The Quaker Connection

The same Account Book records payments by Andrew snr. , George ALDIS (1705-1777) and Edward ALDIS (1717-1790) in respect of land that they either owned or tenanted. Joseph takes over his father Andrew’s payments in 1758, and a noteworthy item records the payment “to Elizabeth Aldis 50 weeks collections for Mr Dod’s two children £8 15s 0d”. By 1760 Joseph is no longer tenanting his father’s land which is now being paid for by John LEFTLY. Joseph, as we know, was a yeoman of New Buckenham and might well have established himself there. Elizabeth continues to receive payments for Abigail and Phoebe (“£30 in total deposited by Mr Dod to Rev. Sloley for the maintenance of his two children of Elizabeth Aldis base born”) until they are about four years old. It can be assumed that Benjamin was back in Wacton, or nearby, in 1764 because he was paid 2 shillings 6 pence for “doctoring Sarah Jeffries leg”, and in 1766 1 shilling 3 pence “for curing Elizabeth Aldis of St. Anthony’s Fire”. April 1769 records a payment “to Hannah Aldis for nursing £1 5s 0d”. This is almost certain to be the daughter of Andrew ALDIS jnr. and Elizabeth, and is a noteworthy addition to the medical skills that seem to have come down from the ELLINGTON family.

Two crucial entries in 1769, when George ALDIS was Overseer, must be mentioned at this point. Daniel ALDIS was paid “to appear by bill £1 2s 4d”, a somewhat mysterious summons to an official parish meeting. A subsequent entry records the payment by “William Dade for Daniel Aldis 3s”. Daniel is here, then, recorded as the legal owner or tenant of land previously owned by Andrew ALDIS, and the following entry also gives Daniel as the owner of this land, leading to the inescapable conclusion that he became the legal owner or tenant of this land as a son of Andrew ALDIS. Andrew’s widow Mary had renounced in favour of Joseph following Andrew’s death in 1758, but following her own death in 1765 the legal status of the land would have needed sorting out since Joseph was living in New Buckenham. There are no surviving tax records for Wacton prior to 1797, but that year records “Daniel Aldis, his own, yearly taxation 14s, quarterly 3s 6d”. So Daniel did own this land, and we can be confident that he was Andrew’s son. We have no previous knowledge that Daniel had any connection to Wacton, or that he ever lived there; since, however, Daniel’s first-born son George mentions property in Wacton in his Will of 1839, it seems likely that it had been passed from father to son.

The remaining brother George, whose Will of 1767 is so informative with regard to this family and their individual names, is recorded in 1764 as a parish official for Moulton together with brother Benjamin. George married Ann BELOR of Stratton St Mary in 1765, the banns having been read in Morningthorpe. Ann was pregnant when George died, and his Will makes bequests to his child or children-to-be or, if there is no survivor, to his named siblings. He also makes provision for Elizabeth KNAPP who had a base born child Susanna in 1767. George’s daughter Ann was born posthumously on the 19th of July 1767.

What do we know concerning the whereabouts of Andrew and Hannah from 1713 to 1731? Parish deposits are very incomplete, but it seems that they were back in Norfolk immediately after their marriage. The Overseers’ Accounts for Great Moulton record Andrew being paid “for wood and carriage £1 1s 0d”, and in 1717 he was nominated Overseer following the nomination of Edward ALDIS (1683-1757) in 1715. It is not until 1728 that Hannah is mentioned: “Paid to Hannah Aldis for what she did for Fulcher’s wife’s legs and for curing Sutton’s children and Fulcher’s wife of the itch £1 10s 0d”. Other references to Hannah’s nursing skills follow: “To Mrs Aldis for surgery to Orsbone’s feet 10s”; and in 1729: “Paid Andrew Aldis’s wife for curing the girl’s head of a scald”, “Paid Andrew Aldis’s wife her bill £2 7s 6d”. In 1730 there was payment to “Goody Aldis for 5 weeks 12s 6d”, and “For what she did for Poll 2s”. 1731 records the payment to “Goody Aldis for the Girl Tillet for curing a scald in her hand £1 1s 0d”. Finally in 1732 there was a payment to “Andrew Aldis in full £2” which would appear to be the balance of account for all the outstanding ‘curing’ that Hannah had performed. Since the year’s accounts run from Easter to Easter, we can only say that Hannah died sometime between Easter 1731 and the 31st of July 1732 when Andrew married Elizabeth GREENGRASS. It is odd that the only record of payments to Hannah is from 1728 to 1731, since clearly she did not suddenly acquire her nursing skills. We have to bear in mind, however, that by no means have all records survived, and that these accounts relate only to Great Moulton. Andrew was associated certainly with Wacton, where he was a yeoman, and possibly with other neighbouring parishes. So it is likely that Hannah performed her good works elsewhere before her relatively early death shortly after the birth of her last child Daniel.