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PotterInventories1663

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

Cove Potter Inventories, 1663

page prepared by Peter Tipton, Feb 2008

 

Two Cove potters died in early 1663. Their inventories were valued by their neighbours within five days of each other. They both died intestate -- without making wills -- so one can only speculate whether there was an accident or an infectious fatal illness.

 

Robert Hazell's inventory was taken on 28 Jan 1663 by Robert Watts, John Rogers and William Geale. Richard Dorey's inventory was taken on 2 Feb 1663 by Nicholas Stevens, William Taylor and Thomas Streate. The appraisors mostly have surnames known to be associated with the Borderware potteries.

 

Richard Dorey appeared to live in a one-up one-down dwelling with a buttery at the back or side. His personal effects were valued at £16-3-8d. Richard Dorey did not own a house. His clothes and the money in his purse only amounted to 12s 0d compared with Richard Dorey's £2-10-0d. Robert Hazell's other personal effects were mostly described as "in the room where the testator died". Other items listed separately only brought the value of his total personal effects up to £2-13-0d. But Hazell did have a Fowling Piece in his inventory -- Dorey did not. Dorey possessed a smallholding including an acre of corn, a mare, a cow and a little bullock, one sheep and a dung heap valued at a pound. The total value of Dorey's agricultural holding was £7-3-10d.

 

Hazell did not possess a potter's wheel, and the possessions relating to his trade as a potter are not described as "in the shop" as in Dorey's inventory. Dorey owned two potter's wheels. Hazell owned six loads of white clay valued at £4-10-0 and a load each of red clay and "challow white" clay, together worth 8s. So the red and (I presume) off-white clay average at 4s each load and the white clay at 15s per load. It is interesting that just after the Restoration the ratio of white:red clay is 6:1.

 

Whereas Hazell's clay had a total value of £4-18-0, Dorey's clay was lumped together with his earthernware for a total value of £12. Another interesting comparison is that Dorey's kiln and Kiln boards were together valued at £1-10-0d whereas Hazell had no kiln or wheel, but did have 15s worth of boards. It seems that a kiln was not worth much. But when it came to value the wood in Dorey's yard it was valued at £8 which was one sixth of the value of his total inventory of £48-10-10. Likewise Hazell's wood was valued at £1-5-6d which - at a ninth of his total inventory value of £11-12-8d -- is still a large proportion of his rather meager wealth. Hazell's inventory actually itemises the type of wood he had: two loads of "stame wood" (perhaps stem wood from coppice) one and a half loads of billet (which sounds like split hardwood) pear tree and other wood. It appears to confirm that different woods were used to produce the right amount of heat for different firings.

 

What else can we find out about these two men? A Richard Dorey was recorded in the Yateley parish registers as having been buried 20 Dec 1662 but in Farnborough, not Yateley. However the entry states that this was "Richard son of Richard Dory". So maybe there were two deaths in the same family, father and son, about a month apart. This might indicate a contagious disease in the community. A Thomas Dory had been buried 6 Dec 1655 "out of Cove". The Yateley baptisms reveal that a "Richard Dory son of Richard Dory was baptised 20 Aug 1643". This was presumably the young man who was buried in Dec 1662 aged 19. Although Richard Dorey the potter was far from wealthy, I think it was the father who would have owned two potting wheels and a kiln -- pointing to the double tragedy in the family in the winter of 1662/3.

 

Although Hazell is a common name -- even today in Hartley Wintney -- there is only one reference to a Hazell in the Yateley registers before 1700 and that is for the marriage of Robert Hazell to Mary Taylor in Farnborough on 29 Oct 1666. This is a bit perplexing since the potter of exactly the same name died some three years earlier.

 

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Inventory of Robert Hazell, potter of Cove, died 1663

Inventory of Richard Dorey, potter of Cove, died 1663

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