​​​​The Diary of George Burnett 1862 - 1863

George Burnet Diary 02.jpg
Background

The diary was kindly donated to Blackburn Library in 2009 by Dr.Elspeth Pope when she visited Britain. Elspeth was a granddaughter of George Burnett; she was born in Canada and went to live and work in America. Elspeth was well known in her own right within the library world in America, and, as the founder of 'Hypatia in the Woods', which is linked to the Hypatia Trust in Cornwall England.  The Hypatia Trust is a women's retreat and resource centre, which promotes the achievements of women. In donating the diary, Elspeth said “she hoped that sometime in the future someone will read about George Burnett and daily life in Blackburn in 1862".

In 2017, June Riding, a Blackburn resident and library volunteer, transcribed George's diary and, since then, additional work has been undertaken by Kath Sutton in order to examine the context of the diary content in relation to Blackburn. Further work will be undertaken in 2018 to index the diary's content, ensuring that it is easily accessible to anyone worldwide who wishes to read about Blackburn's history or gain an insight into its residents during this period.

IntroductionGeorge Burnet Diary 01.jpg

The diary is a primary source and provides a snapshot of everyday life in Blackburn at a significant time in its history i.e. the period of the Cotton Famine. It allows us, through George, to better understand what was happening in the town and the tragic impact that the American Civil War had on Lancashire towns and the difficult times and destitution faced by many in Blackburn. George was not a cotton worker, but a draper by trade and the diary illustrates that not only cotton workers and those directly in cotton manufacturing were adversely affected, but many other people in the town such as local trades' people like George Burnett, as money was so scarce that a significant number of people had to rely on financial relief and charity.

It is highly probable that George wrote further diaries but this is so far the only part to come to light and gives a precious insight into the life and times of George, his family, friends and the people of Blackburn at a time of great challenge and also dreadful distress and poverty. 

The Burnett Family 

A search of subscription sites Ancestry and Find My Past shows that many records spell the family name as Burnet, but that some and particularly later records spell it as Burnett. The family originate from Scotland and the Burnet (t) name is commonly found in Scotland.

George's father was Edward Burnett and his mother Janet Burnett nee Rae. George's father and grandfather (Robert) were farmers and came from the Dumfries and Galloway area. His father was born at Lady Wells Farm Middlebie, Dumfriesshire, as were all his father's siblings. Around 1820, the family moved to Johnstone Bank Farm in the small village of Ecclefechan near Hoddam in Dumfriesshire and this is where George and all his siblings were born. Ecclefechan is famed for its local tart and a brand of whiskey named after the village. The famous poet, author and historian Thomas Carlyle was born and is buried in the village; it is higly likely that George's father would have known Thomas. Sometime between 1851 and 1857, George moved to Blackburn in Lancashire and his parents and a number of other family members also moved to Blackburn and the Lancashire area around the same time. Two of George's brothers emigrated, one to Australia and the other to Texas in the United States of America.

George married Jane Waring on 12th March 1857 in Chorley, Lancashire and records show they had 13 children, most of whom survived infancy and 3 of whom were born in Blackburn. George lived at 24, Henry Street, Blackburn and, in or around, 1864 he moved to Chorley and then around 1873/4 he moved to Wigan. He died in Wigan on 14th February 1908 aged 72. His wife survived him and died in 1922 in Wigan. Two of his sons emigrated to New Zealand.

The 1841 census shows that George was an agricultural labourer at the age of 16, working in the village of his birth. The 1861 census records show that he was a draper in Blackburn, employing 2 men and, ten years later, in the 1871 census, he was again listed as a draper in Chorley. In 1881, George was also listed as a draper but now he was now living in Wigan. He was listed as a draper and clothier living in Wigan in the 1891 census records, and finally, the 1901 census lists George as a travelling draper employing his son and an apprentice.

As part of George's job he had to travel around the local area, not just around Blackburn but also to other places, including the Chorley and Wigan areas, and this is reflected in the diary. It helps to paint a picture of how hard life was for people during the Cotton Famine of 1861-1865 and, through George's eyes, we can see how this affected daily lives, not just of cotton workers, but also, of those in other trades, such as George's, as money was very scarce and many people struggled to make a living. Many people, not just cotton workers, ended up dependent on relief as the distress amongst the population was so great. The diary shows the clear impact of the American Civil War in relation to the Cotton Famine and enables us to see how the people of Blackburn managed to live and survive through this period.

Blackburn – a brief summary of life in the town during the time of the diary.

The local newspaper, "The Blackburn Standard" is a valuable source of data for the life and times of Blackburn during this period. Reports and articles clearly show there was major poverty and distress amongst its citizens as well as across Lancashire, as its main employment was linked to the cotton trade. The American Civil War was responsible for a blockade of American ports which starved towns such as Blackburn of its source of cotton. The early July 1862 the newspaper reported that in one recent five month period that cotton receipts had been reduced from 4,946,622 bales to 30,396 bales. This meant that some mills had had to close completely and others were operating on reduced hours. In Darwen, a third of looms had stopped completely. It reported in the second half of 1862 that in the Blackburn area 16,405 were unemployed and 10,655 were on short time work out of a population of 63,000. A few months later the "Standard" reported that 32,810 operatives were wholly dependent on relief and 11,232 were on the verge of pauperism in the Blackburn area. Due to the scarcity of money many other workers started to become affected e.g. local shopkeepers such as bakers and shoemakers, as there was little disposable income and many people had sold not just all their furniture, but clothes and all other possessions to try and survive. Many other trades' people and their families were also starting to be dependent upon relief.

Every effort was being made by the local Board of Guardians, the Relief Committee and local churches to help people and regionally, and nationally, efforts were made to raise subscriptions to help the destitute in Lancashire. The paper also reported that money had been sent from India, Australia and America as well as large fundraising by the landed gentry, mill owners etc. across the country. Queen Victoria was reported to have contributed to the funds. Rents and rates for the impoverished were reduced and then stopped to help their relief in some local areas and clothes, coal, soup kitchens as well as food were provided. Some areas of the country e.g. Yorkshire (for the woollen industry) and even Australia and America offered alternative employment to try and aid relief. It is said that around 4,000 workers and their families moved away from Blackburn during this period. The Cotton Famine was a national priority and the focus of many across the country, not just those directly affected by it. This can be seen in the reports in the local paper.

On December 3rd 1862 it was reported that the Blackburn Union had the largest amount of destitution to bear in the region and that the Blackburn Board of Guardians, churches and overseers of the poor were very well organised in providing relief, which may well have helped keep the threat of riots down. On January 7th 1863 they established a new poor rate of 1s and 6d in the pound in Blackburn and Darwen. It had previously been 1s. Local churches started educational classes and sewing classes and operatives were paid to attend in order to find them positive occupation in the midst of misery. These classes were held in local mills and churches. On January 14th 1863 a health report was published for Lancashire that stated that whilst very few people were dying of starvation, many had scurvy, lung disease was prevalent and typhus fever, measles and scarlatina were spreading across the region. It stated that generally many people showed a loss of strength, colour and flesh and they looked wan and haggard. The diet of people on poor relief was mainly that of bread, vegetables and potatoes with very little milk and little or no meat. Conditions got so bad that some rioting did take place periodically across the region. In November 1862 trouble broke out in Blackburn along Preston New Road and around the Town Hall, King Street and Montague Street, where windows were smashed and buildings damaged.

National and International events during the time of the diary

The main focus was on the North West and the Cotton Famine in Lancashire and the destitution it was causing. Many people were therefore focussed on trying to provide aid in whatever way they could. Generally speaking though, whilst the difficulties caused by the Civil War were indeed harsh, Britain remained supportive of President Lincoln and his battle to abolish slavery.

Life however did go on and the following newsworthy events were reported across the country in local papers; The Prince of Wales (future King Edward V11) married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Queen Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice, married Prince Ludwig of Hesse. London's first underground line (The Metropolitan) was opened. The Football Association was founded as was Nottingham County Football Club (the oldest association football team) and Yorkshire Cricket Club was founded. David Lloyd George, a future prime minister was born, as was Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame and Charles Kingsley who wrote
"The Water Babies".

Internationally, the main focus for the world was the American Civil War 1861-1865 and how it was impacting across America with 11 southern states leaving the Union and forming their own 'country' to try and protect slavery. Whilst slavery at this time had been abolished in many countries it still thrived in the America's southern states and South America. Many significant battles took place during this period, including the battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Antietam, which provided the single bloodiest day in American history when 23,000 were killed or wounded. In 1863, President Lincoln gave his Emancipation Proclamation which made the freeing of slaves and explicit goal of the Union war effort and gave slaves a date for their freedom. This eventually led to the abolition of slavery. The Cotton Famine in Lancashire was a direct result of the civil war that lead to its abolition.

The Diary of George Burnett 1862 - 1863​

Journal of George Burnet – July 1st 1862. 24 Henry Street, Blackburn

George Burnet Diary Date 1.jpgTuesday – July 1st One Thousand Eight-Hundred and sixty two. George Burnet

There has been much rain of late and I have to record this day as wet and colder as almost any of its predecessors.

I find Blackburn very bad as usual, and no signs of improvement. Should that ever take place; I will with great pleasure convey the intelligence to my Journal.

2.  Wedensday [Wednesday] 2nd. Wet morning, but fine during the day, arrived in Wigan this afternoon; at Bulls Head all night.

3. Thursday 3. Fine, warm day, Trade in Wigan very bad.

4. Friday 4th.  Got home from Wigan at 4 o'clock after seeing several parties take their departures to witness the last day's races at Newton; Carts were much in request , the day being fine.

5. Saturday 5th. It has rained all afternoon. Bereft of wife and family today, they having gone to Barrow for a whole week.  I parted with them this morning, bless them, at 8-10. I wish them a safe journey.

6. Sunday 6. Attended Mount Street, Chapel, Mr Skinner preached from 2nd Corinthians 8 to 9. Christ assumed poverty for our sakes, that we through His poverty might be rich. Read H. Miller's Lectures on “The Noachian Deluge".  Wind and rain.

7. Monday 7. Rain this afternoon.  Booked to Blackrod by rail – thence on foot to Blackburn, doing business by the way.  Much hay in the fields.         

8. Tuesday 8. Rail to Hoghton.  Fine day.  Reached Chorley at 3 O'clock.  Amused with an Irish woman, cleaning her little grandson. “He tumbled somewhere down yonder, and was destroyed in some gutter. That one does not mind him at all, at all; George, how many have you? One?" I have three. “In the name of the Father, - did you get three; since you got wed; and are they boys or girls or what" Two boys. “Lord"!  At White Horse Inn all night.

9. Wedensday [Wednesday] 9th.  Doing buissness [business] in Chorley but very dull, not much money.

 Much rain this morning.  Wrote to my beloved this morning, wishing her joy with the little folks at the seaside.

A countryman attributes the wet weather to the extraordinary phenomenon of the seven eclipses that are predicted this year.

10. Thursday 10th. Walked home after I finished buissness [business], but found the house locked up, the servant off at Liverpool, found the key at last. Showery in the morning, but cleard [cleared] up.

11. Friday 11th. Walked to Preston this morning and took train at 7.30 for Bolton; got to Barrow about one o'clock. P.m. (fine) Visited Old Barrow with Mrs B and all the little folks.

12. Saturday July 12th 1862. Came home from Barrow.  Mrs B & children much sunburned.  Little Willie especially.

A very fine day, though it rained very much during the night.  Met Mrs German at Preston.

13. Sunday 13th. Attended Mount St this morning, reading in various Books , among the rest  Hugh Millars “Testimony of the Rocks", the Discoverable and the revealed". Had a walk in the park with Mrs B and Mrs German.  A fine day.

14. Monday 14th. Doing buiseness [business] in town.  George German came this morning, went home with Mrs B and little Charles Henry at 5-17p.m.  They are a very kind couple. These two nights, Mrs G has been here, is the only reasion [reason] she has been from home at night for nineteen years, and he has been but one night from home for sixteen years, and on that ocasion [occasion] he was at our house.  A delightful day.

15. Tuesday 15th. St Swithin at his old game, being very wet and stormy.

Buissniss , [business] in Blackburn worse than ever. About 12,000 receiving relief from various scources, [sources], who, with their families will amount to nearly 30,000 out of the 63,000 of population in the Town. Corn and wheat in the ear.

16. Wedendsday [ Wednesday] 16th. Train to Blackburn, and reached Wigan at 4 p.m. the Church Bells ringing merrily, a splendid wedding having taken place at 11.30 a.m

Sunshine and showers, as St Swithin promised us. Bought a fishing rod for 2/-.

17. Thursday 17th Doing buiseness [business] in Scholes, very little money.  Very wet afternoon. Read a part of Waverly; and, copied a part of second letter in Cobbett's English Grammar, having brought these books with me from home.    

18. Friday 18. Came home from Wigan at 4 o'clock, weather fine and warm, a few drops of rain in the morning. All well.

19. Saturday, sunshine and showers, a splendid rainbow in the afternoon.  Had a walk in the Park with Henry Waring. Bought Ferguson's  Ellectricity [Electricity] for P and got Allison's Essays from bindings.  Little Willie has been teaching James Henry today in the alphabet. “A.B.  oyes, oyes." Which he repeated to his satisfaction and “Mamma's" amusement.

20. Sunday 20. A few drops of rain fell this morning about 6 o'clock but the day has been fair, though cold and windy. Mr Skinner preached this morning from Phillippians 1 and 21. “For to me to live in Christ, and, to die is gain". Read a portion of Hugh William's Testimony of the Rocks.  Little Willie went with Mamma and me to Chapel for the first times since he was babptised [baptised]  He was very good, and proud of going, James- Henry went to St. Johns Church with Uncle Henry, the first time ever he was at Church, though he has often been at Mount St. Chapel. Mrs B, went to Witton Church this afternoon, with Mrs Helleby.

21. Monday 21. Frequent showers, though a fine day; and a drying wind. By train to Blackrod, walked back to Blackburn.

Heard an account of old John Snape's last hours, from a very respectable woman who attended him, and wittnessed [witnessed] his departure. There were three rapps [raps] heard at the door, about ten minutes before his death, and when it was answered, no one could be seen; it was therefore received as the warning, and the women went to the chamber; when he quietly and without a struggle, breathed his last.

I have recorded this as an instance of a popular belief, in all parts of Lancashire; and whereas we have it from the lips of the most truth loving persons, it is hard to be stubbornly sceptical. 

22. Tuesday 22. Left home for Chorley by Brindle.  The haymakers are buisy  [busy], this day being fine; the delightful perfumes it (hay) diffuses, inspires mirth and health, and very often there is more contentment  associated with all these rural occupations, than others that promise greater advantages and higher or more glorious crowns to our ambitious hopes.

“Oak Apples" have begun to fall; they grow from a footstalk resembling legitimate fruit, but in reality, produced by some winged insect; perforating the central bud and then depositing its ova; the bud then swells out and assumes the appearance and size of a crab; and when cut exhibits a fleshy substance like the same fruit.  It then begins to wither and dry, (though it does not diminish) and falls from the stalk, the bud on each side of it proves abortive, as they never devellope [develop] themselves; their sap seemingly extracted by the bulbs for nutrition for its tiny inhabitants, which are now small white grubs which eat their way out to find more fitting food, for their age and fit them for the duties of their existance [existence], I do not know the names, or genera, of this insect, but it is one of the numerous families besides the Humans, that avail themselves of the noble tree; as a useful provision of Nature.

23. Wedensday [Wednesday] 3.  A delightful day, buiseness [business] very slack in Chorley. Much anxiety expressed respecting the American War; and a hope that the news of the Federal defeat are true; expecting peace to be the result.

24. Thursday 24. Morning wet, but fine during the rest of the day.  Henry Brierly was interred today.  Sanger's Circus in Chorley; a splendid procession at 4 p.m.  Lions in open carriages, Camels, Elephants; numerous horses. One noble lion, and of immense size lay outside on the top of one of the carriages; unsecured, (except by his docility and tameness) and looked about him with a majestic  and almost an intelligent air and beside him a young lady represented  Britannia with her trident; a spearman grasping each his spear, in rest, with their person sat at each of the corners. The driver was represented by a sage, with white hair and long beard, all dressed in gorgeous costume. Another carriage with glass sides contained a number of large serpents. The rear was brought up by a carriage bearing a large terrestrial globe, on which sat a young lady representing Dominion. This is about the finest procession I have ever seen. The day had by this time, turned out to be most favourable, the sun shone, and it was very warm. A great number of people lined the street to witness the procession.

25. Friday 25.  Came to Dalton this morning by first train. A fine day, though the morning was wet, the * has been high.   Stay at Barrow, all night. I am disgusted with Eligha [Elijah] Waddington, and I believe what I have heard of him. What a fearful curse is drink: what misery it occasions, and what suffering is the inevitable result.  All connected with the offender in some measure share it, but Oh!  The struggling, virtuous wife; must bear the heaviest part. The children must grow up only to hate the author of their existance [existence]. May God, in his mercy save me, and my children; from this dreadful snare! This, the strongest and largest of the Devil's nets that he throws over the souls and consciences of men, and with which he drags them speedily to Hell.

26. Saturday. A delightful day, the wind is low and the sea is calm. Sailed from * to Fleetwood, thence to Blackburn, by rail.

27. Sunday 27. Day very fine.  At Chapel in the morning Mr Skinner's text Heb. 13;20. Read a little and had a short walk. Mrs B. took James-Henry, and William walking, and I put them all three to bed; I had to sing and whistle too; before Sarah went to sleep. She laughed heartily at Willie asleep, and patted his head.

28. Monday 28. Very fine.  Hay fast disappearing from the fields.

29. Tuesday 29. Fine and warm.  Buissness [business] extremely bad.  I have travelled the whole of this afternoon and only received sixpence, the debtors I have called upon; owe in the aggregate, about £330.  No prospect of any improvement. With my recipts [receipts] of yesterday I have only drawn, (in Blackburn) 30/6 and I gave £1321 for the concern, this is doing buissness [business] a vengence [vengeance].

30. Wedensday[Wednesday] 30th. Fine hay weather, but began to rain at night. Went to Brindle with Frances Scott.

31. Thursday 31. Very wet all day. Left home this morning, and arrived in Wigan at 5p.m. very little buissness [business] to be done;  drawen [drawn] 26/- where I should have drawen [drawn] £7.0.0. Stoped [stopped] at Bulls Head Inn with A Wright.

32. Friday August 1st 1862. A wet forenoon, but fine and warm afterwards.  Finished buiseness [business] in Wigan at noon, and walked home, 8 miles.

33. Saturday Aug 2nd.  A fine day. Went out – fishing in the canall [canal] with James Henry and Willie; but we had no success.

34. Sunday 3rd.  A fine day, and very warm.  Mr Skinner's tec [text] in the morning was Heb 13 v 21. Took the children to the Park in the afternoon, and they enjoyed the walk very much.

35. Monday 4th. Fine and warm. Reached home at 6 p.m.

We have an addition to the family in the shape of three kittens, and it is hardly worth a place here; only one of them could see on the third day; they are generally nine days old before they are able to see.

36. Tuesday 5th. Rain during the night, but a beautiful morning; a fresh breeze from the North. Began to rain at 1.0'clock p.m. and rained very heavy with thunder at intervals till four; the winde [wind], having changed since morn to South west, blew very hard.

37. Chorley.  Wedensday  [Wednesday] 6th. Rained very heavy at noon, some claps of thunder.  Saw a boy this morning who has a double row of teeth in front, in the upper jaws, the result of carelessness or ignorance.

Three very remarkable occurrances  [occurrences] happened about the end of last month which, according to the several newspapers that noted them, rival any of the Adventures of  Don Quixote; Two of them happened in Scotland, the other in England which I will mention first.

A child fell into a well eighteen feet deep and was resqued [rescued] by its mother in a very surprising manner, which shows us that true women are found wherever there are mothers; and there are very few exceptions.  She plunged down into the well and succed [succeeded] in getting hold of the child, her clothes keeping her afloat herself, and before assistance came, she had got her feet fixed on one side of the wall and her shoulder on the other side; supporting herself and child clear of the water: the child she had laid on its stomach, across her body, that it might eject the water; means were resorted to that brought the child to the top, and before it was well out of the vehicle; the mother had reached the top herself, in the position described.  The two first were the providencial [providential] deliverance – and from death of two students of National Science.1st a middle aged gentleman, went in quest of Geological Specimens with his hammer which on this occasion served more purposes than could be expected: he was pursuing his favorite [favourite] study near the edge of a cliff when he missed his footing and would have been dashed in pieces hundreds of feet below, but the hammer caught  in a cleft and he held on by the haft  [shaft]  for forty two hours when he was relieved in a very exhausted state from his perilous situation. 2nd a young gentleman from Manchester on a tour in Scotland and being a student in Botany, was anxious to secure a specimen of a very rare plant which grew on a shelve of rock forming a precipice had succeeded in reaching it when his foot slipped and he fell from the dangerous eminence in a deep chasm filled with water for six feet deep or nearly: the water saved his life however but the surround wall of rock precluded all hope of escape without assistance; he shouted at the top of his voice, but only the echo answered him back, and his strength began to fail, he was heard however by a young man who had strayed into that wild region, though he could not see him; but satisfied someone was in distress, he ran for help; and returned with a retired Military Officer, and a few others  provided with ropes, who after some difficulty succeeded in finding his whereabouts, just in time to save his life. He was delivered from his roofless prison in a most exhausted state. Who will dare to deny Gods providence in all our affairs: Those individuals were preserved for some purpose, and these instances of Gods “particular" providence, and mercy, should teach us to pray for his preserving care.

38. Thursday. Began wet till noon, but fair afterwards. Finished buiseness [business] in Chorley at 11 a.m. and walked home. Took James Henry to Dr Irving's surgery where he had a troublesome tooth extracted by Mr Whittacker; the same gentleman that introduced him into this troublesome world.

Official Statement of the trade of Blackburn.

From Mr Laverty's report;

Out of 72 cotton mills in the Town, 28 are entirely stopped, 15 are on short time; 13 are on full time with a portion of opperatives, [operatives], 16 on full time with their full compliment. These mills usually employ  23,624 opperatives [operatives], of whome [whom] 5,607 are on full time, 7,027 on short time, and 10,990 out of employment. Out of 17 sheds for winding, warping, etc., 5 are entirely stopped, four are on short time, and four are on full time with a portion of their hands. Number usually employed 461, of whome [whom] 257 are now out of work: 12 foundries usually employing 947 persons, 542 are on full time, and 30 on short time, and 402 out of employment.  There are nine machines shops which employ 817 persons; of whome [whom] 367 are out of work, 418 on full time and 32 on short time. Of 21 Bleachers, 13 are out of work; of 64 paper-stainers, there are none unemployed .  Of 30 persons employed at paper works, 16 are on full time and 14 out of work; of 449 joiners  393 are on full time and 56 out of work. It will therefore be seen, out of 26,440 operatives usually employed in this town, only 7,162 are in full work chiefly on reduced wages, 7179 are on short time, and 12,099 are out of employment.

39. Friday 8th Very wet all day. At home, and not very buisy [busy]: had a long chat with Mr Henry. Willie born 1859.

40. Saturday 9th. Fair but cloudy. Bought Boccaccio's Decameron and Adam's Roman Antiquities.

41. Sunday 10th. Anniversary Sermons at Mount St. Mr Skinner's text Acts 4v20. Mr Taylor in the afternoon and evening. (slight showers)

42. Doing buissenes [business] in Blackburn but very little done. Fine but not much sunshine.

43. Tuesday 12th. Fine but a few drops of rain near night.  Went to the Canall [canal] with Joseph Wilson for some small dace for our fish tanks, circumstances were against us, we got none. Mr Noell has a very fine collection of Ichic Tribes in his tank.

44. Wedensday [Wednesday] 13th.  Showers during the day, and set in wet at night. Went to the canall [canal] again today; we caught about two doz., small dace: we divided the numbers which were all living but two when we reached Mr Wilsons, but the temperature of water we took them from being  so much higher than that we put them into, they have all died except one of mine. Those precautions will be necessary – if we wish to preserve any next time. Little Willie was very ill during the night but a mustard plaster gave him great relief, and he is nearly all right tonight. James Henry is labouring hard at his spelling lessons; he has got one good mark today (I see) thanks to his kind governess. Little Sarah seems very anxious to make use of the book also, and I have had to satisfy her laudable desire by giving her a lesson; she named several of the letters after me, such D & T which are all she is able to pronounce yet, except P. These three. She has had a little practice in the three words she has learned to utter distinctly, being viz; Papa, Dada, and Tatta. She fell down the steps at the back this morning, but happily was not much hurt; her little brow is bruised and a little discoloured. She has pulled off her little shift (which she is very fond of doing) as soon as relieved of her night-gowns, and ran to the door and attempted to walk down, but I picked her up at the bottom. They all went with me to the Post Office this afternoon. James Henry made use of the little green Fiddle bag (as his Mamma called it when she made it for his spelling book) to carry the letters. We posted 58. They were all for Barrow and Dalton.

45. August 14th. Wet in the morning but a fine afternoon. Left home this morning for Wigan, and I arrived by Aspul, Ince, and Scholes at half past five.  Working people are in a sad condition; two women have died of want, one at Nickelsons Nook last Tuesday after reaching her house from being before two members of the Relief Committee; one wished to give her a ticket but his wishes were overruled by his brother officer.  There is much in the scheme that is defective. The Dispensary Doctor cannot be obtained without an order being delivered at a certain hour. I saw a man this afternoon who is truly in a destitute state, and he has been unheeded by all the visitors or anyone else, but the poor woman (as poor as himself her husband being unemployed and half a dozen little  ones comprising her family,) who has given him share of the shelter her comfortless house afforded. She procured a shilling for him today, and gave him share of her soup. He has been living upon three meals per week for many weeks back. His father is a farmer in the Latham and in good circumstances, his brothers also are well to do; one of them a rich brewer in Liverpool, but all applications to them have been unheeded; his poor landlady purproses [proposes] going to see his father tomorrow, who is ninety years of age, which may account for his neglect. Some other members of the family may have instigated this cruelty. The man's name is Banks, and he sat by the ghost of a fire, without shoes or stockings, and covered with an old rag never intended for clothing a member of the human family. He has contracted a disstressing [distressing] cough by sleeping on the boards of his room floor without any bed underneath him.  His voice naturly [naturally] strong was scarcely audible, and his head was bent forward on his chest. He recieved [received] a small donation with great thankfulness.

46. Friday 15th. Fine and warm, but much thunder during the afternoon and a copious shower.

The Irish are very locquacious in Wigan respecting the baddness [badness] of the times. I am heartly [heartily] tired of this custom, a large accession of it I had annexed to my business [business] last year, by the labours of Mr P Johnston. We have the Irish charracter [character] presented to us, in this country, in a very low phase, which we are apt to be prejudiced by, though we naturly [naturally] think all of this inferior to our own; and I think few are altogether free from this prejudice in some measure. When the Irish idiom is engrafted upon the English language it is rather curious, and it has often amused me: I will add one specimen which I noted down with difficulty, because the delivery of it was just the same measure of time as their native thinking or speaking, which must be about 9/8th to the bar. “You'r [You're] welcome sir, that's a fine morning. I'll pay you the contents of what I have behind; and I'll bait you a shillin [shilling] I'll bring up the lossings [losses], be the help o'God. Sure a bad customer I'm being to ye: but it's this marning [morning] he startit; en [and]  I'le [I'll] pay be the round from this up" I made an attempt to cram in “Goodday" [Good day], and I was follud [followed] by the usual Benediction; “ gooday [Good day] and God speed ye". See another July 8th. Finished buiseness [business] in Wigan and walked to Blackburn. The little Folks met me with a hearty wellcome [welcome] on the flaggs [flags], all gladdness [gladness] and glee. Met a little blind girl carrying a bunch of wild flowers which she seemed very much pleased with; she was a led by another a little taller.

47. Saturday 16th Fine day. Disposed of my Barrow buisiness [business] to Mr Rose for £56-10-7.

48. Sunday 17 Fine. Mr Skimmer's text was the Epistle of Jude.

49. Monday 18th Very fine. Train to Blackrod in the morning thence on foot to Blackburn.

 A strange coincidence. Last year there were 15,358 widows in Britian [Britain], renewed their nuptial vows, and 15,358 spinsters married widowers.

50. Tuesday 19th. Very fine but began to rain at 7 o'clock in the evening. Brought Willie and Sarah in the perambulator [pram] from Blackburn, Mrs B and James Henry joins us at Hoghton, and we all came to Chorley through Brindle and Whittle, we have had a nice trip.

51. Wednesday 20. Went to Chorley Cemetry  [Cemetery] with the children this afternoon. Shewed James Henry a new made grave, he had many questions to ask, not very easily answered; and among the rest if it was for a man. Little Willie slept with me at White Horse Inn, much surprised in the morning at seeing the Church through the window, he said it was a big Chapel.

52. Thursday 21st. Close and warm, a few drops of rain in the evening. Walked home after finishing buisiness [business] this week, extremely bad. No prospect of a change. Left Mrs B and all the little ones at Chorley, had a sorry parting with little Sarah.

Great preparations are in progress for the Guild; all intend to go for one day at least, that will be able to get. It is an epoch in their lives.

53. Friday 22nd. Very fine. Came to Morecambe this morning and found Father and Mother well.

54. Saturday 23rd. Took train at Hest Bank to Dalton and finished shewing up to Mr Scott in Dalton and Barrow. Very fine all day. Took last train to Preston; leaving Barrow at ten minutes to 8 o'clock p.m. thence to Chorley at 11p.m. and stopped all night at Mr Dewhurst, White Horse Inn.

55. Sunday 24th. Went to the Old Church this morning. Mr Masters, the Rector, read prayers from Phillipians 3 and 13 & 14. Mr Scott and Mrs B and myself had dinner at George German's . We then had a walk (Henry accompanying us) to the cemetery and round the (wallets?) And had tea at George's  then set off to reach the packet at 6.30 at Whittle and reach Blackburn at 8.30. Joseph Wilson met us at the locks in Nova? Fine weather.

56. Monday 25th. Doing buissiness [business] in town. Very dull.  Day very fine.  Met Mrs B and children at the Station at 8.15pm.  Home is very uninviting without its natural tenants – without whose kindly influences the heart would soon become cold, and indifferent, and sinful; in a greater degree than if we were deprived of all other intercourse.

57. Tuesday 26th. Fine weather. Very bad trade.  A splendid wedding at James Street this morning.  Mr Ashburn to Miss Birtwistle.  Six carriages with pair in each.

58. Wedensday [Wednesday] 27th.  Very fine and warm.  Went out fishing at half past five a.m. with Mr Nowel and Mr Wilson to Audley Hall. Caught a great number of “sticklebacks" for our aquariums, and a few nice little Buttles and snails.

59. Thursday 28th. Very fine. To Wigan, by train to Blackrod. Buissness [business] worse than ever. The Colliers on strike. Should the strike continue, the consequences will be fearful.  Privation is constantly increasing, and still no prospect of a change.

A poor woman came into a house in Scholes, in which I was; saying she was dying for want of a cup of tea: she said if she could only borrow a penny, she would buy a pennyworth and brew a cup. I gave her a penny for which she seemed thankful, saying she would pray for me till night, but I was rather amused when she same back asking me if I was sure “that was a good halfpenny" I satisfied her by changing it, and she went home very well pleased.

This is an instance among many, of the light hearted manner in which they seem to bear their sufferings. Though without a loaf in the cupboard or a coal in the grate, and their faces pale with want; they are still cheerful, and ever merry; and ready to jest at their own condition.

60. Friday 29th. Left Wigan and 1 p.m. and walked to Blackburn with John Selkirk and Andrew Graham. Very fine, and warm.

61. Saturday 30th. Very fine. Arose at 4 o'clock this morning, and went to the Cemetery with Mr Wilson, thence to Tockhole and got home at 8.0 o'clock. Got cast iron pillars at Littlewood's Foundry; cost 2/- painted them white; so I expect an aquarium sometime.

62. Sunday 31st Very fine.  Mr Skinner preached from First Peter 1st – 22nd. Took little Sarah, James Henry and Aunt Alice a walking.

September

63. Monday lst. Slight showers and warm. Saw wheat cut today for the first time in this district, though I saw both wheat and Barley on the 22nd ult. at Barrow.  The harvest is generally later in this neighborhood [neighbourhood].

This is the first day of the celebration of the Ancient Guild Merchant at Preston; to be continued during the whole week: it is celebrated every twenty years.

According to the papers this morning, Garibaldi and his followers in Italy have been taken prisoners. It is a great pity that this brave soldier's zeal in the cause of freedom was so untimed or success might have crowned his noble efforts, as on former glorious occasions.  Pollitical [political] prudence vouches a further respite to Papal Tyrany [tyranny].

Doing business today between Blackrod and Blackburn; got home at 8p.m. I have walked a mile for every shilling today.

64. Tuesday 2nd. Left home at noon, encountered a severe thunder storm when I reached Brindle; the rain fell in torrents till 3.15 p.m. and, as I afterwards heard rather dampened their enjoyment at Preston, who were partakers of the Guild festivity. The foundation stone of the new Town Hall was laid with Masonic honors [honours] and ceremony and witnessed by a brilliant and numerous assembly.

65. Wedensday [Wednesday] 3rd. Chorley nearly turned inside out, all gone to the Guild that could go; but a whole day's rain may do something to temper their zeal.

66. Thursday 4th. At home, being a Generall [general] holliday [holiday] in all town in the vicinity of Preston , shops are closed and all buissness [business] suspended in order that all may attend. Saw the principall [principal] of this Grand Jubilee at Preston. The Trades all walk today, and there are to be many attractive entertainments, Fiddlers and all musical amatures [amateurs] are much in request, not withstanding bad time; and Trains are totally inadequate to convey the sightseeing revellers to their destinations; so that wheel and axle has to join with shanks on the Queen's highway, in the generall [general] pillgrimage [pilgrimage]. The road is covered with pedestrians as well as cars and vehicles (at least was in the morning) whose inmates seemed determined to enjoy themselves for once in the twenty years. It has rained the whole of the day without intermittions [intermissions]. Many a half drowned wretch will arrive tonight by train, from Preston, who will regret having gone, and some, it is doubtful,  will be already there from necessity on the morrow, when they may have another day to enjoy themselves.

Brought Willie a Black dog at last. I brought it with me in a bag last night; it is a very small one.

67. Friday 5th. Very fine.

Made a box for Mrs B. James Henry helped me very industriously.

68. Saturday 6th. Very fine all day. Had a deal of writing today.  Had an interesting and instructive conversation with Mr Henry. He is possessed of great knowledge, and is very communicative when in health and good spirits.

69. Sunday 7th. Had the honor [honour] of discharging (with Mrs B) the duties of Bridesmaid and Groomsman at Mr Wilson's marriage with Miss Hellsby this morning at St Peters.  Long life and happiness to them. 

Showery in the forenoon, but cleared up sufficiently to allow us to proceed to Whalley in the afternoon; with the Bride & Bridegroom walked over a portion of the old Monastic ruins, with much pleasure

70. Monday 8th.  Slight showers, very close.

71. Tuesday 9th.  Slight showers.

No buissness [business] to be done. The effects of the Guild are felt notwithstanding the great distress that prevails: many spent their last shilling to witness a part of that great Festival, that is now numbered with the Guilds of the Past, to be remembered like the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, till another succeeds it; and many changes will occur before that event, which now seems so distant in the deep shades of futurity. How many difficulties must be overcome? What cares must be borne; how many of those we love may be mouldering in their Parent Earth: and (tho' last ourselves to espouse Mortality,) we may be units in the World of Spirits; and our existance [existence] but faintly remembered, long before the return of another Preston Guild.

72. Wedensday  [Wednesday] 10th. Fine all day but a heavy shower at 9 p.m.

I have been buisy [busy] all day in the cellar, making buffets and shelves. I was informed when I went to John Paul's for the Aquiarium  [Aquarium], where I had taken it to be fitted with a rail around the top – that he had succeeded in breaking the marble bottom. I could not have thought such a simple little ornament would have cost such trouble. The wrought iron frame was worthless, because a blockhead made it – and now another blockhead has played his part. Some new improvements in High Pressure Engines could hardly have presented greater difficulties to an ordinary tradesman, than these two pretenders have met with in this simple toy. An indifferent Tradesman is a burden for life, to the State to which he belongs: a direct taxation to his neighbours, as anyone who employs him.

73. Thursday 11th.  A shower in the morning but fine the rest of the day.

Attended a meeting of the Creditors of Joseph Hellock, at Nickolson's  Temperance Hotel. There were about fourteen Scotsmen and one English man. It was like most Scotch mens meetings I have attended, with the exception of have mentioned, who was a blunt honest looking shopkeeper, not much to say, and no pretending above his station or circumstances. There were various characteristics represented in the other members of the group, from upright and honest integrity to mean and grovelling selfishness sweeping every obstacle out of its way. All followed buissness [business] for daily bread, but some were distinguished for pursuing it according to law, but not morrality [morality]. One, who took a distinguished part in the proceedings, sued his widowed mother in a Court of Law; and is considered a respectable member of society. Another turned his father out of house and hall when he could not pay his rent, (he having bought the house his father occupied). He is a usurer on a large scale, frequently exacting as much as £260 per cent from simple buisiness [business] on good security: he is distinguished for all the qualities that constitute a Tradesman but honesty: he only practises that virtue from pollicy [policy] or compulsion. Another of the friends present had served an apprenticeship of a few months in Kirkdale, but has since that probation, availed himself of the protection by a respectable appearance, where roguery is permitted with impunity, have failed in a large amount since he succeeded in creeping into buisiness [business]. There were several notables in this assembly, myself not excepted; although free from those crimes that entail sufferings and privation on our fellow creatures. None of them have injured me and few of them have me any offence, only one I should mention whome [whom] I entrusted to post at [a] letter for me, which he opened and kept a fortnight. It showed the meaness of this principle as much as anything of more importance. Though the above charracter [character] found a place in the same room, the majority were of the most respectable and upright charracters  [characters], but if every group of Tradesmen of like numbers present such a mixture of opposite qualities; Buissness [business] is no longer an envious occupation. It must be unfavorable [unfavourable] to morality in an eminent degree, but, “Honour and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part: there all the honour lies".

74. Friday 12th. Showery.

Reached home at 4 p.m. by train.

75. Saturday 13th. Dull and cold, shower near night.

76. Sunday 14th. Showery and cold.

Mr Skinner's sermon was taken from 1st Corinthians 6th – 46 and succeeding verses.  Lost Willie's little dog today; it has got out and strayed away. 

Little Willie is very poorly, he says he will not be better: I have had at the Doctors. Mr Whittaker gave me some medicine for him which he takes willingly; he has also had a mustard plaister [plaster] on his chest for five minutes, by the Doctor's orders.  James Henry & Sarah kissed him when I took them upstairs.

77. Monday 15th. Very fine and warm. Travelled from Blackrod Station through Chorley to Blackburn. Brought some plumbs [plums] apples and nuts for the little folks; which pleased them very much. Little Willie much better.  How pure their affections yet how selfish; but their innocence more than counterbalances that defect; and they willingly share with each other, any little overplus in their simple luxuries. May it please God, these little kindly traits may ripen and grow up with them. The world would then be dissarmed  [disarmed] of half its cruel power. Kindness is a most desirable virtue; but its many happy results are beyond all expression, or calculation, when it reigns in a family.

78. Tuesday 16th. Very fine.

 At home all day doing various little jobs, ornamental and useful, for the want of more profitable employment.

79. Wedenesday [Wednesday]  17th. Very fine.

Left home about noon.  At Chorley all night. Stoped [stopped] at the White Horse Inn; a house that has many happy associations, being the scene of our courtship and marriage, having only to trip into the old Church and return, “husband and wife" to breakfast along with our friends, a splendid one being provided by our kind wellwisher,  Mrs Dewhurst.  Thirty or forty years ago the White Horse was kept by an original charracter [character] named John Grey who combined in his own proper person, the duties of Parish Clerk with the buissness [business] of “Mine Host" and frequently on Sundays when he had performed, his part of the Morning Service he has left the Church to join his customers and remain with them till the Sermon was nearly over, when he returned to his duty in time to add his “Amen".  The house then stood about four feet further out, and a sign graced the table facing the Brow which could be read easily by the passengers on the top of the coach as they entered the town: the words were :- “John Grey lives here, Who sells a pot of wholesome Beer; His licquor's [liquors] good, his measure's Just, But, John is poor; he cannot trust." Old John occupies a narrow space of ground in the Church yard, near the Communion window marked by a small rude stone bearing the well known name John Grey, as if it had been considdired [considered] unnecessary to add more – as it neither stated the time of his birth or death or the important double capacity her filled in the two nearest buildings to his “place of rest".

80. Thursday 18th.  Very fine. Reapers busy. Much grain being taken in. Little buissness [business] to be done in Chorley.

81. Friday 19th. Came home this morning. Fine all day. The War creates much excitement. The recent successes of the Confederates inspire hope of a speedy termination of the sanguinary struggle.

82. Saturday 20th. Fine all day.

An old gentleman called today upon buissness [business] and shewed me a parody of Mary's Dream – with an Apostrophe of his own on the death of the late Prince Consort but I doubt not he understands his buissness [business] much better than verse making. He sold his composition at one penny each in aid of the relief fund, which is an act I should be sorry to blame.

Put the glass in the Aquarium today so it is another stage further.

83. Sunday 21st. Mr Williams of Harwood preached this morning from Acts Chap. 16th but the sublime passages he attempted were but indifferently handled. Mr Skinner is often complaining of but few that enter his pulpit surpass him. Perhaps the dryness of the preacher may be attributed to the apathy and matter of fact appearance of the congregation.  Where there is a man of any reflection but may imagine this discouragement produced upon the speaker by the aparent [apparent]stolid indifference of his audience: perhaps Ministers may be an exception; and I believe they have often much need to be, that they may not be discourraged [discouraged] altogether. But, apart from all other considerations, the high charracter [character] of their office, their education and opportunities, and above all the sacred cause in which they labour, should be ample stimulants to the discharge of those duties that devolve upon them. But it is the duty of hearers, also, to make every allowance for infirmity, and not expect too much even from a qualified Minister at all times; notwithstanding he enjoys the advantages provided; knowing they suffer in common the physical irregularities incidental to humanity, which even the most virtuous cannot shun, and which are often the result of severed applications to the duties expected from them. We should at all times endeavor [endeavour], (and more especially in the service of the Sanctuary) to accept the will for the deed.

A good Sermon is very refreshing, but its minor importance in Public Worship is too much overlooked.

Fine today, begins to be rather chill nights and mornings.

I have little time for reading comparatively, the little folks employ much of my time when at home.

84. Monday 22nd Cloudy and cold, in the morning but no rain.

Saw Mr Ellwoods Aquarium at his invitation, it is a very fine one.  He informs me it will hold thirty golds. A very pleasant chat with Mr Henry Been; reading the Abbot of Sir Walter (which he lent me) to Mrs Burnet much to her gratification and my own.

85. Tuesday 23rd. Fine. Buissness [business] bad.  A general murmer  [murmur] of the badness of times. A great variety of causes are enumerated  by the ignorant and a general hope by the more intelligent that the Confederates may gain their independence.

86. Wedenesday 24th.  Showery after 4 p.m.  Went to Whalley with Mr Ellwood, and returned by Ribchester Station, through Ramsgreave. Monument to the memory of Samuel Crompton (Inventor of the Spinning Mule) Inaugarated at Bolton – today; and formaly [formally] presented to the Corporation.

87. Thursday 25th. Showery.  Arrived in Scholes at noon not much money to be had.

Had tea at the Gibralter [Gibraltar], where a traveller soon entered from Liverpool, who ordered lunch. A few commonplace remarks passed between us, preliminaries which are always necessary when two strangers have to introduce themselves; on the same principal, I suppose, that we grope in the dark, or “gang wary" in a bog. He is graceful affability and tact, (by the way) so characteristic of an educated Englishman. Soon led to an easy conversation which is always preferable to sullen silence.

I found my new acquaintance was an amature [amateur] in Music, and a small folio he carried turned out to be the “Three favorite [favourite] Masses of Mozart, Hayden and Beethoven, which he carried with him, he said, to prepare himself for a part he intended to take tomorrow night when a few friends would form a party at his house. The landlord entered, and being well acquainted he handed over the work to him, who disclaimed all knowledge of music but added, “You shew [show] me this because you know me to be a Papist. If I shewed [showed] you anything of a Methodist nature, would you respect me the more that I did so, on the score that you were one of that persuation [persuasion].  Not at all Sir said the stranger, I did not aim at your creed, I addmire [admire] the music they make use of, for its own sake, and meant no offence when I directed your attention to it; but only as I would take the liberty of pointing out to you an old aquaintanse [acquaintance]. “Well, be it so; but I am a Catholic and intend to live and die one" I do not blame you, but I am not bigoted [bigoted] or exclusive in my opinions: I have led the Orchestra in a Catholic Chapel before now, and what mater [matter]. “No sir, but I hope you may yet be a Catholic; for, you know: Out of the Catholic Church, no man can be saved".

The subject changed and it reminded me of the impervious bigotry [bigotry] of Popish ignorance; so exclusively are they taught the truth of the passage he quoted; that they believe it can only be applicable to those within the pale of Rome. What is the Catholic Church but the Church Universal? And all humble followers of Christ are its members wherever they may be found. No human expositer [expositor] of Scripture has a right to lead us without conviction, but all have a right to read for themselves. Revelation was graciously given for our special spiritual guidance, and as Scripture best explain Scripture; and no restrictions to particular parts can be found; but as a whole revealing God's Holliness [Holiness], Justice; Goodness; and Truth: Attributes of the Devine charracter [character] which all ought to have knowledge of, (a perfect knowledge we cannot reach in this life) that our faith be intelligently founded. All learning but teaches us how ignorant we are, but the Glorious Truths of Salvation can be understood by minds of the meanest capacity,  when Grace hath led us to feel our own unworthiness and seek humbly that mercy and pardon so freely offered us, at the foot of the Cross. Christ is our sole meadiator [mediator], our Bible names no other and as the consolations and privelages [privileges] of religion are personal; and our duties cannot be performed by proxy. How arrogant the Papist Priesthood; what ascendancy they exercise over the minds of their flocks, what blasphemy to assume the care of so many souls when their own souls require it and to teach their servile slaves that their spiritual intrests [interests] are in safe keeping by placing implicit and ignorant confidence in their leaders. Blind zeal is the natural result but error is eagerly seized in support of a falling system, as a drowning man will seize a floating straw.

88. Friday 26th.  Showery in the morning, but fair and warm afterwards. Brought the little folks some pears, which elicited unfeigned joy and a hearty wellcome [welcome].

It is a privellaged [privileged] happiness that the harrasing [harassing] imbecility of buissness [business] (as in its present state we find it) does not follow us home: that we painfully reflect upon it sometimes, and wistfully look forward for the isue [issue], we enjoy a calm respite at home to which we are strangers anywhere else.

89. Saturday 27th. Fine but close till sunset, when a slight shower moistened the ground. Having done sundry necessary things, I began where I left off in Sir Walter's tale of Quentin Durward; I find light literature more pallatable [palatable] at certain times, than more solid works; but, in reading the best of tales, which combine with instructions such stirring incident, one is sensible in an eminent degree, of the 'Great Magician's' spell, and we ask ourselves unwittingly is this a dream.

90. Sunday 28th. Fine.  Stayed at home this morning to let Mrs B go to Chapel.

Read a good deal today, the little folks being rather more indulgent that they are wont to be. Sung the Little Buisy [Busy] Bee with them: James Henry and Willie on their chairs, and little Sarah on my knee.

Repeated Wordsworth's  Little Cottage Girl and Lucy Gray; James Henry repeating after me. He always requires a copious commentary upon any little domestic tale and these were no exceptions: but the fate of poor 'Lucy' touched a sympathetic cour [core] in his little bosom, which was expressed in tears. Tis a sad necessity that this innocent tenderness much give place to feelings less amiable; and that a cruel world will teach him evil as much as good. I feel the responsibility and desires of a father, and may God assist me in winning over his inclinations, as they aquire [acquire] strength, to employ his mind in profitable studies; that will yield him in this life and that which is to come, happiness beyond compare.

91. Monday 29th. At home, being the best place when there is nothing to do. Joinering in the sellar [cellar], most part of the day. Went with Mr Wilson and Mr Ellwood to the Canall [canal]; thense [thence] to Brierlie's Lodge a fishing: had little success in the Canall [canal] but caught a great many little Gold Fish in the Lodge, some of them very pretty; I gave them the most of mine to devide [divide]between them. Fine weather.

92. Tuesday 30th. Fine weather. Very buisy [busy] all day, making something related to a Cheffonier [chiffonier]; got it finished and painted first coat.

93. Wednesday [Wednesday] Oct 1st. Left home at noon, walked to Chorley through Brindle. Began to rain at 4 p.m.

94. Thursday 2nd. Slight showers.

Much sickness in Chorley.  Measels [measles] prevail very much among children, and fever among adults.

95. Friday 3rd. Showery most of today. Got home about 6 p.m.. Walked to Pleasington with William Hill.

96. Saturday 4th. Very fine, tho [though] a wet morning. Grandmother went back to Chorley last night by last train. Painted the chiffonier two coats today; and sundry other jobs.

News arrived today of President Lincoln's emancipation act, an instance if true of the wonderous [wondrous] ways of providence God brings good out of evil, and makes the wrath of man to praise Him. The slave obtains his freedom at the expense of a fratricidal and bloody war.

97. Oct 5th. Sunday. Very fine.

Sacrament Sunday at Mount St. May God in his saving love, bestow his Grace upon us, that we may walk worthy this Holy and Public proffession [profession]: a proffession [profession]of our faith, and interest in the atonement of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

98. Monday 6th. Fine all day, till dark. Doing buissness [business] in the town and I found it was worse than ever.

99. Tuesday 7th. Very warm, and a delightful moonlight night.  

Mr & Mrs Aspinall and Miss Wilson had tea with us this afternoon. The two first are going to Australia on the 20th inst., they leave here for London tomorrow week.

100. Wedenesday 8th. Day very fine.  Preparations going forward for the approaching fair; and Blackburn was never in a worse condition to hold one comprising as it does at present in its Boundary as population of starving opperatives [operatives] and ruined tradesmen.

Finished my cabinet today in first rate style; having made it painted it and varnished it so I considder [consider] my time very well spent. I have put my aquarium a stage further so that it now occupies a place on the top of the last named piece of furniture, upon four squares of marble, which I squared and pollished [polished] for the purpose and according to my ideas of taste. The 'toute ensemble' is very good; I have something to look at that idleness could not have left me.

101. Thursday 9th. Very fine.

Left home this morning 6.30 a.m. by train to Blackrod Station, thence through Aspul to Wigan: in this neighbourhood there is an increase of distress, and the most abgect [abject] poverty prevails.

102. Friday 10th. Very fine. Mr Pendlebury of Millgate made me a present of two little eels for the aquarium. Reached home about 4 p.m.

103. Saturday 11th. Very wet most of the day. Sent no parcels off.

104. Sunday 12th. Very wet. At Mount St Chapel this morning. A very nice sermon by Mr Skinner, Heb.13th & lst. Let brotherly love continue. Not got much time to read, the little folks have been so stirring; they were not much inclined to singing today: but I can sometimes beguile them of their noisy glee by that means, or getting them to repeat some little piece after me. I have not yet learned so much phillosophy [philosophy] as to be able to rule them at all times without an earnest of my reasoning in the form of a sharp slap with my palm: They forget it however much sooner than I do; but, I hate the idea of a strap, and I have succeeded so far in a making them obedient, for the time, without one. They have now gone to bed and left us a little quietness, which I always enjoy very much, and spend as well as possible.

105. Monday 13th. Wet morning, but cleared up, and has been a fine day. 

Finished my aquarium today, and fixed the pipes and filled it, I have had much labour, and a great deal of perplexity with it in its construction but I have succeeded at last in making a very respectable article.

106. Tuesday 14th. Very fine.

At home, doing odd jobs for want of buissness [business]. Mr & Mrs Henry called tonight; they admired the aquarium very much; Mr Ellwood has also been to see it.

107. Wedensday [Wednesday] 15th. Wet morning but a very fine afternoon. Been through Brindle and Whittle-le-Woods and great is the distress among working people; no Relief Committee and the Workhouse their only resource when Parish Relief is indispensible.  From Brindle to Chorley.  Seen Mrs Ellison's little sow and a little fine one he is, born last Tuesday morning but one, between two and three o' clock, that is the 7th Oct.

John Lock, the Fiddler, was here when I reached (White Horse) and he played some of his best tunes. In his case the loss of his precious sight seems in a measure compensated with the perfection and acuteness of the ear. His tunes are almost inumerable [innumerable], which he executes with precision and feeling. We played several together; a fiddle being kept in order here serving my purpose, and a good concert we made. Mr Thomas Bond, farmer, droped [dropped] dead this morning, near the same place where Mr Hargreaves (who lived next door to this) fell dead  about two years ago; one coming from the Station the other on his way to it. Mr Bond was running to be in time for the train when he fell. These two instances of God's visitation should remind us deeply of life's uncertainty; and incite us to more devotedness in His service, who would dare to practise wickedness and blasphemy, that bear this trust about with them? that we are continually dependent on our Great Creator for every breath and every blessing we enjoy! And we may suddenly be summoned from all we hold dear to enter on the realities of Eternity. We ought always to be mindful that no created thing usurp the Creators place in our hearts: 'for His glory He will not give to another'.

108. Thursday 16th. Slack trade in Chorley. Day very fine.

109. Friday 17th. Showery all day. Two loud claps of thunder at 6.0 p.m. with vivid flashes of lightning. Took train from Chorley to Blackburn then came through Adlington and Chorley to Pleasington station and got home about 5 p.m. Found the aquarium in beautiful order, having fitted it up tastefully in the beginning of the week. I have about nine different kinds of fishes in it, in all about fifty; none of them large so seem a happy family enough, and all seem healthy.

110. Saturday 18th. Showery all day. Went to Mr Wilson's tonight, and got back about fifteen minutes before seven, but just as I was taking the latch key out of the door I heard an alarming crash, and Mr Scott screaming like a frightened virgin: The aquarium bust! I had just come in time to pick up (with the assistance of Mr Graham and Mr Scott as soon as he was able to collect his ideas) the poor finny tenants of the limpid element which I had cruely (cruelly) transferred to my artificial lake; and the humanity of the act suggested to me the weakness of man's dominion: 'Tyrannical man's dominion.' Thus ends my scheme of an amature [amateur] naturalist for the present. I fear I had given it too much of my thoughts; forgetting the truth which closes my reflections in no 107.

111. Sunday 19th. Wet and stormy, a dreadful hurricane at night. Mrs B much frightened with the roaring of the tempest, and we thought of the marriners [mariners] or houseless wanderers exposed to his fury.

 Found a little silver fish this morning under the cabinet, which had escaped our notice last night; (when we were endeavouring to collect them and put them in water) and, strange to say it was alive & put it among its unfortunate friends of the aquarium, that was, and it soon revived.

112. Monday 20th. Stormy with heavy showers of rain. Many stalls and itinerant shows forsaken of their riggings in consequence of the storm of last night; being the Fair, a great many are assembled on the Market Place.

113. Tuesday 21st. Wet and stormy. Tidings of the death of George Johnston at Annan, circulating today, which took place as I have heard last night. He had been to Liverpool last Saturday in usual health.

He was once one of the most substantial Tradesmen in this town and left it about 14 years ago with a competent fortune, but without a good name. His power, and wealth, and possition [position] armed him with oppression instead of phillanthropy [philanthropy]; in many cases he crushed the weak and plundered their creditors, who submitted quietly, for their own future interest, not desirous of sacrificing his custom to their own immediate right, or the Justice due to his weaker bretheren[brethren] in trade. He is intimately asociated [associated] in an epitome of our paternal history, two brothers having served their time with him; the eldest, Robert having contributed to his overgrown exchequers the profit of ten years labour and anxiety, and suffered the pangs of neglect and ill treatment during a long illness which was unto death. His only resources being the labours of my father with his spade. He was considdered [considered] to be worth about £1500,at least, being in buissness [business] after the expiry of his time, six years, and doing an excellent buissness [business]; but a sham partnership and low cunning swallowed up the whole, no settlement being made while he lived, and none after his death. He said on his deathbed (but without the least bitterness) that his (Johnstons) money would 'get away' we should see it, but he would not, and verily it has come to pass: Mr Johnston having failed several times of late years, and having experienced the most abject of poverty. We should learn a lesson from the lives of such men.

114. Wedensday 22nd Stormey. [stormy].

Got the aquarium fitted with glass once more. The last was sold to me for 30d per foot; it was 26  only.

The truth of the report of the death of George Johnston is confirmed, and that he died by his own hands having hanged himself. Alas, that a life of toil should have an end like this! Are these the wages that Satan pays; truly his servants fare worse than their victims. This man has left no legacy to his sorrowing family, but mourning without hope. He once thought to leave them well provided for; but these hopes were the prompting of the hardest of taskmasters. May God prosper us spiritually and temporaly [temporarily] ; and may we never thirst for gain we cannot ask his Blessings with. For, without his blessing, we but labour in vain. Why should we murmer [murmur] and express ourselves fretfuly [fretfully], knowing this truth? We have more than our desserts.

The death of George Johnston suggests to me a train of reflections I am unwilling to forget. First the influences of all men for good or evil are infinitely beyond our poor comprehension. 2nd How wonderous [wondrous] are the ways of God? before whome  [whom] a sparrow cannot fall in vain. 3rd How clearly his Providence is displayed in the past. 4th How dark to our apprehension the future. The career of this humble individual has left a marked influence in many families both in England and Scotland. Many parents have wept for sons they should never meet again and many have gone to foreign lands never to return. The hopes of many a fond Mother have been blasted, and many an enterprising spirit broken by the perfidy of this man. How permanently are our actions registered and how much are our brethren of mankind affected by them both in this world. And the next is visible to out limited sense, showing forth God's Holliness [Holiness], Justice, Goodness, Truth, and Wisdom. How needful that we pray humbly for Grace and Wisdom to guide us for Good, through this probationary existence, and enable us to leave the World better than we found it.

My parents have reached their allotted period of human life, and seen a numerous family grow up around them and go out into the world, one after another, so that we were never all under their roof at one time. They are now disspersed [dispersed] abroad thousands of miles between unknown and many strangers and several we have not heard of for years.

My eldest brother, Robert, came to Johnston when he was about 17 years of age: John followed a few months after, the first died in 1844 at the age of 28. John was then married, and had a numerous family and success in forming the basis of a hansome [handsome] fortune which went to wreck, through relaxed energy. He is now in New York as far as we know not having heard from him since he went from Blackburn. Sister Jane went to keep house for Robert after the expiry of his time and formed the acquaintance of James Porteous being a lodger at that time with Robert, and was married in due course. Brother Edward came next and was very successful many years, married Miss Dean his masters sister, but had no family. They sailed for Australia on April 5th 1856; wrote to say that they had a child, and we have never heard of them since. 

Brother and sister Janet followed sister Sarah: James was in Arkansas when we last heard of him, with a family growing up around him, and last James April 21st 1851.

Sisters, Jane, Sarah and Jannet are well settled, the two first Mrs Porteous and Mrs Robert Rice in Blackburn and Mrs George Gass in Skipton in Yorkshire. The partner of my joys and sorrows I was destined to find, amid, the scenes of my labour where I still continue to remain; our first meeting that led to our aquantaince and courtship were very curious to reflect upon. But, there is a providence that shapes our ends, Rough to hew them as we will.

I have but one to mention of all my brothers and sisters namely Brother William, the eldest but two he alone remains to comfort our aged parents, who are now at Morecambe, having followed their children to England to experience new trials, new sorrows and new dissappointments [disappointments]. They are now stricken in years, but the death of George Johnston will awaken remembrances that have long slumbered in their hearts, and they will attribute much of their experience during the greater part of the last quarter of a century to his influence. They have nearly completed their fiftieth wedding day, and during twenty six of these have their thoughts followed their children: who had left their care with many a blessing invoked for their prosperity.

115. Thurssday [Thursday] 23rd. Wet and very stormy. Saw a field of oats and Aspul, quite green, and what was very amusing, the proprietor himself was a forlorn reaper, in the rain, and it fell in torrents; there is still some corn in the fields, and likely to remain some time, it this weather continues, but this is not ripe yet which I have seen today, and no signs of it being ripe for some time.

116. Friday 24th. Wet morning and very cold all day.

Arrived home at 4.00 p.m.

117. Saturday 25th. Stomy and showery with a cold wind.

118. Sunday 26th. Cold and stormy with showers of rain.

At Mount St morning service. Text John Chap. 13th 34

119. Monday 27th. Stormy and showery.

Finished the aquarium once more.

120. Tuesday 28th. Fine during the day with the exception of a shower of hail early in the morning.

Made a box for Mrs B today with the assistance of all the little folk.

121. Wednesday 29th. Fine.

Left home at noon.  Poverty on the increase. Saw a customer wearing the clothes of Brindle Workhouse.

122. Thursday 30th. A heavy hoar frost this morning: fine day. Chorley poorer than ever. See 38.  There are now upwards of 19,000 unemployed in Blackburn and neighbouring towns are in a similar state of destitution.

123. Friday 31st Fine, then very dull.

Came through Blackrod, Chorley and Wheelton, came home by train from Pleasington.

124. Saturday Nov 1st. Very dull and slight showers of rain. Set the aquarium in play and replaced the remnant of its former tenants with a hope that their safety and that of Mrs B's carpets will be secure than they proved to be this day fortnight.

125. Sunday 2nd. Fine and clear. Little Sarah rather poorly; the effects of dentition.

At Mount St this morning. Text, Psalm 84th. First and second verses: Chapter Heb. 10th, a very affectionate discourse by Mr Skinner.

126. Monday 3rd. Very fine, almost like a day of Spring; a beautiful night, the moon unclouded and bright.

Little Sarah rather better, her Mamma got some powder from the Doctor yesterday and a gargle for her mouth- which is very sore – and they seem to be doing her good.

Buissness [business] is now almost out of the question. The Town is in a most pitiable condition, the distressed are well provided for by the benovellent [benevolent] in the neighbourhood. I invariably read to my beloved at night when at home and lately we have got through some of Sir Walter's best histories.  To-night I have read a good portion of the Heart of Mid Lothian, much to our mutual pleasure and enjoyment.

127. Tuesday 4th Very wet.

The acquarium [aquarium] is now in beautiful order. I have a variety of fishes, mollusks [molluscs] and plants belonging to fresh and water, and they are altogether an interesting chapter for the study of an amature [amateur] naturalist.

I have a few fresh water snails, resembling (some of them) periwinkles, and it is surprising to watch their movements although one would not expect the gifted with such locomotive power.  Sink at one to the bottom or rise to the surface – or poise themselves midway between wheeling easily round as if the shell was fixed in an axle – one very large one is much given to this last exercise – as if an aristocracy was insepperable [inseparable] from all grades of life.

128. Wedensday 5th. Fine, but cold;

Little demonstration this anniversary of Guy Fawkes' defeated scheme – except a solitary explosion of a would be cannon now and then, in the hands of some young rake who ought to be in bed.

Been busy today in the manufacture of a bird cage:- a borrowed one is unworthy of poor dicky, who sings most cheerfully at all times, when he has any company.

129. Thursday 6th. Fine sunshine.  Dined at the house of my old Papist Friend, (The Gibralter) see No 87. One of his sons left home for Mashers College yesterday.

130. Friday 7th. A very dense fog, the whole day, which brought the fog signal into request, on the Railway. Very cold.

Found one of the smaller gold fish dead in the aquarium, I cannot assign any cause. All the others seem healthy enough, and very playful; performing merry antics in their sport: were I possessed of more scientific knowledge, I could watch their habits more intelligently.

In the collection there are about three varieties of the Gold Fish families; and judging from my own experience I think they are the hardiest and not the most delicate, as many Journal contributers [contributors] would have us believe.

They tell us sometimes that a loud noise or shaking of the vessel will cause death – or a bad smell – none of which assertions I can find any grounds for. As to the first two for example: I have carried twenty eight in a can from Chorley to Blackburn, coming by train from Pleasington. So that they suffered both noise and shaking in the journey: also the dissassster [disaster] mentioned in 110 and that in 111 go fast to prove that they are more tenacious of life than these hypothetical scribblers are aware of. My friend Mr Wilson saw one frozen up in a piece of ice which swam off quite lively when released by thawing.

Loaches, Gudgeons, minnoes [minnows] and even Sticklebacks will die sooner in corrupted water than they will. When I made use of a large tube during the repair of the aquarium I had an oportunity [opportunity] of noticing it. Though the water was changed every day when I was at home, it was, I found, quite necessary: for when I arrived from Wigan or Chorley and that attention had not in consequence been kind, I found the Loaches and Gudgeons  at the point of death swimming at the surface with the backs down in their efforts to inhale fresh air, the water being exhausted and tainted at the bottom by the state of the tub, which smelled very badly, I found, when I emptied it altogether: but when all these other fish suffered such distress the goldfish were quite at ease and lively.

131. Saturday 8th. Fine, though windy at night.

There has been a series of riots in our quiet Town this week that speaks much ingratitude and ignorance. About 2000 opperatives [operatives] demolishd [demolished] much private property at Pleasington Hall on Thursday night and an immense mob committed the most wanton destruction in the Town breaking the windows of the town Hall and other public buildings in the immeadiate [immediate] neighbourhood, and the private houses of the most peaceful inhabitants – for no cause, though some poaching cases at the Police Court served them for a pretext. The soldiers arrived from Preston, however, in time to prevent further outrage. We have good opportunities now of studying the practices of John Brights Creed. It disstress [distress] will teach wisdom we should, willingly profit. If our Representatives were chosen by such beings (according to sample) as the Worthy Gentleman I name, has laboured so long for, they would fill the House; it is doubtful, with a very different claim than their worthy champion, and scarcely so well meaning. Honest  John had the wrong end of the cable: privelages [priviliges] are dangerous to those that know not their value, and it is always safest to choose the smallest evils, since evil cannot be entirely shut out from human institutions.

Our Franchise is already as wide as our intelligence, and intelligence is the most potent impulse to reach its present inclosures [enclosures].

132.Sunday 9th. Very wet.

At Mount St. this morning, text John Chap. 6th & 51st verse.

133. Monday 10th. Very stormey. [stormy]. Sleet and snows at night and some thunder.

134. Tuesday 11th. Stormey [stormy]and much snow. It was about three inches deep this morning; though it melted partly before night being more inclined to sleet before dark.

135. Wedensday [Wednesday] 12th. A keen frost all day: and quite slippery. I had to go with my little boys to school this morning, they were quite unable to walk, the flags were as slipy [slippy] as glass. Left home at noon. Trade worse than ever: I came through Brindle & Whittle, and called on all my customers and had just got one shilling when I got to Pipers Road, where I got 1/6 which made 2/6 to come into Chorley with: what the result will be, is not easy to determine.

136. Thursday 13th. Keen frost.

Chorley very poor: money very scarce.

137. Friday 14th. Wet; Frost and snow disappearing [disappearing] very fast.

Mrs Moss died yesterday at Adlington Common; the result of a quarle [quarrel] with her husband, seven weeks ago. He is considdered [considered] a very quiet man, but provoked him.

138. Saturday 15th. Cold & frosty. Repairing a fiddle, and working at bird cage, I have spoken of previously for want of better employment.

139. Sunday 16th. Cold: not much frost.

At Mount St. Morning service. Text lst Thess & 18th Missionary sermon.

140. Monday 17th. Keen frost, but very fine. Doing business in town.

141. Tuesday 18th. Very cold.

Money very scarce in Blackburn.

142. Wedensday [Wednesday] 19th. Cold raw weather. Finished & fiddle and got my tools arranged for another job. If time would mend I might have more profitable recreations.

143. Thurday 20th. Cold and frosty. By train to Blackrod, thence on foot to Wigan. Much corn in the fields yet, in the Aspul district. The wife of one of my customers in Aspul  has eloped with a lodger; leaving her disconsolate husband the care of eight children: the youngest of the nine she took with her. The lodger had sheltered under the roof of the unsuspecting husband four years.

I have been complimented very frequently by a person of taste, on my good appearance in a black overcoat and knickerbockers; But the peasantry in this neighbourhood attach a capacity to the outfit not the most enviable, as the undertoned remarks of numerous groups I have overheard, in passing throughout the day convinces me “That's a Bum Bailey" or “ he's a bum", have been the tenor of their communications to each other as I passed. I did not relish the honour of my supposed importance, and my conceit fell in proportion: I think after all the compliment was only a little bit of irony, and the lady deserves credit for her penetration.

144. Friday 21. Fine and warm, almost like spring.

The state of buissness [business] is deppressing [depressing] in the extreem [extreme]. As much attention is required now as ever, without the least stimulus in the way of profit. The prospect is as dark as ever, and “Hope defered [deferred] maketh the heart sick."

My possition [position] is most unpleasant and its unpleasantness is aggrevated [aggravated] by the heartless treatment of its author. An unfortunate transaction with him at the very commencement of this deppression [depression] brought me into his power once more.

I am now as poor at the first day I solicited credit from him, in the year 1854 and since then I have paid him upward of £4,000. He is the only friend I ever had, but I have paid for his friendship; the price of it being no less than the whole of gains resulting. My dependencies have increased since it commencement which makes the ruin more complete. I am now as dependent upon him as ever and prudence suggests the compromise.

In 1853 he withdrew his support and I was obliged to dispose of my buissness [business] to him at a sacrifice. I had £1000 assets and I owed him £520. He being my only creditor, his I had to take(and thankful I was and grateful too) with 20 & even 30 per cent charged and yet I was enabled under those difficulties to realise favourable  figures  amounting to £480. But having my estate at his own price it was reduced to £270. This little capital (which I wish I possessed now) after travelling for him a few months (for 24/-per week) (he knowing the balance in hand) I agreed with him in order to get into buissness [business] to pay him that money towards the connection I travelled. (A St Helen's book included with my own work) and pay the remainder in seven years - £300 the first six months  to 1300 by instalments of £14 per month afterwards.  I took all debts in the books that I had received cash in part payment for – several hundred pounds of which I never got, but, notwithstanding, at the end of 1860 I had upwards of £1000 of good figures in my favour, although I had two worthless men during that year – and had to dispose of their work and dismiss them – and sacrifice in consequence. Mr Rae got all these bills, amounting to about £1000, advancing me cash amounting to about £400, the remainder he put to my credit for goods and instalments.

Now I come to a second insolvency, as I considered myself in that condition when I began buissness [business] as above stated.

He wished to dispose of his Blackburn trade which contained £1452 gross amt. he had often shewn [shown] me the books and spoken of their excellence which I had no reasons to doubt. He had shewen [shown] me every kindness and I felt greatful [grateful] in return. I however concluded a bargain with him on the seventh day of January 1861. Giving £1321 for the concern to be paid in four years - £121 being taken off the sum which he had in hand, leaving £1200. I had £131 pounds of bad money as I was led to believe only in the books – giving 20 per pound for the good: I however made new books when I had been round twice and found upwards of £300 utterly worthless. Mills began to stop two months afterwards, and trade continued to fail – I sold my St Helens work to relieve myself in the November  following the second bill for Blackburn being nearly due – I have him the bills for these debts, amounting to £420 paying all that would come against me for six months to come including the two bills for Blackburn; on his promise to lend me cash to meet my Commercial Credit should trade not soon revive: I had then none of it due and felt easy once more. Trade continued bad, and still does, and I have suffered accordingly. In December last I offered to lose £500 if he would take the Blackburn concern off my hands and fulfill [fulfil] his promise of assistance in paying my credit – which about £1460. He did not comply but lent me £60 at intervals, and my receipts have fallen to a mere trifle. I drew 25/- last journey in Blackburn: my other work is little better. I have drawn little more than £100 out of the concern since I got it, and had supplied it with about £200 of goods and there are now about £600 bad money in it in addition to the £300 and likely to be more. I was given to understand that its returns were about £60 per month thought we but drew ten when I was shewen [shown] up and I never reached £20 when going weekly adding two weeks together, which would make forty with my improvement of it had trade kept good. I ceased to buy goods and paid over my receipt to him, in trust for the benefit of my creditors, some of them being pressing. I continue to pay him all I can get besides expences [expenses] and he supplies me with what few goods I sell but often in the presence of his young men he has said (when I handed him my list)" it will take all we can draw to pay for your goods". “ It is too late to be turned on to the street". And such expressions in a similar strain.

I am obliged to submit or come to a rupture – and am anctious [anxious] my creditors should get paid in full – which that could not if my estate was sold at the present time. I turned over my apprentice to Mr Johnston a few months ago – not seeing anyway of supporting him, but I would never have needed him but for buying the Blackburn concern.

It has thus been a loss to me in many ways, my position is gone: my credit is gone; and my family increased. The taunts I have suffered from my benefactor, properly belonged to me. I would have been still as independent of him and perhaps been as well received at his house as before the transaction, (a wondered change, having taken place in regard to the last particular). I would have owed nothing, had my rescources [resources] not been swallowed by it, or would had my St Helens work to stand available or without it, I would have had my Wigan and Chorley work to cleare [clear] to about £400 and that sum would not have been yet due for two years to come. I would have had £1300 in my favour and been keeping my family bad as the times are – by selling the same amount as the money I continue to receive from them.  Instead of all this I am not worth a shilling and saddled with a debt that would crush me, were times to change tomorrow. Were I relieved of this millstone and got time to pay – I would willingly lose £700 by it. I could then see my way and would enjoy a like footing to what I have lost by it excepting my loss above named, which I might be able to redeem by industry and economy but as it is I am chained with it and perplexed beyond endurance and I feel it the more keenly, that my tormenter enjoys my substances. I have been a scourse [source] of gain to him since our connection began, but it was mutual so to speak till our last transaction; which would also have been mutual, had it been as represented and trade continued good.

The luk [luck] is always as good as the man and it is no exception in my case.

Will I be so confiding again? Is the question, all negotiation is inimical to friendship and we should be wary when a tradesman professes to much.

145. Saturday 22nd. Very fine.

Proffered Mr Rae £700 to relieve me of the Blackburn concern, which he promises to considder [consider] off – should he still refuse -  it will express satisfaction with his part of the original bargain, (with a vengeance).

Mrs Burnet 28 years of age today.

146. Sunday 23. Fine but cold, severe frost.

At Mount St. in the morning, Mr Cameron preached from Psalms 34 & 8th.

147. Monday 24. Very cold.

Made James Henry and Willie each a little cart, which pleased them very much.

148. Tuesday 25th. Still a severe frost.

 Went to a pit this afternoon and brought three sticklebacks and some small molluscs, sticklebacks are not very aggregable [agreeable] tenants of an aquarium being rather pugnacious, but more especially in the in spawning times. I formerly put some in the brook – they nipt [nipped] the fins of the goldfish and I feared they would disfigure them – but they have room in the present and seem very peacable [peaceable]. I brought up a live frog also – rather a stranger at this season. I had to break the ice. He seemed disturbed from the bottom, to which he returned very quickly. I also brought two or three curious insects in their grub state, supplied each by a protection made of small sticks crossing each other, forming a little castle an inch in length and firmly cemented, the grub in the centre and swimming in a vertical possition [position], the head at the top. They have also the faculty of sinking to the bottom at pleasure. They are a curiousity [curiosity] to me as yet. So I placed them in the tank. I may be able to class them by and by. See 176.

149. Wedensday [Wednesday] 26th. Fine day: the roads quite dry.

Heard at Chorley when I arrived that Elijah Waddington died last Monday the 24th at 7.30 p.m.  See 35. This is the result of unfortunate habits. How needful are we of Divine help in avoiding vicious cources [courses].

150. Thurday 27. Fine. Very favourable to skaters, and many availing themselves of these advantages and vigourously [vigorously] plying legs and arms in this delightful exercise in which comparatively few excell [excel] for graceful motion and speed. A real good one is seen ocasionly [occasionally], however, skimming over his crystal path like some large sea bird and almost with the same speed.

151. Friday 28th. Thaw.

Found a beautiful letter awaiting at home from James Waddington with an account of Elijah's death.

152. Saturday 29th.   Fine and mild- occasionally a few drips of rain. Willie very poorly.

153. Sunday 30th. Cold, wind, very clear moonlight – but not frosty.

Willie much better. James Henry and Sarah rather affected with cold.

154. Monday Dec 1st. Cold and showery.

Children much better. Obliged to remove the sticklebacks from the aquarium. They have killed three at least, since I put them in, and two I found dead when I came home from Chorley, which I did not examine. They were much the same size as themselves. I see no marks of injury upon the others.

155. Tuesday 2nd. Damp and showery.

Help Robert Raes people to flitt in the afternoon. Children not much better.

156. Wedensday [Wednesday] 3. Fine during the day, but a very wet night.

Helping Robert Rae all day.

157. Thursday 4th. Fine – but very dull.

Left home at 6.30 this morning. Children rather better. Promised to take some figs on Friday – from Wigan. Collected an intresting [interesting] variety of aquatic animals and insects on my way from Aspul. I brought a wide mouthed bottle for the purpose of carrying them; having my curiousity [curiosity] awakened this day fortnight by breaking the ice at the place where a variety present themselves.

The insect mention at 148 I am led to believe are Cadis Grubs. They sometimes form their cases of dried grass stems, little sticks, or small shells and little stones, which they lengthen as required by their growth. One of those above mentioned had seized a stem of one of the plants growing in the tank and nipd [nipped] it off, then cutting it to length before quiting [quitting] it had succeeded in adding another position to its domicile, the green of the plant showing in a fine contrast to the old part of the building.

“The wisdom of our Creator shines through all his works. There is nothing contemptible in the humblest of his creatures. We see the wisdom of man so proudly boasts and the arts he has studied since his advent in Paradise, laid open before him in Natures spacious scroll – where all may read and learn if their pride will permit them bow.

158. Friday Dec 5th. Showery.

Mr Pendlebury of Wigan showed me a beautiful collection of Fossils, among which were some pretty specimens of Cerealis, and some very rare ones of other ancient plants.

Brought the figs promised and found my little ones much better.

159. Saturday Dec 6th. Slight showers.

My brother James' birthday today. Is he still living? We were most together in our infancy and we widest severed in manhood. It is nearly thirteen years since we saw each other, and nearly three years since he wrote to me.

160. Sunday 7th. James Henry five years old today;  being born on 7th Dec 1857 at 9.30 in the morning. Each epoch brings its own reflections:- five years have soon passed away: it seems but as yesterday, I went out for a short time that morning, being anxious for the issue and uneasy anywhere but found my anxieties very soon increase; returned and found that we were parents. The little innocent in the hands of my Mother looked up at me with large blue eyes – as it to be assured of that protection and affectionate care which the lowest savage will display towards his offspring – and would put to shame a many of his more civilised bretheren [brethren] by his tenderness.

I have ever fostered that affection which vibrates to that elloquent [eloquent] appeal which the first look of my First Born expressed. My desires, my prayers have been for his welfare in both worlds – also for the other little pledges we have since then been blessed with; but alas! our love, our Fillial [fifial]affection, our most tender solicitude is (only) poor feble {feeble]humanity.

At Mount St in the morning.

The little folk not so well yet.

Showering and damp rain.

161. Monday 8th. Showery weather.

My fish keep dying. I have lost one almost every day for a long time and I cannot ascertain the cause. Their enemies are now removed. I mean the sticklebacks, but the larger ones have died after lingering a short time till their number is very much diminished. The sticklebacks had only power to kill those about their own size, or less and those I blamed them for destroying, had wounds upon them, and one had lost one of its pectoral fins by a bite.

Afternoon. Began to wash a red Coraline – which had been in the Aquarium a short time and was rather discoloured: on a closer inspection I detected a strong smell of lime – which at once suggested to me the cause of the piscatory mortality, other marine stones having a place in my freshwater tank still – one very large one in the center [centre], a white one which I procured (with the other) on my seaside visits. I immeadiately [immediately] set to work to remove them, and found that their presence made the tank little better than a cesspool, in which carbonic acid gas was generated in great rapidity.

I made an effectual clearance of the nuisance, syphoning out the mud and filth that lay black and putrid beneath the calcaeous  masses; and after allowing the tank to fill and run a little, I restored my fishes, which I had taken out during this sanitary confusion.

I tied a few hogs bristles to the end of my syphon, which answered the purpose very well; of stirring up the sand, and drawing off the mud, thus cleansing most effectualy [effectually] the whole affair.

162. Tuesday 9th. Wet a great part of the day.

The murderers of Mrs Walne of Ribchester committed today, to the Assises [Assizes]. Their names are McPhail, Carr, Woods and Hartley. The two first have been transported, but it is the hope of the public that they will be hanged for this crime.

The Aquarium looks beautiful today: all its little tenans [tenants] are lively, two that appeared sickly yesterday morning are apparently as healthy as the others.

Two fine large molluscs seem to thrive very well, one had ploughed a fine deep furrow in the sand during the night shewing [showing] very clearly the nocturnal ramble it had been enjoying.

163. Wedensay [Wednesday] 10th. Fine, with the exception of a shower in the morning.

164. Thursday 11th. Showery.

165. Friday 12th. Fine: a little frost in the morning.

Walked home in company with John McVittie. Found my little folks not so well. Little Sarah more especialy [especially]; she is afflicted with bronchites [ bronchitis]

166. Saturday 13th. Fine tho [though] damp air.

Little Sarah rather better.

Changed the gravel in the Aquarium (the first being mixed with spar in order to lighten its colour) I have thought  has been one cause of the fishes dying.

All the Carp family taking a portion of fine sand as an aliment. The Goldfish belonging to that family. The minnoes [minnows] and dace are quite healthy that have been living in the same tank.

167. Sunday 14th. Fine during the day but a cold wind.

Little Sarah much better. I brought her down stairs tonight and she partook of a few fried potatoes, the first food, since Tuesday last, excepting just a taste of odd things she has refused.

James Henry and Willie continue well. Willie was informing James Henry that he intended to buy a broken spoon someday for some purpose but James Henry had the better of him by replying (with great laughter) that he should buy a whole one and break it himself.

168. Monday 15th. Fine: cold.

Buiseness [Business] is now most irksome to pursue in Blackburn. The most discouraging and the most insipid of all occupations. Paying accounts is out of the question. Those working full time can only earn a few shillings per week.

169. Tuesday 16th. Fine.

James Henry went to school this afternoon being the first time since he recovered.

170. Wedensday [Wednesday] 17th. Showery.

Mr Skinner called to enquire for the children, and made prayer.

171. Thursday 18th. Very wet.

Left home at 6.30 a.m. for the Wigan district. A stormy night.

172. Friday 19th. Stormy.

Left Wigan at 11 a.m. and walked home, through Chorley.

I never enjoyed a pleasanter walk. I felt a king of melloncholy [melancholy] pleasure not easily represented in graphic charracters [characters]. The trees on each side mourned in plaintiff sadness as in reflective sorrow for the lovely emeralds (that so lately draped their now naked boughs) that were hurried past them in crumbling myriads to enrich another soil. When we have acted out our parts in this transitory scene we must retire from life stage, and become as fragile and crumbling as they; in preparation for a similar purpose of nature, and our dust may be blown in the faces of our decendants [descendents] or brushed from their bespattered garments: but, the vital spark that as yet animates  our mortal clay will then have entered on another state of existance [existence] of which there will be no end or change, but join in that Holy and Happy choir in singing the praises of our merciful Creator and Loving Redeemer. Our bodies will be restored in Glorious renewal, on that Great Day when the redeemed will meet their Judge with Joy. Oh that these reserved inheritances were more constantly kept in mind, ever inanimate and irresponsible nature is filtered to remind us of our duties and raise our hearts in gratitude and praise for privallages [privileges] of which we are in ourselves, altogether unworthy. The universe is continually praising the Great Creator. The meanest creature and the lowest plants pay each their tributes to His Wisdom and Power. Man only is depraved; the only creature endowed with reason, and he alone of all the Earth's inhabitants remiss in his duty and faithless to his Masters Trust.

173. Saturday. 20th. Cold and windy.

174. Sunday. 21st. Very cold;

Mr Skinner preached this morning from second Peter Chap. 3rd.

Mrs B. attended evening service leaving me to put the little folks to bed. They have been good, and are now quite well again.

175. Monday 22nd. Heavy showers.

176. Tuesday 23rd. Fine though foggy.

Went out fishing or more properly pond hunting with Mr Lea, and had some very interesting amusement.

Got a great number of freshwater shrimps and each a brace of water scorpions, several varieties of beetles, and a variety of shellfish. I got two small ones in the canal of a rare species that I have never seen before, ¼" in diameter with deppressed [depressed] spine like the planorbis family, but light coloured. I also fished out an empty shell which I think belongs to a land animal having seen several of the same kind, in a damp part of the cellars, though it is much larger: it is a bright yellow deppresed [depressed] spine like the last.

We got a number of Bivalves about 3/8" in longitude which I conceive to be of the “Anadonta cygnea" family. I am not certain but the resemble two large ones of that kind, I have had in the Aquarium sometime: They are however more expert in burrowing than their Patrician relatives as they very soon disappear in the sand, in the same manner as the Marine Cockle.

I have several other varieties in the aquarium besides those named but I find their classification very difficult, my skill concollogy [conchology] being very limited. Among the rest I have two fine specimens of “Palludin" and a number of Amber shells “Succinea amphibia" also two of a more perfect order than the last, which I am not able to name yet, they have about five volutions and spiral, and black. I have had them a considerable time. This is a part of Natural History I have hitherto neglected, and might still have remained in ignorance of their existance [existence] so near home if I had not had an aquarium. For the last, see more 127.

We also got two varieties of the larvae of the stone fly see 148, one with a case of grass stems and another of sand. There is now such a variety of aquatic life in the aquarium as I could not formerly have thought possible to bring together, and it is most amusing to watch their motions and habits; suggesting the thought, that an accomplished Naturalist must be a happy man. To such a man rural recreation must be pure enjoyment: Nature's Book is to him an original scroll prepared for his instruction by the hand of his Creator: and the Divine Wisdom is reflected in all he sees

177. Wedensday [Wednesday] 24, very mild.

Saw my family off by train at 6.45 this morning, then proceeded through Wheelton and found them safe arrived in Chorley; to cellebrate [celebrate] Christmas.

178. Thursday 25th. Very fine, more like Spring than Christmas in respect of the weather.

Had dinner at Samuel Gartside's with Mr & Mrs Senior and a first rate one, with all etceteras: a very pleasant afternoon we had.

The day passed over very quietly. The Committee allowed an extra sum to each of the poor opperatives [operatives] to enable them to enjoy their Christmas as in former times. Such has been the case also in other neighboring [neighbouring] towns.

179. Friday 26th. Showery.

Went to Blackburn this morning and returned to Chorley about noon, finished Thursday's buisness [business] and came home by Preston.

180. Saturday 27th. Showery.

Very lonely without my family. Had tea at Mr Wilson's.

181. Sunday 28. Fine, but cold.

Attended Mount Street Chapel, Mr Skinners text. Luke 8th & 16th. Walked with Mr Wilson and his little nephews in the afternoon.

182. Monday 29th. Very wet.

Buissness [business] no better, got it finished, and prepared to recieve [receive] my family; I have laid in provisions for them that they will not have be fetched when they come;  and I must go to the Station at 8 O'clock.

183. Tuesday 30th. Showery.

184. Wedensday [Wednesday] 31st. Fine and very mild, unlike the death of former years; no shower of snow to cloth [clothe] the Earth as in mourning for the Good Old Past. We can even part with the old year more willingly than many of his predecessors; considering the distress (not want) that has prevailed since his birth, and our regret is much lightened by the hope that his successor will pay his Father's debts. Such is sometimes the case with poor mortals; (though very seldom, I must confess, to my sorrow) and only mortals could expect so much from “Time". For, no Economy will make up for its waste – What we've lost is inrecalable [incalculable]: the Year is now a fraction of Eternity. Let us hope for the best, and endeavour to amend ourselves considdering [considering] our own unworthiness. We have even in this impropitious Year still had enough to eat and to wear: the same providence provides over the wants of the future, and good will be the ultimate result of his wisdom.

If we have lost of worldly goods, we have lost but what was lent. We still enjoy Blessings and Comforts, of which we are utterly unworthy.

Let us pray for Grace and Guidance and trust in heaven for the issue.

We all sat up, (excepting the little ones) till the clock told [tolled] the Death Knell of 1862: Mr Scott brought us in the New Year with boisterous glee, and wished us every happiness. I believe from the bottom of his heart, we then hurried off to bed.

185.  January lst 1863

Arrived at Blackburn by first train enroute for Wigan. Morning cloudy, promising rain, and a wet afternoon accordingly.

The strains of a well appointed Fife and Drum band gave unmistakeable tokens that we had entered on another year, almost as soon as I left the Railway Stations, and their music followed me a full mile; their way being mine, in their visits to their Patrons. I was informed they were all teetotallers and played for money only.

The Colliers were all playing, that they might have an opportunity of enjoying themselves, (and they seldom lose one) so the major part of them seemed fully determined to do so. I have heard of poverty today, but I have seen none. I have seen some as “full as the Baltic" who have been in receipt of Parish Relief for the twelve months, presenting a muddled illustration of the proverb, “Where there's a will there's a way". Improvidence has still a strong hold, in ignorance, chastisement in the shape of pauperism, or kind benevolence in the form of relief subscriptions seem alike powerless to combat this moral imbecility. Ignorance and immorality are twin brothers: yet intelligence is not a safeguard against vices.

186. Friday Janry 2nd. Showering.

Walked from Wigan to Chorley and to little purpose, intended to walk forward to Blackburn with Mr Wilson according to arrangement but I found him not so disposed. We remained all night at The Royal Oak Hotel. We had mirth, but mirth is not happiness.

187. Saturday 3rd Fine, beautiful moonlight night.

Arrived home at 9.30a.m. Found all well, but Mrs B justly displeased at my absence. I hope to be more punctual for the future.

It is six months today since I tasted ale or spirits excepting on three occasions when I partook tea that had a very little rum in it. So little that I could hardly taste it. There is more solid happiness without these stimulants and all my experience confirms that truth.

188. Sunday 4th. Fine, rather cold.

Mr Skinner preached this morning from Luke 24th & 26.

189. Monday 5th. Slight showers.

Doing little all day. It is not very pleasant.

190. Tuesday. Fine.

Went pond hunting this afternoon, procured some very fine specimens of Beetles, one of the Great Water Beetle, a very fine one. Several of the waterboatman, very pretty specimens; and curious habit is they through the water on their backs, which resemble the keel of a boat (hence the name) and when night comes on they asume [assume] a natural position and take a journey on the wing through the air. There were several smaller beetles of various colours, also a very pretty little newt.

They all found a comfortable lodging in the aquarium, except about half a dozen I gave to Mr Powel.

191. Wedensday [Wednesday] 7th Very fine.

Left home at 10 a.m. for Chorley.

192. Thursday 8th. Very fine. Chorley very poor.

193. Friday 9th. Showery.

Came home from Adlington by train. Brought a little Goldfish home with me in a bottle with some aquatic weed, but for which it could not have sustained such close confinement.

194. Saturday 10th. Very dull.

Had a walk round the town with Mr Christopher Taylor from Barrrow.  Mrs B and I went with him to the station at 3.p.m.

195. Sunday 11th. Fine.

Went with Mrs B. to Mount St. Mr Skimmer's text. The Publican's prayer. Luke 18th v 13th. A full congregation.

196. Monday 12th. Fine.

197. Tuesday 13th. Fine

198. Wedensday. 14th. Fine.

Buisy [busy] whitewashing all day. Made use of 29 pounds of whiting, on the ceilings and loby [lobby] walls.

199. Thursday 15th. A dense fogg [fog], and frosty. The sun gleaming like a ball of fire, but at intervals totaly [totally] obscured. I do not remember a darker mist.

There is no improvement in the Wigan district. I have taken less money today than ever; from leaving Blackrod Station to Wigan I can scarcely count shillings for pounds in my former receipts. The accounts are as numerous as when trade was flourishing.

200. Friday 16th. Fine.

Had some fish brought to Bulls Head which brought home except two I sent to Mr Pendlebury. There are some fine bass and gudgeons – completely stocking my aquarium and a few to spare for my friends.

201. Saturday 17th. Fine

Told Mr Rae in answer to some of his interrogations, that the cause of my present circumstances, was no way unaccountable: what I have been out of pocket in my last transaction with you would have paid my creditors I said, he softened down a little as if surprised that I had made such a calculation. I told him that none of them had applied to me for immeadiate [immediate] payment yet, but if they did I must give up, as I had not a St Helen's book to dispose of to pay them with. When I sold the St Helens work he promised on receiving the Bills that one have would be forthcoming for my travellers when wanted as the amount covered more than was due to him: the promise was not kept.

202. Sunday 18th. Showery.

Mrs B and me at Mount St this morning. Text Psalms 35th & 9th.

203. Monday 19th. Cold, and a very stormy night.

204. Tuesday 20th. Very stormy. Snow and sleet. Wind done serious damage in many places.

205. Wedensday [Wednesday] 21st. Fine but cold.

Left home for Chorley. Read several of Burn's  Poems to father in law at night.

206. Thursday 22nd. Cold wind.

207. Friday 23rd. Stormy

Mr Butterworth and Mr J Ridge stayed all night.

208. Saturday 24th. Wet and stormy.

Our guests left by 11.15 train, a.m.

209. Sunday 25th. Very cold.

Test at Mount St. Heb 3 & lst.

201. Monday 26th. Stormy and showery.

Buissness [business] no better, thought five thousand are working of those who have been unemployed. The cotton is of such an inferior quality that their wages scarcely exceed their weekly relief (when idle).

202. Tuesday. 27th. Fine cold day.

Little Willie stayed at home from school today: Mamma sent him for a halfpenny worth of apples, but he came back and said a little boy had lost the halfpenny. “Who was the little boy" was asked, by his Mamma. It was me said he: poor Willie had to wait till I came home before he could get an apple.

203. Wedensday [Wednesday] 28th. Fine during the day: a slight shower at night.

Been painting today. Last Tuesday but one and today, I made good progress in domestic decoration. Mr Waters supplied the materials on condition that I would perform the work.

204. Thursday 29th. Very wet.

Left home for Wigan 6.45 a.m. Paid a 2 piece at the station and took 6 in the change which was refused at Bolton. I had no alternative but proceed without, which I did and paid the remaining 4 ½ on a/c for my fare at Horwich the collecter [collector] being very willing to trust me three halfpence rather than risk obgected [objected] coin: I will, however, carry it to Blackburn again and endeavor [endeavour] to persuade the last owner to accept it.

I have note mentioned aquarium lately, though its claims on my notebook are worthy as ever. It is intresting [interesting] and instructive. The more we observe in nature, the more we will love and learn.

It is now in beautiful order (I dare not say perfection) as every day brings with it some new proof of my former ignorance. No books that are yet published on the subject, give any proper directions for its management, I have therefore depended more upon my own observations, and its results have far outstripped my most sanguine anticipations.

I find that proper food is necessary to keep them healthy, all require feeding. Some writers allege that gold fish do not, but it is a fallacy. The [they] feed on the plants if they cannot get the proper animal food, that they require; but they care little for vegetable aliment when it is plentiful. I asked a friend today how his fishes were thriving, and was directed in reply to look at them; “They are generaly [generally] quite as playful as they are now" say's he. “they swim round and round, these Dace close together in that way for hours; and are so lively. I told him the poor things wanted meat, hungry tap water could not sustain them, and directed his attention to their tails and fins, which were totaly [totally] disfigured: they were chasing each other for sheer hunger to obtain a small portion of the remaining stumps.

I feed mine with small white worms which I obtain in great number in the yard and sometimes a small earthworm the Beetles devour what the fishes regect [reject].

They seem all alike to me – and approach the side when I am looking at them through the glass, the Gudgeons of which I have two, look very intelligent, and swim often together a-breast when they expect something from me. The Dace perform their merriest pranks as if quite willing to earn their food, but the minnoes are often winners in the race for a sinking worm. A small perch is the most unsociable for the whole family; he professes kindness for none but the smallest, many of which has gone head foremost down his gullet. It is amusing to observe what tactics he displays when he singles out his victims feline propensities by all appearance predominating largely in his character.

He has managed to kill all the Caddis larvae but one, but this individual has hitherto proved a match for him. He appropriated  about half a dozen small Trumpet shells in the building or enlargement of his Castle (with the living animals in there) an I attribute his longevity to the circumstance. He seems now to have assumed the pupa state having buried the woody or vegetable part of his habitation in the sand and the shelly part protruding. What a wise instinct is displayed by the humblest of creatures in self preservation. How complicated and harmonious is nature as a whole each creature performs its part in the drama allotted to it by the Great Creator, and none are idle onlookers. Great is man's dominions and numerous are his mute examples: all are buisy [busy] and eager to get through their work and man alone loves indolence.

205. Friday 30th. Fine during the day but a wet night.

Eli Tyson killed since I was at Wigan last. He procured me the fossils I have noted in my diary – but he is now removed from this World of increasing to a World unchangeable as its universal architect: in this probationary existence we are permitted to unfold, in a limited measure the wonder of All Wise Creations, and view the evidences of Antient [ancient] existances [existences] that have slumbered long since they gave place to succession. That proof should not be wanting to convince us of a future where erring and responsible will adore the Great Maker of all in the shade of a Redeemer's Love. How unworthy are we to be exalted thus."

206. Saturday. 31st. Very fine.

Sister Alice returned home today.

Been painting again. Painted the two front windows.

Mrs Rae presented her husband with pretty little girls last night: I have been to see them today.

207. Sunday Feby lst. Fine but very cold.

At Mount St this morning. Mr Skinner preached from Heb v 2. The chap was the 3rd of Exodus.

208. Monday 2nd. Stormy wet morning in the morning.

Went along with George Nowel to catch little dace and succeeded very well. Lost a few by putting them into a rusty tin. Went again by moonlight and got a few more; sticklebacks and dace and four large shells. We brought all home only those we could distinguish are sticklebacks, which were restored to their native waters. I was not very fortunate with mine. The sudden chance from turbid water to the clear water of my aquarium proved fatal to a great many. I however saved two other small dace to  make up for the savages of a of a Small Perch , who had left but one of those he has the most affection for, namely, those he can swallow and two large Sticklebacks, which I am induced to try once more with an attempt at proper feeding.

They all seem very lively and quite at home, as it were; but I do not gratify this curiousity [curiosity]  respecting the inhabitants of the watery element without being reminded now and then of the obligations I am under for its place in the establishment. My beloved does not always see the utility of the “(Hobby)" I did up the yard and the children make puddles" she tells me and the other day a poor Gudgeon jumped out of the tank on the floor, Little Willie called it a Gudgeon, and also James Henry, but she did not know what sort it was; but it was a Gudgeon, and the poor thing was certainly drowned; our atmosphere, as it appears, having a similar effect upon the breathing organs of Gudgeons as water has upon those of many a Being of higher pretentions who “jump" in.

However I bear patiently to the utmost of my power, availing myself of every redeeming point in the argument, and save trouble whenever it is possible.

209. Tuesday 3rd Fine.

Put my painting a stage further; and on the whole I have made some improvement since I began.

210. Wedensday [Wednesday] 4th. Wet and stormy.

Walked from home through Wheelton and Whittle to Chorley, returning by train.

211. Thursday 5th. Very fine.

By train to Chorley this morning, returning at night.

Three young men killed at Rossbottom's Colliery: two brothers named Bibby and the other a son of an old customer, named Bateson. Met his Mother this morning."you'll call and see me lad" I will, I said, and I did. A stone containing many cubic yards had fallen upon them, six or seven large pieces lay on the table near the body that had been taken out of it when laid out, the head only was entire; the heart and liver was forced out and were found at a distance from the other parts: they were taped up and taken home in the cloth which the deceased carried his meal in to the pit. The stone measured 15 ½ yards in length, 5yds in depth with 4 deep in the middle and 2 at the sides resembling a boat keel uppermost. The colliers had to make a drift under it to recover the bodies: it had only to feet to fall.

212. Friday 6th. Showery in the morning, but afterwards mild, and fair.

Left home by first Train, and got back about 5 p.m.

213. Saturday 7th Showery.

214. Sunday 8th. A flight fall of snow. Mr Skimmer's Text Heb.3 v 3.

215. Monday 9th. Fine, rather cold.

I have taken all the larger fishes out of the Aquarium; I find, when they are too numerous for the place allotted them, the plants are defeated, ultimately, in their efforts to absorb the exhausted air. The fish, though they be ever so carefully fed will create a sediment, which being continually disturbed from the bottom, will float about and settle on the plants, and it cannot be got rid of without a great deal of trouble: and the plants being so besmeared with it, they so not thrive so well, and are consequently useless. When this is the case failure must result. The snails all seek the top as pure air seems as necessary for them as other animals (though their habits and economy make them good scavangers [scavengers]) and they are in consequence useless tenants of the establishment.

I believe they can all be kept healthy when the aquatic plants are abundant, proving the sediment can be regularly syphoned out, (which is very inconvenient) but the numbers of fishes should be regulated by the size of the tank, as much as an equilibrium of animal and vegetable life, better have too many plants than too few and better too few fishes than too many because when there are too many the scavangers [scavengers] will not be competent for their work and all will go to dissorder [disorder]such would have been the case with mine had I allowed it to go on.

In those I have disscarded [discarded]I have made no sacrifice; having observed as much of their habits as I can expect to wittness [witness]these circumstances: their absence will make room for others I have not seen yet. I took out about eighteen this morning; and have three minoes, two  sticklebacks, two small dace, one small loach, and the two eels I have noted elsewhere also two small carp. I have still a great number of insects but have dispensed with the Cadis worms, they proved very destructive to the plants. The one mentioned at  * which I thought had assumed the Chrysalis has since been devoured (the Perch being a successful enemy I introduced have a dozen more afterwards but assisted his Lordship in destroying them, for the reason assigned). I have still a few of the other species with sand cases instead of sticks, but they seem to do no hurt. The Beetles seem to thrive very well – and are a very interesting family.

The Aquarium seems quite renewed and its tenants quite at home; but this last or two the predominance of Carbonic acid gass [gas] was quite perceptible to the nose: such is not the case tonight, the short period of light since morning has served for the plants to renew it (being undisturbed) and no unpleasant smell  can be detected.

I have noticed since I formed the acquaintance of those little finny tribes, that the most of them have moveable eyes such as Carp, Dace, Perch, Minnoes, Sticklebacks etc and they move them very lively. Dace and Minnoes both repose on their Belly at the bottom but they can selldom [seldom] be found sleeping. I have noticed them when I have lighted up very quietly between four and five in the morning. On the contrary carp, though not nearly so active as these nor such quick swimmers, never rest upon the bottom unless they are sickly or much frightened; and I have never seen more than one recover, that shewed that inclination unless when driven to it by fear. But, before the betake themselves to the bottom through sickness they cease to errect [erect] the dorsal fin; and if the cause is not removed they will linger for a few days or even a fortnight moping in a corner, rising at intervals for a mouthful of air; till they are found floating on the surface, lifeless, or at the bottom unchanged in possition [position]; as fish do not always float when dead: when they do float it is generally on their side, or on their backs; the air bladder when distended raising the belly, the back sinking by its weight.

216. Tuesday 10th. Very wet.

No improvement in Blackburn yet. Men & women at all ages continue to attend the schools where a small pittance is doled out to each. I know men of sixty who have become schoolboys. Perhaps for the first time in their life for the sake of the small allowance they get. It is a phillanthropical mode of defeating any attempt at fraud – on the part of the applicants for relief. Some of the strongest are sent to work on the roads, but they make very indifferent 'navies'.

217. Wedensday [Wednesday] 11th. Fine, excepting a few drops of rain this afternoon.

Repaired the clock; also the paper in one of the Bedrooms, painted a little.

I have often seen it noted, that, freshwater fish die when put into saltwater, and saltwater fish will not survive in fresh water. Now I attribute the fatality in a great measure to the different degrees of density of the water. Water is an ellement [element] well suited to their respiration, or it might be more properly be said that their gills are adapted to breathe in that medium requiring a certain pressure to enable them to perform their functions, and if freshwater fish be put into a dense turbid water on being taken from clear, or “vice versa" they will hardly survive the suden [sudden] change.

So the effect must be much more oppressive to them when suddenly changed from salt water or the reverse. Salt water it is well known is considerably heavier than fresh, but fresh water will contain a great variety of sales without increasing its volume, this account for their difference in weight and density. Therefore my opinion is, (which may be wrong) that fresh water made equal in weight to salt water, without regard to the analy-satiow, (providing the ingredients are not posionus [poisonous] will sustain fish or molluscs taken from an equaly [equally] dense seawater, if both are the same temperature.

Mr Nowel gave me a few whirligig beetles last night. I had one or two before but reinforcement has added a new feature to the aquarium. They accept their share of the regular meal like other members of the motley community, and seem (though so small) quite equal to their prey. The size of the worm is no object. The large Brown Beetle will devour a small earthworm very quickly; and can very readily find one when it is thrown in.

I have a small magnifier which displays the beauties of the Beetle tribes in the tank very clearly – when they are perched on a plant near the glass. Several species resembling the 'Boatman' are very pretty; one resembling an Owl very much, and as minutely penciled [pencilled] and marked, a Biaprid also, in repose or when in search of food.

It then stands upon its two legs with the two vaslike limbs (which nearly all beetles  possess as well as the “water boatman" in vairous [various] forms) thrown over its back, and works in the debri [debris] at the bottom, most laborously [laboriously], with its strong arms: unlike the Boatman however it does not seem to possess the faculty of swing upon its back.

No pencil, could portray the loveliness of these humble tenants of the water, their bright metallic hues and regular markins [markings], and plumes so gorgeous delicate with their perfect symetry [symmetry] of form make them objects [objects] altogether indescribable. Whence all those beauties they possess, which according to human wisdom they possess in vain. They certainly inhabit an ellement [element] where display is less practicable than in our ethereal atmosphere; but that they are thus gloriously painted for a wise purpose; we must admit.

The discoverable in Nature is as beautiful and perfect as the revealed; and the more we search out the Great Creator works the more beauty and perfection we find.  An unfinished obgect [object] has not yet been found in all the various phenomena which  mas has been permitted to see: all teach the same sublime truths that a Gracious revealation [revelation] teaches; as if no room for excuses should be left us or plea of ignorance, of the existance [existence] of an overruling providence. Is the Bible not sufficient evidence? then read the Book of Nature, and be encouraged graciously as we can its ample pages in our progress, by beauties of which our limited intelligence can barely conceive but cannot comprehend.

We are even is Paradise still, though fallen; and we are unworthy to dwell amid, its beauties. The glory of the Lord, shall endure for ever: the Lord, shall regoice [rejoice] in his works. Psalms 104th v 31.

218. Thursday 12th. Fine.

Left home 6.30 a.m. returning from Wigan. 7.30 p.m. reached home about 9.

219. Friday. 13th Very fine.

Left home 6.30 a.m. for Wigan about 4 p.m.

220. Saturday. 14th Very fine.

221. Sunday 15th. Fine, rather cold.

222. Monday 16th. Fine.

223. Tuesday 17th. Very fine, quite like Spring.

Aunt Margaret and little son came tonight in Mr Smalley's gig. James Henry & Willie were proud to see their little cousin, and he crowed and smiles to them very intelligently much to their amusement. Willie wishes to keep it.

224. Wedensday [Wednesday] 18th. Very wet, all day.

Got very ill wet before I reached Chorley.

225. Thursday 19th. Fine.

226. Friday 20th. Fine.

Reached home about 5 p.m.

227. Saturday 21st. Fine.

Sold a suit of clothes which I lapt up today, reminding me very much of the past.

228. Sunday 22. Very cold. Fair. Mr Skinner's text Heb. 3 V7.8.9

229. Monday “3. Showery.

230. Tuesday 24. A very dull day, and very dull times.

231. Wedensday [Wednesday] 25. Showery.

Invited along with Mrs B. to Miss Eliza King's marriage with Mr Allston. Took James Henry and Willie to the Market house and bought them each a trumpet and a donkey spending whole three pence. I had bought little Sarah a donkey in the Market house this morning – which created in her brothers the new wants.

232. Thursday 26. Very fine.

Quite like Spring. Throstles have been singing for a month past, and the Honeysuckle has burst forth its leaves five weeks since, and for the first time this year I have seen a house fly today.

233. Friday 27. Very fine but weather cold.

Left Wigan at 11.43 and had about three hours in Bolton, arrived home about 4p.m.

234. Saturday 28th. Showery.

235. Sunday March lst Showery.

At Mount St Chapel in the morning. Tex Heb 3 v 7.8.9. Little Sarah asked me, when I was going out, if I was going to Chorley.

236. Monday 2nd. Very fine. Mr Nowel favored [favoured] me with a letter to read from a Gentleman arrived in Egypt. It is very interesting, mentioning many famous places he had visited, according well with the description I have read and heard of them. Among others he has visited the pyramids which reminded me of Dr Johnstons 'Rassellas'. He has gone out as an Engineer. He called at our house with Mr Nowel before he took his departure. His name is Wm Southworth.

237. Tuesday 3rd. Very fine. Walked to the Park Gates with Mrs B & little Sarah. Saw Mr Skinner as he was returning from Manchester and enjoyed his company as far as his own gate.

Read a part of Uncle Tom's Cabin for Mrs B & Mrs Elllison.

238. Wedensday [Wednesday] 4th. Very fine.

Planted a Dutch Willow in the yard this morning before leaving. James Henry, Willie and Sarah all assisting in diging [digging] the hole and treading in the soil.

This has been almost like a summer day. The birds sang merrily as I came along, the voice of the Throstle conspicuous in the harmony. Many of the trees and shrubs begin to acknowledge the genial effects of fine weather. The thorn in the hedges and some of the Willows. The primrose and daisy also bespangle the verdant fields.

239. Thursday 5th. Very fine.

Little goin [going] on in Chorley except preparations for the cellebration [celebration] of the Prince of Wales' marriage .

240. Friday 6th. Very fine.

Walked home in company with John Ellison who intends to be our guest for a few days.

241. Saturday. 7th. Very fine weathe.

Great preparations for Tuesday next, being the day of the Royal Marriage.

242. Sunday 8th. Stormy. Snow.

Mr Skinner's Text Heb 3 V 12. Thirty three years today since he preached his first public sermon. Preached Peter Hindle's funeral sermon at night who died this day fortnight. He has been Chapel Keeper since the commencement of Mr Skinner's ministry.

243. Monday 9th. Showery, with a little hail.

I am 28 years old, today, being born on the 9th March 1835.

Six years today since I ordered the Marriage Licence at the Rectory, Chorley.

244. Tuesday 10th. England is litteraly [literally] Merry England today.

The weather has been favorable [favourable] for the cellebration [celebration] of the Royal Marriage, and many have prayed for the happiness of the Royal pair.

Blackburn has for once forgotten her disstress [distress] to join in the National rejoicing. All have appeared happy and pleased with themselves and each other. Went to the Park this morning with the children and their Uncle John Ellison to see the procession and the Royal Oaks planted and James Henry and Willie were delighted with the grand display.

The Artillery at the will of our vollunteers [volunteers] sounded their merry voices afar and the musketry laughed in merry chorus, as the ceremony of planting each of the young trees was concluded by Miss Fielding (daughter of Joseph Fielding Esq) of Witton Park; when the procession formed again and proceeded to the site of the Exchange where the commemerative     [commemorative] corner stone was laid by His Worship, The Mayor.

We also witnessed the marriage of Mr E Allston and Miss E King in St John's Church at 10.a.m. at Mrs B and I should have been guests, but was declined on account of her interesting way.

We took little Sarah to hear the music and see a part of the illuminations at night and she was quite pleased. Mr & Mrs Ellison went up when we returned; then he and I went to see the fireworks and bonfire – which was composed (among other combustibles) of eight tons of coal. My beloved could only go as far as the corner, to see the illuminated firmament, the fire itself not being visible on account of the intervening tower.  It was built on Revidge Heights and might be seen to a great distance. It is still burning while I write and the eventful day now closed.         

That the programme of the great night be more complete there were in London about twelve persons killed and twelve fires ocationed [occasioned] by the pressure of the populace to get a sight of the illustrious pair and the illuminations.

245. Wedensday [Wednesday] 11th. Very fine.

Went to Darwen with John Ellison by the way of Heywood Bridge returning by Brandyhouse Brow. Caught five small newts in a pit and a variety of Beetles which we brought home and put in the aquarium.

246. Thursday 12th. Very wet.

This is the 6th anniversary of our wedding day. The time has passed speedily away, but not without its records. The return of this day suggests many pleasing reflections.

247. Friday 13th. Very fine.

Left home at 6.45 a.m. for Wigan returning by Bolton at 11.42 a.m. Visited the Starr Museum where I spent an hour of my spare time very pleasantly.

A group of waxed figures on the left as you enter represent the execution of James, 7th Earl of Derby by order of Cromwell. The scene of the original being but a few yards distant. The Swan being still one of the most respectable hotels in Bolton. The museum contains many curiousities [curiosities] , Natural and artificial, that are well worth seeing. There is no admition [admission] fee required but in return for curteous [courteous] treatment you may purchase first class refreshments at very reasonable charges.

248. Saturday. 14th Fine but cold.

Called to see Mr Henry. He is still very poorley [poorly], though very cheerful.

249. Sunday 15th. A very important and eventful day. Mrs B has made me a present of a very pretty little daughter, at about 14 minutes past six in the evening. Both are doing well. I promised to Sister Ellen that the next girl should be called after her. So we intend call the little “bundle of flannel “Ellen accordingly. I ran twice to the Park, nearby, for the Doctor Irving. But the second time he came with me. We had each our work: the children had to be minded and I took my part in that job but they went over to Mrs Rae's and stayed a while, until Maggie came running over when I told her Doctor Irving had brought us a babie [baby], since she would not part with one of theirs and the intelligence brought over the whole fleet. James Henry and Willie very anxious to see the little stranger. We told them it had only been left on condition that they would be good boys, and they promised very fair. Little Sarah is quite set up with her little sister.

Attended Chapel this morning. Text Heb 13 V 13th. Been fine with the exception of a few drops of rain during the day.

250. Monday 16th. Very fine. Mrs Garside arrived from Chorley today with her two youngest children. She has kindly proffered to stay a few days with us, till Mrs B gets up.

251. Tuesday 17th. A very fine day. Reading to Mrs B a great part of the day.

252. Wednesday 18th. Left Blackburn 8.30 a.m. Came round the Whittle Chorley and getting home at 7 p.m.   Day very fine.

253. Thurday 19th. Very fine.

Left home 6.15 a.m. and walked to Chorley. Stopped all night at White Horse Inn.

254. Friday 20th. Very fine weather.

Took train to Blackburn at 7.45 a.m.

255. Saturday 21st. Fine: cold.

Mrs B progresses favorably [favourably]. I have just finished reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, which has made me an enemy to slavery for ever; and I sincerely hope that its abolition will result from the devastating war, to which the States are still subgected [subjected]. The hand of an offended God is stretched in this fearful slaughter which still continues without mitigation. We have felt its effect in Britain and yet suffer by it; but we have not been guiltless and so merit just retribution, will these callamities [calamities] herald the freedom of 400000 of the Human Race, who have suffered at their lives, the most revolting cruelties and heartrendings ? then, let us not complain of our present circumstances, but raise our hearts in thankfulness to the Disposer of all things, that for us “the lines have fallen in pleasant places. The closing remark of the Philantropic Authouress [authoress] bear the semblance of prophecy, which in past is now already verified. And who can say, but that a mind so well formed in religious truth (as she displays) in not permitted a clearer forecast of the future?

256. Sunday 22nd. Slight showers.

Little Ellen is now a week old, and she and her Mother seem likely to please and plaugue [[plague] me to the end of my life.

At Mount St this morning: text Heb 3 v14th; a very good sermon.

Samuel Gartside came today from Chorley.

257. Monday 23rd. Very fine.

Finished buissness [business] at noon, (if there is such a thing as buissness [business] at present in Blackburn). Read to Mrs B a part of the afternoon and evening.

258. Tuesday 24th. Fine.

Buissness [business] is now to all appearance in the pangs in Blackburn.

259. Wedensday [Wednesday] 25th.

James Henry & Willie stayed at home this afternoon to have a walk with me. We accordingly had a ramble through the Market where we made some small purchases. First a pound of apples consumed on the premises some tops to take home, which on reaching after the manufacture of whips we proceed in the mystery of spinning.  After learning myself, I endeavoured to initiate them: a much more hopeful task than some of the higher walks of education.      

260. Thursday 24. Cold but fine.

Left home by first train for the Wigan district. Have met with no flattering encouragement. Trade as bad as ever and as bad as anywhere else.

261. Friday 27th. Very fine.

Left Wigan 12.25. Coming home through Preston.

262. Saturday. 28th. Cold, & showery.

263. Sunday. 29th. Fine.

At Mount St this morning. Text lst Cor.1 & 2.

264. Monday 30th. Fine but cold.        

265. Tuesday 31st. Very fine.

Went to Woodfold Park with James Henry & Willie and little Liza Rae. We had a delightful walk and the children enjoyed it very much.

The trial of the Ribchester Murderers concluded to-day with the condemnation of McPhail & George Woods. Carr died in his cell yesterday morning. Hartley the approver will be put to trial for the Burglary. Such is the natural conclusion of a vicious career.

The subject matter of this murder will be discussed by our posterity, and those who pass the lonely widows cottage will wag their heads in silence as they remember the fearful crime with which it is associated in the simple annals of the locality.

266. Wedenesday [Wednesday] April lst. Very fine.

Broken up my aquatic establishment till a more favorable [favourable] opportunity offers a attending to it. It has not however been altogether lost as I have learnt something of Nature from it I might still have been a stranger to. There is great difficulty in keeping it in proper order, especialy [especially] in a large town where there is only the cold, hungry tap water, frequently limed to an injurious excess. It is a very intresting [interesting] hobby at all events and I doubt not it would be much more so in the country; and immeasureably [immeasurably] so if an apparatus was constructed to keep it constantly supplied with pure river water. I do not believe it possible to keep it pure so very long when tenanted by creatures that must be constantly fed to keep them healthy: notwithstanding the varied auxilliery [auxiliary] scavengers supplied by the snail & Beetle families.

“Is not the field, with lively culture green;                                                                                                                          

A sight more joyous than the dead morass's                                                                                                                  

Do not the skies, with active ether clear,                                                                                                                   

And famed by sprightly zephyrs so far surpass                                                                                                            

The foul November fogs, and slumberous mass,                                                                                                       

With which sad Nature veils her drooping face?                                                                                                            

Does not the Mountain stream, as clear as glass,                                                                                                

Gay dancing on, the putrid pool disgraced                                                                                                               

The same in all holds true, but chief in human race"

Castle of Indolence. Thompson.


 

267. Thursday. April 2nd. Very fine.

No lack of pace eggers; in a great variety of costumes.

Friday 3rd. Very fine. Good Friday.

A great many visiting Travellers to be met with on the road. Walked home from Chorley with William Hill.

269. Saturday. 4th Fine rain this morning clearing up to be a delightful day.

270. Sunday 5th April. Fine.

Eight years today since brother Edward and his wife sailed from Liverpool for Mellbourne [Melbourne] in the Macopollo.

271. Monday. 6th. Very fine.

Easter Fair in Blackburn. Notwithstanding Trade is so bad that it will bear comparison with the fortune of poor Hudibras, “That either it will quickly end, Or turnabout again and mend".    

However lots of penny shows, dandy horses and cheap Johns have ventured among us.  

272. Tuesday 7th. Slight showers.

Took the children to the faire, Willie had a ride in a carriage but James Henry preffered [preferred] to ride on horseback – so he was tied on, and they enjoyed it very much: we also brought three pairs of little clogs and they have been trying who to make the most noise with these ever since they got home.

273. Wednesday 8th. Fine.

274. Thursday 9th. Fine.

275. Friday 10th. Very fine.

276. Saturday 11th. Very fine.

277. Sunday 12th. Fine.

At Mount St this morning. Test Psalms 152 V 7

278. Monday 13th. Fine weather.

279. Tuesday 14th. Slight showers.

Been buisy [busy] plastering and chair mending and repairing done all day.

280. Wedensday 15th, Very fine day.

Seedtime progressing very favourably. Saw two men ploughing today, one leading the horse, the other holding the plough. Their arkward [awkward]  husbandry amused me, for on reaching the end – the good man called out “mind that Stroan Jemmy". I thought if there had been two horses instead of two men it would have been quite as rational. They were seemingly preparing the ground for potatoes. Corn grew on it last year.

281. Thursday. 16th. Very fine.

Chorley does not improve in circumstances.

A splendid wedding today at St George's Church.

Captain Westby to Miss Fazackerly of Gillibrand Hall. The husband takes the name of his wife by Royal Licence, there being no heir of the name to inherit the Estates. The Church is profusely decorated, the Pulpit has been taken down to make room for the splendid arrangements. Twelve little girls in white employed to strew flowers upon the carpet on which the young heiress walks from the altar.

The Bridegroom arrived a few minutes past eleven and walked up the area to the altar where he received the congratulations of his friends who occupied the pews surrounding.  The Bride soon after arrived leaning on the arm of The Venerable Archdeacon Masters. She was followed by six bridesmaids including her maiden sister. She wore a white satin dress trimmed with blue silk – and a white lace veil. The maids were dressed similarly, but instead of the bridal wreath they wore head-dresses to match the trimmings of their dresses.  All wore white veils. The bells did not ring at the Parish Church as was expected; but notwithstanding the effect was very imposing. The responses were character by the choir. Mr Stokes officiated, assisted by Mr O'Niel. There were upward of twenty carriages including Miss Augusta's little pheaton [phaeton] with a pair of diminutive Shettland [Shetland] ponnies [ponies] with coachman and postilion in comparison, being two little boys she has taken under her care who were destitute.

A triumphal arch spanned the gateway of St Georges Church bearing the arms of Westby and Fazackerly – and the words “May their married life be happy".

The Church was filled, I got a seat close to the Altar. A large concourse were assembled outside.

Friday 17th. Travelled through Adlington Blackrod and Rivington and rambelled [rambled] the whole length of the lake reaching home about 6 p.m. the day being fine we enjoyed the varying scene with a keen relish. Dr Greenall died in the workhouse this week, buried Tuesday.

Saturday 18th. A delightful day.

Travelled in Blackburn this afternoon expecting to have to go to St Helen's on Monday.

Sunday 19th. Very fine.

Attended Mount St with Mrs B! heard a good Sermon by Mr Skinner.

Monday 20th. Very fine.

Attended Court at St Hellen's for Mr W McKerrow. Returned 5.45 p.m.

Tuesday 21st. Showery the greater part of the day. Doing buisseness in Blackburn. Twelve years to-day since I left home for England. What a harvest of reflections to be reaped from the occurrence of that journey. I have seen some strange revolutions in that time.


 

With grateful thanks to June Riding and Kath Sutton. April 2018.

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