The Hardwick Site

John Smith of Birnam Wood
Diary 1848
Transcribed by Margaret Hardwick, 1996.
Digital version by Stephen Crawshaw, 2008.

Janry 1st Mrs S returned from Port Phillip. had a tedious passage of 22 days
3rd The Heat dreadful all day and nearly all Night
4th Light Rain, heavy Rain at Night
5th Fine Constant heavy Rain all day Light Rain all Night
6th & 7 Dull weather
8th Hot and Sultry
9 Sent my Sheep on the road for Maitland
10th 11th & 12th dull Cloudy weather with little wind Andw set off for Maitland
13th Cloudy
14th Mr J McDougall & family arrived from the Interior
14th Rain
15th Light Rain
16th to 17th to 18 fine
19th Rain in Evening Andw returned from Maitland having sold the Sheep at 2/6 a per Head
20th very heavy Rain all day
21st Same very light showers Mr. J. McDougall and Family proceeded on their journey for Singleton Mrs S & Andw accompanied them
The Revd Mr Cooper Mr Eastmure and myself met at Mr Holdens to settle some Family differences which were settled amicably.
My dray crossed over to the other side fearing the River might rise and prevent the Train from crossing
24th Commenced Making Wine Birds very troublesome in the vineyard the day very hot
25th Thunder Rain nearly all day Mrs S & Andw returned in the midst of it
26th Andw went to Singleton
27 Returned that day
28 dull day some Rain Andw went to Capt Pikes
29th returned Walter went to Singleton weather cloudy and close
30th Hot with distant Thunder, Mrs Cooper is spending a few days with us
31st Hot day.

Feby 1 Ditto
2nd Hot and Cloudy My sister Fanny spending a few days with us
Feby 3rd Hot and very Sultry discharged Spidenburgh for disobedience of Orders.
Ommitted on the 26th inst—Had to pay £8.16.0 of A. McDougall’s Interest to the Coml Bank
4th Rain all day. Robert returned from the Station after an absence of nearly Eight Months. Robert reports a loss of only 200 Sheep from the fat Rams the greater part of them were old Sheep I certainly have been very fortunate having lost fewer Sheep I truly believe than any Man in this part of the Colony having the same number of Sheep
5th Cloudy and windy all day.
6th high wind and Cloudy. Some Spots of Rain the weather Cold for this time of year.
7th Showry Part of the day cold wind from the S.E.
8th Very fine day the weather Calm & Mild
9th John Quandrall started with His dray and Eight Bullocks for my Station He took a Load of Flour & Rock Salt the day very fine
10th Hot with light air in the Evening
11th Very Windy with distant Thunder and Some Rain
12th Fine Day calm
13th Ditto Mrs Andw McDougall from Singleton On a visit accompanied by three of her Family
14' Hot and Sultry some Thunder Clouds at a distance.
15 Mrs McDougall returned to Kelso, the day Hot
16th Cloudy
17th Ditto
18th Hot
19th Ditto distant Thunder in the Morning
20 Hot wind from the North West Thunder and Lightning in the afternoon
21st Andw went to Maitland the day very Hot Thunder, Lighting and large Hail in the Evening
22nd Cold wind fom the South East all day
23rd Rain, Thunder, and vivid Lighting early in the Morning Thunder in the Evening Cold Wind very black Clouds to the West Storm of Hail in the afternoon
Omitted above finished making wine made in all about 200 Gallons on the 20th
24th Hot day Mr Alex McDougall and Mr G. Allan here
25th Mrs S & Andw went to Singleton day Hot Flies very Troublesome
26th Andw and His Mother returned the day Hot
27th Hot Edmund & James Doyle here
28th Hot, Close day
29th Ditto Commenced ploughing for Wheat Robert and Walter Started for the Station

March 1st very Sultry no air all day the Night Hot heavy dews almost every Night for the last three weeks
2nd very Hot
3rd Very Hot with no Air 'till Evening when we had a heavy Shower and some Thunder
4th Cloudy Day some light Rain
5th Heavy Rain in the Forenoon Afternoon Light Rain very dark Clouds coming from the South East— Mr John Bowman spent the afternoon at B Woods
6th Some light Showers. Mary & James Doyle here John returned from the Station in the Evening
7 Cool with a good deal of wind from the S. E.
8th The same as yesterday high wind all Night from S. E.
9th Light Rain in forenoon afternoon very heavy Rain which continued all Night a Fresh in Glennie's Creek
10th John had to come through the Cockfighter from Singleton the River being up at that Plain Light Showers all day
11th Some Light Showers doctor Jenkins here on his way to His station. A Fresh in the River, the stream too strong to allow any person to cross
12th John set off for Sydney the day very sultry some distant Thunder towards evening
13th Very Hot until about 3 oclock P M When a heavy Thunder Shower came an the Rain continued nearly all Night.
14th Showers in the forenoon aftemoon very heavy Rain with Thunder. The Creek rose and the water covered the Fence in the Paddock the Ground very boggy
15th Very sultry a Considerable Fresh in the River
16th Sultry My Sister & Her Son James here
17th Sultry and Cloudy nearly all day Cool breeze in the Evening The River Still high
18th The day fine. fine Thick Fog & heavy dew in the morning
19th Very fine mild day the River sufficiently low to allow people to pass. Doctor Jenkins proceeded on His way to His Station
20th Very fine day Rather Hot after 10 oclock AM
21st Fine all day
22nd Some Thunder in the Evening a few drops of Rain
23rd Fine all day. John and Leslie went to Maitland Sandy McDougall here in the Evening
24th Fine, there has been hardly any wind for the last Sixteen days heavy dews every Morning
25th Very Hot and Calm Andw & Sandy McDougall Started for their Stations Numbers of Catterpillars in the Vineyard Some beautiful Butterflies also
26th Windy in the forenoon afternoon Hot.
27th Very fine
28th A little Cloudy High wind Afternoon and nearly all Night from the South East
29th Fine all day
30th Fine
31st Fine

April 1st My drays arrived from New England
2nd Fine. Calm weather
3rd the same
4th Same
5th Same
6th Cloudy 7 Rain & some Showers 9th drays started for Morpeth
10th Fine
11 Fine, Fine until the 16th when we some thunder and a Little Rain My dray returned from Morpeth with a load of goods
17th Fine rather windy from the west
18th The hardest Frost I ever recollect seeing at this time of the Year the Fields were perfectly White, the Pumpkins all destroyed from its effects
19th Very fine with a Light Breeze from the West Commenced Sowing Wheat
20th and 21st Fine warm days Frosty Mornings
22 No Frost the day Cloudy some very light Showers Afternoon.
23rd Very fine
24 Calm and warm
25th The same
26 The same thick Fog in the morning
27th Very fine warm day. Brett (?) returned from Singleton with Flour from the Mill after having been delayed three days
28th Rather warm finished Sowing Wheat
29th Morning Cloudy Commenced Raining at 12 oclock Light Rain all Night
Omitted above On the 23 As Mrs S and John were returning from Church the Horse Commenced Kicking when coming down the big Hill and damaged the Gig very much and kicked Mrs S on the Leg but did not injure Her much
30th Constant Rain all day William & Walter arrived from the Station in the Evening

May 1st Thick Fog in the morning, The day fine
2nd Fine all day John & William went to Singleton for the purpose of attending a Meeting and other business
3rd Finished putting in Wheat, The day fine very heavy dews every Morning
4th Fine.
5 Fine & warm
6th The same
7th Fine
8th the same
9th Cloudy John Quantrill and Harpur Started for My Station with a bout two tons of Goods My property on their drays
10th Fine Calm day
11 Cloudy a fine Shower in the Evening
12th Cloudy and Cold a Light Shower in the Evening
13th Cold and windy. Wind from the West
14th Fine Calm day
15th Very Windy and Cold Isabella Doyle here
16th Fine Warm day the Revd Mr White and Mr J Bowman Called.
17th Fine and warm Some Wind from the West
18th The Same Sharp Frost in the morning
19th The Same
20th Fine Calm Warm day Mrs, Bowman, George, Mathew & Mrs Smith at B Wood also my Sister Fanny & (Mary Her daughter)
21st The weather the same Sharp Frosts every Night. Thos., Andw., & James McDougall here on their way to their Station
22nd Fine and warm
23rd The same Mary Doyle here
24th Cloudy and Close a Shower in the Night
25th Cloudy and Still
26th the Same
27th The same Hired a Lad of the Name of William Silk as a shepherd at the rate of £18-0-0 per annum and sent Him to the Station—
28th Cloudy
29th The Same Hired a Shepherd Wages at the rate of £20 per Annum and sent to the Station. Hired a Shoemaker Wages £20 per Annum Mrs Smith John & William started for Maitland Some Rain in the Night
30 Some Heavy Showers Wind from the N. W. Mr John Robertson called Commenced Pruning the Grape Vines blowing almost a Gale all Night
31st Blowing very hard from the West, The Wind very Cold

June 1st Cloudy and Cold
2nd Cloudy Cold wind from the South
3rd Cold wind from the South several Showers during the day
My sister here part of the day Rained all Night
4th Dull day with some very light Rain in the Evening Isabella Doyle here for about two Hours
5th Dull & cold My dray returned from Maitland
6 Mrs & William returned from Maitland
7th Fine Sun Shiny day William & Leslie went to Singleton Mary Doyle here for a short time
8 Fine day
9th William & Leslie went to Muswell Brook to recover Cattle out of Pound returned in the night The day fine Frost in the Morning
10th Frosty Morning The day fine & warm
11th Fine with Frost
12th William went to Maitland
13th Returned
14th Fine weather
15th 16th & 17th The Same Sharp Frosts
18th 19th The Same
20th A little Rain in the morning very Cold all day wind From the West Finished Pruning vines
21st Cold and windy
22nd Fine
23rd The same
24th The same
25th 26th 27th day warm Night very Fresh My Sister here
28th John returned overland from Sydney, Had a Horse die on the road
29th Fine weather
30th The same

July 1st The same
2nd The same
3rd William went to Muswell Brook to recover Cattle Impounded there returned at sun set
4th Walter & Leslie at Singleton bringing up a cow & calf
5th The weather mild and fine and free from Frost for the last Four days
6th Very hard Frost the day warm
7th The same
8th John, William, Walter & Leslie and myself went to the funeral of the late Mr John Wiseman Quantrill returned from Station The day extremely Cold
9th Very Cold
10th Ditto high winds all three days
11th Frosty Morning fine day Robert arrived from the Station, Edward Doyle & Frederick Doyle here with Fat cattle—
12th Frosty Morning day same
13th The Same
14th Same
15th & 16th The same
17th John Robert William & Leslie went to the Races, The day fine
18th the Same
19th the same with Frosty Mornings
20th Cloudy & Cold.
21st Warm day Frosty morning
22nd The same
23rd The same
24th Very Sultry
25th The same Thunder and Rain in the evening John’s Horse broke His Leg and was shot
25th Windy and Cold. The wind from the West John started for the Station accompanied by Edward Doyle as far as the Page—
26th 27th Fine
29 Went to the Polling at Jerry's plains
30th Fine
31st Rain

August 1 Cold wind & Showers
2nd The Same
3rd very Cold wind the day Cloudy
4th Moderate
5th very Cold wind all day, went in the afternoon to see Mathew Bowman who is very ill
6th Sharp Frost in the Morning fine all day
7th The same
8th The same Mrs S and two of the boys went to a Confirmation held at Jerys Plains by the Bishop of New Castle
9th Fine
10th Showery and Cold
11 Fine, high Wind from the West
12th Sharp Frost in the Morning the day mild and warm.
13th Frost in the Morning Cold all day with some Showers Mrs S William and Walter went to Singleton
14 Some Showers the day rather Sultry
15 Dull and a little Rain in the Forenoon afternoon fine
16th Warm a Shower about 8 oclock P.M. The Revd Mr White at B Wood remained here all Night
17th A good deal of Wind from the West rather Cloudy and Cold
18th Sharp Frost the day Windy Commenced planting Grape Cuttings
19th Sharp Frost the day warm and Mild
20th The Same
21st Windy and rather Cold a fine Shower in the Evening
22nd Warm with a good deal of Wind
23rd Very Windy the day Moderately Warm High Wind all Night
24 Windy and very Cold with some Rain
25th Fine
26th The Same
27 The same
28 same
29th Same
30th Same a good deal of Wind lately Tudor found and brought Home seven of my Working bullocks.
Omitted on the 27th Mr. & Mrs. Adw McDougall and four of their Family here
28th Returned — to their Home.

Sepr 1st Dreadful Wind from the West
2nd The Same
3rd Wind, not quite so Windy The Wheat beginning to Wither
4th Very Windy
5th The Same & The Same Frost every Morning. Went to Singleton Returned
7 Very Sharp Frost Windy day
8th The Same
9th Calm and warm
10 Frost in the Morning Have been tormented for the last fortnight with Mr Andw McDougall’s husc rust and know not when it may terminate. The Wheat Perishing fast
10th The Same
11 Calm and fine
12th Same
13th Very Hot for this time of the year
14th The Same
15th A perfect Hurricane the Whole day, The dust enough to blind a Person The Wheat failing fast
16 The day fine and warm
17th The same
18th Cold Wind from the South East The afternoon very Cloudy. Loading drays for the Station
19th Very Cold Wind and Cloudy— Mathew Bowman died at 11 oclock P.M.
20th Mrs S. & Robert went to Singleton Commenced Raining about one oclock P.M. and Rained for about one Hour
21st Very hot part of the day a Thunder Storm in the Evening a good deal of Hail Fell and a very heavy Storm of Rain. Rain again about 11 clock PM for a short time
22nd A Shower Commenced at 7 oclock A M and lasted about half an hour Went to the Funeral of the late Mathew Bowman
23rd Very Sultry with a little wind from N. W.
24th Fine day
25th Mr John McDougall Mrs McD and Miss Elizabeth McDougall of B Hill arrived here
26th Mr & Mrs James McDougall arrived here also the two Miss D Doyles and their Mother from Jerrys Plains These two days fine
27th Mr & Mrs John McDougall left on their way to Texas Mrs & Mr James McD. went home This day very Windy
28 Light Wind in the Forenoon Some Light Showers in the afternoon
29th Cloudy
30th Hot and Sultry

Octor 1st A light Shower a little before day break. The day Cloudy Dr Jenkins arrived on His way to his Station
2nd Warm day
3rd Warm in forenoon Afternoon a cool breeze from the South east Robert started for the Station Andw & Alexr McDougall here
4th Very Cold a little Rain during the day Fine Rain in the Night
5th very Cold a good deal of Rain fell today. Andw & Alexr McD. started for their Station
6 Very Cold Mr Jas McDougall & Mrs M D. here
7 Fine and moderately warm
8th Warm all day
9th & The Same
10 A good deal Thunder and Lighting. No Rain
11th very Warm high Wind all Night
12th dark & cloudy early in the Morning Tremendous Wind all day a Shower between 7 & 8 oclock in the Evening Which only Lasted about half an hour
13 Rather Cloudy and Cool
14th Hot. Wrote to my Brother Robert in answer to a Letter from Mr Ashe Which had been nearly two months in reaching this (?) owing to it being misdirected
15th Very Warm
16th Close and Sultry a small Shower in the Night
17 Cloudy a good deal of Thunder during the Forenoon Two very fine Showers in the afternoon
18 Rain in the morng Commenced before sun rise
19th Some fine Showers
20th Cloudy Mrs S & William went to Singleton Miss E McDougall returned to Singleton
21st Sultry with some Clouds passing fom the West the late Rain will benefit some of the late Wheat and I think will make the Grape Vine Cuttings Shoot they are very late in shooting this season, no doubt from not having a sufficiency of Rain — for some time very Windy in the afternoon So high as to blow off a number Sprouts of the Vines
22 Warm and wind moderate
23 The same
24 Cloudy and very Windy Some fine Showers in the Night
25th Moderately warm
26th Cloudy most of the day William Started for the Station — The weather lately has been very cool for this time of year the Nights particularly so
27 Moderately warm
28th very Hot until Evening when a cool breeze set in from the South East
29th Cloudy with Thunder a very fine shower about One oclock P.M. lasted about half a hour two other fine Showers during the afternoon some Thunder and Lightning
30 Very Windy the Whole day. The wind is blowing off a number of the Vine Shoots
31st Very fine day light breeze in the afternoon Mrs S & Walter went to Singleton

Novr- 1st Calm and warm in the forenoon afternoon very Windy Mrs S & Walter returned
2nd High Wind all day Some dark clouds rose in the West in the Evening
3rd Cloudy part of the day a few drops of Rain about 12 oclock Mr. & Mrs Cooper here for a short time
4th Cool all and Night
5th Hot in forenoon very Windy afternoon Edwd & and Frederick Doyle here they are going to Station
6 A Sultry disagreeable day the Wind Hot & high increased in the Evening to a perfect hurricane
7th A deal of damage done amongst the Vines and Fruit Trees the forenoon Cloudy Afternoon Clear a cool breeze from the South East Andw McDougall Junr Elizabeth McD. of Parramatta Isabella Doyle and Sophia McDougall here in the Evening
8th Very fine day with a cool breeze from the South East
9th The day Cloudy and Close Some Thunder & Lightning in the Evening and a Small Shower Mrs Bowman and John Bowman at B W Misses E & T. McDougall and Andrew left here for Singleton Mrs Bowm and Sons remained as the weather was very threatening
10 Cloudy & Cool breeze from South East all day Mrs B & Sons returned Home early in the Morning
11th Forenoon Cloudy Afternoon Hot with a Smart breeze from the West blowing all from same quarter
12 Warm with a fine breeze from West
13th Commenced Reaping. the day very Hot & Close
14th Very Hot most of the day, a cool breeze set in from the S.E. in the Evening Walter went to Singleton for Sickles, returned Afternoon
15th Rain from 7 oclock AM till 12 a good deal of Thunder in the afternoon but no Rain A complete Storm of Wind Commenced at Sun Set from the West The Wind continued all Night
16th The same Storm of Wind continued all this day and died away at sun set Miss M Doyle at B.W.
17th The day fine the wind still continues but not so voilent as yesterday Walter went to Singleton to Post a Letter to the Cashier of the Bank of N S Wales Richmond in the Evening
18th Very Windy all day Sent the cart to Singleton for Flour returned same day
19th Calm and warm all the afternoon a Strong Whirl wind Passed over about 1 oclock PM The last four nights have been very Cold for this time of the year Severe Frost on the low ground yesterday morning Mary Doyle returned home today
20th The forenoon very Hot about 12 oclock a furious wind arose which continued all the afternoon The prevalence of high Winds as this Spring has been very injurious to the vineyard by breaking off the young shoots and otherwise injurying the Plants
21st Very fine day Rather Hot a Cool breeze From South East in the Evening
22 Cloudy and very Sultry all day, a tremendous Storm of wind rain between 8 & Nine oclock at Night and continued ’till morning
23rd commenced Raining at Day light and continued 2½ Hours, the rest of the day very Windy
24th Fine day the wind Moderate & Cool
25th Moderate Wind from the West ’till about 4 oclock and then turned to South East John arrived from the Station in the Evening
26 Hot all day and Calm
27th Hot and rather Windy Mrs S & John went to Singleton
28th Very Hot a Cool wind from the South East in the Evening Mr & Mrs Joshua & Joseph Cooper at B Wood in the afternoon Mrs S & John returned
29th Cloudy and Cool all day the wind in the same quarter.
30 Hot until Evening when a Breeze from the S.E. set in the Nights and Mornings have been Cool lately John went to Maitland

Decr 1st Very Hot. Hot wind all day, the Fruit suffering from the drought
2nd Cloudy the Forenoon moderately Cool Afternoon a Cold wind from S.E. There has been more wind lately than I ever Remember in the same boght (?) of time The Vine Cuttings planted in August are not Growing and needs a considerable quantity of Rain falls soon they must perish for the Ground is as dry as Ashes
3rd Cool & Cloudy Some rain in the Evening a fine Shower in the Night distant Thunder in the Evening
4th Fine but Windy, a Complete Gale in the Night John returned from Maitland John’s horse lost
5 Very Windy John Started for the Station accompanied by Leslie as far a St. Hilliers Miss M Doyle at B W Since Sunday Evening last —
6th Very Windy until 5 oclock AM When the Wind Lulled, Leslie returned. John found His horse at Muscle Brook
7th Early in the Morning Singularly Cold for this time of the year The day very Hot and Windy the wind Hot Walter & Leslie went to Singleton in the Gig
8th Very Hot Wind until Evening when it turned to the S.E.
9th Oppressively Hot the wind like the blast of a furnance Fruit of every description withering fast.
10th Very Windy during the last Night. Calm & Cloudy in the forenoon a good Wind from the S E in the afternoon Mary Doyle went home Walter & Leslie went to Singleton
11th Hot day cool breeze in the Evening Walter & Leslie returned What can be the cause of so much wind this Season a considerable quantity of the Fruit are withering from the effects of it —
12th Hot a light breeze in the afternoon from the S E which tempered the heat in some degree
13th The Same
14th Very hot and Smoky Mrs G Bowman at B Wood for a few hours
15th As Hot as Hell Some Thunder in the Evening but no Rain Mrs S & Walter at Mr Bowman’s
16th Very Hot in the Forenoon not quite so Hot in the afternoon Cloudy and a little Thunder in the Evening
17 The same a few drops of Rain at Night
18 Hot and rather Cloudy a very small Shower and some lighting in the Evening Mr Coopers Jas & Joe Cooper at B.W. Walter went to St. Hilliers for the black Colt
19th Very Sultry in the Forenoon a fine Shower in the afternoon which lasted about an Hour a good deal of Thunder & Lightning
20th Cloudy all day Wind from rhe East
21st Very Windy from the same quarter Cloudy nearly all day Edward here on His way to Maitland
22nd Hot and Close Some distant Thunder Afternoon
23rd Very sultry in the forenoon a Thunder Storm commenced about half past three Afternoon and Continued to Rain heavy for about an Hour and light Rain for half Hour This Shower will save a deal of Fruit The vines & Fruit Trees were withering fast Walter went to Singleton for Comforts.
24th Cloudy and wind all day and all Night
25th Cloudy and Cool all day Light wind from S.E.
26th Cloudy forenoon Clear and warm afternoon a small Shower in the Night Mrs Cooper & Mr J Cooper called
27th Very Hot a great many Thunder clouds all turned the Wind from the West and Hot. Wrote to Flower & Party respect the advance they intend to make on wool of the Clip
28th Very Hot Wind from the West my sister and Eunice here — and stayed all Nght commenced drawing in Wheat a Small Shower about 1 o’cl PM
29th Not so Hot as yesterday but very Windy from the West Walter to Singleton to see the doctor
30th Very Cold early in the Morning almost a Frost the Hot a very windy from the West untl 4 oclock PM When it Shifted to S.E. and blew fresh How is so very much wind this Summer to be accounted for
31st Blowing all last Night and all day from S E the Sky overcast and the day Cool.

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