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 1800

Jan’y 1800 In the Metropolis are 151 Thousand Houses, containing 2200 families and about 12 Hund. Thousand people. The flour consumed weekly is twenty thousand sacks or 1.680.000 Quartern Loaves, or weekly about 6lbs of bread for each person, which makes necessary 1.040.000 sacks for a years consumption, and at four coombs ppr. Acre wants 4.095.000 acres of Land.

The greatest Hero and the best of men Gen. Washington died at Mount Vernon in America of an inflam’d Croup of the Larynx from cold; after 24 hours illness.

The French Government again apply for Peace, and are again heartily answer’d and refused by Pitt, in answer to Bonapart’s Letter address’d to our King in ye most able manner.

Died near Newmarket Thos. Alcorn 4 ½ years old only - weighs nine stone and was 4 feet 5 inches high.

Agnes McMillan alive in Scotland at ye at of 114 y’rs

The French army in Egypt surrender’d to the Turks and English, and have agreed by Convention to be sent home.

The Union was carried in ye Irish Commons, by art and power, against the general will - 65 members turn’d out - by ministers (one 5th of the Irish House) by which majority the act was obtain’d

Rice costs in India ¼ a pound, can be afforded here for 1½ and now sells at 6d.

Woollen trade produces twenty millions a year, employs 3 millions of People, - The Machinery cost 5 millions.

Feb 19th Samuel my 4th Son was born at six in ye Evening

The King’s life was again attempted on Tuesday the 13th d of May at a Review of the Guards, when a ball was fir’d and struck a Gentleman near his Majesty and wounded him in the Thigh, but was suppos’d to have been accidental, and not intended against His Majesty’s Life -

May 13th 1800 The same Evening at Drury Lane Theatre one Hatfield a silversmith formerly a Soldier, fir’d a pistol at his Majesty loaded with two slugs which fortunately missed him, but went within a few inches of his person, the man was taken and on Examination appears insane - and proved so, on his trial - acquitted and confined.

Genoa Beseiged by Austria eight thousand inhabitants started to Death, when Massena and his Frenchmen surrendered the city, after eating all their bread made with chop’d straw Beans and coaco (?cocoa)nuts, and all their Horses - In about ten days the Austrians having lost a battle reresigned the City to France, again.

Total Expenditure for England for one year, up to January 1800 was - 54.566.306£s

Total nett produce of Parliament - Taxes for a year up to April 1800 23.601.404£s Exclusive of Income Tax.

June 9th Bonaparte totally route the Austrians in Italy, kills and takes 16.000 men 16 stands of colors, with arms cannons and baggage and recover’d all Italy after a most terrible conflict.

In this horrid war, 2000 cannons and 2 millions lb of gunpowder were taken in the different towns in Italy - The Austrians have suffered as much in Germany. Being beaten every where

July In the last 687 years, England has contriv’d to spend 242 years in War - no wonder at our National Debt and Taxes! - 12 Millions are now voted in conjunction with 24 Do. Before agreed to, to assist in this foolish War.

July 1800 It appear’d in the House of Commons that 64 millions were to be rais’d for ye service of 1800 - That ye peace Estab’h will be 33 millions a year - That it was only half that sum before the war and That the funded and unfounded Nat. Debt is 470 Millions

Whilst we are voting our Mill’s to the Emperor of Germany to carry on the war, He has concluded an Armistice with France without our knowledge or consent.

Sept. Riots for Bread have taken place at most of our principal Towns, from the excessive high price of Provisions, particularly at Birmingham, Derby, Ipswich, Nottingham, Woodbridge etc. where the mob took away the Butter Cheese fowls, flour etc etc and sold at Their own reduc’d prices

A Mare won 400 Gs. By trotting 17 miles in 56 minutes near Cambridge. She is match’d to Trot 19 in an hour is 17 yrs. Old - blind of one Eye and cost only 10 Gs.

The Plague has broken out at Cadiz, where 300 die weekly -

From 1792 to 1799, one Hund’d and eighty eight pitch’d battles have been fought by all the different Armys besides Scratches.

(A different hand again)

The following Epitaph was written by the Father (a farmer) of the late Mr. John Roberts of Trimley and put upon his Tom Stone.

When young, how happy with my parents dear

But now alas my Body’s buried here,

Mark me young reader, an imprudent Wife

Caused all my sorrow, sorrow ended Life

(Goodwin’s hand) The first newspaper publish’d in England was in Queen Eliz’h - In Queen Ann’s time there was only daily paper

The whole of ye male population of gt. Britain are said to be 7-000-000 of wh. 1.700.00 as suppos’d to be able to bear Arms between the ages of 16 and 45

The People Numbered by Order of Governm’t 1801































July 1801 Total in England and Wales

England 7.492.484 - Souls

Wales 255-889 - Do

Army and Navy Males 469-188

In favor of ye Males 123-927

Grand Total of Persons - 8.217.562

Ireland contains about - 3-500.000

Scotland Do - about 2.000.000

Total of Souls in the united Kingdom and of England etc 14:717.562

(another handwriting)

Another secret Expedition to take Ferrol in Spain fail’d as did one to take. Malta after immense expences -


Afterwards surrender’d in Septem’r to the English being starv’d out -

1800 Aug’t 5th The Emperor signs Preliminaries with France for a Peace, and a Congress is to be held at Luneville - Sept 20th.

Total Value of British Manufactures Exported

In 1798 388.148.682

In 1799 388.942.498

The Number of Vessels belonging to the British Empire

In 1787 was 14.310

In 1799 … 17,295

Sept 4th Total Wealth of Eng and Wales in Land, Houses, Shipping, Cattle, Gold, Silver coin, plate wares etc

In 1664 was ….. 250,000.000

In 1799… 1.298.607.000

Increas’d above a thousand Millions

A Fact that there was imported into London in the last 4 months, wheat corns etc, butter and provisions to ye amount of 5 Millions Ster’g and into the rest of ye kingdom as much, making in toto ten millions -

1800 Oct. 20th Cultivated Land in England 40 millions of acres, people 9 millions and ½, 20 millions of quarters of corn grown annually and l mil. Left in straw.

In 1491 in the reign of Henry the 7th Wheat was 6d per bushel in 1533 Beef ½ per lb Queen Mary’s reign a barrel of beer with the cask cost only 6d. - and 4 large loaves 1d. - Now Wheat is 20/ per bush. Beef 8d. a lb. Ale 3.3.0£ per barrel. -

Armistice Ends - a bloody battle between the Austrians and French, the latter took 10.000 pris’ners 80 cannons. And killed an immense number -

It is computed - One human being consumes annually more than the produce of 3 acres of land and eats about 40 Stone of animal food.

In Eng. And Wales 1.730.000 horses devour the produce of 7.500 acres, ye waste lands are stated at 8.000.000 acres. -

Butchers meat consum’d in London costs 7 Mill. Sterling -

1800 Nov. 8th Emperor Paul our late ally stopt’d 300 of our ships and imprison’d all our men.

Bank of England when it stop’d paym’t in 1799 had ten millions of paper circulating and there was 18 mill’s of Gold in London and the country. - Now it has 151/2 Mill’s of paper in circulation and the gold coin is reduced to six millions. When is the Bank to become solvent again?

Proclamations read in churches announcing the want of corn and desiring the people to eat any other food but wheat, as Barley Oats, Berans etc and to allow each person only a quartern loaf a week and all this after what appear’d a tolerable plentiful harvest.

(Margin Note in Wm. Goodwins hand)

Wheat sold this year as high as five pounds pr’. Comb. Barley up to 2-6.0 - Oats to 1.8.0. T. Beans to 2.0.0.

London Bill of Mortality

Died - 23088 Born 19176

Two died aged 120, and nearly half under 5 yrs.

Military men enlisted from 93 - 208.388

Discharg’d 75.910

Kill’d and Died 48.971

Total now in service militia included 168.082

Separate piece of paper dated April 29th 1794

Mr. Will’m Goodwine to T Bonner (?)



To 250 Tiles



To 150 Bricks


To 4 Roof tiles






(Separate Book in hand other than Wm. Goodwin’s - no binding or stitching)

Another armistice began between France and Austria the latter having lost in 20 days 70 leagues of country 40 thousand men 140 cannons and immense magazines General Moreau beat them everywhere to within 5 days march of Vienna.

In Italy General Brune beat ye Austrians, kill’d and took 12.000 men, all this in ye Depth of winter over mountains of snow and rivers of ice

People number’d by order of Government

Earl Soham contain’d 591 souls - who at half a peck of wheat (?) head a week consumes nearly 1000 combs a year, seed excepted. -

Ipswich males born 4850 Females 6211

Do. In 1755 7826 Do. 4298

More souls in 1776 by 1063