[George Rimington of Tyne Field House, near Penrith, Cumberland.] Autograph 'Day Book 1840 to 1841', comprising a diary, detailed accounts (taxes, 'Liverpool Rents', 'Loss on Mines', wine merchant, chimney sweeping), meteorological entries.

George Rimington (1783-1853) of Tyne Field House, near Penrith, Cumberland [Greenside Lead Mine]
Publication details: 
Cumberland. 1 January 1840 to 27 November 1841.
SKU: 13924

348pp., 4to, with openings numbered 1-174. In original vellum binding, marbled endpapers. 'Day Book 1840 & 1841' on spine, and the following in faded letters upside-down on back board: 'Geo: Rimingtons Day Book, <...> Weather Letters <...> | Jany. 1st. 1840 Sepr 14 1841'. Internally in very good condition, on lightly-aged paper, in worn and grubby binding. An extraordinarily detailed volume, filled with disparate information, written out in a neat close hand, with twenty-one lines to a page. The diary (including 'Engagements and days acct.') covers half of the volume (174pp., openings 42-54 and 100-173). Entries are direct and informative, and, as the extracts given below indicate, paint a vivid and entertaining picture of an active, kindly man and his milieu. Rimington was a wealthy and well-connected member of the Tory landed gentry (one of his daughters married the son of Sir Wastel Brisco of Crofton Hall), and his five children Jane, Susannah, William, Anne and George were all vaccinated against smallpox in 1814 by Jenner himself (as reported in the London Medical and Physical Journal two years later). Several sections in the volume give an indication of his wealth: 'Liverpool Rents - List of Tenants', 'Sale of Wood at Dona Cross', 'Loss on Mines given up', 'Gain on sundry mines' (mines mentioned include the Duffield, Greenfield, Hudgill Burn, Oregill and Ward). Among the other sections in the volume are 'G Rs Income actually Recd.', 'Letters - Recd. and Answerd.', 'Sums of Money to be paid', 'Sums of Money Due To G R', 'Chimney Sweeping', 'Charities in 1840' (with separate entry for 'The Sick fund at Greenside'), 'Taxes for 1840', 'Stock of Wine in G Rs Cellar', together with separate accounts of his wine merchant: 'James Ramsays a/c of Wine'. Another theme is his collection of paintings, which he arranges and cleans with great care. On 20 May 1840 he writes: 'Mr & Mrs. Wolf of Liverpool calld. to see my Paintings &c &c | very agreeable People, of the Jewish Persuasion - they took refreshment and gave us a kind invitation to call on them - Mr. W. promisd me some specimens in Jet &c'. On 28 May 1840 he spends the morning 'Arranging Paintings till midday'. Of interest are the 42pp. of 'Weather' (openings 28-41, 73-74, 90-94), including morning, noon and night barometer readings for each day, and a note reading 'N B - From the 21st. to the 27th Inst. [February 1840] we have had awful Storms of wind every night. | N B. on the 21st at night the Storm was almost equal to Jany 7. 1839. The Baromt was at 2 ½ at 8 o ck but about 12 it rose to 7.' Among the charities supported by Rimington are the Oberlin Society, the Temperance Society, the Society for Promoting Peace and the Rechabites Society, and the volume ends with page of the names of recipients of 'Coals at Christmas' in 1841. Following the index is a full-page list of subscribers 'for Erecting A Tomb to the Memory of our late excellent Agent at Greenside Mine - Mr. George John Little', including £7 15s 6d 'Recd. from the Workmen, and others, acquainted with G. J. Little @ from 6d to 5s/- each'. (On 27 March 1840 he notes in his diary: 'At Greenside Letting the Burgins, present W Whiteside Thos Parker, Ml R - E Littles family suffering great affliction from Typhus Fever: his Son Edwd & a Niece died within a few days - Georges Wife very Ill & I fear very much that George is suffering from it - may the Almighty in his mercy spare them, and us: Evng at Home.') Rimington notes his payments to the 'Greenside Sick Fund'. An interesting diary entry relating to the mine is on 19 March 1840: 'Greenside yearly Meeting at the George Inn, very satisfactory, Divid. £100 for each 16th: Mr. Cant offered 2/64 for £1000 which not having any Useless money I was sorry to be obliged to decline'. Rimington's political allegiance is indicated by his sarcastic response to the introduction of the universal penny post (which meant he could no longer use franks), recorded on the eve of its introduction, 9 January 1840: 'Memdm. This Evng Paid the Postage for Tomorrow the 10th. To Messrs. Kearsey, Hughes & Thomas of 44 Leaden Hall St London - a letter on the Affairs of Ward Mine - One Penny Thanks to the Whigs! - The first letter so paid.' (See also the diary entry 'Thursy 9 Walkd to Mr. Williamsons, sent Ward Deed to R Brisco: | Posted a Letter for London, The first ever paid for, at 1 Penny.') Rimington apparently considers buying 'Mr. Williamsons Estate Inglewood B K of 400 Acres', noting the valuation in December 1825 (inlcuding what 'he has laid out in Building since'), and 'My opinion of the value at this time [January 1840]', both 'for a Gentleman wanting it' and as 'a Speculation'. A number of pages are filled with his accounts with his tenants (on 3 July 1840 he writes 'John Calvert Dr | To 16 Larch Firs - 54 foot 3 - @ 6d £1 7s 0d | made a Present of the above to John for Paying his Rent before it was due'). Two pages, headed 'May 8th [1841] Acct. of GRs Wine this day', are devoted to the contents of Rimington's wine cellar, with names of the sources of the wine (Atkinson; Drewry; McNamara; Perkins; James Ramsay; J. Rigge, for '3 Bottles of Brandy near 50 years old'; Robinson, 'Coln. Salmonds'; Skirwith Abbey, for 'Old Hock' ; Ullock, Watson, Williamson), beginning with '12 doz - 0 - Port old in the Wood - J Ramsay cost 36/-'. The following extracts indicate the energetic style of the diary entries. On 18 April 1840: 'Walkd to Bellvue - found a poor Woman in Labour, hastened to Penrith and fortunately met Mr. Bowman, who most promptly returnd with me, and rendered the aid required, and brought into the World a fine Boy; The poor Woman is from Ireland and is most grateful, her Husband is also from "The Green Isle", and displayed much good feeling; I saw them in the Evng. on my way to Greengill; got home by 11 o ck; Smookd. [sic] 2 Cigars & had a Glass of Holl[an]ds.' On 3 and 4 May 1840: 'Sunday - spent the Day very quietly - No Wine, or Gin, walkd. to the Pike - going to [blank] saw many Moor Game - and a Reading Parson, on Horseback, he part of the way up the Mountain, with his Book open in his hand - Evng. with Mr. Atkinson June &c | Monday 4 Walkd. to Shap Fair - and then to Tyne Fd. Through the Beautiful Domains of the Earl of Lonsdale, and got home to Tea with Susan - walkd. to T Evens &c and was not tired - A Good Sleep, and awoke with a heart overflowing to God for his Goodness & Mercy'. And on 9 May 1840: 'We have been trying to save a Nest of 5 Thrushes from the Boys by placing them in a cage, so that the old ones may feed them | afternoon - Reading & Writing to W B R. have much fear of the thrushes on acct. of the excessive cold wind, placed them in the Custle; the old ones very attentive in feeding the young. Recd. a Dividend from "Hudgill Burn" [mine] of £100 .. 0 .. 0 for which I am truly grateful - saw the birds late in the evng. old ones continually attending them - In bed at 12 o ck'. As further evidence of his kindly nature, on 30 June 1840: 'Markett [sic] - Calld at the Union Board on behalf of Jona [sic] Thompson who is going to South Australia - It is much to be regretted that the small sum of £2 .. 0 .. 0 cannot be granted without an application to the Commissioners in Londn. &c which would require a month - and the young man & his Wife are required to be on board on the 15th July - Cut the Grass at I Field, a very fine Crop; the weather very uncertain, and a Rainbow in the South at 8 in the eveng. gives me cause to suspect Rain'. The following day he notes: 'Received the Melancholy intelligence of the Worthy Mayor sudden Death, in the act of Entering the Court House at Carlisle - This excellent Magistrate and kind Husband, Father & Friend died in his 63 year. Beloved & lamented by all the Country, and his loss as Chairman to the Sessions cannot I think be as well filld. by any other Magistrate in the Country. Calld on my friends to Subscribe a little fund to assist Jona Thomson to Emigrate to South Australia. Walkd. in the evng., and playd one Gunn at Billiards. home at 10'. On 4 July 1840 he is 'At Home nearly all the day - Evng. walkd. with J Jameson Solict. Conversation on "The Wickedness of the Court of Chancery Officers; and that they ought to be H[ange]d and the Office put an end to["]'. On 31 July 1840: 'Dined very comfortably at E Littles - but missed exceedingly the presence of his excellent Daughter, who had been so lately the prop of her poor Mother - Returnd by 8 o ck | Mr George Wilson and his friend Don [blank] Son of the Pressident [sic] of Central America calld and spent the evng with us - My friend George is as kind, and as eccentric as ever - his Mothers own Son! - The young Spaniard a specimen of Goodness & one who cannot be seen for 10 minutes but must make a deep impression in his favour - (I have seldom seen so amiable a young Gentleman) - It was one of those evengs. when I feel sorrowfull [sic] for my loss of hearing - not in bed till 1'. On 16 October 1840: 'Went with Michl. to Tervill &c Shooting - we each killd our Pheasant - all we saw in a Six hours Ramble - except 4 Partridge and a Hare - all of which kept at a respectable distance - eveng at Home'. And the next day: 'Calld on Mr. Atkinson, Coln McLoud, &c on the affair of "John De Whelpdale" and Emont Cottage Calld on Mr. Blamire on the same affair; J De Whelpdales conduct is disgraceful & dishonest - but what can Be expected from a man who has before Robbd. me of £20 and 20 years Interest - because "It was out by The Statute of Limitation" - and this Man is a Magistrate & a Ruler of The People. I have given orders to proceed against Timy Brow for £400 & Int - because he is a Shuffling fellow and never keeps his word - Spent an hour with Mr Jos Salkald at The George - had a Cigar and a glass of Grog - home at ½ Pt 9.' On 2 April 1841: 'Up before 7 - A call for £3 pr Shr. for Duffield has put me to some anxiety, I must really, sell these Shares, I have confidence in the Mines, but I fear The Agents have seen a friend, who has thrown a light upon some mining affairs, that has made me determine to Sell all my Shares in Mines except Hudgill Burn, Greenside and 1/16 of Oregill - and I have written to Mr. A'Beckett to try what can be done in Londn immediately - Walkd to see the Drainers at Roman close who are making a good Job, and it will soon be a very fine field - Returnd home & then paid a visit to my Aunt & Cousins at Castlegate - Dined at 5 and Read the Carlisle Paper &c, till Bedtime - had a long conversation of Mines &c with W[illia]m. [his son]; all in Beat at ½ Pt 11 -'. On 29 May 1841: 'Up at 6 Read the Carlisle Journal &c before breakfast Tasted some Hock (so calld) at the George, with Mr Machell Mr. Ramsay &c - a most infamous composition of bad Saturn and Cape Wine - [in margin: 'not worth Sixpence per bottle'] and I am sorry to add it was sent by Mr. John Brougham of Edinbro (brother of Lord Brougham) - To poor Mrs. Sheffield - "But Brutus was an honourable man!" Mr. Jameson met me - "all covered with Smiles" - for the a/c of Parker & Co was paid - I said little to him; but thought the more - He is busey [sic], giving out "The Turtle Soup" to his friends. NB. but none came this Road - I left this blank line till this day, May 26th. 1845 - to say, how good it was.' On 20 August 1840 he 'Enjoyd. a Dinner of Bacon & Pottatoes [sic] exceedingly - & a Cigar, and some good Old Rum after - "A Girdle Cake" & tea'. On 3 August 1840: 'I was Rubbd. against by Wicked Jacks daughter on my way home - but It had only the effect of producing pity - I may almost say contempt'. On 19 November 1840 he notes 'Superstition in the 19th Centry - Raising "The Need Fire". I am informd this has been practised this week, at more than eight Villages in the immediate vicinity of Penrith - for the purpose of stopping the distemper amongst Cattle - The fire is procured by Rubbing two pieces of Wood until they ignite, and then making a fire of Wood &c which has not been in any house (or under cover) through this Fire is then driven, All Cattle, Horses, Pigs &c. Then follow all the Bipeds of the family, from the largest to the least.' On 22 January 1841: 'Am much distressd to find notwithstanding our Kindness to our Servants, that we are Robbd. of Bread &c I have enquired of each, if they been [sic] tempted by any circumstance to commit this theft - and have promised pardon on acknowledgment - they all positively deny any knowledg, [sic] or participation therein; which makes me very miserable, both on their acct., and our own, as it leaves no hope of Repentance from Sorrow & self condemnation.' He initial resolution is: 'I must part with them all', and on the following Sunday reads them 'the 10th Sermon of the 2nd Volm "Buddicom's" - Number 23c. 10th. v.', before deciding to 'discharge Thos.; and keep the two maidservants'.