Manuscript bill book of a firm of Victorian attorneys of Chatham, Kent, containing itemised bills to hundreds of clients (including St Bartholomew's Hospital, Chatham), filled with details about their cases.

Publication details: 
August 1866 to December 1868.
SKU: 10957

Folio, 530 pp, preceded by 24 p manuscript thumb index. In original brown calf binding, marbled endpapers, with red spine label stamped 'BILL BOOK C'. Text clear and complete, in a variety of hands. Good and tight, on aged paper, in worn binding. The first twenty-seven pages carry bills from the firm acting on behalf of 'The Trustees of Saint Bartholomews Hospital, Chatham' (founded in 1078 by Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, for the 'poor and leperous', and one of the oldest hospitals in Britain). The dozens of entries in this section are written in an untidy hand, and are less detailed than those that follow. Clients' names and addresses are given, sometimes with employment (lay clerk, coachbuilder, journeyman baker, ship brokers, general dealer, beer seller, painter, blacksmith, undertaker, paper makers, butcher, miller, surgeon, farmer). The cases relate to a wide range of subjects, casting much light on social history, including property, bankruptcy, probate, with instructions to defend actions and sue. From June to September 1868 the firm act for John Scott and others 'As to widening St. Margaret's Road'. Six pages relate to 'Mr. George Burren, Beerseller, Delce Lane, Rochester', and his 'desire to obtain divorce from your wife', with co-respondent 'Mr. Wickenden'. This includes, on 3 February, 6s 8d for 'Attendances on you & conference as to annoyance caused by your wifre & advising', and on 12 February a guinea for 'Attendance before City Justices when she was bound over in £20 & two sureties in £10 each to keep the peace for 12 months'. Five pages concern the petition for divorce of 'Mr. Thomas Carter, Assistant Engineer, Royal Navy'. Immediately following the St Bartholomew's bills is one for 'Mrs. Esther Jay, Sittingbourne (now Mrs. Greenstreet)', from March to December 1868, beginning 'Attendance on you & conferences as to your desire to get your childrens money out at interest & out of Mrs Moss' hands & also as to Mr Moss' charges'. Joseph Foreman, cooper, of the High Street, St Margaret, gives 'Instructions for Lease from Patron & Brethren of Saint Bartholomews Hopl of Two Houses used as one House in High Street in the parish of Saint Margaret'. Mrs Harriett Susannah Jarvis, 4 Victoria Villas, New Brompton, engages the firm to act against the Bank of England. The firm has a conference with Mr George Beard of the Jolly Gardeners, Strood, 'as to the legality of Mr. Allens appointment as Churchwarden', and makes an objection 'before Archdeacon at visitation'. A bill to James Judd of Watts Place, Chatham, begins with a 6s 8d charge for 'Attce. on your wife & conference as to charge made against you by Mr. Johnson of felony & attending County Justices & asking for Bail when they declined to interfere with the Stipendiary', followed by 3s 4d for 'Attce. [on 22 November 1867] to send telegram to Clerk to Justices at Sheerness'.