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Saddlery account book.

Kent, 1801-1802.
Physical Description:
1 v. (270 pages) ; 20 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process TS1032 .S23 1801
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Archives & Manuscripts
Bound in original vellum.
Account book apparently kept by a saddler in the Whitstable area of North Kent, 1801-1802. The compiler fills all 270 pages of the notebook, with records of several thousand jobs carried out in 1801 and 1802, including gruppers, whips, harnesses, collars, breastbands, belly guards, bridles, bindings, crops, and reins. Each is priced, and he notes for whom it was undertaken. One record is headed "artillery & harness" which may relate to a cavalry barracks. There is also mention of a John Hayward, coach builder. Each entry has been struck through, when paid.
The name William Baldock, occurs a number of times, and is written in large lettering on the inside front cover, and several times at the end, followed indistinctly by "Seasalter." Baldock lived at Seasaltwater Parsonage Farm, just by Clapham Hill, and was one of the leading smugglers on the Kent coast. During the long years of the war with France the Swalecliffe and Whitstable smugglers found a new and highly profitable line of business in shipping out French prisoners-of-war. By the time William Baldock took over the lease of Seasalter Parsonage Farm in 1792, he could make use of the new Canterbury turnpike, using horses and carts hired from local farmers. The route up to the turnpike on Pean Hill was along well screened byways via Fox's Cross, and there were hides in Ellenden Woods, but the summit of Pean Hill was dangerously exposed. Accordingly, two houses with stabling were built, and "signal stations" were established to link Canterbury with Whitstable. These centered on Honey Hill Farm and messages were passed by raising or lowering a besom, and it was claimed that a warning could reach Whitstable before the oncoming preventive party had left the outskirts of Canterbury. William Baldock had little to fear on the coast; his nominee lived in Seasalter Parsonage Farm and his nephew was the local Riding Officer. Contraband for local customers travelled under loads of timber and bark from Ellenden Woods. The company's legal affairs were being managed by Edward Knocker, who had already done his stint at the Parsonage Farm, and presently became Town Clerk of Dover. The trade was certainly profitable, and when William Baldock died in 1812, he left a huge fortune of over a million pounds.
Subject Terms:
Baldock, William, d. 1812.
Kent (England) -- Economic conditions -- Sources.
Saddlery -- Great Britain.
Account books.
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