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 1789

Jan’y 11th 1789 The severe frost with deep Snow still continues - The Thermometer has been lower 5 deg’s than in 1740 - The Thames above Putney has Stalls and public diversions exhibiting on It daily - The drought has lasted so long and the springs so frozen up, that water is sold by the pail at Norwich and by the pint in some places - The Game are distress’d uncomonly a Hare took refuge in a copper hole and a Partridge in my house, another was taken unable to fly and brought in -

(Weather for Month of January 1789:)

The severity of the early part of this Month in England and foreign Countries is said to have been unequall’d even by the hard Winter of 1740 -

If bitten by a Mad Dog wash the part immediately with warm water - continuing the operation for an hour at least, by wh. the poison will be prevented entering the Circulation -

13th The gay scenes on the Thames continue - Immense numbers of People assemble on the Ice to see the various diversions of Bear baiting, roasting Hogs whole, and carousing over large Fires eating and drinking -

Jan’y 1789 Stocks. 3 pr. Cent. Consol. 72 and a frac. Drop’d 3 pr. Cent on Act. Of his Majestys Illness

Mark Lane


from 40 to 50 Pr Quar’tr


Do. 20 - 23 & 6


14 - 19


32 - 34 - 35


26 - 32


21 - 22 & 6

Kent Hops: 8£ 10s. 0d pr. Hund. - pr. Pocket retail 20d pr. lb N.B. risen 6d pr lb since Oct’r

Suff’k Butter and flet Cheese Sold by Dairys at about 30 and 30 - last Year as high as 35 and 35

25th Notwithstanding the Frost was as severe and the Snow as deep as ever known since 1709’ tis nearly all dissolv’d and vanish’d by a very gradual Thaw - we began plowing the 20th

1789 Feb’y Under Physical Directions: Mr Reeve Debenham, Mr J. Kilderbee Framlingham, Mrs Bligh Letheringham, Mr Edwards Framlingham, Mrs Nevele (?) Aspal, Miss Fairweather Aspal, Mrs Scoulding Hoo, Mr Warn Bedingfield, Chapman Framsden,Dr. Spalding Framlingham, G. Cullum’s Wife Denington, Mr Lockwood Wilby, Mrs (blank) Whinston, Mrs Cluttoin Whinston, Mrs Buxton Ashfield, Man from Framling-, Mr Welton Horham, James Saxstead, Mr Orford Debenham, Mrs Orford Debenham, Miss King Tanington, Mrs Cupper Worlingworth, Mr SmithMonewden,Mrs Rawlins Hoo, Mr Keeble’s Child Kettleburgh

(Weather for Feb’y 1789:)

This month has been remarkably mild and pleasant - The fine crop of Turnips so generally destroy’d by the severe frost - All the Graziers are much distress’d and are sending Their Beef and mutton away ‘tho the latter is sold from 2d ½ to 3d pr. lb -

(Weather for the month of March 1789: Cold, frosty snow 12 - 5 Deg. Below F. S. 22 Rain all day - Westerf’d Scene - (what does this mean?))

(Weather for April 1789: 12, 13, 14 Wind N.E. very sharp nights and fine Days - all high buisy this last sowing Barlys - etc etc. Lands work remarkably well and are chiefly sown the first Earth -)

From Antiquities of Hawstead. (1281) … prices…bread of acorns - wages

About 1600; Glass windows were introduc’d into farm Houses - Clover was first in this parish (Hawstead) about 1700 and Turneps at the same date -

Botany Bay…

St. George’s Day 23rd April: The King made choise of this Day to have It celebrated by thanksgiving and Prayer for his Recovery and health all over England - To wh. was added a universal Holyday spent by every demonstration of Joy by all descriptions of People - Ringing -bone-Fires Illuminations - Feasting, Fireworks and charity prevail’d every were - Brandeston very pompous in Illuminations - Framlingham a grand Supper and Ball with two barrels of old beer on the Hill - Worlingworth a public Dinner to all that came and two Barrels of Beer - Debenham - Illumination - and Earl Soham gave a public Dinner to two hundred and 30 Labourers wifes and Children, of Beef and plumb pudding - after wh. a sheep with the horns gilt was roasted whole and a barrel of Beer given to the little Tradesmen and others of wh. at least 70 more pertocke - 24 Gentlemen Din’d and drank his Majestys health and assisted at singing ‘God save ye King’ with not less than 500 of the happiest People ever seen and thus terminated a very Joyous pleasant Day -

Margin note: The sheep and a barrel of Beer was given by W. Goodwin

(Weather for the month of May 1789: Cold early in the month. Hot and dry by 25th to end of month

Entry for 31st. … with a glorious ground Shower that was much wanted.)

A second illumination…

The King gave a Ball and Supper…

The Spirit of Liberality never shone with such lasture as on the 23d rejoicing for the recovery of George the 3d - Spink a banker at Bury gave 200£ to the poor - Kerrison a banker at Norwich had a Bullock roasted whole - many parishes roasted sheep and fill’d the Bellies of all Their Poor -

1789 May 12th Open’d our Bowling green for this year with a Fish Dinner as usual - Ten out of 28 attended - Soals Mackeril Lobsters etc etc -

Criminals Executed…

22nd The bounds of E. Soham wh. had not been gone for 22 years was this Day repeated - The whole Extent about 9 miles - we were three hours and a half on ye round after wh. the following Gentlemen Din’d Rev’d F Capper and Son Geo - Jno Ayton Esq - Mr Th’s Goodwin S. Barber - W. Henchman - Ph. Crowe W. Goodwin etc etc each pd. 1/ the remainder together with Dinners for 4 hatchet Men a quart of Beer to every Labourer, half a pint the boys bread and Cheese for all or Cakes was pd. by the Town -

May 6th 1789 The following Battle was fought… Humphrey’s of Ipswich vs. Johnson + newspaper cutting. On the back of the cutting details of various properties: Manor of Hingham Gurney, Fritton, nr Long Stratton, household effects including electrical machine and some animals sold at Yoxford, residence of John Blatch Whaley sold at Colchester, to be let or sold - house in St. Clements Fore-street, Ipswich with a gateway to St. Clement’s Churchyard.

Botany Bay…

Another Fleet is now…

Dec’r 25th (??) Three Transports are under …

(Weather for the month of June 1789:)

This month being generally wet has retarded Hay harvest and spoil’d much Clover etc that was Cut -

The total amount of Excise…

Franking Letters…

Subscriptions to the next Lottery…

The Tontine of a Million borough’d…

June 24th Bank Stock: 3 pr. Cent Consols 77 and a frac East India 173

Mark Lane


52-53 pr. Quar





Tick Beans


Hops are risen 20/ pr. Hund. On acc’t of the Fly

A Pike…


June 1789 Under Physical Directions: James Dunnit Debenham, a young man - Soham, Mr Ward Fressingfield, Mrs Pollard Whinston, Mrs Bugg Framlingham, Mrs Darby Debenham, Mrs Cupper Worlingworth, Robert at Mr Davy’s Debenham, Mrs Smith Bedingfield, Mrs Orford Debenham, Mr Baalam Aspal, Mrs Rose - Fressingfield, Elis Button - Soham, Mr. Button’s servant - Soham, Mrs Cupper Worlingworth, Mr. Abbott Brandeston, Ungless Laxfield, Mr Moore Surg. Framlingham, Mr. Jno. Barthrop Parham, Mrs Darby Debenham, Mr. Stanford’s Son Framlingham, Gorrord Cretingham, Mr Club’s Son - Framlingham. (Any relation to the Clubbe’s of ES?)

(Weather for July 1789:)

Thus far a bad season for Hay-making as has been known lately and an unusual quantity of spoilt or damag’d - mine has been well made by constantly putting It on the Cock when at all wither’d -

France From being the disturber of Europe …

France has petition’d us for 20-000 Sacks of Flour; a privy Council was held and tis determined that on acct. of the high price of Wheat here (30s pr. Comb) and the hazard of the coming Crop from the long contain’d Rains It cannot be spar’d - 20.000 - Sacks of flour will feed 200-000 people a Month, and the City of London a week -

Holland has made the same request but It cannot be complied with Wheat being with us as high as 1£.11s. 6d Pr. Comb - to 1-15-0 Do

The Queen of France and her Party are overcome,…

July 23rd E. Soham Fair very Wet and Dirty - The fine Ladies fewer in number and clouded - They were consol’d next Day with a Dance - The least money taken for Liquor or Goods that has been for Years - Lambs not so many as last Year; price higher by 10pr Cent and very few sold -

Some fine Wheat was sold the 20th of this Instant as high as 37s pr. Comb at Mark Lane and 35 pr. Do. Was given at Ipswich for 100 Combs -

Stocks Bank - 185 E. India 177 and a frac Three pr. Cent Consol. 79 and a Do. Hops Kent Pockets 126 to 147 pr. cwt

Mark Lane Aug’st 7th

Wheat from

54 to 63


25 to 27


20 to 21/6



Wheat is droping every Day since fine Weather - The Scarcity was imaginary and Artificial

July 1789 France still exhibits the most universal revolt…

Sep’tr 12thThe Nation verges on Bankruptcy…

Oct’r Another violent Tumult in wh. many were slain…

Aug’st 17 1789

Hops - Kent

158 to 180 pr. Cwt.

Sep’tr 1


9£ to 10£ pr Do



7 to 7£15 pr Do



8 to 9£ old pr Do

Do. New

7 to 8£ pr. Do

Oct 25

Do. Do.

7 to 8£10 pr do.

Do. Old

7 to 9£ pr Do.

Nov 20

Do Do.

7 to 7.7 pr. Do

26th Mark Lane


50-52 Pr. Quar’tr



Tick Beans


Sep’tr 3rd A Severe Storm Thunder and Lightning fell here, wh. lasted from 8 till nine with terrible flashes of blue Fire - a Tree was set on fire in a field adjoining pigot’s Row -

By an Acc’t deliver’d to Government…

(Weather for Aug’st 1789: Good harvest weather. 13: Thick fog a.m. fine p.m. Lowest’ft; 14 fine brown Day - Yarmouth; 15 fine brown Day with Showers - Beccles.)

(Weather for Sep’tr 1789. Fine hot harvest Days.)

A handsome brick’d House was built this Summer by Jno Ayton Esq’r in the place of the Old Lodge at E.S.

Donald Mac.Leod ye Highlander walk’d…

George Washington The American Hero possesses…

Sep’tr 29 At Ipswich Butter Fair

Dairy’s sold Butter 30

Flet Cheese 26 to 28 pr Wey

(Weather for month of October showers early in the month; frosty 17th; 25 - extremely fine - Carried Clover seed.)

1789 Oct. 21st In consequence of the late wet weather most of our Beans and Clover-seed are now abroad - Generally clear’d off the 26th

Newspaper cutting: Jackson vs. Perrins

The Famous Johnson weighing 13st. 6 lb….

Nov 1st 1789 France continues in distraction, 200 of the Principal Families have left the Kingdom and carried away immense property…

The flame of Liberty is broken out in Brabant…

1789 Mr Fozard (advanc’d in Life)…

The Prince of Wales’s Traveller beat ye D. of Bedford’s grey Diomed…

Oct. The D. of Queensbury’s Dash - beat Ld. Barrymores Highlander…

Mr. Jno Hunter of London has rec’d a Skeleton of a Child…

Nov 9th Cap’tn Hull’s Horse ran on Ipswich Race ground 50 miles in two hours and 50 minutes for 100 G’s - He was allow’d 3 hours -

A Bantam Hen died of mine 15 yrs of Age

(Weather for November 1789. Fine and warm in the first part of the month. Cold weather from 7th but moist.)

… (2 pages)

(Weather for Dec’r.mostly mild. 27th - heavy Rain and high flood

28th - Summer Day - saw a full Blowen Cowslip and Primrose)

Dec’r 1789 Exchang’d a seat at Church with Jno. Ayton Esq’r for one immediately under the Desk - and built one for my Servants at the lower end of the Church, coming in at the great Door, with his Consent, and that of the Rev’d F. Capper, and Jno Scotchmer church-warden - The Seat cost 1:17:2 -

18th Mr Martin Harsant Died this morning early, very suddenly from a pain in his Stomach - ag’d 71 - He went to Bed in unusual Spirits counting how happy He would be next Day at a Feast -

Porter Brew’d in London last year…

Thanks to my friend Cavell for a Barrell of fine Porter -