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bitter o salt  •  Link

See Eliza Picard book. Restoration London
in Short one could have 50 maids at 2 quid wage a year.
or buy carriage and pair for 100 pounds or have 10 years rent from house in Kentish town or it could be two years wage for clergyman or if thy wanted, one could buy 130 pairs of silk stockings. A house could be built and paid for with 300 pounds in the Strand, now add 5 naughts.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Running my eye accidentally through the household book of Sir Roger Twysden, from 1659 to 1670, it occurred to me to make a comparison between the relative prices of meat and wages, as there given, in order to ascertain the position of our peasantry in these parts, at the close of the 17th century. I send you a few extracts, by which it will be seen that, in Kent, at least, our agricultural labourers appear to have been in far better condition than those of the rest of England, who, in Mr. Macaulay's brilliant work, are represented as living "almost entirely on rye, barley, and oats," owing to the exorbitantly high price of meat, as compared with the ordinary scale of wages.

As to meat, I find the following entries:--

"1659. Beef 2s. and 1s. 8d. per stone.
a loin of mutton 1s. 6d.
1662. Beef 2s. per stone.
a shin of beef 1s. 10d.
a loin of veal 3s. 4d.
a calve's head 1s. 2d.
a quarter of mutton 4s. 4d. and 5s.
a side of mutton 9s.
1664. 8 quarters of mutton 32s.
1 quarter of do. 4s.
6 stone of beef 10s. 4d.
1666. 6 stone of beef 10s. 4d.
a fat weather 12s. 8d.
32 fat weathers 19l.
1667. 10 stone of beef and 2 lb. of suet 18s.
22 stone of beef 2l.
23 stone of beef 2l. 3s.
a chine and a quarter of veal 8s.
1670. A chine and a quarter of mutton 5s.
a quarter of lamb 2s. 6d."

Through this period we have:--

"Cheese per load, _i.e._ 56 lb., at 14s., 11s., 10s., 4d.,
9s. 6d."

The wages of labourers through the same period are entered:--

"Sawyer 2s. 6d. per hundred.
a farm carpenter 1s. 6d. per day.
or, 'I finding him,' 1s. per day.
common labourers, generally 1s. per \
day; sometimes, but less frequently, > in 1849, 2s.
9d. per day /
threshing wheat, 16d. per quarter in 1849, 3s.
mowing, from 1s. to 1s. 8d. per acre in 1849, 3s. 6d.
mowing oats, 1s. 3d. per acre in 1849, 2s. 6d.
mowing clover, 1s. 6d. per acre in 1849, 2s. 6d.
hayers, 2s. and 2s. 6d. per week in 1849, 6s.
reaping, 2s. per acre in 1849, 10s. to 14s.
sheep shearing, 1s. per score in 1849, 2s. 6d.
hedging 2-1/2d. per rod in 1849, 4d.
hoeing, 6d. per acre in 1849, 4s.
women 8d. per day in 1849, 1s., and 1s. 4d.
boys, 4d. per day in 1849, 6d. and 3d.
making faggots, 18d. and 20d. per hundred; in 1849, 3s."

A reference to the household-books of the Derings, in East Kent, gives the same results.

The wages given by Sir Roger Twysden to his household servants at this time were:--

"Housekeeper 5l. per annum.
maids 2l. 10s. and 3l.
men 5l. 10s., 5l. and 4l."

{226}I have added, in most instances, the prices now paid to labourers in these parts, having obtained my information from the farmers of the neighbourhood.

The price of butchers' meat at present, in this neighbourhood, is from 6d. to 7 1/2d. per lb.; by wholesale, 3s. 6d. or 3s. 8d. per stone.

As far, then, as the relative prices of wages and meat can guide us, the labourer, in these parts, was as well able to purchase meat in 1670 as he is now.

Unhappily for him, the imprudence of early marriage entailing upon him the charge of a family, he is precluded from the indulgence in fresh meat, except as an occasional treat. Cheese and bacon, however, are still within his reach. The improvidence of early marriage rarely occurred in former days, and palpably, if our Kentish labourers lived _entirely_ on oats and rye, it was not of _necessity_ that they did so. I am inclined to think that, in many of the instances given above, especially in haying and harvest, provisions of some sort were found by the employer, over and above the wages. When I have more leisure, I will endeavour to obtain correct information on this point; and meanwhile, send you the entries just as I find them. I observe an entry of "peas to boil for the men." They had porridge then, at all events, in addition to their wages; and these wages, if they had so chosen, could further have purchased them meat, quite as well as at the present day; though, alas for our poor peasantry, this is not saying much for them; and even of that little smack of meat they will soon be debarred, if the present system--but I am intruding on sacred ground, and must leave the poor fellows to their hard work and scanty meals.


Notes & Queries 1850.02.09 by Various http://www.fullbooks.com/Notes--Q…

JWB  •  Link

In '69 Newton made Lucasian Prof. of Math at salary ~100 pounds + room & board.

Thomas Levenson, "Newton and the Counterfeiter"

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