The Hardwick Site

John Smith of Birnam Wood
Diary 1847
Transcribed by Margaret Hardwick, 1996.
Digital version by Stephen Crawshaw, 2008.

Janr- 1st 1847 The weather very Hot and sultry Mrs. Smith very Ill with Fever and Rheumatism and pains in Her Bowels
2 Weather very sultry Mrs. S still unwell
3rd Hot and Close Mrs. S very Ill
4th Sent for Dr. Glennie Mrs. Andr. McDougal up. Some Thunder and a little Rain in the evening Thunder at Night
5th Very Hot
6th Went to Singleton got thrown out of Gig on my return and bruised My Face Very much the weather very hot
7th Still very Hot no abaitment of Flies, a number of People afflicated with Ophthalmy and Swelled Eyes. & very Hot some Thunder.
9th Some very local Thunder and some Rain before day light all day Cloudy and Cool
10th Weather Moderate some distant Thunder Wright absconded this morning He refused to do any work on Saturday Evening
11th William went to Singleton and had Wright apprehended on a warrant Weather Cloudy and Cool
12th Cool and cloudy.
13th Commenced ploughing afternoon
14th Mrs S. & William went to Singleton to procecute Wright
Commenced raining at 10 oclock A. M. continued all day light rain
15th Light Rain William and His Mother Returned
16th Fine Weather, two or three light showers during the day
17 Blew hard from South East all night Rain all day
Jack the Shepherd very Ill for the last two days
18th Very heavy Rain all last Night with high wind the day Close and Sultry not a breath of Air in the previous afternoon a very heavy Thunder Shower
19th Some light showers very Hot afternoon no abatement in the number of Flies
20th Forenoon oppressively Hot Afternoon Cloudy some distant Thunder and a little Rain
21st Cloudy Mrs S & William went to Singleton over Bridge at the Cock fighter a Great fresh in River
22 Very fine Moderately Hot Mrs. S & William returned from Singleton Walter & E Doyle returned from the Hawkesbury Commenced making wine great many of the Grapes Rotten from the Rainy Weather.
(Omitted on the other side) Commenced ploughing for Wheat on the 12th Inst.
23rd Mr. & Mrs. Bowman called and Mrs. Hethrington
The day very fine Moderately warm
24th Very fine day
25th. Revd. Mr Stephen called. Bought His gig and Harness for the sum of £23.
26th very hot in forenoon Thunder Storm afternoon
27th very fine and Cool Mrs S very Ill
28th very fine
29th Hot in forenoon Cloudy & Close afternoon Some distant Thunder the Flies beginning to diminish in number. From the time the House Flie became so troublesome the Butcher or blow Flie almost disappeared
30th Fine forenoon Afternoon Rain. This Summer should be call Insect Summer, First numbers of Grubs made their appearance in Spring and consumed all the vegetables in the Gardens. Second Catterpillars they were very destructive to the young fruit. Third Grasshoppers in very great numbers. Then Flies in Millions and now Grasshoppers again
31st Forenoon Cloudy with a little Rain. Robert looking for the Fat Cattle, they have broken out of the paddock on Saturday Night. Afternoon very fine

Feb 1st Fine all day, found the Fat Cattle.
2nd Very heavy Rain nearly all day.
3rd Heavy Showers nearly all day.
4 Hot and sultry went to Singleton to appear against Wright. No justice to be had irom the Old Women On the Bench—A deal of Rain in the Night
5th Returned from Singleton the day very Hot
6 Very fine, discharged the rascal Wright bad chr
7 Cooper dined with us to-day not much rain cloudy all day
8th The weather very unsettled Cloudy and a little Rain in the Forenoon—

June 8th Had to go to Sydney and give a P Note to Mr Dougall for £79 odd shillings owing to Mr. A McDougall having allowed the Interest on a Bond to be unpaid until it amounted to that Sum. Doctor Glennie promised to pay £20 of this money He being one of the bondsmen, but afterwards did not pay any portion of it

Augst 11th John had to go to Sydney on the same business
12th John’s Horse died thro over feeding him with hay & corn which brought an inflammation
Omitted above, on the 9th Augst William started for the Station
17 Finished Grafting Grape Vines
20th John returned from Sydney.
22nd Went to the Maitland Races
28th Andrew arrived from the Station (no cattle to be had)
20th John returned from the Maitland Races

Sepr. 13th My dray returned from the Station with Fat, Hides and Sheep Skins.
21st H. Tudor went with His dray to Morpeth on my business
25th My Old Woman set off for Port Phillip. Andw accompanied Her as far as Morpeth.
27th John started for the Station
I find that tis best not to Graft Grape Vines until Sept if the Season's dry

Octor 16th Washed the Sheep
22nd Commenced Shearing
Octor 13th Had to go to Sydney owing to a notice from the Bank Of N S Wales to pay Mortgage on my Land in Fourteen days. The Directors had become acquainted that I was one of Mr. A McD's bondsman for Cash Credit (some good friend informed the directors of this) Had to give a Mortgage on 2500 sheep and am allowed 6 and 12 months to pay the whole
22nd Returned to B Wood
24th Rain Commenced about 9 oclock at Night
28th Finished Shearing Sheep at this place after some delay from the Rain

Novr 1st Sent the wool to Singleton by Owen Campbell for the purpose of Having it sent to Morpeth by Stretch
2nd Owen returned bringing my Flour from the Mill
3rd Old Bulter died, Some Light Showers in the Evening
4 The boy davy astray. Andw out at Night looking for Him, a very Light Shower in the evening, some Thunder
5th Andw & Leslie seeking davy. Found and brought Home by J. Duff in the Evening —
19th Walter bad with Influenza had to take Him from School for a short time
25th The weather still Continues dreadfully dry and Hot the Fruit Trees are dying for want of Moisture
29th Commenced drawing wheat. A fine Shower of Rain in the afternoon another about 9 oclock at Night
30th Finished drawing Wheat

Decr. 1st Sent a Letter to Mr. Baellie of the Bank of N S Wales enclosing Three Orders. Viz One drawn in my favour by Mr. R Holden on Mr. Bath Currency Loss(?) for £10.0.0 dated 27th Novr. 1847 No. 32 Endorsed by me
One Ditto drawn as above and endorsed by me for £9.15.2
No 33. One drawn by me on F S & Co for £1.6.10
Wrote to Stubbs to endeavour to sell 4 or 5 Hundred Head of Cattle also to forward a Letter directed to His care for my wife to Port Phillip
2 G. Spidenbourgh Commenced Thrashing Wheat,
Wrote to Messrs D. Jones & Co. requesting them to allow a Pry Note I gave Mr. Holden to lay over till my wool arrives
6 A continuence of the same dry windy weather great Fires in the neighborhood
Walter and Leslie both Ill from Hooping Cough, sickness very prevalent in this part
10th very Hot weather from the 6th Cleared 48 Bushels Wheat the boys still ill from hooping Cough
14th dreadful Hot from the 10th Thunder Shower in Evening (light shower)
16th A light Thunder Shower in the Evening two showers during the Night The Grapes are dying on the Vines, The peach and other fruit Trees nearly dead The boys still Ill
20th The dray returned from New England.
Wrote to Mr. Alexr. McDougall requesting Him to remove His sheep in April next.
21st Wrote to Mr. Shipp to sell 400 head of cattle
Wrote to Mr. Britt requesting Him to wait 15 days for the balance of the money £11.10.0 that I owed the Revd Mr. Stephens who promised Andw to wait five weeks for the payment of the Note but passed it in about three weeks, this is the second time this low ignorant man has deceived me respecting the Note
21st wrote again to John urging the necessity of His herding some cattle down for sale.
The dray started with bales of wool for Morpeth
26th Returned the goods I wrote to F S & co for had not arrived
27th Andw and Walter went to the Races. The weather still very hot and dry
31st My dray went to Maitland

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