And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

15 November

1623
William Whiteway,
politician

‘This day about 10 a clocke at night Squire Williams stabd the Tapster of the George to the heart and killd him. Whereupon he fled into Holland, and from thence to France, where he lived at Caen. Some 8 moneths after he returned, have a pardon for £1500.’

The towne took on fire

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1684
John Evelyn
, writer

‘Being the Queen’s birthday, there were fireworks on the Thames before Whitehall, with pageants of castles, forts, and other devices of girandolas, serpents, the King and Queen’s arms and mottoes, all represented in fire, such as had not been seen here. But the most remarkable was the several fires and skirmishes in the very water, which actually moved a long way, burning under the water, now and then appearing above it, giving reports like muskets and cannon, with grenades and innumerable other devices. It is said it cost £1,500. It was concluded with a ball, where all the young ladies and gallants danced in the great hall. The court had not been seen so brave and rich in apparel since his Majesty’s Restoration.’

A most excellent person

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

1699
John Evelyn,
writer

‘There happened this week so thick a mist and fog, that people lost their way in the streets, it being so intense that no light of candles, or torches, yielded any (or but very little) direction. I was in it, and in danger. Robberies were committed between the very lights which were fixed between London and Kensington on both sides, and while coaches and travelers were passing. It began about four in the afternoon, and was quite gone by eight, without any wind to disperse it. At the Thames, they beat drums to direct the watermen to make the shore.’

A most excellent person

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

1714
Mary Clavering Cowper,
courtier

‘I came into Waiting. I was ill when I came in, and continued so the whole Week. The Princess told me she had seen the Treatise on the State of Parties, already mentioned, and complimented me mightily upon it. In the Evening I played at Basset as low as I could, which they rallied me for; but I told my Mistress I played out of Duty, not Inclination, and having four Children, Nobody would think ill of me if for their Sakes I desired to save my Money, when I did not do Anything that was mean, dishonest, or dishonourable; for which she commended me, and said she thought the principal Duty of a Woman was to take care of her Children.’

All sorts of colours

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

1717
John Thomlinson,
priest

‘Uncle Robert says uncle John cares not how soon I was married - thinks of John Ord’s daughter - the eldest; she is a religious, good natured woman, not so handsome as the second who is a proud, conceiting herself to be a witt, etc. Neither the mother nor the eldest daughter are women of parts, or extraordinary sense, but enough to manage a house, etc. They think John may gett me this living, being acquainted with Mr Sharp’s brother, the lawyer, and he will do brother Richard business about the mill.’

In search of a rich wife

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

1807
Harman Blennerhassett,
lawyer and aristocrat

‘I am much mortified by my detention here - thro’ the probably delusive hopes Burr has held out to me of the possible success of his efforts to raise money. I have almost let slip the season for descending the Ohio, for there is much appearance of an early winter: and thus will another item be probably added to the long account of my sufferings by this man.’

Breaking with Burr

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

1808
William Bray,
lawyer and antiquary

‘This day I completed my 72nd year; and thanks to God’s mercies I find myself in as perfect health as I ever enjoyed in my life, and the only perceivable difference in any of my senses that I am aware of is a little degree of deafness in my right ear, but as the other is perfect, I do pretty well. My left eye I think has not perfectly recovered the severe inflammation which I had two or three years ago, but the other being sound, I read and write as well and as much as ever. My teeth remain perfect in front and without any additional loss to those which decayed some years ago.’

A good state of health

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

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is the world's greatest online anthology of diary extracts. It is presented in the same way as popular books like The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of Diaries, i.e. by calendar day, but contains more, and many longer, extracts than is possible in published books. Moreover, for each quoted extract there’s a link to a Diary Review article with some or all of the following: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts. Furthermore, new extracts are added on a regular basis.

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Notes and Cautions
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.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

SITE DEVISED by Paul K Lyons

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

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.