Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

House Expenses Books

Part of
The Retreat Archive
  • Archives and manuscripts
  • Online

About this work


These have weekly entries recording details of food and drink and a few other items (eg 'brushes', earthenware', 'washerwoman'). It is therefore a fairly detailed record of the day to day kitchen commodities at the Retreat - although not everything is itemised eg bills for 'groceries' are noted but they are not detailed. It does not include other items such as clothes or equipment Items were totalled weekly and then this total appeared in the General Cash Book, see RET 3/2/16 The House Expenses Books have, pencilled into their flyleafs, the term 'Waste Books'. Waste Books were books which, in the early days of Double Entry bookkeeping, comprised a memory aid before items were entered in the Journal and then the Ledger. At the Retreat, they seem to have comprised an initial detailed record of bills paid, supporting the information given in other, further volumes: the Household Cash Books, see note below, and the General Cash Books, RET 3/2/6, into which household expenses appeared as a total, later transferred into the Journal and General Ledger. The relationship between the series of House Expenses Books and the series of Household Cash Books, RET 3/4/2, is interesting: they seem to contain parallel information. The Household Cash Books provided a weekly analysis of commodities bought for the Retreat, sorted under different headings. The weekly total of the cost of commodities is the same both in the House Expenses Book and the Household Cash Book, but the itemising is different (eg some of the items noted in the Household Cash Book like cheese or candles must be contained within the term 'groceries' in the Expenses Book). Thus, both books need to be used together - along with the surviving Bills and Receipts, see RET 3/3/1, for a full record



Physical description

3 volumes

Permanent link