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General History Publications

What did they leave?

Some wills and inventories of Mellor residents over the centuries which give an intimate glimpse into lives and conditions of the time.

Author: Tom Oldham

Published: Marple Local History Society, 1996

A5 booklet, 22 pages, 1 illustration

Price: £1.00

ISBN: 09522716 3 X

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Chapters

  • Introduction
  • Early wills
  • Seventeenth century
  • Eighteenth century
  • Industry arrives
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Of the many records consulted during investigations into the local history of Mellor, the wills and inventories of the early inhabitants are to me the most interesting. They are personal documents telling us much about the lives of the people of those distant times, the farming and household equipment upon which they depended, their animals, the relationships between different families, and the valuations of their possessions. It is as though they speak to us out of the past.

I have obtained many photocopies of wills and inventories from the Lichfield Record Office where early probate documents relating to Mellor are kept, and here I have been greatly helped by consulting the book on the 'Index of Probate Documents' appertaining to the old parish of Glossop, which included Mellor. The chief compiler of this book was Audrey Lee of Mellor, and I thank her greatly for this, for I was able to pick out easily the Mellor inhabitants back to the mid 1500's who had left wills.

But most help of all has come from Ann Hearle who encouraged me to write about the interesting material found in these documents. She read through the early drafts, offered many important suggestions, alterations and additions, planned the layout, thus making it more attractive and presentable and organised the production. Although l did the transcriptions and the original writing, the book would not have been produced without her involvement.

April 1996

Tom Oldham