Diary and commonplace book

manuscript notebook

The diary seemingly kept by a senior servant, one entry referring to a return to London ‘on account my master’s illness’ in which he records his journey and stops along the route to London. He provides a detailed account of the Gordon Riots with almost daily entries from June 2 to June 10th. Several entries 1783 reference severe storms and the appearance of the 1783 Great Meteor on August 18: “A ball of fire was seen passing along the air about 1/2 past nine in the evening. It was seen about the same time at Ostend.” Two entries in August and December report the executions of criminals at Newgate Prison including that of the engraver William Wynne Ryland. On October 6th, the author notes that “peace was proclaimed at the usual places in the city, and at Westminster, with the usual solemnity.” On 7 March 1783 he notes that “Sukey & Fanny Green inoculated for the Small Pox.” The bulk of the later entries in the diary, except for the occasional mention of social events, trips, and the occasional extreme weather, focus on the births, baptisms, deaths, and marriages of his social circle and concludes with a series of poems on death, marriage, and conduct of life.

  • Title: Diary and commonplace book : manuscript.
  • Production: England, 1779 June 15-1816 April 2.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 283

Acquired April 2023

Journal of a young lady, together with a commonplace book of poems


manuscript notebook

A volume with a bound-in journal with original marbled wrappers intact, with additional signatures on which have been mounted prints, newspaper clippings, and transcriptions of poems, compiled by a young woman. The journal records the details of her trip with a friend Miss Kendall, starting from Norwich and traveling to and around Yorkshire in 1794.

  • Title: Journal of a young lady, together with a commonplace book of poems : manuscript and printed text.
  • Production: England, circa 1794.

Catalog Record

LWL MSS Vol. 284

Acquired August 2022

J.H. Barrow’s journal

manuscript journal

A manuscript journal recording John Henry Barrow’s nine-month Continental journey through France, Switzerland, and Italy in the immediate post-Waterloo period.


  • Author: Barrow, John Henry.
  • Title: J.H. Barrow’s journal : manuscript.
  • Production: France, Switzerland, and Italy, 1816 May-1817 February.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 279

Acquired March 2022

Margaret Emma Caldwell diaries

manuscript notebook

Two diaries kept by Margaret Emma Caldwell, beginning at the age of 20, in which she records the books she read, contemporary events including the war wtih Napoleon, her social life, opinions and emotions, the people she encountered, and the historic events she lived through in the second decade of the nineteenth century.

  • Author: Caldwell, Margaret Emma, 1792-1830.
  • Title: Margaret Emma Caldwell diaries : manuscript.
  • Production: England, 1812-1820.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss vol. 268

Sir Henry Holland papers, 1805-1868

handwritten text

Eight manuscript volumes: Essays on various subjects written at Univesity while at Glasgow, 1805-1806; copies of letters from Portugal 1812; Journal in Spain 1813; Journal in Lombardy, Austria, Prussia 1815; Sketchbook 1815; Journal in the north of Italy and France 1816; Journal to Spain1818; Diary 1830-1843. Also with two copies of Holland’s publication, General view of the agriculture of Cheshire (1808) and two issues of his Recollections of past life (1868).

  • Author: Holland, Henry, Sir, 1788-1873, author.
  • Title: Sir Henry Holland papers, 1805-1868 (bulk 1812-1843).

Catalog Record


Acquired September 2021

John Tregerthen Short copy of a diary

description below

Possibly the only surviving manuscript copy of the diaries of John Tregerthen Short of St. Ives, describing the adverse fortunes, hardships, and privations he suffered for ten years as a prisoner of war in Napoleonic France. Short’s complete diaries, which span from 1804 to1872, were rediscovered in the early 1900s by Sir Edward Hain who later published an edited version as Prisoners of War in France from 1804-1814, being the Adventures of John Tregerthen Short and Thomas Williams (London, Duckworth, 1914). However, the present manuscript, most likely a fair copy of the original diary (now lost) executed by Short in later life, consists not only of Short’s daily entries, but also of copies of letters and documents, songs and poems based on his adventures, and a list of three hundred fellow prisoners of war who died in captivity, recording their name, position, ship, commanding officer, date of decease, and hometown, none of which were included in the printed book.

  • Author: Short, John Tregerthen, 1785?-1873.
  • Title: John Tregerthen Short copy of a diary kept while a prisoner of war in France, 1804-1814 : manuscript.
  • Production: St. Ives (Cornwall), England, 1868?

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 256

Acquired June 2020

Edward Burton journal and commonplace book of agricultural notes

manuscript notebookA journal kept by the farmer Edward Burton in which he records business matters along with accounts of local events around the Leicestershire villages of Hemington and Castle Donington. He records crops sold, laborers’ expenses paid, and the days on which neighbors began their respective harvests. Burton also used the volume as a commonplace book, including notes on remedies, proverbs from printed sources, and lists of authors and scientists, much of the information derived from almanacs of the day.
Laid in the front pocket of the binding were, eight receipts for purchases, all dated 187-, 1871 or 1872, made out to later members of the Burton family, Thomas and Arthur Burton and Burton Creswell. Now housed separately with the volume.


  • Author: Burton, Edward.
  • Title: Edward Burton journal and commonplace book of agricultural notes : manuscript.
  • Production: Leicestershire, England, circa 1771-1798.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 259

Acquired November 2020

A short account of my travels from Riga through Germany, Italy etc…

hand written title page

A journal that details John Thornton’s Grand Tour, which began in Riga and took him through Prussia, Italy, and back to England through France, Flanders, and the Netherlands.


  • Author: Thornton, John, 1720-1790.
  • Title: A short account of my travels from Riga through Germany, Italy etc. to England : with what is curious to be seen at each place, begun at Riga the 26th July 1742 N.S. or O.S. the 15th July 1742, with also the tour of England, Scotland and Ireland : manuscript / the whole finished this by John Thornton.
  • Production: London, circa 1742.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 258

Acquired November 2020

Journal of a tour in the year 1745

description below

An anonymous journal of a tour that begins on May 14th in Warrington, Lancashire and passes through Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincoln, Leicester, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Northampton, Buckingham, Oxon, Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Gloucester, Worcester, Staffs, Salop and Cheshire, finishing on July 5th in Chester — a total of 703 miles.


  • Title: Journal of a tour in the year 1745 : manuscript.
  • Production: Liverpool?, England, circa 1745.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 257

Acquired February 2020

Journal of a tour through France and Italy

page from journalHolograph diary of the author’s trip to France and Italy in a single hand describing the author’s Grand Tour two years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars : The hallmarks of a half pay British officer in the midst of a rather hopeless feeling peace. Clearly an admirer of classical architecture, he makes careful note of remaining classical elements in towns like Avignon and Lyon (“The town of Lyon is by no means handsome. The houses are much crowded and the streets narrow, and dirtier if possible than those of Paris”), and appears very much more affectionate towards what was there, rather than what is. He is nevertheless much struck by the wonders of Florence as he travels towards what his conspicuous classical education clearly regards as the ultimate destination: the city of Rome. In a rather pleasing exhibition of mingled scholarship and military professionalism, he spends a lot of time discussing the historical strategic qualities and shortfalls of many of his stopping points. The journal is erudite, vigorous and detailed.

  • Title: Journal of a tour through France and Italy / by an officer stationed with Wellington’s Army of Occupation at St. Pol, Pas de Calais : manuscript.
  • Production: France and Italy, 1817.

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss Vol. 251

Acquired October 2019