November edition of the Staffordshire Archives & Heritage Update

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage
Water Dowsing


Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service. We are on the move this month. Read on to find out about how the County Museum collections are being packed and transported to their new store. There is also news about the Alice Perkyns will and the 'To Die For?' exhibition. 

Our aim is to keep you updated with the latest developments and events. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter please use the 'unsubscribe' button at the bottom of this page. 


Wheeled vehicles from the Museum Collections on the back of the low-loader

Wagons Roll! 

The Staffordshire County Museum collection is on the move to its new home. The contents of our large object store at Shugborough are being moved to new units in Stafford.This is a mammoth task which has taken a lot of careful planning. The new collection stores will provide a stable environment for the collections which will protect our fabulous objects for future generations to enjoy. The move will be phased over the next few months with everything from wheeled vehicles and lawnmowers to flat irons and teddy bears being packed, carefully transported and installed in their new home. We will keep you posted on how the move progresses.

Measuring Streams - Flood and Drought Project

Free Talk on Weather to Venues across Staffordshire

If you know of a local society, museum or library that might be interested in a talk of weather then carry on reading.  Weather affects us all every day. Occasionally we experience extended periods of below average rainfall which can have effect farming, water supplies and wildlife. In this talk Alice Harvey will present current research on current and past weather and water in Staffordshire. The talk will be illustrated with examples from documents at the Staffordshire Record Office and there will be an opportunities to contribute your memories and thoughts 

Alice is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool, working with the Staffordshire Record Office to investigate drought and water shortages in the county since the Industrial Revolution. She also runs a volunteer group at the Staffordshire Record Office, exploring the recording of weather in 18th Century diaries and letters. More information about these projects can be found at the Flood and Drought websiteIf you want to book a talk Alice Harvey

Alice Perkyns Will, 1538

Where There's a Will . . . 

You may remember that in September we featured the conservation work on the Will of Alice Perkyns of Hillmorton in Warwickshire, 1538. Cara’s conservation work on the will has made it much easier to read and this is our interpretation (with some added punctuation).

"In the name of God, Amen. The last daye of July in the yere of our Lord God MCCCCXXXVIII [1538]. I Alice Perkyns of Hullmoreton in the Countie of Warwick, wedowe, dredyng the uncerteyn hour of death, being in perfette memorie and mynd, make this my last wyll in manner and forme folowyng. Fyrst I begweyth my soule unto Almyghtie god, our Ladye Saint Marie and All the saints in heyvyn to praye for me. My bodie to be buryd within the parysch church of Saint John the Baptiste of Hullmoreton aforesaid and my mortuarie [a..?] manner,  is. Also I begweyth to the high autar  xiid.  Also to the said church of Hullmoreton  vis viiid. Also to every one of my godchildren iid. Also to Joyn [?O]leyver, my dawghter, a payr of flaxen schets, a payr of hurden shets, a flaxen table cloth, an hurden table cloth, a tawney gowne, a violet kyrtyll, an happern, iii kercheyffs, a cowe, and an yerelyng bulloke.  And also to Julian [Bupton?], my dawghtere, a peir of flaxen schets, a peire of hurden schets, a flaxen table cloth, an hurden table cloth, my best gowne, a burnett tawney kyrtel, iii kercheyffs, a peire of beyds, a potte, a panne, and my best silver harnest gyrdyll. The Residue off my goodes, my detts payed and my funerall expenses deduct and alowed, I gyve un to Henry Perkyns, my son, whom I make my sole executore, he to dispose for the helth of my soule and all crystyan soules as he thynkes best. And of this my last will I ordinate and make John Stokys, clerk, Thomas Clerke and Richard Smyth supervisors, they to see that this my last will be observed and performed and kepte. Thies beyng witnes, John Grendon, clerk, George Dobbs, William Freman, Thomas Dunkeley, Richard Bassett with dyverse others."

The inventory that accompanies the will lists all Alice’s goods and chattels at the time of her death. It begins with a list of livestock including 3 horses,  2 colts, various cattle with ploughs and ploughing equipment. It then lists what is in the parlour, such as table linen, a bed, a mattress and bed linen, including bed hangings and hurden sheets. Hurden is a cloth made from flax. In the other rooms, including the hall and kitchen, there are pewter goods, a chafing dish, tables and forms, pots and pans, and spits. Outside there is corn and hay along with ladders, harrows and ploughs. In total her goods were valued at £37  2s and 1d.

To Die For? c. Roger Penwill

Take a Deep Breath! Constrictive Corsets and Killer Heels 

The new exhibition at the Ancient High House features the nastier side of fashion in the 19th and 20th centuries. 'To Die For?' uses garments and accessories from the Staffordshire County Museum collection to explore the dangers hidden in the clothes that people wore. Chemicals used in the process of dying or manufacturing garments could cause terrible skin problems leading to disfigurement and even death. Fabrics were highly flammable in a period where open fires and naked flames were used in the home. You can find out about real fashion victims at the High House until 30th December. 

Events and Exhibitions

Staffordshire Archives News


Staffordshire Archives News


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