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1 RICHARD SUTCLIFFE THOMAS 1844 - 1911 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY: A HANDWRITTEN EPIC BY A WEST YORKSHIRE MAN AND EXPERT ON GOOD TEMPLARISM: FROM CHILD LABORER TO CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY, FROM POVERTY TO COMFORT AND THE UPPER ECHELONS OF FREEMASONRY
LONG RIGGING LUDDENDEN BRADFORD SALTERE HALIFAX 1844 Very Good 
On offer is the super, original manuscript diary handwritten by Richard Sutcliff Thomas [b. May 25th 1844 - ??]. Mr. Thomas draws his life in exceptional detail, from his birth until 1911. This diary stands unique as an epic story of a man, the youngest of ten, of a below middle class family, who left school at age eleven [and a sign of his character: he appreciated that his parents could give him that much education as many a lad started working at age seven or eight] but through work, education, religion and determination Mr. Thomas bettered himself to a significant degree. Even the book proper is small testament being a near two and a half inch thick cloth cover whose spine plainly yet elegantly states in gild "RECOLLECTIONS - R.S.T." In the Preface, Thomas, who writes in a strong, sound hand lays out the foundation: "My sons, Milton and Ernest ask me to put on record the story of my earlier life. In my 67th year, compelled to relinquish regular employment and being as Ernest put it 'a retired gentleman of some means' and having time on my hands my mind inclines to the doing of which they desire. Hence the following pages….I have been waiting till now Oct. 1910…." What follows, over 667 pages is his life story but moreso the history and genealogy of his family and the history of business and commerce throughout Middle England. Collectors and historians of trade and commerce will be overwhelmed by the intimate detail Thomas provides as he climbs the business ladder as he names his associates, partners, their character and the background of their business. Visitors, travel hosts, church relations, politics and all manner of life are named and detailed. Rarely have we seen so thorough a diary that explores so thoroughly one man's progress: from child to boy to man; from child laborer to captain of industry; from hard-scrap beginnings to an old age of comfort and grace and satisfaction. One other area that is noteworthy throughout his adult life is his relationship which Freemasonry and he was a noted speaker lecturing on Good Templarism. A bastion of his local Church many times referring to Bishops and Priests of note whose circles he is a constant, we believe he also preaches in his later years. The diary is headed by six chapters by locale: I. Long Rigging 1844-1851, II Luddenden Foot 1851-1867, III Bradford 1867-1869, IV Bradford + Lightcliffe 1870-1874, V Saltere 1875-1879 and finally VI Halifax 1879. The last entry reads: Completed on July 30th 1911 and signed by the author. Also bound into the book is a pamphlet: 'In Memoriam Alfred Nicholl' published in Halifax in 1885. The pamphlet notes the songs sung by a Miss Thomas and that Thomas was himself a main speaker. Save for splitting to the spine the book is overall VG. 
Price: 3385.99 USD
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