Saturday, 26 July 2014

5. A Boroughbridge Boyhood in the 1850s: Holidays

If the working day in the 1850s was a great deal less frenetic than today, holidays were fewer.  John’s parents would generally go to a seaside resort, often Redcar, for a week or two.  They went in a large party of family and friends to stay in lodging houses – in 1856 they went twice, in July and in October.  John went on Saturday 18th October to meet them there:
Saturday October 18th 1856
Went to Office.   At Noon about home   At Night I went to Redcar   left at ¼ past six   got there ½ past nine   Mr Clark of Ellinthorp went at Noon   Father & Mother  Aunt & Uncle Redmayne  Sarah Sedgwick & Miss Cunnyngham were there   Mr Clark & I slept and had breakfast on Sunday & Monday   he pd my exps at the Inn
Heaton Clark of Ellenthorpe Hall married Miss Jane Hewit Cunynghame in November 1857 – the groom was sixty seven years old and the bride aged thirty seven.  Sarah Sedgwick married John’s brother Joe in 1857.
Sunday October 19th 1856
Clark & I went on the Sands before breakfast   Uncle R & I went to Redcar Church   the rest went to Coatham  Had a walk in the afternoon   Sarah  Aunt & I went to Coatham at night

Monday October 20th 1856
Got up had breakfast at the Inn   Saw Clark off by the 7.50 train to Yarm Fair  Saw Uncle R & Aunt & Miss Cunnyngham off by 11 train   Had a bathe in the Sea   Father & I walked to Coatham  had some porter at the Lobster   Walked about all day   Set off for home at 5.20.   Had a very jolly visit

In the middle of July that year, Dr Sedgwick took his family to Scarborough, accompanied by John’s father with his sister Mrs Hirst and her daughter Mary, while at the end of the month Uncle Hirst drove to the Lakes with his daughters Dora and Jane and Mr and Mrs Roger Buttery.  Someone had to be left at home to mind the house:
Sunday August 30th 1857
Went twice to BB Church  Kept house for Joe in the afternoon as he & Sarah were both at Redcar
When his parents went away together they usually arranged for Cousin Bessie Stamper to come from York to keep an eye on John, and when Uncle Hirst was away John stayed overnight, presumably because of Post Office business.

In 1857 many of the family went to Manchester to see the Art Treasures Exhibition.  Uncle Hirst took his daughters Dora, Mary and Sophy with their cousins Hebe and Nelly Scholfield, accompanied by Leonard Sedgwick, on August 3rd.  They returned the following day, collecting  Uncle Hirst’s dogcart from Starbeck station, where John had left it early that afternoon on his way to Liverpool, where he met Uncle and Aunt Pick.  They stayed the night at the Stork Hotel.
Wednesday August 5th 1857
Uncle  Aunt  Tom & I went to Manchester   spent the day in the Exhibition & most superb it was  We took a Cab to Salford  called on Crosby but he was out.   Came home to Liverpool.   Tom slept with me.
Dr William Crosby of Salford was the nephew of Dr John Crosby of Great Ouseburn
Thursday August 6th 1857
Spent the Day in Liverpool   went to Toms office   Was about the Docks & Custom House  At Night we all went to Allsopps Wax Work Exhibition   went to an Organ performance in St Georges Hall which was most glorious & went to the Amphi Theatre which was very good  Tom slept with me
Allsopp’s Crystal Palace Waxworks was on the ground floor of the Teutonic Hall, precursor of the present St James’s Hall.  Cooke’s Royal Amphitheatre of Arts was the venue for John Cooke’s circus shows, plays, concerts and operas.
Friday August 7th 1857
Aunt  Uncle & I went to Blackpool   walked about on the Sea Side   At Night Played Cards at the Inn   We had a very large party

Saturday August 8th 1857
Was about Blackpool  which is a very nice place   At two o’clock  Uncle & I started home   we got to Starbeck about ten  I went home with Uncle to Ouseburn & stayed all night with him
On Saturday July 10th 1858 John and his friend Mark Smallwood set off on holiday.  They were met at Liverpool by John’s brother Tom, spent the afternoon about the docks till five o’clock when they had a champagne dinner at the Goat Hotel.  They spent the weekend sightseeing, visiting the Amphitheatre, attending morning service at the Church for the Blind, taking the ferry to New Brighton, having tea at the Royal in Birkenhead.  They visited Tom’s lodgings to see his two dogs, and on Monday morning they set off by packet boat to Birkenhead to go by train to Chester, where they had breakfast, and on to Llangollen Road Station:
Monday July 12th 1858
…  from there by bus (5 miles) to Llangollen thro’ the vale of Llangollen  some of the finest scenery I ever saw.   We there had luncheon & went by Coach to Llanberis (48 miles) where the scenery the first 30 miles was most enchanting   the last 18 miles was very wild indeed & the fog fell fast from the ad[oinin]jg hills thereby impeding our view.   At Llanberis we had tea
They walked up Snowdon “without a guide”:
Wednesday July 14th 1858
…  about 2 miles up we had some very nice views particularly descending on the Beddgelert side:  after we had been a short time on the top  2 ladies & a young gentleman (Lady Astley Coopers Sister  niece & son) joined us to Beddgelert where we had luncheon   from there we took a Car   drove to Pont Aberglaslyn & from there back to Llanberis (the most beautiful drive I ever had)  where we stayed all night   our party (tho’ very aristocratic) were most agreable
Sir Astley Paston Cooper was the nephew and heir of the celebrated surgeon of the same name, who had been created a baronet after operating on King George IV.

They went on to Bangor, bathed in the Menai Straits and spent time in Beaumaris.  They took the Tourist Coach past the Penbryn Slate Quarries (“most wonderful”), through the pass of Nant Francon (“most superb”) and on through “splendid scenery” to Conway, walking on to Llandudno, where they climbed Ormes Head and then walked about on the beach.  They visited Conway Castle and went on to Chester, where they met Tom and travelled back with him to Liverpool.  There they stayed at the Stork Hotel.  They visited the Adelphi Theatre and on Sunday went to the morning service at the parish church (“where we had a very beautiful cathedral service”) and the Church for the Blind in the evening.  On their last morning they visited St George’s Hall before meeting Tom at the Stork “to Luncheon” (the first time John has used the word) at 2 o’clock.  They left Liverpool on the 3.50 pm train, accompanied by “a very large dog for Joe”.

The following year John spent several days visiting relatives of his mother’s cousin Mrs Margaret Workman.  He left home on January 12th 1859 by the 8 am train, had luncheon with the Sedgwicks in York – Joe’s wife’s family – and left York at 12.15 to arrive at Arksey station at 2 o’clock.  He was met by Mr Workman and his nephew Robert Hewitt, who was a couple of years older than John, in the dog cart.  They drove to Almholme where they had dinner:
Wednesday January 12th 1859
… Mr & Mrs W[orkman],  Robt & H[enr]y Hewitt & I started about 4 to Doncaster.   Had tea at Wm Hewitts   got dressed & went to a grand Xmas Ball at the Mansion House    there were about 200 there   Mr & Mrs Fox were Mayor & Mayoress   We had 28 dances.   I danced 22 of them.   We had supper at 12    I took in a Miss Nicholson  one of the belles of the party   We danced till after 3 & a most jolly evening I had.   When I went at first I did not know a soul except the Workmans & the Hewitts   Robt & I went home with a Mrs Walker & her sister & Miss Addy of Arksey who was staying with Mrs Walker & had some coffee &c     we then started home & got into bed just at seven o’clock
He was up again two hours later to go out shooting.
Friday January 14th 1859
Robt & I went to Ouston to shoot rabbits & good sport we had  we shot 29   Mr Workman came for us at 3 o’clock.   We went to Doncaster   Had tea at Wm Hewitts    After tea Mr Geaves [Greaves?] came in & would have Wm  Robt & me go down to his house    He has a very nice daughter & he had 2 Miss Hinds staying with them (very jolly girls)   We had tea there & then we went to a juvenile party to the Mansion House   Lots of people were there   we had dancing & a Magic Lantern.   I took Mrs Walker to supper & a very jolly evening we spent  we got to Almholme about 3
Saturday January 15th 1859
Robt & I drove to Brodsworth Hall to shoot pheasants.   A Mr Barker was there.   We shot 17 pheasants  3 hares  a woodcock & a rabbit.   We dined with Mr Gilbert at the Hall at 5 o’clock   champagne &c &c   & after dinner we had coffee & we got home about ten  after a very good day’s sport
He went to the new church in Doncaster on Sunday evening, he rode with Robert Hewitt and went shooting and hunting. 
Wednesday January 19th 1859
Mr Workman & drove to the Brand where we had some porter  saw the Stock there & then returned   In the afternoon Robt & I were dodging about   At Night we had a grand party at Almholme   the Mayor & Mayoress &c &c   we played cards   champagne supper & a jolly do we had   they left about two

Thursday January 20th 1859
Young Chadwick of Arksey had breakfast with us & he  Robt & I set off to Park Lane hunting & called at John Newsomes on our way   we had a very nice run & we left them about 3 near the Race Course at Doncaster    we got home about 4     Had dinner & then Robt  Mary Ann Hewitt  Kate & I drove in the Dog Cart to Mrs Walker’s of Doncaster where we had tea & supper & played cards & spent a very pleasant evening     we left about eleven.   Mary Ann stayed at Doncaster & Robt  Kate & I drove home

Friday January 21st 1859
Robt & I walked for the newspaper to Arksey    went out shooting a bit   Had dinner & Mr & Mrs Workman drove down with me to Arksey Station to come home   …  Went to Park Place [Joe’s wife’s family] to tea & got home to supper  After supper I went to Uncle Hirsts for an hour   Joe & Sarah were there & thus ended a visit which was indeed a jolly one

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