As a large manor, many goods were produced at Agecroft. The main product was wool from their sheep, but the workers at the manor also produced milk products and other crops. Some of these products would be used at the manor house by the family and servants. These products could also be sold at markets in town so the Daunteseys could by other goods- both necessities and luxuries.
Mistress Dauntesey would likely have gone into market with her housekeeper. Although these trips may seem simple, imagine how much excitement they could have added to the Mistress’s day. The nearest markets were in Eccles and Pendlebury, and as market towns they would have had vendors from around Lancashire and maybe beyond. At these markets, Mistress Dauntesey could have shopped for food products that couldn’t be produced at the manor- sugar, citrus fruits, and other imports. As we see in our discussion of the midday meal, members of the upper classes wanted to have exotic foods like these on their table.
While in town, Mistress Dauntesey would also have been able to purchase cloth or other accessories. She would have visited the mercer, or textile merchant. If Mistress Dauntesey want to have a new gown made, she could ask the mercer for enough material to take to the tailor. The mercer would also have notions like ribbon and thread. Although Mistress Dauntesey, her daughters and some servants would have been talented sewers, it is likely that she would have had her clothing made by professionals in town. Visiting the mercer and the dressmaker would give Mistress Duantesey a chance to check out the latest fashions- important for a woman of her class.
You might wonder why Mistress Dauntesey would have gone into town, rather than just sending a trusted servant. Mistress Dauntesey would have been in charge of the household accounts, so she would want to make sure that none of the vendors were taking advantage of them. Also, it’s possible she enjoyed shopping and spending time away from the manor. Just like we might prefer to get out of the house and shop in a store rather than online!