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I spent the day in a Jacobean almshouse. It was a work trip, so no Uncle B.

The almshouse was founded in 1609 by a member of the wealthy Sackville family. It was originally built to house 30 needy oldies with a connection to East Grinstead.

The way it was explained to me, the poorest workers had housing for as long as they could work (see tied cottages). When they couldn’t do the job any more, they were kicked out and became homeless. Mostly men, apparently, as the women could carry on longer in less physically demanding jobs.

Alms houses were built for them by the wealthy as an act of devotion. This one was written into the will of Robert Sackville, Earl of Dorset.

For the inmates, it was a life lived along strict lines. If they misbehaved or broke the rules, they were fined (imagine how little they had pay with). This is the lockbox they put the coins in. It had three locks, two you can see and one on the top that you can’t, opened by the warden and his two assistants.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 2, 2024, 8:03 pm

That sounds awfully like life in the UK after our election on Thursday (when the communists will get in).

While The Weasel pranced about in the Tudor almshouse, The Badger picked gooseberries – lots of them. Which will be very welcome come February.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 3, 2024, 1:47 am

Well! If you foolishly hadn’t voted for Brexit…

wait, I can’t do this with a straight face.

It would be something about fleeing to France where the Right wing looks to be gaining ground,
and where you can get involved in the leftist revolution and riots for “democracy” which will be triggered by democracy failing to vote the way the left wants.

Funny old place the world these days isn’t it?
And here I thought we got the crazies out of us when the 60’s dragged us around until about 1975.

Thanks for the Gooseberry mention, turns out an ‘expert’ has declared Pixwell, Poorman, Hinnonmaki Red will all grow well in Texas and that it’s the perfect plant because if I leave it alone I won’t kill it while trying to keep it alive.

Comment from surly ermine
Time: July 3, 2024, 2:19 am

Sackville? Isn’t that were those Bagginses are from?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 3, 2024, 6:16 am

Good catch, Ermine. I’ve had a laugh at that over the years.

The Sackvilles were at one point (a generation before the almshouse guy) one of the richest families in England ever. Tolkien was born in the same year as descendant Vita Sackville-West, about whom – well, she’s kind of a whole industry unto herself. Best known for her gardening and her outrageous sex life. You have to assume that’s where Tolkien got the name.

For those who don’t recall, the Sackville-Bagginses were Bilbo’s snooty relatives for whom he didn’t much care.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 3, 2024, 7:00 am

The Hinnonmaki family (yellow, green and red) are all flourishing in the fruit cage here, durnedyankee and I can thoroughly recommend them! An unexpected benefit is that, while picking another red (Whinham’s Industry) is a very painful task, the Hinnonmakis are comparatively less lethal (gloves still help, though!). I’d have thought Texas was a bit hot for Finland’s finest, which shows how much I (don’t) know!

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: July 3, 2024, 11:50 am

@UncleB –
Swedish Wal-Mart (Icky-ya) sells gooseberry jam so I at least knowed what Gooseberries were.
Like you I figured things what grow in Viking land and Merry Olde would probably be gone faster than a snowball in July hereabouts, so I checked the experts.
I also checked them for lilacs, the jury is in on that since they survived last summer’s rotation to hell out in East Texas without being tended.
East Texas is more plant friendly than North Central Texas is. The climate there is a bit closer to purgatory.

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