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 1803

Jan 1803 Peace Establishment

Seamen 50 Thous’d

Army 110 Do.

Expences for both Ten Millions. The last Peace Estab’mt was 20 Seamen - 18 Thous. Army in proportion.

A Violent Storm at Sea on the Suff’k Coast, wind N.E. When more lives were lost than have been ever remember’d, as well as Ships - The Hindostan East Indiaman outward bound was lost off Margate, and many ships on our Coast - from the violence of the Sea, the spray defus’d itself into a haze as far as Soham and Monewden, and was salt to the taste, hanging on ye bushes.

26th Sharp Frost. Ther. 12 deg. Below N. Snow ancle deep -

(2 pages)

Mar. 7th 1803 The King sends an unexpected message to Parliament, requiring to prepare for War, on a pretence that Buonaparte was preparing for It, which He did not appear to be; but Mr Pitt’s determination to hold the barren rock of Malta contrary to the late Peace, was thought the real Cause -

Stocks fell from 72 three pr. Cents to 61

Omnium from 4 pr. Cent. Dis’t to 15 & ½

In consequence of the above a severe pressing for ye navy took place every where and the Militia were order’d out

11th My Son William sent Clerk to Goodwin Wade and Pite at Wood’ge and John to School with Mr Fenn(?) there

The bustle and confusion very general and France and Bonaparte grossly and meanly abus’d in Parlim’t.

Ap. 21st War or Peace still undetermin’d - Pressing for Seamen very general and murdering Those that resist not very uncommon.

Mr Aslett Ab. Newlands confidential assistant Cashier at ye Bank of England committed to Newgate for purloining 400-000£ in Bank bonds. Was tried and convicted, but sav’d from Death for want of the Exchequer Bills being duly sign-d and from good friends.

There are Ten thousand Churches in England - 6000 non resident clergy

12th L’d Whitford our Ambassador at France left Paris

14th The French Ambassador left London

16th War Declar’d by the King ordering out Letters of Mark etc against ye French, for reasons that appear inadequate to many -

1803 May 19th The first Ship taken from France in this new War.

Three pr. Cents drop’d from 71 to 57

A Razor sellers Advertiz’t in London - "most delightfull Razors, made at Andalusia, seven miles under ground, by the light of a Diamond - They go as smoth as a snail over a cabbage leaf professing the peculiar excellency, that putting one under your pollow, you’ll find your self Shav’d in ye morning.

Hanover Taken by a French Army; Its palace was newly repair’d at the expence of 60.000£s and in possession of our king’s Son the duke of Cambridge, who had a narrow escape - The Elbe is shut against Eng’d-

Hanover contains about a million of Souls - 1000 Canons - 1000-000 Muskets and has a revenue of 4 millions of ???dollars (looks like Kixdollars)

French merchantmen supposing It Peace, daily taken in great numbers and Their Crews imprison’d.

The French have supplied Their Army and new Cloth’d and mounted It from the Horses and Stores found in Hanover

June Budget

a loan for 12 millions

a War Tax to raise 12 millions yearly during the war on the following articles - Sugar 1-300.000 4 a pound one pr. c’t on Exports 460-000£ - Cotton wool 1d a lb. 250-000 - Tonage on Ships 150.000£ Teas 15 pr. Cent 1.300.000 Wine 10£ a pipe 1.000.000 Spirits 50 pr Ct. 1.500.000. Malt 2/ pr Bushel 2.700.000 Income on property - 4-700-000 on about 90 millions of Income, making in Toto 12.500.000£s.

June 17th 1803 War declar’d against Holland

Prince Esterhazzy from Vienna now in London has 300-000£sa a year, almost 1000£ a day.

Bish and Co took 3 Lotteries to be drawn in a year at 13.3.1. each. Ticket profit to government 352.000£s

Large glass windows double Tax’d if containing 30 superficial feet -

New Army of Reserve to be drawn in all parishes as the militia are, but to be sent to Ireland - Guernsey etc etc and to be inveigled into ye Regulars. The aversion to this service was such that 40-50 and 100G’s were offer’d for substitutes; and women beging in the roads for money to save Their husbands from this cruel compulsion in a Land of Liberty.


3 pr. Cents - 53

Omnium of last Loan 5 pr. Cent. Dis.

France threatens to Invade England with 200.000 men

July 1803 After drawing 50.000 for the Army of Reserve - all males from 17 to 35 - from Do. To 45 and from 45 to 55 are to be call’d on as the Army en Mass, to be exercis’d on Sundays and place Their Arms in ye Churches to be call’d out when the French Land.

Rebellion in Dublin. Lord Kilwarden and 40 others kill’d in the City - The Rioters were stop’d by the military and many shot and others afterwards hang’d wh. put a stop to further Insurrections

The regulars - Militia - Volunteers Navy and Army en Masse amounts to 2 millions -

Barracks for Soldiers are building every where at a most shameface and enormous waste of public money 1800 men are employ’d at Ipswich and as many at Woodbridge - They are paid from 3/6 to 5/6 each per day earn about 1/3 - are paid double wages on Sundays, when Carting - Sawing Building, Drinking Swearing and Debauchery go on in a greater degree for being the Lord’s day. Thousands of the mob meet a few sober folks going to Church - What an excellen Example this, set by a pious Government? - Workmen cost at Ip. And Wood’ge - about 1000£s pr. Day.

Margin Note:

Hundreds answer when call’d - Then absent; till call’d again.


3 pr Cents 53 - omnium

7/1/2 discount

Our steeples are fitted up with high poles for red flags to be hoisted when the French come, and with Tar barrels to be fir’d as signals of ye Enemy. Hail folly and absurdity!

1803 Navy of England

In commission - repairing and building of the Line - 194

50s Frigates etc. etc. in Toto - 656 -


Regulars 130.000

Volunteers 340.000

Do. in Ireland 70.000

Regulars in Do. 50.000

Militia about 70.000

Pike men 70.000

Sea fencibles 25.000

October 1803 Invasion daily expected to take place in Essex Kent or Sussex likewise in Scotland and Ireland -

Calais and Boulougne Bombarded 3 days, when the Eng. Expended 400 barrils of Gun powder and ruin’d 2 french boats a ground

Oct 1803 Mark Lane

Wht highest


Barly Do


Oats Do


T, beans Do



Cons. - 52 - Omnium 10/pr. C. drs (?)