This is a glimpse of the life of Michael Hughes of Yarm. He had extensive premises in Yarm and had bought land, farms and houses from Bedale to Hurworth. Did he expand too quickly? Was it a mistake to build the malt-kiln and the granaries and the warehouses? Was his mercery business over-stocked with expensive luxuries? It all came to disaster in the end, but it gives us so much interesting information on the way.
In 1743 he had property in Hutton Rudby, Thornton in Cleveland, Maltby in Cleveland, Appleton Wiske, Great Smeaton, Hurworth, Catterick, Richmond, Bedale, Brompton, Osmotherley, as well as his properties in Yarm itself, including the newly-built Malt Kiln with land going to the Tees where he had a wharf for shipping his goods. Everything was to be sold to satisfy his creditors in auctions that took place in Hutton Rudby, Yarm, Darlington, Richmond and Northallerton.
It must have created a sensation at the time.
Newcastle Courant, 11 June 1743
To be Sold respectively to the Highest Bidder,
At the following Times and Places,
By the Assignees of a Commission of Bankrupt lately awarded against MICHAEL HUGHES, of Yarm, Merchant,
The several LANDS and TENEMENTS herein after mention'd, late the Estate of the said Bankrupt, viz.
On the 28th of June inst. between the Hours of Two and Five in the Afternoon, at the Dwelling House of George Whorlton in Hutton near Rudby, three new built Dwelling Houses, with the Garths and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate in Hutton aforesaid, now tenanted by William Peacock and others, at the yearly Rent of 5 l. or thereabouts.
On the 29th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Widow Barley, Innholder, in Yarm, several Dwelling Houses, with a Blacksmith's Shop, Stable, Garth or Orchard, and near an Acre of Meadow Ground thereto belonging, situate in Thornton, in Cleveland, now lett to George Tunstal and others, at the yearly Rent in the whole of 8 l. 13s. And between the Hours of One and Four of the same Day, and at the same Place, an improveable Freehold Estate, with a good Farm House, and all other convenient Housing thereon, situate at Maltby, in Cleveland, of the yearly Rent of 36 l.
On the 30th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the said Widow Barley's, a Farm in the Township of Appleton upon Wiske, of the yearly Value of 13 l. held by Lease for a Term of 2000 Years under the reserved annual Rent of 3s. And between the Hours of One and Four of the same Day, and at the same Place, An improveable Freehold Farm, lying at Entercommon, near Great Smeaton, of the yearly Value of 20 l. and upwards; on which two last mention'd Farms are also good Farm Houses, and all other Conveniences for Tenants, in Good Repair.
On the 4th of July next, between the Hours of One and Four, at the House of Mr John Yorke, Innholder, in Darlington, An improveable Freehold Farm, lying in the Township of Hurworth, with a good Farm House, and other Conveniences thereon for a Tenant, in good Repair, of the yearly Value of 24 l. and upwards.
On the 5th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Mr Ralph Hawxwell in Catterick near Richmond, The said Bankrupt's Life Estate in some Lands lying in Richmond Town Fields, of the yearly Value of 6 l. 10s. or thereabouts. Also at the last mention'd Day and Place, between the Hours of One and Four, A well built Freehold Dwelling House, with the Appurtenances, situate in Catterick aforesaid, in the Possession of Mr James Mewburn, or his Assigns under the clear annual Rent of 10 l.
On the 6th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Mr Careless, in Northallerton, A Freehold Close in Bedale, of the yearly Value of 3 l. 10s. or thereabouts; the same Day and Place, between the Hours of One and Four, Some Copyhold Houses, with the Appurtenances, in Brompton near Northallerton, of the yearly Value of 5 l. or thereabouts; and on the same Day, and at the same Place, between the Hours of Four and Five, A Copyhold House, with the Garth and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate in Osmotherley, in the Possession of Robert Fryar, at the yearly Rent Forty and Two Shillings, or thereabouts. And
On the 7th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the said Widow Barley's House in Yarm, A Freehold Close in the Parish of Yarm aforesaid, of the yearly Value of 5 l. or thereabouts; between the Hours of One and Four, the same Day and Place, The Freehold Dwelling House, Shop, Ale-houses, and Granaries, on the East Row or Side of the Town of Yarm aforesaid, late in the said Bankrupt's own Occupation; and between the Hours of Four and Seven of the same Day, and at the same Place, Another Freehold Dwelling House, with the Shop and Appurtenances thereto belonging, and also several Stables, Granaries, Ware-houses, and a Malt Kiln, all new built, on the Backside of the last mention'd Dwelling House, and extending to the River Tease [Tees], with a convenient Key [Quay] or Wharf for the shipping or unlading of Goods. The said last mention'd Dwelling Houses adjoin upon each other, fronting the Market-place; and the same, with the Granaries, &c. are every way commodiously situate for Trade. For further Particulars enquire of Mr David Burton, Attorney, in Yarm aforesaid.
Likewise to be sold, at the said Bankrupt's Shop and Ware-houses in Yarm, all his Stock in Trade, consisting of Grocery, Mercery, Haberdashery, Distillery, Linen and Woollen Drapery Wares, with a large Quantity of Men and Womens Hats, Black Velvet Caps, and several other Goods and Merchandises. The Sale will begin on Tuesday the 14th inst. and Attendance will be given there every Thursday and Tuesday following, till the whole be sold. Such Tradesmen as are inclined to buy any of the Goods by Wholesale, are desired to attend the four first Days of SaleEvidently there were too few customers for all the Hats and Caps and so forth, because soon this advertisement appeared:
And finally Michael Hughes' Commissioners in Bankruptcy were ready to make payments to his creditors:Newcastle Courant, 18 June 1743Whereas it hath been formerly advertised, that all the Stock in Trade, late of Michael Hughes, a Bankrupt, was to be sold at his Shop and Ware-houses in Yarm, and that such Tradesmen as were inclined to buy any of the said Goods by Wholesale, were desired to attend the first four Days of Sale, which said four Days being now past, and a considerable Quantity of the said Goods, particularly Broad Cloths, Dyers Goods, Leaf and Cut Tobacco, Distilled Liquors of all Sorts, Apothecarys Drugs, and Linen Cloth, are remaining yet undisposed of. Notice is hereby given, that such Persons as are inclined to buy all or any of the said Goods now remaining in the Wholesale Way, may attend at the said Bankrupts Shop in Yarm aforesaid, the 28th and 30th Inst. and on the 5th and 7th of July next, when the said Goods will be sold by Wholesale, at reasonable Rates.
Newcastle Courant, 3 March 1744The Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt, awarded and issued against Michael Hughes, late of Yarm, in the County of York, Merchant, intend to meet on the Twenty-eight Day of March instant, at Eleven in the Forenoon, at the House of Mrs Margaret Ellis, Innholder, at the Sign of the Anchor and Crown, in Yarm aforesaid, in order to make a Dividend of the said Bankrupt's Estate, when and where the Creditors, who have not already proved their Debts, are to come prepared to do the same, or they will be excluded the Benefit of the said Dividend
The Teesside Archives catalogue shows that it holds deeds from the 1720s relating to purchases of property by Michael and his wife Mary.