And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

22 June

1603
Margaret Hoby,
heiress

‘at Ashbye, wher I kissed the Queens hand’

After private prayers

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1760
Richard Pococke,
priest and traveller

‘We went into a Highland cabbin, in which there were five apartments, one at the entrance seemed to be for the cows, another beyond it for the sheep, and a third, to which there was only at the end of the house, for other cattle; to the left was the principal room, with a fire in the middle, and beyond that the bed-chamber, and a closet built to it for a pantry; and at the end of the bed-chamber, and of the house, a round window to let out the smoak, there being no chimney. The partitions all of hurdle-work, so one sees through the whole. A great pot of whey was over the fire, of which they were making Frau. They have a machine like that which they put into a churn, with stiff hairs round it, this they work round and up and down to raise a froth, which they eat of the pot with spoons, and it had the taste of new milk; then the family, servants and all, sat round it, and eat, the mistress looking on and waiting. She brought us a piggin of cream, and drank to me, and we drank it round. The dairy is in a building apart. This was contrived that I might see the Highland manners. They have here a great number of foxes and hares, the skins of which are very fine; the hares are of a light colour on the backs, and the bellies are quite white. I was told there are some all over white in the winter. A few swans come here every year in the hard weather; and a great number came in the year 1738, when the winter was very cold, but it is difficult to shoot them. They have plenty of red deer, and of the roe deer. Mr Monroe shot in the upper part of the Kyle of Dornock an extraordinary sea-bird, which dived very readily. It is as big as a goose, and much like it, except that the bill, about four inches long, is pointe.’

The Highland manners

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1846
Benjamin Haydon,
artist

‘God forgive - me - Amen. Finis of B R Haydon ‘Stretch me no longer on this tough World’ - Lear. End.’

Thirst after grandeur

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1883
James Hannington,
priest

‘Gave another address at morning prayers. Brighton 11 a.m. Gave address at the C.M.S. meeting in the Pavilion.’

The bishop in Buganda

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1927
Eric Gill,
sculptor and designer

‘A man’s penis and balls are very beautiful things and the power to see this beauty is not confined to the opposite sex. The shape of the head of a man’s erect penis is very excellent in the mouth. There is no doubt about this. I have often wondered - now I know.’

Very beautiful things

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1978
John Rae,
teacher

‘I am woken at 2am by footsteps on the roof. I find two 14-year-old boys clambering along in the semi-darkness. I say, ‘good evening’, and they, only mildly surprised to see me, say: ‘Sorry, Sir’. I tell them that roof-climbing is dangerous and that they must come down through the headmaster’s house and report to me in the morning. I admire their enterprise - it is what schoolboys should do sometime before they grow up, but they need a ticking off just the same.’

A ticking off at Westminster

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1979
Kenneth Williams,
actor and writer

‘On the news they announced that JEREMY THORPE had been acquitted!! So that lying crook Scott has not succeeded in his vindictive quest!! They were cheering Jeremy outside the Old Bailey, and he rather spoiled it by making a sanctimonious speech about JUSTICE etc. Whereas he should have just expressed satisfaction and breezed away!’

Carry on carping

**************************************************************************************

1995
Michael Spicer,
politician

‘Major’s letter of resignation read out at the 1922 Committee; stand by for a week in which everyone lies through his teeth.’

The spiceless diaries

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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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The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

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