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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.
|The original spelling has been retained.|
|The 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.|
|One 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!
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.
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.
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This page was last updated
on 10 November, 2007