Document I: Indenture Serving the Payment of £2,000 (1855) and Postmortem Interest (1861)
(approx 680x 580 mm) 3 affixed sheets with one red wax stamp with signature of Richard Rogers.
On March 13th, 1855, during the reign of Queen Victoria, an indenture agreement between Richard Roger of Ash next Ridley, a farmer, and William Wild, esquire of Martins Lane Cannon Street in London settled dispute of £2,000 (plus 5% interest). In modern currency, this sum becomes a not-insubstantial £160,300 (close to $200,000). Both men’s wives, Sophia Rogers and Jemima (?) Wild of Clapham Lodge are mentioned in the agreement and the Richard’s mortgage is used as leverage of repaying this sum.
By 1851, Richard’s farm was 250 acres and he was able to employ 9 men and 3 boys. His success however was short lived, as he died in 1860. This indenture was drawn up on September 29, 1861, and was enacted by Richard’s widow, Sophia, who paid the £1,700 interest due.
Document II: Indenture Transferring Mortgage through Jemima Wild by direction Sophia Rogers to Rev. Henry Laing.
(Approx. approx 680x 580 mm)
Single sheet with three red wax stamps and signatures of Jemima Wild, Sophia Rogers and John Rogers (son).
In 1862, the story continued. According to the Parish history (in which Richard’s family features among “Some Old Ash Families”) “the family was still there in 1861, when Sophia was described as the occupier of six hundred and fifty acres, employing eighteen men and a boy. Not much later, they were back at Attwood Place.” The biographical details continue to describe Sophia as a great collector of fossils, whose question to Benjamin Harrison, sparked his discovery of eoliths, knappings of flint once believed to be the earliest stone tools, now thought to be natural occurrences.
The family’s movement away from the farm at Ash perhaps has to do with the document presented here, which appears to transfer some amount of claim on the farm and its cottages and buildings to the Reverend Henry Laing.
The primary text on the sheet witnesses the signatures of the two women involved: Jemima Wild and Sophia Rogers (as well as her son, John).
Like the earlier 3-sheet document from 1855-1861, the legal story continues on the verso of the indenture, showing continued agreements between various parties appended to the original document with signatures and stamps.