Monday, 17 September 2012

A Farm Journal ~ from the 1st to the 31st March 1867

My great great great uncle John Bayliff Bowman lived at Summer Hill, near Monyash in the County of Derby.
The Bowman family, who were Quakers, had three farms, One Ash Grange [which John Bayliff Bowman often referred to as O.A.], Cales and Summer Hill [which he usually referred to as S.Hill or S.H.]

In this photo John is fourth from the left. My great great grandparents, Ebenezer and Hannah Bowman, are the third and fourth adults from the right. John and Ebenezer were brothers and their parents are the elderly couple in the middle, Henry and Mary Bowman.

The Bowman family

"A Farm Journal" continues :~
2nd Mo[nth] * 6 day 1st Cold. E. Wind
[No entries for the 2nd and 3rd March 1867]
2nd day 4th cold raw day B[akewe]ll market - Sold Hulley of Ashford fat barren heifer £17/10
3 - 5 Very cold took Mother A[rmitage] to Mid[dleto]n
4 - 6 Ditto & snow - M[onthly] M[eeting] at B[akewell]
 5 - 7 to 3 - 12 snow[e]d & drove most of time

5th day W[illia]m & I drove to Uttox[ete]r [see Note 1 below] - bo[ugh]t 27 Shrop[shire ?] ewes £3 10/- each - dried oats at Cales etc

4 - 13 Cold E Wind frosty Kill[e]d 3 pigs S.H. one for selves & 2 for T Bambridge @ 6/3 stone 15 st[one] each - Thrash[e]d etc Cales

5 - 14 Ditto weather pigs to Monyash to weigh bo[ugh]t cow calf off Jas [it could be 'Jos'] Critchlow 22/6 grind[in]g at Cales - We have very severe weather very deep drifts of snow - not much open ground hard frost & piercing East winds everything on full fodder & that's fast diminishing only 2 corn stacks left at Cales - Ditto weather to 5 day 21 self to Uttox[ete]r for Bull calf from Thos Carrington's of Eton
6 - 22 3 in[ches] of snow at Uttox[ete]r - started home - thro' it - there was a deal of snow all the way - thaw[e]d - evening
7 - 23 thaw[in]g all day tremendous wet aft[ernoo]n - wind S.E. nearly all snow gone by night
1 - 24 most beautiful spring like day W.S.W. warm
2 - 25 showery day Hogs home 76 all alive  - thrash[e]d at Cales part of last stack - broke cake 3 ton & gr[oun]d mung
3 - 26 Ditto weather fetch[e]d rem[ainde]r of bones
4 - 27 Fine day plough[in]g ley - lead manure at Cales
5 - 28 Ditto - Finish[e]d ley plough[in]g etc at Cales
6 - 29 Fine day W.N. to B[akewe]ll Sessions with Constable list [it looks like 'list' but what does it mean ?] plough[in]g fallow
7 - 30 Very rough snow storms Ewes to S.H.
1 - 31 Squally  

* This should, of course, have read "3rd Mo[nth]"

Note 1 ~ Uttoxeter is some 27 miles south of Monyash  

Sorry about the lines ~ I usually leave a gap between each day but Blogger wouldn't co-operate today. 


  1. I assume Hulley was related to the Bus company which came later.Sounds really cold,just how I remember it.Ann

    1. I should think you're right about the Hulley family Ann ... and yes, I think it sounds very cold.

  2. Brrrr....sounds like a cold winter. Do you know what year that photo was taken? I wish i had photos of my family going back that far.

    1. Charles Bowman, the older of the two young boys, was born "about 1851" according to the 1871 Census Return. What is he in this photo ? 10, 11 or 12 ? So I suppose the photo dates to 1860~1863 or thereabouts.

  3. It is amazing how you were able to keep those pictures. They're priceless now,aren't they?

    1. This photograph was copied by me from distant family members some years ago. I am glad they kept them and were able to enable me to have copies. They are, as you say, priceless ... definitely.

  4. A great family photo.

    And what an amazingly 'light' whimsical touch to the 24th... after weeks of practical diary notes he suddenly uses the phase "most beautiful spring like day". I can almost sense a relaxed look at the world around him, after day after day of dealing with the practical implications of the weather.

    PS - who wouldn't be pleased to be shot of a fat barren heifer? ;-)

    1. He tends to err on the understated side of things does John. It's a pity, it would be interesting to know what he actually thought about things and what he felt.

  5. turnips? That's a first.
    Good job selling the fat barren heifer though...

    1. You'll be suffering turnip withdrawal symptoms soon. The fat barren heifer is best out of it.

    2. Turnip withdrawal? How frightening...

  6. The end of the winter always brings worries about whether the fodder will last until Spring greens up the pastures. I know the relief of getting a whole load of cattle safely home from an auction. He probably had to herd those hogs on foot and in the rain too, where we use transport stock trucks now.

    1. I think this is the first time he has expressed any concerns about running out of fodder though Karyn. As for the hogs it is possible that some of the journey would have been by rail I suppose.