William Goodwin of Street Farm, Earl Soham.

Diaries dated from 1785-1810. Vol. 3.. HD 365/3.

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 1797

Jan 1st 1797 Mark Lane


41-53 pr. Quarter



Tick Beans new




Stocks. 3 pr Cent Cons. 53 and a frac

Eng. Lott’y Tickets about 11.11.0

Beef, mutton Veal and Pork both fat and lean the scarcest ever known

Beef is 7d and 8d a lb - Mutton and pork Do. - Veal 10½

Lord Bridport is return’d to port without seeing any part of the French Fleet… (1 page)

The Frigate part of the French Fleet taken off Ireland, had an immence mooring chain on board as had many of Their Ships and even of larger dimensions intended to fasten them to the shore whilst they debark’d their men - This Chain weigh’d 12 tons and each link 70 lbs.

The Austrians under Prince Charles after two months Bombarding the Town and… (2/3rds page)

Feb. 1797 His Majesty has paid one part of His menial Servants six weeks in part of their heavy arrears…

25th The French landed 1400 Men in Wales and immediately sail’d away and left Them…

Jan’y 1797 Defeat of the Austrians in Italy (1 page)

Feb. 1797 Mantua after several months siege and Blockade, surrender’d to the French…

Buonaparte the conquering Hero march’d into the Pope’s territories…

Exports from England in 1795 amounted to 27-000-000£

In 1796 to 29-000-000

Mond. Feb. 27th 1797 The Bank of England this day stopt paying in Cash - The greatest consternation has taken place; an immense concourse of people, crowded with Their notes for payment but were refus’d. Large notes were exchang’d for smaller and no other could be obtain’d only in Paper. The King and privy Council set on Sunday and determin’d the above measure necessary and sent Their command to the Bank Directors accordingly. Small notes from Ten twenty to forty shillings are to be issu’d in lieu of Cash - Specie has advanc’d in value. - 4 and 5 pr. Cent. being now offer’d for It, instead of Paper. The above order is contrary to Law and every principal of right; As the money in the Bank belongs to the people and not to the Crown and Government

(One page of banking details)

The second requisition on the Parishes for raising Seaneb fir Government cost for every man about 30£s and occasions for E. Soham an additional rate of 4d in the pound -

The first requisition of Cavalry to be rais’d by Those keeping saddle Horses (one out of every Ten) being balloted the expence for hiring and clothing the man - Horse Saddle and bridle (wh. the drawn Man or his Class are oblig’d to find) will amount to upwards of 60£s

Mr Henry Harsant was drawn in ye Class of this parish.

The almost certainty of an Invasion is the pretext for these measures

Feb 1797 Twenty Tons of hard biskets are lodg’d at Framlingham; more at Ipswich, Bury, Colchester and other Towns, as are Cannon and all war-like stores, to be in readiness to defend the Country.

Feb 28th 1797 3 pr Cent Consol 50 and a frac

Bank 129

India 150

All others in proportion and all lower than ever known.. Every appearance portends a national Bankruptcy and a breaking up of the bubble of Funding -

Specie is now rising in value over Bank paper; 5 pr Cent being already offer’d in preference to it and how far Paper may be further depreciated, is not easy to foresee

Mark Lane





Tick beans




Clover seed as low as a guinea a bus -

The above don’t average half the price They did 12 months since.

Feb 1797 Existing Circumstances

France over throws all

Germany tries to restore all

England embroils all …(1/2 page)

British Navy is Commissions, of the Line


Total of the above, Frigates and arm’d vessels


Building and repairing




The garrison of Mantua when first blockade consisted of 34-000 Austrian .Troops…(1/2 page)

Feb 1797 S’r Jno. Jervis with 15 Ships of ye Line attack’d the Spanish fleet…

The late battle in the Mediterranean, was most glorious and gallant in the annals of History. The Spanyards… (1 page)

Duke of Portland’s late grant from the Crown in Marybone consists of 580 Acres, valu’d at 300-000£ and yet his Grace cannot afford to pay the Public the Land Tax.

National Debt on the lst of May 1797 (including the new Loan of 18-000-000 made last month) Funded and unfounded amounted in Toto to 454-975-242 pounds… (2/3rds page)

Ap. 1797 Ireland. The north in open rebellion, two of the largest Countries are Declar’d out of the King’s Peace; Down and Ulster are under military execution…. (1/2 page)

The Wheat imported into England in 1795 and 1796 cost 3-000-000Ster’g being upwards of one million of Quarters.

The Taxes of last year taken at 2-000-000£ have produced only 600-000£

Mar 1797 Island of Trinidad belonging to Spain was taken by Sir Jno (blank) by 3 ships of the Line and 2 Frigates…

Fourteen pr Cent discount on the Loyalty or 18 million borrow’d…

Harley Cameron and Co stopt Payment for 300-000£. They were bankers and have 100-000£ to spare after paying all their Debts; Fifty other Bankruptcies were struck at the same time -

Bank of England. It appears that by a strick examination of its affairs, that ye Bank have lent Govern’t 21.000.000 …(1 page)

Ap.1797 The present population of England Ireland Wales and Scotland amount to about 12.000.000 of Souls; Eng’d is taken at 7 mil and a half Ireland at 3 & ½

The Emperor of Germ’y still continues to receive immense sums from this Country -…(1/2 page)

Italy. Buonaparte beat the Arch duke Charles took 9 Generals - 15-000 men…

Livery of London 5000 met and sign’d a Petition to the King to remove His present Ministers, reform abuses, make Peace and save the Nation from ruin - His Majesty refus’d receiving It on His Throne and never spoke to or was seen by ye Sherrifs on this occasion -

Other Meetings are convening all over the Nation for the above purpose, all complaining of the Ruin brought on by the War, Profligacy of Ministers and their total Incapacity.

Norfolk has voted and Suffolk has sent a requisition to Chaloner Archdeckne Esq’r High Sherif to convene a meeting w’h He has refus’d doing, altho’ sign’d by the Duke of Grafton - Ld. Albermarle and other principal Gentlemen

Newspaper cutting of considerable length dated April 1797 begins: Mutiny on board the Channel Fleet…(at bottom of the paper: this paper is also sent, free of Postage to any part of England, at 8s per year…publishers Windows in Bury and Norwich.)

The Mutiny began on Board the grand fleet and was occasion’d by the smalnest of the pay, cheating the Men of their prize money, provisions and necessaries - for every pound of 16 oz’s They received but 12 and so on in most other matters, the profit of which went into the pockets of the Harpies employ’d by Ministers as did the savings purloin’d from ye sick and wounded Seamen -

Report of Committee of the House on ye Finances…

April 1797 After a 4 years war and in May 1797 Nation’l Debt Funded and unfounded is 454 mill’s including the new Loan etc of 18 mill;s. The Interest on which is full 21 mill’s annually

May Loyalty Loan of 18 Millions is at 15 pr Cent Discount.

May 1797 3 pr Cents Consols in 1793 were as high as 99 and a frac’n and now are down to 48 and a Do and have been done at 47 and a Do. A few days since "the blessed effects of War"

May 1st 1797 A fresh mutiny has broken out in a division of the fleet at Plymouth 7 or 8 men of War’s Crews, having taken the command of their Ships, refusing to obey their commanders, ‘till all their greviances are redresse’d - They have follow’d the example of their brethren at Spithead by appointing a Parliament Ship, sending delegates, making complaints and refusing to go to sea etc etc - The common men keep Themselves very regular and sober and order such Men of War to sail with Convoys as they think proper - Their officers are unmolested but have no Authority on board whatever. Such a systematic mutiny was never before heard of -

Margin comment: Campaign of 1797 open’d

Italy. The beginning of April the French under Buonaparte again beat the Austrians under prince Charles took many thousand prisoners and march’d within 80 Eng. Miles of Vienna -

The Emperor and family have fled from His Capital, taking with Them Their principal Treasures Archives etc etc -

The Upper Rhine was pass’d by Moreau about ye 20th of April - He routed the Austrians, took 7000 prisoners 20 Cannons, several Standards and kill’d an immense number retaking the celebrated and strong Fortress of Kehl, in 5 hours wh. He took last Campaign and defended against the whole power of Austria 52 days with Ten (?) Trenches open -

April 18th 1797 Preliminaries of Peace were sign’d in a Garden, near Vienna between Buonaparte on the side of France, and Prince Charles, for his brother the Emperor of Germany. Thus our only remaining ally has left England in the Lurch, by making a separate Peace, to save His Capital and Kingdom from destruction, by the all conquering arms of France at the very time Pitt and Parliament were toting more millions of British Gold to support this distructive warfare -

The Emperor propos’d "acknowledging the French Republic" wh. Buonaparte struck out, observing, It wanted none, and disdain’d all, but its own powerfull fiat (?)

England is now left to contend along ag’st France and most of Her former subsidised Kings, Emperors and Allies -

May 1797 Miss Farrer a celebrated Actress at Drury Lane, being on the point of marrying ye Earl of Derby, play’d for the last time to a crowded House, containing 900£. Covent Garden contain’d 700 Do. 1500£ was spent in one night in two play Houses in Luxury, whilst we are all complaining of the hardness of the times -

French Emigrants, Prisoners and foreigners now in England amount to 130-000 -

Morgan on Finance proves the Minister to have spent without consent of Parliament 18 millions. With it - 15 Do. The Debt for the war of 4 years is the enormous sum of 174 millions. The Taxes for Do 8 millions and a ½ annually.

Morgan demonstrates the gross folly and impolicy in Mr Pitt’s mode of borrowing money, and the wicked speculation of the harpies that supply Government stores etc. He instances the article of Hemp a Ton of Wh. ought to cost only 23£ is so contrived, as to make the public pay 120£ for It.

Mr Pitt in the last 5 years has increas’d the Taxes 8 Millions and a half Annually, being more than double what they were before the war, and must still be farther increas’d to a heavy amount.

The second Loan of 18-000-000 borrow’d this spring…

May1797 The new Taxes for the last Loan are on Stamps, Farmers Horses and news papers etc - Horses are rais’d from two to five shillings each us’d for common work and newspaper 1/ ½ each addition wh. raises their price from 4/ ½ to 6d each, and will materially affect their sale and circulation.

May 1797 Our Princess Royal was marked to the Hered’y Prince of Wertemberg. Her portion from the People of Eng’d Eighty Thousand Pounds; from Those of Ireland 5000£ pr Annum. She was 31 years and He 42 yrs. Old, a widower with a family.

French Acc’t of Their various successes from Sept’r 1793 to Feb. 1797, in which time they fought the allies

31 pitch’d battles

obtain’d 261 Victories

Kill’d 152 Thousand Men

Took 198 Do- Prisoners…

Overturn’d all the powers in Italy, penetrated into the heart of Germany, drove the Emperor and Family from his Capital and were within 70 miles of its Gates, whenThey sign’d the Preliminaries of Peace which they dictated, retaining all the Austrian Netherlands, and what They pleas’d of Italy; besides dethroning the Stadholder, ruining his family and adding Holland to its power and Interest -

The Emperor of Germany after the most solemn promises to ye contrary and receiving Millions of Eng’h money made a separate Peace with France, keeping ye articles secret from our ambassidor who was at Vienna -

In consequence of ye repeated Mutinys on board our fleets Governments have pass’d an Act to increase the pay of ye. Seamen, to allow Them Their just weights and measures and to redress ye heavy grievances They complain of. The increas’d pay amounts to six hund. Thous. Pr. Annum.

The Army Having showen a like disposition to Mutiny have had Their pay likewise advanc’d 2d a day for ye common men, wh. will amount to 3000-000£ a year exclusive of ye increase to warrant officers etc.

Sir Jno Jarvis in the grand Sea fight off Cadis, amongst the Captur’d Spanish Ships, was on nam’d ‘ El Salvador del Mundo’ or the Saviour of the World.

The following elegant copy of Verses were hit of by the rev’d Wm Clubbe of Brandeston, on that occasion

Jervis the British Thunder hurl’d

against the Saviour of ye World

Yet Jervis and his brittish Crew

So resolute - were Christians true

The haughty Spaniard was to blame

who gave his Ship his Saviour’s name

and did not see - strange oversight

His Saviour was not born to fight

What! Foremost to the battle bring of Peace, the everlasting King

To kill and hasten to the Grave

The Children, whom He came to save

June 1797 The Duke of Grafton and many other Principal Gent’m of the County of Suff’k sign’d a requisition to Mr Archdeckyne of Glevering Hall, to call a meeting of the County, to petition the King to discard His present ministers and to adopt other Men and Measures - The High Sheriff refus’d calling a meeting.

Many Petitioners from Towns and Counties have been presented to the Crown aga’st Ministers and Their measures.

Old Duty of newspapers at 2d each and advertisements amounted annually to 226-989

St Domingo. The British Die by Thousands - whole Regiments are cut off by ye. Yellow Fever - Expences from this Island only in about 2 years has been about 8 millions besides one draft for 7000-000£s.

June 1st 1797 Another mutiny has broken out at Shereness, in the Fleet - The officers are most of Them, sent ashore - Admi’l Duncan’s Fleet from the Coast of Holland has join’d Them - All trade to the Capital is stop’d at the naze…(1 page)

June 5th 2797 My wife join’d me in a tour to Yarmouth - Saw a part of Ad. Duncan’s Fleet, carried away by the Mutineers to join others at the Naze - Saw a live Hog, 15 months old, that weigh’d 60 stones, 14 lb to ye Stone - He measur’d 8 feet and a ½ long and 6 ft and a half round,

Stocks. 3 pr Cent - 52 and a frac.

Mark Lane





T. Beans




The Bank was (if it could) to have paid in Specie ye 14 of June but another Act of Parl’t is passed by he Minister prohibiting its doing so, till a month after ye meeting of next Parliament.

July The Lottery for 1797 was contracted for by Jno. Ayton & Co (son of Jno. Ayton Esq of this place) at 12.18.6 being the highest bider by 3/ a ticket - profit to Government £2.18s.6d each on 50-000 Tickets amounts to 146-250£s.

July 4th 1797 The Crops of Clover and grass are as abundant this year as were ever remember’d, as likewise are Those of Corn; but the daily rains for a fort’night past have spoilt great quantities of the former and laid and damag’d great breadths of the latter.

June 18th 1797 All the Ships at the Naze have submitted on ye terms of pardon offer’d by Government, giving up the ringleaders and Delegates - Their Ad. Parker and several Hundred Delegates and others are now taken to prison for Tryal (and several was repeated twice)

British Naval Officers…

Mr Spillard is returned to England after travelling on foot 89.000 Miles in Europe - Turkey. Africa and America, on botanical and mineral researches.

Died at Exeter. James Pitman Esq. The most penurious Wretch that ever liv’d denying Himself and family the common necessaries of Life - He accumulated by avarice and oppression 200-000£, and refused even a farthing rush light to be burnt in his last Illness.

June 1797 The French Conquor Venice and take possession of the Bank in wh. They found great Property and a very large Sum belonging to the King of England, which they seis’d. The old Govern’t is totally over turn’d. The Venecian States divided by Buonaparte the Conqueror, and a democratic Constitution establish’d - A great many (32) Ships of the Line and 26 Frigates were taken and are added to the French navy

Genoa has likewise fallen under the power of France - A Revolution has likewise taken place There and a republican Constitution


British Navy…

National Funded Debt…

New Taxes

For every Clock 5s

Every gold watch 10s

Every metal Do. 2/6 pr Annum

It is suppos’d there are 700-000 House holders taxable and a million of watches suppos’d to be worn

July 1st 1797 Lord Malmesbury again has obtain’d leave of the French to go to Livle, to treat for Peace, where having staid ‘till ye 20th of September He is returned to England; The French desir’d him to quit France in 48 hours or sign Their Ultimatum viz to give up all our conquests both in Ships and Territory, made from France, Holland and Spain and return Gibralter to the latter beside other hard conditions -

Stocks are fallen, ye 3 Pr Cents from 53 to 48 - and all breathes expence and war without even a pretended object to fight for -

July 20thMark Lane


57-62 Pr Quar’tr



T Beans




Coals are now sending by Governm’t to our new conquest the Cape of Good Hope wh. for every prime (?) cost of 1000£, the expences of freight etc are 6000£

One horse properly kept is said to consume Yearly 3 Tons of Hay and 80 Balls (or bolls) of Oats and requires 10 Acres of Land for his maintenance. Two millions are said to be kept in England and that They consume one third of our Agricultural produce -

523 Bankruptcies were announc’d in the gazzett last Year -

July 14th Sr. Jno. Jarvis (now Ld. St. Vincent) after blockading the grand Spanish fleet in Cadis harbour, has began to Bombard the City, with a fleet much inferior to that He insults and disgraces -

30th A most violent Thunder-storm fell in London and extended over a great part of ye Kingdom much damage was done; Men and Cattle kill’d, and solid large peices of Ice fell in many places destroying the glass and fruits in gardens etc etc -

Mr Thelluson a capital London Merchant, died worth nearly a million sterling leaving each of his Sons…

A Coiner who lately left off business has confess’d to have coin’d in seven Years in base Crowns, shillings and sixpences no less than Two Hund. And fifty thousand pounds -

Wines Imported 1794 amounted to 45-000 pipes, since the additional duties of 20£ per pipe only 11.000 have been imported in a year, wh. has decreas’d the annual duty on wine nearly a Million Ster’g and ruin’d the trade.


In the records of Newcastle there is a well authenticated acct. of a weaver, who had by one wife a Scotch woman 46 sons and 13 daughters. Three Gent’n of fortune took each of them 10 of the Sons and brought them up.

The population of the Empire of China…

Revolutions - Comets, Earthquakes Public Wars private - Murders Suicides and Adulterys, are the prominent Evils that close ye 18th Century.

Sep’r 4th 1797Another Revolution took place in France, in which all those Members in the Directory, the Council of Antients and Do. Of 500 that were… (1 page)

Since the above Ld. Malmesbury has been a second time abruptly dismis’d from France and all hopes of Peace are vanish’d.

24th Mark Lane

Wht from

56-64 Pr Quart’r



Tick Beans


The Emperor after a delay of six months has at last sign’d a peace with France ye. 17 of Oct. 1797 in which he gives up His Netherlands… (2/3rds page)

The Venecians are ruin’d and no more as a State in the scale of nations…

Duncan’s Victory over The Dutch…(4 pages)

Nov 2nd 1797 The King open’d this Session of Parliament in a Speech lamenting the failure of his attempts for Peace, thanking the two houses of P’t for their attachment and calling upon them for Their Unanimity in defending the Kingdom…

The Two Houses of Parli’t in consequence of the above… (1/2 page)

Nov 1797 The 3 pr. Cents Consols have fluctuated a long time between 46 and 48 - the other stocks in proportion, owing to the depress’d state of public Credit, in consequence of the heavy load of national debt brought on by this fatal hopeless war

Mark Lane

Wh’t from

35 to 50



Tick Beans






All corns have kept droping on acc’t of the immense importation ever since Mic's

Beef and Pork are likewise rapidly declining in price, on consequence of a new plan of sending Eng. Money to Russia for a supply -

Chaloner Archdeckne Esq purchas’d Glevering Hall and Lands for 10-000£s and built a magnificent House on a site commanding an extensive view, wh. He began to inhabit in 1796 - The lands and plantations newly and beautifully laid out, very much improves that part of the Country -

Mr Ed. Krer of Cretingham a batchelor of about 50 years of Age has likewise built a substatial House of red brick, on a eminence commanding a beautifull view of the adjacient country - He began to inhabit it in 1797

Dec 1797 Portugal , our last Ally petitions France for peace and bribes Her to it by sending her 400 Thos. Pounds in Diamonds etc

The City of Houssa (Honssa?) in the internal parts of Africa from whence Mr Parke is return’d reports It to be twice as large and twice as populous as London. It lies on a great River near Tombuctou; The Country around it abounds with Gold and other precious metals, which we propose to get exchang’d for our woollens Linens and Cottons of Wh They appear very fond -

Dec 19th 1797 The King and all the Court in the utmost pomp and grandeur went to St. Paul’s Church to return their humble thanks to God for our late Victorys at Sea. The Show attracted an immense mob - This Thanksgiving was made general all over England.