Probate Inventories, Exmoor
One of the purposes of the inventory was to determine the probate fees, so the inventory was valued. Many west Somerset inventories survive for the 17th and early 18th centuries and provide us with a striking glimpse of the wealth of Exmoor’s farmers and craftsmen. Whilst less rich in worldly goods than lowland households, Exmoor yeoman farmers at the time were prosperous.
In rural areas less attention was paid to the house and its contents except for items of pewter, silver, or brass. Country people’s wealth was usually in their livestock and crops, or for a widow or retired farmer, life savings let out at interest.