It’s day four of our historical research updates and here is Elspeth’s account…
It was my first visit to Matlock record office after a gap of about 8 years and it has been transformed into light airy and modern space in which to work. Many documents are now accessed through a computerised index, unlike the folders and card indexes on my earlier visits. However, we didn’t have to search for the documents ourselves as Simon had already ordered those which he thought might be relevant and allocated them to members of our group.
I looked at Harpur rentals recording those relating to Whitle in Sheen parish. The earliest was 1687 and the latest 1810, the rents increasing from 15 shillings at Lady Day up to £13.10 shillings in 1810. Whether these were fair increases or not is hard to tell as acreages were not recorded. Perhaps the rents did keep pace with inflation or were the Harpurs’ tough and powerful landlord?
At Lichfield, Leila and I looked at the Baptisms, Marriages and Burials recorded by the curates of Sheen. Many a time we were saddened to see how many children died soon after birth but in 1849 a Horobin family who lived at Ferny Knowl had an even greater tragedy befall them as they lost 4 members of their family within 2 months of one another. Benjamin Horobin died aged 79 on April 9th, Henry Horobin aged 9 died on the same day, Daniel Horobin died on April 30th aged 13 and William Horobin, aged 17months died on May 30th. Surely it could only be some terrible disease that struck them down.