James Balchen’s Journal April 1747

Mary Balchen married John Man on the 26th of February 1746/47 at Holy Trinity in the Minories, London.  Two months later The Mans drove down to Hurst in Berkshire in their own chaise to visit John’s father and mother. They were joined (separately on horseback) by Mary’s younger brother James Balchen. So this journey by the newlywed Mans to Hurst could very well have been their first visit to John Man’s parents after the marriage.   The journey took place between the 18th & 22nd of April 1747 during which time James kept a journal which has been transcribed and can be found below. John and Mary are the direct ancestors of all living (and many no longer) members of the Man family .

In her book The Cumberland Letters Clementina Black included a copy of a letter written by James Balchen in the year 1748 to the English Resident at Bremen. The letter was among others that had been sent by James to his brother in law George Cumberland , Snr. who had married James’s sister Elizabeth. The letter can be read HERE.  Jame’s will has been transcribed and can be found HERE. The original journal as written by James can be found HERE.

[Preface by E. M. Man Jr. — The transcription below was made from images of the original pages sent to me by Steve Man.  He had received the journal amongst Man Family papers loaned by Stephen Durnford.]

The reader should bear in mind that the spelling in the journal is a combination of the variation in spelling from 250 years ago and misspellings by James Balchen.  Every effort has been made to replicate the original as closely as possible.  However, in doing the transcribing it became clear that the form of punctuation used by James was markedly different from that used today so I have taken the liberty of editing the punctuation to facilitate the reading.  I have also highlighted those sections of particular interest to the MAN family.

I have added footnotes for those readers who may be interested in learning more about persons, places and/or events mentioned herein.  Where a town or village still exists but with a different spelling, I have shown the modern version in brackets after the name.

A  Journal from London to  Berkshire  &  Oxford  ye  18th  April  1747

I Set out from London this Morning a 5 a Clock & Road Gently over the Stones till I came to Hyde Park Corner.  Mett with Mr. & M.rs Mann[i]  getting in their Chaise[sic].  Parted with them & Ride through the park & I came to Kingsenton [Kensington].[ii] As you Enter this Town, on the Right hand is a Large Gateway which Leads to his present Majestys[iii] Favourite Pallace.[iv]

This Town is very Populouse & Full of houses, the Main Streat is Large & att the upper End is a Handsome Build.g Call’d Church Court & Joyning to which is a good Charity School & at the End of this Town is a Large Creek, which Runs from the Water Side. xxxxxxxxx  I was Saluted ^here with a ‘How Doe you & where are you Bound?’ by a Mann well Mounted but as I am not very fond of these Familyer Gentlemen gave him a Short Answer & proceeded on Solus to the next Town in the Leading Road which is called Hammersmith.[v]  The Entrance of this Town, as well as the whole place, has a Forsaken aspect.  There is a great Number of Houses here, but more Empty and Running to Ruin.   The Houses on the Back part of the Town (as you Leave xxxx xxx London, is on the Right Hand) must be much pleasenter as it is Close to the water side & partakes of the Beauty of that Noble River which Runs by it. I was here Over taken by M.r & M.rs Mann & with them proceeded on to Turnham Green.  There is nothing here very Remarkable.  As you Leave Turnam Green on the Road for Branford [Brentford] on the Right Hand from London Appears to Veiw a verry Handsome Seat Belonging to one Esq.r Furnace as is also an Antient Seat on the Left.  The Garden Runs along the Side of the Road.  On my first Entrance at Branford[vi] was Saluted with a Roll Merchant, but did not Tracfack with him.  It is a Large Town, the Beginning of which is Old Branford.  It is much better Situated near the River than Hammersmith.  There is Likewise a Great Market Place in this Town – it is Remarkable for Branford Rolls.  I wo’d have Bought some at one of the Bakehouses, but the Honest Mann acquainted me he had none that was New.  The Redd Lyon att this Place is Likewise Noted as our Merry Punsters Compare a Toper’s Face to Resemble that Royal 4 Footed Beast.

The Glory of this place is Discrib’d by a Wagg of a Publican, who’s Sign is ye Hand & Carnation, which he Term’s the Glory of Old Branford.  Att the End of this Town is a Handsome Gardeners House with a Large Garden a Long the Road Side & Reaches a Considerable way towards Small Berry Green.[vii]  In this Garden is a verry Grand Nurssery of Firrs.

On Small Berry Green Stands the Ruins of a House which has never been Inhabited Since the Owner of it has been Hang’d for Coining.

From thence I proceed to Hounslerr Town [Hounslow]; the Houses are placed but thin & Straglin.  It Consists Chiefly of Inns for Travelers.  There is a Markett House here which seems to be made but Little use off.[viii]

We put up at the Red Lyon in this Town, Breakfast’d on Tea etc.  Refresh’d our Horses & proceeded over Hounsler Heath.  Att ye Entrance of this Heath is two Roads, one leads for Stains and the Other for Colebrook [Colnbrook], took the Latter.  Ye End of this Heath Brought us to Longford, a Small Village & Nothing Remarkable.  From Longford Came to Colebrook, a Large Town.  Even with the Road, in the Middle of this Town, is a Large School House under which is a Markett Place.

The Next Town to this is Datchett; it Lyes Low & in Course is verry Dirty.  At the End of this place, as you Leave the Town, you goe over a Large Handsome Bridge which Brings you on the Road for Windsor.  On the Right hand of this Road is a Wall which Incloses a park & on the Left is the River Thames.[ix]

We Enter’d Windsor about 12 a Clock & putt up att the White Hart[x]. Order’d Dinner, which was a Foul & Bacon to be gott Ready while we whent to See the Castle,[xi] which is a Grand & Noble Building Surrounded with a Parrade.

Att the Iron gate on the Left hand as you Enter the Royal Pallace is a Grand Stair Case, the Bottom of which is a Black, Couriously Carv’d out.  He setts with his Right Legg over his Left Knee, Drawing a Thorn out of his Foot.  The Ceiling F[rieze], the Top of the Stair Case, is a fine F[rieze] of painting which Represents the Gods of the Element.

We then Enter’d the Gard Room which is verry Grand & Surrounded with Implements of Warr.

Over the Chimney is George, Prince of Denmark.[xii]  The Ceiling Represents Britannia Striding on the Globe.

The Next Room is Call’d Queen Ann’s; the Ceil.g F[rieze] is Queen Cathrine,[xiii]  Charles ye Seconds Queen, Surrounded with ye Graces.

Ye 3d Room xxxx is Calld the Ball Room; the Ceil.g is Persius & Addromoda & Over the Door is the picture of Don Scotus[xiv]13 who Starved him Self to Death by Reading. 

Ye 5th is the Queen’s Drawing Room; over the Door is Lott & is[sic] two Daughters.[xv]  The other Door, Mark Antony & Cleopatria.

Ye 6th ye Queens Bedd Chamber; over the Chimney is the Holy Family, Curiously Describ’d, & Over the Door, Harrod’s Cruelty.

Ye 7th is a Small Room, in which is Fourteen Pictures of King Charles’s Favorite Beautys.[xvi]

Ye 8th is the Queen Dressing Room in which is the picture of Queen Ann’s Mother.[xvii]

The 9th is ^a Long Gallery Hung full of pictures, the most Noted of which is as follows:

James the 1st & his Queen;[xviii]

an Excellent F[rieze] which Represents Candle Light;

The Emperor of Germany;[xix]

The Wise Mens Offering;

A Courious F[rieze] of painting which Represents two Userers telling over their Money to the Life.  This F[rieze] of painting, as the Story goes, was Done by a Blacksmith who Turned Painter to gain the affections of a Girl he Admired;

A Large F[rieze] of painting which Represents ye Battle of Spurs.[xx]  It is so Called from the French Making good use of that Instrument xx in a Retreat;

A picture of the Duke of Gloster [Gloucester] & Oposite to him is his Father;[xxi]          

An Originall Picture of Harry ye Eight;

A Fine Amber Cabinett which was sent as a Present by the King of Prussia to the Late Queen.

Queen Anns China Room.  Over the Chimney is Henry ye Seventh’s Chilldren.[xxii] 

The Kings Clossett.  A Fine F[rieze] of Needle work Done by the Queen of Scotch.   The Ceiling Represents a Shower of Gold.

2d the King’s Bedd Chamber.  The Ceiling Represents King Charles Surrounded with Plenty, etc;

3rd The King’s Drawing Room.  Over the Chimney is a Fine Picture of a Chine which Turned Christian.  Ceiling, King Charles in his Triumphant Carriott;

Dineing Room 
In this Room is a Picture which Represents 3 Different characters of John Lacy,[xxiii]  a noted player.  Over the Door, is a verry Fine F[rieze] of painting of a School Master Teaching his Children to Sing by candel Light.  Ceiling Represents xx the Bancquitting of the Gods & Goddesses.

Audience Chamber

A Fine picture of the 12 Apostles.  Over the Door, a picture of Peter, James, & John, very much Esteemed.  Our Savior Bound.

The Presence Chamber
 Over the Door, Father Paul, the Venetian. [?]

King’s Gard Chamber
A Large Room, Surrounded with the Implements of Warr.  Over the Chimney, Charles ye 11th King of Sweden.[xxiv]

From here we Came into a Large & Noble Hall.  Att the Upper End of this Hall Appears to View a verry fine F[rieze] of painting which Represents some Stone Steps on ye Top of which is paintend an Elbow Chair in which is placed King Charles ye 2d.  These Steps is of Such Courious Workmanship that Strangers is often Deceived by going up to the place with an Intention to Assend them.

On the Side of this Hall is painted the Triumph’s of Eudward, the Black Prince, with the King of France & David, King  Scotland, Kneeling before him as prisioners.[xxv]

The Emblem of Liberty, a Woman, holding out a Baskett from which is Flying Severall Sorts of Birds.  Att the Lower End of this Hall is the Musich Gallery which is Supported by 4 Black Slaves Curiously Carved out.  The person ^that xx shews this acquaints you that these are the Effigies of 4 Slaves taken att Leghorn[xxvi] & Brought over here.

Next to this is the Chaple which is verry Grand.  N.B. Ye Ceiling to the Hall is King Charles Surrounded with the Glories.  The Ceiling Represents the Assention of Our Saviour, verry finely painted, & on the Side is Our Saviours Miracles, his Bidding the Leperous take up his Bed & Walk, etc.  Near this on the Same Side is S.r Godfrey Kneller[xxvii] & ye painter of the House with his hand on S.r Godfrey’s Shoulder.  Att ye upper xxxx End is a Fine Alter peice Representing the Lords Supper.

From thence we came out of the Castle & whent to the Round Tower which stands upon a Hill with a Deep Trench all Round it.  You assend above a Hundred Steps before you Come to the first Floor which is the Gard Room & from thence into Severall other Appartments which are all Empty.  We went out on the Topp of this Tower which gives you a most Beautyfull prospect of all the Country Round.  In one of the Rooms of this Tower Marshall Bellile[xxviii] was kept Prisioner, who was taken in ye Electorate of Hannovers Dominions, & Brought here in the Year 1745.  We Came from this Tower, on the Terres which is a Large & Noble Walk & from here is an Extencive & Beautyfulle Prospect.

After Seeing the most Remarkable things in this Castle we whent to our Inn & Dined.  After Dinner Drank a Bottle of Port & proceeded on our Intended Journy.

We Left windsor, on our Right Hand & Came to a Small Village Called Cleworth [Clewer].  Nothing Remarkable.  From thence to Water Oakley [Oakley Green].  Here is a Large Wharf which sends a great many Barges of Timber in a Year to London.[xxix]

Next to this we Came on pleasant & open Lands which is Called Bray Fields, Near Bray Town.  On the Right Hand as you Ride a Long you See two Small Build.gs on an Island which is Called the Duke’s Folly.  From thence Came to Holly Port [Holyport].  Open Land & verry pleasant.  On the Right hand is a fine Seat belonging to S.r John Worthy.  From here proceeded to a place Called White Walter Common [White Waltham], & from thence Over a small Bridge, we came on Lawrence Walter Common [Waltham St Lawrence].  These two Commons Joyn together & are verry Large & Extencive.  On this place great Numbers of Scheep are Brought up & Fedd .[xxx]

From ^here we Came to Hurst, a small Village five mile this Side Reeding, where we Arrived att five a Clock at M.r Mann’s Farthers.  After we had put up our Horses, we whent into his House & Drank Tea.  Saluted Our New Relations, sett Down & Drank Tea, which being over, by Consent of the whole Company, we all Roase up and took a Gentle walk Round xxx the Villige.  By this Time the people of the Town, being alarmed that some Company of Consequence was Arrived, Rung the Bells of the Church & shewed great Demonstrations of Joy.  After we had taken a Coole & pleasant walk, we Returned Home & sett Down by the Fire, made a Tiff of Rum Punch & supped on porched Eggs. [Here there are three lines that are scratched out] This being over & the Evening growing Late, Drank some Friendly Healths & parted for Repose, Each to their Severall Appartments provided for them.

The Next Morning being Sundy we arrose about Nine of the Clock, washed our Faces and whent to Breakfast, which being over, Dressed our Selves & proceeded to Church (I must not forgett to Acquaint my Readers that the people of the Villiage Continued to shew their Demonstration of Joy by Ringing the Bells all this day) which being over we Came Out & was mett by a Noted publican of this place of M.r Man’s Acquaintance.  After Saluting Each other in a Gentlemen Like Manner, we parted with a promise to Return to his House in the afternoon.  Being Arrived att M.r Man’s we Sett Down to a Dinner, which was provided for us & after that we all Walked together to the House of the persons we had promised Returning from Church. This House is verry pleasently Situated & has belonging to it a Large & Handsome Bowling Green for the Diversion of those Gentlemen who please to play.  Being all asembled together we Sett Downed & Smoaked our pipes & Drank some Wine in a very Sociable Mannor.  The afternoon being half Spent, the Landlady of the House made her appearance & invery Complasante Mannor Desired the Company wod be pleased to Drink Tea.  Our Ladys Immeadiatley Accepted the Offer & I was the only person among our Sexes who withdrew with ye Ladys to keep them Company.  Tea being over I left my Company & took a Little Walk to make my Observations of the most Remarkable things, Worthy Notice, which is as Follows –

The principall seat in this town is one Lord Gere.  It stands on a High Hill and makes a very fine Appearance att a Distance & Near the Church is one Esq.r Dalbys, who is Lord of the Mannor.  Opposite the Church is Eight Arms Houses, the Gift of William Barker, for the Maintenance of  Six poor people att 6d. p. Day.  He Died ye 25th March, 1685.[xxxi]

Being Desirous to see the Church, I went to the Clerk of ye parish, who was very Sevill & att my Request Lett me In.  This Church is very Antient & has the Remains of ye Old Roman Relichs, as likewise an Old Cross on the Topp.  Att the Communion Table is the Monument of the above Will.m Barker & Likewise Severall very Antient ones.  There is a Fine Monument of S.r Richard Harrison, of Whisley near Hurst, with his Wife & Son Kneeling att Prayers.  He died the 23.d August, 1683.  He Reduced his Fortune by Raising Troops for the Service of King Charles.

Opposite to this is the Monument of Lady Margarette, Seville, who had 3 Husbands: her first was George Gerrard Esq.r who’s Father was Lord Mayor of London; her Second was John Smith Esq.r of Essex; & her Third was S.r Henry Sevill, Reader to Queen Elizabeth.  He was of great Learning & Lyes Interred in Eaton [Eton].  She Died Anno 1631 Aged 73.  She has Likewise Sixteen Chilldren Surrounding her Monument in a Kneeling posture.  Next to this is a very Antient ^Monument of one Ward  who Died ye 9th of Aprill, 1574.  The porch of this Church is very Old & is Believed to be the Only Remains of the Original Building.  After This gave the Clerk a Shilling for his trouble, for which he was very thankfull, & so parted.  As I was walking by my Self Round the Church Yard, I picked up a Bone of one of the Deceased which was Remarkable for its Whiteness.  It was so well Bleached that I putt it in my pockett to bring to London with an Intention to have it Converted into Tooth pickers.  Having amussed myself in this Mannor, I Returnd to my Company whom I found by the perswations of our Landlord had consented to stay Supper.

I must not forgett to Acquaint my Reader that, tho so farr from Town,[xxxii] our Super was Sett out in a verry Ellegent Mannor.  It Consisted of a Fine-Boiled Chine with Cold Ribbs of Veal as Likewise a Gammon of Bacon Stuffed with Saviory Erbs in so Nice a Mannor that I believed Esau’s Family would have Approved of it.  Besides all this, we had plenty of good Apple and Gooseberry Tarts after all these Elegences.  We to took a Mouthfull of Cheese to prepare our pallates for the True Flavour of Redd Port.

Having Spent an Hour in Mirth & Jollitry, we in a very Sober Manner took Leave of our Host & Hostes & proceeded home for M.r Manns Fathers where, being pretty much Tired, whent to Bedd.

We Gott up at five of the Clock the next morning, which was Monday, to Continue on our Intended Journey for Oxford.  As  likewise M.r Mann & his Wife Sen.r.  They gott our Breakfast before we Sett out.  After which took Leave of our Friends, Returning them thanks for all Favours & proceeded on by Sandford Mill [?] to Burnish Heath [?], where Redden Horse Races are Kept & from thence Into the Bristol Road till we Came to Readding.  Att the Entrance of this Town, on the Right hand, stands the Remains of an Old Roman Abby grown Over with Ivy on ye Top, & on the Left Hand is a Handsome Charity School Founded by William Mathias, Citizen of London.  It is a Large & populace town & has 3 Large Churcheswith a Noble Markett place.  About the Middle of this Town is a Handsome Bridge Neare which is a Grand wharf very Convenient for Loading of Barges to send to London.

From here we Came to a Small Town about 2 Miles Distance, which is called Caversum [Caversham] & is in Oxfordshire.  To Enter this Town you goe Over a Large Stone Bridge near 250 feet over.  The town is small & had nothing Remarkable Except the Bridge.  From thence came to Gallas Tree Common [Gallowstree Common], ^which has a Wood on Each Side & so xx  xxxx a Cross the Country which is verry open till we Came to Benson, a small Town about two Mile this Side Dorchester.  As you Leave this Town, on the Left hand Stands a small Church with a Square Wooden Steaple, very Rurall.  Next to Benson, we Came to Dorchester, a verry Antient & Handsome Town.  We entered this Town Over an Old Stone Bridge.  Att the Foot of this Bridge Stands a Peddestal which is Raised from the Ground with 4 Steps & a Dial on the Top.  It is very Old & the Date not to be Found. In the Middle of this Town stands a Large Church, which is Likewise Antient.  We came here about 11 a Clock & Breakfast att the Crown Inn.  In this House is the picture of an Old Roman Alter, which was Dugg out of a Field & is Discribed as Follows,

From Dorchester, we whent for Oxford, which is Ten Miles, & the Chief part of the way is pleasant Open Land with an Extencive prospect.  2 Miles this side Oxford is a small Town Called Shillingford.  The Church is Rural & Built in the same Mannor as that at Benson.  From here proceeded xxx to Oxford & Ridd through the City with out Stopping for Woodstock.  From Oxford to this place is Seven Miles & a half & verry pleasant Ridding.

We putt up at the Bear in this Town & Ordered Dinner, which was a Line of Mutton Cutt into Chops & While that was getting Ready proceeded to see the Situation & Curiousities of this Noted Place.  You Enter Through a Grand Gateway att ye end of Woodstock

Town which brings you in a Large & Fine Park in which Stands to View that Noted Build.g of the Duke of Marlborough’s,[xxxiii] Called Blenham [Blenheim].[xxxiv]  Before the House is a Fine Rivolett which Forms its Self into a Grand Bason over which is Built a Fine Bridge of Noble Structure, the Arch of which is much Larger than ye Center Arch of Westminster Bridge.  Under this Bridge is severall small Rooms, in one of which is a Water Ingine which works on Wheels & throughs water up for the Coveniency of the House.  Their is a Fine Cascade of water which Falls Near 5 Foot before the Arch & makes the Water Run Through with Great Swiftness.

As you goe from the House over the Bridge is a Fine Pillar on the Top of which stands the Duke of Marlborough & under is a Discription of His Battles.[xxxv]

After this we whent into the House which is a Heavy Building & has two Wings to it in the form of a half H.  We Entered this House up a Number of Grand Steps to the Hall which is Fine.  The Ceiling F[riezes] Represents the Gods of the Element Drawing a Plan for the Battle of Blenham.

In the Room on your Right hand is some verry Fine Tappestry which Represents the Battles of the Duke, worked verry Couriously.  As is the Battle of Hooghstet [Hochstedt] which Represents ye Duke with his Army Incamped and Count Tallard[xxxvi]  Brought before him Prisonor.  The Count is Dressed in Blue & Comes before the Duke with a Disdaining Countinance putting his hand to his Head to take off his Hatt.

The 2nd is Montes Hannoine Where the Duke with his Officers Surrounding him him[sic] is given Orders to Generall Webb, who is on Horseback Leanning from his Horse Towards the Duke, seems to give great Attention.[xxxvii]

3rd Is Insula which Represents the Duke with his Officers  given Orders Concerning a Spie who is Brought xx xxx before him.  This Spie is most Couriously Done, he is Dressd in a Ridding Trim with his Wipp in his Hand & the Features of his Face Express great Concern att his Approaching Fate.

4th F of  Tappestry is Bouchain[xxxviii] which Represents ye Army Marching with Waggons & Carriages.  Verry Naturally Discribed.

5th is Bouchain.  This a Fine Discription of the Army Lying Encamped with a Long & Extencive View.  In this Room Over the Chimney xx xxx xxxx xxxx is ye picture of ye Late Duke.

6th  The Tappestry of this Room is the Battles of Alexander & over the Chimney is the picture of Catherine de Medhurst [Medici].[xxxix]

A Fine picture of Paul Ruben, the Famous painter, with his Children.

7th  The Tappestry Alexander & Darius taken Prisioner & on ye other side, Diogenes in his Tubb.

Over the Door, St. Peter, verry Finely painted, as Likewise Lord Strafford[xl] & his Secretary & the picture of the Holy Family.

In the Next Room, the Tappestry is the Battles of Wyndael [Wynendael], Bouchain, Doneawerk [Donauworth].[xli]  Over the Chimmney is Christ proving the Serpent.  The other pictures is the Hastening of Lott & his Family Out of Sodom; Our Saviour Blessing the Children; Joseph & Marry Leading their Son Jesus out of Jerusulem.  The Pictures are all verry Finely painted.

This being all the particulars in the House, Except the Long Gallery which we Could not see, it being locked up Full of Books.  From the House we whent to see the Chapple which is plain and Neat.  In hear is the Monument of the Duke & Dutches & his two Sons[xlii] to their Memory.  This Monument was Erected in the Year of Our Lord 1733, Done by Rysbach [Rysbrach].[xliii]  It is said to have Cost 2500.

After having Seen all xxxx things remarkable here, we whent Back to Our Inn & Dined & then Returned Homewards for Oxford, where we Arrived about Eight a Clock.  It being to Late to See Any of the Colliges, putt up att the Bear Inn in the Middle of the City.  Ordereed Supper, which was porched Eggs, after which Drank some Cool Tankard, sett about half Hour & then whent to Bedd.

The next Morning Gott up about Seven of the Clock & Walked Round the City.  Having a Letter of Recommendation in my pockett from a Friend of Mine to one M.r Thomas of Exeter Collige, I went to him about 8 a Clock this Morning & Found him in his Chamber a Bedd.   I Delivered  him my Letter & after he had Read it he verry kindly Told mee he would wait on me and my Friends with a great Deal of Pleasure.  Which Offer I was Glad to Accept Off, as we should not have been able to have Seen the Curiousities of this Place without his Introduction.

I then thanked the Gentleman & told him I wod wait on him with my Friends in an Hour’s Time & Returned to the Inn where I found M.r & M.rs Man Ready for Breakfast.  We then Sett down to Breakfast & after that was over went to the Gentlemans Chambers befor ment.d.  He was then Dressing & Desired us to Sett Down a Short Time & he would wait on us.  This Gentleman was verry kind & shewed us all the Places he possible Could for the Short Time we staid in this Place.

In the City is 20 Colliges, the most principle of which we saw.  The Picture Gallerry is verry Large and Consists Chiefly of the pictures of the Benefactors to this University.

The picture of Don Scotus[xliv] is here & is Recohned[sic] to be better Done than that at Windsor.

S.r John Chardin[xlv]

Chaucer the poet

King Alfrid

Lord Clarendon[xlvi]

S.r Tho.s Boadley, Founder of ye Liberry [?]

D.r Ractlife[sic] [?]

James the First

Charles the First and his Queen

and many Others, Finely painted.

From here we whent to the Theatre.  It is Grand and Noble Building & will Hold 12,000 people.  It is Built for the Gentleman to Speak Orations & Argue xx In, on Various Subjects for the Eddefying of the Learned.  Near to this is the Liberry, it is Rechoned to have the Finest Collection of Antient & Modder Books in Europe Except that at Rome, the most Remarkable of what we saw shall Relate as Follows:

A Maniscript by a Lady in French, written in various Hands by her Self.

Qeen[sic] Marrys Mass Book with Remarks in her own handwriting in one of the Leaves.

A Book written by Queen Elizabeth, in Latten.

An Old Mannescript, 1400 Years Old.

A Book with the Discription of Insecks, Drawn by one Mary Ann, a French Lady.

Henry the Eights Map Book.

The First Book, as they Inform you, that Ever was printed.

A Fine Bible, printed in Velum att the printing House in Oxford by Baphett.

A Fine Gold Quadrant given by Bishop Lord in Charles ye First Time  it cost £3,000.

A fine F[rieze] of painting of ye Bust of Our Saviour & Likewise of King Charles the First

From here went to see Rattcliffe New Liberry which is a verry Grand Building.  After that we walk Round the Grove, the Out Side of the City, which ^is a verry pleasant place, & so Came to Our Inn & Dined on Pigeons & Asparahgrass.  Mr. Thomas, who Dined with us, Acquainted us that Day was one of their Grand Festivalls.  They have a Lamb Roasted whole with his horns Guilt & an Orange in his Mouth.  It is Called the Pascall Lamb[xlvii].  After Dinner we a Drank a Bottle of Wine with this Gntleman & Returned him thanks for his Civility & proceeded for London.  Att the End of this City I parted with M.r Man & his Wife by their Desire, they having promised to have been in Town as this Day but it being to Much for a Chaise.  I proceed on Horseback to Acquaint their Friends to the Contrary.

So Road on Solus for London.  The Next Village to Oxford W is Wheatley, a small place.  From thence proceeded to Thatswith [Tetsworth] & so on to Chalk Hill [?] which is verry High & Steap.  From here I came through a Large & Pleasant Wood to West Wickham [West Wycombe].  This is a Small Town & the most

Remarkablest Curiousity in this Town is the Church which is Built on a verry High hill & so Steap that it is Impossible for any Carriage to go up it.  A Story goes among the Inhabitants that this Church was begun in the Town but what was Built in the Day was Removed in the Night Time by some Evill Genius.  The Situation of this Church has a Good Quality & a Badd one Attending it.  This first is that it is Healthfull for the young & Vigorous to Assend the Hill to go to Prayers & the Latter is that its Impossible for the Old & to goe to Church at all for the[sic] Cant walk up, Neither Can C they be carried.

From here I came to High Wickham [High Wycombe] & mett with some Acquaintance with whom I stop some time & then proceeded for London through Uxbridge & Severall, small Villages, which I could not Observe the particulars of ^as I had not Time  xxx x xxx xx xxxxxx and  arrived att London a 12 Clock on Wensday ye 22nd Aprill 1747.[xlviii]

This is a True & fathful Narrative of all my proceed.gs from my setting out to my Arrival in Town.


[i] Note that James does not use the correct spelling of his sister’s married name a not uncommon occurrence, even to this day

[ii] It is interesting to try and follow the journey on a present-day map (with an assist from Greenwood’s Map of London, 1826).  Remarkably, to me at least, it appears that for the most part the same streets still exist.  From Hyde Park Corner, riding through the park (probably what is now South Carriage Drive) to Kensington Road

[iii] This would have been George II, who reigned from 1727 to 1760.

[iv] Kensington Palace – William III bought the house from the Earl of Nottingham in 1689 and had it remodeled by Sir Christopher Wren

[v] He would have used Kensington High Street that becomes Hammersmith Road to Hammersmith

[vi] From Hammersmith, west on King Street that becomes Chiswick High Road (Turnham Green Terrace runs into Chiswick High Road) to Kew Bridge Road that  becomes High Street to Brentford

[vii] Smallberry Road can be found off of the London Road about halfway between Brentwood and Hounslow

[viii] From Hounslaw one would take Bath Road to Longford, then the Colnbrook Road to Colnbrook., then the London Road to Datchet

[ix] I run into a problem here since it would appear that in taking the Windsor Road out of Datchet one would have to cross what is now the Victoria Bridge.  Going into Windsor on what is now King Edward VII Avenue would then have the River Thames on the right and The Home Park on the left.

[x] Now called Ye Harte and Garter Hotel

[xi] Windsor Castle is the chief residence of the rulers of Great Britain.  William the Conqueror chose the site and built a castle there.  Edward III largely rebuilt it to form the basis of the present structure.  Later kings have added to the castle

[xii] George (1653-1708) was born in Copenhagen, the 2nd son of Frederick II of Denmark.  He married Princess Anne, 2nd daughter of James, Duke of York, on 28 July 1683 at London.  Anne became queen in 1702.   They had eleven children, seven of whom were stillborn.  George died at Kensington Palace

[xiii] Catherine (1638-1705) was  born in Portugal, the 3rd child of John, Duke of Breganza, who became King of Portugal in 1640. She married King Charles on 21 May 1662.  There was no issue from this marriage.  She died in Portugal

[xiv] John Duns Scotus (1266-1308).  Franciscan theologian.  Lectured at Oxford and Cambridge from 1297 to 1301.  One of the great thinkers of the Middle Ages.  Died in Germany from natural causes.  I can’t find any reference to confirm James’s remark.

[xv] Interesting to note that Lot’s daughters’ names are never mentioned in the Bible.

[xvi] To quote the Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Press, Vol. 10, page 105, The task would be too arduous to give an accurate list of his mistresses.

[xvii] Anne Hyde, (1637-71) was born at Windsor, eldest daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, and became James II’s first wife in 1660.  She died at London shortly after the birth of her eighth child.

[xviii] Anne (1574-1619) was born in Jutland, 2nd daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway.  She married James in 1589.  They had nine children.  She died at Hampton Court Palace.

[xix] Frederick I (1657-1713) became first king of Prussia in 1701.

[xx] Probably refers to the Battle of Blenheim, 13 August 1704, where the French were completely routed.

[xxi] This would be Henry (1639-60), 3rd son of Charles II

[xxii] These would have been:  Arthur, Margaret, Henry [VIII] and Mary.  Two children died in infancy and one at birth.

[xxiii] John Lacy (b. in Doncaster, d. 1681 in London) was a dramatist and comedian.  He was praised in his own day; Pepys seldom mentioned him without praise.  [Dictionary of National Biography

[xxiv] Charles was born in 1655; became king in 1660 on the death of his father; ruled until his death in 1697

[xxv]Prince Edward, born in 1330, was the eldest son of Edward III.  He was created duke of Cornwall in 1337, the first duke to be created in England.  In 1346 at the battle of Crecy during the Hundred Years War, his father ordered him to wear a black cuirass, richly ornamented, and, from this incident, he retained the surname attributed to him in history.  In 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers, he led a greatly inferior English army to victory against the French and captured King John II of France. David II, on the other hand, was captured in 1346 while leading a raid into England attempting a diversion  on behalf of Philip VI during the French siege of English-held Calais.

[xxvi] The Naval Battle of Leghorn occurred in 1653 against the Dutch during the First English War (1652-54).  Leghorn (It. Liviorno) is a port town in Italy on the Ligurian Sea.

[xxvii] Born Gottfried Kniller in 1646 in Germany.  Came to England in 1675 and became a favorite court portrait painter.  Knighted by William III in 1691.  Maintained a house at Whitton, near Hounslow.

[xxviii] I have not been able to find any references to Marshall Bellile

[xxix] He would have taken what is now Maidstone Road that becomes Windsor Road (A308).

[xxx] From Bray it would appear that they would have taken what is now the A330 to White Walter Common, then what is now the B3024 to Laurence Walter Common.  To reach Hurst they would have traveled on what is now the B3030

[xxxi] We photographed these houses on our trip to England in 1999.

[xxxii] I find it interesting to note that ‘town’ was London and ‘so far from’ was less than 50 miles

[xxxiii] John Churchill (1650-1722), the first Duke of Marlborough, was a self-made man.  He was a brilliant general who never lost a battle.  He was in charge of the army under William III, Anne, and later George I.  His early victories in the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14) prompted Queen Anne to reward him with a dukedom.

[xxxiv] Blenheim Palace was erected for him by a grateful English parliament after Marlborough’s most notable victory at Blenheim (Gr. Blindheim) in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession

[xxxv] The monument was built by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, after the death of the Duke

[xxxvi] Marshall of France who lead the French forces at the Battle of Blenheim

[xxxvii] General John Richmond Webb was the victor at the Battle of Wynendael on 28 September 1708

[xxxviii] The campaign of 1711 was the Duke’s last campaign out of five.  The tapestries made under his directions assign to the capture of  Bouchain a prominence over any of the great battles he had won.

[xxxix] Catherine de Medici (1519-1589) was queen consort of Henry II of France

[xl] William Howard, Lord Viscount Stafford, was beheaded at the Tower of London in 1680.

[xli] The Battle of Donauworth took place in July 1704

[xlii]The sons of the Duke were Charles, who died in 1693 at the age of 2, and John, who died in 1703 at the age of 16.

[xliii] John Michael Rysbrach (1693?-1770) was born in Belgium.  Renowned sculptor of period.  Came to England in 1720.  Executed many monuments

[xliv] Joannes Scotus Duns. .  Thirteenth century scholar. (1266-1308)

[xlv] Sir John Chardin (1643-1712).  Merchant and jewelry agent to the East India Company.  In latter years lived at Turnham Green.

[xlvi] Edward Hyde (1609-1674).  First earl of Clarendon.  Statesman.  Father of Anne, queen consort of James

[xlvii] The pascal lamb is the lamb to be sacrificed at Passover. On the afternoon before Passover, Jews everywhere came to Jerusalem and brought lambs to the Temple. A tiny part of each lamb was burned on the altar and the rest was eaten at the end of the Seder. Note that the journey was in April.

[xlviii] He obviously followed the Oxford to London Road, today’s A40

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