Shop and Credit Notes

Scope and Content

Records relating to the wage payment system operated by Oldknow at Mellor in the 1790s. This involved the issue of credit notes that could be exchanged for goods at the local shop or for money. Many workers appear to have traded the notes with those able to supply cash, so the system was not strictly one of truck, as usually understood. The notes were in effect promissory notes issued by Oldknow. Acquiring large amounts of coin to pay wages was difficult in a rural area like Mellor, so this system had obvious benefits for Oldknow. Furthermore as most of the records date from the period when Oldknow was setting up the Mellor enterprise, it is likely this system also gave him a more flexible liquidity at an important time for his business.