And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

13 August

Duke of Württemberg

‘Over the river at London there is a beautiful long bridge, with quite splendid, handsome, and well-built houses, which are occupied by merchants of consequence. Upon one of the towers, nearly in the middle of the bridge, are stuck up about thirty-four heads of persons of distinction, who had in former times been condemned and beheaded for creating riots and from other causes.’ [This practice of dipping the heads of executed men in tar and displaying them on pikes had been going on since the 14th century and would not stop until the mid-17th century.]

34 heads on London Bridge


Roger Boyle,
soldier and politician

‘. . . and to the new play, at the Duke’s house, of Henry the Fifth; a most noble play, writ by my Lord Orrery; wherein Betterton, Harris, and Ianthe’s parts are most incomparably wrote and done, and the whole play the most full of height and raptures of wit and sense, that ever I heard; having but one incongruity, or what did, not please me in it, that is, that King Harry promises to plead for Tudor to their Mistresse, Princesse Katherine of France, more than when it comes to it he seems to do; and Tudor refused by her with some kind of indignity, not with a difficulty and honour that it ought to have been done in to him. Thence home and to my office, wrote by the post, and then to read a little in Dr Power’s book of discovery by the Microscope to enable me a little how to use and what to expect from my glasse. So to supper and to bed.’

Height and raptures


Polly Lavinia Crandall Coon,

‘Dr Weber grew worse after stoping, medicine had no effect & about 1 o’clock at night he died. Our Co for the first time have the sad duty to perform of burying one of their number. Jane is also quite sick of a Diareah but we hope not dangerous. Samuel does not not improve much. The weather is so very hot & dusty that very many are complaining & the dust is the greatest hardship to endure we have found on our whole journey. But we hope for better times.’

We hope for better times


John Dearman Birchall,

‘We joined the Townhead party on the moors, Edward Birchall, Charles Armitage etc. It was very warm and fatiguing. I never saw half as many birds before. We shot 49 1/2 brace.’

The tricycle diaries


Hubert Parry,

‘I went all over it again and revived the memories of that delightful time when Maude and I were there alone, many years ago. A time I like to look back to almost more than any in my life. It was so peaceful and happily contented. It’s funny though how I had forgotten the house and the lie of some of the rooms. But the garden - every inch of it - was perfectly familiar.’

Finished my first song


Victor Trump,

‘Test over. England a glorious game. Deserved to win. Wicket bad. Catches missed. Great excitement. Glad Tests all over . . .’

Ran about all day


Nikolay Nikolayevich Punin,

‘How I hate England. I hate it with an animal hatred.’

I love the masses


Richard E. Byrd,

‘Good weather has at last come. The NA-2 & 3 are out of commission. Bennett and I are going tonight for the blessed old navy. We must make a showing for her. Everything went wrong today. NA-1 lost cowling overboard. NA-2 went down by nose. Almost lost her. NA-3 nearly sunk by icebergs and injured lower wing on raft.

Later. MacMillan wouldn’t let me go. He seems to have given up. MacMillan seems to be in [a] great hurry to pack up and go back. Wonder what is in his mind.’

Flying over the Poles


Hideki Tōjō,
prime minister

‘We now have to see our country surrender to the enemy without demonstrating our power up to 120 percent’; and, ‘we are now on a course for a humiliating peace, or rather a humiliating surrender.’ And here’s another extract: ‘Now that the diplomatic steps have been taken after the emperor’s judgment [for surrender], I have decided to refrain from making any comments about it, though I have a separate view.’

Tōjō’s resistance to surrender


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And so made significant . . .
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In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

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