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 1799

Jan 9th Snow and frost continue but more moderate

13th Thaw general

Jan 22nd 1799 Union with Ireland proposed by Billy Pitt - The Irish commons(?) divided on ye address for communication

For it - 104

Ag’st it 109 - 5 against

Naples taken - King Queen and royal family, together with 600 nobility fled on board Nelsons fleet

Severe weather

King of Naples, dethon’d, his furniture and valuable effects sold

War again renew’d between France and Austria

2 Immense bullocks sold at Smithfield for 140 Guineas.

12 tons weight of Turkies and game were sent to London in 3 days as Christmas presents from Norwich

Died in Norway a man aged 160 had several wives, and left a young widow, his oldest child was 103 his youngest 9

Annual income or profit of great Britain from Land, Trade, professions money in funds etc. stated as 102 millions exclusive of property under 60£ pr Annum, which is supposed amounts to about 30 more. The law is said to make 1.500.000 a year physic 500.000 more

Jan 1799 Milk in London costs yearly 481.666£ half saved by retailer from the black cow alias the pump

Revenue for a year to October for customs, Excise, stamps and incidents was nearly 20 Millions.

Feb 4th 1799 Severe weather, deep snow, sharp frost.

8th Still very severe, deep snow roads impassible, Ther. 8 deg. Below Free

13th Severe weather continues, more snow, roads and fields impassible.

14th Thaw and rain

Mrs Woodcock of Impington, was 8 days and nights, buried in the snow, alive, lost 2 or 3 of her Toes from being frozen - She had her senses all the time and could hear the Bells at Cambridge - as the Snow melted She hung her handker’hf upon a bush, by wh. signal She was found and releas’d alive after sustaining hunger and thirst all but from ye relief of eating Snow - She lived some years after

March 7th 1799 3’d Winter ground covered with snow

Smart frost and snow

War recommenced

After treating a year and half for peace at Radstadt in Germany where art, trick and duplicity alone was exemplified.

The French passed the Rhine beat two Austrian Generals, took one W’h all his staff, 30 cannons and 5000 men.

50 thousand Russians now in germany to assist Austria,and more coming

14 Ground covered with snow

April 28th Mrs Windham’s supper

5000 asparagus at a guinea a hundred - and 100 quarts of green peas at a Guinea a quart etc

To frighten Crows

Hang rags up dipt in train oil and bruised gun-powder

Taken in this War

Of the line


Frigates from 28 to 144 guns


Ships from 20 to 26 Guns


Sloops of War of 18 Do.


Cutters etc


Total including 630 Privateers


Ap’l 1799 The French beaten every-where this month, by the Arch-Duke Charles and driven over the Rhine. Also the Russians in Italy 4.000 strong arrived to assist the Austrians

April 28th Robert Joy and Bonnere French plenipos assassinated cruelly by the Austrians on their return from the congress at Radstadt.

May 5th French fleet slipped from Brest, 23 sail of the line and 8 frigates.

45 Thousand Russians in Eng’sh pay - 825.000£ voted for them.

Russians and Austrians beat the French every where and in 6 weeks have driven them nearly out of Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.

The Turks and Russian Navy and the Austrio Russian army are now the terms in use - such junctions are new to Europe

In May Mark Lane







Tick Beans




up to 10/s a Stone (of 14 lb)


9d per lb


7 do


8 do.

The dearest ever known none hardly to be found in the Country

June 14th 1799 Still very winterly and cold great coats and fires and warming pans in requisition. Two days last week excepted, it being very mild.

1,250 paupers in Norwich cost to maintain for one year 25,044£ exclusive of spinning their own clothing upwards of 20£ each

The Income Tax instead of ten millions will raise only seven millions including voluntary gifts.

June 1799 The French are beaten every where and driven out of Italy Germany and Switzerland

Ye Brighton fishermen realizes 25 thousand £ in a makerel season

The Mediterranean Fleet of English sail of the line 52, 2424 Guns 36.000 men

Portugal, Russia and Turkish line of Battle 19.660 Guns 14000 men - Total 71 ships 3084 Guns 50.000 men. The French inferior.

Sheridan’s Pizerro produced 40.00£ a week at Drury lane theatre. This tragedy was alter’d from Kotzebue the German Shakespear

A poor man aged 120 died near Cork

The French and Spanish Fleet 54 of the line, sailed from Cadiz the 21 of July besides frigates chas’d into Brest - By the English

July Mark Lane


48-70-78 pr. Quarter



T. Beans




Chiefly wet from July 13th to Aug’t 10th - Hay chiefly spoiled - corns laid and very backward

July Another war commenced with Tippo on May 1799

14th The Kings of Naples and Sardinia restored to the(i)r thrones

August 12th A grand Expedition sail’d from England carrying 40.000 English and 60.000 Russians and Germans - To try and reinstate the Stadtholder - Coaches, casts and wagons pressed to carry the Soldiers from all parts

Buonaparte’s army ruined before St Jean d’Acre. Chiefly by Sir Sidney Smith’s gallant defence

The French prisoners in England cost 2000£ pr. day.

August A cow of Mrs (Mr.?) Groves of Lymington in ten months gave 1336 gallons of milk beer measure which at one penny pr. pint came to 1044£. 11 s.

Pius the 6th Died August the 19th at Valence and his body was consumed by Lime.

Taken from France Spain and Holland previous to the Expedition against Holland

74 of the Line

99 Frigates

52 Ships 20-25 Guns

78 Sloops

72 Cutters

2685 privateers

1018 frigates and Ships of which 5 carried from 110 to 120 Guns

Holland invaded by the English on the 27tof August. They landed at the Helder point and the mouth of the Texel.

The Dutch fleet surrendered to the English Admiral "for the Stadtholder" consisting of 32 ships from 74 to 20 Guns - Their Crews having mutinied.

The English lost about 700 men killed and wounded on the landing in the second battle 150 English were killed and wounded.

Battle of Novi

The French beaten by the Russians and Austrians their general Joubert killed and most of their cannon taken. The allies lost 8000 men and the French as many.

Sep 19th 1799 Holland

The third battle - Duke of York commander, advanced to the French and Dutch with 20.000 Russians and English - The Russians lost about 4000 killed etc and the English as many - and driven back to the Helder.

Seringapatam taken by storm in April 1799 and Tippoo killed - General Harris commander in chief will share half a million of the plunder which was immense - This war was began and ended in three months.

Oct 2nd 1799 Holland

The fourth Battle, the Anglo-Russians take Alkmaar and lost about 5000 men, in kill’d and prisoners - The fifth Battle fought, in wh. ye Dutch and French under Brune, retake Alkmaar - In these two battles the English and Russians lost about 4000 men -

Sept 25th Mark Lane

Wheat from




T. Beans








Brank (?bank)


In Switzerland the Russians and Austrians lost 20.000 men and were beaten by Massena in August in Egypt

The Anglo-Turks beaten by Bonaparte, and lost 8000 men - The allies have lost in a few weeks 38.000

The French army in toto took the field in October with 565.000 men.

From September the 26th to October 6th Massena again beats and totally routs Prince Charles and Suwarrow, kills, wounds and taken 30.000 men 100 cannon 12 standards and all Suwarrows baggage.

The troops are ordered from Holland have lost 10.000 men, thousands of wounded are come to Yarmouth and Harwich

A convention takes place in Holland - English and Russians allowed to depart on making good all public works and giving back 8000 men without exchange.

This Expedition has cost millions of money - 10 or 15 thousands men 5 thousand now sick - The greatest part of the finest horses - immense quantities of Cannons, ammunition, Carriages and baggage of all sorts, and thus has ended in disgrace, a Scheme of ministers, that They had long plac’d Their hopes in, for reinstating The Stadtholder, in opposition to the inclination of the Dutch (Oct. 1799)

The Thetis and 2 other frigates take two rich Spanish Galleons off Ferrol worth upwards of a million sterling in dollars each captain shares 50 thousand £; Liutenants do. 8000 and common men 300£ each.

Nov. 1st Harvest the most difficult, Barley and Oats but just finish’d many fields of green beans to cut - few yet carried.

Nov. 8th Wheat still standing shock’d at Rishangles, and Barley cutting at Gislingham.

Isle of Ely

Wheat gathered into bags, by riding into the water and plucking off the ears. Thousands of acres of Oats are under water.

An Eel was caught at Workington that weighed 35 lb.

Eight or ten drops of Oil of Rosemary at bed time in any agreeable liquor is good against Rheumatism and coughs

Nov. 10th, 1799 A Revolution in Paris.

General Bonaparte sent for from Egypt. He (Syeyes and Ducos two directors) overturn’d the directory and suspend’d the two councils directing them to choose 25 members from each council, and to act as provincial committees, under the above three consuls till the 20th of February, to which day the meeting of the two former councils is adjourned.

The former directory and Councils were dissolved by military force, under General Bonaparte who now may be called King of France. He was saved from assassination in the Council of 500 by his Grenadiers.

It is proved that Great Britain must always import a considerable portion of wheat, or 160.000 acres more ploughed, and 30.000 Do. Added yearly, to provide for 10.000 souls annually increasing.

Mr Western of Buckingham Shire received one hundred Guineas as the pri\e ox, at Smithfield and sold him for another hundred, he weighs 300 stone alive was eight feet, eleven inches in length six feet seven inches high and ten feet 4 inches round, several oxen that day were sold for 100 Guineas.

The population of England is between nine and ten millions, about the 1/30 part of which died yearly of whom 80 thousand die in comsumptions.

To make leather water proof. One pint of drying oil, 2 ounces of wax , 2 Do. Of oil of turpentine 1 Do. Burgundy pitch, melt them together and add a little oil of thyme, rub new boots or shoes with it, in the sun or by the fire, and repeat it as it dries in.

Post-Horse duty last year came to 120 thousand pounds.