MSWP (& FEP) diaries
by Mary S.W. Pollard
[Note: The original diary is not currently available for full transcription. What follows is a selective transcript, made some years ago. Dates were not usually transcribed verbatim. All original text is enclosed in quotation marks, and is verbatim.]
NB If a name is not listed in the key the person concerned has not yet been identified.
1904 (with FEP)
At the back, upside down, is the following:
by Joseph Watson
father of Dr. R. Sp. Watson
'The peewits are mustering on Bickerton Haugh,
And the swallows are racing round Hepple's dark tower:
They' re trying their wings, for they sure mawn be aff
To the sunny south land where nae winter clouds lower.
'An' brown is the heather on dark Simonside;
An' yellow the brackens on stony Cragend;
And red are the woods which the auld Abbey hide,
Where the Coquet round Brinkburn doth bonnily bend.
'And the river is croonin' a low plaintive sang,
To the banks and the braes it may ne' er see again;
And gently it glides or goes rushin' alang,
From its source ' mang the hills, till it's lost in the main.
'And the white-haired auld fisherman winds up his line,
Tak's doon his lang rod, and then shoulders his creel;
He hirple's awa' and wi' thoughts o' lang syne,
An' a tear in his e' e, bids the loved stream fareweel.
'An' soon o' er the land will the winter winds blaw,
An' the black leafless trees groan and bend i' the blast,
An' the hills an' the hollows be whitened with snaw,
An' the ice wi' firm grasp bind the cauld waters fast.
'But spring will return full o' sunshine an' glee,
And the swallows again flee round Hepple's dark tow' r,
An' the peewits, come back frae their home ' yont the sea,
Gae struttin' an' noddin' owre haugh, fell, an' moor.
'An' green, then, the heather on bright Simonside;
An' greener the brackens on stony Cragend;
An' closer the woods will the Auld Abbey hide,
Where the Coquet round Brinkburn doth bonnily bend.
'An' merrily, then, will the glad river sing,
An' play wi' the pebbles, an' dance wi' the sun;
An' merry the trout frae its bosom will spring,
Like the lambs i' the meadows, a' frolic and fun.
'But where's the auld fisher, sae bent an' sae lame,
What cam' ilka spring wi' his rod an' his creel?
Death's ca' d him awa' to his lang, latest hame,
An' he' ll wander nae mair by the streams he lo' ed weel.
'May his soul dwell in peace in that happier land,
Where summer and winter alike are unknown,
Where wi' leaves never fading the trees o' life stand,
By the stream clear as crystal which flows from the throne!
'Jan. 14th Thursday. Mrs P. F. & I left at 6.0 & went as far as York together—then she went on to Ackworth, & we went to supper at 30 St. Mary's.'
15 Jan 'I had a carriage to myself all the way, & caught the 10.40 home—lovely to be back, except for being separated from F. Found Lord Haddo here with a valet, & Miss Alison Garland. A year since darling Tom Tom died.'
16 Jan 'Canvassed for Johnson (versus Lord Morpeth) all the afternoon. Very cold. A tribe of small boys accompanied me.
'Heard of Gertie's engagement to Lawrie—she came down in tremendous joy & excitement. I expected a letter from F. but didn't get one. B. & B. departed at ¼ to 9. They are jolly. Lord Haddo left. At 11.30, unexpectedly, Mrs Ralph (sent by Free Trade Union) came. we'd all gone to bed!'
Sunday, 17 Jan 'Father in bed with a cold . . . & Mother insisted on my staying too, as I was tired & had a slight cold.'
18 Jan 'Poor Father in bed. Just escaped pleurisy.
'Canvassed a lot, etc. Percy, R. & I to meeting in Town Hall—very long, but good speeches by Dr Macnamarra, Sir John Brunner, John Johnson, John Wilson, M.P. & Jos. Howes. Mother to Temp. meeting somewhere.'
19 Jan 'canvassed. Mother & I to Conversazione given by Lord & Lady Armstrong in Museum, then on to chamber concert . . . Father still in bed.'
20 Jan 'I was at Committee room at 9.0—canvassed, then French. Canvassed all aft. or rather I mean got voters to go to the poll . . . Worked hard from 5–8. Mother & I went to some of the houses together.
'Father went to vote, & sat up. Mother, R. & I & 2 Mawsons to see declaration of poll from McKay's windows. Declared 11.25 p.m. Johnson in with majority of 1205. Very good. Some one ran home to tell Father. Lord Morpeth defeated again.'
21 Jan 'I went to Dr Bentham's. She knocked my Paris plan on the head & ordered me South for my lungs. It is hateful for I feel perfectly well. Began trousseau getting.'
22 Jan 'French. Shopped. Possibly I' ll get interested in buying a trousseau! but Dr B's advice has made me depressed & miserable. Saw Father in the office. He & Mother went to Saltburn for the week-end—he badly needs a rest. To workhouse with Mary in aft. & to see Edmundsons.'
Sunday, 24 Jan 'Such a sweet letter from Father—he is kind, but oh, I do hate a fuss being made over my health when I feel quite well.'
25 Jan 'Father & Mother returned.'
26 Jan 'French—cemetery—shopped.'
27 Jan 'Packed—workhouse, etc.'
Thursday, 28 Jan 'Mary & I were seen off at 10.30 by Aunt Car, Aunt Hope, Laura R. Teresa, Freda, Ruth & Fanny Seeley & Dr Bentham. It was very kind of them, but I was too miserable to care. Met at York by Hugh & Frank. Dear, dear Frank, he looked so ill & had a very bad cold. I felt miserable, & was horrid. Got to Torquay at 8.42, & went to Grand Hotel close to station.'
29 Jan 'Went to 10 or 12 lodgings,
boarding houses, etc. Finally fixed on Crofton House, Croft Rd—2 small bedrooms.
Aft. to Dr Horton. In evening made arrangement with landlady
he we cd have sitting room, as we need special food.'
4 Feb 'To see Dr lungs cured fr. cold already. What a farce it all is! Gave up thought of going to Penzance regretfully—& now I have to have a bed in the sitting room as my room has been let.'
5 Feb 'Here [sic] that Father is in bed with a threatening of pleurisy.'
13 Feb 'Faces massaged. Awful 1½ hrs at Dentist, getting a gold crown put on a tooth.'
15 Feb 'Left Torquay at 12.25 . . . Arrived London 6.30—drove to Charing X Hotel, where met Father, Mother & R. After dinner Aunt Emmie, Uncle Harry & Aunt Nellie Kuhlmann came. Latter very kind. Father is very weak still—had a long talk with him about Frank & he was so sweet & kind. Said if I'd rather stay in England, he wd. sacrifice my ticket to Marseilles.'
16 Feb 'Left London at 9.30, crossed from
Dover to Calais, arrive Paris about 4.30 I think. To
Hotel Buffet à la gare (Station Hotel).'
17 Feb 'Left about 9.0 . . . got to Marseilles about 10.15 p.m. Hotel Terminus—nice.'
18 Feb 'Stayed 2 days in Marseilles to rest Father. Fine, but cold. I don't like Marseilles. Had a headache.'
19 Feb 'Marseilles.'
20 Feb 'On board "Ville D' Algers" (Transatlantique).'
Sunday, 21 Feb 'Arrived Algiers 2.30 in rain! Drove to Grand Hotel, Mustapha Supèrieure—2 or 3 miles from the town, up steep hill.'
22 Feb 'Father v. tired.'
Friday, 26 Feb '2 letters from F. at last—the first I've had since Sunday a week ago at Torquay.'
30 Feb 'It rained most of the week, sometimes in torrents, & there was a thunderstorm one night, during which I was sick, & lay awake hearing Father cough dreadfully.'
5 Mar 'At last a fine sunny day, & Dr reports Father's heart much better . . .
'Father said "God guard ye on yr way" etc to me & said "You don't know how my heart yearns for thee & how earnestly I pray for thee.'
9 Mar 'French lesson—then I took up my abode:–
c/o Madame Gardo. Villa Beau Site.
Rue des Fontaines. Alger—Mustapha.
in a pension.'
10 Mar 'Got up early & went to see Father & Mother & R. off for Tizi-ousel at 8.45—I do hope it will do Father good, for Dr seemed to think he shd stay here. Felt very sorry I have been so cross, esp. if it sld be my last unmarried holiday with them. They are so kind—Father gave me 4 choices—to go with them, or to stay here & join them in Corsica—or to go home, or go to Constantine for the Baths. Still I feel glad to be alone & freer—I felt so restrained, esp. when Father was so hurt that I couldn't confide in him more & I couldn't.'
13 Mar 'M. Rubens out, so the family came & had dinner with me. He & I have had a good morning Philippine—I won, & he gave me a glorious bunch of roses & gladioli.'
16 Mar 'M. Rubens said to me that my playing of the piano couldn't be worse than my French! M. Djera was quite complimentary, though! I played whist with them till 11.0 p.m.'
17 Mar 'Poured in aft. & I felt very depressed.'
22 Mar 'Aft. to try & get cigars wh. had come by post for Father. Gt. business.'
Thursday, 24 Mar 'Mr R. & I had lunch early, & he came to see me off on the Empereur Eugène (?) We didn't start till 1.30.'
25 Mar 'Reached Marseilles between 3.30 & 4.0. . . . Left Marseilles at 8 . . . reached Paris about 9.0 I think.'
26 Mar 'Left Paris 10.45? got to Dover about 4 or 5. Lovely to see English fields, lambs etc. London about 7.15. Drove to Aunt Nellie's. (Kuhlmann.)'
Sunday, 27 Mar 'Aunt N. Denys, Harold Dillon & I to Westminster meeting. Saw Ernest Rowntree. Aft. . . . Played accompaniments for Harold & Denys while they played a violin duet.'
Monday, 28 Mar 'Arrived in York at 6.5 in much fear & trembling & misery. F. met me & we drove to Mabel's & had tea, & then B. & B. came in. F. as usual was goodness itself & by the end of the evening I felt much better.
'For the next few days I was very happy, saw more of F. than I thought would be possible, went walks with him, looked at houses, went to tea at B. & B's . . .
'F. looks thin & rather pale.'
'On Easter Monday April 4th F. & I left at 12.42 for Ackworth (Half holiday at Bootham) with H. Corder in the same carriage. Went to Mrs Pollard's to dinner, & there saw my 3 future nephews Malcolm, Wilfrid & Brian Sparkes.'
Wednesday, 6 Apr 'Left York, with Molly & Colin at 3.30. Mabel, H. & F. saw us off. It was horrid leaving F. How I wish he was coming to Bensham in the holidays. Arrived home 5.30. Elizth Sarah, & Louise gave us a warm welcome. We had a lovely tea, such lovely daffodils & tulips on the table, & everything looks perfect, the garden & the view included, my own little garden quite gay. But I long for Father & Mother.'
7 Apr 'Beattie Jullion came to see me. Aft. to cemetery, office, Dr Limont's, etc. Golding says they do miss Father. Everyone asks after him.'
12 Apr 'Packed, etc. Eva Benson paid a long call, & Ada, our old housemaid came, to ask what to give me as a wedding present. Very kind. Looked over old letters till 1.30 a.m. & got rather depressed.'
Wednesday, 13 Apr 'F's holidays began yesterday. I went to Ackworth by 10.30; B. met me at York, sweet as ever—got to Ackworth 1.30—F. met me & we walked to Bentinck Villas . . . Jeannie staying here too, wh. is nice.'
14 Apr 'Very happy day. Walked with F. to see the old Flounders (outside) in morning. F. seemed tired in evening, but we played "spite".'
15 Apr 'F. got up with bad headache, & could eat no breakfast . . . After dinner F. went to bed, temp. 101.6. He seemed so poorly—I sat by him & read to him, but felt anxious & unhappy about him.'
16 Apr 'F. in bed till after dinner, but rather better, I'm thankful to say.'
19 Apr 'Visited Frank before breakfast, but he got up to breakfast—he wasn't well enough to come to London, so I had to come alone. V. disappointing, & I missed him frightfully. It was a lovely sunny day—he saw me off at 9.46 . . . Then to Esmond Hotel—full,—so went next door to Montague Hotel, Montague St. Russell Square.'
20 Apr 'Went to Aunt Nellie's, then to National Gallery, then to Aunt N's to lunch . . .'
21 Apr 'I went by 10.15 to Beckenham & Mr A. drove to to Hayes & Keston, about 5 miles further, to see lodgings . . .
'Stayed to lunch & Cuthbert took me to the station, & I advised him to get married, but he teazed me about losing my freedom . . . then called on Aunt Nellie (out) Sylvia Thompson, & the Richardsons, who were kind as usual. Aunt Nellie Gurney there, & Frida Sturge came in to dinner.'
22 Apr 'Met Frank about ¼ to 5. Very exciting & jolly. Got a train about 5.0 to Wembley—Brian Sparkes went with us. Malcolm & Wilfrid at home also. Funny to have a nephew aged 22! Did not see much of F. that night, alas!'
23 Apr 'F. sang in evening, & Wilfrid played violin. Sophie sang, & I tried to play. Tried to fix a probable date for wedding with F.'
Monday, 25 Apr 'Afterwards we looked at furniture at Story's, & arrived at Aunt Emmie's after 6.0 driving in a hansom! F. is staying at Westminster Palace Hotel, but only has breakfast there . . . Uncle Harry is away.'
27 Apr 'F. & I went to National Liberal Club to see Father's portrait. . . .
'F. doesn't seem very strong yet. . . . got to Ashley Gardens at 6.45 & found precious Mother there—she had said by mistake they would arrive the next day—so we went with her to the Charing X Hotel to dinner. It was glorious & fearfully exciting to see them all again, & Father so much better tho' thin.'
28 Apr . . . 'we
drove in a
went by electric tube to British Museum & then drove in hansom to Chalfont House
& had tea with Ernest Rowntree.'
29 Apr 'Afterwards we said goodbye to Mother & R. who were going on to York with Father . . .'
30 Apr 'F. & I by bus to Hampstead. Long call on Binns' . They were very nice. Stayed to lunch. Back to tea at Aunt Emmie's, & then drove in hansom to King's X, & I saw F. off at 5.45, feeling pretty miserable. He is so good & kind. Aunt Emmie very sympathetic. She goes into fits of laughter w. me sometimes & is v. amusing.'
3 May 'Aunt Emmie, Olive & I taken by Uncle Harry to Bunhill Fields. . . . & said goodbye to the very kind family & came to stay with Aunt Nellie at 38 Westminster Mansions.'
5 May 'Heard alas that Father is ill again—chill & heart affected. V. disappointing.'
6 May . . . 'caught 4.45 from Paddington to Oxford, & arrived at Chipping Norton at 6.30. Mr de Selincourt met me & we drove to Kingham in a small dog cart. 9th Back to London to Aunt Nellie's . . . 12th to Evie's at Manchester.'
Page of entries cut out here, apparently by MSWP, as the entries from 'dog cart' to 'Manchester' have been written in later at the bottom of the previous page, and dates '7th' & '9th' are still visible on the stub of the missing page.
16 May 'Left the E's with great regret at ¼ to 9. Got home about 2.30.'
17 May 'I did not go to Gertie & Lawrie's wedding, but to the reception afterwards. Very nice. Gertie looked charming, & so unselfconscious—Eva, Sarah, Frida & Katie very nice as bridesmaids. I poured out. Chrissie & George, B. & B. & I went to Station & saw them off.'
18 May 'Went up to Aunt Gertie's, & Ber & I took G's bouquet to the workhouse.'
19 May 'C.A. [Cuthbert Atkinson] went away. Wished me happiness, & said I had never even mentioned Frank's name! I showed him his photographs. Washed blouses, etc.'
20 May 'Mother & I walked to Aunt Gertie's, took tram to High Level & at other side to cemetery, where we put lovely flowers from Aunt Gertie, then shopped a lot.'
Saturday, 21 May 'To York by 12.20, after a great rush, making a chocolate cake for Bertha, etc. No one met me, & I walked disconsolately to the boats. We left the landing in a large 4 oar at 2.30; Frank, Mr Sturge, Hugh, Joe Wigham, Isabel Yewdall, Ber & Bowes, Sarah & Eva & myself. H. made remarks about this picnic having waited for me 10 years, & a lot more nonsense. It was very cold, & I was very cross, & F. was rather provoking, or seemed so to me, & yet he really was kind as always. We had tea at the Fox Inn. I was made to pour out. I wish I hadn't been so horrid. It is 7 years since I've been one of these picnics. . . . Found Father & Mother at Bertha's when we returned.'
'23rd Whit Monday. . . . Went first thing to Bootham & saw Frank in his room, then to cricket ground. Present boys went in, & F. soon began to play & got 91 runs not out. I was proud of him, but got so teazed by people about its being my presence there & other nonsense. Unfortunately I cd not talk to him, & he had to stay at the school to dinner. . . . Frank came in to coffee, & we sat tog. till ¼ to 4 & then drove to the Mount with Mother, B. & Bowes. . . . The Mount is not like it used to be, & at O.S. the tennis was so jolly.'
24 May 'I saw B. & B. off to Coxwold; they intended to join rest of excursion party at tea; then went to Frank's room, & discussed not getting married in a way.
'He came to Mabel's to dinner, & we spent most of the aft. in trying to get him to put off the wedding till Xmas, but he was obdurate, & perhaps I' ll be glad! . . . Father & Mother have enjoyed O.S. immensely & seem none the worse. I didn't enjoy it much, except bits. It is very unsatisfactory when one is engaged.'
25 May 'Mother & I spent the whole morning making part of my bridescake. It turned out well. Herbie's wedding day. Poured, but cleared in evening. Went to Workhouse.'
26 May 'R. & Lily Spence to lunch. I went to Aunt Nellie Gurney's to dinner.'
28 May 'Mother & I finished the bridescake. Have made nearly 31 lbs!'
30 May 'Got up to see Mother off to W.L.A. meetings in London. She left here at 7.10, went to consult Dr Priestly Smith about her eyes in B' ham, & then had a reception in London. What a day!
'I did clothes all day with Miss Maugham.
'Gardened a little.'
31 May 'Father went to London for Free Russia meetings.
'To Workhouse in afternoon.'
2 June 'To town with R. & Aunt Gertie's . . . then to Mowats to get my pipes. V. nice. Father & Mother to Evie's'
3 June 'Ruth spent the day with us. Aft. I took her to H.S. to see gymnastics . . . It is a splendid school. I wish I was back there. Feel depressed by letter from F.
'Father came home.'
4 June 'R. & I exciting pounce patience.'
5 June 'Father & I to meeting. R. tired.
She made a lovely wreath & we went to the Gateshead Cemetery in aft. to Mrs
Harbron's funeral. Cousin Alice Procter & Uncle John
there. . . . Afterwards walked in garden & then Father read Browning to us. In
the morning at breakfast he sang to me, "Long, long ago," etc & then talked
about genealogies, his parents, etc. He seems better & in good spirits.'
6 June 'To town with R. & to Dr Limont's. Got bad headache. Met Mother at 1.48 from M/C. & we came home together. Father went off to London at 1.47—the irony of fate!'
7 June 'To workhouse. Mother to Ragged School Committee. Has been Sec. since before she married. Aft. Mother to Guardian meeting, then she & I to meeting at Town Hall to try & rouse people to send children to the High School. Mayor—Mr Penman—gave us tea, & made me blush by saying he had never seen me since I was little, but I & May Gurney had made a great impression on him by reciting & singing, & was was very good!! Most amusing. Mother spoke beautifully. She has been Sec. since the High School started in 1875. . . . Mother went out again in evening to Pilgrim St. to Peace Committee—4 meetings to-day & she is nearly 67! It's far too much.'
9 June 'I went to see Aunt G. & saw Herbie's house.'
10 June 'Mother & I to Sunderland by 10.0 train. Chose linen (nearly £90) all morning till nearly 2.0 . . . She is clever, & understands things so well, & has got me a glorious supply of tablecloths, sheets etc. . . .
'Father came back from London after 10.30 looking not well, & with pain, but having won tramway case agst corporation.'
12 June 'Percy, Nellie, Terence, Mr Lemon & Miss Ingram & Uncle Alec to tea. . . .
'Father got dreadful pain, so at 8.30 we got him to bed & R. & I telephoned from the Richardson's for the Dr who says he has got very slight inflammation of the bowels. Poor Father is very depressed & no wonder—2 attacks of pleurisy, pericarditis & now this already this year.'
13 June 'Father in bed all day. I was in most of day, sewing, helping Father, etc. he repeats poetry sometimes.'
14 June 'He seemed very poorly in aft. & we were rather alarmed; he got so faint . . . Aunt Hope called. Mother had to go there to a dinner party. She seemed tired out with anxiety & running about for Father.'
15 June 'Father rather better. Got up & sat in his room in evening, & even sang a little. Very bothered about the Tramways business . . . I had a jolly French lesson—also registered my marriage. Rather shy! Asked if I was Miss Watson, "Yes", "Are you going to marry Mr Emley"?!! Have you been married before is one of the questions!'
16 June 'W.L.A. Annual meeting in Jesmond Dene. I went to hear Mother who presided & gave account of London meetings.'
18 June 'At 6.0 we had a tennis party—Edith Ericsson, Kate Richardson, Miss Rees, the 2 brides—Gertie & Olive—with their husbands—Fred Emley & Ally Watson, Mr Fullager & Sadie Spence & Miss Bish, & Sarah E. They all seemed to enjoy it. I played one set. We had aft. tea at 6.0 & then a cold supper. Mayonnaise of salmon, galantine of chicken, tomato & cucumber sandwiches, coffee, lemonade, pineapple cream, jelly etc.'
20 June 'Father went to business again for part of the day. It is a relief that he is so much better.'
21 June 'I saw Mother & Agnes off at Bensham at 12.30. Very sorry to lose A. Mother gone as delegate to peace meetings at M/C & to stay with the E's. . . . I had a headache, but went to temperance festival in evening. . . . I had my hand done by Prof. Herschel again. Said I was wilful, fair amount of mental ability, cd play well with practise, rather changeable, agreeable to people, secretive, like things neat, not showy, something important had happened in 27th or 29th year—another important event to take place in 31st & 35th yrs otherwise life equable.'
25 June 'Shopped & met Frank at 3.24, & we went to choose silver spoons etc at Walker & Hall's, then to get tea at the Dairy & home by tram. It really was nearly perfect to see him again. I felt as if I couldn't leave off kissing him, when I took him to his room.'
Sunday, 26 June 'Woke early & ran in when dressed to kiss Frank in bed. He did look so sweet. . . .
'F. & I had exciting game of tether ball. He went away at 10.40—I did feel sad, but we' ve had a delicious time together.
28 June 'Long sketching lesson at Tynemouth, then Mother & R. went to Whitley to look for lodgings—Mother had meeting at workhouse in aft. & one at High School—far too much.
29 June 'We had about 30 workhouse & poor people to tea—gave them strawberries & flowers too. They did enjoy it, & heaped blessings on us. Mattie, Margaret & Ada came to help & Mrs Bell.'
30 June 'Mother poorly, bad cold, back-ache, etc. I to dentist's. Dr says Mother must be careful. May & Aunt Nellie Gurney to lunch. . . . Heard of loss of Tramway case. Poor Father.'
1 July 'Aft. at 5.0 Mother, R. & I to Rothbury for my last holiday treat before I'm married. Father couldn't get away. Glorious evening. Arrived County Hotel soon after 8.0. Mother very tired, but soon began to recover in country, but varicose veins prevented her from walking much.'
2 July 'At 3.0 I went to meet Father & after tea we walked past Farm & home by the river. He is full of joy at being in his old fishing haunts—only 3 when killed his first trout here—& Mother & I [sic] were nearly engaged at Rothbury. It's wonderful how he can forget his business troubles, for the tramway affair has worried him dreadfully, & people say such horrid things about him. I do wish he wasn't solicitor to the Company.'
4 July 'Father went at ¼ to 8, & in evening went to London. . . . Mother bought me a "tosson" (or Simonside wrap) in memory of our happy holiday. . . . We left at 4.30—got home about 7.0.'
5 July 'I had a busy week, largely taken up with the dentist. Had 2 gold crowns put on. 3 hours at a stretch—very painful . . . On Thursday . . . Father came home from London. Had won something to do with the Tramways again.'
9 July 'Awful morning at dentist's. Gt.
demonstration against licensing bill on moor & procession thro' streets. Frank
came at 10 to 4 p.m., & we had tea at Father's office together, then walked to
the moor, & heard Father speak, & then came home. . . . Frank had to go to Lythe
11.20 from N/C. It was lovely seeing him. We looked at the meeting house,
& in the morning I at last made up my mind to marry him in the study —to
say so, I mean.
Sunday, 10 July 'Frank & I were called in meeting! Funny.'
11 July 'To workhouse. B. R. & I to hear Mother lecture to B.W.T.A. on Algiers & that part with slides. V. interesting. We left before the end & caught the 4.45 to York. . . . Frank met us & he & I walked to St. Mary's. . . . after tea I went & engaged Jennie Wedgewood aged 13 as my day girl . . .'
12 July 'V. busy over the house all day. To Mabel's to tea, Frank also. We can't agree on papers & carpets which is distressing. Will we agree on anything?'
13 July 'House again. . . . We left by the 7.55 for N/C . . . Warm welcome from Father & Mother.'
15 July 'Mother & I partly iced the cake. Had dresses tried on, etc. Evening Father & Mother to Buffalo Bill.'
16 July 'Went on icing cake. Aft. about 100 or more Liberals came—the W.L.A's of N/C, Gateshead, Benwell, Wallsend, & perhaps one or two more & their husbands. We had the Industrial school band—30 little boys—who played splendidly . . . Simpson's proved tea, strawberries & ices. I believe we paid 1/3 a head. 3–6—refreshments whenever wanted. Gt. success, but v. tiring.'
18 July 'Father's wretched fights with the Corporation about the Tyneside Tramways Bill ended last week I think or about now. It is a mercy.'
20 July 'Mother & I spent aft. at workhouse.'
21 July 'Bought curtains & carpets. V. tiring.'
23 July 'Mother & I satisfactory time in town, buying pillows, toilet covers, etc. Mr Sadler to stay week end with us. Aunt H. Uncle Theo, & Dr Williams to dinner.'
24 July 'Had coffee after dinner. This luxury on Sundays I have striven agst, but it is creeping in, & for Mother's sake I am glad.'
25 July 'Chose a piano with R. & Mr Preston.'
27 July 'Presents come pouring in! Colin said to Mabel at York:– "Mother is it Aunt Mary or Uncle Frank who is going to get married"!! Molly calls him my "propeller" husband already! . . . Mother looks worn out—went to Education Com: at Durham.'
29 July 'We met Mrs Pollard & Sophie & Jeanie at station going through to Whitley to lodgings.'
30 July 'Frank arrived about 4.30. I was horrid to him, poor old boy, & he was playing cricket yesterday agst. the Haverford team, & got a bad hit from a ball.'
31 July 'Alas! my last Sunday. All
to meeting, except May. Hoped F. would turn up, but he didn't. Father
spoke beautifully—said last week we had heard how the spirit of God may
move all nations & people of every religion &
1 Aug 'A lovely day for bank
holiday. Busy morning, then the whole family started in a crammed
electric train about
2 Aug 'Frank came in to stay with
Aunt Gertie. I met him at ¼ to 11.0 in town & we took a tram to the
cemetery & left a wreath of red roses & pink sweet peas. Darling Arnie.
I am sure he must be pleased, but oh, how I long for one word of
'Father & Mother came to see me in bed—alas, my last night as I am in my own dear little room; what a happy time I have had, with many difficulties mostly caused by myself. I am truly thankful for all my blessings, for my best & dearest parents & sisters & my many friends, & I hope that the regrets & remorse for my past failures & wrong doing will cease to worry me, but make me strive harder than ever to be a loving, & helpful wife to Frank who is blessing me so richly.'
'18 Bootham Crescent
'September 10th Saturday.
'Frank & I have been in our own home exactly a week to-day, but I have not had a minute to spare to write this diary before.
'We had a perfectly delicious honeymoon in Scotland & spent one night at the dear old Bensham home before coming on here. We arrived in York about 4.45 with quantities of luggage, & drove here, where Jeanie was awaiting us. I rather dreaded it all, & felt frightened, but she had made the house so lovely, flowers everywhere like home, photographs of the family, my workbasket put out in the dining room, etc, that I soon felt happy.'
'I know I was rather horrid to F. to-day, but he is so good & sympathetic, & I am sure we will be happy in our own home. I will try to make it a peaceful & happy one.'
Sunday, 18 Sept
'For 2 weeks we were very busy trying to get straight—for there seemed an endless amount to do.'
'On Monday Jennie Wedgwood, a girl of 13, came to begin her work. She comes at 7.0 & stays still the dinner things are washed up, & I give her 2/6 a week. She began well—may it continue.'
'Frank worked very hard putting up pictures, etc, making his bed, sometimes helping to wash up, & once or twice preparing his tea.'
'I've been too busy to think much about being homesick, besides generally I've been so happy, & if I do get homesick or worried Frank is so good to me that I recover.
'On Saturday, 10th we took the kitten to Mabel's & left by the 4.45 for Ackworth where we had a nice week-end. It was so funny sleeping in Frank's room.'
'Jeanie was staying there too, & we went a walk with her in the evening & played whist. Mother was kind as usual. We left directly after breakfast on Monday morning.'
Tuesday, 20 Sept 'First 'At Home' Day. R. arranged the flowers exquisitely, worked very hard, & we bought cakes, etc. I got Mrs Allen to help, & Mabel lent me Alice. About 20 people called. F. was able to be in which made a great difference. We all wore our wedding things. Effie Clark, Miss Tenant, Mrs Theo. Rowntree, & Nellie Brady, Mrs Cudworth & 2 daughters, Emily Rowntree, Mrs Meyer, Mrs Pierce, Miss Hamilton, Dr T. Anderson, Mrs F. Rowntree, Mrs Morrell, etc. Telegram of good wishes from Father's friend Wm Glover.'
29 Sept 'To the B's to dinner—as chief guests . . . I was very tired, & F. was so sweet—came & sat by me in the drawing room, didn't smoke a cigar, & was so kind.'
1 Oct 'Frank's Mother came at 6.40. We both met her. F. had been playing football. I was cross & tired.'
4 Oct 'Mother departed at 12.40—we saw her off. She has been so kind & helpful.'
6 Oct 'Frank went to London at 12.15 to Education Comtee. He returned at midnight with Father—I was fearfully excited, & worked hard all day.'
7 Oct 'Had rummelled eggs & milk rolls for breakfast. Father has slept well. It was glorious having him here. As I was alone, I couldn't go to see him off.'
14 Oct 'Mother came at 12.20.'
15 Oct 'Mother left
8.40 train. It has been simply lovely having her here. She had to go to a
Committee at Durham. I left at 2.50 F. seeing me off . . . & got home about
4.30. Warm welcome from Father & Mother.'
Sunday, 16 Oct 'I sleep in Beaver room with bottle, fire etc. Mother quite spoils me.'
17 Oct 'Aft. Mother to Guardian meeting, then we had nice call on Allie Emley & saw over house. Mother does do a terrific amount. I had a good tea at home & left with great regret, but longing to see Frank, at 6.44.'
19 Oct 'F. played football match.'
20 Oct 'Interviewed about 1 dozen girls, as I want a day girl.'
22 Oct 'F. & I by 12.42 to Ackworth to Herbert Andrews' funeral. Very sad. Many there we knew.'
24 Oct 'Nellie Conlin aged 14 came as ½ day girl. Very inexperienced, but worked nicely.
25 Oct 'It is the greatest relief not to have to wash up the dinner things!'
29 Oct 'F. played football agst O.S.'
31 Oct 'F. & I to 30 St. Mary's to lunch to see Mother & Ruth who were passing thro' York on their way back from Beverley.'
2 Nov 'I saw F. off to London at 10.15.'
3 Nov 'To lunch at the B's. Father spent an hour or two there on his way back from London, in good spirits. How he lived I don't know, for he attended 7 meetings yesterday, Liberal, S.F.R.F. etc. . . . At 6.20 F. arrived oh, it is delicious to have him back again.'
5 Nov 'Played Bezique in evening.'
6 Nov 'Horribly cross all afternoon.'
7 Nov 'Did drawing room, made bread & tea cakes, & Nellie did dining room. . . . F. played football in rain.'
9 Nov 'Mother came at 12.0 as delegate to the N.U.W.W.'
11 Nov 'Mother, B & I drove to Seebohm Rowntree's model village & saw over the club. Mother, alas, went home by the 2.5. I saw her off.'
12 Nov 'F. played agst. Dalton Hall. I watched for ¾ hour.'
Sunday, 13 Nov 'F's long duty day . . .'
15 Nov 'Aunt Car came about 3.30 . . . She went by 6.3 train, walking to the Station, most energetic, after her long journey from London.'
17 Nov 'Frivolous evening. Played laughing snap & impudent questions.'
20 Nov 'Bertha got a daughter at 6.20. a.m.'
23 Nov 'To Albert Library sale with F. He has booked Manchester Guardian & New Age for next year.'
26 Nov 'Felt very depressed. Made a cross, partly, & sent it to Jesmond. It has been so nice being with F. & recalling the sad time at Dalton Hall.'
27 Nov 'This day 7 years ago Arnie died.'
30 Nov 'Anniversary of Arnold's funeral.'
3 Dec 'Frank not very well—nerves upset.'
10 Dec 'Decided suddenly to go home by 12.50.'
Sunday, 11 Dec 'Had to leave by 10.10. Mother came to see me off. She is tired & her legs are bad & rheumatism in shoulder.'
15 Dec 'To Captain Scott's lecture on Antarctic expedition. Most interesting.'
Thursday, 22 Dec 'Went home at 12.0 . . . First time F. & I had been to Bensham tog: except our last night of honeymoon. . . . F. & I slept in spare room, & didn't hear the Waits this year.'
26 Dec 'Our party. Very jolly. Our act went off pretty well, F. & I both in wigs. Ruth had fish ponds for the children. I felt rather out of things at home with not having any responsibility & feeling half a visitor, & didn't enjoy things as much as usual. Mother & I went to Workhouse in morning.'
27 Dec 'First Xmas B. has missed, & Mr Morrells sudden death on the 22nd made it a sad one for them.'
28 Dec 'Great game of tether ball with F.'
29 Dec 'Mother, M. & H. to London.'
30 Dec 'F. & I to Thursby near Carlisle, to see John & Lily Irwin. All 5 children there.'
31 Dec 'R F. & I to Cousin Augusta's in evening. 5 or 6 brides! . . . Aleric took me in to supper, as being youngest bride, but I wasn't. . . .
'The E's have gone to stay at Shields, so only F. R. Father & I to see the New Year in. Rather melancholy, & I hate to feel that this year in which F. & I have both been so happy is going. F. "first footed" it. I felt unhappy when we went to bed, as if we were not in sympathy, but we got alright.'
2 Jan 'Mother came in the evening home, to our joy. She saw Mabel & Hugh off to Teneriffe on the 31st & spent the week-end at Bournemouth.'
3 Jan 'Alas! our last day.'
4 Jan 'Left Bensham at 9.29 . . . Got to Birmingham at about 3.30. Hugh Gibbins met us. F. & I drove to up to Fayrestowe in a hansome; have a jolly bedroom with fire, & dressing room. . . . then drove to Woodbrooke where Teachers' Guild is being held.'
6 Jan . . . 'left by 3.30 train for Southport . . . Arrived there, I think, at 7.30. Lodgings 7 Bath St. (Miss Holmes) Frank's mother looked well.'
'16th Monday. Mrs Pollard came with us to Manchester . . . Left by 3.55 for York . . . Walked to Bootham Crescent, & had a warm welcome from Nelly & her mother, house lovely, & delicious fire in our bedroom. . . . Seemed, I think, like getting home, & there was a lovely feeling about it—our first time together since the honeymoon.'
19 Jan 'F. said he felt queer when he woke up. He went to school, came back feeling ill. After dinner I took his temp. which was, I think, 101, so wrote to A.R. & made him lie down. Put him to bed early with a fire in one room, & gave him aconite.'
20 Jan ' Temp. normal, but he still felt ill. It began to go up again, but he got up & seemed much better.'
21 Jan 'In the aft. F. seemed worse, so I sent for Dr Turner, who proved nice & patient & painstaking. Felt miserable every night, alone with F. who was really ill, temp. over 103o, & no one at St. Marys, & did not see B. for 2 days.'
Sunday, 22 Jan 'Dr came twice. F. seemed better in evening . . . at 9.15 I gave F. egg & milk—he began to be sick & nearly fainted. I was frightened, rushed next door, & they sent along to the school, & presently Sturge & A.R. came & the former stayed all night, sleeping on the drawing-room sofa. A great relief to me.'
23 Jan 'Mrs P. came in afternoon. F. began to get better. Temp still high.'
26 Jan 'F. better & went to Q.M. for short time.'
27 Jan 'Mother P. went back to Ackworth. I saw her off. . . . F. not quite so well. Spent another night alone with F. & then for 3 nights Bertha's housemaid slept here.'
30 Jan 'Bowes got me a ticket for Lloyd George's meeting. Rather disappointing. He was not well, & meeting not enthusiastic.'
1 Feb 'I got into bed by F. for a minute when quite undressed. It was lovely. We' ve been separated so long.'
2 Feb . . . 'Mother has written to me nearly every day, tho' both Father & Ruth are in bed ill. . . .
'Dr paid his last visit. I went to a meeting for ¾ hr of Food & Health Reform Asson.'
7 Feb 'I am 30 to-day. It is depressing to be no longer the same age as when we were married. . . . We started at 11.30 & went a splendid 2 hrs. drive over the moors to near Gormire Tarn & back by the White Horse. In the afternoon, after a rest, a short walk along the Ampleforth Rd.'
8 Feb 'Came back to York in the afternoon.'
9 Feb '3 wks to-day since F. became ill. He went to school for part of the day, but is not very strong yet.'
18 Feb 'I went to Bensham—got there at 5.30. Had a nearly perfect week-end, except that F. left all alone. Poor Father—I got a great shock to see him sitting up in bed at night, but I don't think he seemed worse than I expected.'
20 Feb . . . 'Mr Dendy . . . wanted to know if I'd made my husband get me a lady's maid yet!'
21 Feb 'Mother & I to B.W.T.A. meeting . . . Left Bensham at 6.40, Mother seeing me off. Got to York at 9.0, fearfully excited. Met by F. It was lovely. We drove here in a hansom.'
23 Feb 'Father, Mother & Ruth arrived at 12.0. F. & I, E. & E. B. & B & the baby all went to see them off. Father looked pretty well, but it was sad to think of their going so far away. I trust it will do him & all of them good. They went to Exeter tonight, sail from Plymouth on Sat: about 2.0.'
6 Mar 'At about 3.0 o' clock Nelly & I carried along the bed we had borrowed to Mabel's. I thought the house looked as if it had been broken into; we took the bed to the top attic & heard a noise in the next room. We were frightened; went down, locked the front door, & I went for Miss Hollis. When we returned the man had let down the latch & she had to go back & get the garden gate key. She opened it; there he was. While I held the gate, she went for a man. When at last she returned, he had flown over the wall. Got a policeman—house ransacked; he had slept in top-room. Dreadful. Very exciting. Went to tell Bertha.'
7 Mar 'I interviewed 2 detectives, & B. & I went round the house with them.'
10 Mar 'Heard the terribly sad news of J. Wilhelm Rowntree's death. F. & I went to police court—I had to try & detect the burglar among 5 men. Couldn't.'
12 Mar 'First letters from Teneriffe from Mother.'
17 Mar . . . 'I felt depressed, having had a poor account of Father from Mabel.'
18 Mar 'Bertha was standing in the dark outside our house. My heart sank. She had brought telegram "Father seriously ill." Bowes was out, but after a time we went back to St. Marys, & Bowes promised to find out about steamers, as I long to go.'
Sunday, 19 Mar . . . 'F. & Bowes sent telegrams to Tenerife. Ours was "Dear love. Shall Mary come? Most anxious to."
20 Mar 'In evening letters from Tenerife written on the 12th giving very bad account of Father.'
21 Mar 'Still no telegram. May we hope? The suspense is dreadful.'
22 Mar 'At 7.30 we got a telegram (really it had left Teneriffe at 5.15 p.m. on 21st & got to York 10.20 but was not delivered till this a.m.) saying "Slight rally, do not come." This was a relief, only I longed to be allowed to go. Later we heard one had gone to office "Consulting physician called in, condition changed, slightly better". We really did feel rather encouraged . . .'
23 Mar 'Very, very sad & pathetic letters from Mabel & Mother written on the 15th & a tiny one written before that to us all from Father. He is so wonderfully brave & splendid. . . . Evening we got a telegram (to Bowes) saying "Improvement continues, do not come." We felt much cheered.'
24 Mar 'In the morning we had a telegram from the office & sent from Teneriffe at 3.20 yesterday—Patient is now quite conscious slept well & has taken nourishment this morning the improvement is sustained".
'We know now that Father's first bad attack, when he was given up by the Dr was on Monday 13th but we heard no news & did not know he was ill till the following Saturday.'
31 Mar 'At last we have letters—very, very sad, & not very encouraging. Took them to B's, & there heard that last night Bowes had had an answer to his telegram saying that possibly they might bring Father home with them, & the thought of that shows he is better & is very encouraging.'
5 Apr 'Most encouraging letters from Teneriffe. Really a good account, which fills our hearts with thankfulness, & happiness.'
8 Apr 'At 2.30 (F. was out) I got a telegram asking me to go to Tenerife on 15th as H. & M. returning. Rather a blow, for we thought Father wd be coming home & had nearly fixed our holidays . . . Lovely day, but I felt rather worried. However it is such a relief to know Father is getting better.'
14 Apr 'After tea I took his temp.—over 100o Our train went at 9.30 & it was then 8.15. Dr Turner out—also Dr Auden. Dr Gosling came. Said F. might go to Southampton & see Dr there—Bowes very kindly came too. F. took some phenacetin.'
Saturday, 15 Apr 'Got to Southampton Docks then saw ship's doctor. . . .at 12.0 F. saw board of trade Dr. Both Drs thought him looking very pale, but thought he was fit to travel, so Bowes went home.
'We left about 2.30 I think . . . S.S. Durham Castle (Union Castle line) . . .'
Sunday, 16 Apr 'At night I took temp. over 102o I think—sent for Dr. F. was in bed the whole of the next 3 days, always feverish, living on slops, & attended by the Dr who was good.'
Good Friday, 21 Apr 'How thankful I was to see Las Palmas. Got there about 6.30 . . . Got to Santa Cruz about 4.30 . . . to Comacho's hotel.'
22 Apr 'We had some tea at Tacar: & left home about ¼ to 4 in a carriage with 3 horses, luggage gone on before. Got to Grand Hotel, Orotava, about 5.30. Father had been sitting on balcony looking for us, but had just gone to bed. Mother had been looking out all aft. She & Ruth looked better than I expected—also Father, except that he was very white—more so than I have ever seen him.'
24 Apr 'All went to botanical gardens, Father in a hammock; we had 3 donkeys between us.'
26 Apr 'Father carried to the Puerto in a hammock . . .'
27 Apr 'Alas, alas! F's visit drawing to a close.'
28 Apr 'F's last day. Strolled about & sat by fountain, Father giving us reminiscences of Bootham.'
Saturday, 29 Apr 'He left in the omnibus at 2.15, Father, Mother & R. waving to him from the balcony. I went a short way beyond the cinder heap with him—then said goodbye & walked back.'
1 May 'Letter & telegram from F. Apparently he only left this a.m. at 8.0 What a pity. He might have stayed another day here.
'A Canary flew into Father's room.'
2 May 'Dr came to examine Father for last time. Says he is much better, but urges our getting home quickly in case of relapse.'
3 May 'Nice parting with Dr. He charged 30 guineas & Father gave him £10 more.'
4 May . . . 'we got an electric train to Santa Cruz . . . Arrived there soon after 4.30, gave Father brandy, for he looked rather faint, & drove up to the Quisisana Hotel . . . R. & I had an awful time catching huge cockroaches, centipedes & mosquitoes in our bedrooms . . . Mother rather done up w. strain, but we persuaded Father still to have the nurse with him at night.'
Sunday, 7 May 'Aft. R. & I went up hill & saw a bull fight thro' glasses. Saw quite well. The poor bull seemed quite tame. Horrid kind of sport.'
8 May 'I spent morning with Father in garden. Reminiscences of olden times.'
11 May 'Next few days nothing much. Father began dictating to me his history of the N.L.F. said I was the first person he had allowed to touch it!'
17 May 'In evening Charles, waiter from Orotava, drove up (he was sailing that night) to see Father. Quite touching.'
Sunday, 21 May 'Father told us of how he began going to meeting when about 3 yrs old & amused himself by trying to catch flies & making the elastic in his gloves jump. Also when he went to Bootham given 100 words to spell—only boy who got 99 right—the 1 wrong was fuchsia!'
Tuesday, 23 May 'Steamer arrived in good time "Eleonore Woermann", a German boat . . . at about 2.0 we started.'
24 May 'Arrived at Madeira at 2.0'
26 May 'Bad headache. Cdn't read, at 4.0 went to bed. R. very kind & brought me hot bottle; dozed—at dinner time very sick wh. relieved me, & I slept well. Father came & put lavender water on my head & blew on it, & Mother read me one of Whittier's poems. They were so kind, but I couldn't help crying for Frank.'
29 May 'Wakened about 4.30 & got up soon
after—shores of old England looked exquisite. Heavenly day.
Bowes appeared on the tender—we nearly wept with joy, & I got a perfect letter
from Frank, & one from Aunt Gertie. Soon got off . . . then went to South
Western Hotel, where we had beautiful rooms . . . After tea Mother, Bowes,
Father & I went lovely short drive to see old walls—very pleased with
Southampton. Father very tired. Oh, I am excited.'
Tuesday, 30 May 'Left Southampton at 9.50 for Lyndhurst . . . drove 3 miles to the lodgings. Father not quite pleased with them, so we got rooms at the Crown Hotel—lunch at ¼ to 1, then Bowes came with me on the bus & saw me off at 1.45 for York via London. Everything went well—very, very sorry to leave Father & Mother, but thankful to be going back to F. Took the praying mantis with me. . . .At last at 10.15 p.m. I saw Frank's dear familiar figure on the platform & soon felt his refreshing kisses. I was frightfully excited—felt quite trembling with it. We had a lovely drive to 12 St. Marys, after depositing our luggage at our own house: staying there because our house not ready.'
3 June 'Russian who wanted help came to see us.'
Whit Monday, 12 June 'I went to the school at 9.0 with F. & gave away the sports prizes—not so bad as I expected . . . Portrait of Father by Percy Bigland unveiled by H.T. Mennell at 12.30. He spoke most beautifully & touchingly of their friendship—he might not be able to speak eloquently but no had [sic] a better claim than he to unveil the portrait; he had been best man at his most happy marriage, had stood w. him on the summit of Mont Blanc, & though later in life their paths had rather diverged, he had always watched his friend's progress in helping on every good cause—etc. H.T.M. spoke with difficulty, then unveiled the portrait—loud clapping. A. Rowntree then spoke beautifully—said Father had really taken the place of John Bright—always obeyed his conscience tho' it might take him to unpopular side; a clergyman had said he lived 4 or 5 lives—one his ordinary professional life, another that of a country gentleman fishing & climbing, another that of settling great trade disputes & another his political life; he has been the personification of the school & it is no weakness to say we love him from the bottom of our hearts. Then A.R. called for 3 cheers which were heartily given standing, & the following telegram was sent to Father:–' [telegram not actually included]
'(I had a charwoman—Mrs Rogers yesterday & to-day & gave her 5/-—she stayed to clear up dinner & set supper & then went) Aunt Hope & Uncle Theo there.'
13 June . . . 'I got a letter from Ber. saying Father had had another very serious attack, after lunch yesterday. I went to see Mabel in great distress, & while there we got a telegram from Lyndhurst saying he was rather better . . . It came as a great shock & surprise & disappointment. Poor Father & Mother. It is dreadful for them. Fortunately they got a Dr at once, & a nice nurse from Southampton.'
'After dinner I wrote a long letter to them about O.S. & then Basil gave me 1½ hrs music lesson—Schubert songs, because he thinks I play F's accompaniments so badly!'
16 June 'Got beautiful letter about Father from B[asil]. de S[elincourt]. Fortunately he is getting over the attack well.'
17 June 'Father had a v. slight stroke. We are anxious about him.'
22 June 'At 7.35 Father, Mother, R. Evie, & the nurse arrived at last, after their journey had been put off so often . . . Father . . . looked better than I expected, but v. tired. Mother quite worn out.'
23 June 'At 9.20 p.m. Arthur Pollard arrived here. We gave him supper, & he went away again at 10.0.'
Monday, 26 June 'At 1.58 we met Hugh, B. & B. Father in a wheeled chair, Mother, R. & the nurse in the Station & the 4 latter & I went in a saloon carriage to N/C. It was awfully pathetic to see Father, & I felt very doleful leaving F. Arrived there about 3.30. I felt frightfully excited—Nurse had to give Father whisky. He & she & Mother drove straight home. R. & I followed w. luggage in 2 cabs. He was put straight to bed & Dr Murray came—gave quite a good report. Warm welcome from Elizth Sarah & Margaret & Taylor. Father in a small bed in his room—nurse sleeps there too, I in spare room. He saw Aunt G. for 5 mins. She & Uncle J. called.'
27 June 'Sat with Father in morning a lot—for next few days I always sat with him while he slept in aft. & a good deal in the mornings & evenings. He settled for the night about 8.30. On the 29th I think he began sitting up a little in his room & on 30th he dictated a little to me of the history of the N.L.F. but he mostly just read the papers.'
Saturday, 1 July 'I could leave Frank no longer, so left Bensham about 8.30 for York via Durham. Father looked rather tired & sad, & I could hardly bear to leave him. Yesterday he gave up his Education Committee, Free Library & Art Committees & it is so hard for him & seems so dreadful. I wish he cd be spared all this pain. Poor Mother too sleeps badly & looks worn out; it is a strain for her.'
4 July 'F. to meeting of M. & O. J.W. Procter told him on behalf of the elders that his services to the ministry are much appreciated; they thought it might be helpful to him to know.'
6 July 'Long talk with F. in evening about children. Felt rather miserable.'
Sunday, 7 July 'At meeting a Scotch cattle drover spoke & kept saying "Dr Spence Watson says" & then quoted from Father's letter about the Alien's Bill in the Daily News.'
11 July 'Nelly had to go back before dinner, as not well. F. washed up dinner things for me!'
12 July 'Nelly didn't come. F. made beds. Still fearfully hot weather. I had great cleaning morning.'
19 July 'Had Mrs Rogers for the day—Nelly has been away a week now, & it fairly hard work, tho' easier in summer than winter.'
21 July 'Depressing day & I have bad cold. B. & B. to aft. tea. Nelly came back at last, but now has a bad finger.'
24 July 'Had a tooth stopped. At 7.15 went with B. & B. Mr F. Hutchinson & Miss Till to hear Sarah Bernhardt & Mrs Patrick Campbell in Pelleas et Melisande, a play by Maeterlinck—enjoyed it greatly.'
25 July 'Dentist again. To John Kitching's to aft. tea—talk about Mrs Stead, washerwoman, whom they & we are sending to the country for a fortnight.'
Tuesday, 1 Aug 'Our second (or is it 2rd or 4th?) honeymoon. . . . 9.30 train to Keswick, via Leeds. Got to Keswick about 4.0 . . . Had poured, but fortunately fine for our bicycle ride of 4 miles to c/o Mrs Robinson, Troutdale Cottage, Borrowdale.'
10 Aug . . . 'met Mary Spence, etc.'
12 Aug 'Up Honister Pass at top of wh. we met Sadie, Philip & Edie Spence.'
14 Aug 'Met John & Lily Irwin at 11.45, & rowed them back.'
15 Aug 'We have had a very, very happy fortnight here, & are sorry to be leaving. Mrs Robinson very good cook, kind & obliging. Bill for 2 weeks = £6.14.0½ —the 3 rooms are £2 per week. 1st week our bill was £3.0.2 (rooms £1.14.0) next week £3.13.10½. Of course we have had several teas out. Housekeeping here was absolutely no bother.
'Packed. Sent off heather to Bensham, etc. Very hot. Left at 1.0, F. on char-a-banc, I on cycle for Keswick. . . . Got to Heugh Folds soon after 6.0. Aunt Car out, but soon arrived.'
16 Aug 'Found Mr Minshall & Dora here in great spirits & full of chaff.'
18 Aug 'Dora & H. Minshall went away. . . . At about 4.0 Mother arrived, also rather wet & having lost her luggage. Most lovely to see her—1st time she has been able to leave Father, but he is so much better.'
21 Aug . . . 'then had to part from Mother, whom it has been most delightful to see, & we went on by Carnforth & Hellifield to Askrigg, where we arrived about 4.0. Jolly to see it again—last time was when F. & I travelled from it, just before getting engaged! . . . Came to Mr Fawcett's, Swale Villa, where we have a bedroom & sitting room, & are charged 4.6 each per day.'
22 Aug 'My head was bad—I cd eat no tea, so went to bed & was very sick. F. so sweet & kind. This is the 1st time I have been poorly since I was married!'
24 Aug '2 years ago to-day F. & I met at Carr End, & we renewed the varied memories of that time to-day.'
30 Aug 'F. is wearing a suit wh. he wd not wear 2 yrs ago in Wensleydale for he thought it was not tidy enough for me!! Now it doesn't matter |||'
31 Aug '2 years ago to-day we were engaged!'
2 Sept 'A year ago to-day we arrived at Bensham on our honeymoon.'
[cycled to Durham and] 'Got the 6.7 train to Bensham, & a warm welcome from Father, Mother, R. (who has been ill) B. B. & Dia—the latter 3 just arrived. Dinner. Father sat up till 9.0. It is amazing to see him better than for so long telling stories, etc all in his own way, & walking upstairs. It is almost incredible.
'Rode about 50 miles.'
4 Sept 'Father as usual to office for ½ day.'
[7 Sept] . . . 'caught the 5.5 to Scalby. Lots of York people going. Tea at 6.30 in marquee, rushed to lodgings 10 mins. off, at 1 Throxemby Lane . . .'
Sunday, 10 Sept 'F. spoke well on having basis of silence in our meetings, ending w. "At the present time at the end of a meeting, my feeling is often one of pure exasperation." Congratulated by Brayshaw, Alfred Brown, etc.'
13 Sept 'Parted from F. feeling wretched—he to York, then to Skipton on the tramp, to stay there one night, I to Staintondale to stay with Chrissie Mennell.'
14 Sept 'Left Staintondale at 1.59 & got to York 3.37 . . . Felt very dreary arriving here alone, but Nelly & her Mother gave me a warm welcome. F. arrived about 7.0 & we had high tea.'
15 Sept 'I let Nelly go home in aft. & F. & I had tea in kitchen & played cards there after by the fire & had a bath together.
16 Sept 'F. left for Settle at 2.35 for the 'Tramp' .'
21 Sept 'Heard that Coz. Charlie is very ill in Edinburgh.'
26 Sept 'Taught Nelly ironing. She has a nice nature.'
2 Oct 'W.L.A. Committee in aft. My first here—rather formidable. They welcomed me, but insisted I cd speak at things wh. is nonsense.'
4 Oct 'Collected W.L.A. Subs. Watched football match, etc.'
5 Oct 'Evening went to hear Bowes' speech before being nominated for election on the Corporation. Very good.'
12 Oct 'Milly Procter, Edna Crichton & I to Keighley by 9.25 to W.L.A. Annual meeting (Yorkshire).'
14 Oct 'Started by 9.25 for Oxford . . . 6.20 to Chipping Norton. (Junction) Met by Basil & drove very quickly to Far End (1 mile) where Beryl met us.'
16 Oct 'I feel it a great relief to get away from the atmosphere of York Friends for a time.'
17 Oct 'Long journey to York. Got there at 7.35.'
18 Oct 'F's mother & Lucy Jackson intended arriving about 10.30 . . . Mother in good spirits & well. We saw them off after 9.30 p.m.'
19 Oct 'Evening W.L.A. meeting at wh. municipal candidates spoke—Bowes, Oscar R. Hogge, Meyer, etc . . . F. joined us before the end which was jolly. It is one of the first political meetings he & I have been to together.'
21 Oct 'F. & I canvassed for Bowes. First time F. had ever canvassed.'
23 Oct 'Evening F. & I canvassed for Bowes.'
25 Oct 'F. to Q.M. at Sheffield.'
28 Oct 'Darling Mother arrived at 12.5.'
31 Oct 'F. not well yet & I have bad throat, but canvassed for Ken. Williamson. Aft. to school to hear Mr Rutting sing. He is one of original Jubilee singers & was born a slave. Gave interesting & pathetic account of himself & sang coon songs, old Jubilee songs like "Get on board" & English ballads. Had rather a cold, but fine voice.'
1 Nov 'Municipal election day. I couldn't go to help of bad cold.'
2 Nov 'Dearest Mother went home. We have enjoyed her.'
4 Nov 'Joe Wigham to supper.'
6 Nov 'Father & Mother's 4 post bed arrived. W.L.A. Committee.'
10 Nov 'Scare of a burglar—man sitting on wall—called up by policemen. I was so scared, that F. slept all night with me in my bed.'
11 Nov 'I went to Bensham by 12.50 . . . People think I am looking very well. Father tired & not breathing quite as well as in summer. Hot pipes in Bensham Grove now. Mother's arm bad—eczema?'
Sunday, 12 Nov 'Father happy in recalling stories of B.F. (Birket Foster) etc & the old days.'
13 Nov 'Mother badly needs a rest, but it is impossible—has had no proper rest & has gone thro' such a lot this year. She is wonderful. Many difficulties & problems at home. Had to give Louisa—the help—notice. . . . I left at 7.20 & arrived in York 9.30.'
18 Nov 'F. & I left by 10.5 for Ackworth & spent a very jolly day there.'
20 Nov 'F. so kind, made me go to bed at 9.0, lit gas fire (we have been sleeping in spare room since the 17th to see what it is like, in Father & Mother's big bed wh. they have just given us—it is so nice) & put hot bottle in bed.'
Monday, 27 Nov '8 years ago Arnold died. I sent a wreath to Jesmond.'
29 Nov 'Annual W.L.A. meeting . . . I had to go to the tea & pour out.'
4 Dec 'I was spoken to fearfully rudely in a shop where I went about a W.L.A. Committee.'
Sunday, 10 Dec '3 boys to tea—I had to get it ready, as I let Nelly go home.'
15 Dec 'Splendid last lecture of Mr Mills on Napoleon, but I was horrid to F. afterwards. Why am I so unkind to the laddie I love.'
16 Dec 'I went to see F. playing football near Haworth against "Trinity". Lovely fine day. I longed for him, but think these games are good for him. F. slept with me. Lovely.'
Sunday, 17 Dec 'Edgar there—spoke of the "thrill" that came over a political meeting when J.M. & Father came in—no meetings like them.'
18 Dec 'Last music lesson for this term & felt very proud of the cheque I received £2.10/- the first money I've earned since being married—hope I really deserve it. Meeting at Mrs Jos. R's about general election. It is a pity it will come in holidays. F. very excited about the splendid new cabinet. Father was asked by telegram to second resolution of confidence in C.B's Ministry at big Albert Hall meeting next week—"no one else acceptable to all" & that Bannerman wanted him to do it, but of course he can't. What a pity!"
19 Dec 'W.L.A. Committee.'
21 Dec 'Came to Bensham by 12.50—Taylor met us at 3.0.'
22 Dec 'Father's breathing not at all good, alas! He is very excited about Russia & sorry he can now take so little part. Meeting to-morrow, anniversary of Stepniak's death, in London & also a sort of farewell, for Tchakowsky, & Soskice & others are returning to Russia & he (Father) may never see them again. Also he wished he cd have talked over Russian affairs with them, for writing is apt to be misunderstood. He says B. Panes came & talked about Russia to him a week or two ago—he had been living w. the peasants, & seen how much more intelligent they are now, etc, & had written so to the Standard, & when he got a copy, it was exactly the reverse of what he'd written, for the Standard has been saying the peasants were uneducated & we stick to it. Father says Kennan's articles 1st made him think of starting a Society of F. of R.F. He took a room in the Criterion & Evie, Kropotkin & Stepniak & another I think came & talked things over, & Father sent out about 10,000? prospectus' & only got about 20 replies or something like that, but still the Society grew!
'Mother said to me that Father had said he so much enjoyed his talk with F. last night.'
23 Dec 'I went in in cab w. Father to office, because he wasn't at all well, & then on to Dr Murray's, for R. & I had agreed he ought to have the Dr. He was out, so I left a note & then telephoned from Mosscroft. He came in aft. & Father thought he had come of his own accord. He found that Father had pleurisy & sent him straight to bed. It is dreadful.'
Sunday, 24 Dec 'Father had slept very badly, so did Mother of course—in fact for 2 nights she has hardly slept at all & looks worn out. After breakfast Father's breathing so bad that we telephoned from Mosscroft for Dr Murray, & when he came he said he must have a nurse—we got a very nice Scotch nurse Stewart from N/C. Aft. Mother presided at the Wesleyan chapel at children's service—they bring their toys for the Children's Hospital. . . . Frank had to go to So. Shields to speak on peace. We went tog. & had a walk on the pier in the dark. The meeting began at 8.0. He spoke for ¾ hr, beautifully—I hardly knew he could speak so well, for I have only heard him read papers before. When we got back at 10.15 the nurse had just arrived.'
Xmas Day . . . 'It was sad having breakfast without Father & opening our presents without him there. It is the first time he has been ill on Xmas Day. However he had slept better & the pleurisy is no worse—going I think. He still wished us to have our party—I had never worked so little for it before—I was cross to F. . . . Father saw Aunt Nelly, Aunt Gertie & Aunt Emmie. He was terribly disappointed to miss it all. Little Joan Corder asked "Where is the dear old man who told us such nice stories last year"?'
26 Dec 'Mother & I to Workhouse. Gt. welcome fr. Katherine. She is 79.'
27 Dec 'Father had a bad night with cough. Mother looks v. tired, but the nurse sleeps with him of course.'
29 Dec 'Father seems better.'
30 Dec 'I went to see Dr Bentham—still have a little wrong with one long. She came to tea. She is anxious about Mother.'
Sunday, 31 Dec 'None of us sat up this year. It seemed so strange.'
2 Jan 'F. Ernest & I left by 7.30 train & travelled with Mr Fiddes to M/C.—as far as York with Aunt Emmie & Co. Got to Holyhead about 4.0, had tea on board, got to Dublin about 8.0 . . . Drove to Harcourt St. Met Cousin Lottie & got 8.30 train to Foxrock. Dear Cousin Mary wonderful.'
5 Jan 'F. stayed to old Scholars' dinner, but Cousins Lottie, Lizzie & myself went back by 5.30 & had a lovely evening with cousin Mary. She is 87½ but reads & sews & writes, etc.'
Saturday, 6 Jan 'Left with much regret at 9.30 . . . Got to Holyhead at 3.0 . . . Arrived Southport 8.0 & came to old lodgings 7 Bath St. Mother Pollard seems very well.'
Sunday, 7 Jan 'Mother had an attack of giddiness, so, we didn't go to meeting, . . .'
9 Jan 'Left Southport about 1.0—reached Ackworth at 5.0. Very nice to be here again—1st time we have stayed since the week-end on our honeymoon.'
10 Jan 'The next few days were good weather & Springlike & we saw a fair amount of Jeanie . . .'
14 Jan 'F. Jeanie & I to Mr Andrews' to tea. He was full of political stories. Have heard to-day that Hamar Greenwood is in for York (& Faber. C.) & Balfour out for M/C by 2000 odd. Many Liberal victories.'
Monday, 15 Jan 'Got here about 7.0 & had nice welcome from Nelly & her Mother & everything looked clean & nice.'
16 Jan 'Began to canvass for Mr Brigg. (Thirsk division.)'
18 Jan 'Aunt Nelly Gurney arrived at 6.10 to stay night. F. on duty, but she & I had a nice evening together. I think she said it was the first niece or nephew's house she had stayed at.'
19 Jan 'Aft. F. & I canvassed for Mr Brigg in Bootham . . .'
20 Jan 'F. & I, B. & B. canvassed in aft. . . . Father is downstairs now at Bensham again.'
22 Jan 'B. & I canvassed a little in a cab.'
23 Jan 'Isabel & I went to Central Committee Rooms & from 9.30-11.30 crossed off names on cards. At 12.0 I met Mother who came to talk to Mabel about osteopathy.'
24 Jan 'Q.M. Heard that Brigg has been beaten, alas! Election results generally still astounding.'
30 Jan 'Had games with the kitten; it raced up & down stairs & peeped thro' the banisters.'
31 Jan 'F. to my great distress, has hurt his knee at football.'
1 Feb 'Went to Workhouse, mens' ward, for 1st time, then a short drive w. F. as he can't walk.'
2 Feb 'Saw F. off to London at 10.5—education Committee—he is going to stay night at Sparkes! . . . Met Father & Mother at 3.45—coming here while drains done at Bensham, & went to Manchester to stay with Evie at 4.35 . . . Had not stayed there since marriage.'
6 Feb 'Left by 10.0 train for York. Aft. I went to see Father & Mother, who welcomed me warmly.'
7 Feb 'Alas! I am 31. Got some very nice presents, but none from F. & unfortunately he was on duty all day, so I had dinner in the evening w. Father & Mother & read lots of nice letters about the election & had a very nice time.'
14 Feb 'Dora R. was married to Herbert
Minshall at Oxford . . . Mother to tea—Father has actually gone all alone to
to on business & to cold Bensham for the night. I do hope
he wont take harm.'
15 Feb 'F. to Extension Committee. I seem hardly ever to see him this term, even tho' he is not playing football of his knee. Father came back,—none the worse I think—in evening.'
16 Feb 'F. & I to dinner at hotel w. Father & Mother.'
21 Feb . . . 'our 1st party the Reading Circle—20 came—all young & only 1 married couple—went off well I think—6.30–9.30 . . . I felt very shy, but we enjoyed having had it in a way. It made me feel very married!'
22 Feb 'Then did W.L.A. work & meeting in
collect vote for Committee.'
24 Feb 'This last week has been a fearful rush, & I feel I am losing the calm of our 1st year of married life—F. & I are both more busy now, & I have much more outside work. Hope this calm wont slip away altogether.'
26 Feb 'Busy in evening helping F. with his Subscription Com. work.'
2 Mar 'With F. to hear Hamilton Archibald on training of children. V. clever & amusing. Mostly about punishments. 3 important things for parents to remember.
'1) Respect rights of your children (knock at their doors—respect their broken toys etc)
'2) Supply effort
'3) Allow choice.
'Recommended Hodge's 'Nature Study & Life" very much.
'Make children self-reliant—allow the girls to do housekeeping etc.
'Evening we were busy all the time writing out Sub. Committee things. (Friends)
Sunday, 4 Mar 'Winter seems gone, & at last, nearly ½ the term over, I can get up at 6.30 without needing a candle.'
8 Mar 'Don't enjoy Workhouse yet.'
9 Mar . . . 'we all went to Guildhall to see the freedom of the city presented to Mr Butcher. Very interesting, but spoiled by a stupid Labour Councillor who objected to it.'
14 Mar 'I have very bad cold & feel cross & horrid.'
16 Mar 'Saw Aunt Car, Mabel & Molly off to Sidmouth.'
18 Mar 'At 3.30 F. saw me off to N/C. I am leaving Nelly to sleep in for the first time. She is excited.'
Sunday, 19 Mar 'Father gave gt. account of swindlers, etc, & of a time when he had bought some shares & insisted on selling out for very little he cdn't get much & then he was the only one who got anything.'
20 Mar 'Mother & I drove in with Father & then went to see the enormous Cunard ship Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson are building. I think it is the biggest ship that has ever been built. 30,000 gross tonnage,. Will carry 3000—crew 800. 6 decks. It isn't finished, but George took us over & it was most interesting. Then I went to see Dr Bentham who says there is a great improvement in my lungs.'
23 Mar 'Workhouse. Began reading "Pickwick Papers" to the men.'
27 Mar 'Began spring cleaning.'
Sunday, 1 Apr 'F. read J.W. Rowntree's sermons to me in aft. but thought I wouldn't talk to him & begged me to confide in him & talk & I couldn't. He was very sweet. He is much better in health this term.'
2 Apr 'At 1.50 F. met his Mother on her way to Ackworth & brought her here. . . . then at ¼ to 7 Mother Pollard went to the station.'
7 Apr 'Tidied things up in morning & let Nelly go home early.'
Wednesday, 11 Apr 'Easter Holidays . . . B. saw us off . . . at 12.22. Met Jeannie at Leeds at 2.0 after having had some lunch, & got to Windermere at 5.0 . . . Warm welcome from Aunt C's maids, Margaret & Ethel.'
Good Friday, 13 Apr 'Aunt C. has most thoughtfully ordered M/C Guardian & Spectator for us.'
17 Apr 'Aft. J. & I picked primroses to send to Father, who unhappily has a slight effusion again.'
21 Apr 'Play 'Bridge' in evenings . . .'
30 Apr 'We left Grasmere with very great sorrow by the 10.0 coach . . . & got to York at 6.0. I felt quite nervous & shy, but Nelly & her Mother had everything nice . . .'
1 May 'Our pussy is lost & we are much distressed.'
7 May 'Am working very hard pasting Father's speeches into a book.'
10 May 'I nearly finished book of Father's speeches! Workhouse Visiting Committee.'
11 May 'I finished the book of Father's speeches.'
14 May 'Great shock to get a card saying Father is ill. He seemed quite well till after breakfast yesterday & then suddenly began a fearful attack of sickness, which of course made his heart bad—(or vice versa) Dr Murray & Dr Ridley both came & they got a nurse at once. He & Mother & R. were going to London at the end of this week, & he seemed so well that he was going to preside at the Annual Peace Meeting. It is disappointing for him.
' . . . telephoned to Bensham, & had a very encouraging report of Father from Ruth.'
15 May 'Good report of Father. We are thankful.'
21 May 'We left by 4.10 train for London . . . F. & I went by bus & walking to Aunt Nelly's.'
22 May 'F. to
Y.M. Ministry &
Oversight Education Committee. . . . Then to Peace Meeting at City
Temple. Father's letter splendid. The meeting needed him badly.'
24 May . . . 'then said goodbye to Aunt N. who has been so kind & went back to meeting till about 7.30. Got the 8.15 North . . . Got here at midnight & drove home, very tired. It seemed like coming into the country & was lovely & quiet after noisy, tiring London.'
25 May 'Left by 6.15 for Bensham. F. saw me off. Nelly is going to sleep in. Found Father gone to bed, looking much better than I expected . . . Mother gave me the warmest welcome. She was so excited she didn't sleep well. She is so sweet & utterly unselfish. They both think I look very well. Father says I have grown into a woman! I slept in Beaver room, for 1st time since my marriage.'
26 May 'Aft. Mother & I went to see Cousin Charlie Spence's pictures—they are very beautiful—then T.M. Richardson's & his sons pictures. . . . Father went out a little. He said I cd tell F. they wd be quite willing to have me back again!'
Sunday, 27 May 'I forgot to say that yesterday Uncle Theo came to lunch, & Father tried on his new scarlet gown (11 guineas!) for the King's Visit.'
28 May 'Mother & I drove in with Father to the office where he stayed for an hour. . . .I had to leave by 6.44— Mother to preside at Band of Hope in evening. Nurse Bolland left.'
31 May 'Father & Mother came to stay at Station Hotel, & F. & I cycled along to see them about 8 p.m. Father in bed, looking very tired, but very cheerful. So nice to have them in York.'
1 June 'Evening F. went to Free Church Council Meeting & spoke on Education Bill.'
4 June 'Went to see Father & Mother at hotel, then to Bootham. School played badly, & F. got out at once . . . F. & I drove to Mount about 4 in hansom from station . . . We began the meeting by singing the school song & then Father came in very slowly following Ted Harvey & Percy with a black velvet cap on his head. It was so touching to see him: he looked so old & bent & walked up the steps on P's arm. Everyone stood up & cheered, & then he began his speech which lasted 15 mins. It was like the sermon of a prophet & very beautiful. He got back some of his old vigour in the middle, but was very tired by the end. He said there were 2 thoughts he had wished to give us for long—the first about always speaking the truth & what you felt to be right, however unpopular it might be, & you would find that it wd have an effect, tho' you might not see it at the time. The second about always committing your way unto the Lord—told how he & Thos. Whitwell at the Franco Prussian War had no idea what to do, & T.W. had said "Let us meet in prayer before going to bed" wh. they had done, & next morning everything seemed clear & they saw their way before them. . . . He ended up with "Commit thy way unto the Lord & He shall direct thy path" & there was silence for a minute or two.'
5 June 'Mother said Father was "longing" to see me & I was so pleased.'
6 June . . . 'I felt 'swollen' ' . . .
7 June 'I feel sick before meals & hate tea & food & feel distended often, so wrote to Dr Bentham.'
9 June 'Father & Mother's wedding day . . . I felt very queer & thoroughly tired & went early to bed. Dr B's answer not comforting.'
Sunday, 10 June 'Mother said as she went "This is a lovely little home & you are both lovely".'
15 June 'At last I went over to N/C. by 10.0 train to see Dr Bentham. Alas! she is right, but F. is pleased so I' ll try to be glad for his sake. It is funny that I never suspected in London or afterwards when I so often felt sick & unwell, but May persuaded me to go to N/C. I feel better now & am thankful to be out of doubt. . . . I caught the 4.0 train back & F. met me after 6.0 He called me 'darling' & had put lovely lilies of the valley in our room & after tea I told him everything & he was so sweet. He had bought me also some of Trollope's novels & some acid drops, as I don't like sweet things now & he thought I'd like the acid.'
18 June 'Not v. good news of the family who have gone to Beaconsfield, Bucks—bad inn,—& Father has got a little cold.'
19 June 'Much better news of the family . . .'
24 June 'Bowes says Mother is (I think) the cleverest woman he has ever met.'
27 June 'Went by 10.5 to Ackworth General Meeting. 1st time I had been there. Lovely day & much enjoyed it. Got in to business meeting, then took F's Mother in Bath chair to her house where we had a very nice dinner.'
29 June 'Evening played a set of tennis at the school—only the 2nd I've ever had w. F. & I did enjoy it—I long for exercise like that. At first I couldn't do anything, but finally won by 6-5!'
4 July 'We saw F. off to Education Comtee at 10.5 (he stayed 1 night there at the Kingsley Hotel) packed & met Father & Mother at about 2.0. All the others met them also. Aunt Hope & Ernest met us at N/C. & we sent Father & Mother off in the cab with the luggage & Isabel & I went by tram, arriving a few minutes later. Father managed the journey very well & soon went to bed, & I had a long talk with Mother in the garden, who confessed to feeling utterly worn out now the strain is somewhat over. Also she told me of the disagreeable experience at the hotel at Beaconsfield.
'Gt. fun to be with Isabel again at Bensham. I feel quite young & unmarried!'
5 July 'Went into town, with Father who insisted on going into the office for an hour, about Mother's black moiré dress for the King's visit.'
7 July 'Lovely weather now. I lie
in the big chair in the garden most of
the every aft. snoozing
& reading. Father getting stronger.'
11 July 'Great day of King's visit & the rain came down in torrents. Father looked splendid in his scarlet gown & black cap, Mother in her black moiré silk & R. in pale green—there was a muddle about my ticket & I never met Gilbert, so saw nothing but the decorations & I might have been in the College. It was disappointing. The others had a splendid time. Father was presented to the King & Queen, & was the only person mentioned in the report by Dean Kitchin.
'(Father has just refused a knighthood offered by C.B.)
'They got back to dinner & I had to leave at 3.30.'
12 July 'Busy over Liberal affairs. Had to tell B. my secret. Workhouse nicer than usual, then Liberal sewing meeting . . . Mabel & I got Friends' garden party at Retreat.'
14 July '
I was horrid to F. & he
said I cut him to the heart w. what I said. Oh dear!'
18 July 'Letter from Mother about our future.'
21 July 'Heard this week that Cousin Mary Edmundson died on the 15th or 17th. How she will be missed.'
Sunday, 22 July 'F's long duty day, so I had dinner all alone, having let Nelly go home. F. helped me to get supper ready—like old times!'
23 July 'Party of 8 boys in evening. I had them alone for first ½ hr. Success I think. Musical game. 7.30-9.30.'
27 July 'Garden party at Seebohm's. F. & I played 1 set of tennis,—Geof. Thompson & I agst F. & Oscar R.'
31 July 'I let Nelly go home early & got tea ready.'
1 Aug 'Mary Brown came to cook.'
2 Aug 'Educational section 10.30—1.15. Michael Sadler's address v. good. . . .Museum gardens beautifully illuminated & band & we sat out in warmth (I in low necked dress).'
8 Aug 'My cook went, & Nelly & I worked hard, & I made veg. marrow jam.'
10 Aug 'Started at 7 p.m. for our
tour holiday in Ireland.'
11 Aug 'Arrived Dublin about 6.0 a.m. . . . Got to Tralee at 1.0 . . . Only 30 miles to Dingle & we didn't get there till 8.0 . . . Began to rain & when we eventually reached Dingle we started on our 7 miles drive in a thick mist. It soon grew dark & the road was hilly—the last few miles our driver (brother of our landlady Mss Mc' Donnell) said "I'm no caring for driving in the dark at all" & indeed we had to hang on with might & main. Seemed to be getting to ends of earth & at last about 9.15 he stopped, pointed to a light about 50 yds away & said "you had better walk now". Any moment we felt we might walk into the sea as we stumbled thro' pools & rain to the light, & soon Miss McD! was giving us a warm welcome. But my hopes fell to the ground when I saw first our bedroom with about 2 hooks & no chest of drawers, & then the sitting room, upstairs, full of knick-knacks & badly needing painting, & some tea & queerly cooked fish for us on a very dirty tablecloth.'
Sunday, 12 Aug 'Our village ought to be called Ballinagall. Our address is Post Office, Ballydavid, Dingle, Co. Kerry. We are on one side of Smerwick Bay looking across to the other, & we soon get views of the open sea & islands.'
15 Aug 'Norbert's wedding day—sent telegram "warmest wishes for new recruits."'
16 Aug 'Lazy aft. I began to learn to crochet a d' oyley.'
18 Aug 'Near Ventry a man has built a house near a quarry so that the garden is on a level with the roof, & he can pull up his potatoes & drop them down the chimney into the pot!'
Sunday, 19 Aug 'Played chess in evening, & Miss Mc' D brought us each a saucer of 'cracked wheat' .'
21 Aug 'I do hope the mists will clear soon. No fleas to-day!! Evening Miss McD ("Ellie") & Mr Lynch came up & we played letter game, getting greatest number of famous people—of course F. won.'
22 Aug 'Letter from Mother & Keating's powder—just like her thoughtfulness.'
23 Aug 'Busy learning drawn thread work, etc.'
24 Aug 'Left Ballydavid with regret soon after 10.0 . . . Paid 16/- a week each for everything.'
. . . 'at 7.30 began our journey to Killarney. Got there at 8.45 & quickly drove on a car to Mrs Moriarty's, 17 New St.'
25 Aug 'Mrs Moriarty guessed about me this a.m. Horrid. I thought no one cd see yet.'
31 Aug 'Left Killarney at 11.26 . . . Reached Dublin 6.10, drove to Westland Row & caught 6.30 to Monkstown (Salthill) Joe Wigham & Lloyd Gibbins met us & we drove to Albany House & got a warm welcome from Edith. Jane away—Cousin John up & vaguely recognized me.'
1 Sept . . . 'very hot journey to Colwyn Bay. There after 5.0 instead of 2.30! Jeanie met us & we drove very short way to Miss Edwards' , Langcliffe, Princes drive, nice & cool rooms, looking over sea, but very near railway. Mother seems pretty well.'
3 Sept 'Took Mother to the pier & sat in pavilion listening to band from 11–1.0.'
4 Sept 'At 11.0 went for an hour's drive with Mother (rather more) past Rhus & back by Llandrillo Church. . . . J. & Mother went to hear music in evening.'
8 Sept 'F. & I left by 10.4—J. & Mother later. . . . Got home about 8.0—warm welcome fr. Father, Mother & R. Father actually stays up to dinner now, & looks well. Mother looks very tired.'
14 Sept 'Father out again to lunch—4th time this week—he only takes sandwiches in with him. . . . In morning I was cross to Mother she told me not to play tether ball too hard. I did repent. She said she had hardly ever said anything to me—she is an angel.'
15 Sept 'Aft. F. & I to huge football match in St. James' Park. Everton agst. N/C United. N/C. got 1 goal. Quite exciting.'
Sunday, 16 Sept 'Alas, our last day. . . . At dinner Father cut a wonderful swan out of an apple.'
17 Sept 'Mother out at temp. meeting in aft. F. & I went by 4.40 from N/C. I felt as if I could hardly bear it & couldn't keep back my tears when Father kissed me & told me to cheer up. F. v. kind & warm welcome from Nelly & her Mother. Celebrated our coming 'home' by having hot bath together!'
18 Sept 'Servant hunting—I wish Nelly wd stay. John Irwin for night.'
Saturday, 30 Sept 'Mother wrote offering to pay for me to go to N/C. for the day to see Father given his D.C.L. degree by Durham University. Lovely day—B. B. & I went by 9.43 arriving 11.0—darling Mother met us & we went up to the college by tram & had the best seats possible facing everything & quite near the chair, which Dean Kitchin took. Lots of people there we knew. Ceremony most picturesque & interesting—all the prof.'s, many in scarlet gowns, & a sort of dais leading up to the Dean, also in a gown. Many interesting people got degrees. Father looked beautiful in his scarlet gown w. white silk, but old & rather frail as he walked slowly up leaning on a stick to within a yard or two of the Dean. Then Sir Isambard Owen got up, & read a beautiful address about him & presented him to Dean K. who conferred degree on him, they shook hands. Father bowed & went back to his seat. It was touching to us. . . . We had a lovely aft. much talk, saw proofs of Father's N.L.F. book, etc, but all too soon had to go to catch the 7.20 train.'
Sunday, 14 Oct 'I forgot to say that Nellie left on Oct. 3rd after being here nearly 2 years & I got a girl of 19—Laura Blackburn—in her place. She is v. nice, but deaf & cannot cook at all, so for several days I felt dreadfully depressed & got v. tired, but in many ways she is an improvement & I hope will do.'
31 Oct 'F. went to London for a night.'
5 Nov 'Lately I've been suffering from fearful irritation. F. so kind & patient when I keep him awake at nights.'
7 Nov 'Most delightful concert—Clara Butt, Kennerly Rumford, Mons. Hollman (' cello) etc.'
20 Nov 'I went to see Dr Stacey at Leeds as my irritation is so bad.'
21 Nov 'Father has been all alone to London, staying with Hudson, to have a complimentary dinner given to him & Curling Anderson at N.L. Club, for having been Vice President of it for so long. First time he has been so emancipated since his illness . . . Birrell & Sir Ed. Grey had had dinner with him at Hudson's, & he had seen J. Morley at the India Office, etc.'
23 Nov 'Mother & R. are at Grand Hotel, Scarboro' for a week.'
27 Nov 'Sent a wreath to Jesmond yesterday.'
1 Dec 'In the morning F. had to serve on the Grand Jury.'
Saturday, 8 Dec 'R. & I went home arriving about 4.0. Warm welcome from Father, Mother & Mabel & later Colin. I sleep in spare room.'
Sunday, 9 Dec 'Aunt Car to dinner & gave me £2. . . . Sang some of Father's carols. His History of the N.L.F. came out last week & he has had some nice letters about it & a beauty from John Morley.'
11 Dec 'Mother & I iced Xmas cake. She had W.L.A. Comtee in aft. but managed just to see me off at 5.0 . . .'
Xmas Eve 'Heard the Waits about 4. a.m. & they were really lovely.'
Xmas Day, 25 Dec 'Went to greet Mabel & Bertha, then came back & let Laura go home & got dinner ready. Did enjoy it. F. had a goose all to himself, & we had cauliflower & potatoes & plum pudding with a piece of holly in, & then he made coffee while I did part of the washing up. . . . We thought much of Bensham.'
New Year's Eve, 31 Dec 'Played musical game afterwards & all seemed to enjoy it. F. sang "Here's to the Year that's awa' ' —he & I didn't sit up, but stayed awake till bells rang & gun went & had a happy time in bed. He said "My darling will want much courage, & we will both want much wisdom."
7 Jan 'When I went to see B. I found she had begun to be ill last night. I went & sat with her a long time in the aft. & at 9.15 Emily brought a message that she had got a little daughter—nearly 3 weeks too soon. I feel envious.'
9 Jan 'F. & my last happy day alone before a stranger comes into our happy home.'
Thursday, 10 Jan 'Nurse Probart arrived about 5.0. As the cab stopped I felt as if I could weep gallons. I don't want our present happy life disturbed.'
Monday, 14 Jan 'About 3.30 a.m. my pains began, but were not bad, but I couldn't sleep.'
15 Jan 'I tried to machine & sew, but felt miserable—pains at intervals & I was sick . . . Went to bed with F. in spare room—shivering fits—pains began to be bad, & he held my back, but finally he tried to sleep & I sat by fire rest of night, except when I tried to walk about—sick once or twice. It was an awful, never-ending night, & I felt fearfully miserable.'
Wednesday, 16 Jan 'Nurse came up once during the night, & again before breakfast . . . F. went to school for an hour or two, then no more to-day. Mabel came to see me & I was sick again. Could do nothing. Had 2 enemas. Nurse most kind. Waters broke in aft. wh. was a pity. . . . I tried again to play bezique with F. but left off without finishing a game. Tea early in drawing room, but I could hardly sit still, & then Nurse went to light fire in our bedroom & I went to bed soon after 5.0, with great pain & misery. F. came & sat holding my hand, I believe till nearly 8.0, trying between whiles to read Felix Holt, & Nurse gave me a pulley & supported my back beautifully, but it grew dreadful. About 8.0 Mrs Crichton came & was a great help & comfort. Sometimes I thought I couldn't bear it—Nurse said she had never seen anyone so small. I went to sleep between the pains for a few seconds once or twice. F. went to the dining room before Mrs C. came & told me afterwards he had looked at old Griffin photos of me, & tried to read Jane Eyre & had sometimes opened the door, but couldn't bear it. He imagined all the train whistles screaming were me, & sometimes he cried—poor old darling. At last at 9.40 baby was born—Nurse said to my joy "It's a boy", & then I felt something slippery kicking me hard & felt awfully surprised & then a baby crying & Nurse smacking him hard. It was a queer sensation! Edna then just put baby in a blanket in the douvé on the other bed, & as the placenta wouldn't come away Nurse rubbed my abdomen for an hour & then was forced to put her hand into the vagina to get it which was very painful. I was torn about ½ inch—not very much. After I was done, Frank came in to see me for 10 mins. alone, & was perfect & called me all the loveliest names he could, & said he had never known before how much he loved me. Then he looked at baby, but he wasn't washed yet . . . Father & Mother were surprised next morning, as they had heard nothing before.
'I was so tired that I didn't see baby being bathed, but went to sleep. They said he was a very clean baby when born—when he was done I think I woke or they wakened me, & I saw him for the first time & Nurse said "Aren't you going to kiss him" & I did & then she asked if she might kiss me, & then just put baby in his cot near me. I was surprised & pleased, for he really looked pretty, & I was afraid he wd be ugly, but he has tiny pretty ears & mouth, & nice nose. About 12.0 p.m. all was done & Edna had gone, & I went to sleep.
'Baby weighed 6¾ lbs.'
Thursday, 17 Jan 'At night F. came & we said a prayer together. He looked into cot & said "He is lovely" & "Jolly little chap.'
Friday, 18 Jan 'Dr Fraser in morning to see baby & said he must be circumcised, so she came about 4.0 with Dr Raines & operation took place in spare-room. Poor wee mite, he was so good. Dr R. was surprised at amount of chloroform he took. Operation most successful. Poor baby had an enema beforehand.
'Miserable night, for my breasts swelled & were so painful.'
Saturday, 19 Jan 'Began to feed baby. Difficult to get him used to it; we began with breast shield, & he soon learnt.'
Monday, 21 Jan 'Mother & Father presented baby with £10.'
Sunday, 27 Jan 'I was up for tea in our room for 1st time.'
12 Feb 'Aft. Mother to tea, & F's Mother & Jeanie turned up unexpectedly & I thought F's Mother had never been sweeter. She was so kind to me, & both loved baby.'
13 Feb 'Baby 4 weeks old—we cut a piece of his hair—F. registered him—Robert Spence Watson Pollard—he weights 9 lbs. . . . Father & Ruth came in morning.'
14 Feb 'Father & Mother went home . . .'
25 Feb 'F. started P. Office account for baby £15.2/-. (£5 from Mrs Pollard—£10 from Father & Mother & most of rest "lucky bags".'
27 Feb 'F. went to London in the morning & stayed the night at Wembley.'
Sunday, 3 Mar 'Aunt Car, who is staying with Mabel, to tea.'
1 Apr 'Piles begin to be troublesome. 5th Had to send for Dr Fraser.'
5-7 Apr 'Had to almost entirely lie up & have piles poulticed. V. awkward—F. most useful.'
9 Apr 'W. Rowntree's wedding. F. went—I couldn't. Gertie called on me in afternoon.'
[Transcript by Benjamin S. Beck]