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Home > What can inventories tell us? > List of inventories > Source 9

Source 9

The inventory of William Massie, a Vicar. The inventory was taken on 15 February 1587/8.

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What can this inventory tell us about the life of William Massie? Will we be able to tell how rich he was? Take a look at the questions below to help you decide. You might find it useful to make notes on the worksheet.

Let's start investigating....

1. Before you read the inventory, take a look at what William Massie did for a living. Do you think he was very rich, rich or comfortable? (Remember that poor people didn't have inventories.)

2. Now read the inventory- you can use the translation if you get stuck. Think about the following:
(a) what kind of clothes does William Massie have? How are they described?
(b) how much furniture does he have?
(c) are there any items in the inventory that suggest that William Massie had to supplement his income?
(d) can you tell what kind of house William Massie lived in?
(e) if you have looked at other inventories, how does this one compare? What is mentioned here that is unusual?

3. Now that you have read the inventory do you think that William Massie was very rich, rich or comfortable? Have you changed your mind?

4. Does this inventory tell us anything else about life in Tudor times?






















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