Jane Hicks's Journal, 1843-44

Below is the transcribed journal of a year and a half in the life of a newly-married mother living in the 1840s on the eastern fringe of Hardy's vast heath, on land that nearly a century later would become part of Bournemouth. It is a valuable social document which offers a rare insight into how ordinary people lived at the time.
Web-page annotations last updated 4-1-16. Thanks again to all who contributed info, we'll keep updating as more details become available. Email if you have any new info or corrections.
We now have a companionate gallery page with maps, photos etc; Jane Hicks Journal Gallery Page
Our diarist, Mrs Jane Hicks née Brown (1814-96), was the daughter of Mary Hatchard [also spelt Hatchett] [c1793-1816] of Christchurch, and Charles Brown [c1778-1839]. Mary was the daughter of William Hatchard [c1759-1821], whose family came from Dorset, he becoming a 'yeoman' farmer at East Parley. (This would mean he was a cut above the ordinary tenant farmers, and had his own estates, where he grew corn profitably. The family apparently were also millers who owned Walford and Canford Mills, and he also raised longhorn cattle.)
Before his death at Wimborne of TB, William married three times between 1785 and 1811, being twice widowed. Re-marriage was of course due more to the spouse's premature death, often the wife in childbirth, rather than through divorce, which did not really then exist - as Hardy's 1840s-set novel The Mayor Of Casterbridge dramatises. (William's other marriages, to Mary Breaker in 1800 and Elizabeth Emmery in 1811, were to widows.) Jane's father Charles Brown may also have married several times. Children also often died - four of Mary Hatchard's five siblings seem to have died young. Mary Hatchard and her surviving sister Amelia only lasted five years after marriage.
This probably helps account for the diary's many characters with the same Christian names within each branch of the family - and the difficulty matching these up with online parish records, which only list one Christian name. It was evidently an adjunct to this expectation some children would die prematurely that the confusing practice of giving overlapping names developed. That is, to carry on the father's or mother's name, not only the eldest would be named after the father or mother. Subsequent sons and daughters would be given the same first name plus a differing middle name, which would be used socially to avoid confusion. Thus, a "John Smith" could increase the odds his name would be perpetuated by christening his first son John Alan Smith, his 2nd son John Bartholomew Smith, etc., the sons being referred to socially as Alan and Bart. Given the limited number of Christian names then in use (mostly borrowed from royalty), we have a confusing number of Williams, Georges, Charles, and Richards, as well as the plainer but more popular John; on the female side, Mary was the most popular, along with Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, and the plainer Jane.
Our diarist Jane Brown was a 2nd-generation product of her grandfather William Hatchard's first marriage, in 1785, to Mary Freeborne [1766-1798] of Wimborne, via her daughter, also named Mary [c1793-1816]. Jane herself was born in 1814 in Moordown in what is now north-central Bournemouth, and lived nearby in the hamlet of Muccleshell on the south bank of the River Stour, which would form Bournemouth's northeastern boundary. Note that the name Bournemouth does not appear in the diary, it then being still styled just as Bourne - where Jane goes to sell farm produce.
Jane's parents were both deceased by the time the diary starts, making the support of her extended family important in domestic arrangements. Jane seems to have had only the one (surviving?) sibling, her brother William (1816?-??). Neither seem to be in the available local baptismal record, and we do not know either Jane or William's exact date of birth. William is in the 1841 Holdenhurst census as Dorset-born, living in Muccleshell, age 25, same as Jane. His occupation is listed as Farmer, and the 1843 Holdenhurst Tithe Apportionment records have a series of listings for a William Brown in allotments right alongside those of Charles Hicks. Whether this arrangement preceded their 1842 marriage is not clear.
Jane's husband Richard Dale Hicks (the diary's frequently-mentioned "Rd," "Richd", or just "R"), listed in records as a 'yeoman' i.e. a farmer, was the son of farmer Charles Hicks [1778-1857] and Jane Dale [1779-1850], who had married the day before Xmas Eve 1805. The family on the mother's side, the Dales, seem to have been local farmers in the area for at least several generations, and there are several "Richard Dales" mentioned in local records, especially for the Tuckton area between Throop and Christchurch. It may be that Charles and Jane Hicks named their son Richard Dale after one of these. Maps still show a Dales Lane and Dales Farm just across the Stour, which may indicate that a branch of Richard's mother's family owned land there, in what is now Merritown.
Charles Hicks was an established member of the local community, being twice Holdenhurst churchwarden. He was originally from Ringwood, the market town mentioned in the first diary entry. Sometime before 1811 he had begun farming one or two small fields adjoining the farm next to Holdenhurst church. He subsequently moved to King's Farm in the next hamlet westward, Muccleshell. Charles and Jane Hicks had 6 children. Our diarist's future husband Richard was the 2nd oldest, born in 1811, with a brother and 4 sisters - Jane, Elizabeth, Harriet, Charles, and Ann [see family tree below for details]. All appear in the diary, with the oldest (the Aunt Jane Jenkins mentioned in our epilogue) the Mrs Jenkins referred to passim. Also living with the parents were two of Richard's siblings, Harriet and Charles. The eldest son (hence named after the father), Charles is also listed as a confectioner (perhaps learning the trade, which was associated with others in the family). All 6 siblings seem to appear in the diary, with the oldest daughter referred to passim only via her married name as Aunt Jane Jenkins or Mrs Jenkins. The Jenkins's daughter Frances may be the 'Fan' (ie short for Fran or Fanny) referred to throughout the diary.
In the early 1840s, our diarist's future husband Richard Hicks, listed in the census as a ‘Yeoman’ farmer age 30, was living with his parents at King's Farm, where he no doubt provided a large part of the necessary labour to maintain the farm. Situated on the north side of the Throop-Holdenhurst road through Muccleshell, close to Throop Mill on the Stour, Kings Farm was named after the previous owner-occupants, the Kings, the name being presumably retained to avoid confusion with the family's previous home at Holdenhurst, which was known officially as Hicks' Farm. Living with Charles and his wife Jane were 3 of their 6 adult children: as well as Richard were 2 of the 4 daughters, Elizabeth and Ann. On the farm property, just to the E and nearer the road, were two older farmhouse buildings [both now demolished]. In one lived the old shoemaker George King, a relative of the farmer after whom King's Farm was named. Land records show that Charles Hicks also owned various properties adjoining those rented in conjunction with William Brown. He lived in the other, 2nd, farmhouse, as did his 28 year-old sister Jane ... our diarist to-be.
By 1841, Jane Brown and Richard Hicks were thus literally next-door neighbours. They married on the last day of May 1842 in an Anglican ceremony in Holdenhurst church, and remained living on the Hicks family property, probably moving into the 2nd, older, farmhouse where shoemaker George King had lived. There, the couple set up a dairy farm, with a few sheep, cows, and chickens, and sold the produce (eggs, butter etc) in the local townships. The 2-storey thatched farmhouse was where the couple and their children lived, along with a servant or two. However as family groups tended still to remain close neighbours where they could help out with farm or domestic matters (like childminding), the diary's cast of characters is quite large. And because it was impossible to travel after dark, visitors coming for supper stayed overnight, so that the house at times seems more like a bed-&-breakfast establishment. The comings and goings of relatives, in-laws, friends - and unhappy servants - as well as Jane's own social outings make up the substance of the diary.
Nine months after their marriage, the first of their 9 (some sources say 8) children was born, Richard Dale Hicks. He is first referred to in the diary as just "the baby", and then by his middle name, Dale, to avoid confusion with his father. At the start of the diary, baby Dale, born 15 February 1843, is a month old. It is from this period that we have the earliest entry in Jane's diary, and it is possible being at home with a baby is why Jane began to keep a diary at age 29.

Jane and Richard Hicks's family tree

Left: The Hicks family tree from online English records. According to Australian records, another daughter named Amy seems to have been born there in 1855, which would imply the previous Amy had already died; consecutive birth-registration numbers suggest she was a twin with Edgar; the other possibility being that Amy survived and her birth was registered in Australia 3 years late for some legal reason.

The Journal Manuscript
The physical notebook the journal was written in was not a diary per se; it has, on its inside cover, a printed table of 'stamp duty' tariffs for conveyances of property etc., and is evidently some kind of clerk's notebook. The pages are unlined. No year is indicated in the original entries, with '1843' written in later above the first entry. Usually, Jane gives the month only for the first entry, then just the date, e.g 'March 1' then just 19, 23, 25 etc. The month and day listed here e.g. 'June 21 [Sunday]' hav
e been added in for clarity and cross-referencing purposes.
In the handwritten journal as it has come down to us, the handwriting is fairly consistent: it is definitely all in the one 'hand'. Distinctive hallmarks include the old-style long-s which looks like a 'f' when a double s has to be written (cf as in 'cross'); the curly 'Maclean's' style 'r' (taught to avoid nib pens blotting); and - no doubt a personal quirk - the 'd' with its upper stem curved over backwards like a scorpion's tail - are all quite distinctive. The consistency may also show that Jane had been trained to maintain an even style; or her penmanship may reflect the artistic flair she later demonstrated in drawing sketches.
Of course the entire text may be a later transcription.The mis-spellings, odd capitalisation of words, and lack of punctuation however suggest if the text was copied, it was not tidied up for posterity but faithfully reproduced as was. There are also various crossings-out, insertions, ink blots and a tendency to curl the text down into the right-hand margin, all of which indicate it is not a 'fair copy' or 'copybook' transcription. (Various crossed-out and underlined words below are to preserve the flavour of the original. Phrases enclosed inside strokes /thus/ indicate an insertion.) To view a full-size version of the specimen page at right [covering 16th Aug- 5th Sep] of the handwritten journal, click here. (You can also download it to print out by right-clicking on the link and selecting Save Link As or Save Target As.)
The whole journal is less than 5,000 words, a private social diary obviously not meant to be read by anyone else (probably not even Jane's husband), and is quite obscure in places, requiring extensive annotation to make any sense of it. The brief, cryptic entries, which use initials or abbreviations for names, together with Jane's odd spellings, lack of any punctuation to separate sentences, and odd capitalisation of nouns (which sometimes makes it hard to distinguish names from ordinary words) all make it difficult to follow what is going on, or know who's who.
Census and other local contemporary records were consulted here. (Note that in regard to ages cited, it was evidently official practice for ages over 15 to be rounded off to the nearest 5 years, and should not be considered definitive.) A certain amount of the annotation below of course remains speculative, and we would be interested to hear from anyone who has an alternative interpretation, or additional info.
Jane Austen once said the best focus for a story was two or three families in a small village. Judging from the contrast between her novels and our other Jane's diary, the more famous author evidently led a rather more sheltered life. Here, there are half a dozen core families, and dozens of other individuals continually coming and going, often the servants who do not feature in Austen. Altogether, it is not at all the conventional modern portrait of the earlier 19th century period.

The Journal of Mrs Jane Hicks, of Muccleshell, Holdenhurst, Parish Of Christchurch, County of Southamptonshire, March 1843 - October 1844


The Journal begins a few weeks after Jane’s first child had been baptized (27 Feb).

March 18 [Saturday] Richard went to Ringwood. Mrs. S. went with me to Mrs Mayby's. I felt very cold and uncomfortable but she made us stay to tea.

Ringwood is an historic market town to the east, on the River Avon which flows south to join the Stour at Christchurch, about 13 miles travel by road via Iford Bridge, where both the main road from the village and the main Bournemouth-Christchurch road cross the Stour. Mrs. S is perhaps Mrs Sansom the Hicks's nurse, who possibly lived at Parley across the Stour. (A ‘Widow Sansom’ is listed in the Tithe Apportionments list as the owner-occupier of a ‘ House & Garden’ at Kinson, just upriver, though an 1844 entry suggests Jane visits her in Poole.) Mrs Mayby is a friend whom Jane goes to visit again, cf 23 Aug entry. (‘Mayby’ is a genuine surname, though the closest in the local records is Meaby.)

March 19 [Sunday] Went to Church.

The Hicks family attended Holdenhurst Church about a mile east, newly built in 1834 to replace a crumbling Saxon-Mediaeval chapel too small for the by then 600-odd parishioners. Charles Hicks had been churchwarden at the old church, as had his wife Jane Dale's relatives before him. When Jane says simply she went to church, or to chapel (in the evening), this would be where she goes. Going to church may seem to be the only activity listed since Sunday was regarded as a day of rest, enforced by law in many jurisdictions (The Lord’s Day Act), but note that Jane is not filling in daily entries regardless, and on some other Sundays later on, she notes she did not attend church without giving any excuse, so there is evidently some issue here.

March 23 [Thursday] Went to Mrs. Witcher's to tea. I drove the Pony, Rd. drove us home.

It appears the family had a "pony trap" or light carriage of some sort, which both Jane and Richard take turns driving here. Ann and Thomas Whitcher [or Witcher - both variants appear in official records], a couple in their early 30s, lived with their two young children on the Hicks's former farm at Holdenhurst, next to the church. The Whitcher family rented various garden-type plots and pastures from the Gervis-Tapps - the major local landowners.

March 25 [Saturday] Went to Mrs. Hicks's to tea.

Mrs Hicks, Jane's mother-in-law, lived almost next door to the couple in Muccleshell, at Kings Farm, with her two spinster daughters, Richard's older and younger sister respectively, Elizabeth and Ann (then aged 34 and 29). Taking tea is one of Jane's most noted activities - though as we see, it covers a variety of types of social occasion. Tea was actually still a fairly new drink to many, and in early days was often smuggled in. The leaves could be 'stewed' into a strong stimulant, and it was considered by some of the high-minded a poisonous opiate for malnourished 'cottage women' - this 'black juice which they obtain by boiling and brewing the coarse Indian teas' [quote from WH Hudson's Hampshire Days].

March 26 [Sunday] We went to Xchurch. Mrs. S. nursed the Baby at Jenkins while I went to Church. R et myself returned without her, had some trouble to dress the Baby, was very low on account of Mrs. Sansoms leaving.

Xchurch (Christchurch) is about 5 miles away to the SE. Mrs. S. would be Mrs. Sansom, whose departure leaves Jane without a nurse and seems to point up her own inexperience with a baby, as she finds it difficult to dress him on her own. (Note how there are no entries for the next 12 days). The Jenkins family appear throughout the diary, being one of the family's childminders when Jane has to go off on business, as well as trustees for the Dale estate. Richard's mother's family the Dales also apparently [cf 29 Aug 1844] had relatives in Christchurch. Richard's sister Jane had married Thomas Brown Jenkins in 1829, with Richard and 2 siblings as witnesses.

April 8 [Saturday] Mary did not please me but I allowed her to go see her Grandma on condition she should return next night.

Mary appears to have been one of a series of Hicks live-in servants, possibly a replacement for Mrs. Sansom. More problems between Jane and Mary appear in the entries just below, and she would leave the Hicks's employ in mid April.

April 9 [Sunday] Missed Flannel petticoat had reason to believe Mary had it on she did not return.

April 10 [Monday] About tea time Mary returned with an excuse the Grandma was so ill.

April 11 [Tuesday] We were invited to Mrs. Cooper's but did not go on account of Mary's being all day making butter and taking some tea.

The Coopers may have been the family living at Throop, in cottages half a mile away owned by the other major landowner, Lord Malmesbury, on the site of what became Vicarage Cottages. Elizabeth Cooper (born 1801) had three sons, and was an ancestor of the wealthy Cooper-Dean family, who were based at nearby Littledown House and came to own much of the land that became Bournemouth. There was a slight family connection between Jane’s family (via maternal aunt Mary Dean) and the Cooper-Deans going back a generation (Mary married William Dean, who became a major local landowner), but evidently no social interaction.

April 13 [Thursday] Mary left me. Harriet came.

It seems the unsatisfactory maid Mary decided to leave. Harriet may be Jane's sister-in-law Harriet Hicks, who was living with the Jenkins in Christchurch.

April 14 [Friday] Walked down to Mrs. Cooper's after tea.

April 17 [Monday] Emma Peat came to stay with me.

This may be the E Peat with whom Jane and family later stay at Lymington.

April 18 [Tuesday] Emma walked to Mrs. Witcher's with me and Baby, called at C. Marshall's about her little Girl. At Miss Perry's for her Servants character also at Mrs. Hamonds.

This would likely be Charlotte Marshall who lived at Holdenhurst Green, en route to Whitcher's farm, with husband and five children, the youngest girl being probably Elizabeth, age 3 [she is not in the 1841 census]. Miss Perry may have been Jane Perry, living with her father at Blackwater, reached from Holdenhurst via a ferry across the Stour. Her servant was someone Jane may have been considering hiring. "Character" here would mean the good character reference required of all servants.

April 19 [Wednesday] Miss Hicks made butter for me. Edwin came after Emma.

Miss Hicks may be Elizabeth, given a more formal courtesy title as Richard's elder sister. She is evidently helping out the temporarily servantless Jane with the butter churning. Re Edwin, see below.

April 23 [Sunday] Went to Preston to tea Edward his Wife, and Emma, and Edwins Sweatheart were there.

Edwin would be Edwin Bound, mentioned elsewhere as helping out his mother, who seems to have been Jane's step-aunt Betsy. Thomas Bound [1799-1870] and wife Elizabeth (aka Betsy) nee Hatchard [1801-72] were a prosperous couple who had one of the principal local dairy farms, at Parley Court across the Stour. They had 7 children, of whom 3 had already died in childhood. Edwin, born 1826, would be 18 in 1843. He would later leave the area, marrying his younger 'sweatheart' Rose Haines, of London, and moving to Bristol, where the couple had 5 children, he becoming a milliner.
Preston might be Hampreston, across the Stour 5 miles west, but Jane spells Hampreston correctly later on [7 Aug, 26 Sep]. Old maps show a now-vanished place called Preston between Holdenhurst and Iford, and a Preston near Burton [N of Xch] is attested in records, its name surviving in Preston Lane. The place-name Preston was a common one, deriving from a priestly settlement, and on old maps indicated the site of a 'Chapel-of-Ease' - an outlying church site often established for the local estate owners and their staff, and any others, including travellers, who could not reach the main church on Sunday. There was also a Christchurch hosiers establishment run by a Henry Preston, which may be where Jane later buys 4 pr stockings [11 Sep].

April 24 [Monday] S. Marshall came to live with me.

Jane's friend Charlotte Marshall of Holdenhurst already mentioned does not seem to have any girls with a Christian name starting with S; however this may be Sarah Marshall (b. 1826 i.e age 18) who lived at Muccleshell Cottage with her parents. She appears to have become Jane's new maid and is referred to at regular intervals throughout the diary. Other persons named Marshall are also mentioned in the diary, but which family they belong to is usually not clear.

April 25 [Tuesday] William slept here.

Possibly Jane's brother William, who may also have been helping out with the farm-work while Jane was struggling slightly with her new baby. However as William lived close enough not to require staying over, it could have been one of the Bounds - Edwin's older brother William Thomas, born 1824, and so then around 19. The Bound family would babysit the infant Dale over the next year or so [cf 4 June]. Other possibilities are William Thomas Hatchard [1825-], William Mayby, William Hart, William Harvey, and William Jenkins, later Richard's eldest sister's husband.

April 27 [Thursday] Harriet left. She carried the Baby to Iford for me. We met Richard and rode home. Ann Bacon came to live here.

May 1st [crossed-out entry] S. Marshall came to live with me.

The crossed-out entry is a duplicate of the April 24th one, which has clearly been inserted above later, being squeezed between two other entries; this suggests entries were not always being made day-to-day. Presumably with Sarah Marshall now living in, Harriet Hicks could return home, though she would return the next month. Ann Bacon (born 1830) lived with her parents at Throop Dairy, under a mile away, and was evidently just more temporary help. She was strong enough at age 13 to carry the baby to Iford, a 6-7 mile return trip. The baby evidently takes up all her energy; note the month-long gap before the next entry.

May 25 [Thursday] Ann Bacon left. S. et I were [ironing?]

May 27 [Saturday] Mrs. Bound et Thomas came to tea.

The use of "Mrs Bound and Thomas" would today suggest a mother and son, but Jane often refers to married women acquaintances by title-plus-surname, and men by their first name. Mrs Bound may be her Aunt Betsy, who was in fact not a direct relation but her step-aunt, hence the slight formality.

May 31 [Wednesday] Harriet came again R went to Exchurch brought Ann et Ann Rogers. They were all here to tea.

Harriet would be Jane's sister in law, who had helped out earlier when Mary left. Exchurch and Xch are Jane's standard abbreviations for Christchurch. The first Ann is presumably Ann Bacon, back for a social visit. Ann Rogers is not in the Holdenhurst census list, so she may be from elsewhere, such as Christchurch. Today was Jane and Richard’s first wedding anniversary, but it doesn’t appear anything special was arranged.

June 2 [Friday] Went to Wimborne. R was very cross because it was late.

Jane freely records the frequent arguments she and Richard have as a newly married couple. Wimborne is about 7 miles to the west. There was an important livestock and corn market there.

June 3 [Saturday] F. Jenkins came to stay with me, we walked to Parley to tea. R was cross as possible the Water was high F and I stayed there.

F Jenkins may be the Fanny Treasure who married a Henry Jenkins, handyman (later a farmer), at Christchurch in 1800. Although this would make her a generation older than Jane, a later entry [9 June 1844] refers to a visit by "Mr Jenkins Fan" which could fit with this identification. As Richard’s older sister Jane had married a Jenkins in 1829, it is also likely they were relations. Staying over was a common practice when visiting someone outside your village as the darkness made travel impractical, especially when the river was high.

June 4 [Sunday] F went to Chapel with me. Mrs. Bound kept the Baby. R came after us with the Gig.

Jane attends Parley Church, leaving baby Dale with Mrs Bound. Richard has a gig - a lightweight carriage, which indicates his relative wealth as a yeoman farmer.

June 5 [Monday] Went to see Mrs. Witcher.

Mrs Anne Whitcher, of Hicks's Farm in Holdenhurst - see 23 March entry.

June 7 [Wednesday] I think Ann Rogers came, we went to Mrs. Coopers to tea. Fanny's Father called for her.

Note how our diarist is playing catch-up with events, filling in her diary later, so that she is not sure which was the day of Ann’s visit.

June 11 [Sunday] Richard, myself, Ann Rogers walked to Mrs. Burges's. I went to Church. Mrs. B. nursed. R shewd off his airs again coming out of Church.

Mrs Burgess is evidently a nurse for baby Dale, perhaps a professional wet-nurse. Jane and Richard appear to be rather sour with each other at this period. Jane seems to regard her husband as having a penchant for showing off or social pretension. In the next entry, Jane and Richard have a row when she refuses to let Ann take the baby outside in the rain, so there may have been some issue here.

June 14 [Wednesday] R et moi had a rough because I was not willing for A. Rogers to take the Baby out in the rain. Ann went to Xchurch with him. I went after Mrs. Cooper to come to tea with me. Ann Hicks called for Rogers to go for walk for R returned to tea.

Jane's use of French "et moi" for "and myself" is the diary's oddest feature. Is it a social affectation, perhaps to mimic Richard's putting on 'airs'? (The aristocracy used French phrases when they did not want the servants to understand, the basis of the saying "pas devant les domestiques" - not in front of the servants.) The & or ampersand sign derived from the letters e and t being conjoined as a ligature, so would be probably pronounced as Latin, not French (rhyming with 'bet' rather than 'may'). However, it may be that Jane was badly taught at what was called a Dame School, where the teachers were usually local young women, themselves often poorly educated, and the younger pupils were taught or assisted by the older ones acting as classroom assistants. The use of the & sign could have been picked up from school lessons via the old shorthand for the Latin et cetera - “&c.” [cf 10 Nov 1843]. People in “trade” would use such 'shorthand' as an adjunct of ledger-keeping. Pupils are traditionally taught that “figures” have a written-out word form used when doing “letters.” Jane may have heard the phrase "et moi" and similarly thought “&” was part of this French phrase.
'Rough' is underlined and is Jane's spelling of row. Though this seems a colourful misapprehension, it was not her own innovation; certain words we now spell -ow could be spelled -ough, with the gh silent (as in bough). A surviving example of such a variant is the ghostly Rough or Row or Roy Dog of Portland. Cf August 21 her alternate spelling of borrow, 'borrough'.

June 17 [Saturday] Went to tea at Mrs Hicks's. I stayed with her while E walked part of the way with A Rogers to Kingston. Ann Hicks went to Ringwood after S Burry.

Mr Hicks would be Jane's father-in-law, and 'E' likely her sister-in-law Elizabeth. Kingston is the old spelling of Kinson, the neighbouring district to the west. "S Burry" is presumably of the same Burry family at whose place Jane later has dinner, and tea [24/26 Feb 1844].

June 20 [Tuesday] Drank tea at Mr. Hicks with Miss Burges, Rogers etc.

Evidently Jane went to visit her father-in-law at Kings Farm and had tea with Miss [Ann] Rogers and Miss Burgess. The latter was perhaps a daughter of their nurse Mrs Burgess.

June 21 [Wednesday] Went to Ringwood the Water was high.

The market town of Ringwood stood on the far bank of the Avon. The water seems to have been high since the start of the month, and may indicate a wet summer, bad for the crops. (The 1840s acquired its nickname the Hungry Forties partly from a series of bad harvests.) With people often relying on crossing at fords rather than the bridges which later replaced them [as at Iford], high water made river crossings dangerous, and drownings were not unusual, as people wore heavy clothing and few could swim.

June 22 [Thursday] Miss Hicks's and Company came to tea, made baby some Frocks.

June 23 [Friday] I rode part of the way to Xchurch with Rd walk back to Mrs. Wicher's where he called for me.

Jane sets off with Richard, and then breaks her journey with friends, waiting for Richard to pick her up on his way home from Ann Whitcher's place [in Holdenhurst].

July 2 [Sunday] Harriet left was taken ill.

July 4 [Tuesday ] Went to Wimbourne to pay part Rent.

As rent for the farm is being paid at Wimborne, it may be that Lord Wimborne bought King's Farm when he bought up various properties in 1835. Charles Hicks however owned the land by 1846 when the Tithe Map was drawn up, presumably having bought it from the Canford Estate.

July 14 [Friday] Ann R came up also William and his Aunt Bety. Charlott left me.

This William could be William Thomas Hatchard [1825-??] as he had an Aunt Betsy / Betty (Thomas Bound's wife already mentioned). Charlott could be her friend Charlotte Marshall of Holdenhurst, who had 5 children of her own. The phrase Jane uses here and elsewhere "left me" (rather than just "Charlott left" ) is slightly odd - as if Jane is feeling a sense of personal abandonment. There certainly seems to have been a regular coming and going of domestic help. Mrs. Sansom the nurse had left in late March, and Ann Rogers, evidently the new nursemaid, may have been replaced by Charlotte, who would be followed by Sarah Marshall, Jane Wareham, and Jane James. S[arah] Marshall [see next entry] may have been a younger relative of a friend like Charlotte, hence the phrase "here to work," meaning not a social visit this time. (Alternatively it may mean she was not a live-in servant but only came over as and when needed.)

July 15 [Saturday] S. Marshall was here to work. We went to Bourne quite late.

This is the first mention of Bourne, the new "marine village" that during this decade became 'Bournemouth' (previously just the name of a geographic feature, ‘Bourne Mouth’, the Bourne stream’s outlet to the sea). Bourne was then still part of Holdenhurst parish, the main road NE/SW to what is now the town Square being Holdenhurst Road. There had been a "decoy" pond there, in the valley where the Bourne stream ran, to snare waterfowl, with an associated lodge since at least the 18th C. There was also a purpose-built inn put up in 1809, soon after the heathland commons was privatised under the new Inclosures Act. In 1810, a Cranborne JP, Capt. Lewis Tregonwell, bought 8 acres between the Square crossroads and the beach, building a "mansion" (now the Royal Exeter Hotel), plus some other houses for holiday lets to the gentry. After he died in 1832, the Lord of the Manor George Gervis had 16 villas and a hotel built.
By 1840 Bourne was a stagecoach stopover, and had its first guidebook mention as a health resort. The 1841 Census records it as having 34 households and 165 inhabitants, already surpassing Jane’s home village of Muccleshell, which had 96 inhabitants in 1841. It still contained no commercial sector, and until 1851 had to be supplied with produce and labour brought in by tradespeople from the surrounding villages - people like the Hicks and their dairy-farming neighbours. The 1840 guide to the new seaside spas by Dr AB Granville notes: 'Tradesmen are in the habit of calling for orders and with supplies every day ... Milk, butter and farm house supplies of the very best description, the valley of the Stour abundantly yields.'

July 16 [Sunday] Went to see Miss Joy. Went to Hastin[?] Church after dinner.

This may be another Bourne visit. Jane also mentions meeting Miss Joy on a visit to Bourne on 4 Sep. She may have been related to Henry Joy [c1822-] the Bournemouth developer who later built the town's Victorian Arcades.
‘Hastin’ is a guess at the name orthographically, but as it may be a name for the town's first makeshift church, it is worth examining possibilities. The s is written in above, as an insertion, and the next consonant if a 'd' lacks Jane's typically curved-back stem, and hence is more likely a 't.' (It matches other letter t's nearby.) Since Jane often omits punctuation, '
Hastin’ may be the name of someone she visited just before church. Considering ‘Hastin’ etc as a family or place name (including house names), another possibility is 'Haslin': the closest house name seems to have been Hasland, in Grosvenor Rd (Bourne's early houses had no street numbers, only names.) ‘Hastin’ or, better, ‘Hastins’ might appear a close match for Hastings, a surname that does have a link with early Bourne. This was the surname of a Tregonwell ancestral line, one of whom, Henry Hastings, being hunting mad, also owned land around the Bourne when it was a duck-shooting rendezvous, with its own "decoy" pond and lodgings for duck hunters. But the pronunciation of the 'a' (short v long) does not match.
Considering the idea this was the name of an early Bourne church, the town's official first church was St Peter's, begun in 1841, but this was still being built, not consecrated until 1845. This implies no services were held there in 1843. If they were and the church was known pro tem by an ad hoc name, could it have been the name of a minister? According to the history of St Peter's, the first ministers' names were Wyndham and Burrows, and both were nonresident, with Alexander Morden Bennett the first official vicar in 1845.
It is possible another building was used as a church before 1845, a makeshift arrangement lacking a proper saintly dedication and known instead by a secular name, such as the surname of the premises' owner. In 1838, two semi-detached cottages which stood on the present Square where Debenham's store now is, which had accommodated a caretaker and his family plus visiting duck hunters, were converted into a makeshift
church/schoolroom. This could initially been just a Sunday School, as official histories put the first 'day school' at Bourne as later in the 1840s, established by the Rev Bennett. No similar name to Hastin, Haslin, Hasdin etc appears in the relevant (1841) census for 'Bourne, Christchurch,' though the name (perhaps that of a Sunday-School teacher) could still have postdated this. The diary repeatedly mentions attending church services in Bourne in 1843-44, when no official church existed, so an alternative church is possible, and this key question remains open.

July 19 [Wednesday] Sal Lockyer came here, sent her home in Evening while we went to Xchurch.

A Sarah Lockyer (born 1832) lived nearby with her parents, in a cottage near Throop Mill.

July 21 [Friday] Jane Wareham came to live here.

Jane may have been from the Wareham family based at Hurn across the Stour. A letter written 30 August 1840 by an H. Wareham as a domestic servant in Westover Villas is on record, indicating a possible connection between the family with the new township of Bourne. However the Commissioners who oversaw the 1802 Inclosures Scheme allocated five-acre strips of land at the top of Richmond Hill in Bourne[mouth] to three widows and three labourers, one of whom was a Peter Wareham from Muscliff, so a branch of the family may also have lived there. No entries now for two weeks.

August 3 [Thursday] Went to Jenkins to dinner.

August 7 [Monday] Went to Wimbourne returned to Hampreston to tea.

The 1841 census for Hampreston area lists several familiar surnames – Gubbins, James, Bound, Longman, and Hicks. The latter (a Sarah Hicks and what appears to be two young daughters) may be relations living at the Longham end; there are also two teenage servant girls either of whom may be the “E Troke” mentioned elsewhere. Around this time, the second baby was conceived, and there are fewer mention of 'roughs' (rows) between Jane and Richard.

August 12 [Saturday] Went to Ringwood to sign the conveyance of Bourne Houses, dined at Goodyers with William; drank tea at Mourtown. Mr Hicks and his wife came home before we left. I called at Mr Westcotts after something for my cold.

This is a most surprising entry, one of the diary's mysteries. Is Jane signing over some property she owned or inherited at Bourne? Given Jane's consistently odd capitalisation of nouns, 'Bourne Houses' may not be a proper name, but just houses in Bourne, though the plural indicates it's more than just a former relative's home. It seems unlikely on its face a farmer's wife was buying houses at Bourne, given that it was such an up-market new resort. Also, women were then in effect legally chattels of their husbands , so her husband's signature would be required on any matrimonial assets. However, her grandfather William Hatchard's will has survived, and it bestows £300 (then a considerable sum) each on Jane and her brother. This came with the proviso (a common one imposed on women) that her share was not to be paid until she was 25, which would mean in 1839-40. If the money was invested by her Ringwood trustees or advisors (the Godyers?) in a couple of houses at the growing new resort of Bourne, one possibility is that this was the disposition a few years later of that legacy. As the Diary suggests the family continued to struggle financially, it may be they did not ultimately profit from such transactions.
The Goodyers were perhaps acquaintances of William in Ringwood (William Thomas Bound had been born in Ringwood in 1824, suggesting a Bound family connection there). "Mourtown" was presumably Moordown, then sometimes spelt Moredown or Mordon, the hamlet in Holdenhurst parish where Jane was born. "Mr Westcotts" implies a chemist's or pharmacy, though a later [Nov 1st] entry refers to "Dr Westcotts". The use of "Mr Hicks and his wife" presumably for her father- and mother-in-law seems odd, perhaps suggesting a dislike of the latter, who elsewhere criticizes her, leading to rows.

August 13 [Sunday] I was obliged to come out of church I was so warm. Jane was going home so I went over to see Mrs. Bound Ann Hicks rode from Church with us so I asked her to go with us Went to Parley Church in Evening took Baby with us. Jane came to Mrs B's after us. I got very wet in my feet.

The summer seems to have picked up after a wet June, though the ground is still waterlogged. (The worst hail storm in memory had hit England on August 9th.) The women are visiting the nurse Mrs Burgess.

August 16 [Wednesday] I took the Butter to town, Jane carried the Baby.

Our Jane is taking dairy produce to town again, the servant Jane Wareham accompanying her to carry baby Dale. The town could be Ringwood, or Christchurch, which had a weekly market and a twice yearly fair, or Bourne. This is Richard’s birthday, but it passes unmentioned.

August 20 [Sunday] Did not go out, roasted a chick. After tea Mrs. Dale, Mrs. Jenkins and Girls called.

Roast chicken for Sunday lunch, then a visit by Mrs Jenkins and daughters, plus "Mrs Dale." The latter cannot be Jane's mother-in-law, who would be Mrs Hicks. Dale was the mother-in-law's maiden name (Jane Dale, 1779-1850), so this must be a relation of hers, such as her mother. The Jenkins and Hicks families however had intermarried. The Dale clan evidently had property just across the Stour at Merrittown, where there is still a Dales Farm and a Dales Lane. There was also a Dale family to the southeast, the head of household being the Richard Dale (son of a Henry Dale) who was tenant of Tuckton Farm, just outside Christchurch on the Bournemouth side of the Stour, and whose name also appears many times in the land records for the Pokesdown-Iford area from 1802 onward.

August 21 [Monday] Was all ready to go to Xchurch, when Mr et Mrs. Jenkins came to tea. I went down to Mrs. Harvey's to borrough bottle of gin.

Mrs Harvey may be Mary (b. 1785), wife of a farmer in Berry Lane, Muccleshell, a close enough neighbour to be a child minder, and despite a 30-year age difference seems to be a friend from whom she can ‘borrough’ gin (and later, money). Jane rather shows her "lower order" side by 'borrowing' gin from her - a very cheap drink nicknamed "Mothers' Ruin".
There are two slight problems with this identification, however. First, Jane always refers to going ‘down’ [cf March 3, June 19] to visit Mrs Harvey, and on June 18, Mrs H. comes ‘up’ to visit her. This implies she lives on the coast. Secondly, there is also a reference [May 24] saying “Little Harvey's were here to tea,” implying children, while Mary Harvey was nearly 60 - beyond child-bearing age. However in 1841 Mary did have a 35-year old living with her, Ellen Harvey with child Augusta, age 2, and it’s possible the then-absent husband returned and a second child was born within the next 2-3 years. There are also a William and Elizabeth Harvey, both farm workers age 45, listed as living at Redhill in 1841. One or more of these Harveys may also have been related to the parliamentary candidate landowner Lord Malmesbury later complains of [see 28 March 1844 entry].

August 22 [Tuesday] Went to Bourne et Xchurch.

Jane gives no indication of her business at Bourne, presumably again selling farm produce to the staff of the new villas. As mentioned, early Bourne being too exclusive to allow shops, tradesmen would call at the villas, either with their carts or on foot carrying baskets. Christchurch may have been Jane's next port of call for such purposes. Presumably she walked east along the coast road, then home up Castle Lane - no doubt an all-day outing, over heathland tracks and wagon roads.

August 23 [Wednesday] Dined at Mrs. Mayby's the little ones birth Day it was very wet.

Despite the rain, Jane goes to her friend Mrs Mayby's child's birthday meal. Again our Mrs Mayby may be the census’s Mrs Meaby: a Mary Elizabeth and William Meaby, Yeoman, of Throop had had a daughter Mary baptized 28 August 1842, which would imply she was born a week or so before.

August 24 [Thursday] We rode to Mr Elliot's after tea.

Mr Elliot may have been Ethelbert Elliott, the tenant of Parley Farm.

August 27 [Sunday] Went Mrs. Jenkins to dine went to Church in Morning. Ann nursed.

Which Ann is meant is unclear – presumably a married acquaintance who had just become a mother herself: if she was literally nursing ie breast feeding Dale, she would have to be nursing her own baby at the same time to have the necessary milk.

August 31 [Thursday] Hart went to Bourne with me to carry her Eggs we had tea at Mrs. J------y [illegible]

Hart [underlined] may be a member of the same Christchurch family as William Hart who in 1845 set up a fusée watch-chain manufacturing plant at Bargates to employ impoverished females by making thread-like 'chain' mechanisms (not ordinary pocket-watch "fob" chains). One of several such factories was owned by Henry Jenkins. A Mary Hart had married a Henry Treasure Jenkins, chainmaker, in 1829, he being presumably a son of the Jenkins who in 1800 married Fanny Treasure mentioned above [3rd June]. Jane and Hart seem to be taking farm produce [eggs] to sell in Bourne again. Possibly this branch of the Jenkins family are now living at Bourne, as Jane meets them there again [e.g. 4th Sept.].

September 3 [Sunday] Went to Church it was beautiful day but very hot After tea we went to Longham to Dairy man Trinimon's.

Longham is the small upstream settlement that grew up around one of the oldest bridges over the Lower Stour, on the road to Wimborne. The visit is evidently connected with their family dairy-produce enterprise.

September 4 [Monday] Let the Baby fall on the bricks of some bags. I persuaded Ann H. to go to Bourne with me we carried Richard's dinner he was dreadfull cross. After tea we went to Bourne. Met with Mr. Jenkins there, also Miss Joy, J. James etc.

Jane’s sentence construction again falls into confusion after an upsetting incident, indicating she is at the moment writing entries close upon events. The phrase "on the bricks of some bags" makes little sense (onto the bricks off some bags?), suggesting Jane was still upset by the accident. The growing village of Bourne is already becoming a social centre. Miss Joy may be an elder relative of the Henry Joy who later helped develop the town centre. Ann H may be Ann Hatchard from the Parley area [see 7th Sept, and 31 May 1844].

September 5 [Tuesday] I went to Mrs. Coopers to tea thinking she would walk to Blackwater with me but she would not the Old Lady went I carried they baby with me Got H. Perry to bring him home for me. Gave him sups (?) and 6.

Blackwater is a hill and fir plantation, across the Stour by ferry from Holdenhurst. On 9th Sept, Mr Perry helps exchange an unwanted horse called Whitefoot, so this may be part of the day's agenda. A horse dealer called Martin Perry is mentioned in the Salisbury Journal in 1847 [SJ 11-02-1847]. "Sups and 6" is possibly sustenance or supper, plus sixpence as reward to H. Perry (perhaps a son or daughter) for bringing the baby home.

September 6 [Wednesday] R et moi went to Xchurch with butter.

The couple are again taking farm produce to town. Note the use of "et moi" again.

September 7 [Thursday] Went to Wimbourne drank tea at Mr[s?] Hatchards when we got home R was very cross said he not stay out so late [illegible word] again with me.

The Hatchards is presumably the family home of Jane's friend Ann Hatchard, in the Parley area. A William Hatchard is listed in the Salisbury Journal for 11th Dec. 1837 as the tenant of East Parley Farm. The confused grammar of the 2nd sentence may indicate Jane was recording an upsetting row which could impact on her freedom in future.

September 8 [Friday] Let the Baby role off bed. Mr. Gold was here in Evening.

Another mishap with baby Dale, now six months old. The 1841 Census lists an Isaac Gold, 55, Farmer and a Jane Gold, 45, at Holdenhurst's Townsend Cottage, evidently a large building as six families are listed there. (Nor would be this an illicit arrangement: Isaac Gold was the official Enumerator for the Census.)

September 9 [Saturday] R went to Xchurch about horse. I roasted Fowls for dinner. Mr. Perry took away whitefoot sent another.

Presumably their horse Whitefoot was being exchanged for another, via horse dealer Mr Perry, who kept his livestock at Christchurch.

September 10 [Sunday] Went to Church in Morning. Ann et and Hart came to tea. R et moi had dreadful quarrel after supper.

Note the confused "et and" and the affected-seeming "R et moi". It's possible the latter is her self-conscious usage, perhaps imagining such quarrels are rather "common."

September 11 [Monday] They [?] have been to Turf cart; sold 5 couple of Fowls this Morning. Went to Xchurch in Evening. Bought 4 Pr Stockings.

Jane and Richard keep chickens besides running a dairy farm. As well as selling milk, butter and eggs, they sell fowls for meat on a bulk basis (10 fowls today, plus 12 more pairs 13th Sept). Turf-carts were the most common traffic on the heath. The right to cut turf for fuel, called turbary, was an ancient commoners' right which the local villagers had demonstrated over at the time of the 1802 Inclosures Acts, to get heathland set aside for this. Many of the early tracks Jane would have used were kept from being overgrown by the regular passage of the turf-carts.

September 12 [Tuesday] Baked bread; et pies for the Men's dinner. Mrs Martin was here Washing they finished their pudding for supper.

It sounds as if there is some sort of communal effort going on (it is around harvest time), with Jane baking and making pies for the “men”, while another woman does the washing (this would not be the washing up of dishes, but washerwoman work, washing and ironing clothes, cf Sep 14).

September 13 [Wednesday] J. James came to tea I rode her donkey half way home. R walked with her when we returned Willis was here with my Umbrella paid him 2s he was nursing the Baby. Sold Hastlett 6 couple Fowls James brought baby a new hat . . . . a present

More comings and goings with members of the James family, but the second sentence defies interpretation. 'Willis' may be the Wills who later [June 12 1844] is ordained, which might help explain matters.

September 14 [Thursday] Mrs. Martin came to washing iron. R went to Wimbourne fair. We were brewing.

The fairs at the nearby market town of Wimborne (old spelling Wimbourne) Minster were held every year until 1876. There were actually both spring and autumn fairs, these being mercantile events dealing in horses, cattle and cheese, one the Friday before Easter, and the 2nd every September 14th. Jane and Richard evidently also home-brew their own ale, perhaps for sale.

September 15 [Friday] R went to Xchurch with Butter I expected James [?] with her Beau to dine Roasted brace of Partridges's Mutton chops Boiled plum puddings my company did not come Richard went down to Gubbins's in Evening.

While Richard goes to town to sell their butter, Jane prepares a dinner with roast partridge, mutton chops and plum pudding for a pair of guests, evidently a betrothed couple, who do not show up. 'James' with her Beau must here be female, perhaps the Jane James mentioned above and below [Sept 25th etc], who may be related to the Mr and Mrs James who stay over at Xmas.
The Gubbins were acquaintances mentioned again, perhaps the Muccleshell family listed in the 1841 census, whose head of household was a butcher. The G.Gubbins who lives somewhere on the way to Sway i.e. towards Christchurch [cf 1 Oct 1844] is likely a relation [there is both a George and a Grace Gubbins in the census] living in a different location. The ‘M. A.’ Gubbins who comes to stay for a month after the birth of Jane's 2nd child in April 1844 doesn't match anyone in the 1841 Holdenhurst or Muccleshell census, but the 1841 Hampreston census lists a Mary Ann Gubbins age 10 living with her family, who would be 13 in 1844. (Man of the house George - another possibility for our 'G Gubbins' - was an agricultural labourer age 30 and 2 women in their 20s, Fanny and Virtue, plus 4 children).

September 16 [Saturday] Baby is 7 months old to Day his Father carried him to his Grandma's just now. I have not cooked to day but it is the same Jane's work is as usual all yet undone she has after being kept up to it all the Morning got her milk house and wash house clean for the first time since she has been here. S. Marshall has made the Baby a Frock.

Baby Dale has survived to 7 months, and Richard takes him to his grandmother's [at King's Farm]. Jane indulges in a lengthy sentence outlining her standard complaint about the servants not doing their work unless she gets after them. 'Milk house' would fit the idea they are running a small dairy-farm.

September 20 [Wednesday] A James to Mrs Hicks's with us to the intended harvest supper, met Mr et Mrs Cooper there

On Harvest Suppers, see note for Sep 22nd.

September 21 [Thursday] Miss James went to Woodburry hill fair; with Richard I was much anoyed because I could not go with them tried to get Ecktons Donkey to go to Xchurch but could not, Mrs Harvey took tea with me.

Woodbury Hill was a considerable distance westward, above Bere Regis east of Dorchester, but it was the largest fair in the south of England and people would travel overnight to attend it. Richard may have been buying and selling there, rather than just seeing the funfair side which Hardy depicts in Far From The Madding Crowd [Ch. 50] regarding a similar event, the Greenhill Sheep Fair above Dorchester, which incorporates a circus. It ran for 5 days every September 18th-22nd, with each day having a particular speciality. Richard attended on the 2nd-last day, which was Sheepfair Day, when herds of sheep were bought and sold. Jane is again not allowed to attend, and can't even get Eckton's donkey to take her to town. A later reference [3 Aug 1844] indicates J Eckton's donkey pulls a donkey cart, rather than being ridden. (A John Eckton is also listed in the Holdenhurst parish records as a witness to a series of 1830s weddings, and we can surmise if he hired out donkey carts for wedding couples, he may also have offered to become a witness to the wedding.)

September 22 [Friday] We drove A James home, brought back Jane went to Hicks's Harvest sup returned early; Richard stayed late. did not enjoy it.

A Harvest Supper or Harvest Home was akin to an early Thanksgiving ceremony, to celebrate the completion of the harvesting. The depiction in Hardy's Far FromThe Madding Crowd [Ch. 23] is sometimes cited as an authentic description, though technically this was a Shearing Supper to celebrate the completion of sheep-shearing and the packing of the wool. (In Hardy's depiction, the farmer sets a long dining table up so it projects out the parlour window into the garden, to avoid having the labourers in the house; they sit at table in the garden, and as entertainment take turns singing for their supper.) This one appears to have been hosted at Richard's parents' place.

September 23 [Saturday] Hicks's et Miss L. Aldridge were here at tea.

September 24 [Sunday] We went to church in Morning to Bourne to tea it was a great Fogg.

Though still called Bourne, Bournemouth obviously already had an established church community, which people like Jane travelled miles to attend, despite the fog.

September 25 [Monday] I drove Mr James to Wimbourne returned to tea Jane James took care of the Baby and got dinner for me. The Threshing Machine was here.

Threshing Machines were an unpopular form of automation of agricultural labour and helped prompt the "Captain Swing Riots" of the previous decade, when farm workers went about the countryside smashing new steam-powered farm machinery such as this. It was partly this that prompted the official over-reaction in the case of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, deported from Dorset to Australia in 1834 for trying to form an agricultural union. Richard later lists himself as a machine operator, which may be related.

September 26 [Tuesday] I drove J. James to Hampreston R came afterwards on Gypsy, had a pleasant ride home, though I was afraid.

Jane does not indicate why she was afraid, but this may have been due to fear of the horse "Gypsy", who may have been a rather skittish or headstrong animal, here ridden on the outward leg by her husband. Jane normally walks with a servant, rides a donkey or goes in a cart. Hampreston is across the Stour, 5 miles NW, and her saying she drove J[ane] James there implies she was more than an ordinary servant, perhaps the daughter of a friend or neighbour, who has been helping as a domestic. She may belong to the same James family referred to elsewhere as guests of Jane's, including over Xmas.
Jane James may well be the daughter, born 1811 [hence now age 32-3], of yeoman farmer Nathaniel James [1780-1847], who had lived in various places in East Dorset before moving to Bournemouth. There were evidently 6 daughters and 4 sons, including one, George Osmond, who was 'base born' [illegitimate] - Osmond may have been the mother's name which he was baptised under. Nathaniel's widow Sarah and sons John and William, both by then age around 45, are listed in the 1851 census as living in Holdenhurst.

September 27 [Wednesday] Baby was very ill. R went to Ringwood, J James cooked for me.

September 29 [Friday] J James went to Races with Richard and from there to Bourne, I saw her no more. R did not choose for me to go.

The Races may be the Charborough Races Jane herself gets to attend Oct 6 [see entry]. Was servant J[ane] James swallowed up by the temptations (greater employment opportunities?) of the new seaside spa?

September 30 - Miss Aldridge et Fanny Drank tea here to Miss Ann's displeasure.

Some Austen-style social jealousy and intrigue, this time over guests for tea. Fanny is referred to elsewhere as a friend. Miss Aldridge may or may not be the same as the Miss L. Aldridge who came to tea Sep 23; she may be one of several 50-something sisters living with the local Dissenting Minister and his wife, at Chapel House between Muccleshell and Muscliff [see Nov 16 1843 note]. They were listed in the census as Independent, meaning with an independent income - thus socially superior, making them socially desirable visitors. 'Miss Ann' may be Richard's sister, who lived at the family farm nearby, and perhaps was hoping they would take tea at her home.

October 2nd - Ned et Miss Ryal called to say they were coming down Tuesday but I said Wednesday. George Bound came after me to go over for a Night or two, I returned with him.

Ned and Miss Ryal are new additions to the large cast of visitors. Ned - a proper name in its own right as well as a diminutive for Edward or Edmond - is almost impossible to match up. The surname Ryall does occur in the census, but with no obvious candidate. Miss Ryal arrives with Edwin, presumably Edwin Bound. George Bound [1830-] would be his younger brother, part of the well-off family based at Parley Court, who were related to Jane.

October 3 - Richard came after me early Mrs Rogers et Joe came to dine, Mrs Hicks [?] et Bess came in Evening Joe drove Miss Aldridge to Bourne returned to tea.

'Joe' would be Joe Rogers cf 29 Sep 1844, when he also arrives with Miss Aldritch [sic]. 'Bess' is another new character here, and unidentifiable, the name being a diminutive for Elizabeth which goes back to 'Good Queen Bess.' She reappears 9 June 1844 with Mrs Jenkins' s Fan.

October 4 - We went to Ringwood returned early to receive Hampreston Folk; They were here A James came while we were at tea. Miss Brown et William slept here, Baby was ill; we gave him Castor Oil,

'Hampreston Folk' sounds like a folksinger group, but did such a group exist then? 'A James' may be a sibling of the 'J.James' or Jane James mentioned as a recurring presence; both may be daughters of the Mr and Mrs James who stay over at Xmas, who work as live-in domestic helpers from time to time. 'Miss Brown et William' implies a family connection, but if this was the William Brown who was her brother, who would 'Miss Brown' be? She would more likely be the sister of another William Brown, such as the fisherman or shoemaker listed in the Canford Magna census. For other possible Williams, see 25 August note.

October 5 - Miss Ryal et Edwin came after Miss B et Williame

It looks like we have Miss Brown and William visiting together again, as well as Miss Ryal and Edwin.

October 6 - Went to Charborough Races; Miss A James kept the Baby.

Jane finally gets to attend a fair-type of event. Charborough was and is a large walled estate NW of Poole, owned by the Erle-Drax family - at that point, John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Drax, MP for Wareham [1841-80]. A near-contemporary [1835] account in a sporting journal says: 'In the autumn Mr. Drax has races in the park ... On these occasions I believe Mr. Drax keeps a sort of open house. The farmers in Dorsetshire are a very superior class of men, farming very extensively from one to two thousand a year, and living in the style of the Squirearchy of the last century.' The open-day aspect would explain how farmers like the Hicks were invited.

October 10 - A James went to Poole with me

October 15 - Went to Xchurch, I stayed at H---ss [illegible] with Baby while R et Miss J went to see the Church; had tea at Burry's

October 17 - R went to Fair, made butter

October 22 - Went to Chapel, Jane set her bed on Fire

The total lack of explanation or comment re the fire leaves this a complete mystery. Jane is presumably a servant - Jane James? As no consequences are mentioned, it could have been a routine domestic accident. That is, it could be related to the practice of using a bedwarmer, a brass container which was filled with coals or ashes and slid between the sheets to act like a hot-water bottle.

October 23 - Went home with James

October 25 - Went to Ringwood with Richard

October 28 - Bess came after me to go down there to tea. Baby was poorly

October 29 [Friday] Went with Jenkins's to Mr Rogers's to dine. Baby had two teeth come through.

October 30 [Saturday] Joe drove me to Peter Warne's I spent a very uncomfortable [?] but Mr et Miss Warn returned to tea when it was altogether so pleasant.

The surname Warne was well-known in the Christchurch area. It was associated a generation earlier with a notorious Burley-based smuggling family, consisting of brothers Peter and John, and their sister Lovey Warne, who became a legendary local figure, "the Lady in Red." Jane was related to the Warnes through her father's marriage to Mary Hatchard, whose sister Amelia (known as 'Melior') had in 1811 married Peter Isaac James Warne of Hurn. (A "Love Warne" [sic] is given as a witness at Amelia's 1811 marriage.) Their son is likely the Peter Warne mentioned, while Peter's sister Jane Br[e]aker Warne may be one of the other Janes mentioned in the diary.
The Breaker name resulted from William Hatchard's 2nd marriage, in 1800, to a Mrs Breaker, who already a son and two daughters, with both branches of the extended family living at Parley Farm. The three Breaker children died before Jane was born - brother Robert drowned crossing the Stour in 1812, just before his marriage, while Mary died in 1808 and Jane, by then Mrs Jane Dale, in 1818. William Hatchard's 3rd wife, Elizabeth Emmery, was herself by then [1811] already a widow with a 17-year old daughter. Siblings Peter and Jane Warne were our Jane's contemporaries, all born within a few years of each other, 1811-14.

November 1 [Wednesday] Mr Warn drove me to Mrs Rogers w[h]ere we met Richard waiting after dinner Ann went with me to Doctor Westcotts for something to cure my cough.

November 7 [Tuesday] Mr Jenkins came here to sleep.

Presumably this is Henry Jenkins, making an overnight stopover, in order to accompany Richard to Blandford Fair.

November 8 [Wednesday] They went to Blandford fair.

Situated W of Wimborne, Blandford was another market town with an annual fair. Again, Jane is left behind.

November 9 [Thursday] Mrs Hicks et Mrs Cooper were here at tea.

November 10 [Friday] Mr Bowhey's Sale. Baby was very Ill sent for Goddard; Sherto came sent him a Smellic (?) &c C Tucker drank tea with us.

Goddard is another local Doctor, whom Jane consults again [26 Sep 1844]. John Bryer Goddard, surgeon, lived in Christchurch at Magnolia House [now demolished], on the corner of Stoney Lane and Bridge St, next to where a modern veterinary practice stands. Sherto may have been a colleague at the same medical practice, sent to give baby some medication under the patent or brand name Smellic (Smellic is a surname). For Bowhey, see below.

November 16 [Thursday] Etherige brough home my Picture Frame Mr et Mrs Bowhey called.

A John and Eliza Bowhay, ages 27 and 26, are in the 1841 census as living at Chapel House (between Muccleshell and Muscliff), along with the several 50-something Aldridge sisters listed as ‘Independent’ (presumably respectable spinsters with their own income). His occupation is listed as Dissenting Minister, which may tie in with the March 28 1844 entry – see note re Malmesbury comment.

November 29 [Wednesday] We went to Xchurch.

December 4 [Monday] Richard went to Wimbourn after Hurdles Mrs James came down slept here

The hurdles are presumably sheep-pen fencing, so the Hicks appear to be also raising sheep, as is also suggested by the 24 Dec. entry reference to a sheep field.

December 5 [Tuesday] Mrs J went home had a Girl come to offer as Servant.

Census records of the time show that most domestic servants were teenage girls, though strictly speaking the girls were also women in that they could marry.

December 10 [Sunday] I went to Chapel in Evening with Burges.

December 12 [Tuesday] Jane Wareham left, S Ayles came for a Week Miss Burges went home after staying with me a few days R had a quarel with [me?] because he would make the Babe go; but Hariet brought him home to tea.

More domestic comings and goings, and a quarrel over whether the baby should be taken on a visit. The reference to Harriet seems to confirm she was indeed Richard's sister. 'S Ayles’ may be the Sarah Ayles, age 30, listed as living with her husband at Muccleshell in 1841; below [Dec 19/21/23 etc] her forename is given as Sally, a familiar version of Sarah.

December 18 [Monday] R went to Xchurch Eliza Goff came to live with me.

Another new live-in servant arrived, to replace Sally, who had only come for the week at that point, though she returned a few days later. The 1841 Census lists an Eliza Goff age 16 living with her family at Muccleshell.

December 19 [Tuesday] Sally Ayles left.

December 20 [Wednesday] Drank tea at Craghton's returned left Baby in care of Ann Read; and then went to hear the Blind Musician at Xchurch.

Craghton may be the same as Mrs Craiton elsewhere. Ann Read appears in several entries below as a visitor and helper. The 1841 Census lists an Ann Read, age 40, living with her mother, a grocer, at Muccleshell. Was the Blind Musician a performer so-billed, whom people came to hear in the run-up to Xmas, perhaps at the Priory?

December 21 [Thursday] Sally Ayles called to see me and stayed here.

December 23 [Saturday] I went to Bourne and Xchurch. Sally rode with me to carry Baby.

Another combined Bournemouth-Christchurch triangular-route trip, probably on the pony trap or gig.

December 24 [Sunday] Went into the Sheep field with Richard and Baby in Morning.

December 25 [Monday] We went to church Sally & Eliza Got dinner and took care of Baby Sally went home in afternoon Mr James dined here Mrs came after W et Miss G drove her to the door they slept here went home next night.

Xmas Eve seems to be marked by a Sunday-morning family pastoral walk among the sheep. Xmas Day does not seem much different than the usual social round. In theory, the choice of companions on this special occasion could indicate who was special amongst their friends, though the diary as usual is short on detail. Current helper Sally goes home for Xmas, Jane and Richard have Mr and Mrs James as overnight guests, Mrs James being brought by W [William?] and his companion Miss G. Mr & Mrs James spend Xmas Day with Jane and Richard, departing the next evening.


January 1 [Monday] We went to Lord Malmesbury's Ball S Marshall stayed with Eliza and the Baby.

Lord Malmesbury was the major local landowner, and a man of considerable importance. It would have been the 3rd Earl's Ball the Hicks attended New Years Day, as his tenant farmers; Malmesbury would be the one to whom Richard's rents were paid quarterly. His annual New Year's Day Ball for tenant farmers presumably was held at his country seat, Heron Court, just across the Stour near the site of what is now Hurn Aiport.

[There is a gap of a month in coverage here.]

February 5 [Monday] We went to Xchrch partly in Seharch of a nurse called on Mary Spickernell.

Jane's search for a nurse is probably due to being now 7 months pregnant with her second child, who will be born 3rd April.

February 6 [Tuesday] Went to see Mrs Cox Mary Spickernell came the while.

Mrs Cox may have been the wife of Charles Cox, of another local fusée watch-chain manufacturing enterprise set up in Christchurch originally by Robert Harvey Cox to help establish a home-working cottage industry that would train poor parishioners to be self-sufficient and avoid the workhouse. Mary Spickernell is not listed in the census, so may be a recent arrival in the area.

February 7 [Wednesday] Baby was ill Mr B--- [illegible] changed a Cow.

The Hicks evidently have more than one cow, i.e. not just a single cow to provide milk, but perhaps a small dairy herd.

February 8 [Thursday] M Spickernell went away.

February 22 [Thursday] Richard went to Bounds Sale Mr et Mrs Cox came to tea, it was a very wet cold day.

Mr and Mrs Cox have not been mentioned before this month, but are mentioned again this year - perhaps new friends. They seem to be helping arrange for a nurse.

February 24 [Saturday] We went to Xchurch in Morning I had a bit of Mutton at Mrs Burry's R bought a Dog.

February 26 [Monday] Received a note from Mrs Cox saying the Nurse could come we went round Bourne to Xchurch drank tea at Burrys;

Another Bourne-Xchurch excursion, the return leg perhaps including Ringwood where Mrs Burry previously seemed to be living.The dog Richard buys is not mentioned again; presumably it was not a pet but to guard the livestock now that they have sheep.

March 3 [Sunday] I went down to Mrs Harvey's afterwards for a walk.

March 18 [Monday] Mr Cox brought over the Old Nurse.

March 22 [Friday] Eliza went to Wimbourne Richard drove Charles to Fordingbridge. Ann Read dranke tea here.

Charles is presumably Richard's brother, who does not seem to have been mentioned before. Fordingbridge is on the Avon not far from Ringwood.

March 23 [Saturday] A James went home.

Some untidiness marks the handwritten entries around this time. The dates in particular for the next week have all been corrected later, put back a day so that 25th is corrected to 24th, 29th to 28th etc. Jane is due to give birth and may be under the influence of medication.

March 24 [Sunday] Mr et Mrs Mayby came to supper. had some young pigs.

Pigs were a familiar feature of a smallholding - tenant farms often came with a pigsty as a necessary permanent fixture.

March 26 [Tuesday] Went to Mayby's to tea.

March 27 [Wednesday] Richd went to Xchurch

March 28 [Thursday] Mr Haris was chosen Member Richd went to Xchurch to vote, I drank tea with Mrs Harvey Richd came down to sup.

This sounds like the by-election of the local MP, the constituency being Christchurch, after the main town, where the voting and counting would take place. "Mr Haris" may well be Edward Harris, a career Naval officer, younger brother of James Harris (180789), who on his father's death in 1841 became 3rd Earl of Malmesbury, serving as Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords. Malmesbury, the local landowner to whom the Hicks paid their rents, kept a diary himself. He later published these as political memoirs, and there he mentions the by-election, though there is a puzzling discrepancy of exactly a month, he giving the election as February [not March] 28/29. It may be that Jane, at least in this final month of her pregnancy, was not writing up entries daily, but caught up with her journal later, and mixed up the sequence.
The Harris diary entry is worth quoting as it may cast light on another aspect of the situation: 'February 28. I went to Christchurch election, and hope that my brother will come in. He is opposed by a Mr. Harvey, who has been sent down with a large sum of money, and I hear that all the Dissenters, many of whom had promised to vote for my brother, and some to remain neutral, are going against him. February 29th. My brother is elected for Christchurch by a majority of a hundred.'
A Mrs Harvey was one of Jane's regular social confidantes, probably a neighbouring farmer's wife, but the Mr Harvey who was the Dissenters' nominee may have been brought in as he had family in the area. (See 21 Aug 1843 note on local Harveys.) Jane mentions attending Chapel on several occasions. Was she also a Dissenter, or sympathetic to them? She was visited [Nov 16] by a ‘Mr Bohwey’, who may have been Mr Bowhay, listed in the census as the Dissenting Minister living at Chapel House, part of the local Congregationalist church establishment. (They later became part of the United Reformed Church, which had a still-extant church across the river at Longham, on the Ringwood Rd, since 1841.) A local Congregational Chapel and manse had stood at the corner of Muscliff and Broadway Lane since 1828, and there was a Sunday School for the children of Dissenters, as well as a Day School at Musciff from 1828 on, which appears to have been the only local Day School in the vicinity at the time of the diary.
Moordown Congregational Church had a chapel which was also used as a ‘Social Institute’, which may be where Jane went for Thursday 'Club' evenings. Dissenters also ran Meeting Houses which served other purposes - parish records show people being born there. Throop itself since 1828 had had an Independent Chapel, later Throop Congregational Church, with manse and school, parts of which survived till 2010. There being then a close alignment between one's church and politics, the idea that the Dissenters, as a splinter church group active in politics, had financed a by-election candidate and recruited local voters is quite possible. Congregationalism was an active force for localism in the broader Dissenter church-reform movement, and 'Nonconformists' in some districts could account for up to half the population.

April 1 [Monday] Old Nurse came, Mr. Bound was here at tea.

April 2 [Tuesday] Richd went to Xchurch we went for walk

April 3 [Wednesday] Baby was born. I was rather Poorly an hour or two before I called any body sent for Mrs. Harvey. Mrs Carter came some time after Baby was born Mr Westcott might as well have stayed at home thought the Baby would have died but a little Dolbys soon put him to rights so far.

An unsentimental account of a home birth, with a married friend or two in attendance as midwife, and the medical man [Westcott] arriving late. Mrs Carter was not a close neighbour, living upriver between Redhill and Ensbury [see 10 June 1844 entry], and so may have come due to her midwifery experience. The newborn baby (Walter Charles) has some sort of tonic ladled down its throat to save its life. Mrs Harvey was the older neighbour from whom Jane had earlier [21st Aug.] borrowed a bottle of gin, and the "Dolby's" may in fact be gin. Gin was used as a working-class remedy for illness (in Pygmalion, GB Shaw has Eliza tell an anecdote re this, which betrays her working-class outlook.)

April 7 [Sunday] Mrs Carter drank tea and stayed the Evening with me Hart et fan came up; Mrs Whicher called.

More women friends stop by to visit her, and presumably see the baby - perhaps either Harriet Hicks or Mary Hart Jenkins, plus Fan[ny] Jenkins, and Anne Whitcher.

April 14 [Sunday] Came down stairs.

Jane has obvously been confined to an upstairs bedroom for a week or so (cf last entry was 7 April). The house had two floors, as can be seen in surviving photos. Another week will pass before the next diary entry.

April 20 [Saturday] Mrs Bound came over stayed all night.

April 21 [Sunday] Edwin came after his mother.

April 24 - Edwin Bound et Mr Carter had tea here.

April 28 [Sunday] Nurse took Baby to see Mrs Carter. Richd drove me down to Church to return thanks after dinner. We went for a ride to Iford took the Babys with us.

Jane's first outing after her confinement is a carriage ride to church to "return thanks" presumably for the successful birth - something not to be taken for granted in those days. Iford was a small village where the road from Muccleshell and the main Bournemouth-Christchurch road crossed the Stour via a mediaeval bridge, next to a manor house built by local squire Dr William Dale Farr.

April 29 - The Nurse left M A Gubbins came.

Re Gubbins, see note to September 15th entry above.

May 1 [Weds] We had Castlemans clerk and Old Airs here I walked with him into the Field to Richd who took the Pony and went to Bourne to see Castleman. Airs dined here. Miss Brown et William came down to tea. /Eliza's going to Club./

"Old Airs" is unidentified, the surname possibly being Ayres, or Eyers (an Ann Eyers, age 80, is listed in the 1841 Hampreston census as 'independent' ie of independent means). The Castlemans were an influential Wimborne family. 'Castleman' may have been Charles Castleman (1807-76), a solicitor and local railway backer. A William Castleman, Attorney, age 75, appears on the 1841 Census as a resident of "Bourne." The age is right for this to have been Charles's father, William Castleman (born 1766), Steward to The Deanery manorial court at Wimborne, administering land bought from the church at the time of the Reformation. He also held allotments in Muccleshell. His death-date is given in a family history online as 1838, but this seems to have been when his spouse died; elsewhere, William Castleman V is given as dying 21 October 1844. Charles's older brother Edward [1800-61] became Steward to the vast Bankes estate, married in 1823 the grand-daughter of the wealthy former "King of Smugglers" Isaac Gulliver [buried in Wimborne Minster 1822] and became a successful banker, based in Wimborne. He invested £3500 in the railway line backed by Charles.
Charles Castleman was also an associate of banker William Fryer, who married Gulliver's eldest daughter and heir, and they had also invested in local hostelries. It's possible the food and drink provisioning aspect explains Richard's involvement, including his dealings with a brewery. (Richard would soon be listing his other occupation as baker.)
Charles Castleman invested £5000 and became the prime mover for a proposed new local railway link; he was the man after whom the Southampton-Dorchester railway would be nicknamed Castleman's Corkscrew. Its 'corkscrew' route through the New Forest was designed to link up the smaller market towns between Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester: Ringwood, Wimborne, Brockenhurst etc. (This would allow the local farmers to 'export' their unrefrigerated fresh produce to markets as far as London, the first "up" train of the day being known as the milk train.) He had the route surveyed and got the additional finance he needed in the spring of 1844, which would fit our time-frame.
The section from Brockenhurst and Holmsley [officially "Christchurch Road Station"] bypassed Sway, which became a station on a 2nd branch line W to Poole just beyond the branch line running S to Lymington. (The line closed in 1977 and the 16-mile Ringwood-Poole section became in 1994 The Castleman Trailway recreational route.) The track-laying phase could provide an alternative explanation why Richard would spend so much time there [see July 22 entry], perhaps laying foundations for the section of line skirting Sway. Richard's occupation is also listed in the next [1851] census as a 'machine and drillman', suggesting he was also operating drilling machinery. (A spur line would later head west from Sway to connect to the new resort of Bourne (whose principal landowners did not want a railway line into their exclusive new seaside spa. The slippery clay of the 'Sway bank' made working conditions dangerous - the origin of the phrase ‘Sway treacle mines’ - and half a dozen navvies would die when the line was later extended west through there.)

May 3 - Richd took some money of Bowden et paid his rent

Baptismal records show Jane’s new baby was baptized Walter Charles Hicks on May 5th, but there is no mention here, with a 3-week gap to the next entry.

May 20 [Monday] Pd off my washerwoman

May 21- Went to Poole took both Children called to see Mrs Millage, Mrs Sansom et Miss Feacy.

The 3 women presumably live in Poole, including Mrs Sansom, evidently the live-in nurse who cared for baby Dale the previous year. This is the first visit to Poole that has been mentioned, with another visit 3 days later - again, a fair distance there and back, even by wagon. However it appears the couple need money [see also 25th May below]. This might help explain Richard's taking on outside work like the Castleman contract.

[The next entry, for the 23rd, has been moved down as it was re-dated the 30th, which again raises the issue of entries not being entered daily but done retrospectively. The initial confusion probably arose as both the 23rd and 30th were Thursdays, i.e, 'Club' evenings.]

May 24 -Little Harvey's were here to tea.

Mr & Mrs Harvey's children come to tea?

May 25 - Richd went to Wimbourne and Poole in search of money but returned without money. Mr Westcotts Man came for his Bill I agreed with E Edwards.

This would be Dr Westcott's medical bill for attending Jane's birth, and may be the reason they need money. Jane engages yet another new servant, E Edwards - possibly the Eliza mentioned below.

May 27 [Monday] M.A. Gubbins left.

M.A. Gubbins had come 29th April, probably to help out for a month while Jane recovered.

May 28 - E Edwards came to live with me. Harriet et her Mother drank tea here.

May 30 - Eliza went to Club we were going to Mrs Waters's but she put her knee out so I sent for Mrs Harvey to drink tea with me. The [word missing] came also.

Mr/Mrs Waters appear repeatedly in the diary and seem to have been family friends. There is no ‘Waters’ in the 1841 Holdenhurst Census, but the Throop baptimisal record for 1845 shows a John Watters, Yeoman, and Jane Watters as parents, so they may have recently moved to the area. The "Club" Eliza went to [also 1st May] may have been a Thursday-evening village social club (both 1st and 30th May are Thursdays). Sending for someone to drink tea with you sounds rather odd, and the fact Mrs Harvey's was where Jane went to "borrough" a bottle of gin [21 Aug 1843] suggests there may on occasion have been something else besides tea in those cups.

May 31 - Richd went to see his calves I stayed with Mrs Craiton the while. We then went to Parly had a rough at last I stayed there the Girl and children with me called to see Mrs Hatchard.

Richard evidently has some calves as part of his livestock holdings. Again, "rough" is probably just the then-common spelling of row; rather than meaning she had a rough night or time at Parley, it seems there was a row re whether she should stay the night. It may not be a coincidence that today was Jane and Richard’s wedding anniversary.

June 1 - Mrs Bound et I did not agree very well about washing the Children my putting the oldest to bed awake finished it.

June 2 [Sunday] Mr et Mrs H called in as she was going to Church. I spent as much time as possible out of doors. Richd came to tea as soon as we got home he started to Andover I went to Borrow money of Mrs Harvy first.

Reading between the lines, her in-law's visit en route to church seems to have prompted Jane to spend time outdoors. Cash still seems to be tight: as well as the visit to Mrs Harvey, some of the travelling seems to be to collect payment. Andover is well beyond Winchester, a considerable distance.

June 3 R returned soon after we were gone to bed had to get up again. E Hicks came up told me my Brother was married.

"E Hicks" may have been Jane's sister-in-law Elizabeth. Evidently Jane had lost touch with her brother William if she learned of his marriage via an in-law. Perhaps her moving out in 1843 to get married had left him free to move on. (This suggests the other references to a William visiting were not to her brother, but more likely one of our other unidentified Williams - see 25 August 1843 note.) Jane's account of the family Xmas getogether mentions a W driving back with a Miss G., who may have been his fiancee. The phrase "came up" could imply up from the coast, ie at Bournemouth. An Elizabeth Hicks is listed in the 1841 census as a 25-year-old [=born 1815/16] laundress residing at Bourne, though the birthdate is 6-7 years out from that of Richard's older sister [b. 1809/11]. The Hampreston census transcribers note however that adult ages [15+] given were rounded off to the nearest 5 years.

June 6 - Richd went to Fair.

This entry is one out of sequence in the handwritten journal.

June 9 [Sunday] Mrs Jenkins Fan, et Bess came up after tea, I sent the girls with Dale after to Mr Shamers to ask him to take a note to Miss Feacy we afterward went up broadway lane altogether.

Broadway Lane is the main route south out of Muccleshell to Castle Lane (the main road to Christchurch) and becomes Charminster Rd running SW down Richmond Hill to what is now Bournemouth Square.This was probably the route Jane & co. took, at least when taking the gig or a cart into Bourne. "Dale" is presumably Jane's first child, now being referred to by name as since Walter's birth, he is no longer "the baby" of the family.

June 10 - Richd took the Gig to town, brought back a Cart I went to red hill drank tea with Mrs Carter afterwards walked on to Ensbury came home round berry hill met Mrs Harvey agreed to go there to tea next day had a note from Miss Feacy.

Jane's itinerary takes her to Redhill and Ensbury, two other hamlets just upstream on the Stour, and she returns home not via Broadway Lane, but the shorter route through neighbouring Muscliff via Muscliff Lane and around Berry Hill, where Mrs Harvey lives (in Berry Lane).Taking or sending a note to someone re a social invitation is the norm, as other entries show.

June 11 - I went to Iford with Richd in Morning as soon as he had dined he started to Bourne with his Sisters to meet a large party. I drank tea at Mrs Harveys.

This seems to be the height of the social season. Jane's travels in the last few days encompass not only into "town" (Christchurch?) then up the Stour to Red Hill and Ensbury, but now east to Iford. Richard then heads off with his sisters southwest to Bourne to meet a large group there.

June 12 - Mr Wills was ordained Miss Feacy came to stay Mrs. Sansom, Mrs Craiton, Miss Randle et Mr Bound dined here. Miss Brown et Mrs Jerid came to tea, Mr et Mrs Cox with Miss Sainsberry to supper.

The social season continues with Miss Feacy staying over for a week, 4 more ladies coming to dine, another 2 to tea, and 3 more people to supper. (None of these other ladies who are new faces seem to be in the 1841 census list, and may be from outside the census area. Mrs Craiton is mentioned elsewhere in the diary [also as Craghton], and Mrs Jerid [4 Sep], where the spelling is the same, though Jerid is not a recognized surname. Could they be new acquaintances from the Sway-Lymington area?)

June 13 - I rode on the Pony Miss Feacy et Richd walked the Girls brought the Baby to meet us Dale was at Mrs Harveys.

There seems to be only the one pony between them now. Young Dale is staying with Mrs Harvey [as he would again 18 June]. The Harveys may have connections with Poole [see 18 October]. Dale would later marry a girl from a Poole family.

June 14 - Mrs. Harvey et Miss Reeks drank tea with us afterwards we all went to Little Down to see the ruins. Miss Reeks went on home. Mr Harvey came to supper.

The Reeks family were known at Holdenhurst, though the only Miss Reeks in the 1841 census is a 28-year old laundress at Bourne. Littledown Common is an area of heath south of Holdenhurst, and there was an adjacent estate owned by the Cooper-Dean dynasty, who had built a Georgian manor called Little Down House. But "the ruins" are a mystery. Were they the result of a recent destruction by fire of some local buildings, or were they older ruins newly uncovered, perhaps by a heathland fire?

June 15 - Mrs Marshall had tea here R went to Town.

June 16 [Sunday] Eliza gave her Master warning to leave we went to Church as usual in the Evening (I went to Chapel with Miss Feacy) not best pleased with Richd.

The last sentence is inserted as an afterthought. It appears new servant Eliza is leaving because of Richard, and he is about [below] to offend Jane herself somehow. Was Richard the reason other servants left?

June 17 - Richd ofended me so that I made myself quite ill we went to Mrs Harveys to tea spent a pleasant Evening

June 18 - We drove Miss Feacy home came back in the wet Dale was at Mrs Harveys who came up with him herself

June 19 - Eliza went to get a place Mrs James came down just as I was going down to Mrs Harveys

June 20 - Richd went Southampton to see a Brewery Mr Westcott called R returned not very late.

Was his brewery visit in connection with the new railway out of Southampton, perhaps to obtain ale for the navvies working the Sway-Holmesley section? If so, Richard was in charge of more than just a drilling rig. An entry below [30 Sep] suggests he had also arranged to provision the workers with farm produce, and the ale may have been to go with this.

June 21 - Mrs Waters et Sister drank tea here I went after her with Gig.

Mrs Waters's name appears a number of times over the year; she may be the Watters in the Throop baptismal list, see May 30th note above.

June 22 - Picking Feathers Richd drove me et the Children to twon [sic] had tea at Jenkins's N Dow called

"Picking feathers" is perhaps plucking game birds for sale as well as to make use of their plumage, though the end use of these feathers is obscure (ladies' hats?). N Dow does not appear again.

June 23 [Sunday] Went to Church this Morning Richd is gone to Mr Waters's since tea.

[Gap in entries of four weeks here.]

July 21 [Sunday] Did not go to Church

Just before this, there is a gap here in the diary of nearly a month, at the end of which she notes she did not attend church, which in those days was unusual.

July 22 - Richd went to Sway

This is the first of many mentions of visits to Sway. As suggested above, Richard was probably now working on the new railway nicknamed Castleman's Corskscrew, which came west past Sway, where a branch line to Lymington was to be built. The land there seems to have been part of the Meyrick Estate.

July 23 - Mrs James came down

July 24 - Mrs James Brewed Eliza gave warning Miss Raines called had supper with me

Mrs James seems to be staying a few days, helping with the brewing [ale?]. Is the servant Eliza again giving warning she wants to quit?

July 25 - Baked; made butter, Mrs James went home I had cold and tooth ache. Ann Read came up a little while.

July 26 - Richd returned we drank tea at Mrs Harvey's;

July 28 [Sunday] Hart came up after tea Dale had a fall on the Stones while I was Skiming [?].

'Skiming' could be skimming the cream off the top of the milk, part of the work to create dairy produce to sell in the surrounding towns and villages.

July 29 - I went to Sway with Richd for the first time Eliza dresed the Baby We left Dale a Xchurch went into Lymington dined et drank tea at E Peat's returned to Sway to Sleep.

E Peat of Lymington may be the Emma Peat who helped Jane out earlier [17 April 1843].

July 30 - Went out for Walk with Richd et Baby did not leave Sway till after tea called at Jenkins for the Baby Dale

Young Dale, still a toddler, is being minded at Mrs Jenkins at Christchurch, who acts regularly as childminder for them.

July 31 - Richd went with his Mother to Wimbourne I went down to Mrs Marshall with the Children Took Rd Trowsers to mend.

Mrs Marshall who is to mend Richard's trousers may be the mother of Sarah, Jane's sometime servant.

August 1 - Richd went to Xchurch I went to Mrs Harvey's she was going out N(?) brought Hariet home to tea Mr et Mrs Cox came also to tea.

August 2 - I went down to sit with Mrs Harvey [?] an hour

August 3 - It was a very rough Day I Borrowed J Eckton's Donkey et Cart took the Girls et Children to Xchurch to get me a Frock made. R. came home to supper.

Here we have another meaning of rough, referring to weather? Jane seems to be doing some childminding of her own. Eckton's donkey proves more cooperative this time [see 21 Sep 1843]. Donkey carts were routinely driven by women - Jane Austen was given one by her brother to do her shopping in Alton.

August 4 [Sunday] We to dine at Mayby's took the Children et Girl.

Live-in servants seem to have been often referred to then rather demeaningly just as ‘the girl’.

August 5 - R. took Dale to Bourne brought back Mrs James wet afternoon

Another routine trip to Bourne[mouth], again with a child, though it appears by donkey-cart as above, or pony-and-gig, as she brought back a neighbour.

August 6 - Mr J came to dine the [he?] went home after tea; Mrs et Mr Waters had supper with us.

The various meals here suggest the meal Mr J (James?) came for might be lunch, he then setting off home after afternoon tea, with the Waters arriving to have supper, a later meal, perhaps around 7 (this being summertime, it would not be dark till after 8pm).The same dinner-then-tea sequence occurs in the 18th August entry. In the entry below however, Richard's "tea" would be the regular 'teatime' meal (between 5 and 6pm), with him working till dark to get the harvest done in time, though it sounds below as if they have only the one field to harvest, growing wheat [cf 10 Aug entry].

August 7 - Richd was at work in the Harvest Field I carried his tea he kept me with the Children till quite dark.

August 8 - R wished me to go to Wimbourne but the rain came down so he went himself Edwin Bound came after the money for Ducks R et myself had supper at Waters's left the Children at home.

They have been buying ducks from the well-off Bound family at Parley Court. The diary's penultimate entry [below] suggests they are bought live and Jane kills them herself when they are to be eaten, which would be normal practice for a farmer's wife in the days before refrigeration.

August 9 - R went to Sway took Dale to Xchurch they returned rather late

August 10 - R went to Sway returned to Harvest et got in all the Wheat which was fit he took Dale to his Mother's who got a fall whilest there Mr et Mrs Cox came for butter

The local heathland was considered too arid for growing wheat etc., though some of the Stour valley bottomlands were more fertile. Here, some of the wheat crop seems to have been ruined, perhaps by a wet summer; they sell butter to the neighbours.

August 11 [Sunday] We were expected at Mrs James's this morning to go to Bourne church but disapointed her on account of Richd going to Sway tomorrow We went to Church this Morning the Girls have not been out Tucked the Baby it has been a wet afternoon. R is just gone out with Mr Gold.

Another trip to attend church in Bournemouth is planned. Considering the extra distance involved, the change of Sunday venue may be for social reasons. Again, 'Bourne church' is not St Peter's, which did not open till 1845, but some earlier temporary one, presumably the same one in the entry of 16 July 1843, which she also visited 24 Sep 1843. No entries now for another week.

August 18 [Sunday] Mayby's were here to dinner et tea also Mrs Hary et Mr [name missing] et my Aunt Roasted a piece of beef.

Jane's un-named Aunt [her step-aunt, Betsy Bound?] is visiting, and helping cook a roast-beef dinner. Note continued use of "et" as a shorthand for "and."

August 21 - Richd went to sway Eliza's Month was up I foolishly asked her to stop.

Another servant gone - evidently there was a trial period of a month after which you could simply give notice. This is presumably the same Eliza who earlier gave a warning to her master ie Richard. Jane dismisses her, but at once regrets it.

August 22 - I let Eliza go to get her foot measured she stayed away till 12 o clock and then was saucy

Eliza is getting herself measured for new footwear, perhaps for her next job, and is demonstrating more independence after Jane's mishandling of the situation. The census lists a half dozen local shoemakers, including their neighbour old George King.

August 24 - Eliza left Joeana Troke Mrs Harvey's Gill was here I got the work done nicely

Eliza moves on, but Jane now has Mrs Harvey's girl servant Joanna Troke - perhaps a relative of the "E.Troke" mentioned later [12 Sept] as a new nursemaid. (The 1841 Holdenhurst Census lists a number of Trokes at Muccleshell and Holdenhurst, including two Johannah Trokes listed as ages 8 and 47, i.e 11 and 50 in 1844.) An E[lizabeth] Troke of Muccleshell is also listed age 10, which would make her 13-14 in 1844.)

August 25 [Sunday] Drank tea at Mrs Harvey's as we were going out Miss Brown came she went along with us.

It is unlikely this Miss Brown was her sister, unless she was again using formality as an affectation, and this is likely the same Miss Brown they visit 4th September - perhaps a relative of the other William Brown? (The 1841 census for Canford Magna – upstream, now part of Poole – lists two William Browns, a shoemaker age 70 and a fisherman age 30.)

August 26 - Ann Martin came to wash King came to offer through her I went after E Lockyer left Dale with Mrs Harvey

Another oddly underlined, unpunctuated and near-incomprehensible entry. Who 'King' might be is impossible to say, given there were so many of that surname living locally.

August 27 - E Lockyer came to live with me R went to sway

E Lockyer is Eliza's replacement as live-in domestic. Several Lockyers are listed in the Holdenhurst 1841 census, and living next to them at the house of farm-worker Robert and Susan Read is 11-year old Elizabeth Lockyer, who would be 15 in 1844.

August 28 - Made 25 Butter R came at home

Jane is involved in some large-scale butter production.

August 29 - We all went to Xchurch in a cart R bought a Horse sold Giss I had dinner at Dales we returned to tea.

Was "Giss" the frisky horse earlier called Gypsy, now being replaced? Or were they selling an unwanted dog? The Dales may have been relatives of Richard's mother: their firstborn had been given the middle name Dale as it was Richard's maternal surname, his mother née Jane Dale. These Dales are presumably at Christchurch, though there were other Dales just across the Stour from Throop, giving their name to Dales Land and Dales Farm there, and another Richard Dale at Tuckton Farm.

August 30 - Just as Eliza was going for her Box a little Boy brought it I lent her sixpence R went to sway again 1-6

The box in question must be the lightweight servant equivalent of a suitcase or trunk, where Eliza kept her spare clothes and few possessions. '1-6' probably refers to money: 1s 6d?

August 31 - S Marshall was here we baked

Sarah Marshall returns?

September 1 [Sunday] J Martin rode to Church with me R stayed at home to take a Pill After tea we went for a walk met with Miss [name missing?] et Hart

September 2 - Humby /S Marshall was here/ sent a brace of birds R went off after dinner we bit of a quarrel about Bet Osmond

Another cryptic entry with the punctuation contributing to the obscurity. Is this more trouble between Jane and Richard over serving girls? "Humby" is not in the local Census, but may be William Humby, owner of the Sandford Hotel and King's Arms in Christchurch around this time, who was also sometimes local burgess and stagecoach stopover agent. An Osmond family is listed in the Census for Muscliff, though the only 'Bet' candidate is Elizabeth, age 9, i.e 12 in 1843. Was she applying to be the new servant?

September 3 - Ann Marshall came to work. Richd came home to tea.

The 1841 Census lists two Ann Marshalls: one age 23 in 1844 from Littledown, and a more likely candidate age 15 ie 18 in 1844, from Bourne, who is listed as a servant.

September 4 - We went to Miss Brown's to tea Mr et Mrs Jerid came to supper

Mrs Jerid is presumably one of the three ladies who came to tea in June, but there seems to be no such surname.

September 5 - R went away I drank tea at Mrs Harvey's came home very cross the Baby's bed was not made.

Dissatisfaction with the new domestic, Ann Marshall - or is it more likely the nursemaid, E. Troke (who will leave in a week)? An E[lizabeth] Troke of Muccleshell is listed in the 1841 census as age 10, which would make her 13-14 in 1844. There is also an Elizabeth Troke age 18, Servant, and an Emma Troke age 16, Servant, both in the 1841 Hampreston Census.

September 6 - We brewed I sent Ford after my Key to preston Miss Harveys were here Mrs Harvey came up at supper time

More home brewing. "I sent Ford after my Key to preston" seems to mean she sent someone called Ford to fetch a key of hers which is at Preston, which may be the now-vanished hamlet already mentioned [cf 23 April 1843 note].

September 7 - R returned just as we were to rights Hart brought home the Children's Frocks paid the washer woman.

Both Jane's children were boys, but "frocks" may refer to the old fashion of dressing pre-school-age boys as well as girls in unisex frocks.

September 8 [Sunday] Richd et Eliza have been to Church this morning I have not been.

September 10 - M Longman came to offer.

September 12 - E Troke left M Longman came as Nurse maid.

E Troke would be the departing nursemaid, possibly the Eliza above, replaced by M. Longman. There was a Longman family at Canford, up the Stour, whose youngest member, Maria Longman age 11, would be 14 or 15 by then.

September 12 et 13 - Ann Marshall was here at work. R came home from Sway to dinner

September 14 -  R went to Wimborne Fair

September 15 [Sunday] We got to Church too Early so we called to see Mrs wicher Mr et Mrs Waters Mr et Mrs Harvy drank tea here I was very ill.

Jane seems to have been making the rounds with her tea-drinking circle, and finds herself ill. Jane is also ill several days after this.

September 19 - S Marshall was here to work. W Brown called but would not stay to dine I was going to see Mrs Wicher but R heard she was confined; so I went to Exchurch with R . . . had tea at Jenkin's.

W Brown would not be her now-married brother, as this would be an odd way to refer to him, but perhaps a Walter or another William Brown. (A pair of William Browns are listed in the 1841 Census for the Canford Magna estate, up the Stour Valley to the west, one a fisherman age 30 and the other a shoemaker age 70). See 15th July note. "Confined" of course meant staying in due to being in the later stages of pregnancy.

September 20 - R went to Sway et Back

September 21 - R went to Woodbury hill

R goes off to the Woodbury Fair again - again without Jane, just like last year.

September 22 [Sunday] Neither me nor the girls went out Boiled Leg Mutton et Turnnips I was very poorly

September 23 - R went away Early Mrs Harvey gave a hare they came to sup from it

September 24 Races [?] I was in bed all day S Marshall stayed with me part of the time Mrs Hicks sent for the Baby he was asleep et did not go.

September 25 - R came home Mr Waters had supper with him

September 26 - R went to Mr Eyles Sale I went to Doctor Godhard had the Pony et Gig Mrs Waters went with me Ann Read took care of the Children.

Jane, who has been feeling unwell, again consults the local doctor, Goddard, travelling by pony and gig accompanied by a neighbour while another [Ann Read again] minds the children. There is no "Eyles" in the Census list, but there is an Ayles family at Muccleshell, another at Holdenhurst, and another in the Canford Magna estate census.

September 27 - R went to his Mother's came home et quarrelled with me because I did not send the Baby down there on Tuesday which upset me for the Day.

Jane has more marital discord due to the influence of her mother-in-law.

September 28 R went to Sway returned at Night I roasted a Goose S Howard came to see me A Ellis called

September 29 [Sunday] Mr et Mrs James et S Howard came to dine Mrs Waters came to sup Joe Rogers et Miss Aldritch called S H stayed

There seems to be an endless round of visitors. 'Miss Aldritch' might be one of the Matthew Aldridge family who were major local farmer-landowners, based at Muccleshell and Muscliff, though the "L. Aldridge" in the Sep 23rd 1843 entry does not match anyone in the Census list. 'Miss Aldritch' (no initial) may have been one of the three spinster Aldridge sisters living with the local Dissenting Minister and his wife, at Chapel House between Muccleshell and Muscliff [see Nov 16 1843 note]

September 30 [Monday] J Newman came to take account of the stock [flock?] etc. Miss Spickernell came to spend the Day Mr et Mrs Waters et Brother were here to supper sent off some of the Goods to Sway had Mrs Summers to Wash S et Dale went to Wimborne with Richard who went to Pay his Rent.

Richard and Jane seem to be sending some sort of stock and goods [livestock and dairy produce?] to Sway, perhaps to feed a construction crew. Tenants paid rent quarterly: at Xmas, Easter, on the Nativity of St John the Baptist [24 June - official Midsummer's Day], and Michaelmas [29 Sep].

October 1 - R went to Sway in Morning S et Dale rode as far as G Gubbins's with him.

October 2 Finished ironing was much displeased at my Frocks not being dried well.

Jane is having more servant troubles, and seems to be doing her own ironing at this point.

October 3 - We went to Waters to tea expected R home

October 4 et 5 [sic] Ann Marshall was here to work. R came home.

October 6 [Sunday] Roasted Leg Mutton S H went to Chapel in Evening R et myself went to Mrs Harveys after the Children were dressed stayed to supper I took the baby left Dale at home.

Dale seems to have been left at home on his own this time.

October 7 - Had J Frys cart went Children et all to Sway went for a walk after tea. R slept with the baby down stairs S slept with me up stairs she frighted me in the Night.

S seems to be the S Howard mentioned earlier, perhaps the daughter of the Mrs Howard mentioned below [cf Oct 19], who has been staying with them and accompanying Richard on trips. Sharing a bed like this with a servant was not unusual, though what S did to frighten Jane we’ll never know.

October 8 - S went in the Waggon with the Children I cooked couple of Rabbits Mr Moore came looked over the house

Rabbit was becoming more common a meat, and is referred to several times here. Jane refers earlier to hare, a native animal becoming scarce, while the rabbit was an imported species maintained as meat for the table. Cranborne Chase across the Stour had been earlier described by Celia Fiennes as a "hare warren". But after the Chase lost its status as a baronial hunting ground in 1830, rabbits would have lost their protected status, and went from being a luxury item to a species classed by farmers as vermin, which anyone could snare or shoot. "Mr Moore" would be the person they visit at Lymington, below.

October 9 - Everything went wrong the Children had misfortunes; had no fire all wrong we went into Lymington to Mr More's had glass of wine there liked Mrs Moores very much I took each of the children to Mrs Belbins Dale went with us to Mr Mores we had some bread et cheese et Porter then come home in the rain; had tea spent comfortable eve R went out did not return till after we were a bed he had been to Waters.

Following various domestic misfortunes, Jane suddenly becomes more loqacious after some alcohol [wine and porter beer]. Note her use of the old literary phrase "a-bed." The unusual surname Belbin, which only occurs once in the text, is attested in local 1840s records, with a family group at Longham, and another at Lymington. In the Lymington branch, Mrs Belbin could have been Mary Belbin [‘wife of Samuel Belbin Yeoman’] who died there age 76 in 1848.

October 10 - R went off again I baked, roasted rabbit Dale was very poorly I put him into a warm bath.

October 11 - Gave Dale Castor oil he was better Ann R brought some composition

The remedies for a toddler who was "poorly" seem to have been a warm bath, then castor oil, while the "composition" Ann R[ead] brings may have been a medicinal preparation.

October 12 - Salted round of Beef et quarter of Pig which we had of J Marshall Baked Jim came home brought a note from Richard et he brought some beer

October 13 [Sunday] Roasted place of Pork boiled Rabbit et seemed to go wrong at first but all was well after it has been a wet afternoon the Children are gone to bed we have none of us been out Mr et Mrs Jenkins called this morning gave me a cake.

This being autumn, when livestock is traditionally slaughtered, with portions preserved for the winter, there is a variety of meat on the table - as well as roast or boiled rabbit, there is mutton, goose, duck, beef, and now roast pork.

[There is a blank space in the journal here, as if an entry for the 14th was meant to be inserted.]

October 16 - We went to tea at Waters's R went off to Sway.

October 17 - Aunt drove me to Xchurch fair Saw Richard there; had dinner at Mrs Burrey's S Howard took care of the Children William rode home with us after tea Aunt went home.

Given this is a family visit on the occasion of Christchurch Fair, the William who rides home with them may be her (now-married) brother. Alternatively, it may be the 20 year old son of family friends the Bounds. The "Aunt" who drives Jane to the Fair could be Jane's step-aunt Betsy Bound, or it could be a biological aunt, though obviously elderly. This and the 18 August entry may be the only references to Jane's parental generation.

October 18 - Mrs Harvey drove me to Poole.

What their business was in Poole is never explained. Their son Dale would later set up a grocery business in Poole High Street, and 7 years later married a Poole girl.

October 19 - We had J Fry's Cart went to Xchurch about my Watch Glass received a Note from R saying Jenkins were coming When we got home Mrs Howard et Ann were there; killed couple Ducks, R came home.

The "Watch Glass" may be connected with the local fusee watch-mechanism industry. The Jenkins may be confectioner Thomas and wife, who were relatives, or Fanny and Henry Jenkins, who was also the owner of the town's 3rd watch-chain factory, based on Christchurch's Rotten Row, now part of Bridge St.

October 20 [Sunday] Jenkins's came to Dinner

... Jane's diary ends here, as abruptly as it had begun 18 months before, in the autumn of 1844, when the 2nd baby mentioned (Walter Charles) was about 6 months old. This is not because the diarist had run out of notebook space, for most of the space on the right-hand page is blank. Quite why it starts and ends when it does in each case with unremarkable events rather than say, the birth or baptism of a child, we'll probably never know. It may be simply that Jane obtained or was given a blank journal and 18 months later saw she had come to the last page.

The family did not remain in the Bournemouth area. They moved about during their last years in England, though why they gave up their family farm is not known. (The 1840s are often referred to as the Hungry Forties due to the general hardship.) By the end of 1845, the family had moved eastwards along the coast to Milford-On-Sea near Lymington, where a 3rd son, Arthur William, was born. They then moved inland into the New Forest, and daughter Mary Jane was born there in 1847. (This move may again have been connected with the construction through the Forest of the new railway line, completed that year.) The family next moved to East Harnham near Alderbury, in Britford parish, on the outskirts of Salisbury (also on a branch of the new Castleman railway). Here, Augustus Thomas was born in 1850. Early the following year, Mary Jane died (cause not indicated), and by the time of the 1851 census, eldest son Dale, now age 8, had been sent to live with grandparents Charles and Jane, at King's Farm. There is a record of a son Henry being born in 1851, but nothing else is known of him; a daughter, possibly Amy Ursula, was also born at Aldebury in Britford parish in 1852. By this time, Richard was listing his profession as baker.
The Hicks family now decided to relocate to Australia - a common solution for Victorian farm workers unable to make headway under English land-ownership rules. In September 1852, as Unassisted Immigrants (ie paying their own way), Jane and Richard and 4 children boarded a clipper bound for Australia, a voyage that took 4 months. According to one account, an unnamed infant was born during this trip. (This may be a confusion over their bringing an unnamed infant
, possibly Amy Ursula, with them.) They settled first at Whittlesea, in the State of Victoria. In 1853, Richard worked on the survey for a local reservoir and water system there. Twins Edgar and Amy Ursula were born in 1855. Richard also worked as an 'agriculturalist' (the term used on Edgar's birth certificate) and as a 'carrier', but not much more is known.
After twenty-five years, Jane and Richard settled finally at Bundalong in Yarrawonga, a parish and township near the Murray River, in 1878. The family seemed to to have had a new brick house built there. In 1879, he was able to obtain 150 acres of Crown allotment land, purchased under a 'homesteading' style arrangement whereby the occupier had to work the land and improve it, which he did. He obtained another 150 acres in Yarrawonga, as well as another 50 acres beyond that, which was planted with wheat. His sons Walter and Edgar occupied neighbouring allotments, working these successfully. Jane's obituary in the Yarrawonga Chronicle mentions that Richard's "children married and established comfortable homes around him."
The eldest son, Dale, then age 9, had been left behind, remaining with his now-widowed paternal grandfather, no doubt as a helper. (Grandma Jane, Richard's mother, had died at Throop in 1850.) Grandfather Charles would die in 1857. Dale then appears to have gone to the Isle of Wight with his aunt Jane - Richard's eldest sister, who married William Jenkins - where he worked as an apprentice grocer. By 1871 Dale had moved on to Poole, where he set up his own grocery business on the High Street. His now-widowed Aunt Jane Jenkins was by then living-in with him as a housekeeper. In 1878, Dale married Poole girl Kate Emily Osment, and moved away, to run a grocery business in Eltham, Kent. Two children were born, Charles and Mabel, Charles becoming an assistant to his father in the shop. Dale Hicks died in Brentford, Essex, in 1906, aged 63. He corresponded with his brother Walter in Australia, but never saw his parents or siblings again. Dale's only grandchild (by his son Charles), Dorothy Katherine, continued the Hicks branch of the family tree in England, via Dorothy's daughter Jean and her daughter Catherine.
Despite all their “roughs” (as she poetically spelt “rows”), Jane and Richard's marriage lasted nearly fifty years, till his death from a stroke in 1890, age 79 in Yarrawonga, Victoria. Jane died in 1896, age 82, at her son Walter's house in Yarrawonga. She is buried in the cemetery at Bundalong, her obituary describing her as "an esteemed old resident" whose funeral was a very large one.
As often happened in the 19th C., the parents had outlived some of their children. An online genealogy lists her as having 9 children altogether, though other sources list only 8. Mary Jane, born in the New Forest in 1847, had died age 4 in 1851. Augustus Thomas, born outside Salisbury in 1850, died in Australia in 1875 (by then age 24-25 and working as a coachman) of measles-related complications. The fate of Henry, born in 1851, remains uncertain - no census details are given, suggesting an early demise. The others seemed to have survived and married, and online genealogical sites show how the family line continued in Australia through the 20th century - though details vary between websites. Walter Charles (the diary's 2nd baby, born in April 1844), married twice, had 7 children, and died in 1927, age 82. Arthur William, born in Milford-on-Sea in 1846, married in 1872 and died in 1920 age 73. Edgar, born in 1855, remained at Bundalong near his parents, married in 1882, fathered 8 (or 10) children, and died in the last year of WWI, age 62. Amy Ursula was Edgar's twin sister, both being born 1855 at Whittlesea. It's possible she was given the name of an elder sibling who
did not survive beyond infancy. (That is, the Amy Ursula born outside Salisbury in 1852, who went to Australia as an 8-month old baby.) Like her twin brother Edgar, she too remained at Bundalong, marrying in 1881 (or 1882), having 3 (or 5) children, and dying there in 1932.
Richard's surviving siblings (all mentioned in the diary) remained in the Holdenhurst area. His brother Charles died in 1889, age 70. His sister Harriet (who would be the diary's "Hart") died in 1862, age 49. Richard's eldest sister Jane, who married when she was in her 50s, outlived her husband William Jenkins, and was still alive in the 1870s when she moved to Poole as Dale's houskeeper, but her death date is not known. Elizabeth, born on Xmas Day 1809, died in 1875. The 3rd sister, Ann, died in 1887, age 72. By this time, Jane and Richard were living alone and to quote Walter's letter to Dale, "growing old fast."
Jane's private journal of 1843-44 would outlive them all. Jane took her diary with her to Australia, and it was her descendants there who preserved it as a family heirloom. Two of these have since written privately-printed family-history books covering Richard and Jane's life there, one by Val Hicks, and one by Maureen Mannion. It was Maureen who in 1986 sent a photocopy of the diary to Mary Baldwin, a Hampshire genealogist, for further research. This was the basis of an article in the Bournemouth Echo 15 April 1993, and a March 1994 feature by Mary in Dorset Life magazine, “Mrs Dale Hicks Diary.” Mary also sent a copy of the handwritten journal to Michael Stead of Bournemouth Borough Council, who in December 1999 typed it out and began adding annotations to clarify its cryptic entries. Michael's typed transcript of the handwritten diary text, along with the revised and expanded annotations reproduced above in italics, was published online in the run-up to the town's 2010 bicentenary, with new and amended info published online on an ongoing basis. Jane Hicks's journal remains of interest as one of the few local first-hand accounts known for this early period of the town's history, when it was still known as 'Bourne.'  

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