Farmer John Stephens: Profits
John's balance sheet for 1897 shows how he made most of his money on the farm. The sale of crops only realised £53.14/-, whereas the sale of sheep came to £84.15. Both of these were small returns compared to the sale of cattle at £195.15/-. The sale of a house realised only £30.
An unusual credit on this balance sheet, not reflected on later ones, is that of insurance - for the time, the enormous sum of £501.13/-. This was perhaps related to the death of John's father, as the loss side of the balance sheet shows that he paid £50.4/- in funeral expenses in that year.
John also paid out a large sum of money in repayment of debt that year, which was not something which recurred in later accounts. He was clearly not a man who believed in borrowing money, and perhaps his determination to pay off debts on the farm had prompted him to sell his government stock (consols).
However he managed to end the year with a profit of £26.19.6/-, although his accounts for the following two years showed a deficit.
Balance Sheet, pocket book of John Stephens
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