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The Rushden Echo, 1st March 1901



The public examination of Noel Richard Allen, formerly a draper in High-street and Queen-street, Rushden, and now a brewer’s traveller, of Denmark-street, Bedford, took place on Tuesday at the Bedford Bankruptcy Court. The statement of affairs showed liabilities £87 7s 4d, assets £15 10s, deficiency £71 17s 4d.

  In reply to the Official Receiver, the debtor said: I began business in July, 1897, as a draper at Rushden. I had £200 free capital, money given to me. I continued in business until September, 1898.

  The Official Receiver : During that time did you have any other capital?  -  Debtor : I had some other money given to me to pay creditors who were pressing me.

  How much?  -  I could not tell you exactly.

  Is it all in the bank book?  -  Yes.

  Can you tell me what you estimate it was?  -  I could not.

  You can tell me near enough; about how much, £300 or £500?  -  Well, I had two different sums, I think, beside the first, and one amount was £150.

  How much money did you invest in that business?  -  About £400.

  In September, 1898, you


owing £568?  -  Yes.

  During the time you were in business as a draper what books did you keep?  -  Nothing to signify, only a ledger.

  You never had a cash book?  -  NO.

  How much in the £ did you pay your creditors?  -  10/-.

  The liabilities according to your statement were £568 and the assets £336, leaving a deficiency of £232?  -  Yes.

  You had also sunk in the business £400?  -  Yes.

  So that you had lost £630 in the 15 months?  -  Yes.

  Can you explain how that loss came about?  I was pressed soon after I started in business, so that I had to have sales at different places.  I had sales at Wellingborough, Finedon, and Bozeat and of course sold things and realized money to pay the people who were pressing me.

  What sort of sales, auction sales?  -  Yes, I had one auction sale at Wellingborough, conducted by Mr. Coulbeck;  the others I had myself and got the best prices I could, by mock auction.  I started the goods at a price and worked down till I sold them.

  Sold them for anything you could get?  -  No, I did not sell them under cost.

  Never?  -  There may have been one or two little things I did.

  Did you keep any account of these sales?  -  No.

  Did you ever sell goods you had not paid for?  -  I am not sure about that.

  “Could you deny it?” asked the Official Receiver.

  Debtor hesitated a considerable time, and then replied, “I couldn’t say.”

  Can you deny that you did sell


I could not swear to it.

  Was this matter discussed at the meeting of creditors?  - Yes.

  And the creditors said they would accept 10/- in the £?  -  Yes.

   How was that found?  -  By the lady who started me in business, my godmother.

  The sum of £284 was found by this lady?  -  Yes, in cash.

  What became of the assets?  -  I had those.

  That was another present this godmother gave you?  -  Yes.

  What became of the £256 stock in trade and other assets?  -  They were made over to my wife in the marriage settlement.

  You were left in possession of £37? owing to the kindness of your godmother, that is, £256 stock, £64 book debts, £ ? horse, cart, and harness, and £13/10/?  bicycle ? – Yes.

  What did you do then ? – I had a country round with a horse and cart and what goods I sold I took the money to the bank. The country round lasted till about Christmas, 1898.

  According to your statement you owed £87 7s 4d ? -- Yes.

  You owe Messrs. Addison, Limber and Co., Nottingham, £20 for goods supplied during 1899 and for coats; what were those goods? – Drapery goods.

  What were you doing in 1899? -- I had a country round.

  I think you said the country round ended before then ; when did you give up your country rounds? – the latter part of 1898 and the beginning of 1899.

  I want to


as far as I can ; how long did the country round last? – I believe it was till February, 1899.

  Did you have these goods from these people at Nottingham before or after you gave up the country round?  -  Before.

  Why didn’t you pay them?  -  I paid them as far as I could.

  Was that all your transactions with them?  -  No, I had paid them several accounts before that.

  Why didn’t you pay this one; you had all this stock?  -  I was not doing the trade to pay them.

  Then there is Mrs. Charles Brown, Central Buildings, Rushden, £12 for money lent in February, 1901; what did you borrow that for?  -  To file my petition.

  Who is Mrs. Chas. Brown?  -  My mother-in-law.

  Why couldn’t you pay this £87 when you were left in possession of all that money?  -  Because I didn’t take the money.

  What happened to this stock?  -  Some of it was made over in the settlement.

  As a matter of fact you continued your rounds till the beginning of 1899;  when did you marry?  -  March 25th, 1899.

  You had a policy of insurance for £500.  -  That has lapsed.

  And all the furniture, household effects, stock-in-trade, goods, fittings, horse and cart, &c., you settled all these things through this prior settlement on your wife?  -  Yes.

  What did your wife do?  -  She opened a shop at Northampton.

  What did she stock it with?  -  The remains of the drapery.

  Did that business answer?  -  No.

  Your wife had your stock?  -  Yes, that is quite right.

  There was some stock in the shop which she gave up at Northampton?  -  Yes.

  Did the stock go


by night?  -  It started in the daytime but did not arrive until night.

  What time?  -  It left Northampton at about 12 o’clock in the day-time and think it had not got to Rushden much before seven o’clock.

  Where did it go to?  -  Into a shop belonging to my mother-in-law.

  What was the value?  -  I could not tell you.

  Why not?  -  Because I have not gone through it.

  Don’t you know at all what indebtedness your wife incurred at Northampton?  -  No.

  Did she call her creditors together?  -  No.

  Did she pay them all?  -  As far as I know.

  Did you never inquire?  -  No.

  What are you getting now per week?  -  £2 a week.

  Have you incurred any debts beyond those disclosed in this statement of affairs?  -  Not that I am aware of.

  Don’t say that; have you contracted any debts in Bedford?  -  No.

  All these debts are simply little remnants of this previous insolvency?  -  Yes.

  The Official Receiver :  I shall apply for an adjournment;  I should like to look into some of these questions.

  The examination was then adjourned.

Transcribed by Gill Hollis
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