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 1791 (Jan-Jun)

Jan’y 1791 The Ordinary of the Navy made up to Jan. 5. 1791 is 237 Vessels of wh. 115 are of the Line -

Public Houses or Inns in Great Britain are 76-000

Bankrupts in Do. Last Yr. 657

Do. In 1789 585

The Prince of Wales’s Sword on the Queen’s Birth-Day was valu’d at 10-000 Gs.

The following Character was put into a Register office at Edinburgh

Peggy Monro aged 23 fit either for Cook, keeping Children, or milking Cows; a particular good washer, and famous for clear-starching and making Beds - Born in Inverness and can live upon almost nothing and can Spin with both hands and knit stockings with one - and never falls asleep at her Wheel

Feb’y The ships now going to Botany Bay carry out 1200 Convicts of whom Two 5ths are Females - Barrington is with Them.

Jan’y 24th 1791 For three months past the Wind has been chiefly S. and S.W. frequently blowing the most violent Gales and sometimes attended with Thunder and Lightning - The most Rain has fallen ever remember’d, hardly a week without a flood - Slight Frosts succeeded by Rain with warm relaxing air has been the general case.

Horses all over this Country have been afflicted with an Influensa that has prov’d fatal to many - Some have the Disease in the shape of a common Cough, sore Throat and running at the nose, these mostly recover - Others are suddenly struck with stupification - loss of strength and flesh, and frequently Die. I have lost Two - Mr Freeman of Occold Five - Mr. Goldsbury of Theberton 7 or 8 - The best remedies are gentle Laxatives - Emetic Tartar - warm Masshes and in some Cases bleeding -

25th Primroses have been in blossom ever since November and one Cowslip in Do. Yesterday.

Feb 2nd 1791 After a very Tempestuos night this Morning being a new Moon and the Wind blowing hard from ye. N.W. the highest Tide happen’d on this Coast known in the memory of Man - The Farmer’s on the Coast foreseeing Their danger lost scarcely any Stock and only one Man - The Tide should have been at the highest at 10, but It run’d Two hours longer and made over the Beach in many Places for Two hours and a half - Ipswich lower Streets and houses were full of Water - Carts removing Some of thee Inhabitants and a boat rowing on the Bowling green - damages 3000£. But loss to owners and occupiers of Marsh Lands buting on the Sea or Rivers near It is immense, as They were all under water from Maldon to Yarmouth - Lanthorn Marshes ‘tis fear’d are lost for ever the Sea having made a compleat Harbour into Them 40 rods Wide wh. the Engineers think can never be stopt -

Margin note: Mr. Jno. Wade’s loss in Crops is said to be 1600£ at Orford - Lawyers were ferry’d into Westminster Hall -

Feb 1791

Turnips are allow’d to be as large and as good in Crop as ever known - in many instances 4 Turnips weigh six Stones - one Do. (root and Top) in this parish weigh’d 25 lb and a half - They are very sweet and full of juice

25th The wind higherto has been chiefly W. and S.W. and the Weather remarkably mild and fine several Days in this week quite warm like May Turnips are rossing (? Rotting) and some blowen

26th Wind N.E. blows hard and very Cold with Snow and Sleet, and by far the most inclement Morn’g this winter -

A Public meeting of the Directors and Guardians for the Hund's of Loes and Wilford conven’d at Woodbridge determin’d to petition parliament for leave to raise Their Rates one third, having been loosing Money several Years; but chiefly from neglect of their Duty and mismanagement -

Feb’y 1791 The Prince of Wales and His two Brothers have just completed Their Loan of 300-000£ with the Dutch; mortgaging the Dutchy of Courland and the bishopric of Osnaburgh - His Highness has before been in a Bankrupt state and sold off but rallied again as ‘tis hop’d He now will - What a sanction this to His under pulling subjects?

2nd The Albion Mills - London took Fire and were burnt to Ashes in half an hour - They were erected on a very extensive scale, work’d by Steam and cost 100-000£ - The wheat flour etc. consum’d together with this immense building and implements make the whole loss 150-000 at least - They are said to have taken fire from friction

Buildings and machinery ins. For 26-000£

Stock in Trade Do. Only 24.000£

Near 300 hands are thrown out of Employment by ye above accident

Botany Bay Feb. 1790

Governor Philips to Ld. Sydney says the Soil is very fine and prolific for Wheat Barly Oats Potatoes etc etc. The climate as fine and congenial to Health as any in the world - out of 1030 people Landed, there has been 77 Died and 87 Born in 22 Months - many were old and Diseas’d when sent from England -

Margin note: Total cost to Govern’t from 1789 to Feb. 1791 for Provisions, Cloathig Medicines, Implements and Stores for the Convicts etc. was 84:553£: 4s. 7d

March 16th The Weather for 3 weeks past has been uncommonly fine and Dry - chiefly frosty nights and warm alias Hot Days - The Dust flies and the wind S. and S.W.

Gold Coin’d in the present Reign

In Guineas 40-852-602

Half Guin’s 4-497-514

Quarter Do. 298-152

Total Gold 45-638-268

Silver Coin’d during the same 68-609

Tale of Gold at 46£ 14s. 6d. pr. lb Troy

Of Silver at 3£-2s.- pr. lb -

March 1791 The finest Weather every (ever?) known still continues - The wind chiefly to the S. of the E. & W.

The Aggregate number of Stockholders in England as lately stated amounts to 129-000 persons -

The Land Tax in France according to the late decree of the Nat. Assembly amounts to 12.000.000 Ster. Six times as much as that paid in England -

April 5th 1791 Turnips are in such Abundance that Stock are taken to feed gratis and many Acres advertiz’d for that purpose - They are still sweet and good especially in heavy Lands

At a Sale of the Stock of the late Mr. Rob’t Fowler of Rolright (?) Oxfordshire the following were the prices




a Bull -




a Cow






























Cow in Calf


a Calf 3 Months old


Do. Do


The Duty on Strong beer from 1684 to 1693 was 2/6 pr. Barrel when the amount of Ale charg’d in England was 4..567..293 barrels

on increasing the Duty to 4/9 they have ever since (to 1750) fallen one million of Barrels short pr. Annum -

It appears previous to 1782 the Inhabitants of this Country consum’d annually 5 m-100-000 Gallons of Spirits out of wh. the Smuglers supplied them with 4m 300-000 Gall’s - N. The men women and Children are suppos’d only about 8-000-000

25th April 1791 The Spring hitherto has been unusually fine warm and pleasant and the grass and vegetables remarkably forward and bloming -

May 20th Lottery for 1791

The highest bidder was Mr. Cope at 16£..2s. 6d. pr. Ticket - profit to Government of 306£ - 250£ (?)

The Pope was burnt in effigy at Paris for not admitting an Ambassador who took ye Oath to ye National Assembly

The Bill for abolishing the Slave Trade wh. has been two years before Parliament was lost by a majority of 73 to ye disgrace of Morality, Humanity and Religion - It was ably supported by Wilberforce, Pit, Fox, Burke, Sheridan etc etc, but the mean consideration of profit prevail’d against Reason and Justice

1791 May Mr Pitt’s Budget states the Annual Income at nearly 17.000.000 and the Expenditure at about 15.000.000 - and the increase of the Revenue of last Year at 600-000£ - no new Taxes this Year -

The Christnings in Paris last year were 20-000 and a fraction

The sexes nearly equal -

The Lincolnshire Ox weigh’d 320 Stones - was 12 Inches thick of fat on his Rib - His Tongue sold for 1.1.0 and his Heart weigh’d 14 lb

June 4th 1791 Sr. Gerrard William Vanneck was buried at Huntingfield - He Died of a general decline in his 48th Year, universally belov’d and regretted, particularly by his Tenants, Servants Tradesmen and the Poor, to whom He was always kind, generous and unboundedly Charitable - His ill success and disappointment at the last general Election was suppos’d to hasten his fate - Sr. G’d died worth 8000£ pr Annum in Landed property and between Two and three Hund. Thousands in the Funds - The corps laid in State at Hevingham Hall and was magnificently interred amidst at least 5000 Spectators -

Also newspaper cutting to same effect.

June 7th 1791 The Weather for many weeks has been dry, with Cold nights and lately very hot Days - our Corns look well, especially those early sowen in the Spring, but our upland grapes want Rain - We have began mowing Trefoils - Ryegrass and some Clovers

Mr Pitt declared to the House That ye future Annual Expenditure during Peace and including the Million for reducing the national Debt would be 15-506-900£ - and that ye future annual Income may be expected to amount to 16-030-000£ (estimating the Land Tax at 1.972-000 and the Malt Do 586-000 and the permanent Taxes at 13-472.000£ - Mr. P further declar’d that in the last 5 years 5-424.592£ has been applied towards reducing the national Debt -