The Hardwick Site

John Smith of Birnam Wood
Diary 1854
Transcribed by Margaret Hardwick, 1996.
Digital version by Stephen Crawshaw, 2008.

Jany 1st Warm and Calm Mrs S and Walter went to Church
2nd Very Hot, a Thunder Storm and a Smart Shower in the Evening, Fred Doyle Came to lend a Hand in getting in the Wheat
3rd Very Hot, drawing in Wheat, Which we finished
4th Very Hot and the Night almost suffocating Some Thund Lightning and a few drops of Rain in the Night F Doyle went Home, attacked wiih swelling blight in my right Eye
5th Cool pleasant day Walter went T Singleton in the Gig
6th Weather the Same, bought a Fat Cow from Mr Hobden for £3-5-0
7th Heavy Showers about 7 oclock Morning the rest of the day Cool and Cloudy
8th Cool, two or three light Showers the weather threatens Rain My Sister Came to Stay a day & Night with us
9th Weather the Same, Loading the Dray with wool Mr D. Came for Mrs D. gave Campbell the Shepherd two days leave He starts this Evening
10th The Same Cool beautiful weather Mrs S & Leslie went to Jerrys Plains
11th Very Hot, My dray Started for Maitland or Morpeth with 13 Bales of Wool, Walter went to transact business sell the Wool &c &c Campbell returned
12th Moderately Cool. attacked with Swelling blight in my left Eye
13th Rather Warm, Sent the Shepherd Campbell to Mr Doyles for four Rams, instead of which He went to Simpsons Inn and got Drunk 12 or Thirteen Sheep left in the Bush
14th Sultry and oppressive, Hired John Reilly to Thrash Wheat Mr A McDougall Jnr Called
15th remarkably Sultry not a breath of air the whole a few drops of Rain about 10 oclock P. M. Mr A McDougall went home
16 The Same, a moderate Shower of Rain, Some Lightning in the South East. I never but One, new the Flies more troublesome than at Present
17th The Same, my dray returned from Morpeth, with supplies
18th Cloudy and Sultry, Robt Doyle here. Kelly shifting the Fence before the Shepherds Hut. Mesquitoes very troublesome
19 Very Hot, Walter returned from Maitland, could not sell the wool at that place had to send it to Sydney wool has fell in price owing to a rumour of a war between Russia and Turkey, Helen and Louisa McDougall came up with Walter
20th A good deal of Rain last Night, Day Cloudy and Cool Sent a lot of Grapes and Nectrines to Jerrys Plains
21st Hot, and Windy from the west
22nd Hot.
23rd Hot, Campbell making a Floor in the verandah I was minding Sheep and Cutting Grapes took one Hundred and One wethers and put them into the Paddock
24th Hot, and a deal of wind from the west, sent 563 lbs of Grapes to Jerrys Plains and Sold them to Ward @ 2 pence per lb amounting to £2 "3 "10. Mr A McDougall Came up in the Evening
25th Hot, Helen, Louisa and A McDougall went home Walter drove Helen down, Robt Doyle at B Wood I have been very unwell for the last two days, with pains in my Limbs and Back & bowel complaint
26th Hot best part of the day, a Strong easterly wind Set in about 4 oclock A M. Walter returned from Singleton
27th Cloudy most of the day Threatening Rain
28th Rather Warm, Sent a lot of Grapes to Jerrys Plains
29th Hot, some Thunder Lightning and a Small Shower in the afternoon, Walter went to Singleton
30th Very Hot. Walter returned from Singleton
31st Very Hot, a good deal of Thunder Lightning and and a few drops of Rain in the afternoon

Feby 1st Cool all day and Threatening Rain, only a misty Shower fell Vegetation reqires Rain very much
2nd Moderately Cool, A Cool breeze in the Afternoon from the S. E. Andw Doyle & James Doyle Called
3rd Weather the Same, Sent the Cart to Singleton with 365 lbs of Grapes, Walter went also, the Cart returned about 10 oclock at Night having Sold the Grapes for £3-16-3. Very near Frost this Morning
4th Cloudy and threatening Rain A Doyle & Wife & Child J Doyle and E Doyle Called. Sent Sent Kelly to Jerrys Plains with Grapes He got drunk and made a bad Sale
5th Cool and windy. I was taken very ill this morning and continued so all day
6th Cool, the Night Cold. Stili Ill, Campbell had a lot of his Flock mixed with the Wethers. Cleaning Wheat
7th Cool, the Night the same as last Night, finished Cleaning Wheat had only 51 Bushels I expected 80 I think the Wheat Crop in this part of the Hunter will yield badly this year
8th Rather Warm, Mr C Harpur Called
9th Very Hot and Sultry. Thunder Lightning and a little Rain in the Evening and the Morning next morning Rain. Mrs S & Walter went to Singleton, got Harry Jarvis to take the Cart with 278 lbs Grapes & 25 Dozen Figs Cart returned about 10 P M
10th Rain (very light) this forenoon, Walter returned from Singleton Mrs S. remained at Kelso, Commenced Making a little wine from the refuse grapes
11th Cloudy part of the the day, part warm, Some distant Thunder but no Rain
12th Cool & Cloudy, Walter went to Singleton Andw Doyle & Mrs Doyle Called
13 Cool and Cloudy Mrs S & Walter returned accompanied by Sophy McDougall
14th Cool in the forenoon, Afternoon Sultry and hot Sent a lot of Grapes to Jerrys Plains but could only sell about 50lbs of them
15 Very Hot, agreed with F Pittman to Shear my Lambs at 2 shillings and 6 pence per score

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