Picture of John Byng

John Byng

places mentioned

A Tour in the Midlands, 1789: London to Biggleswade

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[This section was originally published out of sequence, in volume IV of the Torrington Diaries.]


(The hitherto missing first book of this Tour of 1789).

Day Weather To What Place Inns County Miles
Friday May 29 Pleasant but showery To Barnet Red Lion Herts. 45
To Wellwyn White Swan B.
To Biggleswade Sun G. Beds.
Saturday May 30 Do. To Silsoe, etc. and back George T. Beds. 22
Sunday May 31 A charming day A morning, and evening ride Sun 12
Monday June 1 A fine day To Bedford, etc. and back George B. 22
Tuesday June 2 A very fine day Walking and riding near home George B.
Wednesday June 3 Fine morning Evening rain To Southill, Chicksands, etc., etc. 20
Thursday June 4 Frequent showers To Eaton Cock G. Beds. 40
To Alconbury-Hill Wheat Sheaf B.
To Wandesford-Bridge Haycock G. Hunts. 40
Friday June 5 Heavy rain morning, evening clear'd up To Peterborough, etc. and back Talbot T. Northampton 17
Saturday June 6 A squally day By Stamford, etc
To Colesworth
Angel G. Lincolnshire 26
Sunday June 7 A windy clear day By Belvoir Castle, etc. Peacock T. Nottinghamshire 30
To Newark Kingston Arms G.
Monday June 8 A warm pleasant day To Southwell, etc. and back Saracens-Head G. 20
Tuesday June 9 Very fine day; at late evening rain To Ollerton, etc., etc. Hop Pole G. 25
To Worksop Red Lion B.
      15 7 279

B—Bad   T—Tolerable;   G—Good.

A Tour in the Midlands


FROM a Love of Ease of Mind, and an Hatred to all logical Squabbles, and Contradictions of the obstinate and unobservant, have arisen the desire, and habit, of Journalising; Weaving common Description with my own (uncommon) opinions.

My habits, and Thoughts are now fixed like rusty weather cocks, or like Matrimony, for better and worse; (my Ideas counter to taste, are at the end of my South-Wales Tour) and I begin, from Age, Disappointment, and Irritation of Mind (proceeding from some excellent Causes) to feel that I may be grown so saturnine, so old-fashioned, or so little inclined universally to applaud, and oftimes so ready to find fault with bad Manners, and bad taste, (at least, what I think so;) that I am now offended with every Gentleman who shroves his Trees, Shoots the Rooks, and who will not manage his own Cellar; or use his discretion with his own Hounds, Stable, and Garden; but suffer his Gardener to cover the Ground with Cabbages, whilst he lacks asparagus, and Strawberries; will permit his Coachman to cut out his Horses Eyes; and his Groom to singe the Inside of the Hunters Ears, and tear off their Hides with a currycomb: and do abhor (as much as I do tight shoes) the fashionable Forms of modern Incivility: (Perhaps all men of a certain age, have ever indulg'd a Conversation of disesteem of the present time, when compared with the past; when they were young, and gave the Law!)

If so, where can I bestow myself, when bolted from my Earth? Why, In the front Row of The Pit, sometimes, in Winter; there to enjoy good Poetry, and good acting; unannoy'd by chattering Quality: and, in the Summer, I cou'd wish to lounge about The Country, in Search of Antiquity, and The Beauties of Nature: finding myself at an Inn, free, unembarrassed, How unlike the foreign traveller, who at the end of three (lost) years Returns (after much Expence, and Dupage1 ) in full Self-Sufficiency, Equipped with an amazing Rage for the Opera, and Vertu; and determined upon being a Patron of Fidlers, and Painters; wonders at the uncouth Manners of our Men, and the Paleness and Reserve of our Women;— Fatigues his Hearers with hackney'd accounts of Rome, and Naples; of This Abbe; of that Marchese; and of some divine opera Singers, who may possibly, do us the Honor of coming here in a few years!—Of this Country, its History, Advantages, Trade, etc,, He is completely ignorant; and his Estates he only wishes to see in his Stewards Remittances:—

He may, indeed, be, once, tempted to visit the Old Country Mansion, from a Recollection of some early Happiness enjoy'd there;—But He finds it a melancholy place; So Hurries Him back (after an order given for the Timber to be fell'd) to the Set, (the only Set) of young men, whom he met abroad; with these He can delight in the retrospective charms of Italy, and Revert to the superb converzationis, where The Arch-Duke was so affable, and The Duchess so engaging!!

Many of these fine Gentlemen, it is to be hoped, will in time forget to despise these memories, and become intelligent Senators, and honest citizens; but, alas! the false taste so procured in their (cursed) Travells, is like the Bite of a mad Dog, never to be worn from the mind; and, generally, will break out in spite of every wholsome Medicine.

But why shou'd I intrude my, foreign-to-Reason, home-bred Remarks?

Read but the following Sheets, and you will discover how necessary for The Writer had been a fashionable Tour! To Remove his Prejudices, Polish his Manners, and Improve his Taste: Whereas now, by the Indulgence of Obstinacy, riding from alehouse to alehouse, Eating Beef, and drinking heady Liquors, He is Stupify'd into such a downright Brute, as to Snarl at all others Observation, and Spurn at the gentlest Assistance.

A most Labourieuse Journeye into
Distant Counteyes; Perform.d by
John Bynge, June, 1789.

Friday May 29

I LITTLE thought that I shou'd have taken another Ride appertaining to Hope; Now I Ride to be out of the Way, and to breathe some more free Respirations.— To The Enlistment of W. W.2 of last year, I have added Mr P,3 whose acquaintance I procured in my Exile at St. Omers, 4 when my Heart softened by Calamity was ready for Impressions.

We may compare ourselves, I hope, to the three conversable Travellers mentioned in that easy and pleasant Treatise, Waltons Angler; So that the bold Hawker may stand for P.; Piscator, the Patient Angler for W.; and Venator, the steady old Hunter for myself.

Poney is become my Property, for I cou'd not bear that Mr H[oward]5 should sell Him and therefore purchased Him for what another offer'd:—I found that I liked Him, and that He understood me. That's the best Rule for Society.—So off I go on Horseback, and into Description; with neither Restiveness (I hope) of Steed, or Stile: in the rereward of all Tourists; and, probably, as Extravagant, and as incomprehensible as the original John Taylor,6 or the modern Mr Gilpin,7 whose Prints are Obscurities, and whose descriptions are Lectures.

But, Beware of Criticism, Mr B., if you can; least it shou'd fall heavily, and deservedly upon your own shoulders; nor will it then signify your attempting Shelter by pleading Candour, and Honesty, and Truth; or by thinking that in weaving common occurrences of Travells, you ease the tediousness of eternal Observations of Things, so often described?—Write your own way. Sir, as well as you can; Divert yourself; But Trouble not your Head about others Works; For you are not an author, shou'd not be a Critic, and never will be a Poet.

I order'd that I should be called very early this morning (a Precaution doubly needless, because no Servant will do it, and I allways wake at the right time) that I may leisurely walk to Barnet, where Poney was sent yesterday. My Touring Chaplain, W., is not Ready; and P.,—the Chevalier, but just arrived in town, pleads Business; So, To be punctual myself, and take all my Holidays, I Sally forth alone.—

Up at five, kissed my Lamb Frederick left in my Place in Bed, When, Encumbere.d by a loose Great Coat (for it was a dripping morning) stuff.d Pockets, and a new pair of Boots, I made my Departure for this grand Tour.—What a misfortune that Poney is inadequate to carry me, and a small Portmanteau with my sheet and necessaries! Then I shou'd feel myself Independent; for in last Summers Tour there was so much trouble in removing our Baggage!

In this Tour I shall introduce, from lack of matter, and good description, a greater Number of Prints than usual; which will better exemplify than mine, or perhaps others writings.

The morning mists retired; and in the contest between clouds, and Sun-Shine, there gleam'd beautiful Tints, worthy of Ruysdael's Pencil. I found that I walk'd well; tho' often looking behind me for an assistant Stage-Coach, or Return Chaise; but luckily in Vain.—Such a lovely Spring, and of such hopes, was scarcely ever seen; with a Verdure unequall'd in other Countries, The Wonder of Foreigners and continued by Dews unknown upon the Continent! I skipp'd along like a Boy free'd from School.—Every Horse, Carriage, and Carter, were adorn'd with oaken Boughs, and Apples, in memory of this once-famous day.—I arrived at Barnet, Lower Red Lion, soon after nine o'clock.—How d'ye Poney? Bring instantly some Tea, and some thin dry Toast; (Never any thing butter'd, or you get Stale Butter.)

In an old Book call'd 'Dialogues bothe pleasaunte, and pietiful., by Dr. Bulleyn, 1564—There is one betwixt Civis and Roger journeying out of London—and Civis remarks at one of the first Inns—'This is a comlie Parlour, very netlie, and trimlie apparelled, London like, the windowes are well glazed, and faire Clothes with pleasaunte borders aboute the same, with many wise saiyingse painted upon them.' ...

I here wrote to London, and left my loose Coat, and Crab-Stick: and Now you see me mounted.—My Old Friend Tray, Quartered at Barnet, was not at home; That's Wrong, as I said I should call; but right, as I wish not to be delay'd. 'The Blackbird tunes his merry Note.—'and The cuckoo now on every tree mocks married men.' These Sounds are to me more chearful than the finest Solos; and I despise the Fashions of preferring Musk Scents to the Hawthorn Sweets, and of passing Summers in London, in never ending Galas!

When I reach'd Hatfield Park Gates, an approaching Storm made me pull up near the Grey Hound Inn; and well I did, for it came down a Soaker.—There is certainly a vast pleasure in relating melancholy Events, for The Hostler was eager to tell me of a poor Mr T—t's being confined there, from a sad overturn in a Stage Coach. Knowing Mr T., (who formerly kept the Sun-Inn at Biggleswade, and, when at home resides in that town, bolt upright like a Gentleman) I ascended to his Bed Room; and found him recovering from an accident he was happy to relate, and at which I cou'd scarcely refrain from Laughter.

'Going to town, some day since, in a Stage Coach, The Coach was broken down near this Inn-Door, and Mr T. fell under 5 female Passengers with not much damage; (The Horses running off with the fore wheels;) When the Roof breaking in, sent an upper Cargo upon Him, which added to his former Load, bruis'd him, and cut his Head so much as to confine him here for several Days..

Clearing up, I continued my slow, and pleasant Route to near Wellwyn, when another Storm hinted to me the White Swan; (for it is as convenient in travelling to know the Stops of the Road, as in Hunting, The Covers, and the right Points.)—Mrs S. Talk'd about mutton chops: but I stuck to my demand of cold meat, with a gooseberry tart; and was right, for she instantly produced a cold Tongue, and a cold Fillet of Veal: as for her old fusty tart of last years fruit, I open'd the Lid, and closed it tightly down for the next Comer. No Tricks upon Travellers.

Some Sons of The Angle dined here; and one of them related to me every minute circumstance (as Sportsmen will do) of his Mornings diversion; How He turn'd one Trout, and had nearly hook'd another: and at last had done nothing.—Mr S.'s Sign Post, and Trade are both in sad decay; and She will soon bawl, and bewilder herself into A Bankruptcy; unless such expensive Sparks as myself often dine at her House, for I (wou'd you believe it) Spent therein 1/6d.—Mrs S. intends having a New Sign placed against her Front: The ornaments of her Husband a Bacchus, Sun, and Grapes, having fallen down, She much Regrets.

The Wellwyn Assemblies,8 tho. continued, are not so frequented as formerly; when all the World danced not in London, or till August there.

The Nobility and Gentry of the County of Hertford are respectfully informed, that the WELWYN ASSEMBLIES for the Year 1789, will be as under, viz.—

June the 1st. July the 13th.
June the 15th. August the 10th.
June the 29th. September the 7th.
July the 27th. October the 5th.
August the 24th.  
September the 21st.  
Subscribers for the Six Mornings, each 12s.
Non-Subscribers 2s. 6d. each morning.
Subscribers for the Four Evenings,
Ladies 16s. Gentlemen £1 4s.

Ladies each Evening 5s. Gentlemen each Evening 7s. 6d.

After two very heavy Showers, well escaped, I was glad to be going; but fatigued of a known Road, I counted every Mile Stone.

Passing thro' Stevenage I recollected a Trick of an Inn-keeper there (often practised I believe); viz, That finding many People disatisfied with his House, and wishing another to be set up; another Inn quickly open'd against him, which, tho' the worst, got much custom;—In a course of years it was discovered to be kept by one of his Waiters, who daily accounted to him.—

On this Old Ground I must snatch at occurences, or tell old Stories; which, as description is worn out, is best both for Reader, and Writer.—At Baldock, where I intended to have dined, were the Remains of their yesterdays Fair, for there was a Cargo of Wild Beasts, and much Drumming and Trumpeting to A Puppet-Show.—The last Miles are allways long. So I thought the nine more to Biggleswade; for one grows melancholy in an Evening; and I was glad to come into the Old Shop, The Sun, there to find my Cloak-bag, to drink some good Tea, to pull off my Boots and refresh. Near Baldock I passed by The Mill, of poor account, but noted formerly by the Ballad.

I think for a small Poney, and an old Gentleman, We did work enough: as to my Looks I received from Mrs Knight; the unpleasant Truth 'That I was grown wretchedly thin.' After Tea I cou'd not be quiet, but, to fatten myself, must take another walk, and I went up to the Church, and about the Churchyard; Poney eat heartily his Corn, and so did his Rider of a nicely-roasted Chicken, and plenty of custards, and green currant Tart.

I had then to write to Mrs Byng and to W. W[ynn]., to tell the latter of a Clever Nag that stands close to this House, and is to be sold cheap. My old Friend, The Waiter, and I are very familiar and we hold conversation without contradition; which Mathematicians may say is unimproving but being long past Improvement, it suits me. As a Traveller I know not myself; Few People do; But read how John Taylor describes them.—

Sixe things unto a Traveller belongs,
An asses backe, abide, and beare all wrongs:
A Fishes Tongue (mute) grudging Speech, forbearing,
A Harts quick Eye all dangers overhearing,
A Dogs Eyes that must wake as they doe sleepe,
And by such watch his corpses from perill keepe.
A swines sweet homely tast that must digest
All Fish, Flesh, Rootes, Fowle, foule and beastly drest;
And last, He must have ever at his call
A Purse well lynde with coyne to pay for all.

Saturday May 30

A Gloomy Morning with much rain; So was glad to pass my early time in brushing up. There shou'd be none of this preventive weather to the destruction of Tourists, their time, and money.—It may be asked why then do I come so early abroad, before the Season is settled; but I have Reasons for my haste; or wou'd have stay'd another six weeks had I thought only of Weather: our latter Autumns have been the only fix'd fine Time; and with a good Party, wou'd be the pleasantest Season.—The Day Clear'd up at nine o'clock, just as I had finished my Breakfast, read a Letter from Town, and convers'd with my Landlord Mr Knight, who brought to me several Copper Coins lately pick'd up near the Roman Camp at Sandy: What an inexhaustible Mine; for they have been finding them for 1800 years! Every thing now can be so well imitated, and forged, that it is scarcely possible to know the original; for instance of art, I heard, the other day, of a Man at Birmingham9 who quitting one line of Business, had taken to old coin making.—Of these coins he gave me one, with the Head of an Empress upon it.—

As I did not hear by the post from my Comrades that are to be, I shall expect to meet the advanced Party tomorrow: In the meantime must write down, or remember, 'Each trivial Law, each petty fond Record.'

from a contemporary eighteenth-century print

I was in the field at 10 o'clock, and Rode thro' the Meadows to Southill,10 in front of The House; over Rowney Warren, into Chicksands-Grounds;11 a Pleasant day, with quick tropical Showers that made the Hawthorn which now powders the Hedges and Roads smell most delightfully: after searching the World for Shrubs and Perfumes, Pray what Exceeds this Plant in its various Beauties? Chicksands Grounds, and The Water are much Extended, and Improved. Within 2 Miles from Chicksands, on the right, is Castle Hill, with a Keep, and many Dykes, etc., but of the Record I never heard.—Upon an opposite Hill is a large Farm House, call'd Canon-Park Manor House; which has been of good account.

Than this part of the Country, nothing can be better riding, free from Stones, and allways dry. (Of Southill, Chicksands, and Wrest, I have closed description).—Passing by the Pales of Wrest Park,12 much reduced in its Limits, I came in 2 more Miles to Flitton, a prettily-placed, dry village; The Church (which was my Object) I entered, to view the monuments of the Kent Family,13 who here shew in marble magnificence. The old recumbent Figures of Henry Erle of Kent, and his Countess, are very fine; but those of a later date are abominable: a Son of the last Duke, a Lad, in a Wig, and Shirt!

The Duke himself, upon a cumb'rous Monument, as a Roman, with his English Ducal Cap! And a long fulsome Inscription to his merits; amongst which are recorded The Building of A Town-House, and his beautifying the Gardens of Wrest!!

In the dry Vault beneath The Clerk said that the very covering of The Coffins continued fresh.—At the Church Gate, I gladdened a little White-headed Boy with a Half-penny; He was so like my Frek.—

A short Road back brought me, at 2 o'clock, to The George Inn, Silsoe, a tolerable Noon Stop, free from Noise, close to The Park, and with a neat Garden; where on a Seat in a yew-Bush, I enjoy'd the fragrance of a Sweet Briar Hedge, Shelter'd from the Rain; I but just Escaped.

The Stable here is very good, and The People very Civil.—Unluckily, I was too late for their Eggs and Bacon, So was obliged to have a bad fry'd Beef-Steak;—but I brought good Sauce with me,—

The last time I dined here was with Messrs. Berries14 and Taff;15 Half of us only are Remaining!!! .... The Cottagers, every where, look wretchedly, like their cows; and slowly recovering from their wintry distress: Deserted by the Gentry, they lack Assistance, Protection, and amusement; However my Landlord says that in May, there are Mayers (alias Morrice Dancers) who go about with a Fool, A Man in Womans Cloaths (the Maid Marian), and Musick.—

Wrest is a deserted Place; No Residence, now, of Nobility; or of expensive Housekeeping! I made a longish, tedious Stay here; my Horse faring better than I did, in a good Stall, and with good Food; But my charge was very cheap, and the brown Bread excellent (white I allways discard), nor was the Sage-Cheese amiss. ... I allways think of Dinner for ½ an hour before my arrival at the Inn, which gives me an appetite, and an hurry for eating; and I never Eat with so much good will, as when I come in heated, and can have my meat quickly; for then both Body and Mind are instantly Refreshed, and Recover'd.—

Eating Beef Steaks and
3 glasses B. and Water
Drinking 6
Horses—Hay and Corn 5
Feeding—two Servants 4
  Sr. 11

I returned by Wrest-House, thro' the Park, thro' Shefford Town, and by the Meadows home, where I saw Mr Gall, who hires some of these meadows, and has just Levell'd the Castle-Hill (of which such beautiful Paintings are to be found in my Northampton Tour).—My Evening Pace was very Slow, but I often look'd behind me at the lowering weather, which ended in rain, just as I return'd to my Quarters.—It is really almost cold enough for a fire and my Landlord and Landlady have one in the Bar; where I went to hold conversation; and then was obliged to light mine, and order an early hot supper;—at an hour when a genteel London Dinner is finishing, and the Opera beginning!


'By a letter from the neighbourhood of Stamford we learn, that on Sunday preceding the day of rejoicing, at Irnham-Hall, the residence of Everard Arundell, Esq: a Mass and Te Deum were said in thanksgiving to the Almighty for his Majesty's recovery, and an excellent Discoarse was delivered on the occasion by the Rev. Mr Walton. On the Tuesday following that old mansion was illuminated, the windows in front were decorated with many curious devices and transparencies, particularly a large one of his Majesty, and another of Fame proclaiming the joyful tidings of the King's Health being established. Two sheep were roasted whole, and the populace were regaled with barrels of ale. The parish also united and testified their loyalty by their bounty to the common people and liberality to the poor. At nine in the evening several curious fireworks were displayed, with firing of guns, flags flying, ringing of bells, etc. The night concluded with a ball to the tenants. The great hall was elegantly lighted up with lamps, which made a brilliant appearance; a genteel cold supper was then served up, after which many loyal and constitutional toasts were given and drank. The whole was conducted with the greatest mirth, cordiality, and decorum.

Reading this (grand) account in the County Papers of this evening, has occasioned the following Remarks; which may savour of a want of hospitality. Conviviality, etc.—But they are my opinions, and I cannot Restrain them.

(Tho' Sorry to stand single in a opinion of want of Praise of pompous Treats, as appear to me Insults on Poverty; and instead of assistance to The Poor, only put the Miseries of their Situation in the strongest Light, thence to feel more poignantly their own misfortunes. These Ideas which may be deem'd cruel, repugnant to Jollity, and devoid of Gentility, arise from these pompous accounts, and fulsome commendations of such Grandees, who (from Pride and waste) Give Oxen and Sheep to be roasted whole, and thrown, with Barrells of Beer to the Populace, who were delighted, elated, etc., etc. Now can any thing be more mischievous (not to say diabolical) than such destructive Follies! Were the pompous, ill-judging Donors of these Splendours, to consider that some of the poor wretches, who struggled for a piece of meat, of a Draught of Beer, have left at home a Wife and Children shivering with Cold, and perishing of Hunger, They might be taught, that to make their Neighbourhood comfortable (and, even, to spread wide their Fame) the Cottager shou'd have Land sufficient annex'd to his Tenement to find a regular Support for his Family: and much more noble, how much better Judg'd, than the empty Blaze of Riot ending in Drunkenness and Prostitution, and in wishes to obtain, by any means, those Luxuries of which they have just had a Taste.—Would The Donors of these Scrambling Treats (of which only The Wicked and the Sturdy partake) make a Calculation; and then carry his intended Bounty to some Slop-Shop in the City, for the purchase of fearnought-Cloth, Woollen, Caps, Thick Flanells, and Warming-Pans. They might, when Xmas came, clothe the aged, comfort The Infirm, and cheer the perishing Poor.—How much better does this sound in my imagination, than The Huzzars around the wasteful Bonfire, the drunken Squabbles of The Mob, or The hireling Paragraphs of the News-Paper.)

I enjoy'd my Port wine, and Pigeons very much; and also, what Mr K. might not so much like, The Quietness of The Inn, where I was the sole Guest; except some Crickets, who chirp exceedingly, and so much to my Pleasure, that I shou'd like to turn out several into my own House, to get a Breed, by way of Game upon my Manor.—When so many curious Investigations are written upon Trifles (as a long and lately publish'd elaborate Treatise upon the Cuckoo), why will not some inquisitive Philosopher recount the History of The Cricket, and Explain why He makes so much Noise in the World!

Sunday May 31

It is an old Saying That 'The better the Memory, the worse the Judgment'; if so, I ought to possess a profound Judgment, having such a shallow Memory, as to be obliged to write down at night what I had done in that day, or proposed to do on the following; else the Employ of one wou'd be forgotten, or the Business of the other left undone.—On this day I was to expect some of my company, and had promised to meet them at Baldock in their way down.—But soon after my rising (which was not early, as my Night was passed in such Spas'ms as may do me up in a Twinkling) I receiv'd Letters; one from Mrs Byng hinting that I may epect her on Tuesday made up for the disappointment of H'.s and W[ynn]'s not coming as I expected, the former is prevented by business, the latter by Idleness; so poor I am left alone here: But I yet hope that H. may be able to come down, for a day at least.—I had first to answer their Letters, expressing my Hopes of seeing them; and then consult Mr G. the Apothecary (who was waiting in the Bar, the arrival of the News-Papers) about the State of my Stomach, which, from having been abused, and now wearing out, causes disturb'd Nights, with most unpleasant Sensations: Mr Gall (a good Name) determin'd to send me a most efficacious Medicine, and is in the right to Stick by this Inn, where for his many Agreements The Landlord and Landlady are kept in tight repair.—Mr K. now rode with me to see a Farm lately hired by him: In our Way drinking of the (so often-mention'd) Well Water in the meadows, which assuredly ought to be fenced, described, etc., etc., etc.—His Farm, a mile further, was a Large mansion; (once I remarked to a Country Fellow 'This is an ancient place'—'Aye Master', answered He, 'It was so formerly,') It is surrounded by a moat, has a large Garden, and two good Parlours: as He intends to let it with some grass ground, I doubt not of his getting a Tenant; if there are those who Love Quiet and Retirement; and heed the French Proverb 'Que fait aimer les Champs, fait aimer la Vertu.' At present, there is a conceited Farmer in it, with an affected, ugly Daughter, as He calls Her. It might be made a comfortable Place; and have plenty of Tench in the moat.—This Farm ought (if possible) to have been purchased by my Brother, as it is encircled by his Farms, and pays to him the great Tythes.—After walking in the old-fashioned Gardens, and finding two Birds' Nests (a circumstance of consequence to a Cockney) One of them a Blackbirds in a thatch'd Summer-House, I parted from Mr K. but retained the Company of his pretty Spaniel, who hunted very amusingly: my strole was by Ld Ongleys,16 to Ickwell-Green, and so home by Upper Caldecot at ½ past 2 o'clock.

A lovely, growing Day! Such a Shew of plenty upon the Ground, with the lasses in their best Bibs and Tuckers, exhilarated my Heart; and I thought I was passing my Time very rationally.

After Dinner, I cou'd not do better than prefer my apothecary Gall (an high-german Doctor) from The Bar, into The Parlour; and Let him loose, at no expence, upon my Port Wine; relaxing myself from deep Studies, and hard writing. The Doctor either has, or pretends to have (to please me) a Taste for antiquity, and talks of Castles, Old Camps, etc,; and wou'd shew me the best way to Caesars Camp, and to Chesterfield,17 where they find Roman Coins.—The Waiter tells me, That The Doctor is a Lutherian, aye, says I, a Lutheran; No Sr. a Lutherian—Perhaps you mean A Moravian? 18 There you have hit it, sir, It is a Moravian.

inserted in the Diary

The Doctor now comes Mounted to attend me; and we rode first to see the Doctors Stud, a Brood Mare, a Colt, and a Hackney, and his two Cows; Thence over The Sandy Hills to near Everden Church (whence were many people returning from the Evening-Service) where a famous Preacher19 has been renowned in his Pulpit for many years His Face appears to me abundant of Honesty, Zeal, and good works; tho' no Disciple of Lavaters20 there seems as if much useful knowledge were to be acquired from the Study of Physiognomy.—To his Church does the County flock for Instructions, and Consolation: But He is generally term'd a Methodist: and as such held out by the Clergy, as a stumbling Block, and a dangerous Character.

Now what the Title of Methodist is meant to signify I know not; but if these Preachers do restore attention, and congregations within the Churches, and do preach the Work of God, They appear to me as Men most commendable; and as useful to the Nation, by their Opposition to the Church Ministry, as in an opposition of The Minister of the Country, in Parliament: Active Orators keeping Vigilant Observation, and Preventing any Idleness in, or abuse of their authority; and so tending as effectually to the Preservation of our Rights, as these Methodistical Preachers do to the conservation of Religion. They are like military Martinets, who are scoff'd at by the Ignorant, and Indolent, but who preserve the Army from Ruin.

Thence We Returned by Hazel-Hall, Mr P.'s, to Caesars Camp; Below which is Chesterfield (alias Castra, as all our Chesters were) wherein Coins are still found: It is in high Garden Cultivation, as all the Kingdom ought to be if Interior Management were fully consider'd; and then this Country might, like China, be under eternal cultivation; (the more People and the more Stock, the more Product;) and none of the present idle fallow work, want of Population, and want of Encouragement, arising from a thirst of monopoly, which turns meadows into Sheepwalks, and rears Thistles instead of Potatoes!!—The Doctor and I parted good Friends.—Many Shew Folk are arriv'd for our Fair; and betwixt two of them has been fought a great Battle this evening.—The Waiter says that I must go to The Fair tomorrow, where 'They will be all higgledy-piggledy and much Pastime'; and so I hope to do.—After Supper, I walk'd forth to take a peep at the moon; and was not displeased at hearing the Skuttling of Lovers; most comfortable in the Summer for The Poor, who come forth with the Butterfly for a little Buz: But couches and candles do better for The Rich than these Squeakings of Chill'd conceit in our half-warm'd climate. Luckily I had a coal fire to Return to; a great help to the animal Fire. Without Books, and Company, there is no setting up; so I soon felt a wish for Bed Time.—

Monday June 1

A new Month; and may it prove a Happy one.—There is plenty of Employ upon my Thoughts; and if there is good Weather, I shall hope to find about me a sufficiency of Health, and Strength, to undergo a little bustling.—I was early up, after a good Night, to a fine morning, and to a Bowl of Buttermilk,

Falsely Luxurious, will not Man awake,
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour.
To Meditation due, and sacred song?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life;
Total extinction of the enlightened soul!—Seasons.

My morning Walk had been quickly taken, but that I wou'd pay my Respects to the Duke of Ancaster who was on his Road to Grimsthorpe (his country seat) who pressed much my coming there—or with any Friends on my Tour 'who might take Batchelors Fare.'

He likes the country, and is hastening to enjoy it; as some men do.—But no women; for my Lady Dss, and her Daughter Lady M. Stay in town for more Galas: She, my Lady Dss (like other Ladies), fancys that London is the only Place for a Girl to get a Husband in, and her daughter is of the same opinion; so The Duke, like a civil Husband, assents, tho' He may feel, like me, That She might in the Country be well married, but that in London She is lost in the confusion of Dresses and Perfume; Countess, or Courtezan, all alike; Dress or deed; 'Pull Devil, Pull Baker.'

After my Friend his Grace the Duke had departed, I vetched a Valk in the Yields near the 'ouse of Mr Sams, whence came my Buttermilk.—To-day, for the 1st time, there are Strawberries and Peas arrived; of the former I ate at Breakfast: what wou'd I have given to have transferr'd them to Frek., standing by me with a look of Joy and thankfulness!

Before my Horse was ready I went to see how the Fair went on, and there met Mr Snitch21 of Southill a respectable Butcher, and also my acquaintance of yesterday at Knights Farm a Fellow of the Looks and Manners of a Swindler; and as Quin22 said, 'If that Fellow be not a Rascal, God does not write a legible Hand.'

There were many Pharoahs lean kine and some nags with several Slight-of-Hand Men, and a Learned Pig; for since the first of these learned grunting-Gentry, that was so much admired, the Piggish Race have improved amazingly in wisdom; and disperse their knowledge over the Kingdom at the very cheap rate of One Penny per Head.

My Ride was To Northill, and to Cople-Hoo, where I turned to the left over some closes, to View, what I so long intended, Wood-End. The Mansion House for many ages of The Luke Family;23 whence Sr Samuel Luke

'Forsook his dwelling and out He rode a Colonelling.'

being accompanied by a man of the name of Bedford

'One Ralph who in the adventure went his half.'

The Lineal descendents of the Bedfords,24 still live in this country. The last of the Lukes died, poor about the year 1732

"Tis sung there is a valiant mamaluke
In foreign land yclepd ....'

I entered this old mansion, and was shown into many Rooms well wainscotted, in one of which remains one of these old, grand mantel-pieces, which were very ornamental, and highly painted; were generally composed of wood, and sometimes of Stucco: In this are three grand Figures of Faith, Hope and Charity.—The Farm, with much of the neighbourhood, belongs to the Duke of Bedford: What a link of Yeomanry, and Country Happiness, such Purchasers become!

The Farmers son took me to what is call'd Hudibrass's Hole, to which with some difficulty we crept; in the dark under Rafters. It is a concealment that explains itself to have been made for some Popish Recusants; as there were in all Roman Catholick Houses, soon after the Reformation, when the Laws against Popery were strongly Enforced.—The House has been moated round and some old twisted Chimnies are left.—This is an exact Resemblance of their old Kitchen; and of others of the same date: Where happily conceal'd from worldly knowledge, and peevish Grandeurs, The Ballad was their History, which they merrily troll'd over a can of stout October.

The Figure and manners of The Farmer were the very portrait of Hudibras, and what a Painter wou'd instantly catch at; as well as those of his Daughter, if He wanted a Face and Form for a Venus: For she was extremely Beautiful!

The surrounding country is wooded and of grazing Grounds; where many calves are suckled for the Land Market. A mile of pleasant Lane brought me to Cople Village, and here, as formerly, tying Poney to the Churchyard Gate, I summon'd the Clerk with his Key.—The only curiosities in this Church are the Luke Monuments of a granite marble, with Brasses and Inscriptions in old Letter which I had not time to copy: That of Sr Walter Luke and his Lady have been well painted, and adorned.—In another Mile I came to Cardington, a Village of much Neatness, with all the Houses so smart, and the Green so nicely planted: To add to which there was (today) a little Fair, and a Stall, and a Turnabout to make the children sick after their Gingerbread. This Church and Church yard (of which I have spoken before) are in the best conservation; for Messrs. W. and H. being at variance (luckily for the Village) strive which shall most benefit, and adorn it: consequently the Cottages are neat, and comfortable; For what cannot the Riches of the one, and the Charity of the other, accomplish, or point out?

Mr Howard is now at home: Why won't He Stay there? He has done enough for his Honor, and for the advantage of mankind: But That a man should like to pass all his life in Prisons, and Pest-Houses, becomes a stark-staring Madness! and unless some Benefit had not arisen from it, would be universally thought so.

At Bedford an old Building (probably monastic) stands at the bottom of the late George Inn Yard;—It is now under Repair: The Masons told me it was A Romish Building. The font must have been removed from Caldwell Abbey, or The Friary; It serves now to receive The Rain Water, in the Swan Inn Yard. Did I live in this Neighbourhood, I should strive to purchase it, and then place it in my Garden, (or amidst my Ruins) with the best Inscription I cou'd give.

My Host, of the true fat Breed, said that Dinner was just ready, and instantly brought in a Roasted Fillet of Mutton (a joint not very common) with Cabbage, Cucumbers, and Sallad; and upon this, and Cheese, I fared very well.

Then for a Walk, to find out where Caldwell Abbey Stood; From this walk, a very hot one, I returned to another Glass of Brandy, and Water; overtaking upon the Bridge, a clean-looking Woman, leading two fine Boys, dressed in light Blue, the Livery of the great (Harper) Charity25 here; upon my admiring their Looks and Cleanliness, She Thanked God for her Luck in getting them upon so good a Foundation; and in giving her two such Healthy and well-disposed Boys, that were the comfort of her life.—There was something wonderfully pathetic in her Words and Looks; and her leading in either Hand, these her Hopes, Whom she alternately Survey'd with Fondness, and Transport.—My second walk was, first, to look at the outside of St. Paul's Church, the largest, and best in Bedford.

Contemporary pen-and-ink drawing
inserted by Lord Torrington in the Diary

I ask'd two old men for directions, and they said 'They were Dunny,'26 and I answered to them peevishly, 'That's my ill Luck, allways to enquire of Deaf People.' Of one old man I enquired his age, and He answered (not being deaf) '82 years' and that He cou'd walk 5 miles in 2 Hours. The Landlord, at my Return, sat himself upon the Edge of a Table; and We conversed about Elections, and other country subjects:

Now it is allways right to converse sociably with Landlords, both for information and cheapness; for mine charged, to-day

For Dinner   10
Brandy   6
Hay and Corn   4
Servants   4
  S2 0

Tres bonne Marche.

At 4 o'clock I beat my March; and Returned by Willington, Muggerhanger and Girford-Bridge: A good, and pleasant Road, the longer by 2 miles than that of The morning ....

I would have gone back on the opposite side of the River; had any thing Remain'd of Newenham-Priory. ...

After Tea, I went up to The Fair, and was jostled about, but not tempted to set in the heat, and stink, to see a Shew. The immoderate Bawlings of the several Buffoons diverted me much, endeavouring to draw in company by their balderdash humour: one, in particular, (who was very Vociferous) after arguing for a long time, tryd their Pity (like Mr Bayes),27 saying 'That his Head must be cut off,' holding a sieve to receive it; His Executioner was an amazon in a grand Riding Habit, who cry'd, 'One,—Two—', and at the 3rd Flourish. He bobb'd away from her broad sword: and this merry Performance was several times Repeated, to the terror of some tender-hearted Females, who trembled for his Fate.

I now took the Tour of The Out-Skirts, to see the company going home; and found that, till 30 years of age, The Gentlemen attach'd themselves to The Ladies; and afterwards to their Beer, as few of them cou'd steer a strait course.—And yet how happier are these People in their (selldom returning) Pleasures, than the fine world in going, merely for Fashions Sake, to see an old woman, Madame G. (of whom I read so much in the Papers) an old woman of near 60 years of age, Grimacing and Capering!!

Well; Let me and Poney move our dance agreeably: When we are together, it is a Pas de deux, and when I am on foot, it is a Pas seul.

There is a good going young Horse at the next door, that I wish'd W. W[ynn]. to have seen and bought; but as he neither came or wrote, probably He was sold at the Fair, I give sufficient encouragement to the French, by a consumption of their Brandy, of which I commonly call for a Pint per Diem.

A close for this day: and this I hope will be last that I shall pass alone, upon this Tour.

Tuesday June 2

A day of Impatience; and of the assemblage of The Troops under my Command from their several cantonments to the Camp at Biggleswade.—Those that did not send Refusals to my orders, of course will come; and those that write they will, certainly must come. The Post has not brought a Letter either from Mr H, or W. W.: Why not write one Line? And then meals are properly prepared, and Beds Engaged. Now I can do nither for them! and they will perhaps say, 'Why you knew we should come.' Why cannot you write so? I will keep the Pigeons, and Asparagus, and The Beds; which otherwise at your coming you will find Bespoke. Mrs B. says, that she will come with P. in the evening; (at ten o'clock, I suppose!)

From The Office has arrived Bell's New Paper The Oracle:28 He and Jim are breaking Partnership, and setting up against each other, to their mutual Ruin; and no one cares which is right, or which is wrong.

A New Newspaper,
Will be published on the Fifth of June 1789—entitled

The Oracle


The Arrangements are now preparing on a Large and Liberal Scale.

J. BELL, of the BRITISH LIBRARY, STRAND, respectfully informs the public, that he is no longer interested directly or Indirectly, in the Newspaper, which he originally INSTITUTED and ESTABLISHED, under the Title of THE WORLD; as even the printing thereof has been RASHLY and UNHANDSOMELY withdrawn from him, by CAPTAIN TOPHAM.—J. BELL, at present a free and he hopes an IRREPROACHABLE agent, therefore, means to submit a NEW DAILY PAPER to the Patronage of the Public.

His Plan will be novel, interesting, and useful.

If long experience,—extensive literary connections,—the most immediate and unbounded sources of intelligence, and a proper stile of communication, can warrant a hope of attraction—all these qualifications the Publisher has to offer in his favor. Every exertion shall be made to gratify public taste, and completely to answer the BEST PURPOSES of a Daily Print.—

                "Tis not for mortals to command success,
                'But we'll do more, Sempronius, WE'LL DESERVE IT.'

In order to ascertain the number as nearly and as soon as possible, J. BELL will consider it as a singular and important obligation to be favoured with the names of such persons as mean to encourage his New Paper.

This will be a dragging Day for me, for I dare not go to any distance of Survey; so must Skim about home: It galls me the having no Letters.

After Breakfast I walk'd to The Fisherman's just below, Where in his Ponds I try'd to angle and set some Trimmers; and was there mett (that's the Plague of Popularity, and Civility) by a Mr W.: to whom I explained my Intentions of Quiet, or else:—He carried away with him many of my Compts., and The Oracle Newspaper. I next took a short Ride to call upon Mr T. returned home after his most terribly-laughable Accident: He was ever a Man of a yawing complainant Humour.

At my Return I was Surprised at the sight of W. W.'s Servant and more at his verbal Message, 'My Master will dine with you.' At what Hour, and where is his Note? 'That is all Sir.' How easy is the writing 6 Words on a Slip of Paper, to be sent by either your Servant or the Post! So I said, This is my hour of dining, two o'clock, and to it I shall go: for I cannot wait upon an uncertainty.—The Cold Beef, Tarts, and Custards were Excellent; and then I gaped, and threw my Legs about, as those People do, who are never urged, by Mind to act, or think; for I now can do nothing by myself but wait in anxiety upon Uncertainties; Having first paid my own Bill to this Instant, to prevent Confusions etc., etc.

No W. W. at 5 o'clock: Here did I sit, like a Lady waiting for her Company; and in such kind of twitter. At my angle till 8 o'clock, when I caught 3 small Eels, and a Perch, and threw them all back.—At 8 o'clock I rode backwards and forwards for an hour; as much fatigued by Expectancy, as The Travellers cou'd be by Journeying: afraid to order Supper, and vex'd to have engaged Beds.—in London I am told that People had no Servants to send, forgetting there was a penny-Post!29 Till a certain Hour one is Vex'd, but after that alarmed: Some accident may have happened upon The Road, or some Sickness in London! Luckily it is an Empty House here; Nor do I think it so frequented as formerly; For The White Horse at Baldock, 9 miles short of this, is become a good Inn, Eaton, 10 miles further a good Inn; and Brigden, 6 miles further on, a very good Inn.


from water-colours by the Diarist

At eleven o'clock, at night, arrived The Company in two chaises; In one Mrs B. with Mr L[oveday]30 and in the other Messrs. P. and W[ynn]. my future companions de Voyage. They had been detained as they said by Business, and I was satisfied by seeing them. Supper of good account; with much clamour of orders, Enquiries and Statements, rather allay'd by the Supper Sight, of which we eat in haste; and then in haste retired to Bed.

Wednesday June 3

My night was wretchedly spent in the horridest Spas'ms; which must put me in much care about my Eating, and the observance of many Rules; else I may knock up! So I rose heavily, and very languid.

We all assembled soon after nine o'clock to Breakfast; and then we were to drive about, under my Direction, having agreed upon Staying another night here.—This Drive common to me, I hope was not unpleasant to them; over Ickwell Green to Warden Church, to see the View from thence, and the lately erected Mausoleum for the Ongley Family, in the Church Yard;—which Church Yard is of most pleasant situation, and wherein is this Inscription.

Here our Children lies, with their pretty Eyes
Whom God seem'd fit to close
He tane them home while they were young
To take a sweet Repose.

I find that my Greediness to visit Churches, and church yards hourly increases, as they all can furnish somewhat of Antiquity or of curiosity and this has Lord Torrington's White Summer House on a Hill Top, overlooking The Grounds, and House, Called upon Mr Walker; and then, whilst The Gentlemen looked over Southill House, we renew'd our compts. to Mr and Mrs Smith31 and their Family, at the Parsonage, partaking of their usual hospitality. Thence to Chicksands Priory; Where Sir G. Osborn,32 amongst many Improvements, Decorates his Grounds with Rustic, and other characteristical Buildings; Safeguards from wet weather and Retreats from heat, and ever enticing forward the Walker and Rider: on the Lawn above the entering Ground stands this Rural Seat commanding a very gay view of The Country, and of The River.

We had now a good opportunity of seeing The Old Religious House (Sir G. with his company being walk'd forth) which is, probably, one of the most perfect now existing, for great Part of the Cloisters are entire, and being glazed, afford a most pleasant, and gloomy Passage to The Library. In these windows, and on the Cloister Walls are some painted Glass, Monumental Stones, Brasses etc., to which Sir G. politely says, I have been an ample contributor.

One Brass I brought from Wrotham Church,33 and as I believe from a Grave Stone of The Byng Family: when in my profession They were call'd The 4 Brazen Byngs!!

Another, of a larger size, is also nail'd up here (August 1789) which will hereafter be mentioned in this Tour.

From the Family's absence we had a quiet opportunity of seeing this good House, in proper keeping; and observing the famous Royal Bed34 supposed by the Williamites the Scene of the Warming Pan Imposition.35 An excellent original Picture of O. Cromwell is also in this House; painted by Lely.

We then took the Drive over the beautiful back grounds, where we mett Sir G, and his company, who took us to his Hop Ground (a curiosity in this country) where there is a pleasant Sitting Room, whose walls are well painted with Hops.

I agree with Sir G. in taste, as to the Invention of Old Chapelries etc.—as if belonging to The Priory.


from water-colours by the Diarist

For in a pleasant wood He has erected by a Pond Side a well constructed heap of Ruins (call'd St. Mary's Chapel where is an Inscription That here Lie the Bones of many a Monk who closed his days at the Adjacent Priory of Chicksands: (Sir George's Son with much good humour has joined the c to the l, and made a new reading dosed his days.) In The Hop Room We assembled for some time; but in the conversation I bore a bad part, having a headache from my last nights complaints; however as Guide, and Linguist, I strove to exert myself.

Sir G. gave us every proper Invitation of Stay, which at this time was not to be accepted; but which Mrs B, and I mean to profit of in the Course of this Summer.

Below the Hop Ground, on a small knoll, a cross with Steps beneath, has been lately erected; which Sitting upon, These Verses floated in my mind,

Here may some Wretch spurn'd from the rich mans Gate,
Sit sadly pond'ring on his own hard fate;
Who, whilst beneath him ample Harvests Spread,
Feels almost famish'd from a want of Bread;
Views plentious Hop-Grounds, gay Pavilions near,
But He no Hovel has, or Drop of Beer:
Natures sweet Bounties that around him rise,
Do naught assuage his Woes, Or Stop his Sighs.
    Then Feel ye, Great, Ye who in pomp Repose,
Haste to Avert, Or Ease your Neighbours Woes;
    Think on This Cross;—Benevolence Pursue;
Who died thereon, Suffer'd for Him, For You.

J. Byng, 1789.

At our Parting, We drove thro' the noble Woods: and on quitting this Place—I must offer my tribute of opinion of The present Mansion; which is as well worthy the Visit of Friendship, as it is of the Inspection of Curiosity.

Our Drive of Return was by Gastlings Farm, where we Sp'oke to Mr W.—and then thro' the Hill Grounds, and Meadows home: A long and late Drive; and I was terribly worried by a Head-ache; and to have the opening of 50 Gates.

A good dinner relieved me not; So I hastened to Bed, whilst the Gentlemen sought their fancies by going upon the River, with a Casting Net; (tho' it rain'd fast): and I had the pleasure of seeing them in their Navigation drag'd along by a Man in the middle Stream, where The Water only reach'd his Knees. As for myself, I Slumber'd till 9 o'clock; when the Rain fell with much Violence, which had sent home the Fishermen well soused.—Our Supper was late, and long; and with much Discourse about our array, our Intention, our Hopes, and Fears.—Little Poney is in great Gaiety, and being the Opener of Every Gate, gave a curvet when it was finish'd: an happy Presage of his Spirits and Powers!

P. rode a Horse (to-day) of this Town, upon Trial, W. upon Mr L.'s mare and Mr L. accompanied Mrs B. in a post-chaise: He appears to be a young Gentleman of polite, accomdating manners. A lack of Bilberries with the other Tarts, I advised Patience and Content 'For you will find them all Bill -berries to-morrow morning.'


1 A curious word, obviously meaning money or services fraudulently obtained from innocent people duped by the unscrupulous.

2 (See Note 2, Vol. II, p. 131.)

3 (See Note 1, Vol. II, p. 131.)

4 St. Omers was at the time a fashionable French watering place.

5 John Howard, the great prison reformer, was High Sheriff of Bedfordshire at this period.

6 A well-known writer of the period with a knack of easy rhyming. He made a considerable number of journeys, which he previously advertised, in order to obtain money by writing about them afterwards. (See Note 45, Vol. I, p. 202.)

7 (See Note 11, Vol. II, p. 415.)

8 The Assembly Rooms were built at his own expense by Edward Young, the famous author of Young's Night Thoughts. Young became rector of Wellwyn in 1730, and immediately turned his attention to the popularization of the waters for the purpose of alleviating the ailments of his parishioners and of bringing wealth to himself and prosperity to Wellwyn. The spring lay in the centre of the village, on the left bank of the Mimram, adjoining the flour mill, and Dr. Young enabled those who came to drink the waters to wile away their time with music and entertainment and social intercourse. The popularity of these Assemblies survived the death of Young in 1766, who had also laid out a Bowling Green and added many attractions. The well, which contained the water's spring, was discovered in 1924 in the Yard of Messrs, Adams, Builders, in Mill Lane, but subsequently was covered over by rubbish, and though the Assembly Rooms still stand, they have been converted into cottages.

9 It is possible that this refers to Matthew Boulton who set up minting machinery in Birmingham in 1786 and from then until 1797 he was trying to obtain a Government contract for minting copper coin.

10 (See Note 49, Vol. III, p. 326.)

11 (See Note 91, Vol. II, p. 270.)

12 The eleventh Earl of Kent, in 1710 Duke of Kent, had no sons alive when he died in 1740, and the manor of Wreste descended to Jemima, his daughter Amabel's daughter.

13 The de Grey Chapel at Flitton Church contains a long series of monuments, the earliest being that of Henry Grey, fifth Earl of Kent.

14 (See Note 4, Vol. I, p. 61.)

15 (See Note 3, Vol. III, p. 321.)

16 Robert Henry Ongley was the second Baron from 1785 to 1814.

17 Chesterfield was a name given to a field near Sandy.

18 'The United Brethren', which still exist, were expelled from Bohemia and Moravia in 1627.

19 The Rev. John Berridge, fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, was Vicar of Everton from 1755 to his death in 1793. He was an intimate friend of John Wesley, who preached in the Church and Vicarage of Everton. Berridge was 'an itinerant servant of Jesus Christ', and his itinerancy did not endear him to the incumbents whose parishes he 'invaded'. The Bishop appealed to these incumbents, admonished Berridge, but allowed him to continue the work for which he seemed so well fitted.

20 Johann Kasper Lavater (1741-1801) was a Swiss divine and poet, chiefly remembered as the inventor of the so-called science of phrenology or physiognomy, as he called it.

21 There is a Record in Southill Register of John Snitch Butcher and his wife Elizabeth having had a son in 1788 and another in 1790.

22 The actor Quin (1693-1766) was well known in his day as a wit and his sayings were often repeated.

23 The manor of Launcelyn or Woodend, was for many generations in possession of the Luke family until it was sold in 1686 to Sir William Gostwick. It was pulled down by the Duke of Bedford about 1858.

24 There was a Samuel Bedford Vicar of Southill 1710-1752 and also several Bedfords connected with Fenlake Barns Manor.

25 Sir Willian Harper founded a free school at Bedford, the trustees of which were made a body corporate in an Act of 1764, when their income was about 3,000 a year.

26 A slang word, at the period, for a deaf or stupid person.

27 Bayes was the name under which the poet Dryden was ridiculed in Buckingham's 'Rehersal'. The name was taken from the sprays of bay laurels which were woven into a wreath to crown a conqueror or poet.

28 There are contemporary files of this periodical in the Burney Collection at the British Museum.

29 There was a penny post existing in London as early as 1680.

30 (See Note 9, Vol. I, p. 240.)

31 (See Note 10, Vol. II, p. 415.)

32 (See Note 91, Vol. II, p. 270.)

33 There are no memorials to the Byng family now traceable in Wrotham Church.

34 This famous bed was reputed to be the bed on which the Old Pretender, Prince James, was born.

35 An allusion to the story that James II's son, afterwards called the Old Pretender, was a suppositions child introduced into the Queen's bed in a warming pan.

John Byng, The Torrington Diaries: Containing the tours through England And Wales of the Hon. John Byng (Later Fifth Viscount Torrington) between the years 1781 and 1794 (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1938)

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