And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

13 July

William Lambarde,

‘At Cobham Hall my Lord and I licensed Edward Doret of Cobham to keep an alehouse. He was bound, in 20 li., and Thomas Harris and William Waite of Cobham, in 10 li. either of them, as his sureties, with the common condition. The same day we wrote to such of other parishes as occupied lands in Allhallows to contribute after the rate of 2 d. in the pound of their said lands towards the relief of the poor of Allhallows.’

Virtuous William Lambarde


Jens Munk,

‘On the 13th of July, towards evening, we were in the greatest distress and danger, and did not know what counsel to follow, because we could not advance any further by tacking, the ice pressing us hard on all sides. Being, then, in such a perilous situation, all the officers considered it most advisable to take in all the sails and fasten the sloop Lamprenen to the ship Enhiörningen; which, accordingly, was done. We then commended all into the hand of God; and, trusting to God’s merciful assistance, we drifted along and into the ice again. This incident of the attack of the ice and the distress of the ships in the ice are shown on the plate accompanying this treatise.

While we thus drifted forwards and backwards in the ice, in great danger of our lives, the ice displaced a large knee in the ship, which was situated under the peg of the head of the ship, and fastened with six large iron bolts; wherefore I set all my carpenters to work to set that knee straight again. But it was too big for them, so that they could do nothing with it in that place. I therefore had the ship swung round and turned, so that the side to which the knee had come into a crooked position drifted against the ice, and then ordered the rudder to be worked so as to turn against the ice in order that the knee in a measure might right itself again, which also was effected as perfectly as if 20 carpenters had been engaged in refitting it. Afterwards, the carpenters adjusted the bolts which had become bent.’

Nobody to dig the graves


Richard Newdigate,

‘Rose at three. Rode to East Cowes, ferryed over; went thro’ West Cowes to Radzee’s, boarded the yacht, saw how my goods were stowed, went on board the Successe, prevented their spoiling the carriage of my Chariot, which they would have knocked to pieces. Stowed her aboard the Yacht, Slinged my three horses on board. Returned to Barton. Gave my Daughter Mary a Breast Jewel (Diamond) worth £40, and my Daughter Nan a Diamond Locket worth £16. Gave little Wm Stephens a half Jacobus, and little Dick Sedley a quarter Carolus. Yesterday gave the servants half Crowns apiece. Breakfasted, and embarked first on the Hoy, to which Captn Radzee had returned the Carriage of the Coach, which I required him to take aboard his Yacht again. But he said he could not. Then I went and fetched my goods from aboard him, and sending back Nan and July, my son Stephens and Mr Scot, who were on board, we set sail in the Hoy and got against South Sea Castle that night. Lay rough. All were sick but Dick and I. Next day were becalmed. Could not lose sight oth’ Island. Lay rough again. About two ith’ morning a North East gale blew fresh and sent us forward.’

‘After two days and nights,’ writes Lady Newdigate-Newdegate, ‘of much discomfort on a stormy sea, the little company of six arrived within reach of Cherbourg on the French coast. The appearance of the ‘hoy’ with its unknown freight caused no little excitement in the inhabitants of the town. Sir Richard, as usual, is found equal to all emergencies, and nothing seems to escape his ‘roving’ and observant eye.’

But I spied crabs


Caroline Powys,

‘Being at my brother Powys’ at Fawley, one I suppose of the most elegant parsonages in England, commanding from a very good house a prospect uncommonly noble, he took us to Mr. Michell’s new house, which makes so pretty an object from his own place. The house was not finish’d, stands in a paddock, rises from the river on a fine knoll commanding a view which must charm every eye. The hall, and below-stairs, if we could then judge, seem too minute, the plan of the bedchambers exceedingly convenient and pleasing, kitchen offices are all very clever. About a mile from the house, through a sweet wood, you mount a vast eminence which brings you to an exact Chinese house call’d Rose Hill, from being built in the centre of a shrubbery of roses, honeysuckles, &c. The situation of this commands what some call a finer prospect than the other house, but the variety of each is pleasing. A poor woman lives here, and ’tis a sweet summer tea-drinking place inside and out, in the true Chinese taste.’

Such interesting anecdotes


Anne Lister,
landowner and traveller

‘Two kisses last night, one almost immediately after the other, before we went to sleep . . . Felt better, but was so shockingly low last night I cried bitterly but smothered it so that M- scarcely knew of it. At any rate, she took no notice, wisely enough . . . M- told me of the gentlemanliness & agreeableness of Mr Powis who, it seems, might interest M more than duly had her heart no object but C-, with whom she has had no connection these four months. Not down to breakfast till 11 . . . then, perhaps luckily for us, all in a bustle & M-off at 21. We were off in 1/2 hour.

Got here, the King’s Head, New Hotel, Llangollen, patronised by Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby, in 44 hours . . . Beautiful drive from Chester to Wrexham. It was market day & the town seemed very busy. Beautiful drive, also, from Wrexham here but I was perhaps disappointed with the first couple of miles of the vale of Llangollen The hills naked of wood & the white limestone quarries on our left certainly not picturesque. About 3 miles from Llangollen, when Castle Dinas Bran came in sight, we were satisfiede of the beauties of the valley but the sun was setting on the castle & so dazzled our eyes we could scarce look that way. The inn, kept by Elizabeth Davies, is close to the bridge & washed by the river Dee. We are much taken with our hostess & with the place. Have had an excellent roast leg of mutton, & trout, & very fine port wine, with every possible attention . . . We sat down to dinner at 8-1/2, having previously strolled thro’ the town to Lady Eleanor Butler’s & Miss Ponsonby’s place. There is a public road close to the house, thro’ the grounds, & along this we passed & repassed standing to look at the house, cottage, which is really very pretty. A great many of the people touched their hats to us on passing & we are much struck with their universal civility. A little [girl], seeing us apparently standing to consider our way, shewed us the road to Plas Newys (Lady Eleanor Butler’s & Miss Ponsonby’s), followed & answered our several questions very civilly. A little boy then came & we gave each of them all our halfpence, 2d. each.

After dinner (the people of the house took it at 10), wrote the following note, ‘To the Right Honourable Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby, Plasnewyd. Mrs & Miss Lister take the liberty of presenting their compliments to Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby, & of asking permission to see their grounds at Plas Newyd in the course of tomorrow morning. Miss Lister, at the suggestion of Mr Banks, had intended herself the honour of calling on her ladyship & Miss Ponsonby, & hopes she may be allowed to express her very great regret at hearing of her ladyship’s indisposition. King’s Head Hotel. Saturday evening. 13 July.’

The message returned was that we should see the grounds at 12 tomorrow. This will prevent our going to church, which begins at 11 & will not be over till after 1. The service is principally in Welsh except the lesson & sermon every 2nd Sunday & tomorrow is the English day. Lady Eleanor Butler has been couched. She ventured out too soon & caught cold. Her medical man . . . positively refuses her seeing anyone. Her cousin, Lady Mary Ponsonby, passed thro’ not long ago & did not see her.’

A violent longing


Alexandra Feodorovna,

‘Beautiful morning. I spent the day as yesterday lying on the bed, as back aches when move about.

Others went out twice. Anastasia remained with me in the afternoon. One says Nagorny & Sednyov have been sent out of this government, instead of giving them back to us.

At 6:30 Baby had his first bath since Tobolsk. He managed to get in & out alone, climbs also alone in & out of bed, but can only stand on one foot as yet. 9:45 I went to bed again.

Rained in the night.

Heard three revolver shots in the night.

Death of the Romanovs


Bruce Lockhart,

‘At Hunger Hill for week-end. Hamish, Nancy Mitford. Ba [Cecil] Beaton, and Count Bismarck here. The latter lives in Rome. He is a grandson of the famous Bismarck and hates the Kaiser. The family has obviously never forgiven the latter for ‘dropping the pilot’. Bismarck is a peculiar-looking young man - very aesthetic. He says Fascism is on the decline and is definitely unpopular and that the good relations between the Vatican and Mussolini would not last. Army is definitely anti-Fascist.’

Secret agent in Moscow

**************************************************************************************James 1932
James Courage,

‘Appalling depression - really rock-bottom - everything in the world went black. This culminated in the evening when I burst into tears when Mrs M. came to see me, and wept for an hour and a half. I really think she saved me from suicide. I haven’t been so upset since Dec 27th, 1930, on the way to S. America. Completely and absolutely de profundis.’

I’d have liked that too


Oliver Charles Harvey,

‘I drove down to Frensham this morning with A.E.’s box. He greeted me with the news that Winston had been on the telephone five times over a government reconstruction. He wished to send Duff to Far East as coordinator à la Lyttelton, Brendan Bracken to M. of I R.A.B. to Ministry of Education and Dick Law to be Undersecretary at F.O. A. was against Duff going to Far East and thought it preferable to make no change at M. of I. but to see how new arrangement worked there. He said he would miss R.A.B. who was good with the House of Commons and took a lot of work off his shoulders, but he had always wanted Dick - though latter suffered from diffidence and lack of authority. I said I was sure this would be a good change and it was important to bring Dick on. Anyway we get rid of Chips [Channon]! I think A.E. feels R.A.B. was useful in keeping Munichers in Parliament in order. He also wondered whether he should have had a Labour Under-Secretary - but who? I think this is the best arrangement and Dick deserves the opportunity.

Instructions were sent to Cripps last night to sign Anglo-Soviet Declaration - we expect news of it at any minute.

The Polish-Soviet conversation on Friday went fairly well. Maisky agreed to most of the Polish points. The trouble is that half the Polish Government here is violently anti-Russian. There is also an ugly snag in the Polish political prisoners whom the Poles want released and who are believed to have been “liquidated”. A.E. is using all pressure to bring them together.

There was a last-minute hitch last night over Syrian armistice, Dentz refusing to treat with us if Free French were also included. But this seems to have been got over and we hear French plenipotentiaries crossed our lines early this morning.

Meanwhile things don’t look too bad. Russians are doing far better than was expected and must have badly delayed German programme. The Russian Mission here are getting on very well with our staffs. But I still wish it were possible to do more to help them than bombing in the West.

A most important thing is how well A.E. and the P.M. get on. Latter, I think, really trusts him and listens to him, headstrong though he is. He apologised to A.E. for being so tiresome over his personal telegrams to Stalin. He is an eternal schoolboy.’

I feel shocked and ashamed


Hermione Llewellyn,
secretary and noblewoman

‘This evening I went straight from the hospital to the police station on the Jaffa Road. Red Face was waiting for me in a bare Arab room. I asked his name. ‘Call me Abercrombie,’ he said, ‘it’s as good as any other. Now sit down,’ he continued, ‘I shall tell you all I know. I was taught in America by “G” men and I am a bloody fine shot. Make the gun part of your arm. . . He showed me how to hold it easily in my hand, how to cock it and recock it without moving anything but my fingers and wrist. ‘Never pull the trigger,’ he said. ‘Your gun is like an orange in the palm of your hand. You must squeeze that orange.’ . . .

He took me over to the range. It was dark inside and after the stark Palestinian sun I could not see. ‘There are six dummy men in here,’ he said, ‘stay where you are and use your eyes. Kill them.’ He was unsparing. I shot with my right hand, with my left hand, and with both hands. I hated the noise and blinked my eyes. My wrist wobbled; my mind wobbled. He made me go on. Sometimes I shot in the dark. Sometimes he turned on the light. He bawled. I shot. ‘One, two. One, two. Now left. Now right. Now both together. Squeeze that orange. Keep your eyes open.’ Sweating and shy I plugged on, standing close-to and then far from his life-size dummies. After an hour he told me to return at the same time tomorrow.’

Reinforcements received


Arthur C. Clarke,

‘Got to work again on the novel and made good progress despite the distraction of the Republican Convention.’

Dreamed I was a robot


Paul K Lyons,

‘After a cold shower, I’m up and out quick. The bus driver tries to rip me off 40L for a ride to Syria, so I hitch - 8km of no mans land signalled by barbed wire. A visa costs me nearly £2 - big rip off. I should have got a transit visa. By 10 I am in Syria. I hitch a ride to Allepo and take a bus to Damascus S£5. There is an English couple on the bus, but I take an immediate dislike to them. We three English are befriended - given cucumbers and nuts and asked our names. One of the passengers, a teacher, speaks English so we talk for a while. Several little girls are always smiling. The journey is long - five hours sitting and standing. At first, all the land is ploughed, but dry-looking with something growing but later it becomes arid and desert-like. I see many soldiers, and tanks shunting backwards and forwards. On the bus, Khald befriends me. We arrive by 6:00. Khald takes me to his flat which he shares with his brother and a friend. In the evening, we stroll slowly around the town, stopping to talk to friends, and always shaking hands when meeting and leaving them. Many boys walk together with arms or hands joined, very strange - everywhere is very lively - a glass of ice with lemon juice - a chapati with egg and mayonnaise and tomato, and another with meat and cucumber. I sleep well on the floor even though I sweat a lot at first.’

Damascus diaries


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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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