Manuscripts and Special Collections

Activity 1: Life in Laxton

Enquiry Question

What can the auction document tell us about life in Laxton? 


  • To use the auction document to try and establish WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY; to start thinking about the context and locality in which Joseph Rose lived


  • Document 1 - Printed notice of sale by auction of household furniture and farming stock on the premises of Mr Joseph Rose of Laxton, 19 May 1849. List of household furniture and utensils, farming equipment, carts and wagon (Ma B 222/24)
  • Local History Investigators Report worksheet
  • Glossary of items mentioned in the auction notice


Outline Starter

  • Make a list of all the items in the students' bedroom or home; ten minute deadline
  • Discussion of what we mean by possessions and what value we place on 'things' in society today
  • What do their items say about them as a person?
  • How would they feel if they had to sell everything?


  • Complete the Local History Investigators Report worksheet with information from the 1849 auction notice, for example, where did the auction take place and when?
  • The Glossary can be used by the teacher to answer questions about the items listed in the auction notice
  • Class discussion on initial conclusions as to why Joseph Rose sold his possessions


  • What else do you need to know? Is the auction document enough?
  • End lesson with an awareness that more information is needed


Next: Activity 2: Joseph Rose


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
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