Manuscripts and Special Collections
   
   
  

Fixtures and Fittings


Illustration of Holme Pierrepont Church

Holme Pierrepont Hall and Church, from Dr Thoroton's Antiquities of Nottinghamshire (1677) [East Midlands Spec. Coll. Not 1.D14.THO]

Family and estate collections are overwhelmingly focused on possessions. In addition to your land, the amount and quality of houses, furniture and trinkets you owned demonstrated your wealth to friends and neighbours. Account books, rentals and inventories were produced to keep track of possessions and their value. They are essential tools for modern historians.

This example of an inventory, in which each item of furniture and furnishings is assigned a value, was drawn up after the death of Sir George Pierrepont of Holme Pierrepont Hall. Its presence in the Clifton family archive is probably explained by Sir Gervase Clifton’s relationship as stepfather and guardian of George's son, Henry Pierrepont (1546-1616).

The inventory reveals survivals of a medieval lifestyle at Holme Pierrepont Hall. As well as the principal down feather bed and tester in the Lord’s Great Chamber, there were two feather beds and a 'standing bed with trundle bed', for servants. The rich furniture and furnishings totalled £28 0s 8d in value, or around £6,000 in today's money.

 

Inventory of items at Holme Pierrepont Hall

Appraisal of the goods and chattels of Sir George Pierrepont, 1564 [Cl I 4]

 

The Inventorye of all the good[es] and cattell[es] whiche were S[i]r George Pierpoint[es] knyght, preased [appraised] by Thomas Floure baylyfe of Langer, Roger Bradsho of Stanntone, Henry Berysford of Snentone and Rychard Hanley of Wyllforde, yomen, the vit and vijth of Apryll in the yeare of our Lorde 1564 &c

In the Haull  
It[e]m iiij formes and ij tables   iijs iiijd
In the great chamber  
It[e]m one standynge bed withe a trondell  bed xxs
It[e]m ij fetherbedd[es]  Ls
It[e]m a boulster and ij mattresses    xiijs
It[e]m j Dawne bed and a boulster     viijli xs
It[e]m a payre of fostyon blankett[es]  xxs
It[e]m ij payre of wollyn blankett[es] xiijs iiijd
It[e]m one greate counterpoynte of tapestrye worke vli
It[e]m j other coverynge  viijs iiijd
It[e]m j tester of blew damaske w[i]th the cortaynes of blew sarsnet vli
It[e]m hyngyng[es] of greene saye about the chamber xls
It[e]m j table ij trestles ij formes     xs
It[e]m a chayre of grene clothe vjs viijd
It[e]m a carpett of greene clothe  xiijs iiijd
It[e]m a thro[m]med carpytt and a  cupbord    xs
It[e]m ix quysshones and a wy[n]dow quysshen of nydle worke  iijli vjs viijd
It[e]m a carpytt of nydell worke   xxs

Translation 
The Inventory of all the goods and chattels which belonged to Sir George Pierrepoint, knight, appraised by Thomas Floure, bailiff, of Langar, Roger Bradshaw of Staunton, Henry Beresford of Sneinton and Richard Hanley of Wilford, yeomen, the 6th and 7th of April in the year of our Lord 1564 etc.

In the Hall  
3 forms and 2 tables    3s 4d
In the great chamber  
one standing bed with a trundle bed   20s
2 featherbeds   50s
a bolster and 2 mattresses     13s
1 down bed and a bolster £8 10s
a pair of fustian blankets     20s
2 pairs of woollen blankets  13s 4d
one great counterpane of tapestry work     £5
1 other covering  8s 4d
1 tester of blue damask, with the curtains of blue sarsnet   £5
hangings of green saye about the chamber    40s
1 table, 2 trestles, 2 formes 10s
a chair of green cloth 6s 8d
a carpet of green cloth     13s 4d
a thrummed carpet and a cupboard    10s
9 cushions and a window cushion of needlework £3 6s 8d
a carpet of needle work    20s

Total value of furniture and furnishings in the great chamber =   £28 0s 8d 

 

Glossary of unfamiliar words

Trundle bed
more commonly called a truckle bed; a low, wheeled, bed stored underneath a standing bed and pulled out as required

Fustian
a coarse fabric made of cotton or flax

Counterpane
a quilted cover for a bed

Tester
the canopy of a four-poster bed

Damask
rich silk or linen fabric woven with elaborate designs

Sarsnet
a fine and soft material made of plain or twilled silk

Saye
a fine cloth made of wool and sometimes partly of silk

Thrummed
napped, shaggy or fringed

 

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