susanah’s journal – xmas party

From the journal of Miss Susanah Wellington (1819-1838) of Yeovil, Somersetshire.

SW_DIARY_p6a

2nd. We had a letter from Mrs D Marshall informing us she would not be able to pay us a visit on account of the weather.

3rd We had our Xmas family party: the young men & Mr Vincent supped here.

15th Uncle Smith & Uncle Tom came down and spent Sunday with us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In Susanah’s previous journal entry of December 1836, we read about Rev Jukes and the Jews meeting.

The Wellingtons of Yeovil had friends and family visiting for the 1837 new year holidays. The weather was very bad. Heavy snow started to fall on Christmas Eve, 1836. There was a great east-north-easterly gale and snowstorm on 25th and 26th. Many lives as well as livestock and crops were lost. Roads throughout England were impassable for days, snow 5 to 15 feet (1.5 to 4.5 metres) deep in many places, a few great drifts 20 to 50 feet (6 to 15 metres).

extract from a report on the snow storms from Sherborne Mercury, 02 January 1837.

An extract from a newspaper report, gives an idea of how the severe weather impacted life throughout England. Western Flying Post, Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury, 02 January 1837.

The snow storms in late December 1836 covered the roads in large drifts. The regular stage and mail coaches were disrupted which brought business to a stand-still. The stage coaches and mail coaches could not get through, goods and shipments could not be delivered, and general trades could not do business or work outdoors in such bad weather.

George Cruikshank_abc_0004

Illustration of a bountiful Christmas feast from a Comic Alphabet, designed, etched and published by George Cruikshank, 1836.

The Wellington family held their Christmas party on the 3rd of January. It may have been a tradition to celebrate with family in the new year, or their gathering was delayed due to the bad weather. Susanah mentions the young men and Mr Vincent shared Christmas supper with the family. The “young men” may have been the chemist apprentices and shop assistants in her father’s employ. Mr Vincent was probably a family friend.

On the 15th January Uncle Tom and Uncle Smith visited the family in Yeovil. Thomas SAMSON (1806-1879), was a younger brother of Susanah’s mother Elizabeth SAMSON (1764-1833). Uncle Smith was William SMITH (1801-1879) the husband of Elizabeth’s youngest sister Susannah Sharp SAMSON (1806-1843). They lived in Wayford, about 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) south-west of Yeovil in Somerset. You can read more about the SAMSON family connections here.

I am sure Susanah enjoyed good cheer with her family and friends in spite of the cold and miserable weather, which continued well into March, April and May. The English Spring of 1837 still holds the record of the coldest ever seasonal average at just 5.6 degrees C.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sources: Susanah Wellington’s Journal, BUCK family collection. You can read more about it here: susanah’s journal – somerset to sydneywww.dorsetshire.com. You might like to see other work by George Cruikshank; British Newspaper ArchiveHistorical Weather Events.

Advertisements

susanah’s journal – rev jukes & the jews

From the journal of Miss Susanah Wellington (1819-1838) of Yeovil, Somersetshire.

SW_DIARY_p4&5

Poor Wm Etheridge died on the 2nd of November 1836 his funeral sermon was preached by Mr Jukes at his chapel on Sunday Evening Novr 13th 1836.

January 1st 1837. Mr Ewald and Mr Davis preached two sermons in behalf of the Jews 30 pounds were collected at the doors. 2nd The Jews Meeting was held at the Mermaid Inn.  When we returned we found quite a large party assembled in our dining room from Martock.  Sophia Vining was with us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I found a notice in the Salisbury & Winchester Journal, Monday 14 November 1836:

Died, at Yeovil, on Wednesday, the 2nd inst., aged 18 years, after a few days’ illness, of effusion on the brain, William, fourth son of Mr. H. Etheridge, auctioneer. He was a very promising youth, and much and deservedly respected in the circle in which he moved.

William’s parents were Henry and Ann. Henry ETHERIDGE was a surveyer, auctioneer, real estate and insurance agent. William ETHERIDGE was born 24 June 1818 and christened in an Independent Chapel in Yeovil on 26 July 1819.

Auction of dwellings by Mr Etheridge, Sherborne & Yeovil Mercury, 02 June 1834.

Auction of dwellings by Mr Henry Etheridge, Sherborne & Yeovil Mercury, 02 June 1834.

Mr John JUKES was a protestant non-conformist minister of the Independent Chapel in Yeovil, aligned with the Baptists. Mr JUKES served on the Yeovil Board of Health during the 1830s, along with Dr John PENKIVIL and chemist George WELLINGTON. Rev JUKES ran a school in Yeovil until 1835 when he resigned from teaching to concentrate on his ministry.

Rev John Jukes relinquished his school in Yeovil at the end of 1835, probably to concentrate on his ministry. Sherbourne & Yeovil Mercury, 19 October 1835

Rev John Jukes relinquished his school in Yeovil at the end of 1835.  Sherbourne & Yeovil Mercury, 19 October 1835.

Susanah mentions that on the first day of 1837 there were two sermons preached and 30 pounds collected “on behalf of the Jews”. When I first read this journal entry I wondered if the sermons and donations were in aid of Jews that were persecuted and displaced from their homelands in Europe. Not so.

It appears from this advert in the Sherbourne & Yeovil Mercury, the Christian congregation were on a mission of conversion rather than of aid or charity. The meeting of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews was held at the Mermaid Inn and Mr EWALD and Mr DAVIS were in attendance.

A notice for a meeting similar to the one Susanah mentions in her Journal. Sherborne & Yeovil Mercury, 26 December 1836.

A newspaper notice for the meeting Susanah Wellington mentions in her journal. Sherborne & Yeovil Mercury, 26 December 1836.

This 1839 painting of High Street, Yeovil by Henry Burn (1807–1884) shows the Mermaid Inn archway and large overhanging sign on the left. The building on the other side of the street is a “Chemist, Grocer, Druggist” shop.

This 1839 painting of High Street, Yeovil by Henry Burn (1807–1884) shows the Mermaid Inn archway and large overhanging sign on the left.

After the family returned home from their meeting, they found “quite a large party from Martock” in their dining room. Not much to go on here but they were most likely cousins – John WELLINGTON (1774-1845) and his wife Ann MARTIN (1774-1852) and their children. John WELLINGTON was a chemist and the elder brother of George WELLINGTON, chemist of Yeovil – Susanah’s father.

Sofia VINING was the youngest sister of James Tally VINING who was married to Mary Webb WELLINGTON. Sofia/Sophia VINING (1824-1848) was 12 years old, around the same age as Susanah’s sister Rosa WELLINGTON (1823-1889).

It has taken me quite a long time to research and identify all the players in this journal entry, but it is amazing the resources now available online at the British Newspaper Archives.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sources: Susanah Wellington’s Journal, BUCK family collection. You can read more about it here: susanah’s journal – somerset to sydney. British Newspaper Archives