Some Bedfordshire diaries
Title Details

126 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Series: Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc

Series Vol. Number: 40

Imprint: Bedfordshire Historical Record Society

  • Description
  • Author
Some Bedfordshire diaries

‘John Harvey of Ickwell, 1688-9’, edited by Margaret Richards. [The diary of John Harvey, later MP for Bedfordshire, on his Grand tour in France, Switzerland and Italy.] ‘Edmond and Christian Williamson of Husborne Crawley, 1709-20’, edited by F. J. Manning. [Two pages of notes recording the births of their eight children and the deaths of four and of their mother Christian.]
‘Henry Taylor of Pulloxhill, 1750-72’, edited by Patricia Bell. [An account, called ‘Remarks on Brother’s proceedings … a concise and true account’, by George Chalkley Taylor of the life of his brother made in connection with lawsuits between them. They were brought up as Quakers. Henry Taylor was probably a miller in Luton in the 1750s.]
‘John Salusbury of Leighton Buzzard, 1757-9’, edited by Joyce Godber. [John Salusbury was a small landowner, local charity trustee, turnpike trustee, militia officer, tax commissioner and a justice of the peace. The diary recounts his daily life, interests, pursuits and circle of friends and acquaintances from many levels of society.]
‘John Pedley of Great Barford, 1773-95’, edited by F. G. Emmison. [These entries, selected from the seven volumes of his diaries and omitting the daily references to his health, are laconic but nevertheless give a picture of the busy life of a farmer, on his farm and in the county.]
‘Elizabeth Brown of Ampthill, 1778-91’, edited by Joyce Godber. [Elizabeth Brown (1754-1793) was from a Quaker family in Ampthill. The selections from her diary in the few years before and after her marriage to Joshua Wheeler of Hitchin in 1781, and also a Quaker, mainly record her religious life. Only a little about daily, immediate family and business life is recorded.]
‘Edward Arpin of Felmersham, 1763-1831’, edited by C. D. Linnell. [Edward Arpin was the grave-digger and parish clerk (1824-1834). These terse notes of local events between 1814 and 1831, include the weather, the price of bread, and the harvest work he did when aged between 60 and 70.]
‘Catherine Young (later Maclear) of Bedford, 1832-5 and 1846’, edited by Isobel Thompson. [Catherine Young was from a wealthy family who fell on hard times. She married a clergyman but was widowed and later moved to Bedford in 1831 with two young sons to educate. This selection of one month per annum from a very long diary is aimed at giving a flavour of her life in Bedford society.]
‘Sir John Burgoyne, Bart., of Sutton, 1854’, edited by Brigadier P. Young, DSO, MC. [Burgoyne entered the Grenadier Guards in 1850 and served in the Crimean war, was wounded at Alma and sent back to England. He moved to Sutton Park, Sandy in 1861 and served as a justice of the peace, Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff and commanded Bedfordshire militia. The diary recounts his journey to the Crimea, army life and the battle Alma.]
‘Major J. H. Brooks and the Indian mutiny, 1857’, edited by Aileen M. Armstrong. [This is the text of a lecture given by Major Brooks in 1893 on his experiences in the Indian Mutiny.]
‘The Rev. G. D. Newbolt of Souldrop, 1856-95’, edited by Patricia Bell [George Digby Newbolt was presented to the combined livings of Knotting-cum-Souldrop in 1856 and resigned in 1895. The extracts from his diary focus on church matters: services, festivals, income, church furnishings and music.]
‘Some letters from Bedfordshire pioneers in Australia, 1842-86’, edited by Andrew Underwood [The six letters are from Charles Cartwright of Millbrook (two letters), a convict; John Feazey of Wilden; Dr George Witt of Bedford; Joel Croxford of Silsoe, a prospector; and Priscilla Dodson of Silsoe. They recount the conditions they encountered in Australia.]

Aileen M. Armstrong, FRHistS (1905-2000) was secretary of the English Place-Name Society (c.1930-1946), of which she later became Vice-President, and compiled the three-volume Place-names of Cumberland (1950-52).  In 1946 she became secretary to the Royal Historical Society.

Patricia Bell was Bedfordshire County Archivist 1968-1986 and also General Editor for BHRS. She both edited and contributed to many BHRS volumes.

F. G. Emmison (1907-1995) MBE, FSA, FRHistS began his career at Bedfordshire County Record Office under Dr Fowler, where he worked on the Bedfordshire Parish Registers series. He became Essex County Archivist in 1938.  He was prominent in archive management and staff  training.  He did much to publicise archives through his writings on Essex history, including Tudor secretary: Sir William Petre at court and home (1961).

Joyce Godber (1906-1999) was Bedfordshire-born.  Following a history degree, she spent a few years teaching, then worked at Oxford University Press.  She was  assistant secretary at the Institute of Historical Research before becoming clerk of the records, then County Archivist of Bedfordshire (1946-68).  She was general editor of BHRS (1946-76) and an active member of the Society of Archivists and the British Records Association.  She planned the transfer of the record office to its new premises, which took place in 1969, the year in which her History of Bedfordshire was published.

Charles Darby Linnell (1877-1963) taught German at Bedford Modern School.  He was a frequent contributor to the Bedfordshire Magazine and author of articles about Pavenham.

Frederick Joseph Manning (1892-1962) was a solicitor in Luton. He was Treasurer of BHRS for 34 years and the driving force in reviving the Society after Dr Fowler’s death and the Second World War.

Margaret Richards was a member of Bedford County Record Office staff and contributed to the Bedfordshire Magazine.

Isobel Thompson (?-1985) was a teacher and volunteer at Bedfordshire County Record Office.

Andrew Underwood (1934-2012) taught in Ampthill and then at Bedford Modern School from 1966 to 1989, where he was subsequently the school archivist.  He researched and wrote extensively on his native Ampthill.

Brigadier Peter Young DSO, MC, FRS (1915-1988) was an Oxford history graduate and professional soldier. He became a leading military historian, author and Head of Military History at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 1959-69. He also founded ‘The Sealed Knot’ re-enactment society dedicated to the English Civil Wars.

Ebook (EPDF)


January 1960


$24.95 / £19.99

Title Details

126 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Series: Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc

Series Vol. Number: 40

Imprint: Bedfordshire Historical Record Society