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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Inventory of Belongings

In Tudor times, when someone died, particularly if they were rich, an inventory would be made of all their belongings.

Inventory (D/Bo/F 19a)
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This was basically just a list of everything that was in their house, and we can learn a lot about the person from this inventory. We can also learn a lot about the sorts of things that rich Tudor people had in their houses.

This (left) is an inventory of the belongings of William Blakiston, who owned Gibside, near Gateshead. It's a very long list, so we'll only look at part of it.

Because the writing is faded and hard to read, there's also a transcript of the inventory, or typed copy, for you to look at.

See if you can answer any of these questions. Remember, the spelling may be different to the spellings we use today. In Tudor times, people tended to spell things the way they sounded, so 'four' would be spelt 'fower'. They also added extra letters, especially 'e's, so 'pans' would be spelt 'pannes'.

  • How many bedsteads are in the maid's chamber?
  • How many brass pots are in the kitchen?
  • How many tables are in the hall?
  • How many jugs in the butterie?

If you want to find out more about Tudor homes, look in the Tudor Character section.