The Poor in Aston-by-Budworth

These lists of the families to whom Sir Peter Warburton gave presents each Christmas are interesting in several ways. Each year a bull was bought. Meat from this animal along with money and sometimes coal was given to these people.

Points of interest are:

1. A number of the names are those of people who were employed by the Estate as agricultural labourers. This implies that a man in full-time employment could not always keep his family out of poverty.

2. The number of people in each family is given in most years. It is very unusual for such information about the eighteenth century to be available for historians. Further research with Parish Registers could produce some interesting results.

3. The fact that the land-owner's family and their staff had so much information about such a large number of families - as many as 50, often over 150 individuals - is also significant. It tells one something about the extent of social integration (knowledge of all the other people around) in rural Cheshire at this time.

4. An analysis of the 1753 list can be found in Four Cheshire Townships, pp 28-9.

Lists for 22 years from the period 1753-1788 are available...