April 1862

Tuesday 1st They drilled Pease Hill with Talevera Wheat, 3½ bushels per acre, it went in very well considering the quantity we have had of rain; but they had to leave off in the afternoon for it came on so wet.  We had George Webb and John Cox in the garden all day to dig and to plant potatoes & peas, last years potatoes have kept very well indeed when we opened the campes in the garden we found very few bad ones.  Mr Wortley rode to Allexton in the morning and he went to Uppingham in the evening to a concert in aid of the funds for increasing the library of the Uppingham mutual improvement society.
Mr Wortley gave £13-5s for the six beasts he bought at Stamford fair.

Wednesday 2nd  Mr Wortley went to Uppingham market.  Mr Nicholson rode my horse to Mr Fabling’s of Burley to hunt the grey horse he sold to Mr F. as the hounds meet at Barnsdale Lodge.  They  finished drilling Pease-hill.

Thursday 3rd  I rode to Martinthorpe in the morning and round by Preston.  We brought the four Runts home from Martinsthorpe and put them in the Chapel Close for the night.  Mr & Mrs Wortley and Mrs Drury went to Wing for tea.  I sowed some flower seeds in pots and put them in the frame.  Mr Nicholson and I had a long walk in the evening round by the Parks and Mr Burgess.

Friday 4th  Mr Nicholson, Tom Manton and I began to break-in the Drayton filley, she was very awkward at first, we were about an hour and a half before we could get a halter on her.  Mr Nicholson and I rode to Wing in the afternoon, and we walked to Martinsthorpe in the even’g.  We sent the four Runts and the six Short-horned beasts that Mr Wortley bought at Stamford fair to Allexton to eat up the rough grass in the two meadows there, and they will have a little clover as well.

Saturday 5th  We drilled Blue Peas next to the Beans in Colt’s Close and the lower side of Baker’s Hill, but it came on so wet that we could not finish.  In both places they are after spring-sown Talivera Wheat.  Mr Wortley bought the seed of Mr Freer of Birmingham for £4 per quarter, the price seems very great; but they have  been all hand picked and are a beautiful sample.  He bought 4 quarters of them so in all they came to £16.  Mr Nicholson and I rode to Mr Fabling’s of Burley for lunch and then rode with him to Leesthorpe to see two steeple-chasers between four gentlemen, but they were not worth seeing.  I saw Mr and Mrs Smith, Staunton and Charlie Latham there.  Mr Tailby’s hounds also met at Leesthorpe after the steeple – chasers were over, we drew the covers near Little Dalby blank and then we went on Owston Wood, and drew it blank also,  it had been raining for about an hour and a half and we were wet to the skin so we went home with Mr Islip and Wm Pickering we called at Somerby to get some whiskey & water to prevent catching cold.

Sunday 6th  Went to Ridlington Church twice. It was very showery all day.  Mr Nicholson and I walked round by the Parks in the evening.  The ewes and the lambs are penned on the cabbages and Khol-rabbi.  Khol-rabbi are a very good thing for milk, both for cows and sheep.

Monday 7th  We finished drilling the Peas in Baker’s Hill.  I rode over to our land at Allexton, we have 13 Irish beasts in the large field, 4 Runts and 6 Short-horns in the meadows, making altogether 23.  Lamb -hogs are very dear now, our’s which are very small are worth about 50s and there are some in the country worth 60s and even 70s per head.  If I was a farmer and had too many sheep on my farm I should sell off some of my wether lamb-hogs, (for they are not likely to be dearer than they are now) and buy in some old beast for about £15 apiece.  I read in a book on farming, that when wheat is sown in the autumn on light land, that is subject to wire-worm, it is a good plan to pen sheep on it directly it is sown and leave them on until the wheat is just up, and cart all over the field Mangel Wurzel tops for the sheep to eat, and in trampling the land they consolidate it and prevent the wire-worm working.

Tuesday 8th  We drilled the top side of Baker’s Hill with peas.  I rode to our land at Allexton in the afternoon, two carpenters from Belton are back-fencing there, and Harry Mayes is draining there, as a drain has burst and rendered a place very wet.
Mr Nicholson and I brought the two foals and the six young beast from Colts Close Meadow and the foal from the old yard and put them into Park Close.
Mrs Hay came for tea and Mr Hay came for supper.  Nathaniel and Miss Franks came after tea and and Miss Franks stayed all night.

Wednesday 9th  They drilled the Second Dale with Scottch Potato Oats after Seeds about a sack per acre.
It was very showery all day.  Mr N. & I rode down to Martinsthorpe in the afternoon, I rode my horse and Mr N. rode the Filley.  Mr Wortley bought nine Beast at Uppingham market at £14.5.0 per head and in all £128.5.0

Thursday 10th  Mr Wortley went to a sale of Short-horns at the Marquis of Exerter’s, and from thence he went on the Mr Burgess’ of Edenham in Lincolnshire and stayed all night.  Ted Baines took the Beast  that Mr Wortley bought at Uppingham yesterday and Mr Nicholson helped him down with them on the filley.  I went to Uppingham to get my horse shod and from thence I went to Wade’s  of Wardley about a stilton cheese and then on the Allexton and home, it rained almost all the way and I got wet through.

Friday 11th  Mr Nicholson and I rode down to the parks and Mr N. went on to Allexton.  It is bitterly cold today.  Mr Wortley came home in the evening, he bought an heifer at the sale for 13½ guineas.

Saturday 12th  Mrs Drury left today.  Mr Nicholson and I drove with my horse in the trap to Leicester by Billesdon and Humberstone, it was a very sharp frost this morning so we had a cold drive.  We went into the beast and corn market.  I went to see Lizzie, Janie and Aunt Anne, I also saw John, Polly and Tom.  We dined at the Bell Hotel, John came up after dinner and we went into the town with him, we started home about seven oclock, it was altogether about 40 miles and we were about an hour and three quarters each way.  We had a very cold ride home.

Sunday 13th  Went to Ridlington Church twice.  Mr Nicholson walked round by Ayston, Wardley Bow and home by the Parks in the evening.
Dairy Maid calved.  A red and white bull calf by John Needhams bull Sambo.

Monday 14th  Mr Nicholson and I went to Allexton, they have finished back-fencing there; we went to Mr Islip’s and had some lunch, Mr & Mrs Pickering were calling there.  They drilled Scotch Potato-Oates in Shellikers Close, 6 bushels per acre, the seed came from Wing, the field was seeds last year, and was ploughed up in the beginning of the winter, many people sow wheat after seeds, but the wheat then is very often eaten off by slugs.
Mr Wortley went to Oakham fair

Tuesday 15th  They finished drilling the Oates in Shellikers Close and then they went and harrowed over again the Second Dale which is sowned with oates.  John Cose went to fetch the heifer that Mr Wortley bought at the Marquis of Exeter’s sale.  Mr Nicholson and I rode to Martinsthorpe.  In the evening Mr N. and I walked to Colts Close, the beans are coming up.

Wednesday 16th  Mr Nicholson and I took five steers from the top yard & one in-calved heifer to Martinsthorpe.   It is rather too early to turn beast out.  The 1st of May is considered the usual time.  Tomblin and Samuel Page are hassocking in the meadows at Allexton.

Thursday 17th  Mr Nicholson and I rode to Allexton.  Mr Law, Captain Brown & Mr Godfrey came to look at the Wind Engine.  Mary and Ellen came home from school for their Easter holidays.  Mr Wortley went to Stamford Market, the market is today as it is Good Friday tomorrow.

Good Friday 18th  Went to Ridlington Church twice.  Mr N. & I walked to Ayston and Uppingham in the evening, they were playing at cricket in a field near Uppingham.

Saturday 19th  I received a letter from Sarah this morning asking me to stand as godfather to her baby, it was christened last Wednesday, its name is Francis William.
Mr Wortley and Mr N. took the seven Irish Beasts and the two red heifers and calves out of the First Glebe and put them into Park Close.
I rode to Leicester and back on my horse.  I dined at Lizzie’s, Tom Henry and Annie Williams also dined there, the latter was on her way to Peatling.  I got home about ½ past 7.

Sunday 20th Easter Sunday Went to Ridlington Church twice.  Mr N. and I went a walk in the evening.

Monday 21st  Mr Pochin, his son and his builder came to look at the Wind Engine as the former is thinking of putting one up at his farm at Leigh.  Mr Barnes and his sister came to spend the day and Miss Healey came for tea.  Mr B.,  Mr N. and I rode to Allexton and Mr B. & Mr N. rode to Martinsthorpe afterward,  we played at Cricket for the first time in Lees Close in the evening.  We sent the five stirks out of Park Close to the meadows at Allexton.

Tuesday 22nd  It was very windy and showery all day.  I rode to Manton in the evening to ask about some draining tiles and home by our land at Martinsthorpe, we sent Bounce and her foal there this morning.  We put the seven beast out of Park Close and four of the beast out of the New Yard into Feeding Close.

Wednesday 23rd  I rode round by Belton and Allexton.  Mr Mitton came home from Uppingham market with Mr Wortley and stayed for tea and supper.

Thursday 24th  It was a beautiful day.  The shepherd sowed broadcast, seeds in Stone-pit Close in the Autumn sown wheat after Oats, about 14 lbs of Clover and 4 lbs of Italian Rye per acre.    The Wheat was very clean, it only having (Winter Weed) in it and it dies off early in the summer, so we did not hoe it before sowing the seeds, but we raked it in with the seed rake.  I rode to Belton in the afternoon to get measured for a great coat.  Mary went back to school in the afternoon.  We played at Cricket in the evening.  John Manton and Barfield split back the ridges on the manure in First Close for Mangels and Turnips.

Friday 25th  It was a beautiful day but very hot.  Mr Nicholson and I rolled and beat the Cricket Ground in the morning.  The shepherd sowed the seeds in Stone-pit Close.  John Manton and Barfield split back the ridges on the manure in First Close.  I finished sowing the seeds in my garden.  I tethered my horse in the orchard to eat the grass.  We played at Cricket in the evening.

Saturday 26th      It rained all morning, but it cleared up in the afternoon.   Mr Nicholson and I went a walk in the evening as Mr Wortley does not allow us to play at Cricket on Saturday nights.

Sunday 27th  Mr Hay was ill, so we only had one service, and that was in the afternoon.  Mr Nicholson and I walked to Ayston and round by the Parks in the evening.

Monday 28th  Lady Piggot sent the stock Mr Wortley bought of her on to Peterboro and Mr Nicholson went there to meet them and brought them home with him, viz, a cow, a bull, and a heifer calf. Mr Wortley and I drove down to the station to meet them.

Tuesday 29th   Mr Nicholson and I made a case to put the fox in, to take him into Lincolnshire.

Wednesday 30th  Mr Nicholson and I went into Lincolnshire by the first train in the morning.  We had to wait an hour and a half at Peterboro, so we went into the Cathedral to hear the service, from thence we went on to Boston, where we saw Mr Luke Nicholson, he had driven in for the market.  I also saw Harwood, an old school fellow of mine, his father is a lawyer in Boston & his son is articled to him.  We dined at the Ram Inn and drove to Bennington after dinner.  Mr John Taylor rode with us.  We had tea at Mr Overtons, Mr N.’s uncles, and after tea went to Mr John Wortley’s to have a game at cricket and quoits.  We got to East Ville about 10 oclock.