Catalogue of manuscripts acquired singly: diaries and journals

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Diaries and Journals, 16th-20th cent.

Single diaries or journals acquired by the Bodleian Library by purchase, bequest or donation since 1975, or deposited in the Library for the use of readers. Includes pre-1975 accessions that have been recatalogued.

   Arranged chronologically.

Subjects (LCSH)

Parliamentary diary of George Strode, MP for Wareham, Dorset, Feb.-Apr. 1593
Shelfmark: Dep. e. 468
Extent: 46 leaves
Binding: Stiffened vellum wrappers

The diary is entitled by the author 'Certaine breife thinges wch I observed at the Parlam[en]t, when I was a Burgise for warum in Dors[e]t wch begann the 19 day of February... 1592 [O.S.] and ended the 10th of Aprill then next followinge...'. There are several indications of the author's religious viewpoint: the diary includes

Biographical History: George Strode (aft. 1563-1648) was the fifth son of John Strode of Parnham, Dorset and his first wife, Katherine. He was called to the bar in 1589 and spent most of his adult life in the Middle Temple. He was the member of parliament for Wareham, Dorset in 1593 and this was probably due to the patronage of his relatives, the Rogers family. See - History of Parliament, 1386-1820.

Deposited with Dep. c. 9-11 (papers of Montagu Burrows) and MSS. D. D. Brocas a. 1, c. 1-2, by Ionë and Bernard A.B. Burrows, 1931. Removed from Dep. c. 11.
Related Material: MS. Add. C. 278 is another diary of the same Parliament - see Falconer Madan et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford (Oxford, 1895-1953), vol. V, no. 29571.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
   Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1485-1603
   Parliamentary practice -- England -- Early works to 1800

Diary of the proceedings of the House of Commons [by Seymour Bowman, M.P. for Old Sarum], 18 June - 18 August, 1660
Shelfmark: Dep. f. 9
Extent: iii + 159 leaves
Custodial History: At fol. ii is a note concerning the MS. by Charles Lyttelton, later Bishop of Carlisle, who 'found it among a Heap of useless Papers & Tracts in ye old Study at Hagley Hall [Worcestershire]' before 1761. Later owned by the Salwey family of The Moor Park (Shropshire) and Overton (Shropshire) (H. M. C. Rep. X, App. IV, 1885, p. 409).

Deposited by Mr. Roger Salwey of Overton, 1937.
Related Material: Extracts from the diary, and from a continuation to 29 December 1660 now missing, are printed in The Parliamentary or Constitutional History of England, vol. XXIII, 1761; see Notes and Queries, vol. 196, 1957, pp. 56-59.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1603-1714
   Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons

Journal of Thomas Bellingham, June-Dec. 1669, when he accompanied Henry, Lord Howard on his embassy to Morocco
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. hist. f. 30
Extent: ii + 156 leaves
Binding: Contemporary calf binding

With (fols. 155v-150vrev.) diary of Bellingham, Dec.1683-Feb. 1684 and notes by him. At fols. 67-9 are personal accounts, probably of a member of the Quin family, 1723; and at fols. 70v-73v a gardening diary for 1767.

Custodial History: Owned by Thomas J. Quinn, 1870

Bought, Christie's 29 November 1978, lot 30.
Related Material: The Diary of Thomas Bellingham for 1688-90 was edited by Anthony Hewitson,and published, Preston, 1908.

Diary of Elizabeth Bevington, Quaker preacher, mainly a description of six months spent in Ireland as a travelling preacher, 1789-92
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3766
Binding: Blind-ruled morocco, gilt lettering, 'E. Bevington', with flap and clasp, marbled endpapers
Extent: ii + 141 pages, 72-125 blank


Bought from John Hart, 21 Oct. 2010.
Sponsored by Ian and Karen Taylor, Martin Colman and Marjorie Boulton, Duke Humfrey's Night, 15 Oct. 2011.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Ireland--Description and travel--Early works to 1800
   Quaker preaching--18th century
   Quaker women--History--18th century--sources

Diary of Mary Crespigny née Clark, of Champion Lodge, Camberwell, friend and patron of the playwright and travel writer, Mariana Starke, 1791
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3767
Binding: Gilt-stamped roan, with flap, clasp missing, marbled endpapers, The Ladies Pocket Journal; or, Toilet Assistant: For the Year 1791 (London, S. Bladon)
Extent: 84 leaves

Mary Clark married Claude Champion Crespigny, 16 Feb 1764, at St. Giles, Camberwell. The diary entry for 16 Feb 1791 (fol. 18v) refers to their 27th wedding anniversary. They had one son William (bap. 1765) who married Lady Sarah Windsor, daughter of the Earl of Plymouth in 1786. The diary entry for 8 July 1791, refers to the return of William and his wife from abroad, and the christening of their third child, Augustus James on 23 July 1791 (St. Giles, Camberwell). The diarist refers to her husband throughout as 'Starke', which is puzzling, as there does not seem to have been a familial connection with the Starkes of Epsom. There are brief entries each day describing her social engagements and her husband's movements. He was often on duty with a military group, probably the Camberwell Volunteers. They often visited Mariana Starke's family at Epsom and were frequently in the audience at her new play, 'The Widow of Malabar'. Mary Crespigny was a patron of the arts and had a private theatre in the grounds of her house at Camberwell. She was also a keen archer and there are a number of entries relating to the Epsom archery and target shooting at Boxhill. Many entries are supplemented by notes in shorthand, which have not been deciphered. There are also weekly accounts. The printed matter at the beginning and end of the diary includes a list of notable days, the latest country dances, beauty and health recipes, and tables for calculating finances. Some of the printed matter (fols. 71-5) has been cut out.

Bought from Bernard Quaritch, 8 July 2010.
Related Material: A later diary, Apr. 1809-Dec. 1810, is held at Yale University Library, Osborn d73.

Journal of John Ross, Assistant Commissary in the Field Train Department of the Ordnance, 1805-16, probably written 1822-3
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. hist. e. 31
Extent: iv + 528 pages
Binding: half calf, marbled boards

The journal appears to have been written c.1822-3, though it is clearly based on a contemporary diary. It covers Ross's entire army career, mainly in Sicily. The journal contains details of incidents in the author's army life, and accounts of the social life and customs, religious practices and topography of the places in which he is stationed. Includes descriptions of


Biographical History: John Ross was born in Gartly, Aberdeenshire, in 1785, the son of John Ross and Ann Gibb (International Genealogical Index). He joined the Ordnance Department in 1805 as a Conductor of Stores in the Field Train Department, becoming Clerk of Stores, 20 Oct. 1809, and Assistant Commissary, Feb. 1814. Having left the army he married Ann Warrack in 1827 and lived in Aberdeen. He had ten children (sources: 1841 and 1851 censuses). He is listed as the manager of the Aberdeen Coach Manufacturing Co. in the 1837 Aberdeenshire Trade Directory, and is one of the co-partners mentioned in the Edinburgh Gazette, 13 October 1846 which announces the "dissolution of co-partnery" of this company. He died in 1858 aged 73 (biographical references supplied by a descendant of John Ross's brother, Peter).

Custodial History: Armorial bookplate of Frederick William Cosens.

Purchased 14 Oct. 1890, John Galwey, bookseller.
Note: This is a recataloguing of the brief entry in Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series, vol. VI, part I, p. 4 (SC 31016) where the journal is wrongly described as relating to service in Spain during the Peninsular War. For further details see Michael Webb, 'An officer of the Field Train Department in England, Sicily and Egypt during the Napoleonic Wars: the journal of John Ross of Gartly, 1805-16', Bodleian Library Record, volume XXI, no. 1 (April 2008).

Subjects (LCSH)
   Egypt -- Description and travel
   Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815
   Sicily (Italy) -- Description and travel -- To 1900

Diary and commonplace book of Wallis Dunn of York, tea-dealer, 1809-21
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 4781
Extent: 370 pages, 188-366 blank
Binding: blind-ruled vellum
Bought, D. P. White, cat. 56, 457 (1993)

The diary is kept intermittently, and comprises mainly brief descriptions of tours in the north of England, including regular visits to Swaledale and Teesdale. There are various notes on business and property matters, and on religion and local history, including

Journal of -? Williams, a Methodist preacher of Liverpool, containing biographical material and spiritual reflections, 1 May 1818-19 Aug. 1825
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. th. e. 182
Extent: i + 278 pages, 96-276 blank
Binding: Half brown calf, marbled boards, upper board detached

The entry for 6 May 1819 (p. 53) states that he founded the Liverpool Philomathic Society on 30 April 1819, 'for the acquisition and diffusing among its members of general knowledge'. Pasted onto fol. i, 'Rules For Self-Examination, by the Rev. Mr. Fletcher...Printed by J. and J. Harrop, at the Mercury and Volunteer Office'.

Given by the Executors of R.W. Hunt, 1980.

Subjects (LCSH)

Travel journal of John Gough Nichols, 1830-3
Shelfmark: Dep. d. 897
Extent: 195 leaves
Binding: Papered boards

Comprises journals of four separate journeys:

Subjects (LCSH)
   England -- Description and travel -- 1801-1900
Deposited, 2002.
Restrictions on Use: Refer to the depositor for permission to copy, quote or publish for commercial purposes.

Journal of Lucy Louisa Octavia Wright, née Wynyard, wife of Rev. Frank Bowcher Wright, curate of Handborough ( Church Hanborough), Oxfordshire, May-Dec. 1838
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3462
Extent: 37 leaves (28-37 blank)

The journal gives an account (fols. 2-5) of a visit to the writer's family in West Rounton, North Riding of Yorkshire, May 1838, and then begins again in September with accounts of doings in and around Church Hanborough. There are several references to the new village school; accounts of visits to Oxford; and accounts of the activities of her husband Frank Bowcher Wright, including (fols. 6v-7, 11) cricket matches at 'Whychwood'. A label on the front cover, and a note on the fly leaf indicate that the journal was sent to Lucy Wright's sister, Harriet Georgina Bingham, in India.

Biographical History: Frank Bowcher (sometimes spelt 'Boucher') Wright (1807-91) was a graduate of Queens College, Oxford, held various curacies, 1833-9, and was later Rector of Broughton in Manchester (Foster's Alumni). He is listed in a database of former cricketers hosted by According to this, he played for Oxford University on five occasions between 1829 and 1838.Lucy Wright was the daughter of Rev. Montague Wynyard, who is listed as Rector of West Rounton in 1840 in William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire (Leeds, 1840). According to the online International Genealogical Index, she was Frank Bowcher Wright's first cousin. They were married 22 December 1836 at West Rounton.

Bought, Demetzy Books (Ducklington), Oxford Book Fair, 14 Oct.. 2005.

Diary of Margaret Randleson of 'Croft Hill', during a tour on the Continent, 15 June - 25 August 1838
Shelfmark: MSS. Eng. misc. d. 1074-5
Extent: viii + 292 (233-91 blank), viii + 294 pages
Binding: Worn half calf

MS. Eng. misc. d. 1075 is a fair copy by Margaret Randleson of the diary.

Custodial History: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1074 is inscribed by the diarist to her aunt Mary Hodgson.

Bought, Sotheby's, 18 June 1979, part of lot 21.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Travel -- 19th century

Diary of Elizabeth Hamilton Gray in Bolsover, Derbyshire, and in Germany, Aug. 1841 - Mar. 1843
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3656
Extent: 92 leaves
Binding: Bound in marble boards, with a label, "Berlin 8th June 1841".

The diary records her life at home in Bolsover, Derbyshire, and also her travels around Saxony in (fols. 1-20) Aug.- Sept. 1841 and (fols. 48-50v, 52v-70) Aug.-Sept. 1843. The volume has also been used as a notebook.

Biographical History: Elizabeth Hamilton Gray (née Johnstone) was the wife of the Rev. John Hamilton Gray (d. 1867), vicar of Bolsover and Scarcliffe. Elizabeth herself was the author of such works as A History of the Roman Emperors and A Tour to the Sepulchres of Etruria in 1839 (1840).

Purchased from Ken Spelman in Sept. 2009
Sponsored by Christopher Heywood and Juliet McMaster, Duke Humfrey’s Night, 2 Oct. 2010

Separated Material: Loose leaf is now in the guardbook MS. Eng. c. 7284, fol. 124

Related Material: Further papers of Elizabeth Hamilton Gray, including diaries and accounts 1829-63, are among the papers of the families of Gray of Carntyne and Anstruther Gray of Kilmany in the National Library of Scotland (Acc. 8100, and especially 8100/112-23).

Diary of George Richard Mackarness, Vicar of Ilam, 15 Aug 1861-26 July 1863
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3670
Extent: 180 leaves

The diary records Revd Mackarness's daily life especially his travel and his preaching on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It includes engravings and some photographs of places visited. Mackarness attended the Church Congress and International Exhibition of 1862.

Biographical History: George Mackarness was Vicar of Ilam, Staffordshire until 1873, and Bishop of Argyll and the Isles 1873-83.

Bought from Bloomsbury Auctions 15 Oct 2009.
Sponsored by Dr Elizabeth Rogers and Lady Hawley, Duke Humfrey's Night, 2 Oct. 2010.

Diary of Emma Bigwood, 1872
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3323
Extent: 88 leaves.
Binding: bound in red silk wrappers, and loosely inserted in red calf wallet with clasp and stylus.

Contains entries for days left blank in her other 1872 diary, MS. Eng. e. 2442

Custodial History: Owned by N.H. Baynes; given to or inherited by Professor Joan Hussey; given to James Bigwood.

Given by James Bigwood, 2001.
Related Material: The diary is one of a series of Emma Bigwood's diaries, 1862-1935, MSS. Eng. e. 2433-505, among the papers of her grandson, P.A. Spalding.

Journal of John Talbot Coke of the 1st Battalion the 25th Regiment, the King's Own Borderers , 1872-85
Shelfmark: MS. Don. d. 200
Extent: i + 95 leaves
Binding: Limp calf, gilt-ruled

Coke was stationed in Ireland, Dover and, from 1875 to 1880, York, as adjutant of the 2nd West York Militia. With (fols. 90v, 91v-3) hunting diary, 1870-84.

Given by John Fuggles, 1996.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Great Britain. Army

Diary probably by Agnes M. Hudson of her attendance at British Association meetings in Bristol and Sheffield and her journeys to France and Belgium, 1875-9
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3386
Extent: 76 leaves
Binding: Blind-ruled limp black calf, lower cover missing, marbled endpapers, ticket inside front cover 'Sold by Z Morley, Bookbinder. And Stationer, Forest Hill. S.E.'


Custodial History: Inscribed on fol. 1v 'Agnes M. Hudson 1926.'

Bought from Henry Bristow, Bulletin no. 1 (Aug. 1997), item 28.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Belgium -- Description and travel
   England -- Description and travel -- 1801-1900
   France -- Description and travel -- 1800-1918
   Scientific societies -- Great Britain

Diary of Georgina Grove, wife of Major (later Brig.-Gen.) Edward Aickin William Stewart Grove, 1891-4
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3821
Extent: i +266 pages

Diary written by Georgina Grove, about her life and travels between 1891 and 1894. Topics include her interest in theosophy, her husband's illness after a fall from his horse, and travel in England, Europe, and India. Leaving England in April 1892 they travel by train to (pp. 66ff) Marseilles and Menton in France, (pp. 77ff) by ship to Constantinople and (p. 86) Kiev, by train to (pp. 91ff) Moscow where they stay for six weeks. Georgina then travels without Edward by train to (pp. 106ff) Warsaw, Cracow, Budapest, Vienna, Karlsbad (where Edward rejoins her) before returning to England via Germany, 3 Aug. 1892 (p. 122v). This is followed by (pp. 122ff) house-hunting and travel in England, including (pp. 170-7) a stay in Ireland where Edward has been stationed, July 1893. In Nov. 1893 Edward is ordered to India, and this posting takes upthe remainder of the diary (pp.198-266), including the voyage of HMS Serapis to Karachi from Dec. 1893 to Jan. 1894, the voyage to Bombay on a British India Company ship, a rail journey to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and life in Meerut where Edward is based until the end of the diary, 11 July 1894. Georgina also describes visits to Lucknow, Mussoorie and Simla.

Sections of some pages have been removed, perhaps by someone who did not approve of Georgina's discussions of relationships of friends and family.

Purchased via Ebay, May 2012
Separated Material: A photograph of Edward Grove, 22 July 1913, is now MS. Photogr. c. 502 fol. 10v. Medals in the photograph show that he served in the Boer War and India.

Subjects (LCSH)
   Europe -- Description and travel -- 1800-1918
   India -- Description and travel
   Women travelers

Diary of Mrs. Lang, wife of Captain 'Syd' Lang, 1897-1901
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3652
Extent: 142 leaves
Binding: Bound in recent quarter morocco with red gilt label and marbled boards

Diary of the wife of Captain 'Syd' Lang, apparently a British naval officer stationed in Gibraltar. Describes her daily life, firstly in Chester but predominantly in Gibraltar, which is taken up with maintaining the family home, attending social events, going on excursions, and raising young children. Also describes visits to England.

Purchased from Ken Spelman, interim list, item 94, on 13 Feb. 2009.
Sponsored in honour of Idris and Alison Mills, Duke Humfrey's Night, 2 Oct. 2010.

Account of a car journey through France, 5 Sept. -5 Oct. 1924, by Cuthbert Burgoyne
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 2973
Extent: vi + 203 leaves
Binding: quarter maroon morocco, gilt-stamped on spine with title, crest and motto 'Bear & Forbear'

Carbon typescript, with 37 photographs. Includes

Given by G. F. Burgoyne, 1988.

Diary of E. Trevenna, Artilleryman 8th Army, 1944
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. e. 3768
Extent: One pocket book
Binding: Brown leather

The diarist is with the 8th Army in Syria and Cairo in early 1944, and on the campaign through Italy from May 1944, passing through Naples, Rome, Perugia and Arezzo, ending with the attempt to break through the Gothic Line. The brief entries in the diary run almost daily until September 23rd, with few entries made thereafter. Trevenna describes the daily activites of the formation, and lists films, books and music which he has seen, read or heard. He mentions being awarded with the Africa Star and the 8th Army Clasp. Information at the back of the diary includes notes on his pay and a number of addresses.

Purchased from Ephemera City via Ebay, Nov. 2011
Sponsored by Dr Roger Highfield, Professor Richard McCabe and Bridget Walter, Duke Humfrey's Night, 12 Oct. 2013.

Copies of John Synge diary entries, 1947-8 relating to Oxford University Writers Club and Ludovic Kennedy
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 2694
Extent: 3 leaves
Given by John Synge, through Ludovic Kennedy, 1991.
Related Material: See also MS. Top. Oxon. d. 1094.

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