A. D. 1689.
Jan. 13. I rode with many others to* York, where, next morning, my Lord Fairfax and Sir John Kay, were unanimously elected Members of the Convention appointed by the Prince of Orange.
Feb. 14. Was a day of public thanksgiving for a national deliverance in the late wonderful Revolution ; and the 19th, King William and Queen Mary were proclaimed at Leeds, with such a general satisfaction and joy as seldom has been known.
And here I cannot but take notice and lament that persons are generally
more sensibly affected with private deliverances than public ones, and
must particularly blame myself, who, though I was sincerely thankful
for both, yet was more sensibly touched with what more immediately concerned
myself and family, who were all asleep, when a fire suddenly broke out
in the house, very nigh the stairs, which were of fir and very dry;
yet it pleased God it was extinguished without any human help, and little
harm done, save the burning of the children's coats upon the lines close
by the stairs. And at another time part of the oak ceiling in the hall,
under my library: I preserve the bit of wood, as a grateful memorial
of so great a deliverance.
I concluded Mr. Pool's Annotations upon the Bible, which my old friend, Mr. Illingworth, recommends as the best family book that ever was printed in the world ; because containing the sacred text in a good character, together with pious and learned annotations upon it. The second volume being the Continuation, is by various hands, of which I have there inserted a list, (somewhat different both from the Oxford historian's, and Dr.Calamy's,) from Mr. Stretton's Letters to Mr. Sharp, wherein he owned (in order to draw in that too modest man) that himself did Peter, and, if I mistake not, Galatians too. The next day, I began Diodati's Annotations upon the Bible.
I was frequently attempting to draw up some Memoirs of my honoured and dear father, which though never perfected, yet were not, I hope, without some good to my own soul ; and I found more real satisfaction and pleasure in reflections upon the days thus spent, than in the merriest company I could meet with. But I was unhappily deprived of these pleasant enjoyments of my papers, by an unhappy engagement at Mr. Samuel Ibbetson's request, to make rape-oil.* The inducement was my father Sykes's estate at Sheepscar, where there had been a mill formerly: and when I pleaded my ignorance in the affair, he argued I need not be concerned for that, he had a right notion of it, and could manage the stock and accounts, and my industry would be serviceable in overseeing the servants, in making the oil, receiving seed, delivering oil, and keeping those accounts: the reputation he had of a religious and substantial man : and the prospect of an advanced rent upon that part of the estate that was designed for my wife: and both his brother and mine dealing in that commodity, there was no question but we might with ease dispose of all the oil we could make.
These arguments induced me to engage in the unfortunate enterprise, which was in many respects a vast loss to me : the first I was immediately sensible of was loss of time, which was necessarily consumed in supervising and directing workmen and servants another was expenses in company, that I was unavoidably engaged in. Of others, more in the sequel.