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 1788

(Weather for January 1788. 1st mild and wet. 12th described as a Beautifull Summer’s Day. 14th Snow. Month ended mixture Cold, dry, fine, foggy, thick heavy Air.)

Jan’y 1st 1788 Settled my Partnership Acc’ts with Mr Riches - 415£

Mark Lane


36-46 Pr. Quar’r


24-18/6Barly 20-24

Grey Peas

25-26Boiling Do. 32-25

Tick Beans


Stocks. 3 pr. Cent Con. 76

22nd a Charming Day - Birds singing and the full blown primrose proclaiming Spring -

Cherry Trees of various kinds planted in Orchard and bowling-green

Boxing … plus newspaper cutting re: Mendoza

Feb. 2nd 1788 As fine travelling on foot or horse-back as ever seen -

4th Account of Mr. Panton’s Fox Hounds of Newmarket unkennel’d at Thurlow vel abessey-wood…

(Weather for month of February 1788 - a mild month)

Feb’y 1788 Under Physical Directions: Mr Hervey Brandiston, Wesse’s Son Framsden, Oxberry Framsden, Keer’s friend Hevingham, a man at Pulham, Jno Barker Soham, Warner’s wife Ashfield, (Warner’s wife’s son inoculated), Jno. Boast Cratfield, Mr Pitcher Debenham, Mr Green Debenham, Mr Abbott Debenham, Mr Gardiner Debenham, Mary Warren Weybred, Miss Kilderbee Ipswich,Mr Edwards Dennington, His maid Ser’vt Dennington, Sam. Stanford Easton, Mrs Gibbons Dennington, Allen Bedfield,Mary Watling Ashfield, Jno Blomfi(e)ld Southwold, Chenery Stradbrooke, Mr Cracknal Bedingfield, Jos’h Kersey Framsden.

(Weather for March 1788 3rd - Mild as May. Then very cold until 18th - mild to end of month)

1788 March Winter in Agriculture highly prefers the new mode of Drilling and hoeing Corn - says six inches space between the Drills produce the largest Crops of Wheat etc Barly and the fewest weeds - Says Turnip seed steep’d in Train or Linseed Oil 20 hours and then mix’d with a little mould, prevents the Fly in a great measure and remarkably hastens the growth of the Plants - The more Land is Plow’d and harrow’d the more nourishment It imbibes from the Dews and Atmospherical influences -

Turnips very scarce and dear - Every Body at want, They having lasted much less time than was expected.

17th Began planting Beans - Weather uncommonly Cold

21st Finish’d giving Turnips here and at Ashfield -

(Weather for the month of April 1788. The latter and indeed the chief of this Month has been uncommonly hot and fine - All our grass and Corns in a florurishing state and very forward}

April 1st Began sowing Barly

Bank Stock 173 and a fraction. 3 pr. Cent. Cons. 75 -3.4ths

Mark Lane






18 to 19.6

Tick Beans

18 to 21.6

Wood no less than 600-000 Packs are annually Shorn in England - a new Bill is passed further restricting the Exportation as much have been found Smuggled -

(Weather for the month of May 1788 This month having been favor’d with fine Showers our Country has the most blooming appearance and a prospect for abundance of all the fruits of the Earth}

Loose note re: Jonathan Smith - Hoeing and cultivating his farm was hit by Lightning…

May 4th 1788 Died poor old Henry Thurlow after 14 days Illness of Peripneumony - He had been my Labourer more than 11 years, was a most valuable Servant an honest Man and very much regretted.

Details of Lottery tickets for 1789…

Hops from 3/ to 3/3 pr. lb -

June 1788 Under Physical Directions: Mrs Sarah Godbold Wilby, Mrs Smith Cratfield, Miss Brill Essex, Mr Gooch Stradbrooke, a child at Denington, Wid’w Girling Denington, Eliz Fairweather Worlingworth, a Man at Debenham, r Mayhew Framsden, Mrs Cooper Bredfield, L. Cressy of Soham, T Salter Soham, Mr Wilson Hoxne, Mrs Johnson Redingfield, Miss Glandfield Parham, Mrs Cracknal Wilby, Mrs Keen Russingles (Rishangles?), Mr Buckman’s daughter Framlingham, Lady from London, Mrs Smith Allington, Mrs Dove Cretingham, Mr Clemence Worlingworth..

(Weather for month of June 1788)

Much Hay has been lost in our Rivers by the unusual high flood on Sunday and our Lands newly sowen with Turnips very much wash’d away -

1788 June 13th Began mowing Clover and find a good Crop, but the late dry weather and piercing N.E. Winds have Cut off our feeding and mowing grass in an uncommon degree and will render our haysale very light indeed -

14th Mr Riches my Partner imported 30 pieces of Sp’ts and 80 Pipes of wine this week -

The Smoaky Air first observ’d in 1783 has again prevail’d all this Month ‘tho in a lesser degree than at its f’st appearance -

Sr. W. Dolben’s Bill for the relief of the African Slaves…

18th Saw the first Young Partridges of 1788

26th Began Sowing Turnips

Dr. Watson in his Chymical Essays has convinc’d the Reviewere "That the Vegitable kingdom is not destitute of perception". Margin note: Vol. Price 4/

28th Mr Jno. Ayton held his first Court for this Manor at the Falcon where Mar. Harsant Jun’r was admitted to the Ivy-Barn-Farm paying 56£ for 28 acres together with the buildings being Copyhold - The Farm was bought of the Webbers for about 1000G’s

The heavy Rain Yesterday produc’d an unusual large flood in this neighbourhood -

31st Began Mowing Trefoil for seed -

July 10th 1788 Finish’d getting up 6 Acres of Trefoil for seed -

23rd Soham Fair not very full of company - about 60 Stalls of all denominations. Cherries in great abundance - Lambs not so many as last Year the Head Wethers went at 10 and 11. Ewes from 8 to 9 -

25th Began Hoeing Turnips, and have a fine promising plant on 20 Acres

28th Cut up 3 Acres of Peas

.A Hail Storm fell this month in France…

(Weather for month of July 1788 light showers fell on St. Swithins. Fine warm month with showers. Harvest of all sorts began and Turnips a universal plant -)

16th Carried 5 Acres of red Wheat in fine condition

Stocks last Quarter

Bank 173, 3 pr. Cents Cons. 73

Mark Lane


37-49 Pr. Quar’r



Tick Beans




Hops none to be had at Soham - Framlingham or Worlingworth - procur’d 3lb by favor at Woodbridge for 10/6

(Weather for month of August 1788.)

This month has been uncommonly fine for Harvesting and most of our Corns are hous’d in fine condition

Sep’tr 6th 1788 Harvest Supper to night and rejoicing for one of the finest seasons to collect our Corn, ever known -

Noel Hill’s Fox hounds consisting of 60 Couples sold together for 1020£ at Tattershall’s

Hops are fallen in price very essentially Farnham sold last month for 22£ pr. Hund. And now are worth but 10£ - The crop is so very fine and large They are expected to be much lower -

16th Finish’d Stacking Beans - our fields are clear’d of Corn and began sowing Wheat -

(Weather for the month of September - mostly fine and hot)


(see separate file)

1788 Sep’tr The Gleaning Cause was given against the Gleaners because all the Crop is of right his who Sows and Cultivates

Mr Lancaster of E. Soham lost 8 Weanal Calves from needle-worms in the Lungs and wind-pipe - this Disease appears catching is call’d the histe and ought to be treated with Mercurial ointment rub’d well on the pipe to saturate the body

28th Finish’d Setting and Sowing 24 A’s Wheat. We have this yr. Been favor’d with the finest and most plentifull summer almost ever known, the Country abounding with Corn, grass, Turnips and fruits of all sorts - Apples, from sixpence to 2/ ppr Sack ready pluck’d and of the finest kinds -

Oct. 1788 Under Physical Directions: Mr Jos Peck Whinston,Mrs Moyce Stonham, Mrs Emminey Framsden, Young man Occold, Mrs Borret Allington, Mrs Fulcher Framsden, Mrs Clutton Fressingfield, Mr Freeman Aspal, a man Debenham, Fanny at Crisp’s Easton, a Child Framsden, Mrs Hammond Framsden, Mrs Hart Worlingworth, Mrs Lancester Debenham, Mrs Osborn Monk Soham, Mr Wright Denington, Mr Farthing Aspal, Mrs Reve Brandiston Brandiston, Mrs Ashford - Soham, Mr Cockeril Wilby, Smith’s wife Wilby .

(Weather for the month of October:)

This month has been unusually fine and pleasant - but too Dry for Sowing Wheat many Acres being still unseeded on that Acc’t.

(Weather for the month of November 1788 Mild at the beginning of the month, cold from 25thonwards. Snow recorded on 27th.)

1788 Nov. 24th Purchas’d the Ashfield Farm of my Father for 1900 £s.

27th This has been the finest and most agreeable Autumn perhaps ever known - uninterrupted fine weather having continued without even one coarse Day since harvest - much Wheat still to Sow for want of Rain -

28th First winter-Day - Wind N.E. Ground cover’d with Snow

… 2 1/2 pages plus newspaper cutting

(Weather for December 1788: Cold: 15,16 17, 18, 19, 20, record Thermometer as being 9, 11, 6, 11, 8, 5 Deg. Below Freezing. 23 - 14 Deg. Below. 30 Deep Snow 16 Deg. Below.)

31st … Execessively Sharp - Ther. 12 deg. Below and P.M. 8 Do. Below F …

The cheif part of this month has been as Cold as most Men remember

1788 Dec’r 24th An unusual Drought has prevail’d in England and Scotland particularly the latter the greatest part of this Year - for several months we have had but one Shower of any consequence - The Springs and Rivers never known so low at this Season - Many Farms much distress’d for water -

N. Thermometer 13 deg’s higher the 24th than the Day before -