A. D. 1708.
Jan. 1. Begun my good friend, Mr. Hurst's An-notations upon the Minor Prophets, (in the continu-ation of Mr. Pool's) before family prayer, and perusal of the Diary since last sacrament before secret; en-deavoured in both to get my hard heart somewhat moved in a due sense of the loss of so much precious time, as I have too unprofitably spent hitherto, and was not altogether unaffected in meditation thereof, and of the sparing mercy of God, in con-tinuing so sinful a cumber-ground much longer than I had reason to imagine, and indeed, as long again as I expected, which is the greatest wonder, because as I am of a short-lived family, none of my brothers and sisters, uncles or aunts, or any of their posterity attaining to their fiftieth year, which may be a just memento for me to be in constant readiness. Oh, good God, add this further blessing, that I may do much good in my generation, and by that means, and that alone, it will be a blessing: make me, O Lord, truly serviceable, and to do what good my poor private station may capacitate me for, that I may faithfully instruct my dear children, and the poor orphans that thy providence has committed to my charge, and oh, that they may all of them be thy children, and serve thee faithfully in their generations, for Jesus Christ's sake ! Was in the afternoon with the Committee at the Charity-school.
2. Transcribing for Dr. Richardson, my Lord Archbishop of York's most accurate treatise of the Silver Moneys of England.
6. Visited by Mr. Parker, the benefactor, who lent me his uncle Sunderland's will, whence transcribing an account of his benefactions.
Feb. 1. This day the Mayor, the High Sheriff of the county, and our excellent Recorder, received the Sacrament in the parish church in respect of their new offices; as also my cousin Kirshaw's Black, the first baptized negro that ever received the sacrament in these parts, that good family having taken much pains to instruct him in the Christian religion. 3. Concluded notes from Speed's History of Great Britain, which I have read quite through with great satisfaction, being by much the most judicious and complete body of English History that I know of, from the British and Roman times, to the beginning of King James I.
4. Walked with Mr Bevot to Crossflats and Bees-ton, to visit Mr. Hill; heard of the death of my good friend the learned Mr. Joseph Hill of Rotterdam.
13. At the funeral of old cousin Hicks (the last of that name in this town) and heard of the death (26th Jan.) of Mr. Jackson, of Dublin, a native of this parish, an ingenious, sober, obliging young gentleman, and my kind friend, who procured for me some curiosities, and designed many more; was much concerned thereat.
15. I walked to the charity-school (pursuant to an order the last committee) to supervise the children ; was very well satisfied therewith, Lord be blessed !
20. Disturbed by a cross neighbour, who brought a Jury to present an ancient water-course, which I have living witness was not only used anno 1660, but uncontroverted, and looked upon as an immemorial privilege of this house, yet his brother being the foreman, would not suffer the Jury to view anything on this side or hear any argument in my behalf. Lord, right the innocent! Evening, reading original letters, part of a valuable present received this day from Oxford.
21. Perusing ditto Dr. Hudson's curious present of original letters from many learned Professors of the last century.
28. At Court, where the matter of purchase of three parts of the toll was referred to the Mayor, Recorder, three aldermen, and as many common-councilmen, to treat with us. Was after with Esquire Brandling. Evening, with the Recorder at Court at the treat of the two new members, cousin Dover and Mr. J.; stayed till almost ten.
March 2. Perusing the original MSS. of the Popish Compositions for their recusancy, 1629-30.
13. Taking dimensions of the Church, as to length and breadth ; most of day writing an account of it.
15. At Church about the new table of benefactors, which the Vicar had desired me to prepare an account of; taking the inscriptions upon the bells, &c.
April 17. To see the Queen's life-guards (in their return from the North, where, blessed be God, there was no occasion for them, notwithstanding the threatened invasion): afterwards with Esquire Arthington, perusing his Roman coins lately found at Cookridge.
18. Read good Mr. Masters (whom I knew at London) of the Duty of Submission to Divine Providence. Lord help me to practise suitably, that as thy providence presents me with frequent occasions (particularly a letter received yesterday from brother Idle, with unkind, not to say unjust reflections upon the dead and living,) I may be enabled to bear them with meekness and humility, patience and long-suffering, and with a cheerful and well-pleased mind as therein directed ; but, alas ! the ingratitude, &c. prevented sleep part of night. Lord pity me !
19. Walked with Mr. Pinson and Sir Henry Piers to Armley, to visit Mr. Wilkinson ; was pleased with the new house there for the minister, and several plants observed by the botanists in our walk. Was afterwards sent for by the High Sheriff and Corporation to the officers of the Queen's life-guards; stayed full late at the treat.
20. Had Brigadier Pulteney, Major Cornwall and other chief officers of the guards to view the collec-tions ; was then with Mr. George Plaxton from Lon don, (at Alderman Milner's where dined;) parson Lowther, Mr. Boldero, &c.
23. Visited by the ingenious Sir Henry Piers to consult more authors and MSS. about his pedigree.
May 14. With several gentlemen to see the Mar-quis of Huntley and other Scotch lords that are (under guard of some of the Duke of Northumber-land's regiment) sent prisoners to London, in refer-ence to the late French invasion. After, with Sir Henry Piers, Mr. Neville, and Mr. Milner of Pudsay, fishing in the goit till very late.
17. Preparing for a journey to York. Lord grant thy favourable presence and protection from sin and all dangers! We found the way very deep, and in some places dangerous for the coach (that we walked on foot,) but the Lord preserved us from all evil accidents, that we got to our journey's end in safety, blessed be God!
18. Walked to Bishopthorpe to wait of his Grace, by whom, and his son and chaplains, very kindly re-ceived, but found too much company, that could not have the opportunity to see the coins, &c. as I desired, (though I requested it not) but was much concerned to find my Lord Archbishop so much broke with age and infirmities since I was last at Bishopthorpe. After return, visited Mr. Gyles, &c.
19. Visited Mr. Wilcocks, saw his collection of birds, &c.; he kindly assisted me in some business. Was after at the Castleyard at the election of Knights for the Shire, for which there were five candidates, viz. my Lord Downs, Sir William Strickland, Sir Arthur Kaye, his honour Wentworth, and Mr. Darcy, brother to the Earl of Holderness ; had the opportunity of seeing many friends from all parts of the county. Was after dinner to visit Mr. Hodgson, the charitable Lady Hewley's chaplain; found him with Mr. Stockdale (a member of Parliament) at Dr. Colton's; heard several strange matters from him. After visited Mrs. Todd and Mrs. Hickson .and Hawke. Evening at inn, crowded with vast multitudes.
20. So crowded in the inn that could have no opportunity of private prayer, but happily found in my walks one church open, where I retired; afterwards viewed the monuments and inscriptions ; then with Mr. Empson upon administration account; visited the pious Dr. Fall, with whom dined; met with Sir Godfrey Copley and other friends of the Royal Society, in the Castle-yard, as Mr. Molesworth and Mr. Arthington. After reading Mr. Todd's memoirs, father and son, and Mr. Gunter's to Mrs. Todd, made some additions from old papers and manuscripts, &c. Evening crowded at the inn, where most lay three in a bed, but got private lodgings.
21. After prayers at the minster, was at Mr. Fothergil's, viewing ancient
manuscripts and curio sities ; then with Mr. Townley ; Mr. Ellis, the
benefactor, who has promised me to give 60/. to our charity-school;
also, had much satisfactory discourse with the pious old gentleman (aged
eighty-one); at church. Invited by my kind friend Mr. Molesworth to
dine with him, had the Earl of Holderness's company, Sir Ralph Blacket,
Mr. Topham and Mr. Molesworth, jun. since Envoy for her Majesty at the
great Duke of Tuscany's. Was after at the Castle-yard, and walking with
Sir Henry Piers to show
him the city.
22. Rose between three and four, the coach being hasted by Captain Crome (whose company we had) upon the Queen's business, that we got to Leeds by noon ; blessed be God for mercies to me and my poor family !
June 7. Finished the perusal of Sir Henry Piers's very ingenious Description of the County of West Meath, a valuable manuscript given me by his grandson, a Baronet of both his names, who obliged me with several kind visits.
26. At the request of my dearest and dying aunt Idle (who was as an affectionate and pious mother to me and the other poor children of this family in our tender age) received the blessed sacrament with her from our good Vicar.
July 5. Walked with my dear by Chapel-town and Gledhow to Gypton-well (whence my Lord Irwin, who comes thither in his coach daily, was but just gone) to enquire for conveniences for my dear child Richard's bathing.
10. Afternoon, at the importunity of Sir Henry Piers, rode with him, &c. to see Howley-hall, the seat of the famous Sir John Savile, first Alder man of Leeds, whose patent for Baron Savile of Pontefract was presented to me, and made my journey comfortable though severely wet. We rode thence by Atherton and Drighlington (by Archbishop Margaretson's free-school) to Tonge, to see Sir George Tempest's hall, a very delicate fabric not yet finished. I was especially pleased with a noble stair-case, curiously inlaid with elm, which by most persons is mistaken for walnut, being very finely variegated. We returned by Sir A. Danby's at Farnley, and the new house for the minister of Armly Chapel, by Wortley, passed the ford at Bur ley and got well home,—blessed be God for all mercies !
11. Concluded Mr. Tindal's Pentateuch, 8vo. whereof Genesis was printed " at Malborow in the land of Hesse, " January 17, 1530; the other four at different presses for privacy in those dark ages. Oh, that as we have greater advantages we may make suitable improvements !
19. Went with my dear and Richard to St. Peter's-well, who was dipped
therein. Lord give a
22, Read parson Wilkinson's ingenious account of his voyage to Portugal and the Indies, which he wrote at my request, and presented me with the original manuscript.
26. Concluded Casaubon's excellent Treatise of Enthusiasm a, wherein
are many things very curious and uncommon.
August 4. Transcribing part of Additions to the West Riding for a new edition of the Britannia.
31. The Lady Howard and Lady Savile, mother and grandmother to the Duke of Norfolk (who was born at Red-hall near Leeds) came to see my collections.
September 2. Was most of forenoon showing collections to several companies ; at noon dined with the Lady Howard and Lady Savile; afterwards taking an account of several of the Duke of Norfolk's relations from the said Lady Howard. Then had other visitants to see collections (that got not to church) the town being full of strangers, for the three days races at Chapel-town-moor. Was after wards at the Charity-school, but could not make up a committee.
5. Read in my dear and pious father's diary in secret.
29. I was with Lords of the Manor about ditto concerns. Memorandum—No court could be made up this day, the time appointed by charter for election of the Mayor of Leeds, the first omission since the granting of the charter 1660. Evening, sent for by two considerable benefactors to this their native county, Mr. Ellis of Brampton, and Mr. Parker of Carlton.
Oct. 3. Was much interrupted in family course, partly by my guests and partly by a most severe cough, which has so absolutely taken away my voice, that I was perfectly disabled from some duties, as particularly singing, a new order of which was be gun this day in the parish church, to sing a stave betwixt the daily morning and communion service (as has been long done at London, &c.) and is more agreeable, making a greater distinction, as there ought to be, betwixt the several parts. Read only Annotations before family ; had reason to be discou raged by my distemper, which increases, and the vio lence of the cough, twice since church time, caused so terrible a pain in the back of my head, as was very threatening.
5. With trustees for Madam Leighton's benefac tion, stating and confirming those accounts.
21. Writing Memoirs of the charitable Madam Leighton, and her admirably pious son-in-law, Arch bishop of Glasgow.
24. Die Dom. Morning, Mr. Killingbeck preach ed excellently from Psalm lxix. 30. He took occa sion to refer to the oil mill at the bridge end, that was burnt on Saturday night, or Lord's-day morn ing, the 3d inst. which much endangered the town, but that the wind was calm.
Nov. 7. This day was published in the church, an order (dated the last sessions, wherein our pious Recorder was chiefly concerned,) for the more effec tual restraining prophaneness upon the Lord's-day, and whereas many pretend liberty of conscience to exempt them from attendance upon the public, and yet attend the worship of God in no place, but con sume their time either in idleness or debauchery; the laws provided in those cases shall be fully put in execution against them. It was likewise, as my dear wife informs me, published at the chapel, and Mr. Pendlebury* blessed God publicly for putting it into the hearts of the magistrates, and enforced it with a very strict charge upon his hearers, as to their servants, &c.
9. Read Annotations, but somewhat dissatisfied with those upon 1 Cor. vii. 15 ; apprehending that in case of such a departure, the correlate (whether husband or wife) is not at liberty to marry, which I think only adultery can tolerate. Query other com mentators.
19. With cousin Cookson, to view and measure a i close designed for the charity-school. !
27. Evening, with the High Sheriff, (shortly to be elected Mayor) Recorder, and Corporation, at the public rejoicing for the great victory of the Duke of Marlborough in Flanders.
Dec. 27. Alderman Milner and I began our Lon-don journey, and, blessed be God ! found the ways much better than expectation ; the waters had been much out about Doncaster, but were again brought to their ancient quarters, so that (after we had been civilly treated by Mr. Cowley, with whom Mr. Mil ner had business,) we reached Barnby Moor; and I ought to do myself that justice that, though a very sinful creature, I was sincerely thankful to God in secret prayer.
28. Being afraid of omitting secret prayer, (if I should lie till my
chamber-fellow got up) I arose two hours too soon as it happened, but
after I had retired, I lay down till past five. This day we found some
of the ways very bad, especially about the Eel-pie-house near Tuxford,
where the ice breaking in, it was both troublesome and dangerous ; but
I was supported far beyond my natural temper. Bless ed be God for his
merciful protection this day, and deliverance from imminent dangers!
especially in passing the Trent, which we were forced to ferry over,
as also over several meadows, and ride over others for above a mile
together, very deep to the saddle skirts frequently, and dangerous,
especially upon a long causeway, which the guide was forced to plumb
every step, because if we had slipped off upon either side, we had been
plunged in a considerable depth of waters, Sec. ', the greater cause
of gratitude. We afterwards (staying very little at Newark) reached
Grantham, blessed be God! I observed nothing new this journey, but a
delicate parson age-house at Cromwell, thought to be one of the best
in Eng land ; it was built by Mr. Thwaits, a Yorkshireman, (formerly
schoolmaster at Doncaster,) at the expense
29. Morning retired, but there having fallen much snow in the night, we were much retarded in our journey ; obliged to attend the coach (from Lincoln) and in a most tempestuous day of snow #nd wind, as most persons ever travelled upon, reached only Stam ford, and caught each of us a fall, though blessed be God ! without any damage. Evening, got an oppor tunity in secret to bless God for mercies vouchsafed, and implore further protection, though had a Scotch physician for my chamber-fellow. This day we met with a great number of horsing-stones, each of three I steps, but cut out of one entire stone, inscribed E. B. 1708 ; being erected by Edmund Boulter, Esq. uncle to my kind friend the present Lord of Harewood, both of them charitable gentlemen, and benefactors to the public.
30. Retired, but there was no passing either for the coaches (though the masters driving the roads daily, were acquainted with every step of the road) or for horsemen, by reason of the prodigious quan tity of snow and drifting of it, that had occasioned four or five overturnings of them yesterday, that we were forced also to lie by, not being able to procure a guide for money, it was so dangerous travelling. We had the agreeable converse of Mr. Clarke, Rector of Somerby Com. Linc, a Yorkshire author and pious divine. Got to church to forenoon prayers, but found neither monuments or benefactions new to me there; and the weather, as well as way, was so severe that could not stir far, so that I spent the day melancholy enough (though had good company) especially in the evening, when retiring I was much dejected with these adverse misfortunes. Lord sanctify every dispensation, and grant more com fortable in thy due time ! Was troubled for loss of time and money.
31. Retired, but could not proceed in our journey, neither coaches, waggons, or horsemen, venturing to move, except only two waggons, that being left upon the road all night, got in with difficulty. Could hardly bring my naughty heart to a due compliance with this demur, though necessitated ; and had, also, good accommodation, and excellent company of my dear fellow-traveller, the honest parson, a major and lawyer, physician, &c. all in the same condemna tion, from different parts ; the clergyman with this accent, that though but thirteen miles from home, he could neither get back nor forwards. Was as usually at church, and afternoon in the town to in quire after benefactors. William Brown, anno 1495, erected a stately Bede-house, which we went to see, for ten poor brethren and two women, all which have seven groats a week each. Mr. Truesdale, of late (about the year 1700,) erected alms-houses for six poor persons, who have each half-a-crown paid them weekly, and a gown and coals yearly. From Mr. Clark I had an account of two remarkable deliverances that Archbishop Sterne received when a boy ; one, when with his comrade he run into a church's steeple to catch a daw's nest, which, being on the outside of the steeple, they got a board ; one boy sat upon the end within the steeple, and he upon that out of the loop-hole ; there proved but five, the boy demanded three ; he justly thought the odd one his due because in the more dangerous ser vice ; the boy, in a pet, jumps off the board, and the Bishop consequently falls to the ground, yet without damage. At another time, playing near a mill, he fell within the clow ; there was but one board or bucket wanting in the whole wheel, but a gracious Providence so ordered it, that the void place came down at that moment, else he had been inevitably crushed to death, but was reserved to be a grand benefactor afterwards.