One of my earlier posts featured the surnames of the many women who have married into the Dines clan but in many cases, even those of my direct ancestors, I have no information other than the name of the bride. Indeed my four times great grandmother, Mary Edwards (c1737-1808) is a case in point and then there is Elizabeth McNamara (c1825-1892) married to Richard Dines. Her father is named as Michael McNamara, a solicitor, in Richard’s will, but I have little additional information. I would like to hear from anyone out there who has more information.
Looking for new leads to help me in my search I have started with my very early research notebooks. Here I found some interesting facts about Kings Walden which I felt were worth sharing as it gives some idea of the village structure which John Dines entered in the late 1750s. The Hale family were very much the leading family in the village and the Dines were gamekeepers to the family estates for a number of years as well as supplying Home Farm with weaners and crops.
In one book, Hertfordshire’s Past by Audrey Grant and published in 1983 quotes from the Domesday Book when the village was called Walden Regis and included Ley Green, Wandon, Flexmore. Brach Wood appeared shortly after the Domesday Book and in later years had a town mill, a blacksmiths and several brickworks. In 1576 the Manor of Kings Walden was sold to Richard Hale, citizen and grocer of London, by William Burgh. The sale for £1,000 included ‘appurtenances’ in King’s Walden, Powles Walden and Pollitts (i.e. St Ippollitts)
A privately published book The History of Stagenhoe by Reginald L Hine, in 1936, quotes from the accounts of Rose Hale and the Hale Household covering the 1680s. This lists a quarter of beef, weighing 22 stone (about 140 kilograms) cost 40 shillings (£2.00). Occasionally the diet varied to include a whole sheep weighing 7 stone (about 44.5 kg ) and costing 20s (£1.00). The skin, worth 2 shillings (10p) was set aside “for the cook’s tea”. Other items included “brest of mutton, 2s 6d (7.5p); ribbe of lam 2 shillings; six chickens 3s 6d (17.5p); 300 pigeons eggs 2d each (1p); six hartechoke 2s; six cucumbers 2d; coleflower 8d; bunch of carats 2d.”
The farm accounts in the 1670s was selling wheat at 7s 6d a bushel; barley, 3s 6d a bushel; oats, 20s a quarter; maslin (a mix of wheat and rye) 6s 6d a bushel; pease 2s 6d; vetches, 2s 6d a bushel.
These accounts show that Georgian farming stock ate a much more varied diet than I had previously imagined.
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Incidentally my apologies to my followers for taking so long between posts but apart from Easter in very chilly Devon I have been plagued with sciatica in the last three months. As modern doctors seem to say put up with it and eventually it will go away I looked to see what my relatives in 18th Century England would have used. I found one remedy in a very interesting book called Georgian Cookery, Recipes and Remedies from 18th Century Totteridge. It is by Veronica F O’ Donoghue and Philip N Donoghue. I have used their transcriptions into modern English for clarity. The cure for sciatica follows the recipe for gout the ingredients for which include hyerapica (cinnamon bark mixed with aloes), cochineal finely powdered, into best red port which had to stand for 24 hours. I recommend you buy the book for the full recipe but you may be put off by the fact that before you draw off any part of the tincture the bottle has to be shaken for three to four hours! The recipe adds that the mixture cures rheumatism, sciatica and swellings.