Friday, 24 October 2014

I Vow To Thee Thy Country

Twenty one young men went away to war and never returned.  Their names appear on the War Memorial in Furness Vale and this book tells their story.  Their war records and where possible,  personal backgrounds have been carefully researched by Rowena Clarke for publication by the History Society.  

This volume is now available as an electronic book from Amazon Kindle:

The Diary of James Clegg 1679 - 1755

 James Clegg was a doctor and nonconformist preacher who lived at Ford near Chapel-en-le-Frith in the 18th century. He wrote every day in his diary and recorded many fascinating events from his life and from the neighbourhood. The diary was edited in the late 19th century and published as "Extract from the diary of James Clegg".

The book is out of copyright and in the public domain.
 It can be downloaded in a variety of formats to read on computer or Kindle from the California Digital Library

The following are a few extracts:

7 June 1711 Clegg recorded that after 6 or 7 very hot days the wind turned to the west bringing with it a great blac accompanied by continuously rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning. A violent wind arose, one of the greatest tempest ever known in these parts. Stones fell, 8 or 9 inches across, bluish in hue. Solid ice, very hard and irregular in shape accompanied by continual flashes of fire did an abundance of damage to houses crops and timber which lay in its course. It began in Macclesfield following a straight line through Hough and Heafield (Hayfield) . Ducks, hares, geese and pigeons were killed in multitudes. Trees were stripped of their bark and others ruined leaving a dismal site thereafter.

July 14 1730 I went to Buxton to meet Mrs Adcroft and some Manchester friends and thence with them to Tideswell where I dined ans settled some matters with Mr Eccles and Mrs Cresswell relating to ye Commission of Enquiry as to her daughter Alice's idiocy. July 16th the Commission was opened at Town Head. Mr Cheetham, Mr Parr and I were Commissioners (in lunacy). The jury were sworn, witnesses were examined and Alice Hill was found and presented an idiot. This was done to prevent her being stolen away and ruined by a worthless fellow who had attempted it, and to secure her estate for her use while she lives and for her right heirs after. Many censures pass on this proceeding but knowing my intention in it to be just and right I have no reason to regard em.

August 27th 1731 An horrid and barbarous murdering was committed near Dane Bridge in the road between Macclesfield and Leek some time ago; one Nadin murdered Mr Buck a grazier, at the instigation of Buck's wife it is supposed, with whom he had lived in adultery. And now the said Nadin is condemned and to be gibbeted. August 31st. I had promised to visit Madame Jackson at Ashford. My way thither (from Macclesfield) lay near Leek and this being ye day appointed for ye execution of Nadin, Mr Culcheth and Mr Eaton & etc went along with me that way. He was brought to Leek the night before; we met him on the common the gibbet was erected on. The Sheriff Mr Drakeford , whom I knew, came first with his men, then ye clergyman yt had assisted ye criminal , then the man who carried theirons he was to hang in; then came the prisoner, then the gaoler and last ye hangman. Ye curate of Leek spent an hour in praying and exhorting him then the 51 st psalm was sung, and after some time ye executioner did his office.

August 18th 1732 At home all day, began to reap ye wheat. One Ffurness came to me to desire my assistance in recovering a daughter lately perverted to the Romish religion, which I readily promised, leaving it to them to appoint the time and place. Nov 21st I met an emissary of ye church of Rome at Sheffield. Some of that persuasion had seduced ye daughter of Luke ffurness to that persuasion and at ye request of ye father I had promised to meet any of that party and debate ye matters in controversy before ye daughter and other witnesses. The debate lasted near 5 hours about 20 were present. Most of the company were fully satisfied but ye young woman seemed obstinate after all. I had my fears about this dispute, lest a good cause should suffer through bad management, but God assisted me and I had reason to be thankful.

 The abuse of Church money by the churchwardens seems to have created quite a scandal in the parish. Certainly the accounts rendered by them disclose some curious items of expenditure which could not with reason be debited as Church expenditure.

Their loyalty was superabundant to judge by the Royal birthdays it was thought necessary to celebrate. Look at the following items in the churchwardens account for 1731:-
June 11. Spent upon our bellringers and freeholders in our parish being the King's inaugurans £0.5.0  
July 17 spent at rush bearing £0. 4. 4
Oct 23 spent upon the King's Coronation Day £0. 5. 0
Oct 30 spent as usual being the King's birthday £0. 5. 0
Oct 28 spent as usual being the Princese Anne's birthday £0.5.0
Dec 7 spent as usual being Princess Louisa's birthday £0. 5. 0
Jan 19 spent as usual being Prince Frederick's birthday £0 .5. 0
Mar 1 spent as usual being Her Majesty's birthday £0 .5. 0
May 29 spent as usual being the King's restoration £0. 5. 0
May 30 spent as usual being Princess Chalolina's birthday £0. 5. 0
No.Date. Paid for a fox head £0. 1. 0
No.Date. Paid for 6 badger's heads £0. 6. 0
No.Date. Paid for hedgehogs and ravens £1. 4. 3
No.Date. Paid for 6 sacrament dinners as usual £0. 6. 0
Dec 30 Paid Geo. Bramwell the Saxon, one years wages £0.10.0

Jan 23 1741 rid to Fford. Dined with Mr. Bagshaw. We were treated with an ananas or pineapple, of a most delicious taste and flavour, the growth of the High Peak and ripe on the 23rd January in an hard winter.

Jan 25 1743 I set out for home ( from Buxton ) leaving son Benjamin to bath in ye well and drink the waters this week to cleanse him from ye itch and scorbutic humours.

 St.Anne's Well - 18th century

Nov 30 1745 sent two men to assist in making trenches to obstruct the roads around Waley but in my thought it could not Answer any good purpose but was very bad for travellers (to delay the advancing soldiers of the Jacobite Rebellion)