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Janet Meads, 2006

Burton Latimer Inventories

The village of Burton Latimer in the 17th and 18th centuries was inhabited by a variety of people ranging from the Lord of the Manor at the Hall through yeomen, tradesmen to the poor widow in her simple lath and plaster thatched cottage.

When any of these individuals died and left a will, an inventory of their goods and chattels, that is to say, their household belongings, clothes, money, debts, plate, jewels, livestock, growing crops, barley, hay and felled timber, had to be produced at the time of the granting of probate of the will or at the issuing of letters of administration if they died intestate.

Certain effects were not listed, for example, most perishable items in the house, but all other items that could be removed from the property were included. Therefore the lists include all household items, including the grates from the fireplaces and the ironwork and tools used for cooking thereon, the timber outside used for building hovels or lean-tos to protect firewood, hay or stock during bad weather and even compost is mentioned in some of the inventories. To our modern eyes the contents of all the houses seem sparse but the furnishings in the home of Edmond Bacon would have been luxurious in comparison to most of the village houses. Some of the items listed in the inventories are no longer known by their original names therefore a glossary of words that can de defined has been added as a link on each inventory.

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