William Goodwin of Street Farm, Earl Soham.

Diaries dated from 1785-1810. Vol. I.. HD 365/1.

Transcribed by Mrs. J. Rothery of Earl Soham, August 2001

The following Miscellany of Occurrences Persons and Curiosities was began in the Year 1785 by Wm. Goodwin of Earl Soham Surgeon and is intended as an Universal repository and Chronology.

Extract for 1787


(Time is running out for the present! Three dots ... will indicate omissions. J. Rothery)

Recipe for making Wine

Take new Cyder from the press, mix it with as much Honey 'till It buoys an Egg. Boil It gently a quarter of an hour, but not in an Iron Vessel - Take off the Scum as fast as it rises, let it cool, then barrel it in a Vessel not quite full - in March following bottle it up. It will be ripe in 5 or 6 weeks and will be as strong as Madeira Wine - Honey is a fine ingredient added to sour hard Cyder -

Jan'y 1st 1787 Wind W. mild pleasant day

(Details of the month's weather given. Mostly foggy, frosty, mild, fine)

24th Wind N.E. very fine - saw a full blown primrose

25th Do. Do. Do.

26th Do. N.E. hard frost and very cold

27th Do. Do. With Snow Ancle deep

28th Do. S.E. blows hard. sharp frost & snow

29th Do. S. a general Thaw

30th Do. Do. a fine mild Day

31st Do. Do. Quite a Summer's Day - Birds singing and all nature Exhiliarated

Jan'y 1st 1787 My Copartnership with Mr Philip Riches commens'd in all his Trades of a Wine Brandy, Corn and Hop Merchant etc etc at his house in Woodbridge -

3rd Thanks to the above Gentleman for a dozen Port


Jan'y 1787 details given of principal Packs of Fox Hounds in England - owners and foxes killed during the season

Mr Golden Constable , of Essex (no foxes given as killed)

In Meynel's Hunt (Leistershire) five or more Subs'be 140£ pr. Annum to a general House each has an apartment Stable etc. pay 25 shill'gs pr Head Dinner each, and fill up the Ev'g with Cards and Wine - Flyers only can see their Hounds - Wyndham's Marquis leads - Jack Deverell ye Grazier follows next - N. 18 Packs of Hounds kill'd 339 Foxes by the 31st Dec'r 1786 - each Pack and paraphernalia costing 600£ makes each Fox cost about 30£


Jan 28th 1787 An extremely inclement Day - Wind high and cold with continual Snow


5th Mark Lane





Tick Beans




Clover seed

100 to 112s pr C -

Three pr. Cent consol - 73 1/2 -

January 1787 Turnips were hardly ever known so fine a plant and of so good a quality as this year - Greasing(?) has thus far prosper'd well this season

14th Mr Collett and Mr Jno. Couperthwaite of Woodbridge were stop'd and rob'd returning from Ipswich about 9 in the Ev'g near Rushmere Falcon by a Soldier and a countryman - They were both apprehended by Ripshaw and others the same night and are now in Jail -


1787 Feb. 1st (Details of weather for the month of February given. Very mild with a little rain early in the month; hard frost for three days and then continuing mild.)

Primroses are fully blowen and vegitation remarkably forward

Feb 2nd 1787 Finish'd Six acres of Turnips wh. were begun Nov. 1 -

This and several preceeding has been so very fine and warm that the Larks Thrushes, Blackbirds and Tits sing as it 'twas Summer


18th Cabbage seed sown - Weather remarkably open fine and Warm - Turnips go a beging -

22nd Began planting Beans -

23rd Weather very fine - heard the Woodsprite join his Song of Thanks for this charming Season

Primroses are full blown - gooseberry bushes and honey suckles etc budding for the Leaf; Larks singing and grass growing make us feel the joys of Spring -


Feb'y 23rd 1787 Turnips so plentifull I put out 10 Highlands at 1/ and 50 Lambs at 2/6 pr score a week to the first feed

Finish'd attending a desperate Gun shot wound on a Man's hand at Ash - He was shot by Ric'd Davis game-keeper to Ld. A. Hamilton - his Limb was condemn'd and his Life in imminent danger but is happily recover'd with the loss of a finger only - He was poaching for Pheasants when the misfortune happen'd -


(Details given for the weather March 1787

Mild warm, stormy weather.)

6th rain'd 7 hours - meadows flooded

This month has been so uncommonly fine and warm that vegitation is forwarder this Season than It has been known since That of 1779 -


13th Saw the first Pye-wag-Tail bird of this Season

21st Turnips contin(u)e very good and in great plenty - fine excellent feed plow'd in for want of Stock - They were never known in such abundance and so good for a whole season -

March 9th Finish'd planting 21 Acres of Tick Beans -

Roads are perfum'd with full blowen Violets and Meadowes and Corns beautifully green


23rd Several times Thunder'd pretty loudly -

The Growth of Barly in England and Wales is estimated at 4.600-000 Quarters Annually - 3.300-000 Quar'r of wh. all Malted and about 200-000 Quar'ts only Distill'd the residue for Seed - Mealing - Feeding etc

Excise on Malt for a Year at 10/ pr Quarter


Do. On Beer Do.


Hops for a Y'r


Total on Malt Beer and Hops


30th Green Goosberrys sold in Covent Garden Nmarket at 10/6 pr pint -

(Weather details given for month of April 1787)

This month has been chiefly Cold and uncommonly so the latter end of It -

April 1787 Comparative prices of Provisions



Beef pr. lb

3 1/2

5 1/2



5 1/2



6 1/2


3 1/2

5 1/2

Butter fresh




3 1/2

5 3/4


5 1/2


Bread Quart. Loaf



Mark Lane





Tick Beans








Clover seed

as high as 6£ pr Cen(t)

April 2nd 1787 Began Sowing Oats with Cooks patent Drill Machine - It works with, 5 Coulters and as many funnels into wh. the Corn is thrown by Cups fix'd on a Barrel, and deposited any depth you please in the ground - They have been invented about 3 Years - This is the first seen here - The intention of It is to produce large Crops with half the quantity of seed to what we have on broad Cast at the same time saving the heavy expence of planting by hand -

5th Planted Two Acres of Barly (with 10 pecks pr. Acre) in Two hours and 50 minutes - It does as much in an hour as a Man can with two dibbles in a Day for wh. He charges 4/ -

5th Hear'd the first song of ye Cucko's -Mate Finish'd giving Turnips at Soham

April 14th 1787 Planted 7 Bush'ls of Barly on 3 Acres and 20 Rods in Street Meadow in the forenoon with the patent Drill Machine

19th Planted 3 Combs one Bus'l of Barly on Six Acres with the Drill in a Day - It answers in the operation extremely well and saves about half the Seed to Wheat as us'd in the broad-Cast -


a great Sweepstakes was run this Spring meeting between 6 of the best Horses in England - Rockingham by Highflyer and O'Kelly's Dungannon by Eclipse were the favourites - The latter was drawn at the starting post to the great disappointment and loss of many - o'Kelly lost 700 G's to five Guineas that Rockingham did not take the lead and keep It, wh. He did - The above are as great odds as I remember being lost - Newmarket Ap. 10.1787

Hay in London from 2£. 15s to 3£. 5s pr £(?)

Beef Do. 4 d 1/2 Mutton 4d 1/2

Veal 5 1/2 Grass Lamb 5 1/2

Pork 4 3/4 pr lb -

Hops from 4£. 10s. to 5£. 14s. pr C -


Three pr. Cents Consol. 76 and a fract -

April 1787

(2 pages of patients "Under Physical Directions diary includes complaints)

April 1787 Under Physical Directions. Mrs Beaumont Wilby, Mr Rodwell Broadish (?Brundish) Mr S.L. Bungay, Mr Skeet Marlesford, Mr. Button Marlesford, Mr. F. Debenham, Mr Page Ashfield, a Woman from Dennington, Mr. Hart's Daughter Worlingworth, Mr Warn's Son Worlingworth, Mr (blank) Wickham, Mr (blank) Earl Soham, Mrs Summers Debenham, Mrs Cullum Den(n)ington, Mr Lenny Wilby, Mr Barber Campsey Ash dangerous Gun-shot wound with Gangrene, a Child at Framsden, a Young Woman at Tanington, Mr Pallant Wilby, Eliz. Chapman Framlingham, Mr Oxberry Framsden, Mr Hart's Daughter Letheringham, Jno. Francis Framlingham, Mr Larter's Son Tannington, Mr Burman's Child Framlingham, Mr Garrard laxfield, J.T. E. Soham, a young man, Earl Soham, Eliz. Spalding Brandeston, Oxberry's Children Brandeston, a young Woman Bedingfield, Mr Packard's Son Woodbridge, Jno. Folger and wife Stonham. `


24th Finish'd drilling 30 Acres of Oats and Barly - sav'd 12 Combs of seed by using the machine instead of sowing by ye broad-Cast -


26th Turn'd 10 Highland Scots to grass at Ashfield -

Began mowing bowling green

A man was kill'd at Midleton near Yoxford during a pitch'd battle with one Golby by a violent blow on the Temple -

Mr Baker's celebrated Hound Romulus went away singly with a Fox and kill'd Him after a long and severe Chase -

Mr J. Jeffries's office robb'd of a burning of Potash worth 5£

Agriculture The aetherial principle of Vegitation is compos'd of Spirit. Salt and Sulphur - It is call'd the Spiritus Mundy and is perpetually exhall'd from the Ground - a more than common perspiration of which is the cause of the deeper green colour of Grass in various shapes - It's too great condensation in hot Summers causes the Mildew - It is said to coagulate into Mushrooms and to form the Spider-like-Webs near ye surface of the Ground - ThisThis Spir's Mundi is the universal cause of Vegitation or the God-like principal of Life.

Crops advertiz'd of last year by the Drill Machine are very large - Wheat from 14 bus'ls to 60 pr. Acre - Barly from 40 bush'ls to 72 pr. Do - Rev'd H. Close of Ipswich had 400 bushels of barly for 9 sowen, on 10 Acres of Land -

1787 1st May (Details of weather for the month given. Early in the month Snow, sleet and hail and extremely cold From middle of month becomes milder and warmer and even very Hot and Dry on 22nd.)


1787 Whitbread's Brewery was honor'd with a visit from the King, Queen and Princesses;...

... (includes Astronomer Heirchel discovery of three distinct mountains in the Moon...


4th June Began feeding 10 Horses in a Yard with Tares, fresh from a field of 21/2 Acres - N. lasted six weeks and part of 2d. Crop sav'd for seed

12th The dry Smoak or hot Fog first seen in the Summer of 1783, apear'd again to Day very thick, join'd with great heat and a stench like that of burning flags - Wind N.E.

25th Began sowing Turnips

26th Do. Mowing Clover

(Details of weather for June 1787

Early in the month fine/ warm /cold and Frost on 8th kill'd F'h beans - in all appears to have been a very mixed month.)


(Details of weather for July 1787 - hot/rain/thunder)


July 5th 1787 Ipswich Races began the 3rd wh. was one of the hottest Days I remember - Great Sport for the King's Plate wh. was won at 4 heats by Ld. Grovenor's Wheatsheaf by Sweet William, beating Superb, ye yellow filly, Dromedary and Silvertail - The Assemblys and Breakfastings were very full and Gay -

Sir Ch. Kent member for Thetford has resign'd up his property to his Cred's and is said to have dissipated 70-000£ and to have only 200 ppr. Annum left to go on with -

13th Finish'd sowing 14 acres of Turnips (3 of Do. 2d time) and planting 4000 Cabbages.. the fine Rains for the last 3 Days give us a prospect for a Crop

Lost a fine Young Cart Mare from an Inflamation in her bowels suppos'd to be occasion'd by eating green Tares - She was taken Ill at 2 and Died at 10 o-Clock 16th Attended an amputation of a Leg at Framlingham

July 6th 1787 Finish'd getting up in very fine condition 4 acres of Clover and 7 Do. Of hay - 16 large Loads off the 11 Acres - alias 24 Tons -

10th fine weather continuing have got, up Six acres more in good order

ye 11th came Rain and damaged one Load -

22nd The last 12 Days having been wet a vast quantity of Hay now lies against the ground in a perishing state -

... Directions for the Household of King Henry ye 8th (includes: Master Cooks not to employ Scullions that go about naked )

July 1787 Under Physical Directions: Mr J. Edwards Dennington, Mr Kent Occold, Mr Freeman Aspal, Mrs Freeman Aspal, a Lad at Brundish, a Lad at Framsden, Mills Kettleburgh, James King a farmer at Ash, Peter Kersey Jun'r Monewden, Shelcot's Children Framsden, Tho's mountain Brundish, Mr Smith Monewden, Elz. Skeet Marlesford, Mrs Kerr Badingham, Mary Brooks Ashfield, Mrs Girling Bruysard, (Bruisyard?), Mr Punchard Saxstead, Mr (Blank)Laxfield, Jno. BergesHoxton, Spense Badingham, Haward Framlingham.


Stocks in consequence of the expected civil War in Holland are droping daily Three pr. Cent Consol. from 69 to 70

The Manor of Earl Soham, ye Living and Two fine Farms, containing 360 Acres were purchas'd this month by Jno. Ayton Esq'r for 11,000£ of Mr (or Mrs) Boyfield, who had them from Ld. Hereford's Executors and his Lordship receiv'd Them from the Cottons

Bought of the right Hon. Lord Albro' a cream Dun Colt, 2 years old - He was got by Golden Dun, who was by Gregory's Stork (or Stock), who was by Old Bland, that favorite Son of the Godolphin Arabian - His Dam was by his majesties favorite Dun Horse of the Hanover Stud (confessedly the first in Europe) grand Dam a real Barb. He unites the first rate foreign Blood with that of the most Capital English racer now on the Turf, being allied to Highflier, Rockingham Florizel etc etc and to wh. He adds the muscle and Bone of a Cart Horse - He is a beautifull Dun as were all his ancestors for many generations past is 14 hands 2 inches and a half high, and perhaps the finest Colt in England taken for Blood

Margin Note: Strength Semetry and Action - N.B. bought for 20 G in June and sold for 35 Do in July to Mr Pettit

July 23rd 1787 Earl Soham Fair notwithstanding the Day was wet and stormy was pretty full of gay Ladies and very much so of Joy and other stalls, in the whole about 46 - a Ginger bread baker took 12.12.0 another very small dealer in the same ware rec'd 5.5.0 - upon a moderate calculation They all took no less a sum than 184.0.0

34 Houses (private) sold Beer, Cyder, sweets etc at 3£ - 102.0.0

Two public Houses at 20£ each 40.0.0

Extra Expences to inhabitants 20.0.0


Loss of Time to workmen etc make the Idle Charges of a country Fair come very high and answers no good purpose

Lambs were in greater numbers than usual about 2000 in Toto - They sold from 4/ to 10/ - pretty good Ewes at 7/ and 8/ A Grower keeping to a stif price went home with 27 score all the rest sold readily

July 22nd 1787 Put up a new fashion'd Iron-oven to bake by means of a draft from the kitchen fire - They are found very convenient being heated in a few minutes and perform the business extremely well - Stuff- workmanship and putting up cost about £2.12s. 6d

Mark Lane

Wheat from

38-46 Pr Qu'tr







The continu'd Rains for a fortnight have rais'd the price of old Wheat by prolonging the coming Harvest wh. promises to be very backward

27th The last 17 Days having Rainfall every Day there is the most Hay spoilt I ever remark'd, it being in the height of our haysale -


Aug'st 8th Completed 3 Stacks of very fine Hay at Soham, off 25 Acres - each producing 2 and 1/2 Tons, making more together than 60 Loads -

13th Finish'd making Hay at Ashfield - a very fine Crop upon 11 Acres, not less than 2 Tons and a half pr Acre and all well made

Began Hoeing Turnips - a fine plant and promising for a Crop

23rd & 24th Began mowing Oats and Barly -

27th Cut red wheat and carried after ye Sickle

(Details given of weather for August 1787)

The above moist dull weather very much impedes our Harvesting

Aug'st 9th 1787 The heaviest Storm of Thunder and Lightning attended with Hail and Rain I ever remember happen together - The Lightning was almost a continual blaze from 11 till 3 in the Morning with a perpetual roar of Thunder -

11th Three Men suffer'd at Rushmere near Ipswich for House-breaking They making 15 hang'd at the same place in little more than two Years


(Weather for the month of September 1787 Brown, moist dull cold and stormy. Towards the end of the month foggy, moist and cool)


11th The month of August and to this Day in September the Sun has seldom apear'd an hour together, which with a moist Air and frequent showers our Corns have been scarsely ripe and the Harvest consequently very backward - Much Barly and Rivet Wheat now standing, with all the Beans uncut -


Sep'tr 18th finish'd reaping Rivet Wheat wh. promises to produce 9, or 10 Combs pr. A.

21st Finish'd carrying Barly; and notwithstanding the weather has been remarkably moist, and the least appearance of the Sun ever known in Harvest, we by taking every favourable opportunity have hous'd my Corn in fine condition -

22nd Harvest Supper this Evening

Thanks to Mr. Larter of Tanington for a grey Scotch filly that fell this Spring and was given my Son W. Henry


In light Soils Carrots may be Sown immediately after the Barly is harrow'd in and will produce a crop for the winter without injuring the Corn. A Roller is to be pass'd twice in a place after sowing the Carrots -


Sep'tr 1787 Inclosing Commons is prov'd to increase the Population as 100 is to 121, something more than a 5th - Increase in parishes not recently inclos'd rather less than one tenth -

Oct'r 1st Began Sowing Wheat

9th Finish'd Reaping Beans

22nd Smithfield 1700 Beasts and 10-000 Sheep and Lambs were sold at high prices -

17th-24th At Melton Fair Beasts sold freely at high prices - They came up in fine condition and were about 20 pr. Cent dearer than last Year - Fifeshire Runts(?) as high at 14£

Lambs at Ipswich Fair went off readily at 10 pr. Cent higher than last Year - But few were up comparatively with other years

(Weather conditions given for month of October 1787) Warm. Fine, dry, moist. Month ended Hot, moist and Sultry.


Three pr. Cents Consol. 70 to 71

Nov'r 2nd Do. On acct of 110 War with France - 76 -

Oct'r 1787 Under Physical Directions. Mr Kaly Butley, Phillis Hawes Bedingfield, Mr Pells Kersey Framsden, Mrs Philpot Laxfield, Mr Garrard Cretingham, Mr Lockwood Wilby, Mr Ballaston Badingham,a Lady at Bildistone (Bildeston?), two others at Bildistone, Beales Hoxton, Mr Newson Framlingham, Mr Borret Stradbroke, Mr Green Debenham, Mrs Garrard Debenham, Mrs Twaits Crowfield, Wm. Edwards Brandiston, Mr Hart Cransford, Mr Garrard Saxstead.

The Horrid Slave Trade...

Oct'r Mark Lane


from 34 to 43 pr. Quart'r


22 to 24

Tick Beans

20-24 old 27



Broad Beans

20.26 to 30


Ld. Derby has refus'd 5000 Guineas for his 3 yr. Old Colt Sir Peter by Highflyer


The warm moist Weather since Michaelmas has been uncommonly favourable for Sowing Wheat and its speedily vegetating


5th At Smithfield Sold 2500 Beasts and 12,000 Sheep and Lambs at about 4d pr. lb -

7th Finish'd Sowing 19 Acres and planting four with Wheat -

(Weather given for the month of November 1787. Fine, warm, rain 18th - Wind N.W. Snows fast and very Cold. 26 Ther 2 deg. Below Fr. 27-30 4, 5, 5, 8. deg below respectively)

Nov'r 1787 Great Britain contains about fifty Millions of Acres, the Rental of wh. is Twenty Millions and the average Rent of inclos'd Land 11 s pr. Acre. - about 37-000.000 out of ye 50.000.000 barren or Commons that cry aloud for cultivation -

12th Sold at Smithfield

Beasts 1600 - Sheep and Lambs 9000

The late Duke of Rutland's Coffins of Cedar, Lead and Magagony cost 250£ with Their Decorations

19th Sold at Smithfield Beasts 1800 at about 4d 1/2 pr. lb Sheep and Lambs at 5d pr Do.


Nov 17th 1787 Began Turniping Cows


The Frost was so intense on the 28, 29 and 30 of Nov'r that skaters venter'd (ventured?) on the deepest waters -


(Weather for December 1787. Cold in first few days. S 9th Hot and Sultry Air Ther. 8 deg above F

10th Hot & very pleasant - 12 De. Above.

Mild until 21st.

23rd Ancle deep snow continuing until 26th.

Month finished mild)

The unhappy African Slaves...

Dec'r 10th 1787 Fine Summer's Day. 20 Degrees warmer than Friday 30th of Nov'r last.

15th Bought 8 Acres of good Turnips to be drawn, for 12 beasts in a warm yard well litter'd for 16£ - began Them this Day - Expence of pulling Carting etc the Farmer's - sent 7 Highlands to Chaits(?) Jan. ye 3d

20th Uncommonly warm, the Blackbirds singing as in June

30th a Primrose blown in my Orchard

More Snow fell in the neighbourhood of London, most parts of England and on the Continent than has been known many Years -