Monday, 6 January 2020

1661 - 1714 Probate Inventories - what were the citizens of Lincoln sitting on during the reigns of Charles II, James II, William & Mary and Anne?

The excellent Probate Inventories of Lincoln Citizens 1661 - 1714 edited by J.A. Johnston (Volume 80, Lincoln Record Society/The Boydell Press 1991),  contains transcriptions of about 10% of the 590 probate inventories known to exist for thirteen Lincoln parishes, mostly held at the Lincoln Archives.  There are more Lincoln inventories for this period than for most other parts of the country. 

These probate inventories are interesting because they relate to a period before the proliferation of newspapers and advertisements, which, in later periods, are a good source of household contents when they are advertised for sale. The Lincoln, Rutland & Stamford Mercury which claims to be Britain's oldest newspaper began publication only right at the end of this period. 

These probate inventories, in the absence of virtually any other information that can be systematically examined, therefore offer a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of what sort of seating the citizens of Lincoln were using just at the time before the very first Windsor chairs were starting to be made.  The earliest known Windsor chairmaker, Joseph Newton of Fenton, Lincolnshire is discussed elsewhere here and here on this blog.

I have extracted and analysed all 277 entries from 55 of the 60 inventories printed which mention chairs, stools and forms, together with other items associated with seating components. 

Johnston's cautionary notes on the inventories selected at pp. xviii-xix & xxxi should be borne in mind:

"It is a generally acknowledged weakness of any collection of inventories that they give poor representation of women. 20% of the Lincoln inventories refer to women. Out of the total number of 115 female inventories 71 (61%) were of widows, 13 (11%) of spinsters and the remaining 31 were female from the evidence of Christian name but were not defined by marital status. In Lichfield between 1661 and 1680 women provided 18% of the inventories and in nearby rural Lincolnshire in the same period they provided 12%. Women were certainly under-represented in the Lincoln sequence of inventories but not to an exceptional extent.

Inventories also under-represent the poor. When the deceased was poor and there was unlikely to be dispute over the settlement of the estate the legal process of probate was not required. The unfairness of consuming much of the value of a poor man’s estate in the cost of probate was recognised in a note scribbled on one of the labourer inventories. The note suggested that probate be waived as the final charges would cum to as much as is thought will be gotten. However Lincoln’s inventory coverage of the poor is exceptionally good because there are 156 inventories of people who died intestate and many of these were poor. In the 1680s 31 % of the L.C.C. Admons were for estates valued at less than £5.00 and 51 % were at less than £20.00. Inevitably a process of selection which looks for inventories which are revealing and rich in detail involves a bias towards wealthier examples. The mean of all 590 inventories is £187.00 and for the printed selection is £257.50 although this does include examples of the lowest valuations. In this period a Lincolnshire labourer could expect to earn between 3p and 4p a day. A personal estate valued at £600 could be interpreted as a sign of gentility and a prosperous tradesman’s estate would be in the range between £100 and £500. None of the Lincoln inventories show wealth of the level attained by the great merchants of London and the major cities. Only 10% died with estates valued at more than £500 and of these only 3 % had estates valued at more than £1,000.

In addition to the kinds of bias already discussed the inventories present a range of problems to historians seeking to use them as evidence of a past society. Inevitably they seek to use them for purposes far removed from their original function. These problems have been often and cogently described. The ones that are of particular relevance as a cautionary background to this collection can be summarised. The totals of valuations given at the end of each inventory do not give an accurate picture of the deceased’s wealth. Real estate, such as land and property, were not valued and debts can be omitted. Both wills and administrator’s accounts need to be consulted to gain confidence about the financial standing of the inventory’s subject. The appraisers were fallible humans, their troubles with addition prove that, and uncertainties about goods in the deceased’s usage but not his possession or what belonged to a widow from her marriage settlement or was credited to her by custom, a neglect of rooms or assets, carelessness or lack of expertise in the processes of listing and valuation are all factors than can reduce the value of inventories for the historian. But, as all such cautionary paragraphs conclude, they do provide a major historical resource which excites both the quantifying historian and those who find instruction and pleasure in the unique and sometimes eccentric record of a singular individual."

"Roughly one in ten of the Lincoln inventories between 1661 and 1714 are printed in this volume. Selection poses obvious and serious problems. There is no generally accepted classification of the occupations, professions and services of an early modern city. There have been practically as many ways of organising inventory evidence for the study of urban life as there have been studies. The apparently convenient division of the inventories into those describing manufacturing, distributive and retailing trades is invalidated by the overlapping functions of individuals. Each city requires a particular approach if a selection of evidence is justly to reflect its economic and social status in a given period. [...] Inventories have been selected that as far as possible contain detailed evidence for the implements and stock that were characteristic of an occupation. The process of selection provides scope to illustrate such extremes of poverty and wealth as the evidence allows and for examples of males and females in all the social groupings. It follows that the selection contains evidence for the entire range of households and their furniture and fittings."

As some of the terms used in the inventories are unfamiliar I start with relevant extracts, amended where necessary, from the Glossary. For ease of reading a large volume of information I have colour-coded the text in this post as follows Chairs Stools Forms.

Bass, Bastplaited rush or straw
Bumblewoven bull rushes
Chair Table a chair of which the back folds forwards to make a table resting on the arms of the chair
Couch Chair a backless sofa positioned against a wall
Covered Chair a chair with padded seat and back
Dutch Chair a ladder back chair with a rush seat
Easey Chair a chair with wings and a sloping or hinged back
Leather Chair upholstered in leather
Matted Chair rush bottomed chair
Reed Wrought Chair rush bottomed and backed chair
Rushia, Rushey, Rushy Chair a chair with leather upholstery
Rushion, Russe Leather a durable leather much used in upholstering chairs, the most prestigious in quality was originally imported from Russia
Seeled Chair chair with canopy
Set Work Chair chair with tapestry or needlework upholstery
Turkey Work tapestry worked upholstery, much used for chairs
Wainscote good quality, imported oak; chair or furniture with wood panelling
Wanded Chair chair made of wickerwork or with wickerwork seat and back
Buffet, Buffitt Stool stool, normally associated with a dining table
Close Stool a commode
Joyne, Joynt, Joynid applied to furniture, especially stools, with turned legs in the form of columns of balusters
Saddle, Sattle, Settle long wooden bench with arms and a high back
Settle Bed bed which folds up in the form of a settle

Table 1 below sets out the 277 entries. Table 2 follows, setting out an analysis and summary of those entries.  Table 3 summarises the total chairs, forms and stools in each person's inventory. 

Table 1 represents a small fraction of the inventories overall as it is only those entries related to seating.  Most inventories show the name of the deceased, usually their occupation and parish, and the date of the inventory.  The archive references relate to the indexing system at Lincolnshire Archives.

Most inventories show the location within the premises of the item which adds useful context.  Most entries do not permit of a separate assessment of the values ascribed to any particular chair, stool or form because the appraisers often valued a whole room at a time.  Sometimes the seating is separately itemised and those entries have been extracted into the Notes on Value column of Table 2.

Table 1
Person & DescriptionLocation£sd
Joh Glen, Barber, 28.5.1662 L.C.C. Admon. 1661/74 Appraised at £133.79
Six littell bass bottomed Chaires one wanded Chaire one armed wooden Chaire one buffut Stoole and three littell stoolesIn the Hall 0100
One bedstead with a teaster one littel table one littell side table and one buffett Stoole In the Chamber where Mr Robinson lodgeth 170
One livery cupborde with three buffet stooles and one sid table In the Lodging Chamber 100
One high wooden Chaire for a Child and one low buffet stoole In the Lodging Chamber 040
Two painted basse Bottomed Chaires armed and two lesser Chaires In the Lodging Chamber 060
Two high covered Chaires two high covered stooles and one littell stoole In the Lodging Chamber 0100
One trunck one russe box one deske and one box thre dozen of trenshers one littel stoole and other small things In the Clossett within that Chamber 0100
One littel trunck three chists foure littell boxes two chaires and two littell stooles In the Childrens Chamber 0186
One little long Settle and Smothing board for Clothes In the Childrens Chamber 016
Six turkey wrogt stooles five covered chaires In the Chamber where Mr Wright lodgeth 1180
One long Settele three Chaires one littel table one deske and thre Cushons In the Shoppe 0150
Charles Clarke , Blacksmith The Bail , 14.1.1664 Prob. Inv. 162/61 Appraised at £63.12
One table Six joynd Stooles one livery Cubbord one trucked bedd one wainscote Chest three Chayres with other (h)ushlements In ye parler next ye streete 168
A long table and a little table one long forme twoe stooles seven bast chares one Safe In ye haule 0150
Twoe little tables two little formes one livery Coubbard three bedsteads twoe with beding with other things In ye Great Chamber next ye street 1150
Twoe bedsteads with beding one livery Cubbard one chayre one little table with other things In ye little Chamber 268
Katerne Sewell, Widow (Dyer), 9.8.1664 Prob. Inv. 164/90 Appraised at £219.74
One high standinge Cupboard one litle table and 4 Chares and one Cupboard Cloth two Cushans and one Safe and one long table In the Hall 1100
One long table two other tables One forme 6 buffett stoolles and six Chaires two Carpetts 6 Cushiones one livery Cupboard with Cloth and other Utensilis In the Parlour 040
Benjamin Marshall, Mercer, 18.1.1665 L.C.C. Admon. 1667/131 Appraised at £1,203.77
Sixteen covered chayrsIn the Greate Chamber 340
One bedstead with Two feather beds, hangings rugg and coverings, A Table and carpett. Seven Chayrs and Stooles A fire-iron tongs and shovell In the Inner garrett Chamber 710
Six chayres three stooles, A Violl, A Table and carpet with other implements In the Outer garrett Chamber 320
Three Tables Three Carpetts thirteen Chayres, Eyght joynt stooles Nine green stuff qushions. A fire grate, tongs and shovell, with other implements, A Livery Cupboard and carpet Three fowling pieces, A clocke, a Spitt Jacke, A glass Case and glasses, An hanging cupboard A Case of knives, a standard, a lookeing glass In the Hall 976
A stand bedstead with old hangings a Truckle bedstead with a Cupboard and a carpett, and potts, three old chayres fewer stooles, A close stoole, and pan, a lookeing glass, a fire iron, a payre of Endirons of brass, a Truncke with other implements In the Chamber over the pantree more 384
Two nests of Drawers an old Table and a Chayre In the Studdy in the Shop 068
A Great old Cupboard a joynt stoole, with divers glasses and white stone plate In the pantree 106
A Table, Sixe old chayres, Two pastie peeles, Two shelves with other implements In the Kitching more 0100
Thomas Lewis , Labourer , 9.1.1667 Prob. Inv. 166/43 Appraised at £12.72
One Cubard one table one forme 4 bast chares 4 buffitt stooles with other implements In the Hall 100
John Featley, Doctor of Divinity. In his Dignity house of the Close of Lincoln, 21.3.1667 Di 38/2/10 Appraised at £207.80
Thirteen Rushia Leather Chaires3100
A Table and forme In the Little Hall068
A dozen and halfe of Turkey worke Chaires In the Dyneing Roome 800
Three Spanish tables and two foote stooles In the Dyneing Roome 080
Foure Chaires and foure stooles suitable to the bedIn the Straingers Chamber 3100
Seaven Chaires and two stoolesIn the Chamber over ye Parlour 140
Two wanded Chaires a Seller of Bottles and Close stoole Box In the Chamber over ye Parlour 060
Two Close Stoole pans a Candlestick and a bottle Pewter in the Kitchen 0110
Mr. John Towndrow, (Baker), 26.11.1668 Prob. Inv. 168/76 Appraised at £58.07
A Table two joynt stooles with other woodden Lumber Pan Mettle 0100
In the same Chamber six bas-bothomd Chaires six quishions one paire of end-irons and one binch In the Chamber 076
In the same parlor one Closse-press one table three seelled stooles one Chist one box one seeing glase one forme with some other Iplements In the parlor 146
Three little-tables one Cobert one long sadle two formes one Wanded-Chaire one ould Arme-Chaire three basbothomed Chaires three quishions one joyned stoole In the hall 192
William Norton, Maltster. St. Swithin, 17.3.1670 Prob. Inv. 172/264 Appraised at £452.91
One Great table, 3 stooles, 1 forme In his Lodgings Parller 0134
One wicker Chaire, 1 other Chaire, 5 Cushions, 1 Warming Pann with other Implements In his Lodgings Parller 100
One old drawtable, 1 old Liverie Cubert, 1 forme, 2 Chaires with other Implements In the Hall 100
2 Cuberts, 2 litle tables, 1 Safe, one Long Settle, 2 Joynid Chaires, 5 other Chaires, and 3 Stooles In the Kitchin 136
1 Table with a Cubert i n 't, Joynid Chaires 1 other Chaire 1 box In the Nue Chamber 068
Richard Hazelteine, (Labourer) St. Michaels in the Mount, (.. ..) 1670 Prob. Inv. 172/321 Appraised at £5.46
One table: one forme: one Livera Cubert one long Sattle these things of valew In the house 0100
One wanded Chaire five bast Chaires In the house 040
Eden Williams, (Bookseller) St. Martins, 11.12.1671 Prob.Inv. 173/387 Appraised at £153.71
(...) 1 low Chaire 2 stooles 2 Carpetts Irish (...) In the Parlor 2120
(..) Cloth Chaire 2 Cloth Chaires Cloth stooles one wanded Chaire one (...) The Chamber over the parlor 140
1 trunke 2 old Chaires one livery Cubberd and Cloth and other implyments The Chamber over the pantree 0100
(...) bedstead Curtaine and Vallence one Close (...) one Curtaine one Side table and Carpitt one old Chaire one Stand one box one glass case and glasses In the passage Chamber 0130
(...) tubb one dresser board one old forme one watring tubb one wash tubb 2 wooden horese one (..) boules 2 Kitts and other Lumber there In the Kittchinge 0160
2 smale draw tables 1 great armed leather Chaire 7 other leather Chaires 2 leather stooles one bast Chaire In the Pantree 1188
One wainscott Chair one haire brush In the entree 026
One old cubbert one firr table and 2 ChairesIn the entree 050
One longe settle bedIn the hall house 040
5 bast ChairesIn the hall house 016
3 ioynt stoolesIn the hall house 030
One screene one smale Child Chaire In the hall house 050
George Shoosmith, Glaissyar, 8.4.1672 Prob. Inv. 175/201 Appraised at £38.85
One Cubard Eighte Chayrs three Tabules and three trunkes one box and two stoules In ye parlyar 200
Two brasse pannes one stille a fiame forme galla baucke and hoockes and sevarell othar Implmantes In ye kitchen and butery 068
John Dawsons, (Farmer) St. Peters Parish in Eastgate , 24.4.1672 Prob. Inv. 175/234 Appraised at £159.42
One Cubbert 2 Tables and one furme Three Chaires and 2 Buffit stooles In the Hall 134
Two Bedsteads with beding to them 2 little Tables Six Chaires 2 Chists 2 Buffit Stooles with other Lumber In the Parler 4134
William Kent, Gentleman (Maltster) St. Swithins , (.. ..) 1672 Prob. Inv. 175/29 Appraised at £951.23
4 Tables, 5 chares, one napkin press with brass Land Iron and bosses and other utensilis In the Hall 354
2 Spanish tables 2 guilded Leather Carpetts, 16 Rushy chairs and cupboard and a Sute of brasses In the Parlor 4174
One french Bedstead with other furniture aboutt it with hangings, 8 chairs and stooles, 2 truncks one Chest with 12 pair of Linnen sheets 8 table cloths, 1 dozen of diaper napkins, 1 dozen of towells and other utensilisIn the Chamber over ye Hall 2000
Mary Nickinson, Widow. St. Swithins , 29.5.1673 Prob. Inv. 174/21 Appraised at £106.44
One draw table a livery Cuberd a Cubbert table two joynt chaires four joynt stooles a press for to press cloaths in six nedlework stooles fifteen Cushions a paire of endirons and landirons a wheele and other implementsGoods in the Parlor 374
One long table two formes seaven buffitt stooles and the irons in the chimeney four old chaires a little table and other implements In the Hall 156
Three little firr deale boxes one wanded chaire and other implements In the Chamber over the Hall 046
Sissie Peacock, St. Benedicts , 31.12.1673 L.C.C. Admon. 1673/85 Appraised at £25.61
1 furme 6 charesthe hall Hous 0106
1 table 4 buffit stooles at and 1 Cubbert in the parler0160
3 Chares and tw Cusshon in the parler040
Thomas White, (Wool Merchant) St. Mark, 3.2.1674 Prob. Inv. 174/228 Appraised at £244.49
One table one forme and seaven joynt stooles In the Hall 0170
Six chaires one long settle two short forms In the Hall 0104
One long table, six chaires 4 cushions In the parlour 0196
One liverie cupboard three leather stooles and arme chaireIn the great chamber 0100
One cupboard and cloth 3 chaires and 4 stooles and one lookeing glassIn the little chamber 100
Six chaires 2 stooles curtaines and vallence In the little chamber 400
One chest and a desk and a chaire In the Kitching chamber 050
Elixabeth Bate, St. Michael on Mount, 28.2.1674 L.C.C. Admon. 1673/7 Appraised at £10.73
Six Lether Chaires two seild Chaires one Livery Cupbord and Carpett two Matted Chaires and five Cushions with other implements In her Lodging Chamber 200
One Screene one Close stoole with a pann and other implements In her Lodging Chamber 0100
Jefre Wood, (Labourer) St. Martins, (.. ..) 1675 L.C.C. Admon. 1675/111 Appraised at £4.06
One table and A furm
Thre Chares
William Atkinson, Tayler, 11.1.1676 Prob. Inv. 177/144 Appraised at £30.64
One long Table foure buffit stooles In the low Roome 0150
One Press Cubbert and a long Saddle In the low Roome 0120
One Screene Six plaine Chaires and a little TableIn the low Roome 0120
One Chest and One Wanded ChaireIn the Best Chamber 0134
Six green Chaires and foure Cushens In the Best Chamber 0134
John Langforth, Whitesmith St. Martins, 7.10.1676 Prob. Inv. 179/222 Appraised at £72.01
Wood. A Cupborde, a Table, a Dresser, 8 Chaires with basse bottomes In the Hall 0134
A table and Carpett, 2 formes, a Chest, a trunk a Napkin presse, 1 Safe and 2 baskett In the middle Chamber 140
A litle table a Cradle 2 Chaires 1 foot pace In the Lane Chamber 084
John Wignall, (Brickmaker) St. Buttolph, 19.12.1677 Prob. Inv. 219A/183 Appraised at £317.15
A Table and Six stooles and a forme In the parlour 100
5 basse chaires and a wanded Chaire In the parlour 060
Mr. Edward Fawkes, Alderman and Upholster, 29.3.1679 L.C.C. Admon. 1679/79 Appraised at £141.61
One Table 2 stooles 1 Elbow ChareIn the House 076
7 bast CharesIn the House 024
11 set worke Chares at 6s 6d In the Parler 3116
2 Tables 5 buffet stools 7 Lether CharesIn the Street Chamber 2140
2 Trunkes 1 old wanded Chare and a stand In the Street Chamber 0134
2 old credles 1 Childs Chare 2 bast Chares In the Little Chamber 050
One Truckle bed 2 stooles 2 Chists In the Garett 0180
1 Close stooleIn the shop 040
21 pair of stoole and small stringe 3s 6d In the shop 3140
6 Chare framesIn the shop 090
Henery Mitchell, (Haberdasher), 14.4.1679 Di 39/1/134 Appraised at £379.33
1 dozen red ChairesIn ye Hall Chambe 280
2 Leather ChairesIn the Kitchin 0180
2 bass ChairesIn the Kitchin 014
Robert Pearson, Waterman - St. Swithins, 28.8.1679 Prob. Inv. 180/236 Appraised at £46.33
One Cupboard 4 joynt Chaires 2 Tables 2 Chests one Oake press 2 boxes one joynt stoole 5 bass bottam'd Chaires In the house 1150
Abigaile Watson, Widow. (Saddler) St. Peter Arches , 1.9.1679 Prob. Inv. 180/242 Appraised at £288.04
8 Bass and Wanded Bottom chaires at 6d In the House 040
1 Long Settle 3s 4d 1 Looking Glass 4sIn the House 034
1 stand to Wash on 8d; 2 Stooles 18dIn the House 016
3 StoolsIn the Stables016
Henry Wanleste, The Close, 6.9.1679 Prob. Inv. 180/248 Appraised at £23.11
One Iron grate with endirons and brass bosses, one litle table two Leather Chaires three stooles some small pictures the hangings of the roome with the window Curtains being greene baise In the Hall Chamber0146
Three basse chaires one table and a brass candlestike In the Hall 020
Two Chaires A fire iron with two brasses and two old enirons some old pictures In the great Parlor 0110
One deske a Close Stool and pann In the Litle Parlor 076
Foure wooden Chaires In the Kitching Chamber 020
2 Litle tables 4 basse Chaires 2 dressers a Stoole 4 pewter porringers with other small utensilis In the Kitching 050
William Browne, Goldsmith, 21.1.1680 Prob. Inv. 180/252 Appraised at £643.55
Two litle tables and one dozen of chaires and one furme In the Hall 0116
Two litle tables fourteene wood chaires at In the roome next street 1140
Foure stooles and one landiron with endiro In the roome next street 070
One dozen of Rushy leather chaires atIn the parlor 300
Nine leather chaires at one wanded chaire at In the litle Chamber next the Street 1100
One litle table and 3 bass chaires at In the Garrett over the said litle Chamber 016
One table and one litle livery cupboard and 5 chaires In the great Chamber next the Street 0100
Three chaires and one chest In the Chamber over the hall 050
One Trunke one chest and 4 chaires at In the Garrett over the parlor 0150
4 hoggesheads 2 chaires with severall other things and a little landiron and some vinegar and small beare In the kitching 200
Henry Corbet, Doctor of Physick. St. Margaret in Close, 9.11.1680 Di 37/3/112 Appraised at £893.92
Foureteene Chaires and one Couch a stove and fire Irons belonging to it, a Chimney peice and a door peice with two Tables a Glascase and two Window Curtaines In the best parlour 1068
One round Table foure Chaires one Long stoole, one fire grate one old presse with ye hangings and other huslements within the said parlour In the little parlour 2100
One Table six leather Chaires one forme and a screene In the Hall 1134
One Table with a Leather Carpet twelve Chaires and foure Cushions Guilt Leather hangings a Chimney peice and some pictures belonging to the staire Case and one fire grate In the Dyneing Roome 26100
The Bed and bedding and furniture thereunto belonging with the hangings of the Roome, Chaires and other things there In the matted Chamber 2600
The bed and bedding and furniture to the same belonging with ye hangings Chest of drawers Dressing boxes Chaires and other things belonging to the same Roome In the best Chamber 6200
One bedstead with two feather beds Curtaines, and the hangings of the Roome with Chaires five pictures and other things there In the yellow Chamber 12100
One Bed and bedding two tables six Chaires the hangings about the Roome and other utensilis there In the Red Chamber 9100
George Biron, (Farmer) St. Martins, 23.5.1681 Prob. Inv. 182/33 Appraised at £108.17
One wainscott Chest one livery Cubbert one table 2 buffet stooles and a deske In the Chamber over the entrie 100
2 leather Chaires and one glass Case In the Chamber over the entrie 050
One livery Cubbert 2 Chests one Chaire table In the north Chamber 0176
8 bumble Chaires In the north Chamber 040
One livery Cubbert one smale table one wanded Chaire 5 bumble Chaires one paire of bellowes In the Kitchinge 0140
John Leach, Gentleman (Grocer & Brewer), 7.1.1682 Prob. Inv. 182a/230 Appraised at £299.50
6 Rushey Lether Chares A Couch Chare A Table Cobards Jack Andirons Hookes with other things In ye hows 3100
A bedstead, fether bed boulster and pillows Rug blankitts Curtaines 2 Chests, with Lining sheets Towels napkings 4 Chares and other Things In the Chamber over the hows 500
Hangings of the Roome 13 reeded wrought Chares and stooles A bedstead, fether bed, boulster, pillows, and other Beding Curtains with Severall other Things In the Chamber over the Shopp 5100
A french Bedstead mat, cord, Cortaine rods A long Table Two Joyned forms Another Table A glas Case A peuter Case dresser 2 hodgsheads A Copper and Grate 3 Larg brewin Tubs underbeck, Soe and other Things Att John Johnsons hows 1100
William Peart, Gentleman (Coffee House Proprietor) St. Mary Magdalene, 21.3.1682 Di 39/2/53 Appraised at £157.76
Foure tables, two formes nineteene basse bottom'd Chaires and one Buffet stoole In the Hall (......)
One Table one forme five Chaires one Deske two Voyders and a seeing Glasse In the Chequer Chamber 156
One table one forme four Trunkes two Boxes, one Close Stoole and pann Trenchers and other Lumber In the Garret 1108
Two tables and Carpets fifteen Chaires and Stooles, two Window Curtaines and Rods, one paire And Irons with brasses fire shovel tonges a grate and other Lumber In the Best Chamber 400
One Bed and Bedstead with the furniture thereunto belonging One Table and Carpet with five Chairs and other things in a Closet in the same Roome In the little Chamber next ye best Chamber 4100
Richard Ellis, (Whipmaker), 24.5.1682 Di 38/1/86 Appraised at £13.95
Chair and Cushion
Cross stool
Mr. Richard Winne, Alderman (Pewterer) St. Martins, 12.3.1683 L.C.C. Admon. 1683/127 Appraised at £59.22
One Draw table 3 Joynt stooles In the parlor next ye street 0180
6 red leather Chaires In the parlor next ye street 0180
Window Curtaines and rods one pickture Close stool and panIn the parlor next ye street 070
One draw table one forme 4 stooles Joint In the hall or house 0134
One smale white table 6 bast Chaires one wanded Chaire one little wooden Chaire In the hall or house 080
One black and yellow low stoole and implyments In the Inner parlor 010
1 water mb 1 low stoole and other implyments In the Kitchine 016
2 Armd Chaires 5 wrought Chaires 10 stooles In the best Chamber 1176
3 Joint Chaires and a little stooleIn the next chamber to ye best Chamber 070
Thomas Eure, Gentleman (Farmer), 19.6.1684 Prob. Inv. 185A/194 Appraised at £947.57
One Long table one forme In ye Hall 200
Foure Chaires one wanded Chaire In ye Kitchin 070
Fifteene leather chairesIn the little parlour 310
Two tables three wainscote chaires one bass chaire one forme In ye parlour over ye cellar 168
One table one glascase one little Cupboard 2 Joynd stooles In ye pantry068
Six ChairesIn ye best Chamber 200
One table one livery cupboard three chaires In ye pantry Chamber 080
One table one chaire one Lookeing glass In ye little Chamber 040
Five Chaires In ye Kitchen Chamber 050
One skreene one stooleIn ye Kitchen Chamber 060
William Evison, Gentleman (Timber merchant), 16.5.1685 Prob. Inv. 186/237 Appraised at £381.00
Five Chares one StooleIn the Chamber over the Hall 0140
Five chares one Couch one StooleIn the Parlor Chamber 10(..)
Twelve Leather Chares In the Parlor 1160
One Forme and StooleIn the Hall 030
Five Wanded CharesIn the Hall 024
One great Wanded ChareIn the Hall 010
Robert Burtons, Gardener (Weaver) St. Martins, 9.7.1688 Prob. Inv. 188/70 Appraised at £87.31
A Trundle Bedd and a paire of Blanketts five Chares Two Chests, one side board Table, Two Stooles In the parlor 100
A Chest of Drawers and a wanded Chaire In the parlor 10(..)
Dresser Board and Two pewter Casses Two Tables six bast Chares Three paire of Scales and Weights with other lumber In the House100
Thomas Hill, (Confectioner) St. Markes, 16.7.1688 Prob. Inv. 187/13 Appraised at £53.35
For a Liverrah Cuberd and a Table in ye Littell Chambr with Ten Chares In ye Towe Chambers 0100
One Wandin Chare and a VoyderIn ye Towe Chambers 040
1 Longe Table with a furme and Stoules Beloning In ye Towe Chambers 06(..)
Roger Wood, Glover St. Botolph, 29.8.1688 Prob. Inv. 188/163 Appraised at £20.63
One pres 1 pare of drawers and glascase 2 small tabels 5 chares one stoule one small glascase and a few bookes In the house 0134
William Houghton, The Castle of Lincoln, 13.1.1695 Prob. Inv. 191/16 Appraised at £485.16
One table, Six Chaires one Landime one Lookeing glass and Sevrall od things Inn the Best chamber 2100
One form and Large press Inn the Dining Roome 0130
Two beds and ye fumituer to 'em and foure Chaires Inn the two Bed Chamber 600
One table foure Chairs and Severall od things In the Great Chamber 168
Two tables one form one Landirn a dresor two Chairs a Kitt and severall od things In the Kitihon 400
Two tables one Bedstead and a Chist of drawers a press and Eight Chairs one Landime and Severall other od things Inn the first Roome 6100
One table and Six Chairs and Severall other od things Inn the George 0100
Two bedsteads and a table and Chaire Inn the Little Gaite 026
Michael Drake, Clerk. St. Swithins, 31.3.1696 Prob. Inv. 192/368 Appraised at £38.30
Three Trunks, a wanded Chair a Table and a StandIn ye Matted Chamber 0134
Two Tables, five Chairs and four Stools with some other things In ye Parlour 100
A Couch chair, six chairs, six cushions, a stool frame, eight woodden bowles, two small Tables and a Cupboard In ye Kitchin 0134
John Dring, Joyner. Saint peeters in ye arches, 4.12.1696 Prob. Inv. 192/362 Appraised at £174.62
The chist of drawers the cheeres the Looking glassees and pictures Bed Chamber 3140
The coffins and bedsteds cheere frames turning frames a still and pot to it The garrat500
The 2 sawes stoole feet black wood and molds staing stoole wheele rack Bird cage baskit and bock bocks all comes to The garrat244
The wallnut chist of drawers stooles pewter case a cooller washing tubs and other things The hall970
The tables and cheeres 3 guns one pair of wooden srewes glew a ston and half all The Kichin 3110
The stools and cheere feet and rales 2 gun stocks with other peicees The Shop in ye Street0170
Robert Douce, Gentleman (Innholder) Angell in the Baile, 15.6.1698 Prob. Inv. 193/394 Appraised at £493.13
Seaven Chairs a Table Cupboard and stand two feather bedds boulsters and pillows two bedsteads Curtaines and Vallens with Ruggs blanketts Quilt hangings of the roome and other things In the chamber called the Hart 13120
Seaven Chairs one Table one bedd with the bedding thereunto belonging and hangings of the Room In the Angell 10100
Ten Chairs two Stooles Livery Cupboard two bedds with bedding Curtaines Vallens hangings of roome and other things In the Crowne(......)
Six Caine Chairs two stools Table and Cupboard two bedsteads with beds and bedding belonging to them Ruggs blanketts hangings of the roome and other Utensilis In the Damix 1049.5
Two bedsteads two feather beds boulsters pillows curtains rods vallens ruggs and Curtaines two chairs a stool and Cupboard In the black Swan 1065
Three featherbeds boulsters and pillows ruggs blankets Counterpaines bedsteads and two Chaires a Stool Cupboard and other Utensilis intheroom In the Bell 8197.5
One bedstead featherbed boulster pillows curtains and vallens rug blanketts Counterpaine hangings of the roome eleaven chaires a slate Table and other things In the great Sun 13179
Three featherbeds boulsters pillows ruggs blankets three Bedsteads a table two formes two chairs with other utensils in the roome In the little Sun 1153
Twenty two Turky work Chairs four Tables and a Looking Glass In the great Cross (......)
One featherbed boulster pillows hangings of the bed Counterpaine blankets hangings of the roome two Caine chairs a table and looking glass with other things In the Little Cross 1400
Two feather beds Curtaines Vallens Rugg Coverlid blanketts two bedsteads three chaires a table and other goods In the Nursery 390
One feather bed boulster Pillows Bedstead vallens curtaines six cane Chaires a Table 2 stands and other goods In the Study 955
Nyne Chaires one Table one press bed Ironworke curtaines fringe feather bed boulster pillows and other things In the Starr 7188.5
Six cane chaires one Table one feather bed boulster pillows curtaines vallens bedstead counterpaine and blanketts and other things In the office 12910
Five chaires one Table bedstead flock bed boulster pillows blanketts and other things In the new buildings 400
Two feather beds two boulsters pillows bedsteads curtaines vallens rugs blanketts three chaires one Table with other things In the Red Lyon 4106
Nynne chaires one bench one table hangings of the roome with the two bedsteads two featherbeds Bolsters pillows ruggs blanketts Curtaines vallens and other things n the Great Green 121010.5
Two chaires a Table two bedsteads two featherbeds boulsters pillows blankets Rugg Quilt and other things In the Little Green 630.5
One bedstead Shelves three tables and a chair In the hall and Closet over the Porch 0100
A particon one Table and one forme In the Little Hall080
Seaven Spanish Tables two Dressers hen pen Troughs window Shutts three Close Stooles and other Utensilis In the Drying Roome500
Sixteen Chaires and three Tables and other Things In the further Parlour and Nearer Parlour 500
Two Copper Canns two Sconces and 3 bras stool pansIn the Kitchin 100
A Table Bench and particon all the Knifes and forkes In the Bowsers0160
Thomas Feris, Glover (Tanner and Brewer), 15.4.1700 Prob. Inv. 194/289 Appraised at £393.52
3 ovill tables 30s. 14 chares 10s. 12 pickters 9s. one fire iron and endirons and hookes and other irons belonging to it 16s 8d 2 spits and a pare of belowes 2s6d In the Hall 0100
One seeing glas 15s one chist of draures 15s 9 chares 16s one fire grate and shovell and tongs 5s In the best Chameber 0160
6 chares in the same roumeIn the seccond Chameber 060
2 flagons 5s., 5 candlesticks 6s., 1 frying pan 4s, one dreser 12s, one table and 3 stoules and 3 chares 5sIn the citching 050
Elizabeth Manby, 7.5.1701 Prob. Inv. 195/20 Appraised at £861.38
In the same two Table Nine Chaires Eight wrought Cushons The farthermost Chamber 1150
In the same Roome five Chaires one Table one Dressing Box with Tapestry Hangings In the Middle chamber 2100
One lookeing Glass one Table one Squab tenn Chaires ten damask Cushons one damask Carpett and a Damask Couch Bed In the Dineing Room 900
In the same Roome five Chaires covered with Velvet one Nest of Drawers one Trunk two Tables and one BoxIn the best Chamber 2100
Fourteen Turky work Chaires one Ovell Table In the Hall 200
One Table Six Chaires with other Utensilis not seen In the Kitchin 200
Richard Green, (Brewer) St. Swithins, 14.6.1701 Prob. Inv. 195/245 Appraised at £670.80
One Ovel table and 18 Leather chares In ye Hall 3100
Two Little tables 6 chares and all other furniture thereIn ye Kitchin 0120
7 Cain chares The Chamber over ye hall 2100
4 Chares and other things there The Chamber next 0160
Some Chares and A Little table and Look. Glass The Chamber over ye Kitchen 0170
1 Chest of drawers 1 table and 4 chares The Chamber over ye Sellar 1116
1 Couch chare and other odd things The back chamber 0100
George Wright, Chandler Bale, 3/4.8.1702 L.C.C. Admon. 1702/1 Appraised at £356.71
For 6 turky work Chairs 2 tables 2 Stands pictures potts and other Small things In ye Hall 0160
2 tables 9 Caine Chairs 1 turky Chair pictures and potts of ye Chimney peice The Parlor 288
For hangings in ye Roome 6 Chairs Stooles and Stands and Glasses and things over ye Chimney 2 little glass and a side bord cloth The Chamber next Street 0190
Chest of drawers Cubbord 3 Chairs and white potts The Green Room 0160
Mr. William Norris, (Steward of the Choiristers The Close and Singing Master), 12.9.1702 D. & C. Wills 27/8 Appraised at £80.14
An ovall Table and nine ChairsIn ye Roome cald ye Hall 0140
Six Cane Chairs and one arm'd ChairThe Parlour 140
Two Cover'd StoolesThe Parlour 030
A little Table and Six Cane ChairsThe Best Chamber 120
Six old Leathern ChairsThe Green Chamber 060
An old Table and Six chairsThe Best garrett 038
Dresser Pewter Case Tables forms Hen pen and ChairsIn the Kitchen0100
James Osburne, (Linen Draper) St. Peter Arches, 9.10.1702 L.C.C. Admon. 1702/50 Appraised at £864.80
1 fier grate with fier Shufle and tongues 7 Chares 2 tabells and other odd things there to value In the first low roome 150
1 ovill tabell 6 Chares and some bottles an ould bed stead an ould chare and 5 beesoms some pitt coale a washing tub and an ould barrell In the little Parler 2184
1 bedstead with hangings and a little fether bed and 6 Chares In the middle Chamber 2150
4 paire window Curtins and an ould bed stead with ye beding 1 little tabell 1 stoole 2 boxes In the best Chamber 1140
Godfrey Hanson, Miller St. Michaels Mount, 2.10.1703 Prob. Inv. 197/44 Appraised at £53.40
One large Oake Table and three Stoles with a little furr Table 8 bass Chayres one bad wanded Chayre all in the house
Two bedds and bedding with 2 feather bedds all thereunto belonging 2 Chests one Screene with one bass Chayre In the Little Chamber 316
One bedstead and featherbed and all thereunto belonging to the bedd one little stoole one Trunke six bass Chayres Coloured one wanded Chayre one press Cubbard In the Large Chamber 350
William Pell, Victuler, 6.7.1706 L.C.C. Admon. 1706/92 Appraised at £80.850
Two armed Chairs four bass chairs and some ordinary pictures In the Hall 0160
Two tables two stools and eight ordinary Chairs In the Kitchin 0100
One Chest of drawers one oake ovall table one other little table a small box and eight bass ChairsIn the best Parlour 170
One bed with all its furniture seven ordinary chairs and one draw bed In the parlour Chamber 350
One bed with the furniture one Chest six ordinary chairs and a small table In the house Chamber 300
John Hobman, (Butcher), 2.1.1707 Prob. Inv. 200/34 Appraised at £38.53
Thre Tables and twelve CharesIn the house 0100
Two Chists of drawers 9 Chares one stoole and hanging Shelves one Iron graite fire Shovell and tongues with other meterialls In the Chamber over the house 2100
Six Chares one Stoole one table 3 boxes 2 Cushons with other things In the Chamber over the Shopp0104
Two wheeles one Chare 2 Stooles 2 boxes one Chist one Sidsadle one pillion Seate With other meterialls In the Garrat 0136
William Faux, Alderman (Mercer and Maltster), 10.5.1708 L.C.C. Admon. 1708/52 Appraised at £1,000.50
Seaven Cain ChairsIn ye Parlour 0176
6 bass ChairsIn ye Hall 020
6 Dutch Matted ChairsIn ye Chamber Over ye Hall 090
William Warriner, Cordwinder St. Martins, .. .. 1712 Prob. Inv. 203/381 Appraised at £36.55
One ovill table one other table 6 ChairesIn ye House 0168
Charles Newcomen, Woollen Draper, (...). 1713 L.C.C. Admon. 1714/65 Appraised at £468.52
13 bass botton Chaires att 8d Goods in ye Hall 080
6 Chaires a pair of Bellows and some other thingsGoods in ye Kitchen 020
12 Cane Chaires att 2s 6d In the Dineing roome 1100
8 Cane Chaires att 4sIn the Best Chamber 1120
1 Easey ChaireIn the Best Chamber 0150
9 Bass ChairesIn ye other Chamber 090
A wanded Chair and 2 others In the Nursery Chamber 030
Margret Lees, St. Switterns, 20.7.1714 Prob. Inv. 204/153 Appraised at £1.63
One table Six chairs and a livery cupboard In ye house 020

Table 2 - Introduction & Summary

All entries were analysed according to content.  1,615 items of seating were identified. Where possible the chairs, forms and stools have been grouped according to broad similarity of type. Where a plural word is used but no number is specified I have assumed, for the purpose of analysis, that one or more means 2. Nearly half the items (739 or 45.8%) merely say "chair(s)" or "stool(s)" or lump chairs and stools together.  Where it is clear which is which, the split is 80% chairs to 20% stools. That leaves 876 items (54.2%) which are somewhat better described.  Of those, 662 (75.6%) are chairs, 55 (6.3%) are forms, 146 (16.7%) are stools, and 13 (1.4%) are chairs & stools lumped together.

Those items 876 have been counted and placed in groups as follows. Chairs: Rush, cane & wicker chairs, Leather chairs, Embroidered & covered chairs, Simple chairs, Joined & armchairs, Painted chairs, Couches, & Chair parts. Forms, settles and benches have been treated as a single group. Stools have been split between stools and stool parts.

The Description column follows the groups set out above with the individual sub-groups set under the appropriate heading. The legend shows which spelling variants (of which there are many) have been grouped together. Quantity is self-explanatory, subject to the assumption about unquantified plural words mentioned above. % of total for each group and sub-group shows % of the whole item group of 1,615 items. % of 876 shows the proportion only of the better described items, which is slightly more meaningful.

The broad picture, expressed as % of 876, that emerges is as follows: Rush, cane & wicker chairs amount to 33.8% (296); Leather chairs 16.7% (146), Embroidered & covered chairs 11.8% (103), Simple chairs 6.5% (57)Joined & armchairs 3.5% (31)Painted chairs 2.1% (18)Couches 0.6% (5), & Chair parts 0.7% (6).  Forms, settle and benches amount to 6.5% (55).  Stools amount to 16.7% (146) to which buffet stools 43 (4.9%), joined stools 42 (4.8%), and close stools 12 (1.4%) are the principal contributors.

Where values can be determined, 61 cane chairs averaging 3s 9¾d each were more valuable than 34 rush chairs averaging 8½d each with Dutch Matted chairs being worth double that (1s 6d) on a small sample of only 6.  As to leather, 25 Rushia leather chairs average 5s 2¼d each and 44 lesser leather chairs average 4s 0½d each. Embroidery was worth more, as one might expect. 18 Turkey work chairs were valued at 8s 10½d each. 11 set work chairs were valued at 6s 6d each and 16 covered chairs valued at 4s 0d each.  

A lone long settle was valued at 3s 4d.

Ordinary stools almost never warrant a separate entry (and therefore value) which probably shows how little they were worth.  The only ones separately valued are a close stool (the 17th century portaloo without flush) at 4s 0d, 2 covered stools at 1s 6d each and 3 joined stools at 1s 0d each.

Table 2
DescriptionQty% of 1,615% of 876Notes on values & comments
Total Chairs, forms, stools & other seating within 278 extracted entries1615
Chairs & Stools with no additional type information As % of all 1615 itemsNotes on indicative valuesmost entries cover many items: approximate value only available where the chairs etc are separately itemised
(old) Chaire / Chayr / Chayre / cheere55534.4%
stoole / stoule1388.5%
Chayrs / Chairs and Stooles462.8%
Total with no additional type information73945.8%Range from £0 0s 6d to £0 6s 8d; 115 chairs & stools average 2s 6d each
Chairs & Stools & Forms with additional description54.2%876
As % of all 1615 itemsAs % of 876 better described itemsNotes on indicative values
Rush, cane & wicker chairs
(littell) (painted) (Coloured) bass bottomed / bas(-)bothom(e)d bast / with basse bottomes / bass bottam'd / bass botton / Bass and Wanded Cha(i)re / Chayre (armed)17310.7%19.7%Range from £0 0s 3½d to £0 1s 0d; 61 chairs average 8½d each
Cain(e) / cane Chair754.6%8.6%Range from £0 2s 6d to £0 7s 1¾d; 34 chairs average 3s 9¾d each
(old) (Great) (bad) Wanded / Wandin Chaire261.6%3.0%£0 0s 5½d for an ordinary one; £0 1s 0d for a great one
bumble Chaire130.8%1.5%see under bass chairs
Dutch Matted Chair60.4%0.7%6 valued at 1s 6d each
Matted Chaire20.1%0.2%
wicker Chaire10.1%0.1%
Total rush, cane & wicker chairs29618.3%33.8%
Leather chairs
(old) leather(n) / lether Chaire925.7%10.5%Range from £0 1s 0d to £0 9s 0d; 44 chairs average 4s 0½d each
Rushia / Rush(e)y Leather Chaire311.9%3.5%Range from £0 5s 0d to £0 5s 4½d; 25 chairs average 5s 2¼d each
Rushy chair161.0%1.8%
red leather Chaire60.4%0.7%6 valued at 3s 0d each
great armed leather Chaire10.1%0.1%
Total leather chairs1469.0%16.7%
Embroidered & covered chairs
Turk(e)y worke Chaire613.8%7.0%18 valued at £0 8s 10½d each
(high) covered Chaire / chayr231.4%2.6%16 valued at 4s 0d each
set worke Chare110.7%1.3%11 valued at 6s 6d each
Chaires covered with Velvet50.3%0.6%
Cloth Chaire30.2%0.3%
Total embroidered & covered chairs1036.4%11.8%
Simple chairs
ordinary Chair211.3%2.4%
(little) wooden Chaire191.2%2.2%14 valued at 2s 0d each; 2 valued at 0s 6d each
plaine Chaire60.4%0.7%
wrought Chaire50.3%0.6%
High wooden (smale) Chaire / Chare for a Child30.2%0.3%
lesser Chaire20.1%0.2%
low Chaire10.1%0.1%
Total simple chairs573.5%6.5%
Joined & armchairs
Joynid / joynt Chaire150.9%1.7%
(ould) Arme(d) (wooden) Chaire80.5%0.9%
wainscott / wainscote Chair40.2%0.5%
seild Chaire20.1%0.2%
Easey Chair10.1%0.1%1 valued at 15s 0d
Elbow Chare10.1%0.1%
Total joined & armchairs311.9%3.5%
Painted chairs
red Chaire120.7%1.4%12 valued at 4s 0d each
green Chaire60.4%0.7%6 valued at 2s 0d each
Total painted chairs181.1%2.1%
Couch Cha(i)re30.2%0.3%
Total couches50.3%0.6%
Chair parts
Chare frames60.4%0.7%6 valued at 1s 6d each
All Chairs66241.0%75.6%
Forms, settles and benches
(old) forme / furme / furm372.3%4.2%
Joyned form20.1%0.2%
long forme10.1%0.1%
short form20.1%0.2%
little forme20.1%0.2%
(long) sett(e)le / sad(d)le80.5%0.9%1 valued at £0 3s 4d
longe settle bed10.1%0.1%1 valued at £0 4s 0d
All forms, settles and benches553.4%6.3%
Buffut / buffett / (low) buffet / buffit(t) Stool(l)e432.7%4.9%
joyn(e)d / joynt / joint stoole422.6%4.8%3 valued at 1s 0d each
Close stool (Box) (pans)120.7%1.4%1 valued at £0 4s 0d
little(l) Stoole90.6%1.0%
nedlework stoole60.4%0.7%
turkey wrogt stooles60.4%0.7%
leather Stoole50.3%0.6%
(high) covered stoole40.2%0.5%2 valued at 1s 6d each
seelled stoole30.2%0.3%
(yellow) low stoole20.1%0.2%
Cloth Stoole20.1%0.2%
foote stoole20.1%0.2%
Cross stool10.1%0.1%1 valued at £0 0s 6d
Long stoole10.1%0.1%
staing stoole10.1%0.1%
Total stools1398.6%15.9%
Stool parts etc
stool frame10.1%0.1%
stoole feet10.1%0.1%
stools and cheere feet and rales20.1%0.2%
bras stool pan30.2%0.3%
Total stool parts etc70.4%0.8%
All stools1469.0%16.7%
Grouped chairs & stools
reeded wrought Chares and stooles130.8%1.4%
Total better described chairs, forms & stools87654.2%100.0%

Johnston's observations at p. lxxii on chairs are as follows:

"In ordinary homes the chair had lost its symbolic status as the seat of the greatest in the room though the presence in some halls of one chair distinguished from the others by its higher valuation and sometimes described as ‘armed’ or ‘leather’ shows that tradition still lingered, as it does today. The highest valued chairs in general use were those upholstered in turkey work, most of which by 1661 came from Norwich. These were valued at £0.40 - £0.45 a piece. The cane chairs which became fashionable in the early Restoration period were worth £0.20 - £0.25 each. The clergy round the Cathedral and inn keepers made great use of them. They were fashionable, light, unattractive to moths and easy to dust. Leather upholstered chairs were appraised at £0.15, wickerwork or wanded chairs at £0.1 and the rush bottomed or bass chairs at £0.05. These last were the most common kinds of chairs appraised in the inventories. By comparison there was one appraisal of a flowered satin armchair with a matching set of stools (not included in the selection printed - JP). Settles and stools, especially the buffet stools for use at table, were numerous."

Table 3 - Introduction

The entries were also totalled by group type for each of the 55 persons and the results are shown in Table 3 sorted from most to least.

If your legs needed a rest in late 17th century Lincoln, the place to go was Robert Douce's inn at the Angell in the Baile where you had the choice of nigh on 150 chairs, forms and stools.  

Johnston's observations on Robert Douce at p. lv are as follows:

"One symbol of urban status was the presence of inns. The fourteen miles that separated Lincoln from the Great North Road were sufficient to deprive the city of inns as munificent and vast as those in the towns along the road at Newark, Grantham and Stamford. There were however two or three which could have satisfied the most demanding of guests. The most prestigious Lincoln inn was the Angel in the Bail. The earlier of the two inventories that describe it is printed (45). It must have fulfilled all the necessary functions of a major inn though an inventory will give evidence of only a few of them. It had thirty three rooms offering accommodation, with the best, the Little Cross, having furnishings valued at £14.00. Its cellars contained a good quantity of ale, beer and wines, including Canary the most expensive and fashionable drink of the time. Its bowling green and cockpit are evidence of the social life that would have centred upon such an inn but the inventory can give no indication of the entertainments that would have taken place. Some rooms, for example the Mitre with its elegant furnishings, can indicate the meetings that would have been held for horse and land sales, electioneering and legal business. The rooms too must have provided the setting for discreet marketing in all manner of agricultural produce. 
Douce’s inventory for the Angel in 1698 was one of seventeen inventories describing inns. His successor in 1704 had managed the establishment with few changes to its layout since Douce’s death except that a stable of coach horses worth £50 had been added. The Angel’s nearest rival seems to have been the Reindeer. One of its rooms with furniture and furnishings valued at £28.00 was the most expensively equipped room in any of the Lincoln inns. The inventories of the Angel, the Reindeer and five other inns have the distinctive characteristics of a first rate establishment. All have carefully chosen names for their main rooms. Many of these names provided the names of public houses in the next two centuries, the Lion, the Bull, the Half Moon, Rose and Crown and Fleur de Lys. They all had guest rooms in which appraisers saw furnishings worth more that £10.00. Most had a heavy investment in pewter and linen, most had seating for a hundred or more. All but two had their own brewhouse but only in three was a stock of wine valued. All these inventories were valued at more than £200. Two of the innholders were described as gentlemen."

It is no surprise, therefore that Robert Douce tops the table for chairs.  If you were after a stool Mr Edward Fawkes, Upholster, would doubtless have sold you one or two, as he had 50.

Table 3

NoNameTotal ChairsTotal FormsTotal StoolsTotal MixedSum Total% of Total
1Robert Douce, Gentleman (Innholder) Angell in the Baile, 15.6.1698, Prob. Inv. 193/394  Appraised at £493.1313151201489.2%
2Mr. Edward Fawkes, Alderman and Upholster, 29.3.1679, L.C.C. Admon. 1679/79 Appraised at £141.61360500865.3%
3William Browne, Goldsmith, 21.1.1680, Prob. Inv. 180/252 Appraised at £643.5565140704.3%
4Benjamin Marshall, Mercer, 18.1.1665, L.C.C. Admon. 1667/131 Appraised at £1,203.77450177694.3%
5John Featley, Doctor of Divinity. In his Dignity house of the Close of Lincoln, 21.3.1667, Di 38/2/10 Appraised at £207.80441130583.6%
6Charles Newcomen, Woollen Draper, (...). 1713, L.C.C. Admon. 1714/65 Appraised at £468.5252000523.2%
7Henry Corbet, Doctor of Physick. St. Margaret in Close, 9.11.1680, Di 37/3/112 Appraised at £893.92 49110513.2%
8William Peart, Gentleman (Coffee House Proprietor) St. Mary Magdalene, 21.3.1682, Di 39/2/53 Appraised at £157.76294215503.1%
9Elizabeth Manby, 7.5.1701, Prob. Inv. 195/20 Appraised at £861.3849000493.0%
10Joh Glen, Barber, 28.5.1662, L.C.C. Admon. 1661/74 Appraised at £133.79252210483.0%
11Mr. Richard Winne, Alderman (Pewterer) St. Martins, 12.3.1683, L.C.C. Admon. 1683/127 Appraised at £59.22241210462.8%
12Thomas Eure, Gentleman (Farmer), 19.6.1684, Prob. Inv. 185A/194 Appraised at £947.5739230442.7%
13Thomas White, (Wool Merchant) St. Mark, 3.2.1674, Prob. Inv. 174/228 Appraised at £244.49234160432.7%
14Richard Green, (Brewer) St. Swithins, 14.6.1701, Prob. Inv. 195/245 Appraised at £670.8042000422.6%
15Mr. William Norris, (Steward of the Choiristers The Close and Singing Master), 12.9.1702, D. & C. Wills 27/8 Appraised at £80.1436220402.5%
16Eden Williams, (Bookseller) St. Martins, 11.12.1671, Prob.Inv. 173/387 Appraised at £153.7126290372.3%
17William Pell, Victuler, 6.7.1706, L.C.C. Admon. 1706/92 Appraised at £80.8535020372.3%
18William Evison, Gentleman (Timber merchant), 16.5.1685 , Prob. Inv. 186/237 Appraised at £381.0029130332.0%
19William Houghton, The Castle of Lincoln, 13.1.1695, Prob. Inv. 191/16 Appraised at £485.1631200332.0%
20John Hobman, (Butcher), 2.1.1707, Prob. Inv. 200/34 Appraised at £38.5328040322.0%
21William Kent, Gentleman (Maltster) St. Swithins, (.. ..) 1672 , Prob. Inv. 175/29 Appraised at £951.2321008291.8%
22Thomas Feris, Glover (Tanner and Brewer), 15.4.1700, Prob. Inv. 194/289 Appraised at £393.5226030291.8%
23Mary Nickinson, Widow. St. Swithins, 29.5.1673, Prob. Inv. 174/21 Appraised at £106.4492170281.7%
24John Leach, Gentleman (Grocer & Brewer), 7.1.1682, Prob. Inv. 182a/230 Appraised at £299.50112013261.6%
25George Wright, Chandler Bale, 3/4.8.1702, L.C.C. Admon. 1702/1 Appraised at £356.7119006251.5%
26Charles Clarke, Blacksmith The Bail, 14.1.1664, Prob. Inv. 162/61 Appraised at £63.1211380221.4%
27William Norton, Maltster. St. Swithin, 17.3.1670, Prob. Inv. 172/264 Appraised at £452.9113260211.3%
28James Osburne, (Linen Draper) St. Peter Arches, 9.10.1702, L.C.C. Admon. 1702/50 Appraised at £864.8020010211.3%
29Godfrey Hanson, Miller St. Michaels Mount, 2.10.1703, Prob. Inv. 197/44 Appraised at £53.4017040211.3%
30Henry Wanleste, The Close, 6.9.1679, Prob. Inv. 180/248 Appraised at £23.1115050201.2%
31Mr. John Towndrow, (Baker), 26.11.1668, Prob. Inv. 168/76 Appraised at £58.0711440191.2%
32George Biron, (Farmer) St. Martins, 23.5.1681, Prob. Inv. 182/33 Appraised at £108.1717020191.2%
33William Faux, Alderman (Mercer and Maltster), 10.5.1708, L.C.C. Admon. 1708/52 Appraised at £1,000.5019000191.2%
34William Atkinson, Tayler, 11.1.1676, Prob. Inv. 177/144 Appraised at £30.6413140181.1%
35Michael Drake, Clerk. St. Swithins, 31.3.1696, Prob. Inv. 192/368 Appraised at £38.3013050181.1%
36Katerne Sewell, Widow (Dyer), 9.8.1664, Prob. Inv. 164/90 Appraised at £219.7410160171.1%
37Henery Mitchell, (Haberdasher), 14.4.1679, Di 39/1/134 Appraised at £379.3316000161.0%
38John Dawsons, (Farmer) St. Peters Parish in Eastgate , 24.4.1672, Prob. Inv. 175/234 Appraised at £159.429140140.9%
39Sissie Peacock, St. Benedicts, 31.12.1673, L.C.C. Admon. 1673/85 Appraised at £25.619140140.9%
40Abigaile Watson, Widow. (Saddler) St. Peter Arches, 1.9.1679, Prob. Inv. 180/242 Appraised at £288.048150140.9%
41Robert Burtons, Gardener (Weaver) St. Martins, 9.7.1688, Prob. Inv. 188/70 Appraised at £87.3112020140.9%
42Thomas Hill, (Confectioner) St. Markes, 16.7.1688, Prob. Inv. 187/13 Appraised at £53.3511210140.9%
43John Wignall, (Brickmaker) St. Buttolph, 19.12.1677, Prob. Inv. 219A/183 Appraised at £317.156160130.8%
44John Langforth, Whitesmith St. Martins, 7.10.1676, Prob. Inv. 179/222 Appraised at £72.0110200120.7%
45George Shoosmith, Glaissyar, 8.4.1672, Prob. Inv. 175/201 Appraised at £38.858120110.7%
46Elixabeth Bate, St. Michael on Mount, 28.2.1674, L.C.C. Admon. 1673/7 Appraised at £10.7310010110.7%
47John Dring, Joyner. Saint peeters in ye arches, 4.12.1696, Prob. Inv. 192/362 Appraised at £174.625060110.7%
48Robert Pearson, Waterman - St. Swithins, 28.8.1679, Prob. Inv. 180/236 Appraised at £46.339010100.6%
49Thomas Lewis , Labourer , 9.1.1667, Prob. Inv. 166/43 Appraised at £12.72414090.6%
50Richard Hazelteine, (Labourer) St. Michaels in the Mount, (.. ..) 1670, Prob. Inv. 172/321 Appraised at £5.46620080.5%
51Roger Wood, Glover St. Botolph, 29.8.1688, Prob. Inv. 188/163 Appraised at £20.63501060.4%
52William Warriner, Cordwinder St. Martins, .. .. 1712, Prob. Inv. 203/381 Appraised at £36.55600060.4%
53Margret Lees, St. Switterns, 20.7.1714, Prob. Inv. 204/153 Appraised at £1.63600060.4%
54Jefre Wood, (Labourer) St. Martins, (.. ..) 1675, L.C.C. Admon. 1675/111 Appraised at £4.06310040.2%
55Richard Ellis, (Whipmaker), 24.5.1682, Di 38/1/86 Appraised at £13.95101020.1%
Overall totals121755284591615100%

Whilst the vagaries both of inventory survival and selection mean that a comprehensive picture can never be established, it is nonetheless interesting to note that chairs were 5 times more common than stools. One sometimes gets the impression from auction catalogues that it is more frequently stools that have survived the intervening 300 to 350 years. Some chairs, notably wainscot chairs and embroidered chairs and a handful of leather chairs do survive. It is perhaps unsurprising that the commonest chairs, of rush and cane and wicker, since either their value tended be lower or the materials from which they were crafted less long-lasting, do not survive in any quantity.  But a good Restoration settle is a glorious rare thing.

My thanks go to J.A. Johnston and the Lincoln Record Society/The Boydell Press for the original transcriptions of the probate inventories upon which this analysis has been carried out.

© Julian Parker 2020

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