Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage

Braithwell Town School - Researched by Allen Smith


Braithwell School (Master's House) from Carol Narey2.jpg
  The First School, now the Masters House

Braithwell Town School was founded in 1693 by John Bosvile. He was the brother of the 'first' Thomas Bosvile, the former vicar of Braithwell, and uncle to the then vicar, Thomas Bosvile.

According to the entry in the Parish Register of 1734, it was stated that "John Bosvile of Wards-end, Tanner in the Parish of Ecclesfield, founded the school and endowed it very plentifully".

Prior to this bequest, John Gleadall, in his will of 1688 left £60 with which the vicar and Churchwardens were empowered to purchase land. From the rental accruing from these fields, they were entrusted (among other things) to pay out half yearly "fortie shillings per annum to a schoolmaster for the schoolinge and instructinge four poor children to be chosen by the said people".

This Will seems to imply that there was already, before the school was founded, a place in the village where children, of parents who could afford the fees, could receive a basic education. (Probably a Dame school). The Parliamentary Survey of 1652 made no mention of education in the village.

With the founding of the Town School in 1693, the "four poor children" were selected by the vicar and churchwardens as stipulated in the terms of the Gleadall Will, becoming the first members of the "new" school. The school was situated in what was the centre of the village, on the East side of the High Street. This house still stands.Over the front door is a plaque which bears the following inscription:                                                                        


                                                                                      Dei gloriam

                                                                                patriae commodum

                                                                                  hancce scholam


                                                                                     Johan Bosvile


We now learn that the original inscription had an extra line, (the fourth line) which read:

                                                                                   "familie decus".

Richard Fretwell of Maltby had been a pupil of the school, and in 1717 he testified that he remembered the inscription being changed on the orders of Thomas Bosvile, vicar. Thomas Herrin, stone mason of Maltby, took out one of the lines with his chisel at some time shortly after the death of John Bosvile, the school's founder, but for what reason we are left to speculate. The defaced inscription still stands in place. John Shepherd, yeoman farmer in Braithwell at the time, also remembered the incident taking place.

Old school foundation stone.jpeg
The deliberately damaged stone

The building is of two storeys, made of local limestone, facing the street, with a small garden at the front. To the rear is a low, one storey building, adjoining, which was the kitchen. Later, £5 was donated in the name of Anthony Bosvile, and £1 from Hugh Bosvile. With this money, a large garden to the rear of the school was purchased.

There seems to be confusion over what happened to the money donated by John Bosvile. In 1734, John Turner, vicar, stated that " fraud and mismanagement of some persons, it (the bequest) is reduced to forty shillings per annum from John Thompson of the Well at present".

What really happened to the money designated by John Bosvile to endow the school became clearer following investigations made by the vicar of Ecclesfield, a William Steer, in 1717. It seems that they were prompted by a death bed confession made by Thomas Mitchell of Ecclesfield, the man who had made John Bosvile's will. He had noticed later certain irregularities which had taken place, but had never got round to following them up.

John Bosvile was the owner of a tannery, and his apprentice was Thomas Rawson. When he retired he gave the business to Rawson, and in return, lived with him. (In his latter years he became senile and unable to look after himself.) Evidence seems to point to a number of Bonds owing to John Bosvile, which were cashed by Rawson. Some of these were intended for the "School and Poor of Braithwell.

John Booth, a yeoman farmer of Chapeltown, testified that, before his death, John Bosvile gave £100 to his nephew, Thomas Bosvile, vicar of Braithwell, together with certain Bonds to endow the school. The school house was purchased with some of the funds (£50 - £60) but later, when the Churchwardens had made arrangements to purchase land with the rest, the vicar was unable (or unwilling?) to account for what had happened to the remainder of the bequest. In fact, other than the house, it looks as if the school had no benefit from John Bosvile's will. The land on which the school was built was donated by John Gleadall.

(An article from the Sheffield Independant newspaper of August 2nd.1877
 deals with the incident in greater detail.)

In Archbishop Herrings Visitation report of 1743, the Braithwell vicar stated that there is "one Publik school endowed by John Bosvile with forty pounds, for instructing four poor children, ye vicar and ye churchwardens for the time being are Trustees for ye same. All ye other children pay quarterly, ye number at present are 23 instructed weekly in ye school"

.In 1818, the Reverend Thomas Bosvile of Ravenfield Park made a gift of £250 to be placed on "government , or some eligible security" The bequest went on to state in detail how the interest on the money should be used. "....four fifths of the interest arising therefrom be paid by them half yearly for ever to the master for the time being of the Town School in Braithwell aforesaid (founded as it appears by one of my family), on the express condition that he shall regularly and carefully teach ten poor children, living in the Township of Braithwell, to read, spell, write, and say the Church catechism without making a charge for so doing, or receiving any further remuneration whatever, the said children be appointed by the Vicar of Braithwell for the time being, or his Curate (the Vicar now being and residing at a distance), who shall likewise have power to withhold the said interest money altogether from the said schoolmaster, and to apply it as he, or they, shall think proper for the advantage of the said school, in case, and as long as the said ten children shall at any time hereafter appear to the Vicar or his curate not to be carefully attended to , and diligently instructed as above directed. And in regard to the remaining one fifth part of the interest money that shall arise from the said two hundred and fifty pounds, I desire that it may be expended in providing Bibles, testaments, and prayer books for the said ten poor children, and with a view to the further benefit of the school."

(It is worthy of note that when mentioning the founding of the school, the Rev.Thomas Bosvile says that it only "appears" to have been founded by one of his family. Was the donor fully conversant with what had come to light in Chancery some 100 years previously?)

In 1819, the whole of this bequest was used to purchase one field in Maltby (Lower Aldersick for £121.16s.0d, and Birkwood Close (2a.2r.8p.) for £128.4s.0d. Was it just a co-incidence that the total cost of the two fields was exactly £250?

Thomas Bosvile had suggested that the money should be invested in secure bonds, perhaps bearing in mind what had happened to the first bequest, but the Churchwardens seemed to have thought the income from land purchase and rental would prove to be adequate.

Hatfield, in his book "Village sketches" 1849, recalls a meeting with John Snipe, the Braithwell schoolmaster at that time. He stated that the income from the two fields purchased from the bequest, and also from 3 acres of land in Great Field brought in a total of approximately £11,  £3 of which was spent on books, the remainder paying for the teaching of the stated "fourteen poor children". We also learn that at that time the charges for instruction were: 4d for reading, 6d for writing and 8d for arithmetic. In 1849 the average attendance during the year for boys and girls was said to be forty.

In 1871, a brick building to the rear of the original school was built by voluntary subscription, aided by a grant of £10 from the National Society. (This was built on much of the land which had previously been the garden purchased earlier.) The old school, on completion of the new building, became the Masters House.

Following the Forster Education Act, the new school, when built, became known as the National School.

It was found that it was not necessary to use the whole of the money available to purchase "Bibles and Testaments" as the original deed specified, and some of the money saved in this way was used in 1891 for repairs to the Masters House. The rental money provided more than was originally envisaged, and proved to be more than sufficient to pay for the education of the fourteen "free" scholars. Some of this extra cash was used to benefit all by helping to reduce fees from "9d. to 2d., 3d., and 4d.".

Under the terms of the Elementary Education Act of 1891, fees were abolished, and the funds were applied instead to cover the general expenses of the school. (The Charity Commissioners in 1895 were not happy about this state of affairs.)

No Log Books are in existence for the Braithwell Town School, and so information is hard to find. Being a Church School, the Vicar and Churchwardens were responsible for the running and upkeep, and ensuring that the terms and conditions of various deeds and donations were strictly adhered to.

Some evidence of work done on the building is to be found in. the annual Churchwardens accounts (Doncaster Archives)
16.7.1735. In the midst of an account of a transaction regarding profits made from the sale of lime from land belonging to Thomas Gleadall, which realised £10.15s.0d., the Vestry Minute Book tells that the major part of this was used to subsidise the Churchwarden's accounts, and there is a reference to 2s.6d. being paid to the Schoolmaster.

29.3.1736. Bill for the school house garden wall


To Jos.Paylin for sight rood of wall 16s.0d
For Stones gathered   8s.0d
for ye coach wall.   1s.4d
For a chalder of lime and carrage   6s.0d
for garden door, lands, hook and nails   2s.2d
to Robert Baudison for stone loading  10s.9d
to Richard Colt for cord of wood sefts    1s.6d
for a lock fo ye school door.    1s.2d
to Mrs. Gibbons visitation charges      4s.0d
 Due 7d                              Received £2.10s.4d








The Vestry Book states that the cash for the wall came from "John Thompson,   Mr.Tofield, Mr.Radley plus part of Ruddle money".

 8.12.1784.     Paid Richard Hammer for poynting the scool windows

 7.4.1785.      Paid for scole glasing                                                        9s.8d.

 10.7.1787      to Samuel Snipe for school desk                                    6s.0d

 1.1.1791.       Expenses of removing school stairs                          £1.10s.3d

                      School garden wall

                      4 and a half roods at 3s.per rood                                     13s.6d

                       Three quarters of lime                                                       6s.0d

                       Spent when masons were paid                                         Is.0d

 26.1.1792     To schoolmaster on account of Sunday School                10s.6d 

 17.5.1792.     Underdrawing at the school                                              2s.0d

 1.12.1792.    Underdrawing in school chambers and pointing school windows.                                                                                                                    2s.0d.

 17.5.1792    Paid to Will.Ridgway for whitewashing school                    8s.6d.

         1796.        Paid for donation stone                                              £4.1s.4d.

                                                                                                                      (a large expense......... where was it?)

                                                                                            24.11.1799    Paid to James Fidler for laying stone down at school floor   2s.0d.

                                                                                              23.3.1810.    To George Hanby repairing scool
                                                                                                                     3 days and a half                                                              12s.3d.
                                                                                                                     Tiles, nails                                                                          9s.0d

                                                                                                                     To leading lime to scool                                                      Is.0d.

                                                                                              28.10.22         Lime from Stainton                                                             2s.0d
                                                                                                                    Coals from Rotherham                                                        9s.0d
                                                                                                                    Bricks Cockhill                                                                     3s.0d.

                                                                                              4.3.1825        400 bricks                                                                           10s.6d.

(Expenses for the Town School were always made as separate entries at the end of the yearly Churchwarden’s account)


From 1871 until 1927, Log Books are still in existence, and so it is possible to get a more detailed view of school life at that time.

In 1871 the school moved into the new building. The Inspector’s Report of 23.11.1871 said that the number of scholars present were 61.

Just before Christmas of that year, the Headmaster reported problems. "It is hard work to hold ones ground without books - but our motto is still `Onward'. He was pleased to report in January 1872 that sets of books had arrived - 12 readers for each year group.

There were obviously still problems, and by February 1872 the Head felt the need to make the following statement:

"The past year has been one of trials and disappointments, but by the blessing of Almighty God we have a brighter prospect for the future. I pray that God will give me the grace to discharge my duty faithfully, honestly and fearlessly in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation".

(Within ten days of writing that the Head tended his resignation and Rev.C.Hodgson took charge of the school (with a great deal of help from his family) until a new Head was appointed.

It would seem that in those days, the only help the Head had was a part time assistant to teach sewing.

1872 was a bad year as far as the Braithwell National School was concerned. Four separate Head teachers had been in charge during the year! Mr.Parkin and his wife were asked to leave after only a short period, and they were the subject of a very heated Vestry meeting in November. It ended with Mr.Parkin being given one quarter of his salary of £5, plus 6s.6d. for ringing the mid-day bell. This solved one problem, but afterwards the governors had difficulty in getting the family to vacate the schoolhouse.

Rev.C.Hodgson wrote in the Log Boog on 18 11.1872 "1 have had much difficulty in keeping Mr.and Mrs.Parkin to their duty since October 6th. They appear to have been living a very miserable life through quarrelling. Every week has brought its complaint accusing each other     I now felt the sooner he had gone the better. I am teaching with my sons."

These were the days of 'payment by results'. In 1873 the Log Book gives an idea of how the school was being financed. Here is an extract from the book.


"Number for payment at 6s.                   39                           £11. 14s. 0d.

Number of infants at 8s.                         10                             £4. 0s. 0d

Number for payment at 4s                      40                             £8. 0s. 0d

Total claim          £23.14s. 0d


Deduct (Article 17d)      £9.17s. 6d

Net sum payable         £13.16s. 6d.

Passes in Reading     15

Passes in Writing       15

Passes in Arithmetic  10”


On numerous occasions it was noted in an Inspectors Report that unless provision for the children was improved, the Grant for the coming year would be withheld.

Naturally, the collection of fees often caused problems. A typical entry is that for 11.7.1873.

"Florence Halifax brought no money with her on Monday morning. In the afternoon she said she had forgotten to bring it and that it was ready at home. Allowed her to go for it, but she did not return."

Also 22.8.1872. "Mrs.Spencer refused to pay for this weeks school fee for Edward because he was only in two days of the week. Hence the necessity of enforcing in future the payment of the fees in advance on Monday morning."

The salary of the Head in 1873 is detailed when the Head, Henry Windle, resigned after being in the post for only six months. On August 22nd. he writes:

"Memorandum of salary promised to me , Henry Windle, as Master of the school. - per year - viz. All the school pence, and all the Government Grant, with £30 in cash. (half the Government Grant, when received, will then belong to me)."

When preparing for the Inspection, concentrated effort was put in by all to ensure the maximum Grant. The records note on a number of occasions "night lessons very fairly done" (Even homework in those days!) With the Head's salary depending in part upon the size of the yearly Grant, one can understand why so much importance was paid to the special day when the Inspector came.

On 26.12.1873 the Head, Mrs.Burton, wrote: "Thursday, being Christmas Day, was a holiday. Very few children attended during the week" (Is there any wonder?)

17.4.1874 must have been a 'red letter day' for the school. "The Countess of Zetland gave a treat to the children belonging to the school" Unfortunately we are not told what form the treat took.

Other special days are also mentioned.

12.1.1877 "A half holiday on Friday afternoon. Mr.and Mrs Waterhouse gave the Sunday and Day School scholars a tea."

23.11.1878. "The school had a half holiday in order that the school might join in the festivities at Sandbeck Park." (Home of Earl Scarbrough).

19.8.1891_ "Holiday this afternoon on account of a cricket match between school boys and Mr. Waterhouses team."

Being a farming community in those days, attendance suffered greatly while the children helped in the fields. References are made in the Log Book to children being absent due to setting and picking potatoes, pea pulling, harvesting, haymaking, tenting and turnip singling. Some did not attend on one occasion because they were "picking cowslips for wine making."

The Head summed up these absenses by quoting the rule that then applied. "17.7.1876. Children over 10 years of age allowed leave of absense from school for operations of husbandry from July12th to August 7th."

One absentee (Henry Turner) on 2.3.1909 was "seen taking two cows to Rotherham for Mr.Crawshaw."

Ever since the National School was set up in 1871 Inspectors' Reports were critical on a wide range of matters. The report of 1880 shows how poorly endowed the school was. It recommended that "each child should possess a slate"

In the 1884 report,( regarding the Headmistress Mrs.Burton), said that "were she aided by a monitor who could keep the elder children at work while she gives some appropriate teaching to the Infants, the results would be still better."

The 1886 report was more critical. "It is unfortunate that the Infants have not been seated in a corner on benches of suitable height instead of occupying seats too high and placed where they interfere with other classes."

The Inspector the following year said that "a permanently employed assistant should be employed, and justice done to the Infants."

Matters got even worse in 1888, and in spite of taking note of the Head's "failing health", one tenth of the Government Grant was deducted. Mrs.Burton resigned her post nine months later, but that was not the last time she was mentioned in the Log Book.

161.11.1889. "Have taken the names of some children off the Register. They are reported to be attending a Dame School opened by Mrs.Burton." (Was this at Moat Hall?)

16.8.1890. "Sent the Allison children home for their school pence, but they did not return. They are now reported to be attending the Dame School kept by Mrs.Burton."

Things certainly seemed to be looking up on 26.8.1891. The entry reads ; "Gave out drawing books. Have hitherto taken drawing on slates".

Payment of part of the government grant was still "by results". In 1893 the Head wrote in the Book the sums given to Standard H pupils by the Inspector.

Multiply             37495 by 308

Divide                79486 by 9

Divide              109054 by 11

From                60981 take 9495

Seven pupils were entered. 1 had three right, 2 had two right, 2 had one right, and 2 had none. (Remember, this was years before calculators!)

On October 27th.1893 we learn that "...I have punished William Marshall for using bad language." It would seem that he started at an early age, and that the reprimand did him little good!

A special visitor came to the school on 9.8.1895. "A gentleman visited the school on Friday and gave an interesting entertainment, illustrating paper folding to about 40 children. Each paid Id. to hear him and see his useful experiments."

One of the few references to happenings in the village came on 13.11.1896 when the Head reported "Great stack fire at Mr.Bentley's farm."

At this time some children who lived in Maltby and Stainton were attending Braithwell school. In March 1897 the Head was "compelled to send Stainton children home on account of an outbreak of dipthorea there." The log also quotes a number of occasions when the Town school had to be closed because of scarlet fever, measles and influenza.

Inspectors still kept making critical reports as the nineteenth century drew to a close. In 1897 it was reported that "the Offices were not sanitary"and also that "provision was not made for instruction in Swedish Drill, or suitable physical exercise." The Inspector went on to "warn the managers that it (the higher grant) will not be paid another year unless the required provisions are made".

In 1899 concern was expressed over provision made for Infants. The report stated that they needed a room for themselves. Next year the concern was again over the state of the Offices, the lack of cloakroom space, and the pressing need for a separate room for the Infants. This time the officials meant business and the annual grant was not forthcoming. During this period the school was closed for a number of separate days:

23.5.1900. "School closed yesterday in honour of the relief of Mafeking."

31.5.1900. "School closed in honour of the entry of the British into Johanesburg and Pretoria."

3.6.1902. "School closed yesterday on account of the Peace Proclamation."

On 22.1.1901 the children were deprived of their holiday . "School closed for half a day on account of a social tea, but owing to a report of the Queen's death, the tea was postponed, and the holiday also."

The children finally got their holiday on 24th June 1902 "on account of the Coronation festivities."

Sometimes the children took a holiday without permission.:

The new Head (W.Stimip) got off to a good start introducing team games, and because of his interest and enthusiasm, attendance improved.

!3.4.1905. "Poor attendance in consequence upon the Fitzwilliam Point to Point races held at Micklebring."

As far as educational attainment , in the early 1900's, the school got good reports, but there was still concern over the premises, the number of pupils having risen alarmingly.

30.7.1907. "Admitted 7 children from the navvy huts near Ravenfield Common. (These were children of the labourers digging the cuttings and laying the railway lines.)

The Great War caused problems. After having his enlistment postponed on two occasions, the Head finally left for military service on 27.2.1917., returning to duty two years later. The only other reference during this period to the hostilities was on St Georges Day 1917, when the Log states that "...flags sold to children in aid of wounded horses."

The governors of the school finally addressed the problem of overcrowding. On the first day of 1919 the Infant department moved out, and took up residence in the Chapel Schoolroom. Mrs Bertha Weyman continued as Caretaker of the old school, and Miss Hilda Dunstan was appointed cleaner of the 'Temporary School'.

The school building was often used at weekends for village functions. After each of these events it seems that the Head had some form of complaint to make.

1.11.1920. "The school is now without any kind of musical instrument. At a dance in the building, the harmonium was irreparably smashed!" The replacement piano was soon in trouble as well. "Blackboard in Miss Drews classroom damaged and one note of the piano- 'E' - will not sound, due no doubt to the Whist Drive and Dance in the school on Friday evening. (Mrs Spencer and Mrs.Brookes organisers)”.

In 1921 the Inspectors report was very critical of the Head Teacher, C.S.Rawlinson. "During the past two months the Head teacher had all the Standard children in his own charge. He has been at this school for 7 years (including military service) and says that he has never had sufficient Staff in all that time. In any case he has lost heart and interest, and very little good is being done in the school." (He resigned at the end of the year.) (On the 7.11.1921 there were 151 children on the Registers of the school!)

16.5.1923. (only two weeks after his appointment) "Walter Stirrup formed school boys cricket club. Obtained the loan of a piece of ground adjoining allotments for the school games - kindness of Mr.Crowcroft (Red Lion)" (Stirrup's interest and enthusiasm led to better attendance rates)

Overcrowding was still a problem in spite of the Infant class being in the Chapel schoolroom. The inadequacy of the ‘offices’ and heating systems were also criticised, as well as the lack of playing space. From 1926 onwards a number of sites were considered for the new Braithwell County School, one such site being the one owned by Mr.Crowcroft near the allotments. Eventually the site at the top of High Street was selected, and building work started.

Mr.Stirrup was invited to the interview (20.12.1927) but it was Mr.J.J.Fox who was appointed.


                 Teachers at Braithwell Town School.

 1698                    Elias Hall (Hale?) married  26.11.1695: died 17.8.1698 (36 yrs old)                                                                                (Most likely the first Master of the Town School)                                                                                1770 – 1782         John Wordsworth 

1784 - 1786          MATTHEW HOLMES (See his story below)                             

1797 -                   William Wright. died 28.10.1797 aged 44

1820                      Mr.J.Johnson. (Head)

1820 – 1860         John Snipe (Head)

                             Mary Waker (Assistant)

1860 – 1861         Edward Varah (Head)

                             Elizabeth Varah (Assistant)

15.4.1872            George Goodwin (Head)

                            Mrs.Thomas Hayes engaged to teach sewing.

19.8.1872            Mr.Parkin (Head)

                            Mrs.Parkin (Assistant)

31.12.1872          Henry Windle (Head)

For 2 months school was run by Rev.C.Hodgson and family (Arthur, Ernest and ‘Miss Emily’)

2.10.1873            Mrs.Hannah Burton (Head)

18.3.1889            Mr.Charles Briscoe (or Bruce?) (Head)

2.1.1893              Mr.C.Heitmann (Head)

14.1.1895            Mr.N.W.Harper (Head)

                          Assistants at various times     Frances Colbeck

                                                                          Miss A. Beck    


28.8.1899           Mr.Robert Maltby (Head)

3.1.1900             Mr.E.W.Pearson (Head)

                 Assistants at various times     Ruth Harrison, Clara Dent

                                                                 Lily Dent

                                                                 Mary Dent and Constance Clarkson                   

4.9.1905                L.E.Hall (in Temp. charge)

2.10.1905              William Hammes (in Temp. charge)

8.1.1906                Eva Sutcliffe (in Temp. charge)

1.7.1907                Mary Isobella Atkinson (“Mistress of the School”)

                              Assistant Miss Howard

                                             Miss Little

3.3.1914                C.S.Rawlinson (Head)

                               Assistants at various times         Miss Howard

                                                                                   Clarice M. Spencer

                                                                                   Mrs. G.E.Milnes

                                                                                   Winifred Foers

                                                                                   Mabel Buckle

                                                                                   Alice Slack

      Miss Howard acted in a Temporary capacity during Head’s absence due to Military Service.

17.2.1919              C.S.Rawlinson returned to duty.

                              Assistants at various times         Laura Waring

                                                                                 Mary Taylor

                                                                                Constance Turner


                                                                                Daisy M.Morley

                                                                                Miss E. Guest

                                                                                Miss Jessie Drew

4.7.1921                Alfred Weatherall

                             Temp H/T while C.Rawlinson on course at Baliol.

1.5.1923               Walter Stirrup (Head)

                             Miss E. Kay Assistant teacher 17.12.1923

                             Miss Lillywhite (C.A.) started 14.9.1925

                             Mary Young

                             Miss D. Payne

22.12.1927          J.J.Fox appointed on this day.


                         A School Master's LIfe

Matthew Holmes - Braithwell School Master 1784 - 1786

Matthew Holmes was born at Menwith Hill, Knaresboro Forest in or about the year 1757, where he lived with his parents.

When he was sixteen years old he started teaching at various schools.

In 1778 we learn that he married Mary Milner at Hampsthwaite Church.

In 1783 he became Headmaster at Braithwell Church School.

He had four children :                       

Sarah born 1780

John born 1786

Mary Ann born 1786

Amelia born 1787

(If these dates are correct - they were taken from the voluntary examination certificate he made in 1791 - the three youngest children must have been born in Braithwell).

In 1784 he was appointed Parish Clerk.

Extracts made in the Churchwarden's accounts re-M.Holmes are as follows:

19.10.1787. To M.Holmes for going about to call a meeting on a rainy night...4d.

03.05.1789. To M.Holmes for interviewing Hannah Hattersley's child - 6d

allowed her for a month 16s.0d.

02.07.1789 To M.Holmes for drawing (up) the Penny assessment belonging Town 2s.6d.

14.03.1790. To M.Holmes for writing to the Club, and concerning Johnson's goods 6d.

06.02.1791. Paid schoolmaster for teaching the Hirst children. 3s.9d.

April 21st.1792 - April 1793 Chuchwarden's accounts.

A letter from Mr. Stovin. (Presumably this was the Voluntary Examination form appertaining to M.Holmes - presumably seeking 'settlement' within the Parish.) ls.0d.

04.04.1793. M.Holmes re-married - a Susan Westby. His occupation at the time was given as Schoolmaster.

The Churchwarden's accounts for 1792 -93 also state;

Relieved M.Holmes when deprived of Clerkship to support his family 6s.0d.

No evidence can be found as to why he 'lost' his job as Clerk to the Parish, or why he also ceased to be Schoolmaster.

Also, what happened to his first wife?

15.12.1793. Elizabeth their daughter was baptised and the Register still shows that he was Schoolmaster and Parish Clerk. If the Overseers of the Poor records are correct this could not have been the case!

15.11.1795 Baptism of Ann his daughter. Here Matthew is designated as being a soldier. It is possible that, finding other jobs hard to attain, he looked elsewhere, and during the Napoleonic Wars, soldiers were in great demand.

Following this last entry in the 'Register', Matthew does not figure again in any of the Parish accounts, but we know that Susan, his wife, remained in the Parish until the 1840s.

In the accounts of 1796/97 Wiliam Ardron writes:

Paid to Susanna Holmes 52 weeks at 3s. per week.          £7.16s.0d.

(It is obvious that the Parish is supporting the Holmes family, and that William is either away from home on Army duty, or dead.)

14.02.1797. Paid Mr.Flowers (doctor) for Susan Holmes.                        12s.0d.

24.04.1797. Widey Amery and Susey Holmes 46 weeks at 7s.0d.        £5.12s.0d.

1798  Widey Amery and Widey Holmes (the first direct reference to her being a widow) weekly pay at 7s. per week for 11 weeks.            £3.17s.0d.

? May 5th. Widey Holmns for 45 weeks at 3s.per week       £6.15s.0d.

And so the payments from the 'Overseers of the Poor' continued. The records of the Overseers are sketchy from 1813 onwards. Susanna does seem to have been a heavy burden on the Township. The payments made to her per week varied according to the number of children she had at home.

In order to make her earn her 'keep', the records show that in 1801 she was provided with:

52 weeks at 4s.0d.                               £10. 8s.0d.

for 2 pounds of line and spinning                 4s.4d

for meal                                                         ls.0d.

Later in the same year she was again provided with 'line' for spinning.

Yearly, as well as the weekly upkeep amounts, she was given one load of coals which cost between £1.1s. and £1.4s.

She never, unlike many, received any clothing or furniture.

In the Census of 1841, she is shown as being a female servant aged 60 (all ages in this survey are rounded up to the nearest five years) living with Thomas and Ann Westby of Braithwell (presumably relatives). Also working with her was her daughter Ann (40)

A sad life!