John H's Diary

Home Up People Cited Diary Entries

Top of Page


John Hobson commenced this diary on Saturday 1st January 1725-26 and the diary concludes with John noting that from the 23rd to the 27th January1734-35 he was "at home".

For Fretwell researchers the Diary is not of much help as John makes very few references to his own family. For instance, though a few entries refer to his sister, nowhere do we find out what her first name is. Unlike the diary of James Fretwell, which has a deal of family 'gossip', John's account over the ten year period is pretty much self-centred.

The Diary is, for the most part, a record of John's business comings and goings, interspersed with frequent references to recreational outings. He makes passing observations on the weather and the countryside over the seasons, and on the scourges of epidemics such as small-pox. He dwells on the state of his own health at various times, and seems to take wicked delight in recounting the unfortunate ends of those who over-indulged themselves at the pub. However, for genealogists the value of the Diary is that John was very much a 'name-dropper'. He made extensive notations of whom he was with, where he stayed, and the hatched, matched, and more frequently, the dispatched occurrences of the district.

bulletThe original spelling has been retained.
bulletThe original version of the Diary was, by some later commentator, so copiously annotated, that the footnotes double the size of the document. The footnotes are not included here.
bulletOne chapter of the "The Making of Barnsley" (Brian Elliot, Wharncliffe Publishing Limited, Barnsley, 1988) 'Hobson's Barnsley' gives an insightful and entertaining commentary on John's account. Not only does it enlarge on the activities and attitudes of the author, but it also gives quite detailed background information about some of the characters and places mentioned by John.

Any comments, additional information, queries etc will be most welcome. We are only an email away!

People cited in the Diary

The names of people referred to in John's diary are arranged in alphabetical order, with the year/s in the Diary that they appear. There are so many of them and, with John's somewhat arbitrary spelling, many variants. Some are referred to on numerous occasions; others only merit a one line entry. So rather than link to each incidence, I have linked the names to the year/s in which they occur. Use the alpha index, and if you find a name of interest go to the year table, click on the relevant year/s and you will go directly to that time frame in the Diary.

Diary Entries

John Hobson wrote his Diary before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1852. The text from which the transcription is made, and the cross references to the names, retain the old style format.

Return to Top of Page

Return to Table of Contents

This page was last updated on 10 November, 2007