Category Diaries

Samuel Pepys’ last written words

It was on Friday 31st May 1669 that Samuel Pepys wrote the final entry in his Diary. His nine-and-a-half-year diary keeping was, he said, at an end because his eyes were deteriorating.   His closing words were:- ‘And so I betake to that course, which is almost as much as to see myself go into my […]

The Kate Kennedy Procession

Every year – generally on the second Saturday afternoon of April – thousands of students and citizens gather on the cobbled streets of St Andrews to watch Scotland’s oldest historical pageant. This year, at 2pm on Saturday 8th April 2017, the annual Kate Kennedy Procession will leave the medieval gates of St Salvator’s College on North […]

An island awakening

On Friday 21st February 1947 Edie Rutherford, a South African housewife and Socialist, living in Sheffield, wrote in her diary: ‘So the Government wants women back in industry, whole time or part time. I shudder at the thought. Willing though I am to do my bit; the memory of crowded trains, standing around waiting for […]

mince pies; thomasing; christmas pop charts; stargazy pie; a thoughtful mp; WW1 news; st stephen’s day; disaster at sea

Introduction to a Christmas Special. Have you suddenly realised you have no Mince Pies for Christmas? How about making some yourself? Gervase Markham’s ‘The English Housewife’ [London: 1615] may help you cope with Yule Tide Mince Pies. His recipe says [spelling by Gervase, modified punctuation by me]:- ‘Take a Legge of Mutton, and cut the […]

A Cricketing Vicar and a New History of England; Cobbett recording and Raleigh in and out of trouble; Richard Burton’s Diary plus what to do and not to do over Hallow’een

Saturday 26th October 1918 saw the birth of one Hugh Pickles. Gerald Howat’s obituary following Hugh’s death in Blewbury, Oxfordshire on 24th September 1989 – five days before Hugh was due to retire – described him as ‘one of life’s enthusiasts and eccentrics’. Cricket, Hugh claimed, was his second religion. His first won him the […]