And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

24 May

King Edward VI

‘An earthquake was at Croidon and Blechingliee, and in the most part of Surrey, but no harme was donne.’

Edward VI, the Boy King


David Garrick,
actor and producer

‘We went to ye Comedie Francaise dans les premiere Loges. The play was Molier’s L’Ecole des Maris, very ill acted but as a new Tragedy call’d Zares was acted for ye first time the night before, & by ye best actors, we saw none but ye inferior ones in this Play - the petite Piece was Le Magnifique (by La Motte as they told me) taken from La Fontaine, an indifferent farce, & worse acted.’

Hiss’d off ye English Stage


Hermann Ludwig von Löwenstern,

‘The Thames has been formally blockaded. All merchant ships are being stopped. Sailors have taken over two transports to America with riggings and ship’s provisions. The ships’ officers have been arrested and are being held hostage, as Parker with the delegates has declared, for the lives of the imprisoned delegates on land. They undressed a Chirurius [surgeon], smeared him with tar, sprinkled with feathers, and towed him on land behind a jolly boat. They have insulted many officers in the most sensitive manner and dunked a couple midshipmen in the water from the end of a yardarm. The delegates have a president whom they choose every day anew. Unfortunately, the entire English fleet is in rebellion.’

At sea with Von Löwenstern


Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake,

’My answer was to come about Wales. When I got my letter I prayed God to help me to bear it, for I was nearly sure it would be a refusal, and I was quite prepared for it and determined to keep my promise not to worry about it. I put my letter in my pocket and ran away from them all. Then I burst it open and read, ‘Daddy and I have such a strong wish you should see Wales, and it is truly painful to deny you such a pleasure.’ There, thought I, but I had expected it and didn’t feel so dreadfully disappointed. Then I read on and oh, I found it was not so, that I should go. Oh, I got so excited and half began to cry. Then came Mummy’s caution not to be excited, but it was impossible. Dropped down there and thanked God. Oh, then I trust He has granted my prayer. Glory to God in the highest. Oh, I was so thankful.’

Pioneering women’s education


William J. Hardee,

‘By invitation I go out and breakfast with Mrs Moore - taking Richard with me - Our walk gave us a good apetite and we enjoyed our breakfast hugely - I was almost afraid we would alarm them these hard times, but they are old and dear friends - who cannot be so easily disturbed –

We go with them all to church - myself walking with Miss Roe & Miss Hardee - And soon after a shady walk we reach the pretty country church –

I enjoyed the service - to hear once more and it might be for the last time the blending of sweet female voices accompanied by a sweet tuned melodeon, brought up pleasant but sad reflections - After we returned Mrs I gave us a delightful lunch - Genl Hardee came in to be with his daughters - It was the first time I had ever met him socially - He is very agreeable and pleasant - a finished polished gentleman - possessing the gentlest feelings, with the stern manliness of the soldier - My short intercourse with him increased my already high opinion of him - He seems to be a tender and affectionate father - May his life be long spared to his country and family.’

Manliness of the soldier


Charles Brooke,

‘We were off at about 730 a.m. with a following of sixty boats, each averaging forty men. It was a fine morning, with only a ripple caused by a fresh land-breeze; but one cannot be otherwise than anxious when pulling along the coast with only three inches of dry planking above water. However, we reached the mouth of Niabur, and there entered a creek leading to the

Rejang river just in time, for the sea-breeze was commencing, and the surf had already shown white on an outstretching point of sand. Some of the larger boats went round by sea, and we all reached the rendezvous together for cooking at mid-day, but found there was little or no drinking-water, as all that remained in this dry season had been mixed with the tubar root for poisoning fish; so we only rested to eat boiled rice, and again pushed on through the creeks. This was puzzling navigation, and people often lose themselves for days in such places. Most of these rivers are about two hundred yards broad, and to all appearance deep, with the Nipa palm and mangrove abounding on the banks. At 3 P.M. we came out in the Rejang river, which is more than a mile in breadth. The tide was in our favour, and we pushed on to Sarikei, where there were some huts of people who had lately taken up their abode here. This place was burnt down, as before mentioned, in 1859, subsequent to the murders of Messrs. Fox and Steele at Kanowit. We had made fifty miles to-day with paddles alone. Sarikei is twenty-six miles from the mouth of Rejang.’

The Sarawak coast is safe


Madison DeWolf,

‘Young Mens Buttes at 5 AM went 8 miles & crossed stream nearly dry 8 miles or 9 miles camped in a valley on Heart River passed a butte 3 miles from camp, no unusual incident see the usual amount of chase of Antelope by the Hounds band plays at every fish in the stream camped at 3 P.M. had to bridge the coolie 8 miles back Marched 18 miles’

DeWolf’s last stand


Alfred Edgar Coppard,

‘Sports at the Reason Ground (annual) [.] I won 4 third prizes viz. 120 yds, mile, 1 mile, & throwing cricket ball. I was really third. in long jump, but a mistake by the Judges “outed” me. My prizes were a fearful walking stick, a set of carvers of which the knife refuses to perform the only duty one asks of a carve - to carve & 2 of the most medally silver medals God ever permitted a man to make. The value of the lot is about £1. I swear when I think of the books I could have bought with the money.’

Prize money for books


Maurice Hankey,
civil servant

‘War Ctee. . . in morning. Frightful row about a minute by the Army Council threatening to resign if the War Committee insisted on an inquiry into the peace question. At the beginning of the meeting all except the Cabinet members were turned out of the room for nearly an hour while the Cabinet members discussed Colonel House, who seems to have sent a communication to the effect that the time has come to avail ourselves of the offer by President Wilson referred to earlier . . . McKenna, with whom I walked home to lunch, told me that they had not reached a decision, but that he, the P.M., Grey and Balfour had been in favour of accepting President Wilson’s good offices, owing to the black financial outlook, while Bonar Law and Ll. George were averse . . . He [McKenna] thought there was every prospect of the proposal being accepted. Apparently Grey had submitted one draft telegram, but another was being prepared on lines proposed by Balfour.’

Dreadful meetings


Robert Laird Borden,

‘Waked very early. Delightful water in lake for bathe if one could plunge in quickly. Glorious air. Read and walked around grounds during forenoon. Late in afternoon Rhodes and I started for Left Blower. I caught one grey on fly but no success either there or at Right Bower or Cedar Bay. Mail arrived during forenoon. Nothing very eventful reported. Russian Cavalry had joined British in Mesopotamia. Rhodes says Tiptrees jams &c much better than Cross and Blackwells. Apricot Brandy and Cherry Whisky liqueurs very good. Mrs Yank broils trout very excellently. Splits them, removed backbone and broils in olive oil. Weather very cool and breezy.’

Russian cavalry and jams


Frances Stevenson,

‘D. decided on Wednesday [today] to go to hear Winston’s speech, and we are both glad, for the House gave him (D.) a touching welcome. I wonder if they realise how near it may be to his last appearances. Winston, whom we met in the corridor afterwards, was nice to us both. D. was rather inclined to be critical of the Government’s policy, but I thought Winston very patient & I finally managed to turn the conversation to his pictures: we parted very happily. It was a perfect spring day, but as we drove through the smiling countryside there was a heavy sadness in my heart.’

We had great fun


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