William Goodwin of Street Farm, Earl Soham.

Diaries dated from 1785-1810. Vol. 2.. HD 365/2.

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 1792

Jan 1st 1792 Air very soft and mild, more like April than Jan’y

A fat sheep of Mr Bakewel’s breed was kill’d at Bath, weighing 45 lb per quarter and sold for 1/ per lb

Two fat sheep were killed at Banbury (not of the Leicester breed) one weighed 202 lb the other 201 lb. One of the shoulders weighed 28 lbs.

11th, 12th & 13th Sharp frost especially the latter wh. was quite intense having frozen our Pump - The turnips are nearly all spoilt for standing long.

Jan. 20th Mark Lane


32- 42 pr quart


24-26 "


26-28 "



Clover Seed

37-48 pr. C

Kent hops 126 pr cwt

Stocks 3 pr. Consol 90-91 ½


Are extravagantly dear, chiefly occasion’d by the immense quantities Exported, on wh. so large a bounty is allow’d, that the shipers get 3d and 4d per lb. Cheaper in Paris than in London - vast numbers of families are leaving off its use partly on the score of economy as well as to discourage individually the horid iniquity of the Slave Trade. (Note in the margin: Lump Sugar now 15d. per lb.)

1792 Jan Acts of Industry. Peele of Manchester in the Cotton Manufactory employs 20,000 hands & was originally a porter at 1d a day. Philips & Co at Do. Employs 15,000 and were orig’ly common workmen.

Peele lately gave a single draft for 60,000£ for the Bur’w of Tamworth. Wedgewood the famous Potter employs 20,000 hands - These with Sir R. Arkwright (who was a common Barber at Manch’tr in 1774) have risen to great opulence and consequence by their ingenuity, honour and Industry & deserve more from their Country than the highest Titles can convey - Whitbread the Brewer pays more than 400£ pr. An. For water.

London Bill of Mortality was 10,000 of each Sex born, with a fr (?). of hundreds & little difference in the No. of the sexes.

1792 Jan’y. 25th

Braham Cause. Jn’o Rivett Esq. Of Brandeston ver. Mr Riley of Ash (?field).

Mrs Braham died about 4 yrs since aged upwards of 80 and left Landed property worth 1000£ pr. Annum & personal Do. From 14 to 18 thousand pounds - After Mrs B’s decease Riley an artfull Jesuit who had lived in her family several years produc’d a will, in wh. Mrs B was said to give Him the personal & Mr Braham of London her real Estate - This matter was conducted with the utmost Art & Address possible, & obtain’d a verdict in its favour at Bury before a Special Jury. Rivett obtain’d a new Trial in the Ct. of King’s Bench this Day, before a special and most respectable Jury (9 from Suffolk and 3 from London) who to the entire satisfaction of Ld. Kenyon and 3 other Judges & the whole Court, gave a verdict for Mr. R’t believing Riley a forger of the will in his own favour. Rivett obtains the real and 7 divide the personal Estate.

Jan 1792 31st

The King this day open’d the Session with a most gracious and popular speech informing his People of the flourishing state of the Finances and recommending a reduction of Taxes, the Army and Navy - Mr Pitt in the Commons propos’d taking the Tax off wagons and Carts wh. amounts to l00,000£s and ½ pr lb off Candles - the Tax off female servants and from the real paupers hearty money (3/) all wh. makes 200,0003s - The National Income last year from parmanent Taxes was 16,699.00£ Parmanent Expenditure 15,800,000£ Surplus 899.000 £. The above He thought ought to be divided between the reduction of Taxes and paying the national Debt.

1792 Feb. Two Hundred friends were entertained in a Brewer’s Tub in London. It contains 10,000 Barrels and cost 3,000£s - A china bowl containing 27 gallons of Punch was introduced for the Company.

Produce of Taxes from Jan 5th. 1791 to Do. 1792

Customs - 3:723.361

Excise 7.182.107

Stamps 1.277.907

Incidents 1.948.031

New Duties for 1791

(vid. Old M.S. Dec. 1790)

Sugars 206.257

Brit. Sp.ts 78.703

Foreign. Do. 88.193

Malt 3d. p. bus 146.732

Bills & receipts 108.637

Increas’d Game Duty 10.917

Ten pr Cents on Taxes 53.504

Grand Total 14.824.416

The Annual Taxes are not included in the above.

1792 Feb. 12th The weather for more than a fort’night past has been very mild - to day quite hot - birds singing and Turnips running, reminds us of an early spring - saw a Cowslip blown.

17th Wind N. very cold, with frequent falls of snow - many had began planting beans but now are retarded.

In 1783 the No. of Ships clear’d outwards from the various Ports of’ ye. Kingdom was 8873 - In 1790 cleared etc (?) 13,902 - increase in 7 years - 5029

Value of Imports in 1783 - 13m122.23£

Of Do. In 1790 19m129.121£

Increas’d value in 7 years amazing.

Value of Exports in 1783 14m756.818

Of Do. In 1790 20m120.123

Increas’d value in 7 years upwards of 5 millions

18th W.N. intensely Cold, blows hard. Ther. 8 d below freezing - Snow ancle deep and as severe a night as has been for years.

Loose piece of paper:

The 6 Day of Nov. 1793. Manor of Earl Soham. Received then of Wm Goodwin the sum of one pound and three shillings and 4 pence in full for one years quit Rent due to the said Manor at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel last past. I say received the same for the use of and Acquittance.

Mr John Ayton Lord of the said Manor. J ?? Churchyard

Sold by Coles and Evans, Stationers, No. 21 Fleet Street

Feb 17th 1792 The Budget was opened by Mr Pitt with one of the most Popular and brilliant speeches ever deliver’d in Parliament explaining the very prosepurous state of this Country and its Finances, & its ability to reduce Her Taxes, proposing to take off the 3d pr buss. Laid on malt last wh. He deem’d £100,000

That on female ser’vts 56.000

Carts & Wagons 31,000

Hearth money paid by 350,000 poor men in houses under ye Windows 105.000

Savings intended. Two Thousand Seamen reduc’d 104.000

Do. Works in the yards 10.000

Hessian subsidy ceas’d 36.000

Reduction of Land Forces 50.000

He supposes 1793 will prove much more productive than any former year and that without War our prosperity will exceed all calculation.

Feb 19th 1792 Snows all day and freezes sharply.

The 20th continues snowing - lies the thickest on the ground it has done for many years -

21st .22nd Sharp frost more snow Ther 9 d bel.fr.

23rd .24th Extremely cold - Ther 10 d. below fr. Snow lies very deep - In the evening a general thaugh with Rain.

The greatest number of Petitions for abolishing the horrid Slave trade are now preparing from most of the Towns and Cities in Eng. & Scotland. (Margin note: nearly 500 Pet’n were sent the House.

Mar. 1st Mad Dogs have been the most general this winter and have done the most mischief known for many years, especially in Suff. Norf. Essex and Cambridgeshire - not fewer than 30 of the Human Species have died of the Hydrophobia and great numbers of Horses, neat Cattle etc. A meeting was call’d at Bury to consult how to lessen the No. of Dogs. (Margin note: 11 persons in Suf. Have already Died of Hydro. And 26 more bitten)

1792 London in 1772 contained 122.594 Houses and is now increased to 2000.000 Do.

March 9th Wind N. blows & freezes very sharp ground cover’d with Snow. Ther. 5 d. below fr.

10th W. N. more snow. Excessively cold. Ther. 7 d below freez

Mr Hodges sent by the African Association in London to explore the unknown regions of Africa has found a City there call’d Hussa 100 miles south of Tombuctou suppos’d by some to be the Capital being as large as London and never before known by Europeans.

Lottery for 1792 is purchas’d by Mr Cope at £16.5.0. pr. Ticket being 2/6 each more than last year - There are 50.000 Tickets and Government saves 312.500£ to be applied towards its exigencies

April 2nd 1792 The African Slave Trade was this day debated on - a division took place at 7 on Tuesday morning when there apear’d for the gradual abolition of this horrid Trafic (long a disgrace to the Christian name).


Again’st it 87

Majority 147

A bill is to be brought in for the total Abolition at a period to be fix’d by the House

27th After several Days, debates at what Period the Abolition of the Trade should take place, it was determin’d by a majority of 19 to cease on the 1st of January 1796 - Mr Wilberforce, Pitt, Fox, Ld. Mornington,, Mr. Windham and most of the best Heads and Hearts in the House were for its immediate abolition, not succeeding in that they tried 93-94-95 & lost ye questions at length carried it for 96 - 151 ayes - 132 noes - 19

A Mr. Dawson of Liverpool employs 21 ships & a Capital of 509.000£ in supplying the Spainyards with Negro Slaves.

April 2nd Mark Lane


36-40 pr qtr


25-27 do.

Tick Beans

23-25/6 do.

Clover seed

26-40 pr cwt




Kent 130 pr Cwt


3 pr Cents Con 97

India 215

Mr Downing succeeded Mr Crowe as principal Shopkeeper here.

Mar. 29th The Queen gave a grand Ball and supper to the Nobility - 8 tables cover’d one with solid Gold, the rest with silver Dishes plates etc - Green Peas were amongst the Dainties.

Apr. 7th James Man a smuggler at Charsfield hang’d himself at the new Goal Ipswich

Condemn’d for robbing and cruelly beating Mr Hart of Letheringham in Dec’r last.

1792 March 16th The King of Sweden gave a grand mask’d Ball to the Foreign Ambassadors, nobles and Gentry at wh. He likewise attended when at Supper the King receiv’d a note written with a pencil, informing him He would that night be assassinated - He disregarded it, walk’d into the Ball room and was almost immediately shot with a Horse Pistol loaded with Two Balls of old rusty nails - The whole charge enter’d a little above the groin. He was carried to an adjoining apartment, contu’d in a hopefull way of recovery for several days, a part of the ammunition was extracted, but one ball and an old nail had penetrated too deep and occasion’d a mortification of wh. he died on the 26th of March, 10 days from the fatal wounding in ye 46th year of His Age. Gustavus ye 3rd was an accomplished Prince both in the Cabinet and the field, but having contrary to his most Solemn Oath over turn’d the Liberties of his People and made unnecessary wars with Foreign Powers and consequently loaded the nation with Heavy Taxes; He fell a sacrifice to the resentment occasion’d by the duplicity and Acts of an Arbitary Tyrant. His son Gudstavus the 4th was declar’d King now 14 years of age- Major Lilejohorn wrote the note to warn his majesty of the danger and a young man of family and late an ensign in the Guards nam’d Ankerstroom (?) fir’d the pistol, He was taken the next Day with the Major and many other conspirators.

Ankerstroom was doom’d to 3 severe public floggings, to have his hands cut off and to be beheaded, all wh. he underwent like a Hero and call’d on his Countrymen when at ye Scafold to protect his wife and Children for ye sake of a Father who had deliver’d Them from a Tyrant and an oppressor - Lilejohorn and two others were condemn’d to loose their Heads and several others punish’d in a less degree. Margin Note: Lilejohorn and all but Ankerstoom were pardon’d and banish’d

Apr 2nd 1792 The Queen of Portugal has been in a state of lunacy for several months; Dr. Willis a Clergiman who attended our King was sent for, who found 47 Me.d. Gentlemen and 54 Priests surrounding her Magesty. All these He routed, directed Her little medicine and no Religion, recommending asses milk a better regimen and good air, and in a few Days the Queen mended and is now said to be recover’d - This Parson - Doctor is to receive 20,000£s (the same sum paid Him by George ye. 3rd (beside an annuity to his son) on his leaving Portugal.

Miss Ann Ives of Spalding in Lincolnshire after much attention and ingenuity has been able to spin yarn of English Wool to the uncommon fineness of 260 skeins to the pound, each 560 yards long, alias 13000 Do. In the whole. Her spindfles weigh only 13 grains the Whirl 9 Do.

April 1792 The King of France went to the Legislative Assembly and formally declar’d war against the King of Bohemia and Hungary (Alias Emperor of Germany) for his arming and supporting the French Emigrants - The King of Prussia and other Tyrannical Princes in Germany are expected to join the Emperor to endeavour to overthrowing the Liberties of France by carrying Fire and Sword into that fine Country.

The first blow in this war ws struck the 29th of this month in the Low Countries by the French Army - one part attacking Mons, another proceeding against Tournay were repuls’d by the Austrians and ran away, retreating to Liole, where they cut off the Legs of their Commander, Gen’l Dillon, then hang’d Him and several others, committing unheard of excesses - a very inauspicious beginning of the Revolution Army.

May 12th 1792 Wind N.E. Frosty mornings, dry and very cold air, wh. has put a great check on vegitation, having continu’d more than a fortnight.

Stocks in consequence of the French and German war have fallen from 97 to 92.

Smithfield has produc’d 6d per lb for fat veal. Beef and mutton at several markets generally 5d all this Spring.

A new Association call’d the Friends of the People, met at Freemason’s Tavern, London ye 26 April, purposing a "Reform of Parliament" and to obtain a more equal Representation from the unbias’d votes of the People - Mr Grey memb’r for Northumberland and many other members of Parliam’nt and Gentlemen of Rank and Consequence have associated addressing their Countrymen to join them. They wish to shorten the duration and render the people free.

May 12th Lord Courtenay’s Ball cost 6000 Guineas - He had amongst other rarities 1000 peaches at a guinea each - 1000 pottles (?) of Cherries at 5/ each - 1000 pottles of strawberries at 5/ Do. Etc etc.

Lady Montague treated near 100 poor chimney sweepers with plumb pudding and Beef on May Day - Money better dispos’d of by far than buying peaches at a guinea each.

13th Smithfield. Beef, mutton and port 6d per lb. Veal up to 4/6d pr stone of 8 lb - Two years old sheep from 40 to 50 - Year old Do. If fat as high as 32 and 35.

Hops The exact amount of last year’s duty was £90.059.1/s

House of Lords on ye Slave Trade. It appear’d the value of Negroes on our Islands is 12.000-000 and upwards, the Lands and Houses twice as much. The Shiping

1.500.000£ - the whole 39.000.000 - West India Trade 10.000.000 Annually.

June 10th 1792 East India Budget for a year

Income from










Total expenditure



A great tumult happen’d in London on the King’s birth day occasion’d by an improper interference of the civil power in apprehending some People making merry and confining them - The mob assembled, partly pull’d down the watch house and were proceeding further when the Horse and foot guards arriv’d and fir’d on them for an hour when after wounding many they dispers’d but collected again the two following days but were kept under by the military - In Edinburgh on ye same day a similar scene took place - Dundas’s House and others were partly demolishb’d. The Horse Soldiers fir’d and trampled on the mob, who returned to the charge 3 days together.

War in India …

The French Army …

The Emperor of Germany and the King of Prussia…

Lord Macartney - Ambassador to China…

Epitaph in Staffordshire…

Porter Brew’d in London 1791 & 1792 Whitbread and others

August 1st 1792 Mark Lane

In consequence of a very wet season uncommon inundations in many Counties and the backwardness of the coming Harvest Wheat rose in about a fortnight from 36 to 46 pr qtr

Tick beans a stout Crop but very badly set

Barly and Oats very much laid

Turnips a general plant

11th Harvest particularly with the soft corns is began - The late very Hot days have ripen’d the wheats etc surprisingly

Sir Richard Arkwright - details of how he started off as a barber and left nearly half a million of property etc. Note in margin. The spinning jenny was chiefly invented by a poor carpenter.

August 10th 1792 France - menac’d by an army of Imperialists and Prussians etc

Sep.tr 2nd Duke of Brunswick….

Aug 1792 Poland…

August 1792 The East India Company…

Sept. 3rd France - details of massacre - breaking into prisons

Sept. 7th 1792 The Massacre of Paris…

Sept. 20th The Crusade of Kings against Liberty…

Sept. 20th 1792 Emigrants from France…

Note of King of France’s Jewels (Inventory)

October 10th. Note that king and queen of France deprived of pen, pencil, paper etc and in separate rooms…

October 1792 The Duties on British Spirits in Lord North’s administration about 7 years since amounted to 2000-0003s pr Annum - is now increas’d to 9000.000 Do.

The number of Clerks in the Bank of England 50 years ago, was about 40 - They are now increase’d to 400.

12th Oct The King of Prussia is retreating from France….

Paris. The second National Assembly after sitting one year, in wh. They suspended the King…

Oct 1st 1792 Mark Lane

Wheat from

46 - 55 pr qtr


28 - 35


30 - 42


18 - 22

Clover seed

48 - 60 pr cwt

Beans tick

30 - 32

The above high prices arise from a continual Rain that has fallen in all the western and northern parts during their Harvest by wh. the great part of their corns are spoilt - The same cause has increased the price of Hops by destroying one third of an immense Crop. They are now from 3 to 53 per Hand & would have otherwise been as low as 6d pr lb. Margin Note: Our Crops and weather very good this year in Suffolk.


3 pr cent 90 and a frac

India 210

Bank 199

10th Twelve thousand £s have already been sav’d for the French refugees in England

Oct. 13th 1792 France Thionvile…Wooden horse on ramparts…City of Liule … reduc’d by Booms and red hot balls…

To provide for an Army…

Population of France

Oct 15th 1792 - Convention… strip’d King of all insignia…

Oct. 17th 1792 Melton Fair

Lean beefwas full as at Woolpit - from 3/ to 3/3 pr stone

Sample of Assignat value Twopence halfpenny is stuck to the paper and comments added

A Cheshire cheese weighing 13 cwt measuring nine yards round, the produce of two meals of milk is presented to the King by Sir B (or R) Cotton

Oct 20th 1792 France has clear’d her Country of all the Armies of the confederated Kings that came to overthrow Her Liberty -…

A Ton of Gold is about 4-000£ Sterling

The French General Custine is making rapid progress…

Oct 30th 1792 Custine has taken Franckfort on the Maine…

Nov. 4th This Autumn has been very wet & warm - Several full blown Cowslips have been gather’d, I have two now in the house -

The French Armys are making rapid strides in Germany… (1/2 page)

Nov. 1792. The Prince of Wales again a Bankrup. The times now being favourable for an application to Parliament for paying off His Debts, his Roy’l Highness has allotted Sixty Thousand pounds pr. annum for that purpose, allowing his tradesmen 5 pr. Cent Interest & hopes to pay Them in Six Years - Carleton House (not finish’d) is to be given up & his Highness retires on 12-000£s pr. Annum.

At Watton in Norfolk a Sow fear’d 22 pigs at a litter and brought up 21

Numerous meetings have taken place all over England to prevent Farmers and others giving more than the Winchester Bushel, wh. they for ages had been us’d to do, to the no small advantage of the Merchant the poor and the public. This compulsion is as injurious as it is ridiculous at this dear season.

Dec. 1st 1792 The French make haste to overturn the Tyranical Government on the Continent, having taken Brussels….

Stocks keep falling being more than 20 pr Cent lower than in March when the 3 pr Cents were 99 and are now down to 75 on the expectation of England arming to protect the Dutch and her fears at Home of Her Own People who are dissatisfied at the corruption of the House of Commons, the unequal representation, and the enormous expenses of Government, and are calling out loudly all over the Kingdom for a Reform of these Evils - Commotions are very frequent in Eng. Scot. & Ireland

Dec. 1792 Government is seriously alarm’d as the discontents of the People, Have order’d all the Regiments up to guard the Capital - The Tower is strongly forytifying - The Bank is protected by Soldiers- The Militia are ?? bodied. Press warrants are issued etc - All in bustle, doubt, fear and Confusion.

5th Dec 1792 Some disorderly fellows having made an attempts to raise a mob here to pull down Melton House of Industry we call’d a Vestry meeting and agreed to Associate to protect our properties and the Peace of the Country.

11th Dec 1792 This day an incendiary Letter was drop’d here threatening to pull down Melton House and Soham Lodge expressing a wish for "no King no Clergy" - A letter of the like tendency was found in Helmingham Park threatening Lord Dysart’s Person and to destroy his House.

Dec. 1792 Amazing numbers of French refugees are perpetually arriving in England in the greatest distress - Most of them are of the first Quality.

Dec. 11th The weather has been remarkably fine mild and pleasant - Primroses are in full blossom on warm banks and the grass looks like spring.

Mark Lane


46 - 52 pr qtr


30 - 37

Tick beans

28 - 32. 38


18 - 23

In consequence of an attempt made to raise a Mob to pull down Melton House of Industry and a threatening Letter avowing a design against Them (?) likewise Soham Lodge the Inhabitants, Gentlemen, Tradesmen, Labourers etc agreed to associate to protect themselves and property.

20th Dec. 1792 Associations avowing their Loyalty and love of the Constitution, and Determin’d opposition to Republicans and Levellers are universal from London down to every Market Town.

Dec. 1792 The Prince of Wales’s Debts amounting to about half a million are to be paid by instalments on his own Income & the King’s gift of 100-000£

Liberty being run mad in France is very strictly confined in England…

Tom Paine’s book call’d "The Second Part of the Rights of Man" is declar’d a Libel on Government by a special Jury, in the Court of the King’s bench - Erskine pleased for Paine …

Dec 13th 1792 The King open’d this session of Parliament…

Bella, horrida, Bella, a great number of Ships are put into Commission30-000 Sailors & Marines voted for 1793 - The Militia are call’d out & all breathes War against France. Mr. Pitts liquidation of the national Debt, his Golden & Peacefull Dreams are vanish’d into Smoak …

Dec. 1792 This war with France begins exactly as that did withAmerica; …

War In consequence of the British Ministry refusing to treat with the French Ambassador….

Dec. 11th 1792 The Trial of the King of France.