Saturday, 5 January 2013

A Farm Journal ~ from the 1st to the 15th December 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 :~
12 Mo[nth] 1 - 1 Showery
2 - 2 Very stormy last night gr[oun]d cov[ere]d & hard frost - very cold North wind last night & all day Fair - cows lay in at S.H. calf dead at S.H. speed & 1 at Cales - foddered young things with straw - co[u]s[in] H[enr]y B[owman] came over sold the duck bill[e]d cow at Cales £8 - another calf dead at Cales speed - 3rd lost

3 Ditto weather Co[u]s[in] E & self to Ashford all night

4 - 4 Very cold N. E. windy frosty & slippy  Co[u]s[in] E & self to Chesterfield M[onthly] M[eeting] horse fell in Chesterfield got sharpened also wings put to gig etc at Scots off home by Ashford even[in]g - Father has had a very bad cough but better

5 - 5 more snow - rather softer snow[e]d at times during day turned N in evening again - yearling bullock calf at Cales jumped onto the calf shed & broke hind leg above hock - set it as well as could - calves & cows lie in young stock out have straw - cow calf from Mills 35/-

6 - 6 still hard frost gr[oun]d cov[ere]d snow W.N.E. 
to 3 - 10  Wet night began thawing took bosgin stones for W[illia]m to Moor. Kill[e]d 2 pigs at S.H. 1 for us [st14-12] & 1 for Tho[ma]s Mycock [st15-2] Kill[e]d ewe at Cales had Inflam[matio]n
4 - 11 Showery & very windy North west Thrash[e]d at Cales lead swedes down complete thaw gr[oun]d bare
5 - 12 Very windy but fair & fine North - plough[in]g cutting rem[ainde]r of swedes off Pewet Knobs
6 - 13 Ditto
7 - 14 Very showery winnow[e]d at Cales
1 - 15 Very wet


  1. Not a very good time for the livestock,it must have been very depressing time for him. Wouldn't have fancied going to Chesterfield in that weather.Ann

    1. Especially riding in a gig ... as was proved by what happend Ann.

  2. I've heard of a platypus, but never a duck billed cow! Maybe it needed the duck bill because the weather was so wet? ;-)

    1. I have a feeling he's mentioned a duck billed cow before Ian.

  3. I was going to comment on the "duck-billed cow", but the previous commenters have already mentioned it, so I'll ask about something different.

    Firstly, could you throw any light on what this all means: "horse fell in Chesterfield got sharpened also wings put to gig etc at Scots off home by Ashford even[in]g"

    Secondly, what are 'bosgin stones' ?

    1. As regards the trip to Chesterfield after the horse fell perhaps the hooves were sharpened [?] and then or at the same time 'wings' were put 'to' [on ?] the gig at Scots [though I don't know what wings were]. Then JBB set off home via Ashford in the Water.

      A bosgin [or boskin] was/is a stone, wooden or concrete divider between cows in a cowshed.

  4. Hi Charlie,a duck-billed cow is when one jaw is longer than the other.Hubby thinks they probably put stubs on the horseshoe.Ann

    1. Thank you Ann, I was hoping you would help out with your greater knowledge of farming. BY putting studs on horseshoes [not hooves as I suggested] would this class as 'sharpening' ?

      Thank you also for the explanation of 'duck-billed' too.

  5. There we go, learning a lot again. All my questions were answered, I think.