Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Richard Price - The Burial Record, 2 April 1815

I've recently decided to turn my attention to Richard Price who died in 1815 and was born sometime before that. My approach has been to assemble and examine everything that we really "know" about Richard in hopes that some of this will allow us to determine exactly when and where he was born and who his parents were.

This entry for Richard's burial in the parish registers of Great Missenden (FHL 919241). Richard is the sixth entry down, no. 86 and gives the following facts:

Name: Richard Price
Occupation: Drover
Abode: High Street Village
When buried: April 2d
Age: 39 years
By whom the Ceremony was performed: R. Armstrong, Vicar

Age & Birth. Richard's burial on April 2, 1815, at age 39 years, put his birth between April 1875 and April 1876 (assuming his age has been correctly reported in the burial register).

Occupation. His occupation is that of Drover. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition of Drover:


a. One who drives droves of cattle, sheep, etc., esp. to distant markets; a dealer in cattle.
c1425   Wyntoun Cron. viii. xxiv. 53   The Dravere he gert, and oþir ma be examynyd, þat swne þa Tald hym, þat þe Carle þame stall.
14..   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab. (1884) I. 585/10   Fugarius, a dryvere or a drovare.
1552   Act 5 & 6 Edw. VI c. 14 §13   Counties where Drovers have bene buy Cattell.
1600   Shakespeare Much Ado about Nothing ii. i. 183   Claudio I wish him ioy of her. Bened. Why that's spoken like an honest Drouier, so they sell bullockes.
1683   N. Luttrell Diary in Brief Hist. Relation State Affairs (1857) I. 254   A quarrell between some gentlemen..and a drover of sheep by Temple Bar.
1870   E. Peacock Ralf Skirlaugh III. 59   A little wayside alehouse..much frequented by drovers.

†b. fig. A dealer, trafficker. Obs.
1585   Abp. E. Sandys Serm. xiii. 207   Hauing entred the temple he findeth there..drouers and brokers making sale.
1602   2nd Pt. Returne fr. Parnassus iv. ii. 1763   The yong drouer of liuings..that haunts steeple faires.

So this tells us that Richard either drove cattle for a living or both drove & sold cattle for a living. There is good reason to believe the latter, as we will see later.

Residence. The register indicates that Richard lived at High Street Village. There is certainly a High Street in Great Missenden, but I'm not sure what what is meant by "Village." I'm guessing that High Street

The Vicar. "R. Armstrong Vicar" refers to Robert Armstrong, who was the vicar of Great Missenden parish from 1803 until his death in 1820.

Richard Price - 20 December 1803 - Five per Cent Annuities, 1797

Richard Price had a 5 per cent annuity purchased from the English government. This was similar to a savings bond in the U.S. today. It was purchased for £199.14.6 on December 20, 1803 and would be redeemable at a future date for £220.1.8. This would be equivalent today to buying a bond for $19,400 and redeeming it for $21,500.

Ezra Poulsen in his biography of Robert Price stated the following regarding this document:
Another document of unusual interest is a receipt to Mr. Richard Price for 199 pounds, fourteen shillings, six pence from "Five per Cent Annuities," dated December 20, 1803. The total maturity value of this investment was 220 pounds, 1 shilling, 8 pence. "Five per Cent Annuities," a governmental agency set up by act of Parliament in 1797, was a means through which the government borrowed money from its own citizens for a specified rate of interest. In principle, this investment operated like our modern United States savings bonds.
There are numerous examples of these annuities on a website entitled the AnnuityMuseum.

It is unknown when or how this was redeemed.

It is also unknown who has possession of this receipt today. The reproduction here was taken from the biography of Robert Price where it appears on the plates between pages 36 and 37. It would be nice to locate and scan the original in color--judging from the reproductions in the AnnuityMuseum it is likely that the words at the head of this document "Five per Cent. Annuities. 1797" were printed in red ink.