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Messages - Jo A

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The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Ancestor mentioned
« on: Monday 09 March 15 18:04 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Braytons

Not sure who your ancestor is who was mentioned in the diaries but if they were one of the Lea family I have a scrapbook of cuttings about the Lea family of Highgate as my grandmother was a Lea before she married, so I may have some relevant information for you.

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Friday 17 May 13 20:04 BST (UK)  »
Well here's the final installment.

'One of the 'Darktown' studies of coloured prints - those lively studies of niggers and trotting horses that represent Art on barbers' walls -caught the old man's eye.

'Don't think that's mine!' he appealed hastily.  'I don't go in for comic nonsense.  That's a relative's!'

He returned to his chair to bury himself in the chaste delights of Sir Walter Scott's 'The Antiquary.'

'He's got a head on him, he has,' said one of his reverent friends.  'Wish I had his head!'

Whenever they talk of the old student in Stepney, they say 'He has a head on him!'  W. McC.

Sorry about the 'n' word. Maybe the reference to the picture belonging to a relative supports the idea that he was living in a room at his daughter's in Stepney.

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Thursday 16 May 13 22:03 BST (UK)  »
I'm pretty sure 'chapel' refers to non-Conformist churches.  If Granny Sheppard become a follower of William Huntington it looks like he set up a Baptist congregation and they wouldn't have christened their babies at all.  I don't know how this affects the birth records.  It looks as if Nathaniel may have become a chapel goer later in life.  I think as a self-taught scholar he would have found more recognition in a non-conformist setting than the more middle class Anglican world.

Here's the penultimate installment


'Here are some more old things in this drawer.  There's my old school medal won in 1837.  Seems a long time ago!  Here's a Queen Anne watch - feel the weight of it.  What - two hundred years old.  Goes quite well now, and I got it for a dozen shillings.'

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Wednesday 15 May 13 20:20 BST (UK)  »
If Huntington was a Baptist minister and grandmother became a Baptist, could this explain why there's no christenings recorded for any younger children?  Anyway here's another 'man of the cloth.'

'The Rev William Romaine, who was a minister at St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe Church, Blackfriars, marred my grandmother.

'The old church was burned in the Great Fire of London, and in the new one, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, a monument was erected to Romaine.'

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Tuesday 14 May 13 22:07 BST (UK)  »
Another interesting character here..

'There's a picture of my grandmother's parson, Mr William Huntington.

He was a labourer in Kent.  He was of a serious turn of mind and alarmed about his soul and salvation and all that - and when he and a few others used to meet on Sunday he discovered he had powers he wasn't aware of.

He became the greatest spokesman there and got looked up to.'

'He came to London and married the widow of a Lord Mayor.  My grandmother was never done telling me about him - he was before my chapel days - and she used to tell me how he carried on when his enemy John Wesley died. 'Now,' she heard him say, 'is the arch-dragon fallen!'

Think theres three sections to go now.

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Monday 13 May 13 21:16 BST (UK)  »
And we now come to the section subheaded


'See these smallpox marks on my face?  They were very common seventy years ago.  No one thought anything of them.  No one was so much afraid of smallpox.

It was looked on as a kill or cure disease.

My grandmother, who had eleven children, used to say 'If one has it, let them all associate and sleep together and catch it and get it over.'  She did that with hers, but they wouldn't all take it, no matter what she did.

We thought it an impious act to vaccinate.  Religious people generally did.'

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Sunday 12 May 13 22:48 BST (UK)  »
Oddly enough I'd just made a rare excursion to the theatre to see 'The Important of Being Earnest' when I found the cutting in the scrapbook. I think Nat would have agreed with the sentiment of the title if not the play itself!  Let's see what else he got up to..

'I've only ever known one game in my life and that's chess.  I never won more than a farthing a game at it.

In the old days we never went out feasting much.  Except at Christmas.  We might go out then.

And women kept to their homes.  To see a drunken woman was a rarity, a curiosity.

Now the drinking among women seems terrible to old men like me.  But the men are better - there have been so many teetotallers spring up among them.'

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Saturday 11 May 13 23:02 BST (UK)  »
Thanks for the hellos.  I see an Amey there in the list - my husband's family name.  They've been in Dorset since time began though.

Here's some more serious reading.


'Here's the kind of things I picked up - nothing frothy or comic about these - 'Scriptural Paraphrases' 'Norton's Statements of Reasons'  Gentleman's Magazine 1826'  'Holy Bible' of seventeen hundred and something, 'Ecclesiastical History' 'County Families' of fifty years ago.

That's the kind of reading earnest people took.  And we went to chapel three times on Sunday, and if by any chance we wanted a little recreation we had a walk in the park.

Theatres?  Haven't been to six in my life.  Theatres weren't to my taste when there were plenty of old churches and old graves and epitaphs.'

The Common Room / Re: The Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson Revisited
« on: Friday 10 May 13 22:12 BST (UK)  »
Another  book to think about..

'One of the most popular books with serious old Londoners about 1850 was Peter Cunningham's 'Handbook of London' and I saved and saved and searched all the old shops until I found this copy was for auction.

A West End clergyman bid against me, and he was quite savage with me when I got it.

But he'd made me pay a nice old price for it!  All the booksellers knew me when I went round on  my searches.

I first met Mr Westall in 1839 when he had a place in Bozier's court, off Tottenham Court road.'

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