Account book for Barton estate

Scope and Content

Farm accounts (149 numbered pages) written by Ralph Widd, farm manager at Barton near Malton, Yorkshire. The estate was owned by Sir Tatton Sykes (1772-1863), landowner and racehorse breeder. The accounts are divided into "depostments" (left-hand of the pages) and "received" (right-hand side of the pages). Typical entries include details of the payment for a woman "dragging turnips" (22nd August 1801) and payment of two pounds, a shilling and six pence "by a pig" (12th November 1805). Sheep farming and breeding appear to have been fundamental to the farm. There is evidence of Sykes' use of bones for fertiliser. Accounts also feature wages, payments to casual labour, cost and sales of livestock, repairs to carts and other machinery, farm maintenance (hedging, weeding, ditching, blacksmiths' bills, medications for livestock). Also some detail of travels by Ralph Widd and other workers: destinations include York, Scarborough, and Hull.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ralph Widd was the farm manager for the Barton estate owned by the racehorse breeder, Sir Tatton Sykes. His wages were £40 a year.

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Open for research although at least 24 hours’ notice is required.


Part of the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature.

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Geographical Names