[ A Bank of England senior cashier's personal accounts, 1824 to 1847. ] Substantial Autograph Volume of the personal and family accounts of Josiah Field, nonconformist from Dalston, containing a wealth of detail in itemised entries, with memoranda.

Josiah Field (d.1850) of Dalston, cashier in the Bank of England [ Dr Henry Forster Burder (1783-1864) of Hackney, Congregational minister; Rev. John Sandys of Islington; Balls Pond Church ]
Publication details: 
Dalston, London. Entries dating from between 2 January 1824 and 29 November 1847.
SKU: 20467

As might be expected from a senior cashier at the Bank of England (a nightly superintendent 'authorized to sign Bank of England Notes'), the personal and family accounts of Josiah Field of Dalston, covering a period of 25 years, are kept with minute accuracy, containing a wealth of detailed information regarding the various aspects of the expenditure of his family, from his daughters' pocket money and education (both girls at the Polytechnic Institution), to his home brewing. Field is of particular interest as a leading member of the nonconformist community which had for years gravitated to the area of Hackney. (Dissenters had from the foundation of the Bank of England been particularly well-represented amongst its staff, banking being one of the professions from which they were not debarred by the Test Act.) At the end of the present description will be found some examples of the thousands of items contained within the volume, in the areas of: family disbursements, rates and taxes, tradesmen's bills, the wages of named servants, education, medical, journeys and excursions, transport, gifts, music and entertainment, beverages, gardening, clothing and accessories, books and periodicals, charitable contributions to individuals and causes. Field was well enough known for his death to be reported in The Times, but other information regarding his career has to be gleaned from passing references. In a trial at the Old Bailey in 1828 he describes himself as 'pay-clerk in the cashiers office of the Bank of England'. At another Old Bailey trial six years later he describes himself as 'a clerk in the bank of England, in the Bank-note pay-office'. In 1838 he is described by The Times as a 'cashier in the Bank of England'. He notes in the present volume that on 4 June 1844 he 'Began Nightly superintendance at the Bank'. On 30 November 1844 he records that 'Bank Salaries became due instead of 5 Jany & paid up to this time accordingly'. In 1848 he becomes one of thirty-one 'Cashiers who are now authorized to sign Bank of England Notes'. The 1849 Royal Kalendar describes him as one of the Bank's twelve 'Supernumerary Cashiers'. He is dead by 4 June 1850, when The Times describes him as 'the late Mr. Josiah Field, of the Bank of England'. 340pp., 4to. In heavily-worn contemporary calf binding with split hinge clumsily repaired with tape, and marbled endpapers. The pages of the latter part of the volume, again dating from between 1824 and 1847, are numbered 1-102, and preceded by an index corresponding to page headings: 'Received | House keeping | Rent, Taxes & Repairs | Matthews Willm. | Field Lucy [page headings: 'Miss Lucy Field for Wearing Aparel'] | Stocks | Field [page headings: 'Josiah Field for Wearing Apparel', 'Cornelius Field'] | Recd. Bank of England [page headings: 'Recd. of the Govr. & Compy of the Bank of England'] | Servants Wages | Disbursements | Current Expenses | Books | Life Insurance'. The accounts in the present volume are personal, but there are a number of references to Field's work at the Bank of England. For example 'Bank Porter's quarterly allowance', and on 31 December 1827: 'Box Bank Porters' (3s). And on 29 January 1838: 'Sub[scriptio]n for Washing Apparatus at the Office'. And on 1 February 1838 he contributes £5 to 'Gent[leme]n. of Bank Note Pay Office for Loan Money of 1835'. The first four pages of the volume contain dated memoranda between 1824 and 1849 which give details on Field's personal life. Field records in the present volume that in on 30 April 1845 he 'Removed from No 6 to No 8 Mayfield Terrace, Dalston', having lived at the first address since at least 1841. His wife's name is Lucy, and he has two daughters, Lucy and Ellen, a sister Sarah and a brother, Cornelius Field, who is described in 1850 in the London Gazette as an insolvent debtor, 'formerly of No. 10, Robinson's-row, Kingsland, Middlesex, Clerk in the Eastern Counties Railway Company and Teacher of Music, then of Suffolk-house, Shacklewell-lane, Middlesex, Clerk in a Merchant's Office and Dealer in Beer, now of No. 11, Devonshireplace, Green-lanes, Newington-green, Middlesex, Clerk in a Merchant's Office.' His mother dies in December 1841, when he notes payment of a 'Subn. towards defrayg. Mothers funeral &c'. From the start of the volume in 1824 there is evidence of Field's nonconformity. Information about Field's network of family and friends is to be gleaned from five pages at the end of the volume, containing accounts and memoranda relating to his position as executor of the will of 'Thos. Arthurs of Elm Cottage, West Ham, Essex | Died 21st. Decr. 1834 & was buried at West Ham Church 29th Decr. 1834'. (The Times. 27 December 1834, reports the death six days before, 'at Elm-cottage, Forest-gate, West Ham, Essex', of 'Thomas Arthurs, Esq., of the firm of Brown, Roper, and Arthurs ['wholesale druggists, Falcon-square, London', wound up in 1829], and brother-in-law to Alderman [John] Young ['Auctioneer'], of Romsey, Hants.'). Arthurs had been an extremely wealthy man: Field notes that 'Mrs. Mary Ann Young, Thomas Noyes ['of St. Dunstan's Passage Tower Street Cotton Broker'] & Josiah Field proved the Will under £6000'. On 4 February 1835 Field notes: 'Call'd on Mr Murray who thinks there will ultimately be a chancery suit arise [sic] out of this Will as there is no power granted to extend the number of the Trust in the event of one or both of the present Trustees dying – likewise says that if Mrs Young should die without making a Will the Principal would revert to the representatives of the original Testator & that if the Trustees should die before Mrs Young the will must be submitted to a Master in Chancery who would appoint new Trustees – the cost would be about £50'. Other individuals named are Francis Field of Paradise Place, Hackney (husband of Jane Frances Field?); John Webb of Colebrook Cottage, Colebrook Row, Islington; Mrs Mary Ann Bell of No.4 Robinson's Row and 25 Beauvoir Terrace, Kingsland, Widow; Thomas Noyes of Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, Cotton Broker. Field and his family are regular attendants at the St Thomas's Square Congregational Chapel in Hackney of Dr Henry Forster Burder (1783-1864; ODNB), and the volume records regular contributions to the collection, a daughter's baptism in 1825, another daughter's marriage in 1843, and 'Subscription for repairing Mr. Burders Chapel'. There is also an association with St Mary's, Islington, where Rev. John Sandys is incumbent. An entry on 22 October 1839 reads: 'Ticket for Mrs Field – for Public Breakfast on the occasion of presenting Revd. J Sandys with an Exhibition at the University as a token of respect by his Congregation' (5s, Field having previously contributed towards a subscription). Numerous religious entries in the volume include: 'Miss Jane Smith – being the Subsn. towards purchasing a Dressing Case by a party of her Friends on the occasion of her going to India to be married to the Revd. - Newman, Church dispensary', 'Contribution towards paying off the debt incurred at Balls Pond Church', 'Three Sittings at St Pauls Balls Pond', 'Reeves for Church Cushion', 'Prayer Book'. The following examples of a fraction of the thousands of entries give a taste of the material contained in the volume. FAMILY DISBURSEMENTS: 'Mrs. Field for House Keeping' (around £5 2s 0d per month), 'Lucy for Pocket Money' (10s in July 1838). RATES AND TAXES: '¼ Years Income Tax' (£2 9s 7d on 1 July 1843), '½ Years Pew Rate Balls Pond Church', 'Poor Rate, Ball Pond Church', 'Metropolitan Road Tax', 'Water Rate', 'Poor's rates', 'Alliance Fire Assurance', 'J Urquhart ¼ Rent', 'Assorted Taxes'. TRADESMEN'S BILLS: 'T Uziellic Wine Merchant', 'Briggs & Hardy Hatters', 'Sumerfield & Co Bill Coal Merchant', 'Elliot's Bill – Linen Draper', 'Krelli – Shoe Maker's Bill', 'J Archer's Bill Watch Maker', 'Wm. Miller for Work Box', 'Harrowin's Bill Smith', 'Metcalfe's Bill Tailor', 'Butcher's Bill', 'Mr Key Surgeon'. Also yearly Christmas boxes, as for example: '1830 | Dec 25 | […] | Christmas Boxes Mr Noyes's S[ervan]t – 2.6 | Hookham, Porter 3 - | Servant 4 - | Lamplighter 1 - | Turncock 1 - | Beadle 1 - | Butterman 1 - | Father's Sert 2.6 | [Dec] 31 Colln for the Poor 5[s]', 'Present to Painters [i.e. decorators] No 8 Mayfield Terrace'. SERVANTS' WAGES: 'Elizh. Ayton ¼ [i.e. three months] Wages £2. 7. 3' on 11 February 1824)', Box to Servant – Barbara Bennett' (2s 6d), 'Barberry [sic] Bennett ¼ Yrs Wages' (£2), 'Mary Hammerston 22 Days Wages' (10s), 'Mary Ann Higgins, ¼ Yrs Wages' (£2). Also 'Emma Wallis (Sev[an]t.) for attention during my illness Coll[ectio]n. at Balls Pond Ch[urch]. (Queen's Letter for Education)'. EDUCATION: 'Mrs. Charlesworth ¼ Instruction to Lucy' (£1 2s 10d), 'Mrs Burge Ellen's Schooling', 'Misses Cooper Lucy's Schooling', 'Miss Blyth for Lucy's Education', 'Cont[ributio]n. to Newington Infant School', 'Donation to West Hackney National School', 'Expenses to Polytechnic Institution Lucy & Ellen', 'Subn. to Balls Pond National School'. MEDICAL: 'Mr Bell Dentist for Extracting my Tooth', 'Dancaster's Bill – chemist', 'Small Mahogany Closet for Medicine', 'Medicine'. JOURNEYS AND EXCURSIONS: to Romsey, Sandgate, Blackwall, Richmond, Wisbeach, Hampton Court, Dorking, Gravesend ('Expenses at Gravesend – Mrs. F. & Children | self occasionally exclusive of Board | Lodgings £1. 13[s] | Coach hire 3[s] | Boat 18[s] | Porterage 1[s]. 6[d] | Breakfasts on Board 5[s] | Baths 5[s] 6[d]'). An entry on 24 September 1839 contains 51 itemised 'Expenses of Journey to Worcester', from 'Preserv'd Ginger. present to Mrs. Gyles' to 'Hackney Coach' (there is a similiarly itemised entry for another journey to Worcester in May and June 1841). TRANSPORT: 'Part expenses of a Fly to convey a partuy to Mr Bates's, Poultry, to see the Queen come in procession to open the new Royal Exchange' (October 1844), 'Coach hire to London Fields 5/- Man 1/6', 'Coach hire & Expenses to Islington Gardens', 'Coach hire Sundry times', 'Coach hire'. GIFTS: 'German Sausage present to Mrs. Gyles', 'Present to Mrs. Young | Cod 4/6 | Oysters 2/6 | Basket 4[d] | Carriage 2/2', 'a Drum of Figs present to Mr. Noyes', 'Box of Colors present to Lucy on her birth day', 'Gold Eye Glass Mrs Field', 'Silver Fruit Knife 5/6 present to Ellen', 'a pair of Horse hair Gloves present to Sister Sarah', 'Present to daughter Lucy D'Aubezin on the Reformation', 'Silver KNIFE Present to Mrs Field', '2 Dolls for Children', 'Portrait of Mr Marshall'. MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT: 'Expenses to Exeter Hall (Oratorio Israel in Egypt) Tickets 12/- Fly 5/- Man 1/-', 'Peachey tuning Piano', 'Music Loan Society', 'Ticket for Hackney Assembly – Lucy', 'Music Papillon Quadrilles'. BEVERAGES: There is evidence of home winemaking, and of healthy consumption of alcohol: '1 ¼ Sieve of Currant, 9/9 & 1 ½ Sieve Gooseberries 10/6', '4 ½ Gallon Cask 4/6 hire of Wine Press 2/- Webb', 'Currall & Son 2 Gallons of Gin', '19lb Sugar for Wine Martin', 'Rogers for Beer Funnel', 'Decanter 8/- Ale Glasses 9/-', '1 Gallon of Whiskey – Hughes', 'Bottle Brush'. GARDENING: 'Moseley – for removing Garden roots &c', 'Claydon Gardener', 'Shrubs & Plants', 'Artificial Flowers', '2 Dahlias 3/- Stocks /5', 'Leather Cap for Gardening', 'Bryan for Plants'. CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES: 'W Bardoe for Frock Great Coat', 'Black Satin Opera Stock', 'Neck Black Stock', 'Watch & Lamps – Stamford Hill Trust', 'Cloth for Collars', 'Gloves', 'Frame to looking Glass', 'Snuff Box', 'Hair Brush', '3 bottles of Blacking', 'Metallic Sharpener for Razors', '2 Pieces of Calico 24 Yds', 'Engraving Dogs Collar'. REPAIRS: 'Plane & Son for repg. Venetian blinds', 'Porter for repg blinds', 'Willgoss for repairing Boots', 'Repairing Watch Key', 'Repairing Tortoiseshell Spectacles', 'Repairing Silk Umbrella'. BOOKS AND PERIODICALS: Field is a member of a 'Book Society' and pays a regular subscription for '½ Yrs reading Newspaper' (3s 10d). He also records the purchase of various volumes, such as Scott' works, 'Pictorial Bible' and 'Doddridge's Hymn Book'. CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIVIDUALS: 'Poor Man (Atkinson) Cont[ributio]n. for Emigrating to NSW', 'Poor Woman – Mrs. Sturley', 'Poor Family – Hoare's'. CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO CAUSES: 'Collection at Balls Pond Church for the distressed Manufacturers', 'Contribution to Distressed Irish' (1831), 'Kingsland Benevolent Society', 'Cont[ributio]n. to Islington Dispensary', 'Islington Benevolent Society'. At the start of the volume is the following interesting memorandum (especially valuable as coming from a money man) on the Irish Potato Famine, dated 24 March 1847: 'A general Fast in consequence of dearth & great apprehension of Famine – Dreadful distress in Ireland where a great number of persons are dying daily of Starvation - £8000000 Sterlg raised by loan for Ireland & immense Subscriptions raised by private persons for their relief – about £250000 has been already raised by such means! Great distress likewise in France from the like cause, also in other parts of the Continent | The Potato Crop failed generally throughout Europe in the Year 1846 & only a small Crop in 1845'.