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  1. #1
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    1737 Household Valuation

    Not really sure where to post this but this thread seems the most logical.

    I’ve recently been given a copy of the inventory of a chief’s household furnishing and their value on his death in 1737. There is some fantastic stuff in the list and worth going through in detail but a cursory run through brought up the following interesting bits and pieces including:

    • 21 yards coarse Dornich – apparently a thick cloth so named because it originally came from the Flemish town of Doornick.

    • 2 small and 2 large (muckle?) spinning wheels.

    • Ane old check reel – a cross between a muckle wheel and a yarn winder and was used for measuring yarn.

    • 3 Heckles

    • 3 pair old Currans and two Carrs – this is really interesting and the first 1st hand reference I’ve seen to currans that early. Not sure what Carrs were.

    • A webb (24 yards) undressed (unfinished?) black cloth.

    • A Ratine Coat – presumably plain as it’s not described as tartan.

    • 5 yds tartan

    • An broad sword shoulder belt and target – but no sword mentioned

    • 2 tartan truss – what was a truss in this context and was it significant that they were tartan?

    • A warping stick and two windls – a warping board and spindles?

    • 5 woolen Combs – possibly combs for worsted yarn as opposed to carding boards for Saxony?

    • A pair of garters

    What’s interesting is the lack of general clothing and no mention of feileadh beag/kilt, plaid, trews, breeches, waistcoat, stockings etc. Obviously he would have been buried in something, clothes or a shift I wonder, but what about his other clothes? Were they passed on/down or handed out to the poor? Note also the use of the term tartan, which I assume to mean checked rather than plain, and not plaid or breacan.

  2. #2
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    I suspect that "tartan truss" are tartan trews-- ah, the creative spellings of the 18th century-- and "an broadsword shoulder belt and target" are three separate items: a broadsword (comma omitted) shoulder belt and target. All perfectly clear to the person preparing the inventory, but a bit of a muddle for those reading the same 274 years later.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan of Rathdown View Post
    I suspect that "tartan truss" are tartan trews-- ah, the creative spellings of the 18th century-- and "an broadsword shoulder belt and target" are three separate items: a broadsword (comma omitted) shoulder belt and target. All perfectly clear to the person preparing the inventory, but a bit of a muddle for those reading the same 274 years later.
    Those were my thoughts as well.

    A very interesting list, Peter.
    artificer Pronunciation: \är-ˈti-fə-sər, ˈär-tə-fə-sər\ : noun : 14th century :a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman
    Artificer Custom Sporrans
    *Home of the Original Kenneth MacLeay Sporran Project & Functional Brass Cantles*

  4. #4
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    Fascinating!

    I'm wondering what place these items are from, i.e. Western Highlands, Sutherland/Ross? What family? Clan?

    This is so intriguing.
    Gu dùbhlanach
    Coinneach Mac Dhòmhnaill

  5. #5
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    3 pair old Currans and two Carrs – this is really interesting and the first 1st hand reference I’ve seen to currans that early. Not sure what Carrs were.
    If this is the earliest reference to currans, and they are described as "old", there may be a longer history of them than previously thought.

    (I don't even know what a pair of currans is, but I did find it interesting that they are described as old, and this being the earliest reference that you've seen of them.)

  6. #6
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    CARRS could refer to carles, a kind of rustic, or home made, candle stick.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    If this is the earliest reference to currans, and they are described as "old", there may be a longer history of them than previously thought.

    (I don't even know what a pair of currans is, but I did find it interesting that they are described as old, and this being the earliest reference that you've seen of them.)
    Currans were rough, rawhide moccasins with the hair left on. Why such a throw-away item would be included in a property inventory is beyond me!



    I agree that the "truss" means trews.

    As for Carrs - perhaps a Rolls and a Bentley....
    Brian

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan of Rathdown View Post
    I suspect that "tartan truss" are tartan trews-- ah, the creative spellings of the 18th century-- and "an broadsword shoulder belt and target" are three separate items: a broadsword (comma omitted) shoulder belt and target. All perfectly clear to the person preparing the inventory, but a bit of a muddle for those reading the same 274 years later.
    Thinking about it we'd come to the same conclusion that truss probably meant trews.

    The transcription was done c1970. Fortunately the original survives so we will dig it out and check. Even if there is no comma it's entirely possible that it was assumed/intended.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsheal View Post
    Currans were rough, rawhide moccasins with the hair left on. Why such a throw-away item would be included in a property inventory is beyond me!



    I agree that the "truss" means trews.

    As for Carrs - perhaps a Rolls and a Bentley....
    The owners (west coast family) has an incredible collection including the tartan suit and dress that the chief and his wife wore to the 1822 Levee dinner

    They also have two pairs of Highland Revival era currans, probably c1800-20 which are professionally made, with a second sole and more like Roman sandles. Oh, and they have some pre-'45 broad swords and two targes of the period too. I'll see if I can get permission to post images.

  10. #10
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    Some valuations

    Here's what some of the items were valued at (£ Sterling)

    2 tartan truss - 1 Shilling

    A pistol - 10 Shillings

    An broad Sword shoulder belt and targett - 5 Shillings

    5 yds of tartan @6 p yd - 2 Shillings and 6 pence

    A pair of boots & a meeder vide plaid - 4 Shillings

    I'm not sure about meeder but suspect that vide = wide

    Total value of the 'Houfhold plenishing and Limber' was £50 11s 11d

    When I get time I'll transcribe the whole list and post it/a link.

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