Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Farm Journal ~ from the 1st to the 15th May 1868

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.]
JBB's Farm Journal

A Farm Journal continues :~
6 1st 5 Mo[nth] Ditto work
7 - 2 Beautiful fine mild hot day W. South finish[e]d set[tin]g potatoes doing swede gr[oun]d & fallow[in]g N[ethe]r Intake took sturks out into Intake - bullocks & calving beasts on seeds in Waterhole & ewes & couples lost 2 ewes makes 4 since we began lambing - grass grows nicely & corn looks well 5 beasts at Cales & 6 here go out onto seeds in day turned the young Calves out at Cales
1 - 3 Fine
3 - 4 Fine but cold E.W. fallow[in]g - to Fritchley even[in]g - stayed all night - sow[e]d swedes in Watricle
4 - 5 Fine morn[in]g W.E cold at Fritchley started 8 oclock for Ripley - to S.Bramleys - found Peter there too also Eliz[abe]th Hopkins after get[tin]g cup tea & religious opport[unit]y all set off to Heanor M[onthly] M[eeting] several fr[iend]s of Q[uarterly] M[eeting] Committee there very nice satisfactory M[onthly] M[eeting] self on to the Hague even[in]g
5 - 7 Fine ditto look[e]d round with Cha[rle]s crops look well then to Eckington bo[ugh]t 2 cows of Barber £33 home aft[ernoo]n 
6 - 8 Fine day W. South - very warm thunder in even[in]g & little rain follow[e]d
7 - 9 Ditto most beautiful grow[in]g day Matlock Fair EB & self there bo[ugh]t 4 cows each & home sow[e]d swedes S.H.
1 - 10 Very fine
2 - 11 Ditto
3 - 12 Fine day sowing bones on Intake end W[illia]m Hadfield been at Littlewoods on East Moor a whole day waiting for some beasts that should have come from Barbers of Eckington but did not
4 - 13 Ditto weather
5 - 14 Ditto Rent at Haven
6 - 15 Self to Tideswell fair bo[ugh]t 4 cows  


  1. Turned the young calves out brings back memories,It was lovely to see them take tentative steps on the grass and suddenly make a mad dash around the field.A lovely time of year Charlie,makes us all feel like kicking our heels up,if only I could. Ann

    1. Yes, the days of kicking heels is long gone. I made the mistake of running across the road the other day ~ ouch.

  2. I wonder if the 'beasts' from Barber's of Eckington ever turned up?

    1. I wondered that myself Mitch. So far there is no mention. As regards use of the term 'beasts' my father in the 1950s still referred to cattle as beasts ... I wonder if farmers still do ?

  3. sturks??? I did figure out what sowing bones was. In those days the men used trading as a form or entertainment. The banter and bargaining and exchange of animals filled the hole that TV fills now. I am not sure if the smells make the exchange a good or a bad thing.

  4. It is now spelt 'stirk' and is a heifer or a bullock, usually between one and two years old. Yes, I daresay the banter between farmers would have been quite a thing. I often wonder how these farming Quakers fitted in with the other local farmers. John Bayliff Bowman never comments on the mores of the other farmers. Perhaps he did not judge other people ...