times seen the undue liberty some in this
house have taken:
1. In contempt of the provision which we know to be very good and well
ordered and not inferior to [that] which many worthy honest friends are
thankful for, who work hard for their families and are contributors in
order to maintain you here; and all that is desired for the charge and
labour bestowed is that you be helpful to each other & thankful which is
the trust of holiness, but its our present exercise to see the contrary so
2. In condemning and lightly esteeming the good and reasonable orders
of the house without which such a family as this cannot long subsist, and
we do conclude such who treat the orders as aforesaid will not cheerfully
comply with the same according to their promise before the committee
when admitted, otherwise could not have been taken into this house.
3. In the frequent and undue treatment (and that before the servants and
children) which is given to the steward, and stewardess who . . . the
committee has placed here and are satisfied with them as suitable persons
to govern and be entrusted with the affairs relating to this family. And we
do hereby give you to understand that they shall not be imposed upon for
the future as hitherto they have been.
4. In frequent going abroad spending much of your time out of the house
contrary to the aforesaid orders, and thereby having opportunity to
murmur and complain, likewise carry false reports against the house (also
those who have the care thereof) to such persons who are not well
disposed towards the said house, and thereby are liable to be imposed
upon in hearing bad reports which several of us have heard of abroad.
And if we hear reports of this nature . . . [p. 127] for the future [we] may
think it necessary to find some constant employ suitable for the ancient
people as well now as formerly which may tend to the reputation of the
house, also be an advantage to such persons in preventing them for the
future from such idle wandering habits in carrying stories & whereby they
injure themselves and likewise the house.
In the year 1720.
This relates to a passage in pages 120, 121 & 122&c .
107. [p. 128] Dear friends,
These are to acquaint you that we are inclinable to part with our present
school mistress, also desire your assistance in recommending &c some
suitable person to us in order to supply her place, if you incline that the
sewing school may be continued for the future, there being but few girls in
We have not hitherto much disputed the charge and considerable loss
the sewing school has been to the house (for near 5 years) in taking up the
whole of the girls' time, which they have worked for so small earnings.
Yet with you we esteem it necessary that they should have some
education of this nature, though we conclude it has not yet so fully as
could be desired answered the good intent therein proposed by you, to
wit, a more thorough qualification for good servants.
The girls come into the house about the eighth year of their age,
commonly stay until about 13 or 14 years old, and part of that time is spent
in learning to read, write & cypher. And as to the sewing work, it has
generally been sent in pretty fine, therefore the children are scarcely
brought to finish any work. And notwithstanding that, when any friends
that are good housekeepers would take a girl out in order to bring up to
housewifery, then several of their parents, mothers especially, have not
been easy therewith, esteeming their children qualified for better business (as shop maids, seamstry &c) by reason of the education, and also
has been incident to influence their children not to comply willingly
And we are of opinion that if the sewing work were not of the finest
sort, but such sent in as the children might in a reasonable time learn to
begin and end their work, it might the better qualify the girls for your
Also if the girls do not spend so much of their time at the sewing school
it might possibly prevent their parents from so much disesteeming the
station of household servant, though in good families; for now it is too
common amongst our young women who are servants who cannot much
use their needle, to learn any business whereby they may live at their own
hands, though [this] often proves to their disadvantage in diverse
respects. And we do suppose you may have experienced that . . . [p. 129]
when young women come out of the country who may have had but little
education of this nature, yet have been very good servants and not so
incident to be unsettled in their places as some who are more instructed in
learning as aforesaid. We mention not these things to prevent the girls
from having a suitable education in order to qualify them for good
servants, but rather friends, that both you and we may in a friendly
manner consult together in this weighty affair in order they . . . may not
only be qualified for good servants but also tenderly be made sensible
how reasonable it is for them to comply therewith in serving friends who
have had a tender care over them.
And we are obliged to let you understand we are now very sensible that
unless a very conscientious person be placed here for a school mistress
who may be free from perplexing circumstances, also exemplary and
diligent in order that a good behaviour and an industrious disposition may
be early . . . cultivated into our children, otherwise the good intention
proposed by you and us may not be answered.
108. Some reasons.
Our house is a house of charity for aged, sick, lame, blind &c, also for
poor children whose parents are not in ability to maintain them, and some
who are fatherless and motherless children and would come to the parish
if we did not take care of them. And in-as-much as we do not only
maintain those but also the rest of our poor at our own charge, also pay
proportionally towards maintaining the parish poor, therefore we esteem
ourselves aggrieved by taxing the same house &c so high and do conclude
the like is scarce known to be done by any houses of this nature.
Objection: but it is not a house of charity according to law.
Answer: we are informed it is lawful for us or any protestant dissenters to
set up houses of industry in order to educate their children therein. And
inasmuch as we maintain our own poor and pay our equal proportion of
the poor's rates. Through mistake carried to 132. [p. 132: pages 130-1
contain the house's general accounts for 1721.] Also then with submission
we do conclude it to be consistent with justice &c in doing as we would be
done unto, by allowing the like privilege and indulgence to a work of so
general a benefit as the education of children in sobriety and an habit of
Objection: but you make your children earn their livings.
Answer: because we have not been incident to complain of our charges,
therefore strange things have and still may be supposed. But several of
our children are very small and scarcely earn an half penny per day, and
them that are bigger spend pretty much of their time every day in learning
reading, writing &c which, with the time allowed them for play, makes
smaller earnings than may be supposed; and the principal advantage
proposed by that little work the children do is in order to inure them in an
habit of industry and they are well provided for respecting victuals,
clothes &c. We also keep a school master, likewise a school mistress to
teach the girls sewing, therefore it may be reasonably thought or
however, easily made appear, that there is a great disproportion between
the children's earnings and the charge that maintains them.
109. [pp. 133-5. The house's general accounts for 1722.]