Saturday, 28 February 2009

7th September 1742 Bror left London I and Mr Hall went with him as farr as High Gate & spt 6d

This is a 4 mile walk which would be very different from today. It would only be built up as far as the end of Gray's Inn Lane(now Road). They would have gone almost past site of the Foundling Hospital. The Foundation Stone for that building was laid in the same month.

Friday, 27 February 2009

A Visit to a Shipyard

6 September 1742
Went with Bror & Mr Hall to Deptford to see a 70 Gun Ship Launched and spent their 12d

Deptford had been the home of a Royal Dockyard since the reign of Henry VIII. This picture shows a ship on the stocks in Deptford in 1750. It is thought to be HMS Buckingham, the third of that name, and was a 70 gun ship so very similar to the one Thomas saw.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Thomas goes to King Lear

31 May 1742
Went to see King Lear Garrick Lear 2/6

This is the first time Thomas has mentioned an actor, but, if you know one name from 18th century theatre, then this is it!

David Garrick came to London to be a wine merchant. He was not very good at that and his business lost money. However, he started to act within a year of seeing his first play. He quickly became a professional and on 11 May 1742 he appeared at Drury Lane, in Otway's The Orphan (which Thomas has already seen!). That same month, Garrick played King Lear opposite Margaret "Peg" Woffington as Cordelia.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Ranelagh House

25 April 1742 Dined & Supt Miss Smith and went with her Ranelagh House Chelsea and Spent their, Coach Back 6/6

Ranelagh House/Gardens had only opened as a pleasure garden that same year so Thomas was an early visitor.

Hampton Court, again, and at Great Expense

2 May 1742
Went to Hampton Court with Mr Robison. in a Landau & 4 with 4 Ladys of his Acquaintance and Cost me for my share of Expenses £1.16s
in Dining, Drinking Tea and Suping and Seeing the House & Gardens

We've already had pictures of Hampton Court as this is Thomas's third visit but previously he walked. Here is the nearest I can get to the sort of carriage which made the day so expensive.

March 13 1741/2
Spent at the Inn in Smithfield 1/2
Gave a porter to Carry my Box to my Lodgeings in Charles Street Westminster

(Now there's an address Thomas couldn't afford today!!!)

March 14
Bout a Loaf 3d, a Cheese 2/6 Butter 6d
March 15
3 pound Rost Veal 12d Barrill Bear 2/6

Thomas spends nothing more for 5 days so I assume he made that lot last rather than having a party.

March 28
Dined at Mr. Paynes & gave maid 12d
and Stayed to Help him in the Shop.

The accounts continue with food - meat, bread, butter and beer but no fruit or vegetables at all. March is an expensive time for them.

8 April
Bout a Candle Stick & Steel 2/6

24 April
Left my Lodgeings this day and went to Lodge in King Street Covent Garden and paid a porter for takeing my Things their. 2/-

This time Thomas tells us which King Street and here is an contemporary picture of that Street.

27th April 1742
Spent wn went to see the King Review the Soldiers on Hounsley Heath the Prince of Wales, Duke Cumberland General Wade and a great many other nobility there and they marcht of for Germany as soon as it was over about 8000 some said more spent 18p

The date fits with the sending of an army to bring Britain's support to the Austrians (well, the French were on the other side and Britain always likes to balance things). The King, George II, was the last British monarch to appear in person on a Battlefield, at the battle of Dettingen in 1743. In 1745, General Wade was an important figure in the suppression of the Jacobite rebellion

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Catching up with Friends, Family & Business

Having arrived in Retford, Thomas then embarks on a round of visits. He dines each night with a different friend or member of his family. He stayed with his sister, Dorothy, and her husband Joseph Bright, who was an apothecary in Retford.

Without any idea who most of these people were, it isn't really very interesting. I may add to this post if I find out anything about them.

However, he didn't forget his friends in London

20 February 1741/2
Sent a Turkey To Mr Byard and Sent one to Miss Hodgson Which Cost 10/6
Carriage to London 2/-

He then visited his family estates at "Pinkston", returned to his sister's house and set off "a Futt" to Mansfield, thence to retrace his journey by "waggon".

This time the stops were Nottingham, Leicester, Northampton, "Hooborn" and "St Holbourn".

This, again took about a week, and Thomas must have been relieved to get off the "waggon" and return to "my Lodgeings in Charles Street, Westminster"

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A Long Journey Home

Went to see the Concious Lovers 2/6
Paid Carriage of my Box to Retford 3/4

The Conscious Lovers is a play by Sir Richard Steele, first performed in the 1720s. It is of a type of comedy which is distinct from "Restoration Comedy" in that it dwells on feelings rather than bawdy action.

It seems really odd that he should travel over Christmas and without any comment at all, however there are lots of things to say about the journey and the route. However, here is the first plate of Hogarth's Harlot's Progress which shows the wagon she arrived in London on. It seems likely that Thomas's transport to Mansfield would have very similar.

18 December
Left Mr Byard and Gave his maid 2/6
19 December
Went to Mr Halls to Lye with him for three nights and spent their in Takeing leave of all my Friends 6s
21 December
Paid Mrs Landers for Shaveing Eight Months and it is in full of all Demand 14s
Gave her Boy a Shilling 1s
Bout Gingerbread & plum Cake 12d
A Bottle of Wine to Drink on the Road 20d
A French Roll 3d, Butter 7d
Spent at the Inn with Mr Hall before I sett off a Hott pot 12d
Paid to go In the waggon to Mansfield 12s
21 December
Spent at St Alborns 2s2d

There are several pubs still in existence in St Albans where Thomas's wagon may have stopped. I have no way of knowing which one he visited, But he cannot have failed to notice the Abbey.

22 December
Spend at Hooborn 2s4d

There seem to be two candidates for this location Houghton Regis and Husborne Crawley. I think it is Husborne Crawley but I need to look at maps from the right date

23 December
Spent at Northampton 2s6d

Northampton has been comprehensively redeveloped and Thomas wouldn't recognise much of what remains - This would be a good place for a rant about over-enthusiastic town planners but this isn't that sort of blog. This engraving is dated 1770 and most of what you can see would have been there when Thomas visited. The "modern" church in the centre of the picture was completed in 1701 with the addition of a portico to the seventeenth century church.

24 December
Bricksworth 2s

This must be Brixworth, though it is a bit close to Northampton. Most of the stops seem to be around 20 mile intervals and that is only 7.
Brixworth has a magnificent Saxon church which is larger and more magnificent than almost any other church of such age in England. Here, by kind permission of greentool2002, is a picture of the church today.

Perhaps the drainpipes are new but everything else looks much as it would have done when Thomas was there.

25 December
Bradmoor 2s2d

Bradmore is in Nottinghamshire.

The village was destroyed by fire in 1705 leaving perhaps one stone house and the church spire.
The church was not rebuilt but the village was.
This photograph, reproduced here by kind permission of ben-s (click the picture to visit his Flickr photostream), shows the 14th century spire.

26 December
Spent at Nottingham & Manfield 4s6d

Here is a panorama of Nottingham. I knew in my head that towns and cities were smaller but each time I see an 18th century picture of a place that I know, I am astonished.

I can't find anything suitable of Mansfield to show you. This is partly because I've never been there which makes knowing what to google rather difficult. I'll keep trying, but I'd appreciate any suggestions.

27 December
Walked from Mansfield to Retford & Spent 1s6d

That's around 19 miles and it is quite remote in places, even today.

There is still more to be added to this post!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

15 November 1741
Spent Hanover Sugar wth Mr Hall 8d

This one took tuppence but when I checked the day on the calendar, I found that it was Sunday. I think Thomas went to Hanover Square! Thomas's spelling is never great but this one makes me think he was dyslexic.

18 November
Went to see Cato with Mock Docter 2/6

Cato, a tragedy in five acts, by Joseph Addison, was first performed at Drury Lane Theatre in 1713. It was a very political play. "The Mock Doctor" is a comic play by Henry Fielding (1707- 1754). Fielding is most famous as the author of Tom Jones. The story is from a comedy by Molière Le Médecin malgré lui . An Evening at the theatre in the eighteenth century was a long affair, starting at 6 pm and consisting of 5 acts.

3 December
Went the See the Rehearsell with Harliquin Shipwreckt 2/6

The Rehearsal is a satirical play, aimed at Dryden. Harlequin Shipwreck'd or The Elopement is a comedy, the forerunner of the modern pantomime.

9 December
Spent with Mr Byfield and Paid him for packing my Picture up in a Case to send it down to Retford to my sisters & Cost 4/-

The portrait again! If it survives, it is no doubt labelled "18th Century Young Man att. Hogarth" or something equally vague. I would so love to know what Thomas looked like.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

28th Sept 1741
Paid Rutter for Drawing a Tooth 2/6
1 Oct
Bought 3 Doses Physick 2/-
3 Oct
Bleeding 12d

Oh Dear! Poor Thomas! This doesn't sound good at all does it? It never seems to me that bleeding someone was any way to make them feel better but it carried on as standard medical practice for centuries.

But he must be feeling better later in the month because

19th October
Went to See a play as you Like it with the Skelliton Covent Garden 2/- and spent 6d

This picture of a production of As You Like It, dates from about the same time and was probably done from a London production. I have not found anything about a play called the Skeleton, yet.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

10 Sept 1741
gave to Goe into Surgeons Hall to see a Woman Dececeted that was Hang 12d

Well, where do I start?

In 1540 the Barbers & Surgeons Company was allotted the bodies of four executed criminals for dissection every year. Presumably this continued until the two professions separated into two Livery Companies in 1745. The Barber-Surgeons Hall looked like this until it was bombed in WWII
I assume that Thomas saw the dissection in the Anatomy theatre designed by Inigo Jones which was completed in 1638 and survived the Great Fire of London. It was demolished in 1784 as the Barbers had no further use for it. It is difficult not to regret that demolition.

I wonder whether this display was popular or was the interest more scholarly?

A Vanished Mansion

23rd August 1741
went with Mr Wm Crask to Edger to See the Duke of Shandose House Gardens and Chappell which is the finest House I ever See the Banesters are mahogoney in lett with mother of pearl stares marble & the windows in the Chappell all painted he has a band of musitianers Come from London to performe their Every Sunday it was 12 oClock at night before we got Home and Cost us in Expenses my part 5s 6d

The House, Canons at Edgware, was demolished in 1747, the Duke of Chandos having lost much of his previously fabulous wealth in the collapse which was the South Sea Bubble.

This chair is one of a pair from the chapel, which gives you some idea of the magnificence Thomas comments on.
The pictures from the chapel went to Great Witley Church where you can visit them and see what Thomas saw or you can click here which is easier.
I wonder what happened to the obviously wildly over the top bannisters. I can't find any reference to such an item still in existence (but Google doesn't know everything). Please let me know if you know better.

The musicians (what a splendid word Thomas uses!) were top flight performers and Handel was the resident composer for a while. The Chandos Anthems must have been in the repertoire.

Coming back to Thomas, he had another major outing on a weekday. Two in one week is unusual. The place must have been totally fascinating for the two of them to have stayed so long when it was a 20 mile round trip.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

20 August 1741
Went with Mr Hall to Woollidge to see all the Cannon Morters Bum Shells & see the Cannon Cast and went on Board the Kings yatt Lying at Greenwich - 18d

This is a Thursday and Thomas doesn't usually stray this far from the City on a weekday but, of course, the Gun Foundry would not be working on Sunday. The decision to manufacture bronze cannon there had been taken early in the century and the Royal Brass Foundry, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, was completed in 1717. You can read more about the history of the Royal Arsenal here.

It should, of course, read "Bomb shells"....

Yacht was a relatively new word in English, having arrived at the Restoration with Charles II who took to sailing while in exile.
11 August 1741
Went to Tottenham Court Fair wth Mr Jolley & spent with several whores their 2/6

Tottenham Court Fair, held at junction of Euston and Hampstead Roads, abolished 1808
Most of the references which Google provides seem to refer to crime.
However, there seem to have been play booths and other entertainments not to mention "Smock Races".

13th or 14th August (Thomas doesn't make it clear)
This day Old Mr Thomas Hinchcliffe was Buried at East Hamm in Essex

I wonder who Thomas works for now? I am hoping that a visit to the Guildhall Library will tell me.

Friday, 13 February 2009

30 July 1741 Spent Mr Lowery Rain Bow Coffee House 8d

This Coffee House, renowned for Huguenot connections, was in Lancaster Court (now vanished), off St Martin's Lane (very much in existence!). Here is a picture of the Royal Academy building in St Martin's Lane at about that time (well, it's dated 1740).

6 August 1741
Spent Mr Scott Blossom's Inn Supt 18d

Blossom's Inn was in Lawrence Lane. "Supt" must surely be an abbreviation for "Supped" - as in "had supper" rather than "went boozing"! When Thomas has been drinking he says what he drank and what it cost!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A Really Long Walk

16 July 1741
Spt Mr Buffarr London Stone Coffee House 6d

The London Stone was in the middle of Cannon Street at this date. So the coffee house must have been close by.

This is an early 19th century engraving of the London Stone set into the wall of St Swithun's Church. But it was moved there from the middle of Cannon Street in 1798 so Thomas saw it as John Stow described it "pitched upright" and "fixed in the ground very deep, fastened with bars of iron, and otherwise so strongly set that if carts do run against it through negligence the wheels he broken and the stone itself unshaken."

This modern photograph shows the London Stone in its current position, though it will move into the Museum of London very soon.

This photograph used courtesy of the phatcontroller and I found it on Flickr.

19 July
Went with Mr Byfield and Mr Smalley a futt to Hampton Court and see all the Painting Tapestery & Carttoons & Gardens & the Maze from thence to Richmon and Twickenam and got home the same night a foot spent 4/6

That is a walk of 30.9 miles estimated by Google maps to take over 10 hours. Richmond bridge wasn't built but we must assume that Thomas used a ferry.

Richmond Park was enclosed by Charles I in 1637, but there were public footpaths across it, so Thomas probably went to visit the Park.Twickenham had not long had a new church. The old one fell down leaving just the tower

Twickenham museum's site has that story and lots more about the town

5 July 1741
Spent Wth Mr Shaw a priest at Greenwich 14d
7 July
Supt at Mr Stows Tower Hill gave maid 12d
10 July a pound Cherrys 2d
12 July
Mr Hall went to France

(a rare entry which has nothing to do with money.. this is an account book after all)

12 Spent Mr Byfield & Miss Weeler Land of promis 12d

The Land of Promise was an
estate, consisting of marsh, with reed beds and osier hope along the foreland, belonged to Simon Lemon, a haberdasher of St Martin's-in-the-Fields. A windmill was built at the north end, beside Drunken Dock, about 1722, together with a house and granaries. It is now part of Tower Hamlets and nothing remains of anything Thomas would recognise.

Monday, 9 February 2009

24 June 1741
a new pair of shoes Mr Davis Deverix Court 6/-

Devereux Court today seems to be packed with lawyers but in the eighteenth century there were at least some shops - Mr Davis's shoe shop and a bookseller known as "At Ben Jonson's Head" which is shown below.

4 July 1761
Bout a French Tellemicus 2nd hand 16d

What is a Tellemicus? I've tried several spellings and the proper, complete OED and I can't find it.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

3 June 1741
Went with Mr & Mrs Byfield to Mary Le Bone Gardens and Spent 2/-

There's a good article about these gardens here

10 June 1741
Paid Mr Geo Byfield for making a fine carved frame Gilt with Gold for my Picture £1.1s0d

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Another Visit to Vauxhall

28 May 1741
Spent going to Vauxhall with Mr & Mrs Scott & Madam Warterland the prince and princess of Wales was their. 3/-

Here are portraits of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta. They married in 1736. George II and his Queen loathed Frederick. He was prevented from visiting his mother as she lay dying and George seems to have been relieved when Frederick died, so the throne would pass directly to Frederick's son, George.

Where was Madam Warterland's husband? If, as I suspect, he was a clergyman, it may have been unseemly for him to be in such a place on a Sunday?

A Visit to Vauxhall

11 May 1741
Went to Vauxhall with Miss Monyard and Miss Hodgson by water spent 5s10d

Entry to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was 1/- per person so the rest must have been the boatman's fee and for food & drink.
Here are two pictures from about the right era

And click here for lots more information about the gardens.

Monyard doesn't seem to be a name - Maynard?

3 May 1741
Dined at Dr Waterlands with Mrs Scott & Madam Warterland at Hackney. Gave man 12d

Going out to eat always involved Thomas tipping the servants, which remained normal until really quite recently. "You make extra work for them" as an elderly relative once said to me.

I think this was Theodore Waterlands, vicar of St Benet Fink (demolished in the 19th century)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Out and About

16 April 1740 Went to Covent Garden Playhouse to see the Orphin with the rehearsall 2/-

This play by Thomas Otway (1652-85), more conventionally "the Orphan", is out of fashion but was a standard from its first production in 1680 until the nineteenth century. For a Restoration play it is uncommonly domestic, dealing with jealousy between brothers in love with the same woman. It was produced at Covent Garden between 1721 & 1741 (more research may let me tell you who was acting that night!!!). While I do that you will have to make do with this picture of the playwright....
The Rehearsal was the second play. A typical 18th Century evening at the theatre consisted of 5 acts. The first play would be a tragedy with the evening ending with a comedy.
17 April 170 Bout a pair of sissers 2/6

21 April 1740
Paid Mr Davis Limner in King Street for drawing my Picture in half length and paid him for it before Mr Walker £4.4s

According to my dictionary, a Limner was a painter of miniatures though Nicholas Hilliard called himself a Limner, regarding the word painter as referring to those who put the paint on walls.

Oh, I've spent hours googling and I can't find anything about Mr Davis who charged Thomas this princely sum for a portrait. There are even several King Streets but we shall assume it was this one.....

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Sad Letter

12 November 1740
Letter from Bro. 4d
with an account of my Dear Grandmothers Death who departed this life on Sunday the 9 Day of November 1740. 89 years old and don't doubt but shes happy in the Kingdom of Heaven for all her good workes in this World.

Well, just like the rest of us, Thomas had two grandmothers. In his case Sarah Tye & Hannah Brown. I have not yet pinned down which one lived to this very great old age. Thomas only had one brother, John (dates uncertain), so he must have written this letter.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

29 June 1740
Went to see the camp at Hounsley where their was Many Thousands Encampt Duke of Cumberlands Tent was a very fine one besides Several other Generals and spent 5/-

I can't find a picture of the camp though I've found a reference to one - here is portrait of the Duke - later known as Butcher Cumberland for his treatment of the Scots in 1745.

I wonder what Thomas spent 5/- on. It is much more than he usually spends on his Sunday outing.
6 April 1740
Went to Hornsey Wood with Mr Randall 8d

Not much wood thereabouts now but the local history society's book is called "From Forest to Suburb" - It was a Sunday so Thomas was not at work. When I check, I find that most of Thomas's outings are on Sundays. Although he bought a Book of Common Prayer early in his stay in London, church is not much mentioned
An exception to this is

11 May 1740
Went with Mr Hall to Low Laton Church spent 9d

Leyton used to be called "Low Leyton" and the church Thomas visited would have been St Mary's

The Tower dates from before Thomas visited and some of the monuments inside are from then but the church has been rebuilt so Mr Tye would not recognise it today.

17 June 1740
Bout 3 Volumes Free thinkers 7/-

I found a bookseller with this for sale today - at £75 which is only a few ££ more than the 7/- would be had it been invested at 3% for the intervening 269 years!

"Three volumes (269 + 238 + 260 pp, excluding index pages); originally issed as a weekly paper. These volumes end with no. 159, dated 28.9.1719. The paper continued printing till 28 July 1721. Main contributor was Ambrose Philips, but other contributions were made by Dr Boulter, Lord Primate of all Ireland, Rt Hon Richard West, Esq, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Rev Dr Gilbert Burnet & Rev Henry Stephens. Spines darkened and some wear - corners rubbed and front cover of Vol 1 nearly detached. Decorated with vignettes. Armorial bookplate of William Johnson MA : 'Coll: Regal: Cant: Soc:' [Fellow of Queen's College Cambridge?) on inner pastedown of each volume.Old paper label near foot of spines. From the collection of J W Willis Bund, founder of Worcestershire Historical Society (1843-1928). "

Monday, 2 February 2009

The Frost Fair 1739

20th January 1739/40
Spent on the River Thames when it froze quit over & went to Lambeth 8d

Thomas was in London for one of the very few Frost Fairs in the eighteenth century. The dates are confusing to us because the year changed with the financial year. The two pictures shown below are of that actual Frost Fair.

29th January
Gave for printing my name and others when it froze over and spent 18d

Charles II had his name printed on a card from the printer's booth on the ice too but in 1684.
His survives (sadly Thomas's does not)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Thomas joins the Weavers' Company

5th January 1740
4oz White Sugar Candy for a Cold 12d

10th January 1740
a bottle of wine to mix with something for a violet cough 2/6
Ingredientes put Into it 2/6

14th January 1740
Paid Mr Smart for swearing me into the Weavers Company before the Chamberlin
His Feeses came to £1.16s
Paid for the Paper he swore me by to pass the Old Office 8/-
Paid for my Freedom to be in the Wheavours Company £3.12s2d
Paid for the Coppy of my Freedom and the Clarks 10/6
Paid for the Box 1/-
Paid for Attendence 3/8

Then the Chamberlin shaked me by the hand and wish'd me joy

So Thomas did not let feeling ill stop him from making career progress. The Box may have looked like this...