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Richard Motteram Pearce, maltster and small farmer, 1796-1862

Richard Mott(e)ram Pearce was born in 1796 at Kingstone, Staffs, 1 and was the brother of farmer Job Pearce of Befcote, farmer, who was born in 1800. 2 On 24 July 1822 at Gnosall, he married Elizabeth Hall, daughter of Robert and Ann Hall, baptised 23.4.1802 at Gnosall. They had children: Daughter Ann bapt. Gnosall 11 Aug 1823 Son Thomas bapt. Gnosall 7 Aug 1825 (died aged 2, buried Gnosall) Son William bapt. 9 Aug 1829; was a maltster journeyman in 1851; married Frances Smith from Knightley, a housekeeper, on 21 April 1868 Daughter Betsey bapt. 18 July 1830 – married Herbert Dewes, ribbon manufacturer, 1850 Son Richard bapt. 28 July 1833; working on farm 1851 Son Job bapt. Gnosall 12 June 1836 Mary bapt. Gnosall 12 Aug 1838 George bapt. Gnosall 9 August 1841 Robert c.1843 bapt. Gnosall 9 Nov 1845 A collection of insurance policies dated 1834 3 list Richard Pearce as a tenant of the Rev Cattlow of Madeley, occupying a brick and tiled “house and brewhouse under one roof”, and “a malthouse with one kiln”, valued £150. The tithe list of around 1837-8 shows him renting from Catlow: 1212 House and Garden on Audmore Road, north of Dorothy Dean at Brook House 727 Croft, 817 and 818 Jack Croft, 936 Malthouse and Garden, 1213 Far Croft, and 1218 Middle Croft, and 1211 Near Croft from Charity Lands. A newspaper notice in August 1835 states that game on land now belonging to Richard Pearce and James Belcher (late that of Mr Reynolds and Mr Sant) is strictly preserved. 4 The 1841 census shows the family with one 15-year-old female servant in Gnosall village, soon after Selman Street and James Belcher, and before the Anchor Inn – so presumably as on the Tithe map. In 1851, still at the same address, Richard Pearce was listed as “Farmer of 10 acres & Master Mal[t]ster”, his 23-year-old son William as a Maltster Journeyman, and 18-year-old Richard “working on farm”. The other children were at school, and there was a 17- year-old female house servant. Richard Pearce died on 29 May 1862, aged 67, leaving under £300. He is buried at St Lawrence. Job Pearce died at Befcote in 1873 and is buried at St Lawrence. Elizabeth died in Gnosall on 7th November 1878 and is buried at St Lawrence. William Pearce (1829-1882) continued working as a maltster in Gnosall.
Malting Malting is a simple process - soak some barley in water, spread it on the floor of a long room (ie a malthouse). For a few days shovel it along the floor turning as you go. The barley begins to germinate. The first step in germination is the conversion of starch to sugar, which happens within the barley grain. When it gets to the end of the malting floor it has been germinating for a few days and is about to sprout. Brewers (the main customers for malt) don't want shoots, they want the sugar that the yeast will turn into alcohol. So the germinated grain is roasted to stop further growth and preserve the sugar. The longer it is roasted the darker the malt (you need a light malt for a nice pale ale, a dark one for a stout like Guinness). In 1842 malting was big business, lots of people made lots of money, including the government as malt was heavily taxed. Beer was drunk by virtually everyone and brewers needed a lot of malt. http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=455055.0 Felicity Potter
1 1851 census 2 Probate record c/o Ancestry and burial register. 3 http://www.bednallarchive.info/misc/The%20Marson%20Insurance%20Policies.pdf 4 Staffordshire Advertiser, 29 Aug. 1835
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