c1807 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT TRAVEL DIARY OF A NEAR OBSESSIVE MAN RECORDING THE STATE OF ENGLAND AND A CENSUS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP AND HOUSING IN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLAND

By: UNIDENTIFIED TRAVELLER

Price: $6,585.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is an exceptional, early, circa 1807, manuscript travel journal of an unidentified man, we suspect an American, traveling extensively throughout England. Historians, researchers and collectors of the era will find an astonishing amount of detail from this keenly observant and near obsessive writer who is in effect writing a combination encyclopaedia of facts, details and observations relating to the history and relationships of all he sees and encounters plus he has also created a census mentioning the number of houses in each and every town, village and city he passes or visits. He writes in a 7 x 5 inch soft leather book with over 220 closely written pages and only a few blanks. We have never seen a more detailed almost obsessively detailed account of travels. Beginning as a 'Journal of a Trip to Oxford' it morphs into a comprehensive state of the nation. Historically significant and not without intrigue. From the language that we believe the author is from America and given the time is 'Between the Wars' the manuscript would be well placed as an intelligence report. Besides the details of the country he writes about his journey's successes and failures, his encounters and even struggles and much more. On several different occasions he encounters military units or men and he records great details including soldier's complaints and dissatisfaction. He also seems to court danger at least on one occasion he believes he is in danger as two "black men" begin walking with him or falls or gets bogged down. Here are just a few snippets: "I arrived at Rochester about 3 o'clock and having taken a view of the bridge I proceeded to the Cathedral. Rochester Bridge is a handsome structure and was completed in about the year 1392 but is now very much disfigured owing to some accident in the middle…The river in this part is 560 feet broad of the bridge is only surpassed by those of London and Westminster…Having proceeded another mile with my companion I turned off to go to where formerly King Alfred had a palace. The town is small but neat and is governed by a…. There is a good oyster fishery in the Swale and at Kings fleet about 4 miles distance… overtook my old companion who acquainted me that he was an Irishman and about 4 years ago in company with 4 people, 1 of whom was a young woman had walked from Minihead to London a distance of 169 miles in 3 days… The waterman who keeps a public house there, wished me a good morning. In stepping into the boat a sad, disaster befell me for it being rather wet and my feet covered with mud I slipped and fell to the bottom not so much hurt but that I could make shift to walk to the public house… Having walked about the town for some time I proceeded to Mr. Shadgett's to obtain my pass to the castle, they insisted upon my taking breakfast and soon after doing so forth with Miss Shadgett who was so good as to offer to lead me to the town…we walked upon the beach as far as Sir Sidney Jolly, the habitation of Sir Sidney Smith, it is a curious range of low buildings and may parts are in ruins… The church near which is erected a monument of Capt Hanson, the officer of company of his Majesty's ship Beazen lost near this place on the 26 Jan 1800, 105 men were lost only one surviving to bear the news of this melancholy catastrophe. The monument is surrounded with iron rails and is adorned with naval troopers shells…. We parted and making towards a house seated in a bottom to enquire my way and asking for a glass of water, the woman insisted on my taking a pint of beer and would not let me make any return. I ascended a very steep hill to the lighthouse which is a low building but seated naturally so very high… I arrived in Exeter about ½ past 9 and proceeded to the Cathedral, walking about the body of the church and was addressed by verger asking if I would walk up the tower. To this I assented he informing me that from thence is a fine prospect of the city which I found to be the case, the city from the tower looks very neat, the roof of the houses being all covered with a kind of grey slate. This tower is 130 feet high, the ascent is by a flight of the steps very much like those of the monument but much smaller… Two chimney sweepers who were sitting by the wayside on my passing immediately joined me enquiring if I was going to ? Which I could not deny…He observed that he had seen my face before, this I thought did not look at all well, knowing he had not. After walking a little farther in which time I bore a rather silent part of the conversation, he said, perhaps I was afraid of 2 such black fellows, but he was sure there was no reason. In this way we walked for about 4 miles and during this time his behavior seemed to indicate some bad intentions. I parted with them saying I was going to the lead mines, this was the place we were to stop, having seen them safe in the house and thinking I had made a lucky escape. I went to the lead mines. My way to these mines which are rather small is over a very steep mountain, one of the workmen got to accompany me, he led me into a very narrow passage… I was obliged to sleep in the same room with the Man and his wife, which was not very agreeable and I don't think I should have stopped had I known this soon enough to have provided myself with another… In Exeter I saw several very curious machines laid across the horses as a saddle by means of which they carry immense weights. I now proceed on my way to Bath then to the town of Callumpton….this day tho very lame walked about 32 miles. The Inn I chanced to stop at was but an indifferent one but they paid me great attention. I had for supper some veal pork and mashed potatoes, cheese, beer and cyder and in the morning I had about 1 qt of mead for which I paid 2... Here I overtook a little boy who was going to Bexhill and offered to show me the way across some fields which saves a great deal of ground he amazed with several little anecdotes of the Hanoverian Regiment and gave me an account of the loss of the Spanish vessel near Bexhill. To the left of Bexhill are more fortifications and to the right are the remains of Bulver H castle where King?… At Bexhill is the 40th regiment, the Hanover and a few artillery. The ships were all open as on another day this being Sunday… A sergeant knowing which way his interest lay asked me from whence I came, having answered him very dryly he requested me to join his regiment but I very soon undeceived him and he retired with great humility… stood the shrine of Sir Thomas Becket. Part of the floor is curiously inlaid with mosaic work. It contains the monuments of Henry 4th & his queen, Edward the Black Prince, ... In the opposite side of this isle is the place where Becket was killed.... I crossed the fields to Winchester ... intended to have slept but could not procure a bed being all occupied by the military. Winchester is the prettiest place I have yet been to....You enter the town by a curious old gate over which over which are 4 towers. The Church I believe was formerly an abbey of which are some remains exclusive of part now occupied as a Church....but here appears to be only the walls remaining here is a pretty house belonging to Mr. Dent. From Stilton to Homan Cross I walked with a soldier of one of the York Regiments, he informed me everything about the Garrison and complained much of the strictness of their generals, there were then 3 regiments, 1/3 of which was on duty every day. Both persons and barracks are very indifferent buildings. The prisons are very old and at a distance have the appearance high barns. I believe there are 8 of these buildings, each containing 2 or 3 stories and are enclosed by a double wood fence between it, the sentinels walk since their attempt to escape about 3 months after my being there, they have begun to erect a high wall…" Just an astonishing record of England seen from a super diarist's eyes over 200 years ago. The book's cover is loose and well worn, some edges are exposed and there is some wear to the pages but otherwise and overall G.

Title: c1807 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT TRAVEL DIARY OF A NEAR OBSESSIVE MAN RECORDING THE STATE OF ENGLAND AND A CENSUS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP AND HOUSING IN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ENGLAND

Author Name: UNIDENTIFIED TRAVELLER

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: OXFORD ENGLAND, 1807

Book Condition: Good

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0001437

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, ENGLAND, GREAT BRITAIN, UK, UNITED KINGDOM, OXFORD, URBAN STUDY, CENSUS, PRE WAR OF 1812, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, DIARY, JOURNAL, LOG, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, DIARIES, JOURNALS, LOGS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, TRAVEL, 19TH CENTURY, antiquité, contrat, vélin, document, manuscrit, papier Antike, Brief, Pergament, Dokument, Manuskript, Papier oggetto d'antiquariato, atto, velina, documento, manoscritto, carta antigüedad, hecho, vitela, documento, manuscrito, Papel,