What one got for ones money in 1797 is revealed in a collection of deeds and papers recently shown to us by a resident of Bleachfield Street.
Elizabeth Hopkins of Alcester, spinster, died in that year; she was reasonably well-off, according to her will. Her funeral was probably at Alcester church, for she was buried in its churchyard. £2.10.0 was paid for her coffin, which was made by Thomas Franklin and £7.15.3 was expended on her tomb. These things are difficult to put in modern terms but £500+ seems about right. The exact wording of the bill sent to Elizabeths executor reads as follows
To a tomb put up in Aulcester churchyard'
|To a ledger 32 6||@ 2-6 per foot||£4.1.3|
|Ashler Roun 13||@ 1-6 per foot||19.6|
|Bottom stone 23||@ 8d ||19.4|
|Carriage of do. & Pike||11,6|
|Setting up do. Tramp,morter,etc||10.0|
|Painting do. etc||5.0|
The grave stone seems to have been a tabletop type one. The ledger was a horizontal slab over a tomb, One meaning of pike given in the dictionary and evidently in use around here was that of tramp or vagrant: perhaps in this case it meant a casual labourer. Ashier would be today's ashlar, fine-masoned stone. It would have been very interesting to know from where Paul Wilkes (who sent the bill) got his stone.
Summer 1986 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991