The accounts kept by the head gardener at Dunham Massey Hall record all expenditure in the garden each month. Each month's account is set out on a single page. Labourers' time is recorded in tabular format: labourers' names are listed on the left-hand side, and the attendance of every man on each day during the period is recorded across the page, with the total number of days worked and the total pay received recorded on the right-hand side.
Other disbursements are itemized, including purchases of plants, trees, seeds, pots, tools, mats, baskets, tobacco dust, cost of repairs, casual labour, carriage etc. The total monthly expenditure is calculated.
Joseph Pickin succeeded Martin Carey as head gardener at Dunham Massey Hall in 1802 and continued to hold the position until at least 1840 [see EGR4/2/7/23 among the papers of the 6th Earl of Stamford]. The accounts were examined by Lord Stamford's agent, Isaac Worthington until March 1809, and Hugo Worthington from April 1809 until September 1835. Thereafter there is a gap in the extant records until January 1848. The garden account was probably closed when Dunham Massey Hall was vacated by the 7th Earl of Stamford in the 1850s.