Staffordshire Working Lives
Extract from farmer John Plant's dairy

Extract from farmer John Plant's dairy.

(© Staffordshire Record Office: 5615/1/1)

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Thankful for a good harvest: farmer's diary

Extract from a farmer’s diary of 1850.

In this daily journal, John Plant records all the work carried out at Hazlewood House Farm in Leekfrith in the north Staffordshire Moorlands, not very far from the Cheshire border. The farm work would have been a combination of crops and dairy farming. He has also recorded the personal activities of himself and his family, such as attending chapel, preparing foodstuffs, for example cheese-making or brewing, and also his dealings with neighbours, between whom it is clear that a lot of mutual assistance is given to help each other with their livelihoods. Illness and deaths among his neighbours are also recorded, as is an altercation with a gamekeeper because his cat was caught in a trap. In this extract purchases are made of flour and salt, and a buyer has to be found for a pig and some cheese.

In this month of September, it is the time of the corn harvest. The corn had to be cut and stacked into ricks. As the weather is so crucial in farming, there are almost daily weather reports. The farmer gives thanks that the weather has been good and the harvest productive.


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