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Help and advice for Extract from a Notebook belonging to William Bettington (1814-1885), of Bosbury, Herefordshire

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Extract from a Notebook belonging to William Bettington (1814-1885), of Bosbury, Herefordshire

Transcription © Mike Doyle 2006

Introduction

This small notebook was given to the Hereford Record Office in 2006 [Ref: BS78/1], together with all rights in it, and its transcription is reproduced with kind permission.

It is in two main sections: (1) a record of the annual doings of the crops and weather for the years 1835-1868, and (2) William Bettington's financial accounts. The two sections start at opposite ends of the notebook to each other and are dotted with such things as items which he found amusing, curious or instructive, verses and songs that caught his eye (or which he may have produced himself), the record of the births of his children and the arrangement he had with his father to take over the tenancy of land around the village.

The passages below have been laid out as near to that of the book as possible.
Lines end where they end in the document.
Grammar, spelling and syntax as they are (so far as 'auto correct' permits), including the splendidly exuberant scattering of capitals throughout the text. This last seems to be because William likes to write the capitalised form of some letters better than the lower case.
Text in italics are words that I am not 100% sure of.
Underscoring ( ___ ) marks the place of entries I cannot decipher.
[sic] means that the preceding word is transcribed exactly as found.

 

Epitaph

My Sledge And hammer lies reclined
My Bellows too have lost their Wind
My fire extinguished forge decayd
And in the dust my vice is layd
My Cole is spent my Iron gone
My last is Drove and my work is Done

Memorandums

In the year 1835 April 1st was good
Friday commonly called it snowed
all day long it was very Bad day

In the year 1836 was a
very great hit of Barlons* something
to be noticed but not much
Cider

* A type of pear I think. My Mother thinks it might be 'Barton' but I haven't found a record of this. However, a famous Perry pear is a 'Barland' which might be this allowing for accent.

[ end of page ]

In the year 1836 was a very dry
Summer but not so very hot
not for long at a time
In the year 1836 and continuing on Till
April 1837 it was a very long winter
but not so severe as I have knowd
it but very cold indeed and in
march 1837 was a regular snow
15 or 18 inches Deep and stopped on
the ground for as much as a fortnight
or three weeks.
It as Been frosty every night
in April and too or three snows
in April until the 16th
it is the longest winter as
even the oldest ever remembered
in 1837

[ end of page ]

Some News
An Interment
On one occasion being in command of a
funeral party and finding on our arrival
at the ground that the priest had failed
in his appointment, I placed a corporal
with a file of men in the street to waylay
the first churchman that passed by
and bring him at arms before me, as I knew
that all sorts of excuses*

* [a post scriptum note at this point in WB's handwriting says 'something not finished']

1837 Being a very late
spring Almost every Body
supposed it would be no
Cider or perry made this
season The blow was so
late a coming out

[ end of page ]

But for 1837 we had the
plentyfullest [sic] year of Every
thing that ever was
remembered By the oldest
inhabitant Both Hops
and Cider and every thing
that Can be mentioned
excepting perry
1838 Was a very Bad year of
Both Hops and Cider but plenty
of Corn and very good Harvest Song

When we swell on the lips we adore
Not a pleasure in nature is missing
May is soul rest in heaven the Discovery
made
Who was first the inventor of kissing maid
Master Adam I verily think was that
Whose discovery will never be surpassed
Then since this sweet game with _______
began
To the end of the world may it last

[ end of page ]

1838 I never remembered such a bad
year of Cider And perry not scarcely
a Hogshead made at a farm House

1839 was very bad hit of cider
and perry worse if could be
than 1838 it was pretty well for
hops but brought nothing
scarcely must be very good
indeed to reach 3 guineas per
cut

1839 from July until 1840 february it was
constant wet regularly it was not
a very bad harvest but very hinder
some one very bad michaelmas for
sowing the wheat not scarcely the one
half of it put in and that as was
it was done very bad indeed

[ end of page ]

1837 I Bought a sheep this was
the first of the produce brought
me a lamb
I sold the wool for half a crown
I changed my lamb for a ewe lamb

1838 [sic] they both brought a lamb
each but very late the was
too late for Cuckoo lambs

1839 I sold one ewe and lamb for 2-14-0
the wool for 18-0
the one have brought me  
too [sic] ewe lambs they be  
altogether five ewes one lamb  
after August I sold 3 ewes 2 of  
them was lambs 2 for 1-10-0
1 lamb for 16-0
sold my wool for 11-0
1840 wool was sold for 12-0
1840 sold one whether sheep lamb 10-0
1841 sold 7 sheep 3 of them lambs for 6-15-0

Curious Thing
There was an Old Lady in the west
of England which Darned stockings
with the same needle for twenty
successive years so used was the
Said needle to its work that fre-
quently on the Ladys Leaving the
room the said needle would keep
on Darning without her after
this old Lady Died this needle was
found by her relatives after a Length-
ened time several of them tried to
thread it but could not they could
not think whatever obstructed the
threads after awhile by a
microscopic observation observed a
tear in the eye of it
A true Deth [sic]

[ end of page ]

1839 was such a very bad wheat
Sowing a great deal of it was not
Sowed until march 1840 it was
such a hindersome time all along
until March and we had a good
many frosty nights and put the
ground in tune and made it
work sweetly well and every
body fetched up their work
as was behind so the weather
took up about the middle of
February 1840 and remaind [sic] dry
for a nine or ten weeks it was
a capital lent sowing I
suppose as fine as ever was
remembered

1840 It was on the 10th or 11th of March
as I and such a one absconded from
each others company

[ end of page ]

1840 March 23rd I went to
Hereford assizes and stopped 2 Days
and 2 Nights and had a very
good Lark

1840 August and septr [sic] was a beautiful
Harvest as was ever remembered by
Any Body if you can remember
the wheat at one time was expected
to come to nothing but as beautiful
crop of wheat as ever was remembered
was that Harvest and as fine a time
to get it together thank God for it

1840 tis not a deal of Cider in this
parish But some of the surrounding
parishes are very plentiful off
it is pretty well of Barlons and
other sorts of B_____

[ end of page ]

1840 Michaelmas wheat sowing
was a beautiful one to dry if
anything

1840 Nov I took one lamb to Hed__
with Richard Weaver

1840 No Hops Picked not in this
Parish scarcely half a hundred
weight in the Parish in that season
We have had a very severe winter
this time for about eight
weeks began about a fortnight
before Christmas and lasted till
the middle of february 1841
we have had a very fine march
as hot and Pleasant all the
beginning of the month And had
a very fine lent sowing

[ end of page ]

1841 May 22nd oh how beautiful
the fruit trees looks and very
Promising for a plentyful crop

1843 William was married to
Caroline on the Wednesday in
the Bosbury wake week some
time in June

1845 was plenty of Cider and
Perry made but turned out
very bad the wheat was
pretty well but a poor C___
and very few of good for nothing
hops

1846 is a very good year
of hops the best I ever
remembered and brought a

[ end of page ]

tolerable good price about £4/10
on an average and the finest
hop picking as ever I recollect
very good harvest the wheat
turns out very well beans
and peas very scanty
the cider and perry is very
badly off it about a hogshead
or two at a farm house
the potatoes are a deal worse
than in 1845 they was plenty
of them that year but this
year there be scarcely any
of them and very bad indeed
1846 Nov 30th the frost set in
And continued till 18th Decr
we consider it very early & severe

[ end of page ]

1847 This have been a very dry
february month but very severe
frost 1 night especially three
or four Degrees Lower thermometer was
than has been for 27 yrs it has
been very Cold all along and very
Long winter the fruit trees are
very backward indeed
1847 the Potatoes are looking very
well in July pretty well of
fruit but some on is very small it has been very
hot
indeed the Beans was promising
for a good crop but something
have covered them with flys
I doubt they will come to nothing

[ end of page ]

Oh the Bean Crop come off very
scanty indeed the wheat was capital
and likewise the Barley the potatoes
where [sic] very good Turn out what
few was planted I never recollected
a Dryer summer than 1847
the Hops was a mere nothing not
worth a picking the Apples and
pears turned out pretty fairish
and the Cider turns out well

1848 was a Fairish crop of Hops but
very low price about £2/14 to £3/0/0
Pretty well of Perry but not much
Cider about our country price to Ledbury
about 4d per gallon The Wheat Crop was
pretty well but had ____ cast but
a very Hindersome Harvest a
good Deal of it was got in very

[ end of page ]

very Bad it will be a good Deal
of Danby Bread The Potatoe [sic] crop
is worse than have been for the
last two yrs before there be
scarcely any as be good for any
thing the Beans and peas was
a Capital crop of straw but very
little Corn there come a blight
on them about a month before the
time for Cutting them this
Michaelmas is very awkward for
the wheat sowing the ground is
in a very Bad state so very wet
all along but I cant tell not yet
what sort of a crop we might
have

1849 The wheat is looking very
July well at present and all other

[ end of page ]

sorts of grain The Hops are
blighted very much indeed the
crop of apples are very well but
no perry scarcely it has been
very good weather for the early
hay making
1849 was a pretty fairish crop
of Hops and a very good
crop of Cider but no perry
scarcely The Hops Brought
a tolerable good price and
a capital crop of wheat and
Lent Corn of all descriptions
1850 the weather is very
wintery to begin with
snow and Frost

[ end of page ]

1850 has been a very Dry summer
indeed all along from about April
till nearly Christmas it was a
very fair crop of Hops and brought
about £4/10 on an average not much
fruit but a very good crop of wheat but
not much Lent corn

1851 Was a plentiful year of Cider
and Perry and Hops and Brot [sic]
a Tolerable good Price and the
wheat and all sorts of grain was
Pretty well this was the great exhi-
bition year

1852 the Potatoes are failing very
fast the wheat is looking remarkably
well on the 16th was such thunder
and lightning followed by a storm
of Hail or more like a pieces of
ice there was pieces that would

[ end of page ]

I am sp___ in a goose but not in a rat
I'm in a mouse but not in a cat
I'm in a leopard but not in a fly
I'm on your house but not in your eye
Tell me this thing which I know his [sic] in you
But not in your head, though it is in your shoe
Enigma
I'm seen on the deck of ships Bound for Quebec
I always form part of a wonder
I join with the slave and I'm seen in the wave
I'm heard in the peal of the thunder
I am in all disputes though I ____ contradict
I am found in the regions below
Ever present with those who commit an offence
With justice I hand in hand go
I'm seen in the darkness but not in the light
To the afflicted I give my relief
I'm found in such colours as green, blue and
white
And am ready to fetter the thief
I follow all soldiers who wish to be brave
I nest in the heavens above
With the miser I die and descend to the grave
Yet attend on mercy and love

[ end of page ]

Mr Glue married to Miss Holiday

Most happy of men in taking a wife
Hast a Holiday won for the rest of thy life
Be constant and faithful Tender and true
Love her Dearly and well and stick to
her like Glue

Why should an Old Workman
on the roads be one of the best
of men; Because he has long
been in the habit of mending his
ways

A secret a witty fellow happening
to step into a alehouse one day
called for a glass of the refreshing
Beverage after drinking it he said
to the Landlady, with the air of
one of some great secret, to commun-
icate Mrs D I can tell you
how to sell a great deal more ale than
you do How is that? She asked
Don't sell so much Froth was the reply

[ end of page ]

 

1852 Continued such a frightful storm
of ice which done a great deal of
damage to the glass around Bosbury
it happened to be on our general
Election day at Ledbury and the
next week was our archery shooting
day at Bosbury House and a
beautiful show it was we have
had a very wet summer indeed
it looks very awkward for wheat
sowing there was the Highest flood
that ever was remembered on the
4th of Sepr which done a great deal
of damage to the crops sand wheat
ricks and swirled Bridges up and
almost drowned our parson and his wife
and Mr Morriss building was swam
away and his Cart and pigs and a

[ end of page ]

great many sheep was Drowned
but not but one life lost as we
heard any thing about we have had
it very wet all the Time since
Till now November 11th we have had a
Nother very High Flood and
rained for 2 Days and it remained
wet for a long time There was
scarcely any wheat sowing done
at Michaelmas time but now for
1853 The wheat was put in about
March and april most of it and the
now in Sepr there is not much
Cut but it is capital crops of it
and pretty well of fruit and Hops
Hops turned out Pretty well and
Brought on an average 12£ per cut*

*This quite clearly says '12£ per cut' but in a later entry (1855) WB says that £4/10 was the most he ever remembered getting. Perhaps this is meant to be '1-2£' then, because I am sure that he would remember getting £12 a cut if he is impressed at getting £4/10

[ end of page ]

Wheat comes off very bad for ___
And the flour is now at 13 shillings
per Bushel and everything is
very Dear in proportion the Bacon
is 9d per lb and the Cheese is as much
Mutton and beef is 7d per lb and now
1854 We have had a tolerable good
wheat sowing but the weather is
very cold now Janry we have
very sharp frosts and deep snow
and the times is very bad now
for me and our little family
lost my mare on the 4th of Decr 1853

1854 Things are very Dear indeed
every thing flour 14s per Bushel
and Mutton 8d per lb and Coal is

[ end of page ]

25s per Ton and every thing
in proportion Bad Times with us
and a many more we have had
a beautiful wheat sowing Feby
and March was very Dry there
is a great Talk about war
and warring away they be now
began about August we have had
a Bountiful Harvest indeed and
Capital Harvest the Fruit turns out
very well and Brings 6 or 7 shillings
a pot and flour keeps to 12 shilg
and Cider Brings a very good price
and every thing Else Every things keep
up un account of the War I suppose we
have had a nice beautiful summer
and up Till Christmas it was very

[ end of page ]

mild indeed and scarcely any wet
for more than Half a yr -
Capital Crops of Wheat and Beans and
all sorts of grain and sells capital
Beans 1D per Bag and Wheat £1 8s
and so in proportion with every thing
that is all the good as wars does
to us poor folks -
1855 Janry 20th about frost and snow
set in and we have had it very
sharp indeed The Canals and Severn
and all was frozen over as brought
the coal to an enormous price and
it is very dull with us at present
we had a Capital wheat sowing
in 1854
1855 Things keeps on so very Dear
But we have had a middling
Hay making a great deal of it

[ end of page ]

spoiled But the Harvest was a
Capital good one and a Bountiful
one Too there is pretty well of Perry
But not much apples, an abundant
crop of Hops and brings about £4/10s
per cut the most I ever remembered
grow in one year about Half a
Ton of an acre every Thing keeps
So very Dear on account of the
war I suppose
The war is over and at an end
I suppose but Things come down
very quietly we had a Capital wheat
sowing in 1855
1856 Is a Bountiful year of Corn
wheat and Beans and all sorts of
Grain But not many Hops nor but
very little fruit growing almost a
Failure in all parts of the County

[ end of page ]

Swallow and Sparrow

A swallow had within the last few weeks
built itself a nest under the eaves
of[sic] at the back of the County Gaol
imagining no doubt that its proximity
to a court of law would secure her from
injustice or intrusion but such was not
to be the case. A Lazy hen sparrow during
the swallows temporary absence finding a
ready made nest quietly took possession and
made herself quietly at home. The swallow
on returning essayed to enter at the narrow
aperture but found the intruders Beak
placed there to debar her from so doing
Finding that the tenant in possession
showed no desire to evacuate the tenant
in right flew to summon a meeting
of friends and neighbours who quickly
responded to the call and the air was
quickly thronged with winged jurymen
Lynch law was to be the mode of procedure

[ end of page ]

and each swallow armed himself with
a morsel of Clay and proceeded to
plaster the hapless intruder in the nest
This was speedily accomplished and
the sparrow was left to die with suffocation
and want of food. The nest was subsequently
opened by the swallows and the unwelcome
carcase [sic] thrust out but the head of the
bird by some means became plastered
to the nest and the Body still hangs
there as a warning to avoid similar
sins. The original owner of the property
was reinstated in her tenement and
by her cheerful twitter seems to exult
over her fallen adversary.
Published
By WBettington
On The 20 Day of July
1856

[ end of page ]

1856 I Harvested for Mr Turner of
The Lower House and Capital wheat
he had we had one very wet week and
some wheat was growed but not
half a Bad Harvest The fruit
was almost a Failure I have no Drink
this Christmas the first I ever was
without The Flour is come Down as low
as 9 shillings but every thing else is
very Dear
1857 Oh what a short Time of Drink
Every Thing Except the Flour is very Dear the
Flour is 8 shillings
The Meat 7 p [sic] or 8d per pound*
May The Fruit trees are Looking
very Promising for a crop of fruit
and the weather is very propitious
at present

*the 'p' in '7 p' looks like he might have meant to write 'per pound' straight after the '7' but changed his mind to add the rest. Usually any monetary abreviation is superscripted after (or, in the early entries, above) the figure. The 'p' is normal sized and would not have been used as a short form of 'pence' anyway.

[ end of page ]

1857 June The Last week was tremendous
Hot but very seasonable weather and
a most splendid crop of Hops and
wheat and Beans and fruit the
Barlons are come again, once
more the Potatoes are very bad
indeed worse if can be than have
been for years past I Harvested
for Mr Treherne of Grt Catley
I cut by myself 7acres of wheat and
5½ acres of Beans we have been
without Drink for a long Time
However I consider it so
Meat and Cheese and Butter is
very Dear Butter 1s-5d per lb beef 7d
mutton 7d and every thing in proportion
Except it is Flour at 8/6

[ end of page ]

1857 Was a bountiful year of every
thing good Crops of all sorts of
grain and a very good Harvest
and a Bountiful crop of Fruit
it was so large it did rise
to a great quantity the Barlons
come out Pretty Fairish the
wars in India are going on very
distressing I believe at this Present
time Now it is come to January 1858
and we have had it very fine
indeed for wheat sowing and the
winter have been so mild up till
now such a one that I have never remembered
the Hops Brought something like 3 guineas per
cut on an average this time Mild Winter
1858 June it was very Hot for two
Or three Days there is fairish
of fruit again [sic] but it is very small

[ end of page ]

1858
August The Harvest is a very good one
and Nearly half done
Mr Bishop of Pegs Farm began to cut
wheat on the 20th of July we consider it
very soon indeed for this County
there will be a fairish crop of Hops
and every thing in proportion
The 9th 10th + 11th of August was three of
the Hottest days I can remember
This was the Mildest winter I ever
Remember there was no frost except two or three
nights very sharp in November, and no snow at all
until one day in april that was
1859 [added later between the lines ]
a Regular snowy day And we have
a few sharp frosts now in april
a Bountiful summer and very fair
crop of apples but no perry scarcely
and a very fair crop of Hops and

[ end of page ]

Brought a tolerable good price which
was about £3/10 and other crops very good
the Potatoes were not quite so bad and
in November we had some very sharp
frosts and remains on a long winter
It was a long winter too and now for
1860 we have had a very wet summer
indeed and only about one Fornight [sic]
of warm weather about Haymaking
The Hay was got tolerable well but
a very Poor crop of Hops but they
did Bring some money my father
in law sold his at 20£ per cut and
some reached as high as 22£s
The wheat come off very well considering
the constant wet weather and has
for a Bad Harvest it was not although
it was very hindersome a capital
crop of Beans, Peas middling
Barley and Potatoes worse still

[ end of page ]

than they was of late years, there is
a great crops of apples + pears this
time but I doubt they will not rise to
much a good deal is very small I
Finished Harvesting on the 15th of
October and began on the 28th August
I never knowd [sic] it so late there is a
good deal of wheat to cut now all
the Beans are out in the fields meat
and cheese and Butter and all sorts of eatables is
very dear Flour 10s Butter 1s/4d Cheese
9d Honest cheese too Beef or mutton 8d per lb
it still remains wet
Novr The frost Began and was sharp
for a short time and then about
Christmas it was very severe and
Lasted about a month together with
snow on the ground Christmas day

[ end of page ]

was a very Cold Day as Cold as ever was
remembered it was a Long winter
the wheat turned out a Light Crop
1861 Beans + peas very good and
a Capital Harvest as ever Could be and
the weather have been very seasonable
ever since The Hops Come out very
well indeed and Brought a good price
about 8£ per cut on an average and
very fine for The Hop picking but
Flour is dear 9s/6d per bushel and meat
8d per lb and every thing is dear in proportion
except the Coal the railroad was opened
this summer and makes that some
cheaper not much Fruit and that
as is [sic] was chiefly apples, no pears scarcely
but it makes Capital Cider I only
made about a Hogshead and now Cold winter is
approaching

[ end of page ]

we had about a week of sharp frost
in November and that was nearly all
as we experienced this winter but
we have had a great Deal of wet
weather and only one day of snow
1862 It have been a very cool summer
but a good hay making time and
a good harvest and I think very
productive one, capital crops of
Beans not much fruit chiefly pears
Potatoes middling Flour 8s per Bushel
meat dear 7½ to 8d Bacon and Cheese about 6d
per lb and now it is Christmas
we have had a weeks frost in Nov but Christmas
day was as fine as ever I remember so warm and
all the week the people are busy a wheat sowing
on the morrow after Christmas

[ end of page ]

but the chief part of it was put in, in
good Time and his [sic] looking very well
1863 The Crops are Looking remarkable
well we had it very Hot on the 10th
11th + 12th of July and a Capital hay
making it is rather scanty of fruit
pretty fairish of pears and likely
to be a good many of Hops a good
crop of Hops and brought about £6
on an average a good deal of perry made
the winter began in Novr Flour about
6s per Bushel
1864 The winter continues on very
severe we have had about a month
of it so it was a very long winter
now we have had a very good Hay
making but recollect this is the
dryest summer that we have

[ end of page ]

had for a very long time about a
fortnight of very Hot weather in
July we had no rain from about
the middle of march until Octobr
Excepting a few slight showers I
consider it the Dryest summer ever
I recollected But it was a plentiful
year of Everything the Biggest crop
of Apples I ever recollect and a good
Harvest middling crop of Beans but
a good year of Barley and plenty
of Hops average price £6/10 and an
abundance of acorns Potatoes good
but very small in most place
the Dry summer Caused that
1864 + 65 up till Christmas it
was very Cold, but it was a long

[ end of page ]

Continuation of Snow and Frost up
till Febry there was an abundance
of snow in Janry snow in some
places 20 feet Deep where it was
drifted wee [sic] had more snow in
this 1865 year than we have had for
a number of years and put it all
Together and it have been a long
cold winter it has been very Cold
during the March month and frosty
nearly every night It has been
very hot in Sepr and Dry
ever since hoppicking commenced
about the 16th it is very hot
and abundance of Hops to
pick now and the hot weather

[ end of page ]

has caused them to go very Brown
very little fruit this season I
have not enough to wet the mill the
Potatoes very Bad indeed again
1866 we had scarcely any frost not through
Janry Febry or march but it was very cold in april
and may Frosty most every night in
may it took the potatoes off two or three times
but Beans and Peas are looking very well
and the wheat abd our country looks prosperous
the Fruit Trees look splendid
but the Hops are looking middling Flour
is 8d per Bushell meat and Cheese is
enormous dear on account of the Cattle
Plague which has been raging for nearly
twelve months June the last week was very
hot and good part of July, it was a very good hay
Harvest flour 9s per Bushel and beef + mutton very
Dear 9d +10d per lb Butter 1s/4d Potatoes good yet, Harvest c___*

*Looks like he is cramming in 'commenced'

[ end of page ]

Lines written in Hereford Gaol

So this is "Limbo"? When I came
My wife and Daughter fainted
But like a friend of mine, 'tis not
One half so black as painted
I've roast and Boiled, and nothing spoiled
And what could man have better?
I only wish I'd such a Dish
When I'm not here a Debtor
I Never wonder while in here
How I shall dine to morrow [sic]
But when at home I want a feed
I have to beg or Borrow
I envy not the harder lot
Of those who toil and labour
And all to say they pay their way
And never cheat their neighbour
Then hail ye Courts of Law; and hail
Ye Judges who preside there
Before I pay an honest debt
I'll fifty times be tried there
Rare then for one it is to be
Supported here for Debt, sirs
If that's the way you'd make pay
You'll be mistaken yet sirs

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The Bride

I know of no sight more charming and
touching than that of a young and tender
bride in her robes of virgin white, led up
trembling to the altar. When I thus behold
a lovely girl in that tenderness of her years foresake
the house of her Father and the home of her
childhood - and with the implicit confidence and the
self abandonment which belong to
women, giving up all the world for the man of her
choice; when I hear her in the
good old Language of the ritual, yielding her-
self to him for better or worse for richer for
poorer in sickness and health to love honour and
obey, till death us do part it brings to mind
the beautiful and affecting devotion of Ruth " [sic]
Wither thou goest I will go, and where thou
lodgest I will lodge thy people shall be
my people and thy God my God"
Irving

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Janry was very sharp frosts indeed
for a Fortnight or so and February was
very fine and the grass Looked quite
Fresh and green but the Old saying
proves true that is that March wipes its ass
with Februarys Grass and now for march
come in like a Lion and remained as fierce
for Nearly all the month was frost and snow
snow in places Drifted 2yds deep but
on a regular 15 inches and kept snowing
for a week alltogether and it was a very
high flood on the 23rd of march and keeps on
raining till the latter end not much lent
sowing done *but it was very favourable after and on
for summer quarter it was all
that could be desired and everything present
ed a good appearance good Harvest but
on the 3rd of Sepr was a very great flood not
so high as it was on the 4th of Sepr 1852

*Later addition starts here in fainter ink

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1867 Novr The Flour is very dear it is about
12s per bushel Mutton is rather Lower, it is about
7d per pound we have had a capital wheat sowing
and so Dry and mild as ever I remember
a good lot of Perry made this year and pretty
Fairish of Cider and I think it will be very good
And a very fair crop of Hops which _________*
Our Bosbury farmers very much average price
10£ per cut

1868 Janry not much frost and Febry
Dry and march pretty Fairish our
Country is Looking prosperous on the
29th of may we had very heavy
thunder and rain. Things is very
Dear Flour 12s/ per bushel and
Mutton + Beef 7½ to 8d per lb and
Every thing in proportion we will
continue in another book

End of diary section of book

*very faint - could be 'heartened'

This information was kindly contributed by Mike Doyle in August 2006. Thanks are due also to Roger, who drew the existence of the book to Mike's attention, and Roger and Jan, who on digging around to flesh out some of the details discovered an account of The Great Cattle Plague of 1865-7 on DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) website, which William's diary records in June 1866 as 'has been raging for nearly twelve months'.