[Manuscript] Account book of Charles Garnett of Bonehills, Tamworth,

[Charles Garnett]
Publication details: 
1839 to 1848
SKU: 10966

Manuscript account book containing a wealth of detail, helping to build up a picture of the household of an affluent member of the Victorian middle-class (see 'Garnett of Wyreside' in Burke's Landed Gentry). The son of an East India Company civil servant, Charles Garnett (1811-1899), of Bonehills, Tamworth, and latterly of the manor house, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, was a member of the Middle Temple, and Justice of the Peace for the counties of Stafford and Warwick. His wife was one of the granddaughters of Sir Robert Peel's sister Anne (his younger brother Robert married another of the sisters).12mo, 94 pp. Text clear and complete. The first two leaves detached, otherwise fair, on aged paper. In original leather binding, worn and with damage to spine. In ink on front board: 'C. Garnett. Rects. Commencing 1839'. With five items loosely inserted (listed at end).The main body of the book consists of 75 pp of chronological 'Acc[oun]ts paid', from 1 July 1839 to 30 January 1847. Garnett married on 1 May 1839, and the book begins two months later with the expenses involved in setting up the family home following the honeymoon. Among the first entries (July 1839) are £236 19s 10d for 'Travelling Exp[enses]: Marriage trip', £331 9s 0d for a carriage by Cooke and Rowley, £57 15s 0d for a Collard & Collard piano; and £133 19s 6d to the London jewellers Lambert & Rawlings, together with £2 7s 6d to 'Agnew. Portrait W. G.' and £13 for a 'Wigston Water Closet'.Among a mass of later entries are 15s to 'Pye for ferrets', 12s 6d to 'Chalenor oysters', £2 2s 0d to 'Liebert for Whiskey', £22 10s 0d to 'John Garnett for Claret' and £16 10s 0d to 'Mr. Willock for Cow'. £30 is spent on 15 June 1840 on a 'Trip to Bolton Abbey', £20 of 'Expences at Southport' on 29 October 1842, and 14s 6d on 1 November 1845 for a 'Phillips Atherstone Hat'. On 24 March 1847 he pays £1 10s 0d for roses for his wife.The Garnett family were keen sportsmen, and Charles pays his membership subscription to the famous Broughton Archers, who practised on Kersal Moor. In May 1843 Garnett pays his 'Subscript[io]n . Cricket' of a guinea, his family being intimately connected with the Free Foresters Cricket Club (see Bedford, Collins, et al., Annals of the Free Foresters, 1895). He also pays a regular subscription to a 'Botanical Garden', and a five-pound 'Subscription to Aire' (?). On 25 August 1842 he paid £21 to 'J. Gordon [Sir John Watson-Gordon?] for portrait'.Garnett also notes his tax payments, the poor rate, and his 'Middle Temple fees'.Towards the end of the volume are two pages headed 'C. Garnett | 1844 Trustee for Mary Jane Head & acct of the property'. These relate to Dame Mary Jane Head (d.1857), wife of Sir Francis Somerville Head, and deal with the substantial sum of £30,000. These are followed by three pages of notes relating to 'Taxes returned', 1841 to 1848, mainly consisting of details of the household, e.g. 'John Fairhurst Groom' and 'Wm. Fallows Stableboy' at Bonehill in 1846 and 1847. Another page lists 'J. Fairhurst | 1841 Coachman's Livery p annum due May 13th'. Two pages at the end of the notebook contain a pencil 'Catalogue of Books sent May 14th 1837', with a further page of pencil notes relating to Garnett's cellar, beginning 'Lisbon 9 doz & 4' and ending '5 Do Glenlivet'. There is also a two-page 'List of Plate' in 1842, containing 28 items from 'Silver Breadbasket' to 'Toast Rack', with a further eleven 'Plated' items; a page of '1839 Expenses Furnishing' (including a 'Cooke & Rowley Carriage', £331 9s 0d); a short 1839 'Horse a/c'.Five items are loosely inserted in the volume:1. Calling card of 'Mr. Charles Garnett.'2. Printed form (landscape 8vo, 2 pp), headed 'YEAR 1844. Notice of First Assessment under Property and Income Tax Act.', filled in for 'Mr. Charles Garnett' of the 'Township of Broughton'. Dated 5 February 1845, and assessed at 17s 6d duty on £30. With stamp of Clerk to Commissioners and signed acknowledgement of receipt.3. Printed form (12mo, 2 pp), headed 'ASSESSED TAXES', filled in for 'Charles Garnett Esqre. of the 'Parish of Fazeley & County of Stafford', 5 April 1847. Signed by the collector George Thorneloe of Fazeley, giving a break down, and set at £44 12s 11d.4. Manuscript receipt of 'Half a years Land Tax' and 'Game Certificate', Signed by Thorneloe, 5 November 1846.5. Manuscript letter (12mo, 2 pp), undated but on 1910s letterhead of W. H. L. Barnett & Co, Stock & Share Brokers, London. Addressed to 'My dear Smalle Christophere.' Written in an arts-and-crafts style, and thanking him for his 'so-beautifully-expressed letter'. 'I hope you keep your hair short and your temper long.' With small drawings of 'Christopher' and 'Flea', 'both natural size'.