Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Snippets from A Country Parson, James Woodforde's Diary 1759-1802, Intoxicted Pigs

April 15, 17778. “Brewed a vessel of strong Beer today. My two large Piggs (sic), by drinking some beer grounds taking out of one of my Barrels today, got so amazingly drunk by it, that they were not able to stand and appeared like dead things almost, and so remained all night from dinner time today. I never saw Piggs so drunk in my life, I slit their ears for them without feeling.”

 Which leads me to the question: Why did Parson Woodforde slit their ears. Tut tut, today, what would the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have to say about that?

 April 16, 1778 “My two Piggs (sic) are still unable to walk yet, but they are better than they were yesterday. They tumble about the yard and can by no means stand at all steady yet. In the afternoon my 2 Piggs (sic) were tolerably sober.”

 I wonder if the pigs also had hangovers.

 May 21, 1778. “I walked up to the White Hart with Mr Lewis and Bill to see a famous Woman in Men’s Cloathes (sic), by name Hannah Snell, who was 21 years as a common soldier in the Army, and not discovered by any as a woman. Cousin Lewis has mounted guard with her abroad. She went into the Army by the name of John Gray. She has a Pension from the Crown now of 18.5.0 per annum and the liberty of wearing Men’s Coathes and also a Cockade in her Hat, which she still wears. She has laid in a room with 70 soldiers and not discovered by any of them. The forefinger of her right hand was cut by a Sword at the taking of Pondicherry. She is now about 60 years of age and talks very sensible and well, and travels the country with a Basket at her back, selling Buttons, Garters, laces etc. I took 4 Pr of 4d Buttons and gave her 0.2.6.”

 What would the Ministry of Defence make of her today?

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3 Snippets from A Country Parson:James Woodeforde's Diary 1759-1802

With great enjoyment I am reading A Country Parson. James Woodforde's Diary 1759 - 1802. I hope you will find the snippets interesting.
February 3rd, 1768.

"...One Sarah Gore, came to see me this morning and brought me an instrument from the Court of Wells, to perform publick (sic) Pennance next Sunday at C. Cary Church for having a child, which I am to administer to her publickly (sic) next Sunday after Divine Service."
My mind boggles about what Human Rights Ativists would say if this happened today.

" March 29, 1777 ...Andrews the smuggler brought to me this night about 11 o' clock a bagg (sic) of Hyson Tea 6 Pd weight. He frightened us a little by whistling under the Parlour Window just as we were going to bed. I gave him some Geneva and paid him for the tea at 10/6 per Pd."

Well, smuggling tea was definitely preferable to today's People Smugglers.

"July 22, 1777 Robert Biggen for stealing Potatoes was this afternoon whipp'd thro' the streets of Cary by the Hangman at the end of a Cart. He was whipped from the George Inn to the Angel, from thence back thro' the street to the Royal Oak in South Cary and so back to the George Inn. He being an old offender there was a collection of 0.17.6 given to the Hangman to do him justice. But it was not much for all that-the Hangman was an old Man and a most villainous looking Fellow indeed. For my part I would not contribute one Farthing to it."

My mind is suffering from the equivalent of shell shock at the thought of modern day Human Rights Activists having a field day if this happened now. Can you imagine the publicity in the media?

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