Wednesday, 30 July 2014

7. A Boroughbridge Boyhood in the 1850s: “Got out at the back door & went to the Newsroom”

Tuesday January 29th 1856
Went to Office   at Noon had a walk with Jane & Lizzy & Joe a mile up Topcliffe road & round by Milby   At Night went & read Blackstone at H Carrass’, before tea   After tea went again to Carrass’ with Joe had a rubber at wist   Uncle Hirst came for Sophy.   Joe & I got out at the back door & went to the Newsroom
The Subscription Newsroom at the White Horse Inn was a favourite place for John to read the papers – the lurid details of the Palmer poisoning trial, perhaps, or a little of the Tory periodical, the Quarterly Review – to meet friends or even, as in May 1856, to clean his gun. 
Saturday January 3rd 1857
Went to Office   Returned to Breakfast.   At Noon went to Capes’.   At Night I went to Newsroom Met Leond  Tom & Jim Sedgwick there   Leond & I had a regular split because our Tom called at their house once when he was here & would not go again because he was not asked in  he did not see the Doctor.   Called at Henry Carass’  Read Shakespeare
John’s older brother Tom had been home for a few days over Christmas, and clearly John was very angry with the Sedgwick brothers for the breach of hospitality – Tom had not been asked in to the house when he called on the Sedgwicks during his brief stay.  Perhaps the doctor’s household was in some disarray – Dr Roger Sedgwick died in early April.  At any event the “regular split” did not impair their relationship – they remained friends for life.

When not out with a gun or a dog, the young men would walk out together simply for exercise and to chat – setting someone on their way was another companionable opportunity:
Saturday March 29th 1856
Went to Office.   At Noon was about home.   At Night I went to Ouseburn.   Smallwood set me to the top of Yorkas Bank  Wm Freeman’s man overtook me in a spring cart & gave me a ride to the Workhouse   I then walked to Uncle Picks.   Bell Baldwin  Mary Metcalf & I walked up to Uncle Wms [Henlock]  I called at Crosby’s  he was not in

Saturday April 18th 1857
Went to office   At Noon was about home.   At Night I walked to Ouseburn   Smallwood set me three miles   Two Misses Howe   Miss Wisdom  Miss Lockey  Mrs Pick & Richd Paver were at Aunt Anns   I set them a short way home
They would call in on friends and relations – a wise housekeeper would be prepared for their hungry appetites.
Monday September 22nd 1856
Set off about seven a.m.  to walk to Ouseburn   Went to Uncle Picks  he had finished breakfast   I had beef & bread & 2 glasses of Ale   sat with him some time   went to Uncle Wms   Mrs H[enlock] gave me a tart or two & a glass of wine   Went to the Board Meetg   met Uncle Hirst there   we got home about One   Dined at Uncles   At Night I read Williams Law of Real ppty [property] & finished Hedley Vicars
Here John apparently felt he did not know Mr Wilson well enough to call:
Friday April 25th 1856
Went to Office.   At Noon read Blackstone in the Garden   After dinner had a nap in the Garden   at Night I went up to Sedgwicks  Len Jim & I went to Wilsons of Heaton House   they went in  I walked backwards & forwards  I went & sat down in the Lodge   they were such a time I left them & came home alone
but Mr Wilson chides him for it:
Monday April 28th 1856
Joe & I walked to the Roecliffe field   I went into the fair with Mr Chr[istopher] Barroby   Went to Office   Wilson of Heaton House was at me for not going in to his house with Sedgwks on Friday.   At Noon Went into the fair saw Horse Show,   Had 2 Barrobys  J.Morley Uncle Wm & Uncle Pick to Dine.   At Night Capes Joe & I walked up to Langthorp & back   Capes & I then walked down to the Cricket gro[un]d.    after that I went to Mr Owen’s to del[ive]r a message from Mr Barroby   I stayed & had tea with him   Mr John [Owen] was there   got home at ½ past nine  had a very jolly evening

Mrs Ellen Henlock, née Thornber (c1807-85)

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