For over a year the volunteer group at Stafford has been calendaring the contents of the Uttoxeter overseers’ vouchers, giving rise to over 3000 spreadsheet entries detailing names, trades, and paupers’ receipt of relief. The work has extended beyond the statutory institution of the New Poor Law, because the new law took a few years to implement in Uttoxeter. This means that voucher details have been collected into the early 1840s. Analysis of the research potential from these vouchers in future can can be confident that it covers all the available material, for which we must give a huge THANK YOU to everyone in the group. It also means, however, that there is now a new focus for the vouchers project, and collectively we have already started blogging about Tettenhall.
Tettenhall does not possess nearly so many overseers’ vouchers as Uttoxeter, so there are fewer pieces of paper to unfold, but the rural south-Staffordshire parish forms a neat comparison with a more northerly market town like Uttoxeter. The nature of the vouchers is rather different too, in that the chronological spread is much wider (back to the mid eighteenth century) and the organisation of information is less reliable.
Furthermore, Tettenhall benefits from a different cohort of additional parish material. Uttoxeter has almost no surviving overseers’ account for the same years as the vouchers, but has a wealth of pauper letters. Tettenhall, in contrast, has accounts and multiple supporting types of document (although many fewer letters). Tettenhall did have a workhouse, providing one decisive point of comparison with Uttoxeter. Workhouse inmates will form the topic of my next blog entry.