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Extracted locally held photocopies of the notes books of J Enos Smith, transcribed by John Collins
Notes from the Diary of Mr Ebenezer Knight 1869-1870

The Rectory House sold
1869 February 11th. Bought by Mr John Gross for £500. This is where Mr Fred Knight now lives up Little Street (1927). Mr Knight told me he bought it from Mr Gross.
The Village
1869 March 12th. A great deal of illness in the ‘village’, many deaths. Pigs very dear, sold at 18/- when leaving the sow. Meat very dear 8½d lb pork. 13/6 score.
Very cold, then warm
1869 April 10th. Opened very cold, then very warm; a wonderful change, so much so it made people ill. Continued hot 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th; 15th thunder. April 11th I got lost at Podington, borrowed a lantern to light me home being very dark for 3 nights.

May 18th Whit Sunday. Rain & Shine.

May 19th. Rain, Hail & Thunder.

June 24th. So Dull, scarcely see to read at 3 o’clock.

July 13th. Showers in the morning. Made it very nice for the ‘Public Tea’ Meeting at Podington.

July 18th Sunday. Very hot for our ‘School Service’. The Glass stood at 98 in the sun at tea-time.

July 19th. Much cooler. East wind made it a nice day for our ‘Children’s Treat’.

July 21st. Very hot again. Glass stood at 98 at tea-time.

July 22nd. 98. As hot as Sunday. Very dry all the month.

August 26th, 27th, 28th. The last 3 days in Higham Feast Week. Glass stood at 96 to 106. (The Feast came this year as late as it possibly could, as it follows the 15th August and it came on Sunday, & the next Sunday, 22nd) J. E. Smith

Churchyard Road
1869 November. The Road stopped through the Churchyard on the 7th November, 1869. Pork 9d lb.
Old Schoolroom & Packwood’s House
1869 October 26th. Commissioners came to enquire about the Old School & Packwood’s House. (This School was the old Workhouse and Packwood’s (Joseph) House was in front of Poor House close to the street. I still have a photograph of it which I bought soon after I came to Rushden in 1875. J. E. Smith). (This present 1927, Vestry Hall built on site of Old School, nr Poor House).
Most Stormy Day Ever Known
1869 September 5th Sunday was one of the most stormy and cold days ever known for this time of year. It was a withering East wind, did much damage at Sea & on Land. Many trees blown down full of fruits.

September. Feast Week, Rushden. Beautiful weather.

Churchyard Shrubs
1870 March 21st. The Shrubs planted in the Churchyard on March 21st, 1870.
April. The Glass stood at 100 in the sun.

June 17th. Never saw ‘Bigger’ Drops of Rain, Hail, Thunder, all combined to put a new face on the ‘Old Earth’. Made men, women & things say Praise the Lord.

July 18th. Very Hot at 90. General Harvest begins on 25th & 26th July.

The Village
1870 August 1st. Thunder, Hail, Rain all round, but none in the ‘Village’. On the 6th sun was 94 at six in evening. On the 16th & 18th dreadful Battles between France & Prussia. Harvest all over.

October. Bridge built at top of Little St. The Res(idents) in York’s Pit made to swill the Brook.

“Northern Lights”
1870 October 12th. Northern Lights seen on 24th & 25th. Wonderful Lights now seen in the sky. (I well remember them, J. E. Smith). Aurora Borealis, red & splendid, not been so beautiful since November 17th, 1848).
“New Room”
Corner stone laid by the Bishop of Peterborough 1870 October 11th. This would be Bishop Magee who made a speech at the ‘New Room’, (which was the ‘National School’) at the re-opening of the Parish Church after the Great Restoration on Tuesday, February 2nd, 1875. A beautiful day, when the Bishop said that Rushden was the blackest spot in the Diocese before Canon Barker came.
Minister’s New House
1871 March 20th. Our Anniversary & opening of the Minister’s New House which cost £375. (This would be the Baptist Manse. J. E. S.).
[JES Book - not the diary] - The last two pages of this book from date 1869 February: Rectory House sold, were copied from a small Diary principally about the weather, written by Mr Ebenezer Knight of Rushden who died many years ago. I think he kept a school in the old Poor House (or School), which stood on the site of the present Vestry Hall in the Churchyard. I think he had something to do with the Fountain at the bottom corner of the Green (or it might have been to his memory).

J. Enos Smith (1927). The Diary was lent me by Mr Knight [a grandson]

NRO Ref: 285P/300
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