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The Diary

For space considerations, the version of James Fretwell's Diary that follows does not include the editorial footnote annotations inserted in the original transcript at some later stage. Nor, due to the frequency of references to James's immediate family, are these relatives included in the cross referenced table of people cited in the Diary.

I would welcome any comments or queries relating to the Diary, and, of course any information that might add to what is currently known about the Fretwells and Woodhouses. I am only an email away!

Diary Citations


One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.
Eccles. i. 4.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.
Eccles. i. 9.

There is no remembrance of former things; neither will there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
Eccles. i. 11.

For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
Eccles. vi. 12.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Eccles. ix. 10.


The knowledge of letters is certainly one of the greatest blessings that ever God bestowed on mortals; their uses are innumerable; they ease our memories, by committing to writing what would otherwise have been burdensome to retain, or else have been totally forgot. By this means our predecessors have transmitted to us their various exploits and transactions, and we hand them done, together with our own, to future generations. Thus also we have accounts of what is done in the remotest parts of the world; and they again the same from us. Thus excellent men by their writings, in all faculties and sciences, enjoy a sort of immortality upon earth, by having their memories honoured by succeeding generations who never saw their faces in the flesh.

But the greatest blessing of all that has by this means been transmitted to us, is in the revelation of God’s will to us in the Ho1y Scriptures; wherein is contained all that we need to know, or to do, in this life, in order to be for ever happy in the next. For had not the Apostles committed their doctrine to writing, how short and uncertain an account should we have had of it; then there would have been large room for introducing oral traditions at pleasure.

And we, who live in these latter ages, have still greater reason of thankfulness to Almighty God for the great improvement of the use of letters, by the wonderful and almost miraculous invention of the art of printing; which is now come to so great perfection, and has already done so much good in the world. Not that I am insensible, on the other hand, of the mischief done by immoral, atheistical, and heretical books, &c. But I hope the many great benefits of the press, in promoting of all kind of usefull knowledge, both human and divine, do abundantly outweigh its inconveniences; especially if we consider one of the first and greatest services it did in promoting that great and glorious work of the Reformation.

Several good men have been careful to publish to the world an account of the lives of such men who have been eminently serviceable in their day and station, and whose lives have been exemplarily pious; and I doubt not but much good has been done by this means, and that many others have been thereby provoked to follow ‘em in love and good works.

I think ‘tis something strange that now, since writing has been for some ages so common, so few should have any tollerable knowledge of their ancestors; their knowledge seldom extending beyond their grandfathers. I am of opinion ‘twould have been acceptable to their posterity to have had an account of the families from which they were descended, altho’ they were not any ways illustrious, but meerly to satisfie their curiosity in knowing through whose loyns they have descended, and into what families they have been planted and transplanted; and a few sheets of paper would have satisfied us, as to the birth, education, profession, alliances, places of abode, and deaths, of our forefathers, for several generations. And tho’ the account they had given us of these things had been very concise, yet I'm perswaded we might in several instances have observed a wonderful and beautiful variety of Divine Providence in overruling and disposing of their several personal and family circumstances and concerns.

My design, therefore, in these papers, is to give a brief account of the present circumstances of myself and my father’s house, which is designed as a bequest to posterity; which, I need not tell you, is at your own disposal, and now they are come to your hands, and will be of more service to me. But if you think fit to preserve them, and thereto annex an account of such things worthy of note as shall happen to you, in the day of your pilgrimage, is what I could rather wish, and had some hopes of in my first undertaking; and by this means succeeding generations will have a more tollerable account of what happened to or was done by us their predecessors, than ‘tis possible for ‘em to have by vulgar traditional reports, which many young persons have take pleasure in hearing from very antient people; and a poor slight paper, if preserved with care, will soon be more ancient than the oldest man of the age; for all care in the world, and all the arts in the world, cannot preserve human nature to equal the duration of the thinnest glass or finest paper preserved with the like care.

My present purpose is to carry on this work according to the abilities with which God has blessed me, so long as it shall please God to enable me; and I heartily desire that the next relation of mine who shall put his pen to this work (if ever any do), may be better qualified for carrying it on than I have been, and for making such reflections and observations as may be usefull to those who shall come after him; and may his successor as far exceed him in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; so shall this poor piece, as it passes from hand to hand, be the more usefull, and consequently the more valuable.

I shall not be so exact in methodizing every part as if it were designed for public view; and therefore after I have brought it down to the close of the year 1718, shall by help of my diary, which I then begun, enter everything according to the order of time in which it happened.

I am conscious of my own defects, and therefore what you find here I desire you will not communicate to any except near and dear friends, who may perhaps bear with me, not looking so much at the poor performance, as at my sincere endeavours of pleasing and profiting posterity, which is and shall be the sincere desire of your loving relation, and affectionate friend, whilst known by the name of

Jan. 12th I738-9


Chapter I

There has but little come to my knowledge concerning my ancestors; what I have heard or known I will faith fully relate.

My great-grandfather, who is the first of whom I have heard any mention made, was called Richard Fretwell an honest plain man, and (if I mistake not) he was by profession a carpenter, living at Maltbey. He had two sons, called James and William, but whether any more children I know not.

My grandfather was called James. He was a plain, honest, good man, well beloved by his acquaintance, educated a carpenter; but his chief business was buying and selling timber. He lived at Maltbey. His wife was of an antient family called Beard. Her name was Mary; she was a good woman, and a prudent wife. She had many children, but several of them died young, tho’ not in infancy. One I remember, called John, who died February 18th 1708-9 in the 26th year of his age. There was another, called William, who (I find) dyed the 23rd of Sept. 1700, and in the 22nd year of his age. I have heard that my grandmother mourned very much for his death, which, ‘twas thought, was a means of hastening her own, which happened the first day of November following. There was more of my grandfather’s children who dyed young, of whom I have no account.

My grandfather survived my grandmother many years; he continued at Maltbey with his youngest son called Richard; but, after his daughter Mary was left a widow, I think she prevailed with him to go to live with her. He had left of all business for many years, and lived very privately, spending his time very innocently, and great part of it in making preparation for his great change, which happened on Thursday, Sept 4th 1718, betwixt 5 and 6 a clock in the morning. He was taken ill but the morning before; but tho’ he was taken out of this world after a very short summons, I hope he was not unprepared for it. Hereby we may see how necessary ‘tis to be always ready, for we know not at what hour our Lord will come to any of us in particular by death.

His eldest daughter, called Elizabeth, was married to one John Bower, of Wickersley, a very honest man, and by trade a carpenter, very ingenious in his profession. By him she had two sons and one daughter; the eldest son, called John, is living; has a wife and several children, living at Wickersley, and practicing his father’s business, in which he is eminent, and has a fair character. His sister, called Sarah, was a pretty young woman; she dyed many years ago at the Rev. Mr. Holmes’s at Hatfield. His brother was called Benjamin. He was bound (I think) apprentice to cousin Stephen Husband, of Tickhill, who was a tanner. He dyed about February 1718-9.

His younger daughter, called Mary, was born Nov. 28th, 1676, and baptised the 26th of Dec. 1676. She was married (I think) when about 19 years of age, to one John Wasteneys, a relation, and who had been brought up with my grandfather: a very honest man but destroyed his constitution by his intemperance. He was not an unkind husband, but I think my aunt’s meek and pacifick temper contributed not a little toward it, for he was of a passionate, hot temper. They lived together about 20 years, and had several children, of whom more hereafter. Only I shall add here, because I shall not meet with it in my Diary, that they buried a daughter called Sarah, many years before the death of my uncle, and when I was at Stainton school. I forgot also to mention that they lived at Maltbey.

His youngest son, called Richard, was born February 26th, 1684; he also lives at Maltbey. He married Ruth, the daughter of Mr. Matthew Purslove, late of the Grange, near Maltbey, by whom he has several children. He is a sober, good man, and keeps an orderly family, training up his children in the fear of the Lord. He lives upon a, small estate of his own there, pleasantly and healthfully situated; his chief business is buying and selling horses, in which he is very skilful and successful; and which, notwithstanding the general ill-repute that business lies under, he performs with an unblemished character. And, indeed, I think he is as cautious of his words as any man I ever knew; so that I doubt not but his word, amongst such as know him, will go farther and have more credit than an hundred oaths of some others will do; and then of what service are they? ‘I have often thought that God hath in great wisdom hid from men of false and dishonest minds the wonderful advantages of truth and integrity, to the prosperity even of our worldly affairs; these men are so blinded by their covetousnesss and ambition, that they cannot look beyond a present advantage, nor forbear to seize upon it, tho’ by ways never so indirect: they cannot see so far as to the remote consequences of a steady integrity, and the vast benefit and advantages which it will bring a man at last. Were but this sort of men wise and clear-sighted enough to discern this they would be honest out of very knavery, not out of any love to honesty and virtue, but with a crafty design to promote and advance more effectually their own interests; and therefore the justice of the Divine Providence hath hid this truest point of wisdom from their eyes, that bad men might not be upon equal terms with the just and upright, and serve their own wicked designs by honest and lawful means.’ (Thus far the great Bishop Tillotson, in his sermon upon John i. 47, being the last he preached; which was the 29th of July 1694).

My father, who is called James, was his father’s eldest son (tho’ I speak of him last). He was born at Maltbey, but he is not certain as to the time: he was about two years younger than his sister Elizabeth, and that he was 64 years of age about the middle of November last, which was anno 1738; and, if so, he was born in the year 1674, but I am told the church register of so many years standing is lost, so that I know not how I can come at the knowledge of his age. He had his education at Laughton-le-Morthen, under the celebrated Mr. Brummet (or rather, as I suppose, his name might be Broomhead. After he had learn’d so far as my grandfather thought was needful, he put him to his own business. How long he tarried with him I know not, but after some time he came to his uncle William Fretwell, of whom I made mention chap. 1st, and continued with him as long as he lived; and has since resided all his time in the same village.

William Fretwell, brother to my grandfather, married a widdow in this little village of Thorp-in-Balne; her name was Jennings. I think he had only one child by her, which was a boy, and dyed young. He bought the ground where my father built an house in the year 1696, in which he has spent the greatest part of his time. He dyed before his wife (viz. in the year 1695). I think my grandfather was administrator, but he let his sister-in-law do (in great measure) what she pleased for he was of a very easy good temper, and always expected that she would leave what she had to him or his family, at her death; but herein he was mistaken, for she married again to one Mr. William Rodwell, a flattering, dissembling old fellow, who (I suppose) made his fortune by marrying of many wives. He was a man of great policy, and much feared by his neighbours. He outlived her many years, and, I think, married another, which lived with him but a few weeks. His only son (now living) is vicar of Arksey.

When his wife (who was my father’s aunt) lay on her death-bed, my mother being with her, she said, ‘Cousin, I have a design to leave my godson something’; and thereupon, calling her husband, bid him to fetch her such a bond; he returns, pretending he could not find it; whereat she was angry, saying he knew where to find anything she had (or words to that effect); so the old fox going again brought it to her, which she delivered to my mother, saying, ‘Here cousin, take this, and let it be given to my godson’ (meaning myself). My mother brought it home, but, upon showing it to my father, he perceived a flaw in it; how it was I know not, but it was not made according to his wife’s expectation; perhaps it might be of his own drawing, for he was often employed about such things; and she having so good an opinion of him, and marrying him in such hast, I’m the rather inclined to believe it was so. However, the next day (I think) my mother visited the old woman again, and told her of the mistake. ‘Well,’ said she, ‘if it is not right, it shall be made right; but, however (continued she), you have an honest man upon your hands to deal with, and never fear but he will do you justice;’ and in a short time after she dyed. But the honest man never would pay it, nor one farthing towards it; so I lost the only legacy I ever had bequeathed me. He outlived his wife several years, and was a very indifferent neighbour to my father, who was then but young, and just entering upon the world. He died in the Levels, where he had lived some years with his son William (a man of good character, and well beloved), about the beginning of January 1718-9. I did not hear that there was so great lamentation for him as was for his predecessor William Fretwell, for whom (as we heard) was the greatest cry that ever was remembered to have gone up Stableyard, for he was universally beloved, and especially by his workmen, of whom he had many, and to whom he was a kind master. But to return to my subject; if the attendants and spectators were not over come with too much sorrow, the preacher was not to be blamed for putting them in mind of their loss of so good a man; for he was thought to launch out too much by far in his commendation, is if he had been the Phoenix of the age. We heard my father often speak of it as a piece of bare-faced flattery as he never heard the like. The preacher was Mr. Dujon, of Doncaster, who preached his funeral sermon the same day be was buried at Thorn. This old man had had four wives (if not more), but was buried with none of them.

Upon the death of his uncle, my father fell into his business of dealing in timber, which he has ever since followed (but not so largely of late years as what he did formerly); and when he had got his house built, thought ‘twas proper to look out for a house-keeper, and an excellent one he got, one who took delight in keeping at home. Her name was Mary; she was the second daughter of John Woodhouse, late of Norton; but before I speak any more of her, will give a brief account of some of her ancestors.

Chapter II

Some Account of my Mother’s Family

Her father was of an antient family at Norton, in the parish of Campsul. He was the son of William, the son of Roger Woodhouse, of Norton; his name was John. I’ve been told that he had some relations at Barmby Dun, called Brewsters, with whom he was some time when a boy, and that he went to Sandal school, which I think was in the time of the civil wars. He lived at Norton when grown up, and married Hannah, the daughter of . . Doughty, of Foster Houses, with whom he had a handsome fortune, besides several good benefactions, especially by the death of her uncle, William Doughty, who died in York Castle. He was sent there upon account of his nonconformity, he being one of the people called quakers. He lived on Balne Moorside, and was accounted very rich; but, upon embracing Quakerism, grew very whimsical, to the no small loss (I’m perswaded) of his family. I think he made him his sole heir, tho’ he had nephews of his own, because he attended him so constantly, and especially in that busy time of harvest. He left him also all his household goods, which were considerable, but now out of fashion; and therefore I’ve been told that Mrs. Moore (of whom more afterward) sold a horse-load of brass at one time, besides smaller matters, out of the house. Indeed, it was deck’d like a brazier’s shop; I think I never see the like in any countryman’s house. She sold several beds, &c., which her predecessor, my grandfather’s second wife, would not dispose of to any, no not to her own child (I believe), but rested her old bones upon three feather beds at the same time, as I’ve been told. He was buried (as I've heard) in a garden nigh the castle.

The following story I had from an old man at Norton, called George Middleton, and can say nothing in its confirmation, but leave it to the prudence of the reader to believe or reject as to him shall seem good.

Upon this old man being taken prisoner, they told him he must prepare to go to York, which he did; but desired they would favour him so far as to let him go through Womersley, which was something out of their way. However, they condescended to let him go thither: so being come thither, he called of several poor men who were indebted to him, and gave them in their securities; ‘for,’ said he, ‘there shall nobody trouble you when I am gone.’

My grandmother bore her husband three daughters, but dyed whilst they were very young. She was a very good woman, and her death an inestimable loss to the family.

Hannah, who was the eldest, was born on Sunday, June ye2nd 1672, and baptized the 28th of the same month. Mary (who was my dear mother) was born on Tuesday, the 30th day of March, and baptized on Saturday, the 3rd day of April 1675. Elizabeth (the youngest daughter) was born on Friday, the 14th of December 1677, and baptized on Thursday, the 3rd day of January following. These were all the children he had by his former wife. She dyed leaving them young.

Their father was very indulgent over them, he being a sober, pious man and when after he had thoughts of a second marriage, was very solicitous for his children. I suppose he was in a way of concluding a marriage with one whom he after took his leave off, upon account of some words she let drop concerning his children.

Afterwards he made his addresses to one Sarah Wilcox, of Worsborough, nigh Barnsley. She had lived many years at London with a brother who (as I think) was a salesman, and had acquired a considerable fortune, and who, for her good service, upon her marrying my grandfather, believe he gave her a portion. But before they were married, she came over to his house to see house tidings (as our country phrase is), and, upon his asking how she liked all things, she was so wise for herself as to answer, ‘very wel1.’ ‘But,’ continued he, ‘How do you like my children?’ ‘Oh, very well,’ said she; ‘the best of anything that I see in your house,’ or words to that effect. But alas! she proved a very indifferent mother; to the no small grief of their good father, and their very great loss. By this wife he had only one child, a son called John, who was born on Saturday the 24th of April, and baptized on Sunday the second day of May 1686.

One thing relating to the birth of this child, which shews something of the mother’s temper, may not perhaps be improper to relate. When she found she was drawing near her perilous hour, she sent for an old woman who was a midwife in the neighbourhood, who she had pitched upon. She came and attended her several days, but found the case too difficult for her slender skill to surmount. The wife had a very bad time (we may believe); my grandfather desired she would let him go for some other, who might be more skilful, but she absolutely denyed, although she lay in such misery; however, at length he went (or sent) for another midwife, without her knowledge (I believe); if I mistake not, her name was Mrs. Dearlove. When she was come, the wife stood firmly in her obstinacy. ‘Well, Mrs.,’ said the midwife (last come), ‘I shall not lye a hand upon you without your consent., and that you will dismiss your midwife if she cannot finish her work.’ Alas! The old woman was at her short wits end, the signals of the wive's delivery went off, and nothing but ill symptoms appeared, so that at last they prevailed with this obstinate woman to let Mrs. Dearlove (if that was her name) take her case under hand. She administered something to her which again brought her throws upon her, and she was safely delivered in a little time, to the no small pleasure (we may suppose) of my grandfather, who had now a son to succeed him. But happy is it for poor mortals that they have not the foresight of what is at such a distance, for ‘twould often damp the rejoycing that is made at the birth of an heir of rank and figure, as well as of meaner persons; for this poor child was banished, as it were, by his mother; met with great troubles towards the very end of his days, and spent his whole estate. There were formerly (I’ve been told) many families of Woodhouses in Norton, who had estates there, as may yet appear by almost any old writings relating to the lands in the fields there, wherein they are frequently mentioned as abutting, abounding, &c., upon them; but now not one left in the whole town.

How long my grandfather lived after his son’s birth I know not. His will, I find, bears date the 12th day of Septr. 1690, and I think it was made in his last illness, therefore concludes he dyed soon after. He was a prudent, good man, much respected by those who knew him; and I find his memory is respected by some old persons who remember him, especially by the poor, for his kindness to them, and his constant employing of them. He had a handsome estate, but did not covet to enlarge it, for he was frequently building, or enclosing ground, or something which kept him employ'd, and many others also, and took off his money as it came in; so that his brother Robert once told him, ‘when these lasses’ (meaning his 3 daughters) ‘want their fortunes, they may seek ‘em in stone walls and draw-wells.’

By which last expression I suppose he might glance at his digging of a well in a close which he had newly inclosed, called Newhill close, lying west of Norton West Field. This was a chargeable undertaking; I’ve several times heard this story of it: that he agreed with a man for sinking this well, the sum agreed for I know not, but to be sure ‘twas a considerable sum. The man laboured hard at it for some time, till he despaired of ever accomplishing it; for ‘tis upon an high hill, and he had a quarry of hard lime stones to work thorough; therefore he was packing up for leaving, when my grandfather chanced to go to see how his work proceeded; he told him his design, for that he thought ‘twas impossible to work thro’ the quarry. My grandfather was much set on accomplishing it, and therefore he encouraged the man to fall on afresh, promising him that, if he would get him water, he would give him the horse he rode upon, above what he had contracted for, and I suppose he was not a very mean one, for he commonly kept a good horse, I’ve been told.

Being thus animated he falls on couragiously, and within a day or two (but I think it was the very next day) he got water; and excellent fine water it is; at which I have many a time quenched my thirst, and at some times (as when nutts are in hand upon Barnsdale, or in harvest time) there is a constant resort of people, especially in an afternoon, to drink, and also fill their vessels, there being no water nigh it, so that ‘tis a publick good; we should scarce know how to prize it enough had we such a thing here. I could never perceive that the water was either much higher or lower in the well; I am apt to think ‘tis a sort of a current in the rock.

He was a hearty well-wisher to the Revolution, and I have several times heard how, being upon the jury at the quarter sessions of the peace held at Pontefract towards the close (I suppose) of the short reign of the late King James, and having many questions put to ‘em by a popish justice, he gave him such bold answers, and withall reminded him of some things which he had formerly heard him deliver from the same bench directly opposite to his present preachment as (tho’ we may suppose it was not very gratefull to this time-serving magistrate, yet) highly pleas’d many persons present. And some of them told him afterward that he need not doubt but that he was mark’d out for a singular favour, so soon as opportunity served; but, blessed be God, both he and many thousands more were in a little time delivered from their fears by the happy arrival of the Prince of Orange.

After the death of my grandfather, John Woodhouse, his widdow married one William Moore; one descended of a good family (as I’ve been told) but in mean circumstances. This was highly displeasing to her daughters-in-law; and the more so because she had the offers from men in much better circumstances, and of one in particular, who, they thought, would have contributed not a little towards their young brother’s education, as himself freely offered. She had no child by him, but lived many years with him; and after her death he married one Mrs. Ruth Walker, relict of . . Walker, of Haddlesey, and daughter of the Revd Mr. Ralph Oates, who was many years the rector of Smeaton, but had no child by her.

Chapter III

My father and mother were marryed the eleventh day of May 1697, at Barmby-super-Dun, by the Revd. Mr. Woodfin, minister of Worsborough, nigh Barnsley, a pious, good man, for whom my dear mother had a very great respect, and with whose daughters she was very intimate. He granted licenses himself, and therefore was desired to bring one with him when he came; but it happened that he did not bring one. I think he had none by him; and therefore the old parson of Barmby, whose name was Fielding, a poor illiterate man, but by some means had got into deacon’s orders, was very scrupulous, and for some time refus’d to permit them to go into the church, notwithstanding they offered him any security to indemnifye him; but all would not do, till Mr. Gregory, who was his master (being the impropriator), hearing of it, soon gave them admittance. I suppose the old man was offended because he was not to marry ‘em, but by this day’s work he very much disobliged my father’s old aunt Jane Fretwell, who had been a kind friend to the poor old parson.

I think my mother was now with Coz. Atkinson of Hatfield-Woodhouse, and, as the company were going thither on the wedding-day morning, an accident happened which might have damped all their pleasure, and turn’d it into a day of mourning; for pressing too many at once into the ferry-boat, she sunk under them; but by the good Providence of God they were all preserved.

After they had got marreyed they came to Thorp; my father had newly built this house, and it was not quite finished when he brought my mother to it. Here she spent the remainder of her days in a great variety of usefulness, and not a more serviceable person ever came to Thorp in the memory of man than she has been. I may speak it (I think) without vanity.

My father and mother had five children, whose births were as follows:


James, born Wednesday the 22nd of Novr. 1699, half an hour past 10 at night, and baptized Decr. 5th following.


John, born Monday the first day of June 1702, about half an hour past 9 in the morning, and baptized on Thursday the 2nd day of July next following.


Mary, born on Wednesday the first day of Novr. 1704, (exact 4 years after the death of her grandmother Mary Fretwell), about three in the afternoon, and baptized the 9th of Novr. next following.


William, born Wednesday the 21st of July 1708, betwixt 6 and 7 in the evening, and baptized on Tuesday the 17th of August following.


Elizabeth, born Fryday the 27th of July 1711, half an hour after 9 in the morning, and baptized August 23rd next following.

Having now given an account of the time of my birth, as also of my brothers and sisters, I proceed to give some account of our education; and shall begin with my own, as being the eldest.

I was a very weakly child, and my mother a very tender, weakly women, so that for some time ‘twas not expected that I could live; yet my mother nursed me herself (as she did all her children), tho’ she was ill able to perform such a task. But it pleased God to enable her to do it, and thro’ the good hand of my God upon me I continue hitherto.

As soon as I was capable of learning, she sent me to an old school dame, who lived at the very next door, whose name was Theodosia Morehouse; but I suppose I did but continue here a few days, for growing weary of my book, and my dame not correcting me as my mother desired, she took me under her own pedagogy untill I could read in my Bible; and thus she did afterwards by all my brothers and sisters, tho’ she had a large family to oversee and provide for; and I cannot but gratefully remember her pious care of my education, when I see (as I very often do) several mothers who have not that hurry of business upon their hands which she had, who yet will not take the trouble of teaching their children as she did. But it was her delightfull employ, for which she would find some proper time every day; often making use of these words of Moses, Deut. vi. 6-7 : And these words, which I commend thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk to them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And this was her method of catechising.

And, as my capacity was able, she caused me to observe what I read, so that I soon began to take some notice of several historical passages in the Old Testament, by which I could find where my lesson was, when I neither knew the chapter or verse perhaps; and were this more observed by those employ'd in the teaching of children, I’m perswaded both the teacher and learner would find very great benefit by it.

Chapter IV

And now, my dear mother being desirous that I should have a little more learning than she was capable of giving me, she went with me to Kirk-Sanda1 school, where one Mr. Edward Ounsworth was then master, and I suppose accounted a very good master, where, at our entrance, being, I suppose, employ’d with some of his scholars, [he] placed me amongst some little ones, such as myself, till he had done with them; when calling me up to hear what I could say for myself, he finding me better than he expected, removed me higher, asking my mother if she had brought me an Accidence, which I think she had; so she had the pleasure of seeing me removed out of the horn-book class, which my master upon first sight thought most suitable for me, with which she was not a little pleased.

I am not certain as to the time of my first going to Sandal, but I suppose it might be in June 1704, for I find by a letter from my uncle, John Woodhouse, bearing date April the 11th 1705, that my master was then dead, for he writes that he was sorry for my loss of so mild a master, of which, I suppose, my dear mother had given him an account, for she greatly lamented his death: but he had heard of it the day before be received her’s so that it must have been some time in the fore going summer; and, as I remember [to] have heard my mother say that it was on or about the longest day, which is in June.

At my first going to Sandal, I walked it every day, but was not able to hold it long, it being too farr for such a child to go daily, for I was not quite 6 years of age: and some boys who went with me, being much older, hurried me too fast, and sometimes left me behind, so that I came home weeping; therefore, after a short time, my father boarded me at Sandall, with one Mary Stanniforth, a widdow woman, who took good care of me, and I usually came home every Saturday; with her I continued so long as she lived.

After the death of Mr. Ounsworth came Mr. Thomas Mawhood, son of John Mawhood, of Skellow, to be the master of this school, and was boarded in the same house with me. I think I left the school immediately after the death of my good old nurse. My brother John was with me some time before I left Sandall.

I think it was about the beginning of February 1708-9 that my brother John and I were sent to Stoney Stainton, where we were under the care of an old acquaintance of my father’s, the Revd Mr. Sam. Creswick. He was a very good school-master, and I think grounded his scholars in their grammar rules the best that I ever knew any one, only he was too severe, tho’ I was never whip’t at school by any of my masters. Here we continued till about the beginning of February 1712-3 as I compute, and I had made an entrance into Greek. Here we were boarded with John Perkin, who married one Margaret Holmes, a near relation of my father’s, and who had been formerly servant to him. She was a clean, homely woman, and had a large family, which she ordered frugally and prudently.

The next school we were sent to was Doncaster free school, the Revd Mr. Edmund Withers was then the master. He is a good scholar, but was not so diligent as he should have been, so that the school declined very much of late years, and he was either desired, or obliged, to give it up some time ago. I think I was but one year here, viz. untill January the 30th, 1713-4. We were boarded at Doncaster with one Mrs. Jarret, a widdow woman, then living next door save one to the Angel inn in Doncaster, and had for many years before kept a public-house at the Sun, in the market-place there where my father had inned many years. But after I left Doncaster, my brother John was remov'd to Mr. Jos. Bayley's, who married Eliza, the daughter of Mr. Wm. Rodwell, of whom I spoke. How long he continued I do not remember.

And now, my father thinking that I had got as much of the learned languages as would be of any service to a tradesman, indeed more than I have retained, thought it time to set me to learn something which more immediately related to the qualifying of me for business: therefore he sent me to Pontefract, to learn to write and accompt which I did with one Joshua Marsden, a quaker by profession, but a very ingenious man. He was not constantly in the school himself, having an apprentice called Mark Burleigh, who attended the school, and was a good penman: he also kept a linnen-draper's shop.

I had learn'd some little to write before, but nothing of accounts that I remember. Here it was that I got what learning I have of that kind. I went through most of the rules of vulgar arithmetick, and decimal fractions, with some little of practical geometry. I went to Pontefract February ye 8th 1713-4, according to my computation (which I believe is right), and came from there April 16th, 1716. I was boarded with John Lapidge, a mercer.

Having now acquired so much learning as was thought necessary for me, and indeed as could be expected for one of my degree, my parents next care was to put me to some trade or business by which I might get an honest living in the world; but being disappointed in the choice of one or two whom they had pitched upon as a master for me, at last concluded to take me to my father’s business. This I’ve oft lamented, for I think they did not duly consider which way my genius tended.

Chapter V

Being now taken home from school, my father began to put me to business, for the better understanding of which he thought proper for me to be acquainted with the working part; and, to that end, I was put to rive laths and hew wood, for a little time, with my father’s workmen, who had always the benefit of what little work I could do, for instructing me.

The first place (as I remember) that I went to work at was in a spring wood nigh Stubs-Walding, called Bird Spring, which my father bought of James Yarburgh, esq., of Heslington, nigh York. Here I was instructed by Joshua Linley (who is at this present working for us) in riving laths and tree nails, &c. I think it was the 26th day of July, 1715, that I made my first entrance, and was boarded with my uncle, Michael Woodhouse, at Stubs-Walding. After this I went to Edlington, with Joshua Lindey, to work in the wood there, and was boarded with Mr. John Wasteneys. I also wrought with him in Burghwallis wood. This, I think, was in the year following, viz. 1716. Here, I think, my brother John went with me, and we came home every night.

In the year 1717 my father had a bargain of wood at Womersley, in partnership with Mr. Matthew Northall and Mr. Ibbotson, which they had bought of Tobiah Harvey, esq., in a wood called Broad-oak Spring; here I was great part of the summer amongst the workmen, and kept the accounts belonging to this wood. I was boarded now with my uncle Woodhouse at Stubs.

I think my uncle John Woodhouse, who resided at London, made us a visit this summer; and I suppose it was agreed betwixt my parents and him that I should go and spend the following winter with him, which I accordingly did.

Chapter VI

I set out for London on Monday, November the eleventh, 1717, early in the morning, and called at John Schofield's of Sandal, where was one Mr. William Woodcock, his wife’s brother, who came from Hatfield, and had his company to London. We breakfasted at Bawtry, where I had an opportunity of seeing some of our relations from Maltbey, it being the fair-day William Ward went with us as far as the Eel-pye house, but my father to Newark, and tarried all night with us. I think we lodged at the Rain-Deer, and parted early in the morning; my dear father returning homeward, and I and my fellow-traveller pursuing our journey; and that night we slept at Stamford, I think at the Sun, being the York carriers inn; and the night following at the post-house in Caxton; and on Thursday night we lodged at Mr. Thomas Rainor’s, at the Black Bull inn at Ware, who was brother to our (then) neighbour James Rainor of Thorpe.  Here I met with a letter from my uncle to Mr. Rainor, wherein he wrote that he was to have met me at his house, but being term time he could not get out of town; so desired that I would make the best of my way to his lodgeing, which I did the next morning, where I was courteously received. We were five days upon this journey, so that we did not over hurry ourselves. My uncle lodged at one Mr. Reed’s, in St. Christopher’s Churchyard, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange. We continued here for some time, and then removed to one Mr. Marshall’s, an apothecary in the Poultry, opposite the Counter, untill my uncle got an house in Grocer’s Alley, the first (as I remember) on the left hand going into the Alley out of the Poultry. Here I was when I begun my Diary, which I have ever since continued, and out of which I design to extract what is most remarkable in my further prosecution of this work.

Chapter VII

I begun my diary on Monday, the 18th day of December, 1718, being then in London, with my uncle John Woodhouse, one of the attorneys of the Sheriff's Court, who had but lately begun to keep house, and at that time my aunt H[annah] Woodhouse, of Stubs, was with us; she coming to see her second son William Woodhouse, who was an apprentice to one Mr. Godwin, an upholsterer; he was a sober youth, and very likely to have been a very good workman, if it had pleased God to have spared him; but he dyed before the expiration of his apprenticeship.

I was at this time, and had been for six weeks or more, lame of a knee, but now begun to amend. I was under the care of one Mr. Stanton, a surgeon: the occasion of it (as I thought) was a cold got by sitting up late (and sometimes sleeping) for my uncle’s coming in, before he kept house, or had a servant. It proved a white swelling, but had no sore; and, blessed be God, in a short time after I recovered the use and strength of it. My dear mother was under very great concern for me whilst I was lame, and, tho’ very weakly herself; would gladly have come to London to me, but I endeavoured to give her what satisfaction I could by letters, untill I was thoroughly well.

Saturday, Decr. 20th, 1718
I was at the feast of the clerks of the Sheriff’s Court, which was held at the Horn tavern, Doctor’s Commons. I suppose it is an annual custom with them. Mr. Mellish and Mr. Perkins, clerks to Mr. Tims, were stewards at this time, 1 think.

Monday, Decr. 22nd, 1718
My uncle took one John Silvester, c1erk. He was son to one Mr. Silvester, living in Walbrook; he had 100 guineas with him.

Monday, Jan. 19th, 1718-9
My aunt Woodhouse set out from London, in the Wakefield coach, for Doncaster.

Thursday, March 5th, 1718-9
Yesterday my uncle had a letter from my father, and hears aunt Bower is dead, and was buried last Monday seven-night (as I remember).

Thursday, May 14th, 1719
My uncle Hill, of Fishlock, and his son John, arrived in London.

Monday, May 18th
My two uncles having been out of town, as they return'd in the evening uncle Woodhouse had the misfortune to put out his right shoulder, by his horse falling. I went for Mr. Stanton (my surgeon), who put it in its place.

Wednesday, May 27th
Uncle Hill left London.

Wednesday, June the 24th
I set out of London for Yorkshire, and got to my unc1e Fretwell’s, at Maltbey, late on Fryday night; and the next day I got to Thorp; when several neighbours came to see me.

Fryday, July ye 17th, 1719
I went with my dear mother to uncle Shaw’s funeral. He was an alderman of Doncaster, and his wife was (I think) sister to my father’s mother.

Monday, July the 27th, 1719
I went with uncle Fretwell to Buxton Bath. We tarried till Fryday, the 31st, and calling at cousin Oxley ’s at Sheffield they obliged me to tarry all night; and in the morning my horse was not to be found, which hindered me a long time; after I was taken with an ague fit, and was very ill; but in the evening I came to Maltby, tho’ I was very ill when I mounted. I was cold and not very well when I bathed on Thursday night before. I got home on Sunday evening, and had a bad night; continued ill all day on Monday, and was delirious. The night following I got some rest (blessed be God); my dear mother sate up with me till betwixt 3 and 4 a clock. The next day, being Tuesday, the 4th of June, I was something better; at night took a vomit, but was very sick after it; had some sick fits for several days after. Several of the family was taken ill about ye same time.

Monday, September 21st, 1719
Being now pretty well recovered, and having seen all my relations, this day set out for London, in company with Mrs. Middleton and Richard Rainor. We got to Ware on Wednesday night, where we left Richard Rainor at his uncle’s, and got to London about three a clock the next day.

My dear mother was exceedingly troubled at our parting, as she had been very much concerned for me indeed all the time I was at London, especially during the time of my lameness. She went to prayer with me before I set out for my journey, and I doubt not but her prayers followed me to the end of it. My father, William Ward, and John Young, and Mrs. Middleton’s brother, Mr. Lanc[elot] Routh, came with us to Bawtry.

Sunday, October 5th, 1719
Cousin John Hill left London; and at Ware he was to meet with Richard Rainor, who was returning into the country, which I think he did. Coz. Hill had been with one Mr. Goldsmith, a cheesemonger in Thames Street, but did not choose to tarry with him.

Monday, October ye 19th, 1719
I received a letter from my father, with the sorrowful account of my mother’s having been very ill, as also brother John; and that brother William had a tertian ague; and of the death of several neighbours since I was in the country.

Monday, November 2nd, 1719
I heard that Mr. Wilcox was dead, I think the day before. He was my uncle’s first master, of whom I shall have occasion to speak hereafter.

Monday, Decr. 14th, 1719
I was a witness to mortgage deeds of my uncle’s estate at Norton to Tho[mas] Yarborough, esq. of Campsall, for 500 pounds.

Sunday, February, ye 14th, 1719
In the afternoon, my uncle went to hear cousin Joseph Woodhouse’s funeral sermon, and I followed him. It was preached at a little meeting-house, a little beyond St. Julie’s church, in an alley, on the other side of the way. Text was Prov. xiv. 32, But the righteous hath hope in his death. He made a very good sermon; and toward the close he said that of late funeral sermons had been much abus’d, and such enconiums and flatteries put upon the dead as were not becoming; but begged leave to speak a word or two of his own knowledge concerning the deceased friend. One thing he commended him for was his great patience under his late great loss by fire; for his reading in his family, and causing his servants to read the holy Scriptures, upon the Lord’s Day especially, and calling upon his family to join with him in prayer; for his charity to poor ministers of several denominations, and towards the cloathing poor children; and to all in general.

I think he said he ordered at his death something to be given to the poor ministers. I think he also said that several projects for the public good were gone with him. And that he was always desirous to learn divine things. There was a collection, which I think was for the poor ministers.

I do not know very well how nearly he was related to us, but I believe he was a nigh relation. I think his father went out of this part of the country, and was a leather-dresser, by which he had acquired a very good estate; but for some time before his death (which happened when I was in the country the summer before) was unfit for business, by reason of the palsy; and (as I remember) was informed that, upon turning over his business to his son, he was to pay him three hundred pounds per annum during life. I heard of cousin Joseph Woodhouse’s death the 4th of February 1719. I have been at his house several times. He lived in Horsley-down, Southwark.

At my first coming to London, my father only proposed for me to tarry the following winter with my uncle; but, meeting with some disappointments (as I suppose) in the way of business, was very much concerned upon my account, and after several letters had past amongst us ‘twas resolved for me to tarry with my uncle in the quality of a clerk; and he was pleased to tell my father that he preferred me without any premium before another with a sum of money. I had no great inclination to it, but found my father had rather a desire for me to stay at London, tho’ he left me entirely to my own choice in that as well as in what business I could like to follow; but I thought myself too old to serve an apprenticeship for seven years. My uncle was not unkind to me, but I begun now to fear that I should not be so thoroughly instructed in my business as I could wish; and I feared that my uncle made no great improvement in the world, which made me uneasie. I acquainted my parents with it, and, after some time, concluded for me to leave him, which very much displeased my uncle.

Monday, February 29th, 1719
I set forward for Yorkshire in the Mansfield waggon, which came only to Nottingham, and thither they sent horses to bring the passengers to Mansfield, where we arrived on Saturday.

Sunday, March 6th
Brother John came to meet me, and we came to Maltbey that night, and home the day following.

Saturday, August the 20th, 1720
I went to Tickhil, to the funeral of aunt Campsal (who was grandmother by the mother’s side to cousin Eliz. Robinson) sister, as I take it, to my grandmother Fretwell.

Thursday, August 25th, 1720
My uncle John Woodhouse came to Thorp, and the next day I went with him to Rushamore, to shew him the way. His business at that time in the country was about selling his estate, which was no small trouble to my dear mother. She spoke to him with greater freedom than was pleasing to him, which he resented for some time. Whilst he was in the country he had the misfortune to put out his shoulder by a fall, and was ill for some time. He did not sell his estate during his stay here; my father had treated with him for it, but could not agree.

Saturday, Decr. 3rd, 1720
We received a letter from him (which I did not expect), wherein he accepted of my father’s proposals, which was to take 1,000 pounds for his estate, and to abate 401. for the five years of William Moore's lease, which were not expired.

Monday, July 17th, 1721
We received a letter from uncle John Woodhouse, wherein he acquainted us that he entered into the state of matrimony the 6th of the preceding month. I am altogether unacquainted with the person whom he married, but supposes her to be one to whom he had made his addresses for some time before I left London. I think she was a widdow, and lived at Hackney; and (if I mistake not) he had been a lover of her’s before her marriage.

Tuesday, July 25th 1721
We received (by way of Stubs) the sorrowful news of my dear cousin William Woodhouse’s death, and that he was to be interred the night before (being ye 24th of June). Sorrowfull news indeed; and what made it still more so was that we expected to have seen him in the country at that very time; perhaps he had designed to have set out for London the very day on which he was buryed, and they had made preparations for the reception of so great a stranger, and so welcome a guest, at his father’s house; but his Heavenly Father had otherwise determined, and, I hope, received him into those blessed mansions of light and glory in his heavenly Father’s house, which, being duly considered, was infinitely more to his advantage than any satisfaction he could have enjoyed in a few days spent in carnal mirth amongst his relations here; and therefore we have great reason to submit to the wise dispensations of Providence.

Monday, July 31st, 1721
Was my uncle Michael Woodhouse buryed. He survived his son exactly one week.

Wednesday, August 9th, 1721
I went to Snayth, to load a keel, whereof Richard Dowson went master; but before they had done, was taken ill, so that I was forced to leave them, and came to Mr. Lanc[elot] Routh’s at Pollington; when, growing worse, they sent Tho[mas] Jenkinson for my dear mother, who came that night, and brother John with her, but I did not know her. In the morning my mother came down staires, and left me, when immediately I got up and followed her down, but was suprized to see her, and now I knew her, and was so much better as to ride home. My mother would have had Mr. Wheatley, of Pontefract, apothecary, sent for, but Mrs. Routh perswaded her to the contrary, being of opinion that I could not live untill such time as he could get thither; but having obtained mercy, I continue hitherto. On the Fryday night following I was exceeding ill, so that Mr. Wheatley was sent for, and came to me on Saturday morning, the 12th of August, and by God's blessing upon his endeavours, after some time I recovered. My brother John had the ague very ill about this time; indeed it was very common; both my father and brother and self having been troubled very ill with it the fore going winter, as I was also the spring following.

Tuesday, August 21st, 1722
Was laid the foundation of the brew-house at Thorp, which was reared the 20th of September following.

Sunday, September 30th, 1722
My brother John and sister Mary went to Stockwith, to see the ceremony of the consecration of the new chappel, built there pursuant to the will of the late Mr. William Hungtington, ship-wright, whose body was removed from their parish church of Mysterton and laid in his own chappel, the day following.

The same day, viz. Sunday, September 30th 1722, was Elizabeth Woodhouse, daughter of cousin John Woodhouse, of Norton (whose father, Robert Woodhouse, was brother to my grandfather John Woodhouse), married to Mr. William Godfrey, of Hook; a man of good estate.

Saturday, October 6th, 1722
Came cousin Elizabeth Husband, of Tickhill, to Thorp, who told us that her daughter Mary (who was their only child) was married, the 16th of September foregoing, to one Thomas Robinson, but without her parent’s knowledge, much 1ess with their consent; but, since it could not be undone, they took him to them, and instructed him in her father’s business, who was a tanner; and he proves a very good husband. I suppose she was not quite 17 years of age when she was married.

Monday, April 1st, 1723
My brother William went to Doncaster, to Mr. Henry Abbey chandler and grocer, to see how he liked that business; and his indentures were executed on Thursday the 9th of May, but was bound for seven years; but, by a particular agreement, was to be at liberty at Martinmas 1729.

Saturday, June 4th, 1723
Unc1e Hill shewed me a letter from uncle Woodhouse to aunt Hill, wherein he acquainted her that he was become the father of a son.

Saturday, March 16th, 1723-4
I accompanied to the grave the corpse of my dear cousin, John Wasteneys, of Maltbey, who died in the 26th year of his age. A very sober, hopefull young man, a great comfort to his poor mother, and a father to the younger children (as it were). He was justly lamented by his friends and acquaintance, and especially by my dear brother, who shortly after was summoned to follow him.

Sunday, June 7th, 1724
In the morning my father and mother, brother John, sister Mary, and myself, went to Barmby Dun; but coming there heard that there would be no service, so all went on to Sandal, where Mr. Holmes preached from Proverbs xxvii. 1: Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. A very suitable discourse at any time, but I have since thought that it was very remarkably so at that time, for then was the text eminently verified.

My father and mother dined that day at John Schofield’s of Sandal, but we came home; and I went in the afternoon to Barmby to meet ‘em, when Mr. Lisle preached from Matthew xvi. 24.

I think my poor brother laid down as soon be got in from church (in the forenoon, or at noon rather); however, in the afternoon he had a very sore fitt of the ague; had a bad night, and so continued the next day.

Tuesday, June 9th, 1724
I went to Rotherham about some business, and, as I came home in the evening, called of brother William, at Doncaster, who came home with me. At our entering into the town, my brother, seeing a neighbour, asked her how she did. I think she answered, ‘I'm sorry for your loss.’ This surpriz’d me. Asking her what was the matter, I think she answered, ‘Nay, nothing.’ ‘Then,’ said I, ‘how doth Jonny do?’ She answered, ‘Well.’ I now understood her meaning, for I found my dear brother dead; but I hope all was well with him. When I went from home, in the morning, we hoped he was something better. He dyed about half an hour past two a clock in the afternoon.

He was a dutiful son, a loving brother, and a good neighbour; a sober, serious youth; took delight in husbandry and graseing; and for his yeares had good judgement in it; was just entered into the 23rd year of his age.

His corps were carryed into the church of Barmby Dun, the 10th, at night, and was interred the day following, being Thursday, June 11th, 1724, near unto William Fretwell, my father’s uncle; being before the south door, or porch door, in the churchyard. The bearers were cousin John Bower (who lately had done the same for cousin John Wasteneys), cousin William Wasteneys, cousin John Hill, coz. Robert Atkinson, cousin Tho[mas] Oughtibridge, cousin . . Doughty, cousin John Woodhouse, of Stubs, and Joseph Foster. This was the first breach made in our family; nay, what is something more remarkable, the first time that death entered into this house, which was built in the year 1696. We all sorrowed very much, as we had great reason; but especially my dear mother; she mourned for him several years, if not all the remainder of her days. I’m afraid it broke in too much upon all her other enjoyments.

Monday, October 26th, 1724
My father was at the funeral of cousin John Woodhouse, of the Cross house, in Norton; the Revd Mr. Tho[mas] Cleworth preaching on the occasion, from Psalm xxxix. 5: Behold, Thou hast made my days as an hand-breadth, and mine age is as nothing before Thee: verily every man at his best state is alltogether vanity. Selah.

He told them, altho’ he used not to characterize people, yet if he said not thus much he did not do him justice, viz. ‘That he was an honest, peaceable man; a constant attender upon the Word preached, and also in the offering up of his evening sacrifice;’ all which I believe was true. He met with some troubles in his marriage state; so that he did not live so happily as some in much lower circumstances has done.

Tuesday, October 19th, 1725
Uncle Richard Fretwell had a daughter baptised to the name of Ruth.

Chapter VIII

Wednesday, May 11th, 1726
I brought sister Mary with me to Norton (where I had been going and coming some days) to begin house-keeping, in the house which my father had purchased of my uncle, John Woodhouse. I observe it was the same day on which my father was married.

Thursday, June 9th, 1726
My aunt Hill came to Norton, and told me that my uncle, John Woodhouse, was buried on Monday in Whitsun-week, which I find was May 30th, 1726. I had heard of his death a few days before. He was but just entred into the 41st year of his age.

I have given an account of his birth, as above, and, for his education and future course of life, what little know of it, shall give it room in this place. I think he was sometime a scholar to Mr. Edward Robinson, at Campsal, who for several years towards the close of his time taught school at Rossington. I remember him very well; my dear mother respected him, and gave him a general invitation to Thorp feast every year, so long as he and she lived; and I think he never was wanting on the Sunday; sometimes we had few or no guests besides him. Afterwards (I suppose it was that) he was sent to Worsborough, nigh Barnsley.

His mother was not very kind to him, tho’ her only son, so that I suppose he had a desire to leave her; and some have thought that she feared, if he had been brought up to country business, that in a few years he would be for removing her out of his house. But, whatever was the reason, he was sent to London, to one Mr. Wilcocks (his mother’s nephew– I think his Christian name was George), an attorney. When this was I cannot find out the precise time, but by a letter now before me, dated December 16th, 1704, I find he was there at that time, and continued with him untill the 3rd of October, 1706, when he wrote, ‘this day I and Mr. Wilcocks parted;’ and I suppose that he went to cousin Joseph Woodhouse’s for he writes (8br 8, 1706) ‘direct for me at Mr. Joseph Woodhouse’s, near Horsley down, Southwark.’ Both these letters was to desire my father to send him a small supply of money, which I suppose he did; for I find that he returned him thanks for it, in a letter dated November 5th, 1706, and further says that he pitched upon another master, one Mr. Mead, an attorney in Walbrook, and that Mr. Wilcocks had been with this gentleman to give him a character, and offered him security for his fidelity, which he thought a great turn of affairs, because they had differed so ill; the occasion whereof will best appear from a letter of his bearing date 10ber 12th, 1706 (but is imperfect) :

‘LOVING BROTHER, —This comes to acquaint you that I have recd. yours, for which I return you many thanks, as well as for other civilities and at the same time I received one from father, which is much to my satisfaction, for he acquaints me that Mr. Wilcocks doth not accuse me with any neglect, nor any other crime, but rather seems to wonder at my leaving him, not seeming to know any reason; but excuses it, and tells them that, when he asked me my reason, I told him it were better for so near relations to be at a greater distance, and, the better to gild this pill, proffers to assist my father with what money he shall have occasion for, and to do me any kindness, if I will but be so free as to let him know it. So my father hath order'd me to receive 301., upon his account, of Mr. Wilcocks, which I hope will be sufficient to settle me with my other master, and to bring me a journey into Yorkshire before I want any further assistance; so all apprehension of those difficulties is fled from me that I once was supprest under, and I hope I have got have got a master that will be much to my satisfaction; and the greatest difficulties I now lye under is to repay these civilities that relations hath served me with; for cousin Woodhouse and his son, at whose house I was, treated me with brother-like kindness, and both cousin Morrise and her husband was glad to serve me, and was ashamed at Mr. Wilcocks’ treatment. And now, having more leisure, I have made bold to enlarge, and set out the particular kindnesses that Mr. Wilcocks hath shown me. First, I being to pay him 201. that was due at Michaelmas last, he would not deliver me my articles till it was paid; having but 10l. I was forced to borrow ten more, so went to pay him; but first then I desired him to accept of my note for the whole, and then for part, which he excepted against with a course. But, at the last, I offering to tender the money, he proffered to accept of my note for the whole, and to lend me any other sum upon the same security, and asked me what I intended to do. I told him, serve another master, and acquainted him who I had thoughts to serve, and that I expected he would come to him for a character of me, and desired him to do me justice; so he went to my new master and gave me a very good character (which I hope he had no other occasion to do), and proferred him to be security for my honesty, which he then seemed to require, being altogether a stranger to me; and immediately meeting me, told me what he had done, and desired me not to trouble any other friend. So I returned him thanks and promised him I would not. So, going to my master, agreed with him upon terms, and was to go to him 9ber the sixth; so, on the fifth, I acquainted Mr. Wilcocks with what I had done, and that I would write that night to father and mother, so he desired me to let them know what he had done for me (which I did). But, he seeing my master again that hour told him he would not be concerned for me, and that I was––(I can’t express). So (as before appointed), going to my master’s, asked me what disagreement I had had with Mr. Wilcocks since he see me; so I acquainted him what he desired me to do the day before, which he much wondred at; but, I seeing as if I had no hopes of staying with him, he desired me to stay, and set me about business. But, the first opportunity, I slip’d out, to hunt the deceitful fox, and found him in Exchange alley (so I am not debarr'd from all country exercise), where I did not spare with my tongue, and could scarce forbear using my hands, but, while we were at high words, my master jumped upon us, and, knowing the case, told Mr. Wilcocks he wondered that a gentleman would behave himself so ungenteelly as to shrink from his word &c. So I hope his incivilitys have been serviceable to me, for my late master never required any further security. I frequently see Mr. Wilcocks, but we never speak; but when I went to him about 30l. I believe this last incivilitie arose because I would not accept of the money he profer’d to lend me, or for fear I should accept thereof (whether I cannot judge), but the old verse, Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum, was my caution to beware at my own, and, indeed, so seemed to slight his proffer’d kindness; but finding it to be for my own convenience, I let him accept of my note for 10l., and paid him ten, so return'd the other ten to cousin Jos. Woodhouse, of whom I borrowed it . . Woodhouse to go to Mr. Wilcocks that he might make some objections against . . but he . . through his generous temper, but told him withal he wondered that I did not shame to ask cousin . . Woodhouse any favours, for he affirmed to him that I had behaved myself so abruptly in leaving him, that neither he nor father nor mother, nor never a brother I had would . . me, &c. But I let him know his mistake, and told him he might blush to affirm such a . . this is but some of the uncivilitys I have been treated with, I am to serve my other master . . easier terms than I did Mr. Wilcocks, having 20s. a term, which I should have had of Mr. Wilcocks . . had not, and what I made my excuse to leave him for . . This is most of what at . . remember. . beg your patience in perusing so tedious a thing, and begs of you to let sister see . . and my sister . . at your leisure.’

By another letter of his, bearing date December 24th, 1706, to his father-in-law, which accidenta1ly is come to my hand, finds he had some difficulties to get the money of Mr. Wilcocks which his father had ordered him. I shall transcribe his own words.

‘Sir.- On Fryday last I received the 30l. of Mr. Wilcocks, and gave him a receipt for the same, and a note to you, to satisfy you that I had received which, he said, he would underwrite, and send to you. I took up my note that I had given him for ten pounds in part of that thirty, but was forced to borrow four pounds to make up the money that I have paid to my master, which I did on Saturday last, and executed my articles. I waited several times on Mr. Wilcocks before he would let me have the money, or appoint any time when he would, but seemed very much to huff at me; but on Wednesday last I went to him, and told him it would not be of any service to me unless he would let me have it before my master was going out of town; therefore desired him to give me a positive answer, which he then did, and appointed Friday, but I believe the reason that he was so for delaying me till the furthest time you appointed was because money was out of his hand, which I knew, therefore was willing to take up my note, altho’ he profferr’d me to forego it, and let me have thirty pounds. When I received the money he freely promised me any services, which I shall be as willing to accept of; and to repay according to my capacity . . ’

And, in another letter to his father, bearing date the 13th of May, 1708, he writes that now the time beginning to draw to a period in which he must hope to betake himself to the world, he acquaints him with his design of selling Robert Lathom’s house, &c., which (I think) was purchased by his aunt Alice Woodhouse.

In another of his letters to my father, dated November 15th, 1712, he writes, ‘Since my mother’s death I received a line from brother Hill to acquaint me that I must expect no greater legacy than my sisters, which I understand is nothing; not so much as a small token of remembrance.’ He orders to direct for him at Mr. Bolton’s, by the Poultry compter.

By another to my father, bearing date March 17th, 1712, he writes that his father Moore wrote to him the night before, to know his resolution about continuing him tennant, but find they came to no agreement by writing, so that his father went to London, the spring following, to treat with him; and on this occasion he writes thus :

London, May 19th, 1713
LOVING BROTHER,—After my thanks to my sister for her kind epistle, I am to acquaint you that the gentleman she advised of was got to town some days before her’s came to hand. After some frivolous pretences for his coming to town, I was told some part of his message was to me, to know if I would continue him tenant. I told him I did not except against him, provided we could come to terms, and hoped, as he had made his fortune out of my estate, he would give me 51. per annum extraordinary. To encourage him to be a little generous, I told him I had thoughts of matrimony, and as I was not endowed with such bright parts as several others, nor other personal recommendations, I must endeavour to make my estate look with all advantages, in hopes to advance a 100l. in a wife’s fortune. I received a great many fair promises of his kindness, and to be made a child at his death. I let him know that I had already been amused by such promises, and suffered myself to be injured. I, in soft words, showed him in what and how I was prevented from righting myself, which I am apt to think made him sensible of a little guilt. We had several other conferences, but, according to our usual method, nothing could be concluded till he was for going. I invited him, couz. R., Mr. Wilcocks &c., to my lodgings overnight; and about 12 a clock, when all other company left us, we begun to renew our treaty. After some soft words we came to high ones, but neither would work upon me, for I insisted upon my full demands. I can’t tell you what civilities past betwixt us, except only desiring him to comply with my demands, or to say no more about it, or to go home, for that I would not suffer any discord in my lodgings that time a night. I shall not trouble you with any more at present; it [is] possible you may have had the whole detail of the story from couz. R. The next day he complyed to my whole demands.’

And concludes that he hoped to be at Thorp the first or second week in July. And, in his postscript, writes :

‘I told my father that I was very much troubled to hear that my mother was no ways desirous to see me in her sickness, nor any ways endeavoured to leave me so much as a ring, to remember; and being conscious to myself that I always had rendred my duty to her, I was apt to believe that he had eradecated me out of her favour by sly and indirect insinuations, which made me not pay him that respect I formerly did.’

He came into the country this summer, and executed a lease to his father, which bears date the 12th day of August, 1713, for the term of 12 years, to commence the 2nd day of February the next ensuing, at the yearly rent of thirty-two pounds.

My uncle was admitted an attorney of the sherriff’s court, January 14th, 1717-8. I find in one of my letters to my father and mother that I wrote, that he gave about eleven hundred pounds for it; but, by one of his to my dear mother, I find he writes that it had cost him very near twelve hundred pounds, in which sum I suppose he included the charge of his freedom, which he was obliged to take, upon his purchasing his place; and also to give a treat to the other gentlemen belonging to the court. He bought it (I think) of the lord mayor and sherriffs, it being a dead man’s place, by which I suppose he came to it at an easier rate than if he had bought it of one of the attorneys of the court. I heard that he sold it for a great deal more, but dyed before he had surrendered, so that that money was entirely lost to his family.

I think a little after his admission into the sherriff’s court, he was admitted an attorney of the court of King’s Bench.

He writes, December 22nd, 1720, that he must never expect the use of his arm which he hurt when in the country; nor I believe never did get quite well of it. He complains of it in several other letters. December 29th, 1724 he writes that he had lost 2 infant babes; and I find, by a letter of Mr. J. Wilcocks to William Moore, that he left a wife and one child, which he believed wou1d not live. I think it is since dead.

I have, with an awfull sort of pleasure, transcribed so much of my dear uncle’s letters, but does not expect they will be read with an equal pleasure; for, in a little time there will arise another generation, who knew not Joseph.

He was, as to his person pretty tall and proper, of a comely complexion, and an excellent good temper; of a good character and great fidelity to his clyents. I could never observe that he ever abused them, but sometimes that he was rather too dilatory in his proceedings, I thought. He did himself harm, I am afraid, by drinking too freely towards the latter end of his time.

March 19th, 1726-7
I heard of the death of my aunt Eliz[abeth] Hill. I think she dyed the day before. She was the youngest of my grandfather’s (Woodhouse’s) children, by his first wife, and married one Thomas Hill, junr, of Fishlock, by whom he had several children.

In the beginning of May 1727 brother William was taken with the small-pox, but had them favourably. Towards the latter end of the same month sister Eliz[abeth] had ‘em, and that very severely; but, thanks be to God, they both got well over them.

In the night, betwixt the 12th and 13th of October, 1727, dyed Alice Woodhouse, relict of Robert Woodhouse, of Norton, (who was my grandfather’s only brother); I think she was upwards of eighty years of age, and had lived very privately many years. I suppose she was married very young, but made a good wife, and an excellent country housewife. She had several children, but only one survived her; had been many years a widdow, and greatly improved the estate. She was buried at Campsal, on Sunday the 15th of October.

Mr. Cleworth preached on the occasion, from Acts xx. 32: And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

I think she made choice of these words herself.

Monday, January ye first, 1727-8
Early in the morning, dyed my aunt Hannah Woodhouse, of Stubs. She was the eldest of grandfather Woodhouse’s children, and married one Michael Woodhouse, of Stubs Walden, who, tho’ of the same name yet no relation (that I know of). She had three sons by him, but lived very unhappily. He was an extravagant man, and very much given to excessive drinking, by which he impaired his estate.

June 9th, 1728
Cousin Stephen Husband, of Tickhill, way buryed.

Fryday, February 28th, 1728-9
After dinner, I rode out upon a young mare, which I had but lately broke, and had not given her any exercise for some time, so that she was saucy. However, she carried me pretty well untill I had got a little beyond Sheep-coat laythe, when my coat skirt (I thought) affrighted her, and caused her to give a sudden and unexpected start, whereby I lost my stirrup. She turn’d to the right hand to Pontefract road, and soon dismounted me, dragging me by the right foot (I think by the bridle), for many yards, untill my spurr broke, which was of brass, and then she left me. I think she struck at me several times, but, thro’ the good providence of Almighty God, she never reached me. I was very stiff for some time; but, thanks to my Protector, I recovered in a very short time. This was a signal deliverance, which I pray God I never forget as long as I live; and was followed by another to my dear sister shortly after.

Monday May 26th, 1729
My sister Mary going from Norton to Thorp, and had a boy rode before her, and going down the hill at Campsall the mare either fell, or threw ‘em down, by which she was very much hurt, and was taken up for dead (I suppose), and carried into Joseph Bailey’s house, where, when I came, found one of Mr. Frank’s sisters with her, and a great many others. I got her let blood, and by care she recovered it in a short time, blessed be God.

Tuesday, June 24th, 1729
I laid the first stone of the pigeon chamber at Norton; and it was reared the 1st of September following.

April, 1730
I enclosed a little bitt of land in the West Field, by annexing it to the north end of Newhil close.

April 10th, 1730
Dyed William Moore, of Norton, and was buried the 12th of April, in the chancel at Smeaton. It was his wife’s doing that he was carried thither; her first husband, I suppose, being buried there, and her father’s family. Mr. Cleworth preached his funeral sermon, at Campsal, April 19th, 1730, from John vi. 40.

April 28th, 1730
Cousin Elizabeth Wasteneys was married, at Maltbey, to one John Johnson, of Maltbey; and as soon as they were married came (with uncle and aunt Fretwell) to my house at Norton, and tarried untill May 1st following.

February, 1730-1
I enclosed a small piece of land in the East Field of Norton, in that part called the Upper field, adjoyning to my own closes at Spittle-rush-lane end.

Monday, November 1st, 1731
Dyed, uncle John Bower, of Wickersley, and was buried on Wednesday following. He was a very honest man, of great simplicity, and well beloved. He had been in a lingering condition some time, occasioned by a fall from, or with, a scaffold, at the Duke of Kingstone’s, as I remember.

Saturday, May 27th, 1732
My dear mother going to visit a neighbour in the town, who was very ill, as she alighted upon the side or edge of a stone trough, her foot slip’d, and by the fall she was very much hurt, so that a bone-setter was sent for. When he was come, he said there was no bone broke or displaced, but that the muscle of the thigh was extremely extended. She made use of crutches for some time, and had a sore illness, during which she was under the care of Dr. Eyre and Mr. Malin; but it pleased God to restore her at this time; but I think never to be so well as she was before.

Friday, November 17th, 1732
I was at the funeral of cousin Elizabeth Atkinson senior, of Hatfield Woodhouse.

February, 1733-4
I enclosed a piece of land in the South Field of Norton, upon the Cliff. It adjoyns to the highway which leads towards Sheep-coats.

Tuesday, May 15th, 1733
My sister Mary was married to Thomas Routh, of Pontefract, a grocer. He was the son of Mr. John Routh, who sometime lived at Balne hall, but last at Snayth hall, and was steward to James Yarburgh, esq., of Heslington, nigh York, for his estate about Balne. A man of good character, so far as I know.

He had made his addresses to my sister some years before; but my father and mother did not approve of it. Afterwards, going to London, we thought they had broke of all manner of conversation, but I suppose they kept up correspondence by letters, unknown to me; tho’ at that time she was at Norton with me; and, continuing his visits after he came down from London, my father and mother did give their consents to it, but were far from being pleased with it,. as I think we all were much dissatisfied about it. However, he makes a very good husband; he is very sober and frugal, and diligent in his business, so that (blessed be God) they live comfortably. They were marryed at Campsal, by the revd. and pious Mr. Thomas Cleworth. After the ceremony was over, went down to Thorp, to dine. She went to Pontefract the 29th of May following.

Wednesday, August 8th, 1733
In the South Field of Norton was a stack of barley burnt to ashes by the lightning. I was going to lead some corn from off the lands next adjoining to it; but fearing the shower, which we saw coming, would over-take us before we could get home, we returned, else had been very nigh near the place where this happened, and might have perished there. Oh! what reason have I daily to praise my powerful Protector, Whose watchful eye of providence is my daily defence against all the innumerable dangers I am exposed unto!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 1733-4
Was my sister Routh brought to bed of a son, who was baptized immediately by the name of James; it lived untill the Thursday following, and then dyed.

Wednesday, February 20th, 1733-4
Dyed Lydia, the relict of John Woodhouse, late of Norton, of whom read [in the] foregoing.

Saturday, April 13th, 1734
Dyed Reuben Woodhouse, of Norton. He was the last of his father’s children, viz. Robert Woodhouse's, of Norton, brother to my grandfather. He was possessed of a plentiful fortune, and, as he never married, so dying intestate, his 2 neeces, Mrs. Eliz[abeth] Godfrey and Mrs. Alice Hill, were his heires. He was bound apprentice to one Mr. Deacon of Barnsley, a mercer and grocer, and I suppose served his time, but never set up for himself. He was some time servant to one Mrs. Langley at Rotherham; and before that (if I mistake not) to a gentleman at Derby, who was a large trader. But after he traded for himself he resided at York, and imployed himself chiefly in the butter trade, in which, I believe, he was very successfull. He was a man of good natural parts, but an humourist; a lover of good men, but allowed himself too great liberties towards the end of his days; for having little or no business for some years before he dyed, he lived very intemperately, so that it was a matter of admiration to many that he held it out so long. What age he was I cannot tell, but I think he was older than my uncle J[ohn] Woodhouse, so that I suppose he might be near fifty. He was (when sober) excellent company, and took delight in poetry. He used often to speak of his master (Mr. Deacon) with great respect, and of the prudent and pious economy of his family (he was a dissenter); and, I suppose from Mr. Woodhouse’s abode so long in his family it was that he always had a respect for, and an inclination, to the dissenters. Indeed, he had no small share of religious knowledge, and I’ve heard that, in his youth, he was a very sober, hopeful youth, But, alas! he did not hold out to the end suitable to such promising beginnings. May his stumbling be a caution to me, least I fall; but may I faithfully endeavour to keep up my watch, that so my last days may be my best days, and I may daily grow up in a meetness to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen.

Cousin Reuben Woodhouse, after he left off business, came to his mother at Norton, and a great trouble he was to the good old woman. She had buried all her children except him, and I believe could have been glad to have buried him too. Of all her children only one lived to marry, called John.

Wednesday, March 12th, 1734-5
I heard that sister Routh was brought to bed of a son, which was baptized soon after, and called John. They had the christening (as it’s called), the 8th of April, 1735. This child lived the longest of any they have yet had. He dyed the 7th of June 1737.

May 8th, 1735
I had a sale at Norton, of the greatest part of my goods, designing to leave that place, being weary of living with servants only, since my sister had left me.


Thursday, July 10th, 1735
I was at a christening at cousin Robert Atkinson’s, of Hatfield Woodhouse; the child was called Elizabeth, after his mother.

About the 23rd of September, 1735, we had a bad accident happened, which might have proved of very ill consequence, but, blessed be God, Who of His infinite mercy prevented it. The case was this: about a fortnight before, Richard Wharam had brought us from Hull a young mastiff whelp (very young), which, as we after found, was mad. It first bit me, upon which I whip’t it, and turned it out of doors. After, it bit my sister Elizabeth; and, as we were putting it out again, it met a chicken and bit it; and immediately went to one of the maids, called Dorothy France, and bit her. Still we did not suspect the cause, but thought it to be only its sullen temper, so we gave it to Joseph Hydes, of Wilsick, who seemed pleased with it; but growing worse, and biting at everything that came in its way, we now feared it was mad. It got to Trumflet, and bit several things there, as it had done both here and at Wilsick; but (thanks be to God) it did no harm (that I heard of), only a dog which it bit at Joseph Hydes’, belonging to a butcher, and a little bitch of Richard Wright’s which went mad, and another whelp which was bit by R.W.’s little bitch, was all the damage which was done, that I remember; the whelp dyed in a few days after. We, who were bit, got let blood, and took proper antidotes, which, by the blessing of God, proved effectual; so that we have great reason to say with the royal Psalmist, O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.

Saturday, November 8th, 1735
I planted a young orchard at Norton, in a place called the Wainhouse garth; the trees were of my own raising.

Sunday, June 20th, 1736
It pleased God to remove from me the greatest temporal blessing that I ever enjoyed (I think), by the death of my dear mother. She was always of a weakly constitution, and for many years had laboured under great infirmities, which rendred life a burden to her. She was sensible to the last, and the morning of the day she dyed sister Routh told me she said, ’This is the Sabbath day; oh that it might be my Sabbath of, rest!’ And some days before, she said to her, ‘If you have seen anything in me worthy your imitation, I desire, that you would follow it; if anything amiss, that you would avoid it.’ And, we should be wretchedly stupid if we could see nothing in her conduct which was commendable, and worthy of our imitation; for I see very few who come up to her, whether we eye her in the relation of a wife, of a mother, or a neighbour.

She was a faithful, loving wife; a true help-meet to her husband; and to whom (by her prudent carriage) she was highly endeared; a prudent counsellor, and a true comforter; for, when my father was troubled at the ill success of his affairs, or any great loss, of which he had several very great ones in his time (considering his circumstances), yet she always seemed to bear them with a calm and easie temper, endeavouring to encourage him to bear them with patience, and to make a spiritua1 use of them. This I’ve often admired at, because she was too apt to be fretfull about trifling matters, which was her greatest infirmity, and the worst that her greatest enemies (if any such there be) can say of her.

She was a prudent manager of her family affairs, and a true pattern of a good housewife; and as such was esteemed by all who knew her; as great an enemy to idleness (which is an enemy to all that is good) as most I ever see, for she was rarely to be seen without her hands at work about her lawful business (except when she was about her more needful and pleasant work of reading or praying). She had a numerous family for many years, for which she provided in a most decent, orderly manner.

If we look upon her in the character of a mother, we have reason to bless God for her, being such a mother as few children are blessed with (in comparison); I have before given an account of her care in teaching us to read, &c. I shall only add that the foundation of everything in us that is good is chiefly owing (under God) to her pious care and maternal instruction, which was seconded by her praying with and for us, and which (I hope) we shall still be reaping the fruits of, now that she is gone.

In the quality of a neighbour, I should be glad to see one, in this neighbourhood, coming up to her measure of usefulness. She was beneficent to all in her power; reproving those who deserved it, and encouraging whatsoever was praiseworthy. She abhorred flattery and dissimulation, and never used it towards her superiors; but, if obliged to speak, would give ‘em her thoughts very freely.

As she had opportunity, would instruct the boys who went in the keels sometimes; some of whom, she has, told me, has since come to her, and return’d her thanks (I think). Being grown men, she did not know them, but they told her they were such and such boys who went with Richard Dowson, &c.

She was very seviceable to many, by her advice and assistance in times of sickness; and for surgery, she had, for many years, much time imployed that way, in which (by God’s blessing) she was very successful; never denying her assistance so long as she was able to do anything; and many times, when very unfit, she would direct them what to do for themselves, and sometimes order my sister what to do for them; and this she did, not only to neighbours, but to strangers, for which she had several times very ungrateful returns from them, on which account she would say, ‘I don’t do this out of respect to them, but because it is my duty.’ The poor have a great loss of her, upon this account; what they have upon other accounts I am not able to determine; for tho’ some instances of her charity could not be hid, yet I have reason to believe that she did more than was ever publicly known.

She departed this life about five a clock in the evening of the aforesaid day, and was buried the 22nd of June, in the same grave with my dear brother John, according to her own desire.

She was the last of her father’s house, who, tho’ she had laboured under several infirmities for many years, was entered upon the 62nd year of her age.

Monday, April 11th, 1737
I was at the funeral of my 1ate good neighbour, John Pinder, of Norton. I see him the Tuesday before, and he was not very well. He told me he designed to go to Pontefract, after Easter, to his relations there, to stay awhile; but I suppose he went the Saturday following, not finding himself worse than usual. In the evening he went up two pairs of stairs to his lodging, and as soon as he could reach the bed, tumbled down upon it, and dyed immediately. He was brought to Campsal. Mr. Cleworth preached his funeral sermon from Ps. xxxix. 4. He gave him a good character, which he well deserved. He was a taylor, the son of a taylor, both accounted very honest men. They wrought for a groat a day, which small wage, by frugal management, they improved untill they had got two or three little houses, which I suppose he has left to a young girl, daughter to a Benjamin Howlegate, of Pontefract; but what little land he had be has left to charitable uses. As to his person, he was very crooked and little, but possessed a very virtuous mind; loved retiredness, and good sociable company sometimes. He feared God above many. I had much pleasure in his society, for the short time I was acquainted with him.

Tuesday, June 25th, 1737
Came a messenger from Pontefract, to acquaint us that sister Routh was brought to bed of a son. This, I think, was called John, but lived but a few days.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 1738 (or about that time)
Was my cousin Ann Wasteneys marryed to James Wood of Campsal; who, after they were married, went to live at Armley, nigh Leeds, where he kept a shop of linen-drapery and groceries; but, not liking the place, they removed to South Kirkby, where they now live. She is sober, modest woman, and I hope they live very comfortably.

Monday, June 16th, 1738
Dyed coz. Eliz[abeth] Johnson whose death was a very great trouble to poor cousin Nancy, mentioned above, and also to her good mother, who followed shortly after.

Wednesday, July 26th, 1738
My dear aunt Wasteneys died. She was a pious, good Christian, of a very meek spirit, and universally beloved.

August 17th, 1738
I heard of the death of cousin William Godfrey who dyed, I think, the foregoing week.

Tuesday, January 2nd, 1738-9
My sister was delivered of a daughter, which was called Mary. This child she was advised to nurse out, which she did with a good nurse, who lived under the same roof; but she also dyed, the 7th of September, 1739; so that they were now childless, altho’ they have had four children.

Monday, January 29th, 1738-9
Having been out of order for some time, my father sent for Mr. Malin, of Doncaster, to me, who ordered me something; but after advised to send for Dr. Eyre which he did. ‘Twas February 3rd that he came to me. He ordered me something, which did me good as to my health, but was troubled with a stitch in my left breast, which he could noways remove. This continued until February 28th, when I perceived the place, where my greatest trouble was, begun to rise in a small white place about the compass of a crown piece; it was upon my breast-bone, and not where the stitch first begun. On Saturday, March 3rd, I adventured to Doncaster (but was very weary), to let the doctor see it, who ordered me a plaister, to encourage it to break; and the next time I went recommended me to a surgeon, to whom I went March 10th. The surgeon’s name is Mr. John Hewardine he was very ill himself, at that time. Here I continued until the last day of March, when I came home; and went to let him see my breast again April 5th; but he would have me come and stay at Doncaster again; so I went again, Saturday, April 7th, 1740, with that design, but was sent for home, Wednesday, April 11th following, upon the sad account of my poor father’s being taken ill (as, God willing, shall hereafter be taken notice of), and was now forced to go almost daily to Doncaster, for some time. I think it was ye 21st of March that he applyed a caustick to it, and after lanced it; and again the 25th of June, 1740, I had it laid open further After he had thus long had it in hand I could perceive very little amends to it untill this last cutting, after which it mended finely. 1 begun to be angry with him, for I really thought that he trifled with me. I think he dismissed me about Lammas. I was reduced to a very low condition; few, I believe, thought that I should recover it. The doctor apprehended that I was going into a consumption; but, after my breast swelled, he said it could do me great service; and some time after told my brother, before Doctor Wintringham, how dangerous my case was, but that it took the right way at last. And I doubt not but that the great God of nature assisted her in her operation for my recovery, which was my chief help in this dangerous case, for it defyed all the art the physician could use for my relief. Oh! may a grateful remembrance of this great mercy (amongst many others) always possess my heart, and may I endeavour in some measure to render again according to the benefit done unto me!

I was at Doncaster with my father, on Saturday, the 16th of December, 1738. We came home within evening, and both got cold (I think). I had an ague for some time after, but went a journey the week following, tho’ very unfit, and continued after a lingering manner till January 29th, as I mentioned before; after which I never stirred out of doors until February 23rd, and then only into the court.

Tuesday, February ye 20th, 1738-9
Dyed Mrs. Ruth Moore, relict of William Moore, late of Norton. She was a very good neighbour, and, to her ability, charitable to her poor neighbours, who have a great loss of her. She was interred with her two husbands, at Smeaton, the 22nd of February 1738.

Tuesday, April 10th, 1739
At night (or at least before he arose in the morning), my father had his hearing taken from him; when, seeing my brother and sister weeping for him, he feared that I had been dead, which made him very uneasie; and it was some time before they could convince him that he had lost his hearing, but thought the fault was in them, who could not answer him.

The next day, viz. April 11th, my brother came for me, who was then at Doncaster. I came home with him, and when my father see me, he was something easier; we got him to understand a word or two once or twice, but the day following he was worse: his memory and his speech seemed to fail him very much, so that I feared it would prove to be the palsie. I went for Doctor Eyre, who ordered him to be let blood, to which he very willingly consented, when I had given him to under-stand what we was going to do, by writing and shewing him the lance, &c. The next day came Doctor Eyre, but could give us no encouragement as to his case; he said it was a paralitick disorder which had seized his brain and nerves. However, he ordered some strong physick, to give him a shock, as he said, but it did not answer its intent. He would have ordered him a vomit, but we feared that we could not get him to drink after it to work it off. But sister Routh coming on Saturday, ye 14th of April, told us that her neighbour, Mrs. Skipton, who was a woman that was very serviceable in her neighbourhood, let the physicians laugh at old women and their medicines as long as they please, yet she did a great deal of good, sometimes beyond their expectations, and often (I’m afraid) contrary to their wishes: she, I say, advised us to give him a vomit, and prescribed the doze for him (which she said, if he would drink freely after it, would be a likely means to do him good; and, if not, ‘twould do him no harm. The next day, I went again to Doctor Eyre, and told him of it, which he agreed to, but did not order him the same, but I think it was ten grains of vinū benediolum, which was wrought of with camomile tea: this he took very well, and (blessed be God) it did him much good; his hearing was in some measure restored, I think in an instant, for, soon after, he heard a voice, and asked what it was (which I think was the bellowing of a bull). The same evening, at family prayers, I kneeled very nigh him, and, speaking very loud, he heard what I said, and we perceived very often apprehended the sense of it, which put him into such transports of joy as I think I never see in any one before; so that he could not contain himself, but, during the time of worship, would often give his assent to what was spoken, with great zeal, and an audible voice, but not so as to disturb us in it; and this he spoke of for several days after, with such expressions of joy and thankfulness as was very affecting.

He continued taking such things as the doctor ordered for some time, but to little good purpose; and, a few days after, was taken with the gout (which he had some times before), but had it favourably. The doctor encouraged it, for he said it was the best thing that could have happened to him. He got so well as to be able to ride to Doncaster with me, the 15th of May, but the doctor was not at home; and again, the 19th, but lost his labour; but, the 22d, going again, found him at home, who seemed surprised to see my father so well recovered as he was, tho’ very bad.

Saturday, July 23rd
Dr. Eyre told me he expected Dr. Wintringham, of York, would be at Mr. Fountayne’s, of Melton, the next day, and that he would have us send over to know if was come; and, if so, would have my father go over to him; for he advised us before to go to him, and we had designed it so soon as we thought we could get him thither. My brother went next morning and found the doctor there, who told him that he designed to leave that place the next morning, and therefore desired my father would go to him in the afternoon. Accordingly, my brother hasted home, and after dinner took my father with him to Melton, where they found both the doctors, who consulted what to order him, but could give no hopes of his recovery. Dr. Wintringham apprehended it to have been an apoplectick which had seized him. We thought what they ordered him did him some small service; however, he grew something better, blessed be God.

Tuesday, August 21st, 1739
I got a milk ass and a foal, and drunk the milk some time, which I hope has done me good. She has another foal, and I drunk the milk again.

Thursday, September 20th, 1739
My sister Elizabeth was married to Michael Woodhouse of Stubs, but who lives now at Womersley, the youngest son of Michael Woodhouse, late of Stubs-Walden, by Hannah his wife, who was my mother’s sister; he is by trade a tanner. Sister had been at Pontefract for some time, and we expected she would be married before she got home, but did not know the time; they were married at Womersley. Brother and sister Routh was with them; and, after the ceremony performed, they all came to Thorp. Poor sister Routh got a fall, in a bad place, as she came, and was in great danger; but, blessed be God, she was not much hurt.

He had made his addresses to her before the death of my mother, but she would not give an ear to it; neither did my father approve of it, or indeed any of the family, or of her friends; but she now thought herself at her own disposal, and I wish she may have no reason to repent of what she has done. I believe she thought that my brother and I opposed it merely out of self-interest; but I think we have since convinced her of the contrary, by giving her more than we were obliged to, and, indeed, as much or more than my father designed her (I believe) if she had married more to his satisfaction: and I pray that a blessing may go along with it.

Monday, ye 22nd of October, 1739
Having been from home about some business, at my return found poor father very ill, much after the manner that he was when first seized with this trouble; but it pleased God to grant him relief at this time also; he was some time before he was so well as before this relapse.

Fryday, December 7th, 1739
My sister Routh was brought to bed of a son, which is called Thomas.

Tuesday, January 29th, 1739-40
This night I thought my father had another return of his distemper, but he could not give any account of it; however, he was much worse again than he was before.

Monday, April 21st, 1740
My poor father had another relapse, as before.

Wednesday, November 26th, 1740
Dyed cousin Richard Atkinson, senior, of Hatfield. I think he was in the 84th year of his age. Had been blind several yeares, but enjoyed all his other senses to the last, I believe.

Wednesday, December the 10th 1740
In the morning, between two and three a clock, hearing somebody shout, I stept out of bed; and no sooner put my foot down upon the floor but perceived what was the matter, for I was got into water 4 or 5 inches deep (I think) at least, and continued rising so fast, that when I went to fetch my father out of bed (whom I carried up stairs on my back), the water touched my bed cords, and so continued rising till it run over the threshold, which is between the kitchen and back kitchen. About noon began to fall; and the night following it froze very hard, and so continued for some time, till the roads were very good, that several people went to the coal-pits. The ice and snow was drove upon heaps upon the Marsh, and froze together, so that they appeared like so many mountains. It did abundance of damage; we had a great deal of wood swum away, but found several heaps froze together, and left in other places; but, when the frost broke, another flood followed, and took all away.

Some people say that they remember two such great floods before this: but I don’t remember that I have ever seen any come near it. I have heard my father and mother speak of a great flood, soon after they were marryed, which might perhaps be in the year 97, which exceeded this by about nine inches, so nigh as we can compute, by the relation we have of it, and how far it extended. This flood did not tarry long, but left the land covered with ice untill Christmas. Such a winter scene did I never see before; for some days, when the water began to fall, the ice kept cracking day and night, like unto guns discharged at a distance. The frost was so severe that it destroyed a great many herbs in most gardens; the sage and rosemary especially (I think) was generally destroyed.

Sunday, August 2nd, 1741
Was sister Woodhouse brought to bed of a daughter and a son; and, when baptized, called Elizabeth and Michael.

Tuesday, February 10th, 1740-41
I planted a young orchard at Norton, in a place which I now use as a nursery adjoyning to the house, late cousin John Woodhouse's, and going on to the Smithy lane.

August 2nd, being the Lord’s Day, 1741
Sister Woodhouse was brought to bed of two children, who were baptized by the names of Michael and Elizabeth; the boy is since dead. He was buryed March 23rd following.

And on (or about) the 30th of August, 1742, she was delivered of another daughter, baptized soon after by the name of Mary.

Saturday, June 25th, 1743
My brother, William Fretwell, going to York, bought of Dr. Clifton Wintringham his estate at Thorp, which my father had had in rent for several years. It had been in the Wintringham’s family many yearse. His grandfather, William Wintringham, an old gentleman, lived upon it in my time. So lands change their owners, and places their inhabitants.

Tuesday, January 11th, 1742-3 (sic)
I first heard that sister Routh was brought to bed of a daughter the week preceding. I went to visit her the day following, and found her very ill, as she had been for some time before the birth of this child; her case was look’d upon as very dangerous; but, thro’ mercy of God, she continues hitherto a living monument of sparing mercy. This child is called Mary.

February 5th, 1743-4, being the Lord’s Day
About four of the clock in the morning, my dear father obtained a release from all those troubles which he had laboured under for so many years. His death seemed to be only a cessation of breathing, without the least groan or struggle. He had been very bad for some time before he dyed. I wish I may never see anyone in his circumstances.

He was buryed on Tuesday, the 7th, in the same grave with his uncle, William Fretwell, before the porch door of the parish church of Barnby. As to his age, I am not certain; but I think he was entered upon his 70th year.

Saturday, February the 2nd, 1745-6
I was at the funeral of cousin Elizabeth Atkinson, of Hatfield-Woodhouse. She dyed at Thorn, at the house of her sister Middlebrook, and was brought to Hatfield, and buryed with her ancestors, in the church there. She was an old maid, and had been some years afflicted with the rheumatism. She was of innocent temper, and always carryed very respectfully to her relations. She was some time with me when I lived at Norton.

Wednesday, the 6th of February, 1745-6
Brother Routh had a daughter born, who was baptized by the name of Sarah.

May 5th, being the Lord’s Day, 1745
Cousin Elizabeth Fretwell, eldest daughter of my uncle, Richard Fretwell, of Maltbey, was marryed to one Thomas Foulston, of Bawtrey, a grocer and chandler; but they now live at Stockwith.

Tuesday, June 4th, 1745
I heard that sister Woodhouse lay in of a daughter ; she is called Hannah. Brother Woodhouse has now three daughters, called by the same names as my grandfather Woodhouse’s were, the order only inverted, viz. Elizabeth, Mary, and Hannah.

The 16th April [1746]
Will long shine in the British annals for the compleat victory gained this year, 1746, upon Wednesday, the 16th of April, over that desperate crew of rebels (who, the winter before, had penetrated almost into the heart of the kingdom) at Culloden, in Scotland. Posterity, it is probable, will very much wonder when they are told of it; but our troops were all in Flanders, so that we were all in a manner defenceless. And the first engagement his majesty’s troops had with the rebels was at Preston Pans, September 21, 1745, which is about 7 miles east of Edinburgh; and, being imprudently managed, the rebels obtained the victory, which was no small, encouragement to them, and caused their numbers to increase. John Cope was the unhappy commander this day. But the glory of extinguishing this unnatural rebellion was reserved for his royal highness, William, duke of Cumberland, commander at the battle of Culloden, which put a final period to the rebellion; of which I shall say no more, but leave it to historians who are better qualified to write the history of those times than I am. We were under terrible apprehensions in this part of country. I suppose our fathers never saw the like here, in their time, and may our posterity never see it.

Wednesday, August 27th, 1746
Dyed, after a very long and tedious illness, my dear uncle Richard Fretwell, of Maltbey, the last of all my grandfather Fretwell’s children. He was a plain, honest man, and a serious, good Christian. He had a large family, which was prudently governed, and I hope his posterity will be blessed.

Soon after, followed his nephew, and my loving kinsman, William Wasteneys, of Maltbey. He was a tanner, and a very honest, good man. He left a numerous family, and most of them very young; only one boy, which was one of the youngest.

He had not great fortunes to give ‘em; but I hope He who is the Father of the fatherless will take care of them. He was laid in the same grave with his pious mother, on Tuesday, October ye 28th, 1746.

Tuesday, November 11th, 1746
My brother William Fretwell marryed Elisabeth, the daughter of William Smith, of Doncaster, by Dorothy his second wife, who was daughter of . . Mitchel, of Doncaster (he has only another child, a daughter, whom he had by his first wife). They were marryed at St. Peter’s in York.

The same day, and at the same place, was his partner, Mr. Richard Crawshaw, of Haddlesey, marryed. Two unsuitable matches–but I’ll say no more.

In the night, betwixt Sunday the 6th, and Monday the 7th of September (or rather early on Monday morning, as I think), my brother William Fretwell had a son born, who was baptized by the name of James.

November 15th, 1747
1 heard that my sister Woodhouse was brought to bed of a daughter. She was baptized, Tuesday, December the 29th, by the name of Ann.

February ye 7th, 1747-8
Being the Lord’s Day, I went to the funeral of aunt Hill, of Hatfield, who was my uncle’s second wife. About the beginning of July, this summer, 1748, dyed the reverend and pious Mr. Sandford, of Pontefract, where he had laboured in the gospel many years. He was a very serious, good man, and of a very inoffensive conversation; so that he was esteemed by most of his neighbours of every denomination. I never heard (to my remembrance) any one speak disrespectfully of him. He was succeeded (in a young minister, Mr. Benjamin Clegg, son to Dr. Clegg, of Chappel-le-Firth, in Derbyshire; but he left them the summer following, and they have now one Mr. John Coppock, a Cheshire man.

Fryday, June ye 10th, 1748
My brother Fretwell had a daughter born. She was baptized by the name of Mary. ‘Twas the least infant (I think) that ever I saw. She dyed July ye 31st following.

Saturday, December 3rd, 1748
I went to Pontefract, to take up my winter quarters.

Saturday, February the 25th, 1748-9
The peace with France was proclaimed at Pontefract.

Saturday, March 18th, 1748-9
I left Pontefract, and returned to my old lodgings at John Herrott’s at Thorp.

Tuesday, April the 25th, 1749
Was a day of public thanks-giving for peace.

Monday, May 1st, 1749
My brother William Fretwell had a daughter born. She was baptized by the name of Mary, but she dyed the 20th of the same month, and was buryed the 22nd day following.

Thursday, May ye 11th, 1749
A very melancholy accident in the neighbourhood. One Samuel Kettle, who was born at Thorp, whose ancestors had been possessed of a cottage there for several generations. I think his mother showed me a writing dated in the reign of K. Henry VIII., which, as I remember, was the time when the Kettles first purchased it, and they have lived there ever since the oldest man living can remember, until the death of Robert Kettle, father of this Samuel, whom I very well remember, as also his father, who was called William Kettle, and whose will I made when I was but young; I think ‘twas the first will I ever made; he was a taylor, as was his father William before him, who lived to a great age; whether he was living in my time or no I do not know; however, I do not remember him, and it is something remarkable that, this small freehold (for I don’t find it was ever larger) should remain for so many years in the Kettle’s family untill this Samuel Kettle sold it not long before he made his tragical end, which I am about to relate.

This Samuel Kettle was bound apprentice to Richard Shillito, of Campsal, wheelwright; had served his time, and was now marryed, and lived at Sutton, and at this time wrought under Michael Berry, of Askeron. He was sent to Trumphlet to fell some wood for Richard Frank, esq.; he took an opportunity in the absence of some men who left him but a very short time, to get a rope with which the gate was tyed, and therewith hanged himself in the top of a tree which was fallen (as I remember). His feet, I was told, was not above a quarter of a yard from the ground; and I think the rope (they said) was not tyed to the bough, but only wrapped round it. He was buried in the lane leading from widow Murfin's to Trumphlet. What was the occasion of his doing this rash action I never heard, to my remembrance.

Monday, the 14th of August, MDCCXLIX
Was laid the first stone of the school house at Thorp; and it was reared the 5th of October following.

Thursday, October the 12th, 1749
I removed my lodgings from J. Herrot’s of Thorp, to Benjamin Holgate’s, tallow-chandler, in the market place in Pontefract. I liked my land lord at Thorp very well, but the situation I thought unpleasant in winter time; and some other things now rendered Thorp more unpleasant to me than it had formerly been.

Monday, April 2nd, 1750
Dyed my dear kinsman, John Woodhouse, of Stubs-Walden. He was about six months younger than myself, but had been disabled for business for several years, being very lame (I suppose it was a paralytick disorder). I have been told that his grandfather was much after the same manner for some time before his death.

Fryday, July 13th, 1750
Mr. Lucas, of North-Elmshall, going to visit his son at Pontefract, as he was entering into his yard, some boys met him who were flying a paper kite. Both himself and horse got entangled in the string, much affrighted the horse (being young), so that he run away with him, and either threw him off, or himself endeavouring to get off, he fell upon the pavement, which fractured his scull, and he dyed in a very little time. It is of the Lord’s mercies that such accidents do not happen more frequently. I suppose Mr. Lucas might think the danger of his riding this young horse (if he apprehended any danger in it) was over, for this time, when he was got to his son’s door; but we are never out of dangers, nor is it possible for us to escape them, if our great Protector leave us to ourselves. Oh what need have we to beg the protection of Divine Providence over us, both before we go out, and when we come in.

Monday, September the 10th, 1750
I went with my sister Routh to Kirkby, to see cousin Woods; and, not long after we were set out, came a messenger. from Thorp, to acquaint me that my friend John Herrot was very ill; but they did not send after me, and therefore, as I did not come home before night, so I could not go to Thorp that night, but I went early the next morning. When I got thither I found Dr. Eyre there; so sate down in the kitchen. But the maid coming down stairs and seeing me, she acquainted her master with my being there, who immediately sent for me, and, upon my entering the room, he accosted me thus: ‘My dear friend, you are come to see me dye.’ When I came to his bed-side, he said, ‘Give me a kiss,’ which I did; and then desired me to seek out his will (which himself had made about five years before), which I did, and made some small alteration by a codicil according to his directions.

He told me that when he first received the sentence of death in himself, it was a shock to him: ‘but now,’ added he, ‘I am very well contented to dye.’ And so he appeared (I was told) all the time of his illness; saying, if it was God’s pleasure, he would rather choose to dye than to live in so much misery.

He was in a pious, devout frame of mind, and seemed to be noways discomposed, but to enjoy his reason to the last; and I think was frequently putting up pious ejaculations, &c.; and I remember his repeating these words: ‘I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.’

He was very sensible of his near approaching change, and said to me: ‘Lay your hand upon my body and feel; one string breaks after another–now I grow very weak very fast.’

And when I was making the codicil to his will, he said, ‘Pray make hast, for my sight begins to fail me;’ and a little after noon he very quiet1y resign'd up his soul into the hands of his merciful Creator; and I doubt not is now entered into the joy of his Lord.

And on Thursday following he was interred with his ancestors in the parish church of Barnby-upon-Dun, nigh unto the reading-desk.

He was of a very happy, even temper, very just in his dealings, and, I believe, a sincere good Christian, far exceeding any of his family that I ever knew.

Saturday, December 1st, 1750
I heard that my brother William Fretwell had purchased the common land which Burghwallis sold for the sum of 6501., lying in Balne moore (alias Rushamore), Black-Carr green, and Dormer green. It proved a dear bargain, what with the charge of enclosing and expenses about draining, &c. He has built a good house upon Rushamore, and it seems now to be a pleasant summer habitation.

Monday, May 13th, 1750
Going to Thorp, my brother was gone to the funeral of Roger Portington, esq., lord of the manor of Barnby-upon-Dun; a very honest gentleman, and a good neighbour, but I think sometimes a little disordered in his head; especially if he got ever so little liquor.

My sister Fretwell lay in at this time, but the child was dead. It was a girl.

Saturday, September 28th, 1751
My sister Woodhouse was brought to bed of a son, who on the Lord’s day following (being September 29th) was baptized by the name of William, after his uncle, and my dear kinsman, who dyed at London.

Tuesday, November the 26th, 1751
Was interred Bryan Cooke, esq., of Owston, and recorder of Doncaster. I think he was but about a year older than myself. We were school fellows at Doncaster. He was never marryed; and had only brother living, called Anthony, to whom his estate descended. He was not marryed at that time; but after some time marryed a daughter of Mr. Eyre, of Adwick-le-street.

January 28th, 1752
My dear friend, Mr. John Kiplin, narrowly escaped drowning, not far from his own house. He was riding upon a high causey, which was overflown with water, and his horse slipt down off the causey; and tho’ several people saw him, yet they could make him no help. But his Almighty Deliverer, who is ever present with us, saved him from this great danger; blessed be His holy name.

Monday, May the 11th, 1752
My brother William Fretwell brought his son James to brother Routh’s, and left him there, for me to teach him, &c.

Thursday, September 14th, 1752
The New-Stile took place in England, which has been used about 170 years in many parts of Europe.

Tuesday, September the 19th, 1752
I went to Norton, and bought of Robert Pindar a little close called Stepping-Stone Ing, and a beast-gate (or two, I don’t now remember which) in Orms Ing; the purchase was 651. 1s.; and I lett it to him for 40 shillings a year. This is the only purchase I ever made, or perhaps ever shall make.

Wednesday, November the 1st, 1752
I went to Wakefield, to the opening of the new chappel, which is a beautiful place. Mr. Walker, of Leeds, preached an excellent sermon from John iv. 23, 24, which is published, but I think not at length, as it was preached.

Monday, November 6th, 1752
My nephew, James Fretwell, was very ill. On the 8th we called in Mr. Crew, who took it to be the small-pox; and before noon some pustles appeared. I wrote to William Smith, at Doncaster, desiring him to acquaint my brother; and on the 10th my brother and sister Fretwell both came. My brother went home the next day, but sister tarryed with us. And on the 12th brother came again, and brought his nurse to look after him. And now the small-pox seem’d to come on better than they fram’d to do at first; and on the 15th begun to decline; when he recovered finely, so that his nurse left him on the 22nd, and his mother on the 27th. He was very full of the small-pox, and Mr. Crewe apprehended him to be in danger; but, blessed be God, he got safe through them.

Fryday, January the 5th, 1753
This day it pleased Almighty God, the father of mercies, to deliver my dear sister M[ary] Routh from all her troubles, which she had so patiently born for several years. And I think that I have good grounds to hope that she is now enjoying those pleasures, at God’s right hand which will endure for evermore.

She was, from her childhood, of a sober, religious temper, strictly conscientious thro’ the whole course of her life, and very compassionate both to the souls and bodies of others; so charitable in her opinion of others, that she would always put the best construction upon their words or actions that they would bear; and where she could not excuse them she would heartily pity them. She behaved so inoffensively to everyone, that I do not remember that she had ever the least quarrel or shyness either with her relations or neighbours; so that it might be truly said of her that she did to her utmost observe the Apostle’s injunction of living peaceably with all men.

And, as a consequence of her benevolence, she was universally respected by all that knew her, and her memory will be blessed.

She left only three children living, i.e. one son and three daughters; but she had several others before these which are now living, which all dyed in infancy, for I believe she seldom or never went her full time with any of them before this boy.

Her children had an irrepareable loss in the death of their dear mother; I mean as to instruction in religious principles, in which she was constant and diligent, by catechising and instilling good things into their tender minds according as their capacities would receive them; but, as to the other parts of education, this want was in great measure supplyed by the care of their aunt Mrs. Mary Routh, who has a sincere respect for the children, and treats them with great care and kindness.

I remember to have heard that Mr. Robert Wintringham (who now lives at Selby), being at that time apprentice to my brother Routh, should say to somebody that he believed his mistress had nothing to do but to dye, and I do hope she was not unprepared.

Her disorder, which she had had for several years, was an asthma, which terminated in a dropsy; as my dear mother’s had done before her. She was entered upon the 49th year of her age, and was buryed in the church-yard of All Saints, or the old parish church of Pontefract, on the south side of the church, not far from the porch door.

Thursday, February the 15th, 1753
Some soldiers went from Pontefract to Doncaster. I suppose the waters were out so that they were forced to get a boat to carry them into town. The current being strong the boat was overset, and I think three soldiers were drowned, together with the waterman, who was called Richard Dowson, who had been brought up under his father Richard Dowson in several keels of my father’s. They were both very honest men; the father was servant to my father many years, ever since I can remember and until the time of his death.

Thursday, July 12th, 1753
We received a letter from brother, who was then at London, wherein he wrote he agreed with his landlady Mrs. Bateman for the purchase the house wherein he lives, for the sum of nine hundred and fifty pounds.

November the 11th, 1753
Being the Lord’s day, was the first lecture sermon in the afternoon at Pontefract church, which was given by one Mr. Fothergil, a non-juring clergyman, whose wife dying but a little before this time (for he had been dead many years) the lands he left for this use did now [go] to the corporation (I think). The sermons have been ever since continued once a fortnight. The minister’s name is Drake, vicar of Womersley.

Tuesday, January the 29th, 1754
Brother Woodhouse had a daughter baptized by the name of Peggy; she was born December the. . 1752.

April 30th, 1754
This day I heard of the death of the reverend and pious Mr. Thomas Cleworth, minister of Campsal. I was told that he was at church on Fryday the 19th of April, and that he dyed the Monday following. He had been minister of that church upwards of 62 years; and finding himself not able to undergo the duties of his function, he got a young clergyman, one Mr. Mailin (son of Mr. Mailin of Doncaster) to be his assistant. He came but a very short time before Mr. Cleworth’s death, I think the same month, and succeeds him in the said church.

Mr. Cleworth was universally respected by all that knew him, and that deservedly; for those that honour God He will honour, 1 Sam. ii. 30. He was a grave, sober, pious man, but not at all morose or cynical; but of a cheerful temper, and innocently pleasant in conversation. He was very diligent in performing the duties of his function, both in public and private, without distinction of persons, to rich or poor. Very charitably, even to a considerable part of his small income; and what he did not give away his lifetime he bequeathed to the poor at his death, for, except a few small legacies, he ordered what he had to be sold and divided betwixt the poor of the parish of Campsal, and of the parish of Hatfield, where he was born. He. lived and dyed unmarryed, and had no near relations (I believe). His mother and sister lived with him some time, and both dyed at his house. His mother had been marryed after the death of his father, but was left a widow the second time; and I do believe that he wholly maintained both his mother and sister, and behaved to them with the greatest respect.

It will be somewhat difficult, I am persuaded, for his successor to maintain that honour and respect amongst his parishioners which Mr. Cleworth maintained for so many years. But ‘tis a pleasure to me to hear that Mr. Mailin gives good content to his parishioners. May he continue so to do; and to be a blessing to the flock over which he is placed.

1755, June the . . .
Brother Fretwell had a son born, who was baptized July 7th by the name of William Smith, after his grandfather.

Fryday, February the 6th, 1756
Was a public fast, on account of the late earthquakes in Portuga1 (whereby the city of Lisbon was destroyed on the first of November), and in many other places in Europe, Africa, and America.

Tuesday, 24th of February, 1756
Dyed my old friend and neighbour William Hudson, of Norton, who had formerly been my servant. He has left a charitable donation to the poor there.

Saturday, May the 8th, 1756
The markets for horned cattle at Pontefract were opened, which had not been permitted for several years, on account of the distemper which had so long raged amongst them; but, now abating in those parts, leave was obtained the last sessions at Pontefract for permitting the markets to be kept there as usual. The distemper continued many years, and many were very great sufferers; but (which I thought somewhat strange) notwithstanding so many dyed yet beef was not dear. One reason, I suppose, might be that many people sold off their stock, least the distemper should take them off. All medicines were ineffectual (so far as I could learn), and there were such orders about removing or selling them, &c., as was very troublesome to observe. But, blessed be God, who in His great goodness has spared us any, yea so many, of our cattle, as may by His blessing encrease and multiply and supply our wants.

Thursday, May the 13th, 1756
My brother, William Fretwell, came for his son James to take him home from Pontefract. He had been with me since May 1752, which was four years (wanting some few days); but tho’ I took great pains in teaching him, be did not improve so fast [as] I could have wished; and I was in hopes that he would have improved more in a school amongst other boys, so his father put him to one Mr. Bowzer, a very good school-master in Doncaster. But he made but small proficiency under him. I had brought [him] to read in his bible, and he never got any further.

Saturday, May 29th, 1756
The declaration of war against France was proclaimed at Pontefract.

Saturday, November ye 13th
Dyed, my dear kinsman James Fretwell of Maltbey, the eldest son of my late uncle Richard Fretwell. He was a sober, grave young man; a dutiful son to his mother in her widowhood, and a kind brother to his brothers and sisters. He was left in strait circumstances, but was very frugal, and exceedingly industrious. I think he pressed but too hard upon his constitution, which was not of the strongest. He was buried nigh his father on the north. side of the church, in the churchyard, the 16th of November. He was thirty-seven years of age in the month of September last.

Wednesday, December the 8th, 1756
It pleased God to deprive me of a very kind friend, whose society had been very agreeable to me ever since I had the happiness of being acquainted with him, viz. Mr. John Kiplin, of Ackworth. He had lingered a long time; his disorder was supposed to be the stone in his kidneys. He bore his troubles with great patience and submission to the will of God. He was a grave, sober man, and a serious, good Christian; universally belov’d in his neighbourhood, in which he was very useful, being of a benevolent spirit. He was buried nigh unto his father, &c., in the church-yard of Badsworth. He was 70 years of age, and left a widow behind him, but never had any child. He was buryed the 8th of December, but dyed on the Lord’s day morning, December the 6th. 1 have made a mistake on the foregoing page, when I said he dyed the 8th of December.

Fryday, February 11th, 1757
Was kept a national fast.

Fryday, February 17th, 1758
Was kept a national fast.

Saturday, February 18th, 1758
I gave to my brother, William Fretwell, twenty pounds towards purchasing a small annuity for the school at Thorp. They have ten pounds, which was left to the poor by Joseph Foster, late of Thorp, and ten pounds left by my late friend Mr. John Herrott, which they told me they would put to mine, for the use before mentioned; but I was afterwards told they had only got a mortgage for it. I am afraid the school will not be so serviceable as I could wish, for, before this, I paid a small sum for teaching some children to read, but the parents took ‘em away before they could read.

On the 27th of August, 1758
Being the Lord’s day, after the general thanksgiving, was an occasional one for the delivering up of the French fortress of Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, to his majestie’s forces: I think it was on the 26th of July last. Indeed, we had the greatest reason for thanksgiving to Almighty God for the wonderful success of his majestie's arms, which will shine in the British annals, and be a glory to the close of the reign of our good old king, who may truly be stiled the father his people.

Saturday, January the 14th, 1759
I heard the melancholy news of the death of Tho[mas] Robinson, the eldest son of cousin Tho[mas] Robinson, of Tickhil, who a few days before had drowned himself in the river Wharf. He had been brought [up] a tanner with his father, but chose to enter into the excise, and had been a supernumerary for some time, and was greatly respected by the collector, commonly coming with him to this town (Pontefract) to their sittings; and I was told that the collector who was here this day could scarce mention his name without tears. Indeed, he has the character of a very grave and good man, and who is very humane to his inferiors.

What was the occasion of this rash and wicked act I could never learn for certain; but that it was done wilfully appeared by several circumstances. An officer of the excise told me that he was delirious, which is the most favourable construction that can be put upon it.

This melancholy accident was a very great trouble and affliction to his tender parents. I pray God, Who comforts those who are cast down, to support them under this trial of their patience, and to give them an happy issue out of all their afflictions.

Fryday, February the 16th, 1759
Was kept a national fast.

Tuesday, March the 20th, 1759
I took (or hyred) a little house in the Horse-fair in Pontefract, of one Thomas Thorp, designing to remove thither, and keep house myself; for tho’ I had no reason to complain of any bad usage as to myself where I was, yet I had no small uneasiness upon other accounts, and which I despaired to see amended.

Wednesday, August 8th, 1759
A melancholy accident happened at Pontefract. Captain Francis Pierson, taking down a gun, it happened to go off, and kill one of his children, a pretty girl; and that before the face of her mother. Her head, as I remember, was shivered to pieces.

Saturday, September 29th, 1759
My niece Mary Woodhouse came to be my housekeeper. It was at her own desire, as I understood; and her mother desired I would take her, and see what I could do with her. So I agreed, very well knowing that they was weary of her at home, for she is of a very disagreeable temper.

Thursday, October 18th, 1759
Mr. William Shillito acquainted me that Mr. Wadsworth, of Sheffield, dyed about fortnight before, and that one of his sons was buryed with him. I was sorry to hear this news, for he was a fine preacher, and highly esteemed at Sheffield by others, as well as his own constant hearers. He was most dearly beloved by his good old uncle Mr. Kiplin; and, had he been now living, it would have been a great tryal to him. But I hope they are now united in the blessed society above.

Thursday, October 18th, 1759
Was rejoicings upon hearing the news of the reduction of Quebeck by his majesty's forces.

Fryday, October 19th, 1759
My brother and sister Woodhouse brought their son William, and left him with me to teach and take care of him.

Lord’s day, November 4th 1759
This day, both at morning and evening service, after the general thanksgiving, was an occasional one for our successes in the present war.

Thursday, November the 29th, 1759
Was appointed a day of public thanksgiving for the signal success of his majesty's arms both by sea and land; particularly by the defeat of the French army in Canada, and the taking of Quebec, the capital of the French in America ; and for the plentiful harvest, which was at this time so seasonable.

Fryday, November the 30th, 1759
My brother brought his son James hither, to go to the writing school.

Lord’s day, December 23rd, 1759
This day was used, both at morning and evening service, an occasional thanksgiving on account of a late victory over the French at sea.

Fryday, March the 14th, 1769
Was kept a national fast.

Wednesday, May 28th, 1760
Mary, the wife of Benjamin Rowley, of Smeaton, fell down dead, as she was walking betwixt Stubs and Norton.

Monday, July the 7th, 1760
I walked to Doncaster, being summoned to attend the commissioners who sate there about enclosing the commons belonging to Ouston. My brother, William Fretwell, met me there, and brought a horse for me to ride on to Thorp, it being their feast, so I went with him. I had not been at a feast there for many years, nor did I think I should ever have been there at that time any more. He had a son baptized that day by the name of John.

Tuesday, July the 15th
I attended the commissioners again at Doncaster, when we were dismissed, and the house, for which I went to be an evidence, was not allow'd a right of common. I believe it to be a manifest injustice; and the landlord (Mr. Pullein) has taken advice upon it, and is told that if he rebuild he may recover his right. The house was at Dormer green.

Lord’s day, October 26th
We heard (at Pontefract) of the death of our good old king, George the second; I think he dyed the day before, in the morning, after a long reign of 33 years.

Monday, November the 3rd
King George the third was proclaimed at Pontefract.

Thursday, November 20th
My niece Mary Woodhouse (who was my housekeeper) was married, at Pontefract, to one William Webster, a tanner in Pontefract, who was about twice her age, as near as I can learn, she being 18 years and about 9 months old.

Wednesday, 31st December
I heard of the death of the Rev. Mr. Aldred, of Wakefield, who had been many years pastor to the dissenting congregation there, and has left a good name behind him.

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