The first of two extensive manuscript account books from the house, the Day Book records receipts from 22 Sept 1759 (£10,513. 10. 5 1/2) to 1769 (£3820. 5. 1 3/4) and expenses 22 Sept 1759 (£10,341. 6.6.) to 1769 (£3683. 19. 9 1/4), which are laid out at opposite ends of the book. For the decade 1770-1780 they are presented together as following accounts occupying the center of the ledger. Receipts and expenses are carefully balanced and range from the £3,000s to over £10,000 per annum. Receipts include cash in hand, numerous sums from individuals (probably rents), loans (£6000 was borrowed from ‘Mr Ives’ in 1769), stocks and dividends, from Aylsham Navigation, sales of wood and hay, bricks, bequests (£510 was received from Sir Randal Ward, who died in 1762). Expenses include rents (with large payments to Sir William Fleming and to the bankers Messrs Gurney), ‘Bishop’s rents’, ‘wife’ (entered annually as an expense, being £450 in 1780), staff and servants, agricultural labour, produce, gardening, stables, carts and carriages, upkeep of buildings (bricks, glazing, thatching etc), clothing, window tax, charity (including a contribution of £25 to the new Norwich hospital, founded in 1771, another for North Walsham School and occasional payments to various named paupers), medicine, investment (Leeds Navigation was paid £240 in 1771), a fire engine, local clubs, lotteries, clocks and watches and ‘largesses’ for labourers. The Day Book also notes Sir Thomas Durrant’s frequent attendance at local court Sessions and assemblies (with regular visits to Dereham, Swaffham, Norwich, Thetford, Yarmouth, North Walsham, London, but also York and Margate and elsewhere in England). Particularly interesting are detailed day-today living expenses including entries for: theatre, books ([?Thomas] Payne is named as bookseller more than once, while in 1776, £18 9s was paid for books and mathematical instruments), ‘a sheet map of Norfolk’, pictures (in 1774 four were purchased: Repose in Egypt by F[rançois] Mille; Dutch Garden by Apshoven, £7 7s; A Warm Landscape by Swaneveldt £3 7s; a Madonna ‘from Raphael’ £2 5s), visiting grand houses and gardens (Blickling, Hampton Court mentioned among others), pleasure gardens (Ranelagh, Sadler’s Wells), the Royal Academy (in 1770), coffee houses, dinner at Boodles [Pall Mall], inns, racing, ‘japanned card cases’, Wedgwood vases (£7 7s) card playing (winnings and losses entered in the account). Loosely inserted is a single sheet bill for house repairs from one John Green, mason of 21 December 1761, itemising major renovations, bricks, glazed pantiles (a type typical in Norfolk), wood and labor.
The second account book, the Scottow Ledger, contains yearly accounts for named individuals connected with the Scottow estate, either as tenants or as creditors. Numerous local names are found including Harbord, Blofeld and Gurney. Each account usually occupies a double page. The data recorded includes rents and taxes.
- Author: Durrant, Thomas, Sir, approximately 1722-1790.
- Title: Ledgers for Durrant estate of Scottow, Norfolk : manuscript.
- Production: Scottow, England, 1759-1815
LWL Mss Vol. 252
Acquired May 2020