A. D. 1713.
January 5. Morning, wrote letters ; read ; wrote till ten ; at church ; and after, till three, when visited by Mr. Parker, of Carlton, the benefactor, and Mr. Rookes, with whom evening ; had some discourse with cousin Wilson about forming a religious society here, which was very refreshing to my spirits.
6. Morning, read and wrote till ten, when again visited by ditto worthy benefactor ; after, wrote till about three, when abroad about business, though to little purpose; evening, at his importunity, again with Mr. Parker till near eight.
7. Morning, read; then, wrote for the press ; all day within, pretty
close at work, the weather being more temperate.
11. Concluded the pious Dr. Woodward's Account of the Rise and Progress of the Religious Societies, with which much affected, and have had it much upon my heart to promote one at this town, as tending to the increase of practical holiness. Lord, give a blessing, I humbly beseech thee, and grant that in thy due time it may be accomplished !
16. Got this day entirely to my studies ; evening, making an index to last year's volume of letters from my correspondents.
17. Morning, read; then, writing to Whitehall; most of the day transcribing for the press, and part of evening.
19. Morning, read ; wrote by post; rest of day proceeding in my studies. Mem. Madam Nevile was this day buried, with great state ; yesterday also was another Aldress (Mrs. Armitage) interred; so that of the fourteen relicts of the Mayors of this town, lately living at the same time, there are now seven dead. This computation was made anno 1703; but, notwithstanding the deaths of so many of the relicts, there were the last week living the same number, viz. fourteeen relicts of Aldermen and two Recorders, of which sixteen the moiety lived within the compass of a bow shot of each other.
20. Morning, read; forenoon within, prosecuting .my studies ; but much of the after, abroad, about business, and to visit Mr. Nevile, from Oxford.
24. Morning, read; wrote by post; then, at my usual employ till near three; visited by the Mayor and two clergy ; afterwards, got my resignation attested, and sent it to the Court, and was surprised, after my return from church, to hear that it would not be received, but the messenger turned away, and the door locked; was afterward disturbed with one of ill fame, who would needs, in spite of my right, be an inmate with a tenant. Lord, pardon my dis-composedness.
25.. Die Dom. Morning, (a most blustering windy St. Paul's day,)* much affected in reading that of our blessed Saviour's crying out upon the cross: was somewhat enlarged in prayer: blessed be God for any assistance to a sinful creature, that has forfeited all.
26. Morning, wrote heads of sermon, read, &c; was all day within, prosecuting rny studies, which yet, I think, proceed slowly.
28. Morning, read and wrote, per post, till ten; at prayers ; and so after; till three at the funeral of Josiah Bolland; afterwards, walked with my dear to Cross Green.
31. Morning, read or wrote; till near three at the funeral of Mr. William Cotton ; the Vicar preached very well from Ephesians v. 15, 16, "walk circumspectly, (cautiously,) redeeming the time," (repurchasing, regaining,) explaining the metaphorical expression, and giving good directions to walk after the rule that is prescribed in the Gospel; 2. the example set us by the blessed Jesus ; and 3. the means allowed, &c.; and gave a short and comprehensive character of the party, for his piety and charity, testified in a generous and liberal contribution to the Charity-school, (50/. which he gave several years before his death;) evening, read and wrote, but spent too little in the preparatory work. Lord pity !
February 3. Read ; surprised with the account of Mr. Bowyer's house being burnt, and 5000/. damage in books ; and amongst the rest, about twenty sheets of mine, that were printed at that press, which Avill retard the publication: but I was chiefly concerned for the ingenious printer's loss, though hope he may obtain a brief;* was all day at my study, (except about an hour, diverted by a visitant.)
4. Concluded Nehemiah, &c.; then, wrote, per post, to Mr. Gale and the undertaker; was all day within, at my work ; till four, at prayers; evening, at sister Wilson's, with relations from Brotherton; stayed too late.
10. Concluded the learned Mr. Blstob's Essay on the Affinity of Divinity and Law, which some censure as too high, as Mr. Gunter's Jus Gentium is too low; and perhaps a medium might be better than either.
11. Morning, read, &c. ; then wrote to my Lord Archbishop of York, in behalf of a poor widow ; then to take leave of relations for Brotherton, which lost most of forenoon. Rest of day within, poring upon the Saxon coins. Evening, read, &c.
12. Morning, read, &c.; finished perusal of a curious though small tract, of the Genius and Po-testas of the English Language, which argues the learned and ingenious author, John Chamberlayn, Esq. F.R.S. (whose present it was) intimately acquainted with the ancient and modern Northern and Southern tongues. Was all day within at my study, and evening too.
13. Morning, read; was all day at my work. Evening, finishing some Memoirs for Dr. Calamy, and correcting some errata, that learned and pious men of what denomination so ever, may have their due.
16. Morning, read chapters; wrote in Diary ; then at my usual work till ten ; at prayers. After, wrote till four; with Mr. Collins from my Lord Archbishop of York, looking over the writings relating to the manor of Otley, till nine.
17. Afternoon, received a kind visit from Mr. Drake, of Sheffield, now rector of Kirkby Ore-blowers. "
19. Morning, read ; then writing to the Bishop of Man till eight. After, at my proper task till ten at church ; but lost too much of the afternoon in showing collections to a gentleman, whom I could not handsomely deny ; till four at prayers. After, to visit cousin W. somewhat indisposed.
20. Morning, began Romans, &c. After, read and wrote, till at funeral of Mr. Thomas, a younger son of the late Mr. Lodge. The Vicar preached excellently from that of the Psalmist, " Take me not away in the midst of my days."
21. Morning, read ; then all day close at work to repair the damage done by the fire at London, revising some sheets.
22. Die Dom. Morning, wrote in Diary, read in family. Mr. Lodge proceeded to the third head, to convince of the great sin and mischief of separation and division. If the Apostle argues so strongly against Schism, which was then but in embryo, what can be said to open and avowed separation ? 1. When men needlessly separate, they know not where to fix, or what to stick to. 2. They are often uncharitable and censorious. 3. Seem to mistake the main design of Christianity, by placing their zeal, heat, and debates about matters not essential; and, 4. sometimes arrive at downright irreligion, as the au-thor of Freethinking, (a wretched pamphlet lately got abroad), He desired not to be understood so as to fix these upon all the Nonconformists ; but to caution them, and prevent others with persuasion, to whom he concluded. This, I confess I like better than I used to do polemical discourses of this nature, because I feared from the intemperate heat of some of late years, that they rather desired to be quit of some pious Christians, that thought it their duty to comply with the public Establishment, (because reputed Low Church) than to desire others to come in. Lord, increase practical religion, and sincere piety and charity, for Jesus' sake!
24. Forenoon, within ; read, and wrote ; but much of the afternoon abroad, about various occasions. At Mr. Milner's, and walked with the Mayor to Cavalier-hill, to take a finishing prospect of the town, and view the charity farm, &c.
March 7. Morning, read ; then writing till ten ; at church; then with a poor widow to assist her. After, writing; but forced to desist by a severe pain in the cerebellum, a memento of a sudden dissolution. Lord, prepare me for thy pleasure !
8. Catechized near fifty poor children and servants. Heard them the Psalms appointed, and distributed the last of the Lord Wharton's Bibles. ' '
9. Morning, read ; wrote heads of sermon in Diary; then list of names of children that received the Bibles .to the Hon. Mr. Auditor Harley, and along with a sheet of the coins to Mr. Gale till noon. Showing collections to a clergyman from Scarborough. After, proceeding in my work till evening, to visit Mr. Nevile, and his Oxford brother, with whom at auction.
20. Morning, rose about five; not unaffected with the passing bell for Aldress Dodson entering upon a boundless eternity. Oh that I may be prepared for that great change! All day within writing, so part of evening.
21. Morning, read ; then finishing another sheet, and sending it to Mr. Gale, who, after perusal, franks it to the press. Rest of day proceeding in the rest, &c.
28. Morning, concluded the Revelations of that edition of the Bible called Matthews', or rather John Rogers', the Proto-martyr in Queen Mary's reign, (see Strype's Memoirs of Archbishop Cranrner, p. 82). Lord, teach me to profit! Collated also the Table of Lessons for Saints' days, wherein a happy reformation, the superstitious ones now being cast out. Wrote per post till ten ; at church ; afterwards, lost much time in a fruitless endeavour to appease the intemperate heats and passions of two contending gentlewomen, who are for a few days to be lodgers here, that wrote little till four; at church. Afterwards with Mr. Milner, about a Cambridge journey.
April 4. Morning, read ; then with the Mayor, to wait of the Judge, Baron Bury, from whom received some information concerning his kinsman Judge Rokeby's pedigree. After, walked to Berwick to visit parson Plaxton.
5. Die Dom; morning, Mr. Plaxton preached very well from that in the Apostle, " Take, eat, this is my body," preparatory to the sacrament, which he administered to above one hundred persons, and near as many on Friday, when he was four hours engaged in the church, telling the Wood-side folk that it may be he might see them no more till that time twelve months, and therefore ordered the clerk to sing a psalm, and so kept them together and read the afternoon's service; this afternoon -j after prayers he expounded part of the creed, after he had catechised the children, to the instruction of the elder, as well as younger part of the auditory, and, notwithstanding his jocular temper and sati-rical wit, (which displeaseth some, and pleaseth many,) he is very commendably serious and industrious in his cure, and hath brought his parish to an excellent order.
6. Enjoyed the parson a little, and then returned with my son, by Mr.
Vevers' of Morwick; in good
time home, &c.
7. Morning, proceeding in the English coins till about four, when diverted by one from York to see the collections, which lost some time.
13. Morning, proceeding in the Scotch coins till four ; at church; a severe snow, would be accounted a stormy day at Christmas, so that the shops were shut up ; long icicles at the eves of houses.
22. Collated a manuscript with the printed edition of the King's book, (both very rare,) a good step towards a reformation in Hen. VIII.'s time. Writ till ten ; and after till four ; at the funeral of a poor neighbour; and before we left church the passing bell tolled for Alderman Nevile, late high sheriff of the county.
23. Morning, wrote till ten ; and after till four; then to see the lifeless corpse of one who was lately one of the properest, [most] comely gentlemen in these parts, lately fresh and flourishing, now withered, dead, and dry.* Stayed a little in the garden with my Oxford friend, then wrote till dark.
24. Morning, read and wrote till ten ; after with parson Robinson. Afternoon, walked with Mr. Mayor, cousin Wilson to Woodhouse; ordered a sod to be cut up on each side the causeway to challenge our right, which some would pretend to controvert now, though never disputed before. But the indiscretion of Mr. A. in giving any one liberty to grave sods, has exasperated some of the freeholders, of whom Braithwait, Hardcastle, Jefferson, and Pickard appeared, and we were six of the Lords propriis personis to assert our right; after our return stayed full late at the Mayor's.
25. Morning, former part of the day within, writing; latter, at funeral of Mr. Nevile, and after with some of the country justices, &c. in town upon that occasion, (amongst whom three baronets ;) after at cousin Whitaker's.
May 1. Morning, wrote till ten ; but being very heavy, took son Ralph along with me and walked to Beeston to see the ingenious Mrs. Bland, the Hebrician ; was moved with the afflictions of that poor distressed family.
6. Wrote till ten ; and after till four ; after with the Johnians met to celebrate their St. John Port Latin.
12. Wrote till ten ; at church, where the vicar read prayers, and the cavalcade began presently after from the Mayor's; after the constables on foot, the Mayor's younger son carried a silk streamer with the Queen's cypher and crown, with " Peace, 1713 ;" then followed the scholars and other gentlemen's sons on horseback, which were followed by the common-council-men in their black gowns; then the Aldermen in theirs, two by two, from the junior to the eldest; then the town clerk with the proclamation, which was made at five places, (the Cross, Kirkgate-end, Bore-Lane, Bridge-end, and Vicarage ;) then the two Serjeants-at-Mace, in their black gowns, bearing the old silver mace, and the new great gilt one; then the Mayor in his scarlet gown, who was attended by the clergy, gentlemen, merchants, and a numerous train of townsmen : after which a great feast, but though I had a special invitation, I thought it advisable to retire, dreading the usual attendants, drunkenness and quarrelling, and being in no station that necessarily required attendance. Wrote little till four ; at church : the evening concluded with bonfires and illuminations in every house, which, though usual at London, the like was never seen here: but alas ! too much of the usual effects all night long. I sat up till midnight reading, for fear of inconvenience by the lights.
16. Concluded the hasty perusal of Dr. Calamy's Account of the ejected Ministers, wherein several mistakes capable of emendations; restored it to Mr. M.
17. Die Dom. Morning, collated an ancient edition of the Bible : blessed be God for a more accurate one now, though the former was a great happiness then.
25. At Mr. Milner's about the Queen's most noble statue, now preparing to be placed at the Guild-hall.
27. Read and wrote ; then with Alderman Milner at the setting up of the noble statue of the Queen at the Guild-hall.
28. Wrote till ten ; at church ; and after, till visited by my dear friend Mr. Hardy of Lincolnshire ;* showing collections to his fellow travellers, and after enjoyed his company till eight.
29. Read and wrote till church time, when Mr. Cookson preached, suitably to the joyful anniversary, from 1 Peter ii. 15, 16. Showing, 1st. that Christian liberty doth not disengage us from our obedience to the secular power, &c.
30. Morning, read; wrote per post till ten ; called at Mr. Mayor's, who has at long run procured my quietus as to the Corporation, but was surprised to hear, that when 1 had secured not my friends only, but others by their means, there should yet remain many as to throw half the number of votes upon as upon him that carried it to succeed Alderman Nevile. I flattered myself that I had not so many enemies in the Corporation, and makes me still the better pleased that my resignation is accepted, though it cost me 20/. Esquire Arrnitage of Nether-ton afterwards visited me, and in the afternoon Mr. Blackburn and his brother, from Lancaster, to see the collections, which took up the rest of day.
June 6. Wrote to Mr. Gale till ten, and after till four; then beholding the dying agonies of the late ingenious artist, poor Mr. Robert Jackson, a practical lecture of frailty, &c. I find a very sensible decay, and what seems also to portend a sudden dissolution. Lord prepare me for that great change !
10. Wrote till near ten, when my nieces, Eliz. and Mary Thoresby, came to divide the linen and plate, with whom, assisting them and procuring a discharge upon delivering them, till near three ; at funeral of Mr. Robert Jackson, and afterwards walked to little Woodhouse to visit Mr. Pendlebury.
19. Morning, wrote till ten ; after showing collections to a rich Justice of the Peace from Craven, who afternoon brought his lady and others. I was ready to grudge at the expense of time, as the servant did at the trouble (not having received the value of sixpence of above six months.) Wrote a little till four. Showing collection to a minister from London, which occasions a great consumption of time.
July 1. Morning, writing per Mr. Milner till ten. Afternoon, writing till four ; afterwards in the vestry with the Vicar, subscribed a petition to the Archbishop for liberty to erect a new gallery for one hundred persons, on the south side of the church.
8. Morning, read, &c; then amongst the Indian plants till ten, and after till four ; then abroad about various occasions, particularly to give widow B. 5l. from the Archbishop.
9. Morning, wrote till ten, and after till four, when at church ; then looking over the exotic plants.
11. Wrote per post to the Archbishop and to Mr. Gale till ten ; rest of day proceeding in exotic plants.
13. Morning, wrote till ten ; afternoon showing collections to Mr. Fowler (son to my friend the Bishop of Gloucester) and to his brother Chadwick, grandson to Archbishop Tillotson, by the excellent Bishop Wilkins's daughter.
16. Sent for by the Rev. Mr. Milner, only son to our late learned Vicar, some of whose valuable manuscripts he designs to publish, and leave the rest to Dr. Jenkins, the master of St. John's, to be deposited in the library there.
17. Morning, read and wrote till nine, when our good Vicar and I went to Kippax Park, where most kindly received by the ingenious and virtuous Lady Bland. After dinner her ladyship showed me the gallery where are the pictures of the Kings of England, from William I. to Queen Elizabeth, in whose time the house was built; from the turret there is a pleasant prospect of the adjacent country: after I had entered some late alterations in the family in the printed pedigree, we returned, and, en passant, visited Mrs. Ibbetson, to enquire of her learned and ingenious son at Oxford. In the evening I was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Milner so unexpectedly returned from Cambridge and London, &c.; stayed late enough that read little.
August 2. Die Dorn. Morning, I finished the perusal of Mr. Monro's Essay upon Christian Education, an excellent tract, and written in a most agreeable spirit of Christian piety and moderation, fit for such whose humble and modest piety disposes them not to pick quarrels with, or raise contests about the constitutions of their superiors; but carefully to enquire how they make a good use of them, and improve them to their spiritual advantage : they know very well, that as soon as the spirit of sincere piety and true devotion revives in the members of the Church, decency and good order will follow, of course; and, therefore, it is about the former that theiv zeal is principally employed ; they are the internal disorders and maladies they would have, in the first place, redressed, and purity and righteous-ness, solid virtue and genuine piety introduced, with-out which, external form will avail nothing.
3. Digesting the formed stones into order till ten and after, till near three, when walked to Black Bank, to the funeral of Alderman Iveson ; the Vicar preached very well from 1 Cor. xv. 32.
16. Die Dom. Morning, had reason to remember with a sad heart, that this day completes fifty-five years, which I have too unprofitably spent, and to conclude that very little of my pilgrimage now remains, my dear father wanting some months of it, and my dear mother, and brother, and sister, dying much younger, all three in the thirty-sixth year of their age ; and that none of my uncles, of the Thoresbys attained near so much as my father ; that, though my years, at best, may be said to be but few and evil, (as the Patriarch said at a much greater,) yet I have great reason, considering the short-lived-ness of the family, and my own frailties, to conclude it will not be much longer ; and, therefore, to prepare for death and eternity ; and because reading the word of God, meditation and prayer, are the best • preparatives, I humbly beg the Divine blessing upon my weak endeavours herein, &c.
18. Read and wrote ; most of day within, following my studies ; afternoon, visited by Dr. Hutchin-son, from London, and his sister Wilkinson, of Arm-ley, and Mr. Fenton, of Nottingham, with others, to see the curiosities ; then, sending Mr. Smith's manuscript to Mr. Plaxton ; evening, perusing Goltzius, &c. about a Roman Consular medal, lately found at Nottingham, whence I now received it.
27. At work till three; visited by Dr. Fairfax, son, brother, and uncle to the Lords of that name, with whom about the Admiral's election for the city of York.
28. Morning, read and wrote a little ; then, with the Doctor, to address several freemen of York, in behalf of Vice-Admiral Fairfax, till ten ; afternoon, again sent for by the Doctor.
September 12. Morning, read and wrote, per post, till ten ; afternoon, upon a letter from Parson Plaxton, took a walk to Berwick ; read Mr. Rymer's letter to Bishop of Carlisle, concerning Scotch leagues.
13. Die Dom. Morning, Mr. John Plaxton preached very ingeniously from Proverbs ; but I had no opportunity of noting the heads ; afterwards, took leave of my old friend, who is for the Lord Gower's, whence he talks of returning the next month; but I much suspect it, considering his age and infirmities ; the Lord go with him and return him ! In my return, read the pious Mr. Smith's manuscript, the Seventh Day Sabbath Abrogated, and the First Day of the Week established to be the Christian Sabbath, which he fully evinceth.
30. All day collecting fee-farm rents, only evening sorting a number of formed stones,* received this day.
Oct. 1. Read, &c. ; then visited by an ingenious artist, (Mr. Palmer,) from whom I received the said stones; whose lectures upon them from Crake, and others, of different sorts, from the petrifying well at Knaresborough, that he brought me in the evening, pleased me well; then abroad, &c.
3. Morning, wrote till ten, and after till four; afterwards, walked with the Mayor and Alderman Milner to Burnitops, to see the new designed organ, that the placing it may not be incommodious to the church.
6. Rode with Alderman Milner to Temple New-some, to wait of my Lord, (returned from France,) which took up rest of day. Evening, a little with Dr. Fairfax.
7. Morning, wrote, &c. till visited by Admiral Fairfax, &c., with whom and other gentry, Sir Arthur Kay, Sir Bryan Stapleton and his son, &c. I dined at the Mayor's, and spent rest of the day there and at Court, where my cousin Cookson received his quietus, and Mr. Rookes was sworn Mayor.
8. Morning, read and wrote till ten ; and after, till near three, at cousin Wilson's, with Lord Irwin, &c.
9. Morning, read and wrote, &c.; after received a kind visit from Dr. Richardson and another Justice, but lost much of the afternoon at Parson R.'s.
10. Morning, wrote to Secretary of Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, about the annual parcels received yesterday ; then visited by dear Dr. Richardson, and after by Mr. Bosville ; till ten at church ; sent two sheets to the press by Mr. Fenton ; afternoon, wrote till four; after prayers with Mr. Shelton, &c. about placing of the organ, to prevent its fixing against the Commands at our end of the church, and succeeded.
19. Morning, lost time about repairs, till near ten at church ; rest of day running over many very ancient books, for such as were printed in the infancy of that art, and various editions of parts of the Bible, which took up rest of day.
Nov. 21. Was all day within, finished the catalogue of the manuscripts.
25. Read and wrote till eleven; then finishing catalogue of books published in the infancy of printing.
Dec. 9. Rode to York with J. C. to assist him in recovery of his just rights; found the road better than I dreaded, and got well thither.
10. With him at his proctor's, and after at the Ecclesiastical Court, (Curia Christianitatis,) which the present excellent Chancellor, Dr. Pearson, will bring into repute; this took up the forenoon. I dined at the said Dr. Pearson's, and visited his kinswoman, dear Mr. Thornton's widow ; was afterwards fatigued in exhibiting the new church book and depositions till late ; then had the advocate, proctors, and three clergymen at our inn : sat up late enough.
11. Morning, visited Mr. Hodgson; returned home, and found also my family well. I got to church, and was, I hope, sincerely thankful; afterwards walked to Parson Robinson's.
12. Morning, read and wrote till eleven; at church : and after, till three; at church ; in return, visited old Mr. Cookson, indisposed,
16. Morning, wrote four or five letters to London till eleven ; afternoon at both churches, collating the printed epitaphs with the monuments, (wherein son Ralph was of use to me,) and writing new ones till near dark ; visited aunt Sykes. Evening, perusing old charters.
17. Morning, . . . . ; was all day, except usual walks to church, within, proceeding in the charters, letters patents, &c.
19. Morning, read and wrote ; forenoon, proceeding in manuscripts till eleven ; rest of day concluding that part of the ancient charters and deeds.
31. Read and wrote all day, save usual attendance at church. Evening, had company of brother Thoresby's children to close up the year; was disturbed with foolish, or rather sinful mummers,* and was perhaps too zealous to repress them. Lord pity and pardon !