On this New Year's Day.

1st January 2014

On 1st January 1729, Clement Taylor of Finsthwaite in the Lake District credited Sarah Fell with £3/2/2 for peeling bark from 18 quarters and 5 bushels of wood, which he would turn into charcoal. It was one way in which Widow Fell paid her rent, her husband having died a few months earlier. One James Dixon paid the rest of the rent, and over the next few days Jane Woodburn, Edward Danson, William Book, Miles Harrison and Christopher Coulton appear in Taylor’s accounts. Clement Taylor’s account books tell a fascinating story of a farmer and businessman living on land that had belonged to his family for over a century and a half. His direct descendents would live at Finsthwaite until 1821, when his great nephew died and left the estate to someone he described as “a relation,” Roger Taylor. Such was the power of family ties that the “relation” must have been a very distant cousin indeed - so distant that the nature of the supposed relationship cannot now be established.

The Finsthwaite accounts are published in Volume 135 of the Society’s publications, The Account Book of Clement Taylor of Finsthwaite 1712-1753, edited by Janet D Martin (1997).