[Pattison family of farmers in the Bishop Auckland area of County Durham.] Manuscript diary and accounts, in 'The Newcastle Memorandum-book Or, a Methodical Pocket-journal.'

[Pattison family of farmers in the Bishop Auckland area of County Durham] [Farming in Georgian England]
Publication details: 
Newcastle: Printed by and for S. Hodgson. 'For the Year M.XCCCI [1801]. The Forty-seventh edition.'
SKU: 14483

The manuscript material is on 109pp. of the 12mo printed diary. On aged paper, with manuscript entirely legible, but some staining to printed matter, in original worn calf binding. The manuscript paints a vivid picture of the life of a prosperous Georgian agriculturalist in all its aspects, from itemised financial accounts to country pastimes and the weather. It is presumably in the hand of George Pattison, whose name is given prominence among those of other members of the Pattison family written out over two pages at the rear of the volume. The author would appear to be a middle-aged man of reasonable education (he occasionally employs the long s). There are numerous references to his 'Home' in the neighbourhood of Bishop's Auckland; West Auckland; Moulton; Grainge Hill; Wenwood; Evenwood Court; Durham; Hill House; Greetham; Sedgfield; Eldon (with additional references to the Cockfield, Richmond and Etherley Moor races). Reflecting the writer's prosperous position, an early page in the volume carries the following list of his rental payments: 'Bishop Rent Pd. to Mr. Shaftoe | Decr. 10th. 1801 | Hiltop Allottmt. £0 2s 8s 3/4d | Bulmer's Allottt. £0 5s 9 1/2d | Taylorson's Do. £0 4s 11s 1/4d | New Land £0 13s 5 1/2d | House - Hall Bank & Park £0 3s 9d | Littlefair's Field £0 1s 9d | Old Lands £0 5s 6d | Old & new together £0 18s 10 ½ d | Mr. Fenwick's Farm £0 15s 2d | Total Pd. £1 14s 1 ½ d | Mr. Shaftoe Decr. 10 ½ d'. 13 January finds the writer 'Collecting Tythe Money for Geo: Welch Esqr.' His regular wage bills are noted, with pages of itemised accounts under the headings 'Wages 1801 [Stabler; Betty Howe; Greenwell; Betty Young; Ann Thompson; Jane Young]'. The following sequence of entries concerns payment for work: 'Feb: 10th. Settled with Eliz Stabler for Pulling Turnips &ca. to this Day | Feb: 12th. Pd Chris Little for thrashing 4 ½ Days £0 9s 0d | Feb: 12th. Pd. Thos. Wetherill Poor Cess £0 13s 2d | Feb: 14th. Settled with Thos. Day & paid him the Ball. betwixt Walling and Potatoes'. See also 10 March: 'Sent Wm. Rogers to Newcastle to buy Wood'. Bills include: 'Pd Ralph Howe for sawing up Wood', and on 7 February: 'Settled Accts. with Joby Simpson & received the Ball[ance]. of £3 .. 14s .. 0d betwixt a fat Steer & 2 Quarters of Beef, 2 Tongues Ale &ca. all Accts. being settled to this Day'; and on the following day: 'Pd. Jno. Crosling for 1000 Quick £0 13s 6d'. The writer's other disbursements include quarterly payment of window tax, land tax, income tax, dogs, horses; also tythes, 'Sir Jno. Eden's Rent Day [West Auckland]', 'Brewery Accts. from Rusheyford'. On 27 January the writer notes: 'Pd. Mr. Proctor for a Cheshire Cheese [18s]'. And on 8 February: 'Pd. Mrs. Sowerby for 1 Year's Newspapers due Jan: 1st. £0 .. 8s .. 8d'. The manuscript gives a clear account of a busy countryman's activities. There are pages devoted to 'Corn sold' (11 September is 'A fine Day amongst the Corn'), 'Cow Bullings 1801'; 'Lime 1801', and on 12 February: 'At Evenwood at Blacksmith & Hanging a Gate in the Afternoon'. 23 February: 'At Home with Wm. Rogers making Racks for Stable'. 26 to 28 March: 'Sowing 2 Quarts of Pease 1 Row of Spinage | Sowing Beans | Sowing Radishes & Lettuce'. 7 February: 'Pruning Gooseberry Bushes & in the Plantation'. The author is a regular attender at markets and fairs, as well as sales (6 March: 'James Lowson's Sale'; 7 March: 'At Houghton House looking at Surrenders'; 5 May: 'At Cockfield & bought 1 Dozen Glasses at Thomas Hopper's Sale'; 18 August: 'At Witton at Mr. Salmon's Sale'; 13 October: 'At West Auckland at Oyston's Sale'). Hare coursing features prominently throughout, with an itemised list noting 41 hares caught between September and December. On 2 January the writer notes: 'A Coursing at Moulton & run a Hare into Lord Darlington's Fox Earths'. And on 21 February: 'A Coursing & ran a Hare into Mr. Flintoff's Cube'. Among the author's other pastimes are, on 4 January: 'Spent the Day at Home and read the Newspaper'; on 11 January: 'At Home & drunk Tea with Robt. Sanderson'; on 1 February: 'At Wenwood with Wm Rogers & got drunk'; on 10 February: 'At Home & doing Nothing'; and on 9 March: 'At West-Auckland seeing Mountebank &ca.' Nor is the spiritual neglected. On 5 April: 'At Church & recd. the Sacrament'. And the following day: 'At Home Gardening in the Morning. At Jno. Smith's Christening at Noon'. The manuscript also contains numerous references to the weather. For example, from 23 to 25 January: 'At Home & a stormy snowy Day'; 'An uncommon stormy snowy Day, no looking out'; 'At Home to Day & the Wind abated'.