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Horrobyn Histories – Matthew’s Story

Matthew gives us the penultimate instalment of the historical research so far…

I spent the day looking through some early 18th century rent rolls of John Harpur’s properties in the Longnor area, looking for entries for Sheen (or Sheene). I noted the names and any other information about the tenants at Sheene (Harrison and Horobin). The handwriting was very elegant but deciphering some of the words was a challenge! Anyway, with practice, it did get easier. I liked the use of Michaelmas and Lady Day to indicate the days when rent was due – much more interesting that boring modern dates. One of the problems was to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing and not get too distracted by all the interesting items in the books. One observation was the number of tenants (not in Sheene) who were in arrears year after year. And one thing that intrigued me was that the rent collector (William Wardle of Boothby) must have had large sums of money at his house. How did he keep it safe until he handed it over? We had some interesting discussions during the day including the Anglo Saxon language and the meaning of a ‘liberty’. It all made quite a change from managing IT projects!



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