A Centenary Bill - 1918
George Bromley Snr. lived in Weir Road, Kibworth Beauchamp for many years and ran a successful coal merchants business based in the railway station yard. He was a well respected member of the community.
I acquired a copy of a bill he received 100 years ago from Edmund Leech of Station Street, a manufacturer of leather goods. Here we see how one local firm traded with another. Messrs. Bromley Bros., bought items from Edmund Leech amounting to £3-3s-8d but as the latter had previously purchased £4-0-0 worth of coal from Bromleys , it transpired that Edmund Leech actually owed Bromleys 16s 4d. Trading in this way was based on trust and no doubt other local companies carried out the same practice.
I was intrigued by the heading of this bill. What did ‘Dr. to Edmund Leech’ mean? Well, the ‘Dr.’ stands for ‘Debtor’, but, I must point out that simply refers to the person who receives the invoice for payment and not someone who is in financial difficulty! In fact, after the adjustment to the bill for the purchase of the coal, Edmund Leech became the ‘Debtor’.
You will note that the date appearing next to the address is quoted as ‘Lady Day’. This was 25 March and is the first of the four traditional English quarter days. The word ‘Lady’ represents the Virgin Mary and this date in the calendar was used by landowners and tenant farmers as it was the beginning and end of their year-long contracts with other farming families who were changing farms and travelling from their old homestead to a new one. Businesses such as Edmund Leech leather goods, would also use quarter days when dating their invoices.
Sadly, George Bromley Snr., passed away on 18/1/1958 aged 84 and was buried in Kibworth Cemetery. Thankfully, both the coal and farming businesses continued and were taken over by his son George Jnr.
My thanks to Ian Windridge for the loan of this document and to Pat Fisher for the photograph.