Friday, 28 December 2012

A Farm Journal ~ from the 1st to the 15th November 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 :~
7 day 2nd of 11 Mon[nth] - Fine finish[e]d plough[in]g N[ethe]r Intake
2 - 4th Fine day put tups to ewes 177 in all began turnip pitting Jesse Bonsall* & Wm. Hadfield - Tho[ma]s & Charles work the horses harrow[in]g fallows etc began plough[in]g Watricle 2 ton Rape cake from P[arsley] Hay for milk cows 2 lb p[e]r day
5 - 7 Fine plough[in]g & turnip pitting Eb[eneze]r Howitt took his young horses - Martha A to Middleton Very fine weather 
up to 5 - 14 wet day got on well with turnip pitting & plough[in]g
6 - 15 Fine 
In the 1871 Census Return there was a Jesse Bonsall aged 33 [described as a "laborer" (sic)]  living with his wife Ann also 33 and his three sons Richard [10], Joseph [9] and Thomas William [5]. 


  1. Bonsall is a name I remember from school they farmed in Monyash, I don't know if they are still there.Ann

    1. I don't know whether there are still Bonsalls there or not Ann. I certainly don't know anyone called that.

  2. A rather short journal entry this time.

    Am I reading correctly? "two ton Rape cake"? That would have taken some moving!!

    1. He started missing out on a few days which is unusual for him. I assume rape cake was animal feed ~ Parsley Hay is on the High Peak Trail, an old railway line now used for walking and cycling etc.

  3. 'two ton rape cake' might have been two tons of rape cakes, pressed rape seeds????? in bales maybe?

    My question is, "What is turnip pitting"? I am assuming it is lifting them from the field and putting them into pits for use later in the winter, like we do with hay silage?

    1. I think you might be right Karyn. Back in the 1950s Dad used to keep his mangolds and turnips in 'clamps'. Instead of digging a pit he would pile them in a long narrow heap and then cover them with sods of earth. Same principle I suppose.