31st January 1825

Went to Simons Wood for a sucker of the Barberry bush to set in my Garden—saw the Corn tree putting out into leaf—a yellow crocus & a bunch of single snowdrops in full flower—the mavis thrush has been singing all day long Spring seems begun the woodbines all over the wood are in full leaf

30th January 1825

Receivd a letter from Mrs Emmerson & a Litterary Gazette from somebody in which is a Review of an unsuccessful attempt to reach Repulse Bay &c by Captain Lyon from which the following curious incident is extracted he says 'Near the large grave was a third pile of stones covering the body of a child which was coiled up in the same manner. A snow bunting had found its way thro the loose stones which composed this little tomb & its now forsaken neatly built nest was found placed on the neck of the child. As the Snow bunting has all the domestic Virtues of our English Redbreast it has always been considerd by us as the Robin of these dreary wilds & its lively chirp & fearless confidence have renderd it respected by the most hungry sportsmen—I coud not on this occasion view its little nest placed on the breast of Infancy without wishing that I possesed the power of poetically expressing the feelings it excited'

27th January 1825

Receivd a letter from Mr Sharp & one from Lord Radstock & answerd his Lordships sending in it the ' Vanitys of Life' a poem — heard the buzz of the black beetle or cockchafer that flyes about in the autumn evenings & early in spring it is different to the brown or summer beetle which is described by Collins

the beetle winds His small but sullen horn

& is not so common.

26th January 1825

Fetchd some soil from Cowper green for my ferns & flowers — the sharpest frost for this winter which woud not bare a boy to slide on — from what cause sprung the superstition of making the No. 3 a fatal No. ? — it is so much so — that ghosts use it & never pay a visit without giving their (fashionable) signal of 3 raps to announce their arrival

25th January 1825

A fine day the bees were out busily flying as if seeking flowers the sky was hung with light flying clouds & the season appeard as if the beginning of April

23rd January 1825

Newspaper wonders "There is now living at Barton an old lady of the name of Faunt who has nearly attaind the great age of 105 years — she has lately cut new teeth to the great surprise of the family — Stamford Mercury.
Took a walk to Hilly Wood brought home another plant of the white maidenhair fern that grows on a sallow stoven in a sort of spring wrote to Mr Sharp of the dead letter office — finishd my '2 ballads to Mary' which I intend to send to the Literary Gazette as also my 3 sonnets to Bloomfield & I am weary of writing

22nd January 1825

'A new Vegetable called the Asparagus Potatoe' has been introduced into this country it comes into season just as the asparagus goes out' — 'So little wind prevails in Italy that not a windmill is to be seen in any part of it there were two in Venice but were taken down as usless for want of wind' — 'An elm tree supposd to be a thousand years old was blown down near Ludlow castle' — 'A blackbirds nest with four young ones was found a few days ago in Yorkshire — Stamford Mercury

21st January 1825

A robin whistling on the plumb trees by the window I never heard one so early before

20th January 1825

Wrote a letter to Hessey

19th January 1825

[Snowy Helpston - Steven Booth]

A slight storm of snow for the first time this winter — just compleatd the 9th Chapter of my Life — corrected the poem on the 'Vanities of the World' which I have written in imitation of the old poets on whom I mean to father it & send it to Mongomery's paper the Iris or the Literary Chronicle under that character

16th January 1825

Took a walk in ‘Porters snow Close' to hunt ferns in the morning & in Turnills 'heath wood' in the after¬noon found nothing but the foxfern which is the commonest of all about here—Receivd a letter from Mrs Emmerson & answerd it

15th January 1825

This day is my Fathers birthday who is 60 years old — 'Thus runs the world away'

14th January 1825

A scarlet daisey in flower in the Garden — Recievd a letter from C. A. Elton who tells me there is a many plants & ferns about Bristol downs & valleys & 'some rather peculiar to the country' I hope I shall be able to go in Spring

13th January 1825

Helpd Billings to take in Beans

11th January 1825

Began to fetch maiden earth from molehills for my flower beds—heard the Mavis thrush sing for the first time this winter it often sings earlier & has been heard on Christmas day when the weather has been open

10th January 1825

Saw a whitethorn bush yesterday in Oxey wood in the leaf all over & by next Sunday no doubt the knots of May may be seen—the winter ackonite just peeping out with its yellow flowers—the arum just appearing under the hedges as in April & the Avens (a common hedgerow plant) has never lost its leaves but appears as green as at Spring

9th January 1825

Newspaper Miracles Wonders Curiositys &c &c under these heads I shall insert anything I can find worth reading & laughing at—2 extraordinary large eels were last week taken upon the Saltings at Steeple in Dengre hundred Essex—these monsters of their species (& there is every reason to believe them freshwater silver eel)—one was seven feet in length twenty-one inches in surcumference & weighd fifty-seven pounds the other was six feet long larger round then the former & weighd sixty-two pound—twenty years back one was taken nearly six feet long close to Portman marsh wall—in Essex a quarter of a mile from Maldon bridge—a part of one of the eels was eaten by our correspondent who speaks highly of its flavour—Essex herald A parish clerk 115 years old is now able to read without spectacles & dig graves &c &c — Stamford Mercury

8th January 1825

A rhyming schoolmaster is the greatest bore in literature the following ridiculous advertisement proves the assertion taken from the Stamford Mercury. 'Boston' Mr Gilberts boarding & day school will reopen on Monday January 17th 1825

'For fervours past his heart must flow
& Kind regard to youth shall show
That Gilbert feels & grateful will
The noble art to learn instill'

7th January 1825

Bought some cakes of colors with the intention of trying to make sketches of curious snail horns Butterflys Moths Sphinxes Wild flowers & whatever my wanderings may meet with that are not too common

6th January 1825

My dear boy Frederick is 1 year old this day.

5th January 1825

Jiliflowers Polyanthuses Marigolds & the yellow yarrow are in flower & the double scarlet Anemone nearly out crocuses peeping out above ground swelling with flower the authoress Miss Kent of the Flora Domestica says the snowdrop is the first spring flower she is mistaken the yellow winter aconite is always earlier & the first on the list of spring.

To James Montgomery
Jan. 5, 1825.

I copied the following verses from a MS on the flye-leaves of an old book entitled the Worlds Best Wealth, a Collection of choice Counsils in Verse & Prose printed for A. Bettesworth at the Red Lion in Paternoster Row 1720 they seem to have been written after the perusal of the book & are in the manner of the Company in which I found them, I think they are as good as a many old poems that have been preserved with more care & under that feeling I was tempted to send them thinking they might find a corner from Oblivion in your entertaining literary paper the 'Iris' but if my judgment has misled me to over-rate their merit you will excuse the freedom I have taken & the trouble I have given you in the perusal — for after all it is but an erring opinion that may have little else than the love of poesy to reccommend it

I am
Yours sincerely

2nd January 1835

Recievd a parcel from Mrs Emmerson took a walk to Simons Wood found 3 distinct species of the 'Bramble' or Mulbery—Henderson will have it there is but 2 but I am certain he is wrong & believe there is 4 the common one that grows in the hedges the larger sort that grows on commons bearing larger fruit calld by childern 'blackberry' the small creeping dewberry that runs along the ground in the land furrows & on the brinks of brooks & a much larger one of the same kind growing in woods botanists may say what they will for tho these are all of a family they are distinctly different there are 2 sorts of the wild rose the one in hedges bearing blush-colord flowers & the other much smaller in woods with white ones

1st January 1825

Saw a Reciept to mend broken China in the Stamford Mercury—Gloucestershire cheese softend by warm water & mixd with quick lime is a good cement for China ware &c &c—Newspapers have been famous for Hyperbole & the Stamford Mercury has long been one at the head of the list of extravagance—in an article relating an accident at Drury Lane Theatre is the following—' A large piece of timber fell on Miss Poveys head & wounded her severely she was of course incapable of performing &c who woud not of course believe Miss Poveys head harder than a Statues after this