Kept from the time
Commenced duties as
Master of the Boys’ School
Dated this First Day of April
AD.1882, being the second after
(Signed) Atkinson Skinner
Keeper of the
April 1st. All fools’ day: On this auspicious day I came to Barnetby. Landed at noon. Went to see the Vicar. Wrote names for new Registers. Had tea at the Vicarage. Came to lodgings at J. Mauders’ Blayer.
2nd: Went to Church on Sunday morning. Sat up in Gallery with the Choir – Mr Bailey, Mr Rickells, Mr Allen, Miss Street and several young ladies. Backs of pews at right angles with the seat. Very uncomfortable.
3rd: Commenced duties. Boys behaved well. Got on very smoothly.
8th: Walked to Brigg via Wrawley. Went past Mr. B. Mackmans mill.
9th: Easter Sunday. After evening service I called at the Vicarage for some books. Met Miss Street at the corner who was looking after Miss Shaw (Girls’ Mistress) and a young man. In the most solicitous of tones she said to me “I wish you would walk quickly down, Mr Skinner, for I think there’s a simple boy annoying Miss Shaw.” I hastened down and found that Miss Shaw’s young man was accompanying her home!
11th: Mr Joell’s (my predecessor) sale. Father and Mother present. They came into the School in the morning. Wm Watson, auctioneer. I only bought a few spoons. Agreed to give Joell 12/6 for garden. Saw father and mother off at 6.10.
12th Joell agreed to take 10/- for garden if I would allow his greenhouse to stand till purchased. Agreed. Paid 10/- and bought Bookcase – 5/-. Took the house key.
16th: In the afternoon I went to Elshaw to see Mr Beeston, Schoolmaster.
17th: Wrote a letter on behalf of “Hiram Goodhand” who has got into trouble by throwing a stone through a carriage window at Barnetby Junction.
18th: Extract of letter received –
I should like to know the reason my little boy had to stand out this morning for being a few minutes late and others that went in at the same time nothing was said to them and he was stopped by the train and they was loitering in the street. I do not like to trouble you but should like to have fair play for the future.
Mrs Neave, Barnetby Station
(This arose through a misunderstanding on the part of the boy. I saw the mother and made it all right)
22nd: Went to Gainsbro with mother and Betsy. Stayed at Mr Hardy’s to Dinner and Tea and came to Barnetby at 8.40. Bought the following articles at Gainsbro:
Bo't. of Benson Bros:
4 Man. Hair Seat Chairs @ 12/6 each 3 Kitchen Chairs @ 4/- each
Folding Chair: 11s.6d. Hair Seated Couch: £2.15s.0d.
Pembroke Table: 15s.6d. Towel Rail: 2s.3d.
3 Bedroom Chairs @ 3/6d each 2 Matting @ 1/10d each
Bot. of Farmer & Son:
B.B. Fender: 17s.6d. Kitchen ditto 7s.0d.
Metal Inkstand: 1s.8d. Set Shoe Brushes: 2s.9d.
Pair N.S. Spoons: 2s.2d. Metal Petter: 1s.2d.
Lamps @ 1/4d and 5/5d. Plate Brush: 8d.
Coal Scoop: 2s.2d. Total £2.1s.10d.
5s. was spent at Pyke’s in Clothes Brush, Hat ditto, Clothes Basket, Hamper, etc.
24th: Went to Brigg in the evening. Spent 7/- at Varlows (Window Blind, etc.)
29th: Extract of Letter received on 28th
I hear you are in the want of an housekeeper. I would have no objection – from what my Cousin tells me to come to you if you think any thing further will you come up.
(And this from a Manager’s daughter.)
I gracefully acknowledged receipt of letter and intimated that I was already negotiating for a housekeeper and consequently her proposal could not be entertained.
May 1st: Went to Croaton to see Elizth Tenney (Cousin, about coming to keep my house). She could not then give me a decided answer. Gordon Aston called on me in the evening. We went for a walk as far as Melton Ross. Spoke of Chess playing, old women’s fables, emigration, Decline of the British Empire ? Extravagance of Wold Farmers, Cricket, etc.
May 6th 1882: (Written in margin, down page) Lord Fredk. Cavendish, Chief Sec. and Mr Burke, Asst. Sec, for Ireland, were assassinated in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
9th: Two “Sisters of Mercy” called on me for subscriptions for the Sick-poor. They asked the way to the Vicarage. Then asked at what time the last train started for Lincoln. The younger one – a fresh-looking, lively, fascinating girl – stated in faltering, beseeching tones that they should have stayed in the village all night, but they could not get lodgings. I quite coolly and without perceiving the drift said, “I dare say not. There are so many persons from the station at lodgings in the village”.
13th: Went to Cricket. Bailey got a blow on the eye. Called at night to see how he was getting on. Stayed till late.
26th: Received £5 of Mr Street as part salary.
29th: Paid grandfather two guineas for bacon.
30: Bought “Steel” 1/-, frying-pan 9d; and watering pan 1/8 of Jackson.
Mon. June 5th: The marriage of F.E.S. Astley with Lady Gertrude Pelham took place at St George’s Church, Hanover Sq.
11th: It was my & Elizth Tanney’s birthday.
5 July: I and F Gibbons went to Sutton’s in the evening. Was introduced to Miss Hurdle. Promised to take her to Church today - which promise I for my part shall most surely keep and perform.
9th: According to promise I took Miss H. to church in the afternoon. By some accident she tore her dress behind. This made us specially noticed and some remarks, far from complimentary, were passed. I had tea with Sutton’s and in the evening took her for a walk. I turned in to supper about 11 p.m.
10th: Saw her again in the field where they were having sports in connection with the “Druids” order. Went later in the evening to Suttons. F. Gibbons was there. Left late. Mrs Gibbons came to seek Fred. Called at Suttons and expressed her opinion and disapprobation in strong terms. Caused us much amusement.
18th: Obtained Miss H’s address: B. Hurdle, Wood Villas, Wood Road, Hillsboro’, Sheffield.
28th: Had a pic-nic at Somerby Hall. Went with Teachers and Scholars of the Sunday School. The hall is a fine rustic seat owned by Capt. Underwood. Surroundings romantic and pleasant.
7th Aug: Bank Holiday. Pelham’s “Pillar Fair” day. Enormous gatherings take place at Pelham’s Pillar (Yarborough’s Estate) every year on this day.
15th: In the evening a stranger (schoolmaster on vacation) missed the last train to Crowle. He had been to Hull. He came into the village, looked into the school, and asked for me at my house. He was directed to the cricket field where he found me. He told me in distressing tones that he had lost his train and could not get to Crowle unless by the 10.30 p.m. goods train to Leeds via Crowle. I took him to my house and played him two games at chess. But he couldn’t play. His mind was not at rest. At his desire I took him to the Hotels, but neither of them could accommodate him. As a last resource as far as he thought, he tried to go by the 10.30 goods, but could not find the guard. So I told him if he would share the bed with me he was welcome to stay. He was right glad to come. He left at 6 next morning, saying “I shall write to you my friend. You’ll have to come and see me.” He told me he had a school at Branston near Lincoln.
1st Sept: I papered kitchen.
6th: I and F. Gibbons got lost in the Park.
27th: Went to Mr Caudwell’s to tea. Both he and wife are hearty, industrious, generous and sober people.
14th Oct: Went to York by the 6.15 a.m. train to attend the Reunion of the 1880 and 1 Students of York Training College. We had dinner at the “Old George”. Present: Beevors, Chilman, Eadon, Ferrier, Glaister, Griffiths, Kellett, Moore, Parrish, Reed, Ringe, Robinson, Skinner and Wilks.
30th: Started a Night School. Only 3 boys came. Gave it up until a dozen scholars were guaranteed.
8th Dec: The Archbishop of Canterbury died (Dec 3rd) and was buried to day.
14 Feb: St Valentine’s Day. Was free from the customary nonsense of the day.
15th: Parliament re-assembled today.
29 Mar: Blue Ribbon Army meeting in the schoolroom.
22 Apr: Betsy cooked a Jam Pudding. It rose to an enormous size considering the basin it was made in. I fried bacon and eggs and altogether a very enjoyable dinner was put on the board. I jammed jam bacon and eggs down till I was satisfied and felt ready for a sleep as soon as dinner was over. After a while I felt like the mower who after dining on bacon and eggs pulled at a good rate to the lines, “Bacon and eggs, Take care of your legs.” He was warning his brother mower to get out of his way for the poor chap was swinging in halting style to the slow measure. “With only cheese and bread, who can go a-head!”
31st May: Mr Street’s son, Army Surgeon, returned after 5 years’ absence in India. Took part in the Afghan War.
10th July: Miss Ross, new sch. Mistress, came.
1st Sept: At 8 a.m. I embarked on board the steamer “Libra” bound for London. We had a grand day and a delightful trip, up to about 6 p.m. on Saturday when it began to rain and blow. This necessitated our repairing into the saloon. Here the closeness of the place and the rolling of the vessel brought on that well known illness – sea sickness – which most land lubbers suffer from. The night grew very stormy and we (almost all) began to feel “soft” and tickle about the stomach. Marble (white) faces and staggering gaits and dizzy swimming heads were the order of the day or rather night. One by one gradually we disappeared without in many cases being capable of giving the “good night” to those behind. I turned into my berth about 10 p.m. The fellow above me had gone to roost some hours before and had, no doubt after some insurrections in the rejoins of the stomach, succeeded for a time at least in calming that rebellious organ. True it was only for a time, for about midnight he suddenly rose, yea even quicker than the contents of his stomach, and quickly succeeded in getting rid of “bile”. No sooner had he commenced his “a-a-oogh” than a kind of sympathetic vibration set up in my stomach and I jumped up at once and followed suit. My attack fetched out my friend again and we went on with the chorus “a-a-oogh” till matters assumed a more steady aspect. In the morning could be seen many men on board who might more easily have been supposed to have risen from their graves than their berths.
2nd: I landed at Gravesnd at about 9 a.m.
6th: I went to Chislehurst lately the residence of the Empress Eugenie and at which place a monument is erected in memory of Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, Prince Imperial, killed in Zululand, 1st June 1879, whose last testament was “I shall die with a sentiment of profound gratitude for Her Majesty the Queen of England, for all the Royal Family and for the country where I have received during eight years such cordial hospitality”
8th: I went to London. Was met at Charing X by Alick.
5th Nov: Guy Fawkes’ day. The custom of commemorating Gun powder Plot almost died out.
23: Mr A. Draper kindly escorted Miss Ross to her lodging and obtained some decided advantages. Poor Minnie S. was left in the lurch.
24th: Misses Shaw, Ross, F. Clark and R. Clark came to the school this morning. I had a short, interesting and edifying conversation when they left me to my work (happy riddances!). A lady critic (Miss S) pronounced Miss Ross “the belle of the ball” “She was dressed so neat, so good”.
27th: I sent Miss R a note to the following effect (if not the exact words), “Will you meet me at Davy’s corner at 6 tonight. I have some important communication to make to you”. I went at 6, found her and went into the room. I had thought of a walk but the night was wet and I felt nonplussed as to the manner of opening my communication. I went with the twofold purpose of “proposing”, or failing that, of warning her of a young man who had been in company with her. But my suit however awkwardly expressed was fully understood, and favourably received. In short, it is a case of – bliss or otherwise. May it be the former, is the humble prayer of the writer!
30th: Minnie came to the “practice” early. It was a fearful night, very wet, but we found it comfortable enough for a little walk.
2nd Dec: Father came by the 6.30 p.m. Saw Minnie at night. Took her home.
3rd: Father went away by the 3.17. I intimated my connection with M – in explaining arrangements for Xmas.
4th: I wrote to Mr Ross in reply to his letter of Nov 29, giving consent to my suit. A. Draper, who has written to M since the 23rd (Nov) sent the following note expressive of his “dying” state. He sent it to the telegraph Clerk (Barnetby) to hand over to Miss Ross. I was apprised of this by Mellors on returning from Brigg (2 vests 10/- Varlow) Minnie received the note this noon and shewed it me:
Doncaster, Monday night
Dear Miss Ross,
Excuse paper and pencil but I am most horribly anxious because you have not written in reply to my last letter, altho’ you promised to write by return. Surely you have got it and so can give some sort of a reply. I am in a dreadful way. Please reply by Post to night and relieve.
Yours Very truly, A.W.D.
5th: Minnie sent the following reply:
Dear Mr Draper,
I am sorry you have felt it so much about my not writing to you. I thought I would wait and see whether you really cared to write to me or not, as everybody don’t mean all they say. I thought you might be the same, for we have not yet had time to understand each other thoroughly.
May I really ask if you are still in such a dreadful state and I am sorry if my unmeaning neglect has thus caused you trouble.
I am so sorry, can you really forgive?
6th: Minnie received another letter written by A.W.D. before he received her last. Now he richly affects the indignant. His cutting effusion is as follows:
28 Marshgate, Doncaster
Dear Miss Ross,
You must excuse my using any other term until I hear further from you.
It may, or it may not surprise you to learn that I am very much astonished at your protracted silence more particularly so when you asked me to reply to your letter by return of post. I am not aware that I said anything “Utopian” or anything that could offend you therefore I am at a loss to account for your behaviour. I am not sure that I am not compromising my dignity and pride in thus writing for an explanation which should be forth-coming without asking for; but I do not care much if I do so, as I am sure you will not take advantage of my foolishness to shew this to any one.
You must admit that your not answering my letter is to say the least of it, very strange and that I have a right to know the meaning of it; therefore I hope that in common politeness if with nothing else, you will write and let me know what is the reason of your silence. I will not say more at present although I might wish to do so but trust in your honour to write at once. I will not offend you by asking you to keep this private, as I am sure I may trust you to do so, so until I hear from you, believe me to be, Yours anxiously, A.W.D.
The last two letters having “crossed” A.W.D. loses no time to reply, this time in a strain considerably mollified. The following is an exact copy of his billet doux:
Doncaster Dec 6/83
Dear Miss Ross,
Our letters would cross each other, and I daresay we should get them about the same time. I must say your letter expresses great doubt of me, and why it should be so I cannot for a moment imagine.
Your words seem to imply that I would wish simply to amuse myself with you, and I confess I feel very much hurt that you should have formed so bad an opinion of me – that you are wrong in your ideas I shall leave to your own good sense to know, and you must excuse my answering that question. I thought you quite understood my feelings toward you, and if after reading this letter and my last, you can think I am such a hypocrite, well then, you are at liberty to do so. You must excuse my being a little heated over this matter but I did really think you had more faith in me and it is hard to wake up and find it untrue. I have some hesitation in writing down all my feelings on paper, so you must not expect outbursts of affection from my pen, I can do it much more effectually personally. In final answer to your question I say Yes!!!! And if you care anything about me you will write by return and let me know what your intentions are. Please do not again disappoint me. I shall look out for one on Saturday morning. Yours very truly, A.W.D.
I don’t know so much about women being more constant than men.
7th: Conflicting events - At practice W. Wilson (A.W.D.’s “Special Messenger”) told Minnie how deeply and inexpressibly concerned Arthur was about her. After practice we went down as far as the bridge. I, accompanied by Wilson, came back with Minnie. He turned into Slowen’s and we went for a most enjoyable little walk.
8th: Minnie sent a “final” note to A.W.D.
10th: A.W.D. wrote an affecting reply begging that if he could not win the “love” of M he might still have her respect.
11th: Concert at Brigg given by the Brigg Choral Society. Very good on the whole. I took Minnie. The weather was delightful when we set off to Brigg but as soon as we commenced our homeward journey a violent storm broke over us. Lightning flashed, and the rain came down in torrents. We both were soon wet through, but we kept trudging along heedless as far as possible, of the unfavourable elements.
13th: I went down to Allen’s and found that our unfavourable walk had been heralded and trumpeted all over Barnetby. Minnie was at Rogers’. I called. She had left. I overtook her and told her of a new possible arrangement to play “Family Jars” at Winterton on Dec. 26, whereas I had fully arranged to be at Minie’s home on that day, having this day received an invite from Mr Ross to go over on Monday Dec.14.
15th: Mr and Mrs Dobson got wet on Tuesday night (11th). Mrs D. spoiled her dress and bonnet (serious affair).
21st: Minnie went away by the 1 p.m. train. Her last words were Now remember, tomorrow! A.W.D. wrote to Minnie today.
22nd: I went to Pocklington (9.45 a.m.). Arrived at P at 1.30 p.m. Was met by Minnie, her sister Ada, and Misses Bennett and Ogler. Received a hearty welcome and soon felt myself at home. Had a lovely walk in the evening.
1st Jan: Had a New Years gift from M. Cuff solitaires. Heard of Mr Marshall (farmer) dying on Monday (31st). E. West got month’s notice at the Hall.
2nd & 3rd: Evenings spent at Davy’s. Happy times! May the time always pass as sweetly!
5th: A.W.D. had a few exchanges with Minnie and myself but received as good as he gave and was worsted. Poor fellow! He was in very unenviable plight.
8th & 10th: A.W.D. wrote again to Minnie.
11th: School and Village Concert. This concert was thought a fitting occasion for Mr A. Street and Miss Weyall – his “dear one” to make their debut in their newly found state of intended happiness. Consequently all were attention when there was anything to be “picked up”. Comparisons were made between this and another “pair” who were present and taking part in the concert.
14th: Slight discord, but happily only a “discord by suspension”. Harmony soon prevailed.
21st: Minnie and Miss Shaw came and had tea with me. They prepared tea, while I sat musing and assisting occasionally as I found it necessary. “Visions of the future” floated in my brain which I hope may one day be fully realized. Afterward we went on a lovely walk.
14th Feb: Poor old Bishop Valentine still has plenty of disciples. But many who sent these stupid caricatures have not that spirit which breathed in the patron Bishop and are entirely ignorant of the custom in its original purpose and spirit. I received a “true” love token as Valentine and prize it as such; no matter about the day.
2nd Mar: Found M. busy; arranged to write to her father about our arrangements for the future. M saw the letter before it was sent off. Said it was very good.
6th I had a note from home by Crow; carrier. It informed me that mother intended coming on Tuesdy the 11th to Barnetby, and that a report had got abroad that I and M were to be married this Easter.
8th: Letter from Mr R. this morning. He said he had rather have M. wait a little, but he would not stand in our way. He promised to assist me as much as possible to procure any vacant post in his district that I might apply for.
9th Mar: I and M went to Allen’s to tea. Came away at 9. Had an hour’s chat about our “programme” for the coming season. Agreed to take advice on certain points.
15th: We had a lovely walk by Melton. Met Mrs Allen on our return. She informed us that A.W.D. was probably coming to spend Sunday. We were at Mrs Haynes’ in the event.
16th: A.W.D. at Allen’s. I did not see him. I heard that he felt hurt because I didn’t fish him up. Poor fellow! I was at Davy’s to tea. We spent a long and happy evening together, talking of future prospects especially.
21st: Letter from Ada (Minnie’s Sister) saying that The Rev. Wicksteed, vicar of Pocklington, had written on my behalf for the Slingsby School, York. I got testimonial from Mr Street, and at once wrote off to Slingsby!
22nd: Walk via Coskills on Elsham Road. Very happy on the bright afternoon, but a cloud gathered on our return, which cast a gloom that lasted till we reached home, but which was dispelled at sunset.
25th: Nice walk via Melton and Wrawby Road. Topic (chief) “That great occasion”.
Recipe for Gingerbread:
2 lbs flour; 1 1/1 lbs treacle; ½ lb coarse sugar; 2 tea-spoonsful Baking Powder; ½ do. Carbonate Soda; ½ oz Ginger; little pepper; 1 egg; piece of lard size of an egg.
30th: M. had a letter. Rather disappointing news about Slingsby.
31st: M came. We were busy with “Form IX” and other “forms” more interesting and agreeable.
1st Apl: The anniversary of my appearance at Barnetby. How many are the changes effected in 2 years. I have worked for my parchment – which I hope soon to receive, and have made overtures for a wife. This last statement may seem trifling, but it is to me of “momentous” nay “supreme” importance. On my choice hangs my destiny.
2nd: Received the sum of £16.16s.9d. salary due March 31st ’84.
3rd: I and M had a delightful ramble.
5th: M, Miss Shaw, Mrs Allen and Mr and I went down to Brigg to see the Final tie of the “Linconshire Association Football Challenge Cup” between Spilsby and Brigg. Spilsby were winners by 4 goals to 2.
10th: Break up for Easter Holidays. I saw Minnie off by the 5 pm train for Hull. I went home by 6 pm.
11th: Good Friday. I spent a quiet day. My thoughts were far away.
12th: Letter from Minnie. A real loving epistle. Stated she was not coming over. Wrote back.
18th: Another letter. Folks at Barnetby had got us married. Minnie received congratulations from some female friends.
19th: I returned to Barnetby by the 3.45 pm. Met Minnie by the 6 pm. We spent happy evening together. Minnie’s “budget” of news was not exhausted on Saturday night and was continued on Sunday the 20th.
22nd: We had a quiet walk on the Wolds – Caistor Road. Bits of news kept continually cropping up.
24th: I got a bottle of Cod Liver Oil 1/6d.
10th May: Mr and Mrs Ross here. Came last evening. I and Mr Ross had a walk by Melton on Friday evening. Had some talk of future arrangements.
16th: I and Minnie went to Scotter. Tom met us. We went to Scotton on Saturday and called at the school. Called at Aunts (Mary and Eliza) in the afternoon and visited the Holy Well (in the Rector’s grounds) where we had a drink.
18th: Minnie’s 20th birthday. “Many happy returns” etc. We went to church in the morning. The Rector (Mr Pooley) officiated. Minnie knew him as he had called at our house on Saturday to see her. He asked “Is this the one?” Then how long have you been engaged? Then is it so? Etc., and wound up by wishing we might be very happy.
30th: Mr Ibbotson (Miss Shaw’s “bon ami”) came by the 5.30 pm. He stayed with me and was brought up from the station by his “dear one”. Minnie was at my house and we all had supper together. An excursion to the Broughton “Lily Woods” had been arranged – a ticket of admission from Earl Yarborough’s Steward having been obtained, and “beef pie” (cold) and sundries got ready. I and “Jack” (Ibbotson) had a chat before going to bed.
31st: We set off at 9.15 this morning – by train to Appleby, thence by Bus to the woods. Saw “Mansell” at Appleby Station. He spoke of J. Solland’s daughter (newly married) being very ill. We soon reached the woods, but the ride was anything by a pleasant one. The choking dust swept into the vehicle by the smallest cranny and this, added to the closeness of our covered conveyance rendered it almost stifling. We were all glad (Minnie especially) to alight. Left our provisions at the “lodge” and proceeded at once to search for lilies. We naturally paired off. I and Minnie to the right and Miss Shaw and her “sweeting” to the left. We did not meet (except once) till dinner time. We enjoyed our pie and sandwiches and felt tired. Minnie was worn out. Got a nice “bunch” before dinner. After dinner we got a few more and then sat down for an hour’s rest and chat. We set off to Broughton to send Ada (Minnie’s sister) some lilies by post. Just in time. Came by school to Brigg. Sat down near Sewby Brook and had some biscuits. Made haste to Brigg. I left Minnie to come on while I did business. Came by train. Had tea and waited of the other party who returned by the 5.30 (Brigg).
June 2nd: I gave half holiday and we went over to Newsham lakes and Brocklesby Hall, seat of Earl Yarborough. We saw all round House – Plain, square built edifice. Rooms very good and plenty of good pictures; Sporting pictures and Family portraits numerous; Grounds spacious; extensive park; Surroundings well wooded; trees of good size; some capital oaks. Returned by 6 train.
8th: I went to school as usual in the afternoon. On leaving a heavy cloud passed while I was in Davy’s. It cleared in time but was not at all a pleasant spectacle. Minnie was watching it with me. But as the night advanced a very acceptable change took place.
10th: Went for a walk. Minnie gave me a Linen pocket handkerchief made by herself as birthday present.
11th: My birthday (anniversary). M and Miss Shaw came to tea. Happy evening.
21st: We went to Brocklesby (Newsham Lakes, etc.) Tom bought me a “fire paper” on the road.
23rd: Ted came by the 6.30 pm. He stepped out like a man. He said he knew he should ‘let to get out first after Brid (Brigg). I asked him where his ticket was and at first he could think of no ticket but the label on his baggage. His first remark outside the station was “You see I’ve dot a ‘hard hat’ at last with a ‘lastic to it.” As we were walking on he said, “How much money do you think I have.” I said, I don’t know. Then he replied with the air of a banker “I’ve a lot. I should think I’ve 11 pence.”.
24th: Minnie came and got ready dinner, etc. Very pleasant time, causing reflections of what is to be.
July 2nd: I and M went down to Brigg to purchase wall paper for room, etc. I was measured for a “special suit” at Cleugh’s.
3rd: We went over to Elsham Gardens – beautiful. Flower Show this year on the 4th Aug.
4th: “Druid’s Club Feast”. Half holiday.
9th: I sent Ted off by the 3.17 to the Fair (Scotter). He found Mrs Oats at Kirton Station and rode with her to Scotter in Elwood’s cart.
15th: St Swithin’s Day. According to an old belief we are to have rain (more or less) for the ensuing forty days.
19th: I was in till the 19th my cold not being better. Today Minnie’s throat was worse. She came to see me but went home early.
20th: I called at Davy’s. Minnie was in bed. Saw her and promised to ask Mr Street to see her. I stayed at Davy’s to dinner. Minnie was up but ate nothing. Mr Street came to see her in the afternoon. He said she was not seriously ill. Must take care etc. I stayed tea. Minnie a little better. I spent the evening with her. She kept improving.
21st: Minnie came to school. She called in at dinner, but had nothing. She was not at all well.
22nd: I went to Mr Street to ask permission for Minnie to go home a fortnight earlier, so as to make arrangements for harvest. “Didn’t see any objections but would speak to Miss Shaw”.
23rd: Mr Street spoke to Miss Shaw and told me “he didn’t think it worth while for Miss Ross to go earlier”. I wrote to Mr Ross in a rage.
25th: A smoothing soothing letter from Mr Ross. Went to Cleughs. Tried on my “best”. Bought my Topper 12/6d.
27th: Minnie played (organ) for the last time (as we said) as Miss Ross.
28th & 29th: I was in attendance on both evenings for our last rambles (as we thought) in our present condition.
2nd Aug: Had to get a fellow to take Minnie’s box to the Station. We had an early tea, a last few minutes, and then to the station. I saw Minnie off and felt lost. I bade Ada good night and turned in.
3rd: Today Mr Street published the banns between Atkinson Skinner etc. and Minnie Ross etc., etc.
8th: Ada came to tea. We had a walk after tea, when Ada unburdened her mind to me.
11th to 16th: I passed a quiet week receiving letters from Minnie on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I replied to each one telling news and making them as well as I could real “billet doux”. It has been a hard week to pass. Yea! The hardest in my life I believe.
18th: I start for Pocklington at 9.45 from Barnetby and am to be married on the morrow. It is a serious crisis but I do it deliberately. May God add His blessing to our endeavours to live a happy life in peace and comfort. I and Tom arrived in the afternoon and longed for the morrow.
19th : Our Wedding Day. I and Tom rose about 8 and went out for a shave. We called in for breakfast (No.1) about 9 and saw everybody in commotion. Letter of condolence and other tokens of sympathy with plenty of presents were scattered about. Oh! What a day! I and Tom adjourned to dress for the procession and wasn’t it an anxious time. Before we were ready cabs drove up and were in waiting. At last we issued forth and soon found ourselves in church. We went to church at 10.30 and returned to breakfast in the Infants’ Room. The Rev. C.G. Wilkinson and W.M. Moeran who officiated had come to breakfast with us and toast us. That over, came the races, and at 1.30 we left for Filey. We lodged with Mrs McPherson, Church St., Filey (1g per wk)
20thto 26th : We were out each day on the sand and rocks, sitting, walking, sketching and climbing and in the place shopping. We enjoyed ourselves very much and felt better for our stay. We went to the parish Church on the Sunday. The points of interest at Filey are: 1. Fine sands; 2. Filey Brigg; 3. Speeton Rocks; 4. and the Ravine.
26th: We stayed at Scarbro from the 26th to Sept 9th. I sketched the castle, etc., and Minnie knitted, etc., and we shopped and marketed and took our walks on the sands. We went to the Londesborough Theatre and heard “Lady of Lyons” and J.L. Toole and company. Went to Hengler’s Cirque and to the Spa Gala.
Sept 4th, 5th, 6th: I saw the Australian v I. Zingari Cricket match. Australians won. W. Forbes made 80 in his first essay. Spofforth scored 50 for the Australs. At Scarbro’ we bought Easy Chair, £3.0.0. and Chiffonier, £4.10s.0d. of Wm. Rowntree and Sons, Westboro’, Scarbro. On coming to Bridlington on the 9th we stayed the day with Mr and Mrs Ross at “The Sea Birds’ Inn”.
17th: I fetched Dr Bowstead of Caistor to Minnie. He was attending Mrs Abraham – attack on the brain from the 14th. Minnie’s was a bilious attach. Got medicines and soda water.
25th: Mrs Ross came to Barnetby to nurse Minnie. Mr Alfd. Street, eldest son of our Vicar was married today at Frodingham to the only daughter of the Rev. E.M. Weigate.
11th Oct: Wm. Bramford’s wife’s funeral.
13th: Mr. R.P. Goodmere’s lecture on Egypt and the Soudan. Splendidly illustrated by means of oxy-hydrogen apparatus 410 candles’ power.
1st Nov: Miss Street came for flowers, passed into our “Drawing Room” – surveyed generally. Promised to come again to scrutinize.
2nd: Rev. Gould preached; attitude; lazy. Sermon – Thoughtful and mild.
4th: Miss Shaw and sister came to tea. Miss R. Shaw. Self confident, gay, assumptive. Spoke with ardour on the fine arts, etc.
9th: Mr and Mrs and Miss Hague came over in the evening. Chat varied and intellectual. Mrs very sentimental on “enduring bodily suffering” case – Miss Hague’s eyes.
16th: Jack in abject misery – wretched, stupid, ignorant, headstrong – a wreck, no plans for the future. Letter from Tom about Betsy’s arm – badly swollen.
28th: Miss Shaw left Barnetby today. She has been Girls’ Mistress 3 years and leaves to be married to Mr J. Ibbotson on Tuesday Dec 23rd. I wrote to Rev Collins, Nth. Dalton Hall, in quest of school as advised and informed by Mr Ross. I have little hopes as I cannot go as soon as I expect to be wanted.
30th: We had a broiled fowl today. She was early consigned to the pot and yielded some delicious broth. She was tough, but her long immersion had the effect of softening her down. Moral – “If you want good chicken broth – broil well”.
2nd Dec: Lamp globe broken. Reflection: There’s another to buy Mrs. Moral. Be careful of brittle articles.
8th: Managers’ Meeting. One of the managers reported the master for drying clothes by the school fire. Mr Street spoke about it on the QT.
19th: Went to Pocklington by 4.45 train. Very rough passage across the Humber. Reached Pocklington about 9 pm.
22nd: Played chess with Mr Ross – Headmaster, Ch. Sch., and Mr Moon.
24th: Busy sending off Xmas cards at Mr Ross’s. Dozens sent.
25th: Expectation. Postman late. Dozens of cards came. At Mr Moon’s to tea and evening. Amusements – chapter of accidents – Broke top of Cheffonier, Broke Pier glass. Made Mr Moon’s nose bleed.
26th: List of Books brought: Information for the People (2v), Panorama (2v), Today in America (2v), Nineveh, Tale of 2 Cities (Dickens), Les Miserables (3v) (V. Hugo), Gil Blas, Roderick. Random, Three Musketeers, Botany, Animal Physiology, Dryden’s Poetical Works, Confucianism.
27th: Returned to Barnetby. Jennie Sellers came to be servant. Bought fire irons in Hull 8/-, wine glasses 5 at 3d, Letter rack 1/3. Pig cheer from home.
29th: Miss Jackson, new girls’ mistress, commenced duties, from Bulwell, Nottingham.
31st: Finished pegging hearthrug.
1st Jan: New Year’s Day. No school in the morning. Mrs brought home a hen.
3rd: Finney (Brigg) made up prescription for Mrs.
8th: Mrs covered cushion for room – satin
9th: Annie went to Hull to have ankle set.
12th: Jennie (servant) left today. Saucy, etc.
15th to 16th: Exam of Pocklington Schools. Passed – 82 per cent.
18th: Ada Thompson left today. She had been home and did not return when ordered.
19th: Without a servant. I and Mrs get up in turns.
21st: I went to Brigg in the evening. Paid Cleugh £3 for overcoat. Called at Finneys. Took ornamental glass flower pedestal, which Mrs broke yesterday to get repaired. Was unsuccessful.
29th: Choir Supper at the Vicarage. We did not go, as we were given to understand that our appearance would be the cause of Allen’s staying away. Of course we did not wish to act in such a manner as to endanger the “situation” in which the Streets are placed with regard to the very “voluntary” services of Mrs Allen as organist.
31st: I finished measuring “Bigby Cow Pastures” today. (19 ½ acres and 11 ½ acres each into 19 lots). Received 6/6 for the work. Mr Edward Hague, “Superintendent of the Building Department” on the M.S. and L.Ry stationed at Barnetby died this afternoon of cancer in the stomach. He had been ailing some time but was out on duty on the 28th and was busy with the affairs of the company on the 30th. He was generally esteemed both as “Servant of the Company” and as a private individual and his sudden departure is deeply regretted. Age 51.
3rd Feb: Mr Hague buried at Barnetby.
7th: Mr Ross’s birthday (44).
17th: Mother’s birthday – 53.
18th: Side of bacon arrived from Pocklington via Doncaster. From Don to Barnetby – 11d. carriage.
20th: Miss Thorpe of Pock came today to spend a week. Very flash, my Lady.
23rd: Letter from Mr Ross about school at Westow. Rev. Lawrence required organist, choir master, SS. Superintendent, Librarian, tithe collector, communicant, convener. I declined.
8th March: Mrs and Miss Hague paid their farewell visit. They leave Barnetby on Tuesday to reside at Epworth.
25th: Mr Geo. Caudwell’s sale of live and dead farming stock from the glebe farm which he is leaving.
30th: Received of Mr Street salary due 31st March ’85: For self £15.15s.8d; For Minnie £10.0s.0d.
1st April: The 3rd anniversary of my coming to Barnetby. In 3 years what changes! I was single last fool’s Day. Am now married. Mr Mills came to examine school today. Stayed all day and got through Standard Work and few additionals. An auspicious day for our examination surely! But I am not superstitious enough to regard the day so am not at all troubled.
3rd: Good Friday. Minnie and father went to Church. I stayed at home to cook dinner. Mr Ross came back. Church was smoky. He could not stand it.
4th: Mr Ross, Minnie and I went to Grimsby by the 10.26 am. M and I were photographed at W. Andas’s, 28 Freeman St. for oil portraits. Dined at the “Dolphin” refreshment room. Saw improvements – Grand promenade on Embankment – Bazaar – grand approaches to station, pier and beach. Salt water Baths.
6th: John Jarvis and Miss Bennett, Pocklington, were married today at Scampston. Mr Ross gave away the bride. We had Bride Cake on the 8th.
13th: Wrote to the “Schoolmaster” on “Country Teachers” and ordered 3 months’ copies of Schoolmaster.
25th: I and Minnie went to Appleby. Found the Gollands well. Enjoyed ourselves much. Went to Church on the 26th. It was restored only last year. Looks a very lasting edifice of beautiful appearance inside. Vicar the Rev. Canon Cross. Schoolmaster, Bielby Barker.
27th: We returned to Barnetby by the 7.20 am train. Mrs Wray died at noon age 71. She is an old friend of mother’s and was a neighbour of my grandmother’s nearly 40 years ago at Barnetby. She was buried on Friday May 1st at Barnetby. Many tokens of respect and affection for the old lady, in the form of wreaths, crosses, etc., were heaped on the coffin.
28th: (My certificate) was issued last May and bore the following report from C.H.B. Elliott, Esq., H.M.I.: “Atkinson Skinner is a painstaking teacher. His school is in creditable order, and has improved in efficiency”.
28th, 29th, 30th: Minnie had boys and girls of Standard I to tea for passing well. They had games after tea.
6th May: Minnie went to Hull in the afternoon to meet her mother. She brought back a dress, a new umbrella (black) 8/6, a watch for me £3.5s.0d that Mr Ross procured in Pocklington. The watch (no. 12735) is an English Lever, very compact, of good weight, and of very neat appearance.
11th: Read Pock paper report of Ada (Minnie’s sister) distinguishing herself in rendering “Angels ever bright and fair” on the occasion of the re-opening of the restored porch of Pocklington Ch. I incidentally learned that my watch is a very good one. Yesterday I broke a hand. Today Betsy (my sister) went to Brigg to get it replaced. Cross, the jeweller, charged 9d for new hand in order to match the other in quality. He pronounced it, though not procured from him a very good watch.
22nd: Betsy and I set off by the 6pm train to Scotter via Kirton. We were met at the Station by Iva Elwood who had a young horse in the trap. Minnie hesitated when asked to get into the trap because she was afraid of the young horse. She was persuaded, however, and we set off. Iva drove rapidly round a turn into the road and upset us all. The cart and horse were completely overturned, but we all most mercifully escaped, only Minnie getting bruised and she in the face. Our clothes were puddled, but a kind woman (Mrs Bannister) living near the Station came to our relief. We went to her house and were washed, sponged and warmed; had a cordial, saw a doctor (Mr George) and were fetched by W. Sizer (my cousin) with an old pony and trap. We reached Scotter about 10 pm and were soon busy relating the story of our escapade.
23rd: We were rather stiff from our shaking but otherwise pretty well.
24th: The Queen’s Birthday.
8th June: Defeat and resignation of Gladstone’s Govt.
11th: My 26th birthday. I had congratulations and a beautiful silk handkt as a present from Pocklington.
4th July: I went to Brigg. Put £15 in Smith Ellison and Co’s bank. Bought stick of Indian Ink, 1s.
10th: Polling-day for the North Lincolnshire by election. Atkinson (C) returned by a majority of 1180 votes.
17th: Pater and Mater Ross came by the 6 pm today. Minnie met them. I didn’t go to the station as I hardly expected them.
18th: I and Pater went to Brigg. Left satchel in train. Returned by 1 train. Recovered satchel.
29th: “Flag Fair” a treat for Teachers and Scholars, was held today in Mr Abraham’s field. Tea in the adjoining barn. The Barnetby Brass Band attended.
30th: I and Jackson went to Wrawby after school to take tea on the vicarage lawn at which The Bishop of Lincoln was to be present. He came by a later train and only just had time to explain the cause of his delay when we went to church. Here he gave a very simple but eloquent address. I very much admire him as a speaker and a preacher.
Aug 22nd: Father R and I set off for the Isle of Man a little after 7 this morning. Ada saw us off. W.S. was at the Station, going to York. I asked Ada who it was. At York we booked for Douglas (I. of Man) 17s. From York we went to Leeds, and at Leeds joined the Barrow Train. We reached Barrow something after 2 and at once went on board the Barrow Steamer “Manx Queen”. We steamed off to Douglas and landed a little after 6. The weather was delightful, and the sea very calm. We were not at all sick. We were driven to 3 Stanley Terrace, our Headquarters for the week. The house is kept by Mrs Cowell, who has a great number of visitors during the season.
23rd (Sunday): In the morning we went to St Thomas’ Church – crowded congregation. In the afternoon we went to Douglas Head to hear the Bishop of Lodor (?) Man address an open-air meeting. Fine afternoon. Thousands of people there. A touching sight.
24th: We set off about 10.30 in a car with a party to see Port Erin, and Castletown Castle Rushen and King William’s College where Canon Farrer was a student. Castle Rushen is the prison of the island.
25th: We went by Steamer – “King Orry” to Ramsey Regatta day.
26th: We went by train to Peel. Visited Peel Castle – extensive ruins famous for its historical associations.
27th: Visited Kirk Braddon. Runic (Scandinavian) stones in the churchyard. These are slabs of slate rudely carved. Huge boulders (supposed remains of druidical temple) are to be seen just opposite the church. We passed through Nunnery Pounds, a beautiful sequestered spot. We saw Miss Skin at noon. Went to the Falcon Cliff pounds this afternoon.
28th: Buying Souvenirs this morning. Went to Derby Castle this afternoon. The Claimant, Sir Roger Chas. Doughty Tichborne, gave some account of his famous trial and imprisonment. He spoke of a packed jury, and a Treasury bent on condemning him from the outset. His speech, though containing strong charges against his prosecutors, raised no enthusiasm.
29th: At 8.10 am we bade adieu to our friends in Douglas and steamed off on our homeward journey. Here I pause to say that Man is a delightful little island – has a mild climate, dry atmosphere and offers many picturesque and historical scenes well repaying a visit. The air is very bracing and creates a huge appetite. Fuchsias and Myrtle grow luxuriantly. Many fuchsia bushes we saw would stand 12 or 14 feet high. We were travelling all day. Reached Pocklington about 5.30 pm. Mother R. met us at the station.
3rd Sept: Went to Moon’s – shooting. Got 4 rabbits and 2½ brace of birds. Father, Mother, R. and I at tea at the Mill. Saw over the mill newly fitted with roller machinery.
17th: The wife of Edwin Beevers (York 80-81) of a son.
1st Oct: Lord Shaftesbury died to-day. Philanthropist. Carried measures for relief of women and children in mines for regulating the employment of mill hands – Hours of labour and interested himself in the affairs of the poor generally.
22nd: Dr Fraser, Bishop of Manchester, died after a very short illness.
24th: Dr Woodford, Bishop of Ely, died. Today I went with my wife to Hull. She is going home for a change. Her mamma met us in Hull. We went together to Paragon Stn. Had some refreshments near.
1st Nov: Letter from Minnie. Advertisements inclosed from The Rev. W.R. Jolley, Huggate Rectory, Pocklington, and from The Rev. Wood, Headingley, Leeds.
2nd: I wrote to both places.
4th: Had a letter from Minnie, also one from the Revd. W.R. Jolley saying that my application was favourable, and also asking for particulars (further). I wrote by return and wrote also to Minnie.
6th: I went to Pocklington in the evening. Found Minnie up and in good health.
7th: I and Mr Ross went over to Huggate in the afternoon. Saw Mr Jolley and had a long conversation. A very nice gentleman he is – very generous and open-hearted. He explained his views agreeable to me, and gave us every encouragement to hope that we shall procure the appointment to his school
8th: Minnie still well.
9th : Early this morning Minnie was taken with severe pains and vomiting. This was about 3 in the morning. Towards 7 she became easier, and got up before 7 to see me start for the 7.20 a.m. train. She went to bed between 9 and 10 and a daughter was born at 2 p.m. Dr Trotter and Mrs Shaw in attendance. I had a telegram at about 3, and felt considerably relieved
10th: I had a letter from Mr Ross containing full particulars. Both Minnie and the baby are doing very well indeed. I wrote home, to Will, to E. Beevers, and to Dobson announcing the fact, and I wrote to Pocklington to express my joy, and to Huggate about the school. Betsy went to see Dr Mason of Hull. He says her arm is not diseased, and he thinks he can cure it. She is formenting and poulticing and rubbing with olive oil. With regard to Huggate School, I wrote to inform Mr Jolley that I could take it at Xmas, but that I would like then to allow me to procure a “locum tenens” for Huggate, because Mr Street had told me that the managers here had proposed to claim a forfeit of a month’s salary if I left at Christmas.
11th: Ada wrote saying that “Minnie is very nice to-day. It is a beautiful baby. It has hands and eyes like you, and such a dear round face, and dark hair, and tiny ears. It got a good share of nursing last night.”
13th : I went to Pocklington by the 4.45 pm. Found Minnie and the baby doing well.
14th: This morning I paid Dr Trotter £1.1s.0d. for attending on Minnie. I returned to Barnetby by the 6 pm. On reaching home I found the following letter from the Rev. W.R. Jolley:
Huggate Rectory, Pocklington, York; 13th Nov ‘85
To Mr Atkinson Skinner,
The applications for the Mastership of our School were laid before the Managers today.
Taking into consideration the strong recommendation of Mr Wicksteed in addition to your satisfactory testimonials, we agreed that we should not be likely to do better in the interests of the school than to appoint you to the mastership. It was thought, however, that it would be a serious disadvantage to the school were the managers to consent to your delegating your duties for the first month to a “locum tenens”. I am therefore authorized to offer you the appointment from the close of the Xmas holidays, the engagement to be terminable by a three months’ notice on either side.
I will only add on my account that if you come among us, I shall be glad to do anything in my power to promote the comfort of yourself and Mrs Skinner.
Yours truly, W.R. Jolley
We decided this morning to call my daughter “Ethel May”.
15th: I showed Mr Street Mr Jolley’s letter that I received on the 14th inst. He asked if I should take the school. I said Yes!. He replied “well, I hope it will be for your good”. He said the managers were “cheap” for exacting a months salary in lieu of notice.
17th: Saw Mr Gibbons, and had a conversation about the forfeit of a month’s salary. He considered that my counter-claims – Mrs Skinner doing duty in The Girls’ room for three weeks and Mr Street’s letter saying that I might reasonably expect an increase of salary in a year – ought to balance the 3 months’ notice.
19th: I wrote the following letter to Mr Street:
Barnetby, Nov 19 /85
The Managers claim a forfeit of a month’s salary in lieu of full notice. Against this decision I say nothing, and have willingly accepted it. However, I beg to urge the following claims on their fairness and generosity.
1. I was to reasonably expect an increase in salary after a year’s service as shown by your letter. Such increase I have not yet received.
2. Mrs Skinner took charge of the Girls’ department for 3 weeks previous to Miss Jackson’s coming. She received nothing for such extra service and accommodation.
I think that the above claims ought to balance the month’s salary, and I ask that, under these circumstances, I be paid up to Xmas. Will you kindly call a managers’ meeting and allow me to state the case before them.
Yours obediently, A. Skinner
To The Rev. B. Street, Barnetby Vicarage
20th: Mr Atkinson Skinner, Nl. School
As regards increase of salary the managers have at times improved the emoluments of teachers, when the school funds justified their doing so – but the school endowment has followed the condition of other incomes and is now £10 per ann. Less than two years ago, and I could not reasonably propose to the managers to do more than maintain the stipulated salaries. I think it would be advisable for you to send me a written notice of resignation. You might properly date it 1 Novr.
(This afternoon Mr Street thought that the Managers would agree to pay me up to Xmas.)
Another letter from Minnie. She intends coming back on the 26th. She has had a letter from Mrs Ibbotson of Sheffield who has been three weeks in bed over her confinement, whereas Minnie was up on the 10th day, brave as a lioness.
28th: Went to Mr Field’s to make Declaration as polling clerk.
29th: Letter from Minnie saying that she intends coming tomorrow, if the weather be fine. Ethel May, my daughter, was baptized this day.
30th: This evening the Managers held a meeting at which Mr Street, Mr Abraham and Mr Caudwell were present. They agreed to pay me and my wife up to Xmas, thereby rescinding their former resolution. Mr Jackson (brother of the present Girls’ mistress) is appointed to my post which I vacate on the 31st of Decr. 1885.
9th Dec: After two nights’ hard frost there is plenty of skating here on the Ballast pit.
11th: Wrote to Huggate arranging to flit furniture. I had an hour’s skating this noon.
12th: Miss Thorpe of Pocklington was married on the 9th at Leeds and sent us bride cake today. She is now Mrs Yonings. She was one of Minnie’s bridesmaids.
15th: Betsy has been to Hull today. Her arm is pronounced much better by Dr Mason. She paid 7/6 for his advice up to the present time.
21st: I resigned the Secretaryship of the Barnetby Football and Cricket Clubs, and settled the affairs of the Dramatic Club.
22nd: Sold Mrs Caudwell £1 worth of crockery. Sold Miss Jackson the following:
Bedstead 15/- Mattress 6/6 4 Blinds 4/0 Cornice 1/0
5 Kitchen Chairs 16/8 Table 1/6 1 Clothes horses 3/3 Fender 15/0
Towel Rail 2/- Tidy 3/0 2 Irons 2/0 Kettle 1/6 Potatoes 4/6
6 Wallnails 6d 11 stair rods 3/8 Wash Tub 2/0 3 dozen pegs 4d
Stair carpet 3/0 Wash Stand 1/3 Paraffin Tin 3/0 Jam 3/6
24th: Closed school at noon for Xmas Holidays. I took final leave of the boys as I this day terminated my engagement as Master of Barnetby Boys’ School. We went to Scotter by the 3.7 train. Were met at Kirton by the Rector’s groom.
28th: I and Tom went to Barnetby to see my furniture sent off to Pocklington. Will at home with a bad leg – a cut with a chisel.
Jan 1st: Paid N.E. Railway Company for furniture to Pocklington from Barnetby £2.1s.9d.
2nd: I, Minnie, Ada and J. Skelton (servant) and of course Ethel May, came to Huggate. Paid 6/- for trap and 1/- for driver assisting in unpacking. Gave men 4/- for fetching furniture with Oxtoby and Harrison’s wagons.
3rd: Jenny Skelton left at noon – couldn’t settle any longer.
4th: Opened school. Children backward; neglected, but seem to have fairly good capacities.
16th: Mr R. today procured for us a piano at York. Ethel May had a present or two today. One of these was a fine doll which interested her very much from the first.
2nd Feb: Ethel broke her first plate today.
4th: Father’s birthday.
7th: Father R’s birthday.
27th: We went to Pocklington. Cold day. Great deal of snow on the Wolds. Grandpa, Grandma and Aunty were greatly delighted with Ethel “But” said they “she is small”. The journey by carrier is very wearisome. We were almost frozen on reaching home. Mary Hardcastle had a roaring fire for us and we soon felt at home again. We brought a picture (a painting of peaches, by Minnie’s grandfather), a wool mat and Minnie’s music.
1st March: A heavy snowstorm visited us today. It lashed through the night, and, being drifted by a strong wind, lay in some places very thick.
2nd: I had this morning to cut a way from the back-door to the school, through snow in some places a yard deep.
9th: We hear that disgraceful and disgusting things are said about us by a discarded servant, but we shall treat such lies with silent contempt. Yesterday at Ripon- Ward m Ogle.
21st: Minnie and I went in to Blyth’s farmhouse opposite the school.
8th April: Mr Gladstone introduced his “Govt of Ireland Bill” into the House of Commons today.
26th: Arthur Wilkes (college friend) came to spend the week.
27th: I and Arthur went to Warter,called on Mr Allison, schoolmaster – was very poorly – been out of school a month – weak lung.
4th May: Filled up Proposal Form for Insuring own life in the Providential Insurance Co for £200 payable on death or drawn out at the age of 55. Annual Premium £7.6s.4d.
(3rd): Tom’s Birthday. Sent him Automatic Copying Pencil for present.
6th: Mr Jolley summoned to London to fulfil duties in connection with his recent appointment to the post of Assistant Clerk of the Closet in Waiting.
11th: My parchment returned. Entry: “Mr Skinner has only had charge of this neglected school four months but an improvement is already visible”
13th: Mr Gladstone moved 2nd reading of Govt. of Ireland Bill.
12th June: Mr and Mrs Ross came to spend Whitweek. They brought Ethel May’s likeness taken a week before.
14th: Sent bab’s photo to Scotter to Mrs Caudwell and to Miss Jackson.
22nd July: Mr Caudwell shot an owl (horned) and 3 rabbits.
23rd: I sent the owl to Pocklington to get stuffed.
27th: Bab received a “present from the Crystal Palace” (cup and saucer) from Tom by today’s post.
14th Aug: Have had Harriet Allen a week as servant (2s. wage)
Sep 24th: Went to York. I and Mr Ross went to Mr Brigham's school. Afterwards to Backhouse’s nursery gardens, about 150 acres in extent. Grand orchid houses Fine plants, shrubs, roses, etc. Wonderfully constructed rockery. Went to the Conservative Club off Coney St. Thence to the Exhibition (Social Science Congress). Saw butter making by machinery, glass blowing, earthenware manufactured, fret machine basked and brush making by the blind. (In going, Mrs Snowden of the Bank had a very narrow escape from being run over by the train.)
27th: Paid G. Steels 6/- for stuffed owl. Paid Tayleure 7/6 for Photography.
21st Oct: Closed Pocklington Schools on account of the prevalence of Scarlet Fever.
23rd: Minnie went down to Pocklington with Sissons and came back with Mrs Oxtoby accompanied by Miss Gillingham. The night was foggy and I was alarmed as they did not reach home till nearly nine oclock. I met them at Oxtoby’s.
9th Nov: Ethel May’s birthday. We had a party of her nurses – girls – to tea. E.M. was enthroned in her tall chair, for the first time, at tea and behaved very well. The chair is a birthday present from Grandma Ross.
18th: Minnie went to Driffield to hire a girl. Hired one who broke engagement at the last moment.
20th: Our servant, H. Allen, left today.
24th: Ada and Miss Gillingham came up today. Both poorly.
26th: As Ada was dying to see Mark G, they all went home in the evening.
29th: They opened Pocklington Schools after being closed for 5 weeks owing to epidemic of fever. The last week has been exceedingly mild – open as April and quite soft and genial.
9th Dec: About 9 this morning, Kate Blyth, daughter of Mr W. Blyth, farmer, was suddenly taken ill. She received a paralytic stroke and fell in the yard. She attempted to walk, but repeatedly fell and was carried into the house. Doctor Fairweather is attending her.
11th: Kate B. has gradually grown worse. Today they give up hopes of her recovery. I saw her this morning. Minnie has spent every available moment waiting upon her.
13th: Kate Blyth died this morning at 2 a.m.
15th: K.B. buried this afternoon. Sunday School scholars with Miss Jolley followed.
18th: I was at Pocklington purchasing Xmas presents. Saw a girl. Hired her.
24th: The girl, A. Hannaghan, came this evening. Mr Jolley sent in a note to me enclosing cheque for quarter, and one for £5 as bonus and one of £5 for Minnie, as bonus, requesting our acceptance. We did not decline the gifts – on the contrary.
1st Jan: Our girl went to Pocklington to see her mother, did not return. Paid G. Steels 12/- for pair of owls (stuffed). Signed at Bank (Yorkshire Union) for a joint account on deposit for myself and wife.
15th: New girl – Sarah Swaby.
22nd: S.Swaby left – could not settle. Minnie took bab to Pocklington to stay a few weeks. Bad report this year for Pocklington schools.
23rd: Minnie miserable about bab.
8th Feb: Mr Jolley fell ill. Suffering from acute rheumatism.
13th: Relief Parson from Driffield – Facetiously termed “Guinea Pig”.
21st: Had letter from Tom to say that Jack died yesterday morning at about 7 o’clock. His end was peace.
22nd: Saw notice of the death of Herbert Fowler on the 17th by drowning in the Humber. Body not then recovered. Entertainment at Barnetby this evening. Farce – Fish out of Water.
23rd: Funeral at 3 pm. Bearers: Jno. Raddish, Wm. Kidney, Wm. Hewson, Jno Clark, Thos. Hill and H. Marris. Uncle Robt., Aunt Bradshaw, Aunt and Polly Tenney present from a distance.
1st Mar: Beautiful day. Quite warm.
5th: This week has been delightfully fine and warm.
12th: Snow today. Bab can go full run now. She is very funny and interesting. So observant and quick.
1st Apr: Thos. Allison’s sale. They are leaving the village to live in Manchester.
6th: Oxtobys leave Glebe Farm. Wharram Clarkson in-coming tenant.
16th: Ada brought a mug for Ethel May. It is “A present from Bridlington Quay”. Ethel’s new bonnet that her Grandma bought at Driffield cam home tonight. Announcement of Mr Moon’s (Pocklington) sale (sold up) for the 22nd March.
18th: 5 cases of measles.
23rd: Measles spreading.
6th May: 28 away on account of measles.
10th: Closed schools on account of measles. I walked to Pocklington, took a letter to Dr Fairweather, Medical Officer of Health. He ordered schools to be closed till May 30th.
12th: I returned from Pocklington with Gardham in Jno. Jarvis’ butcher cart as far as Cobdale and walked on to Huggate. It was very wet.
18th: Minnie’s 23rd birthday. Mrs Ross bought her a pair of sheets as birthday present.
21st: We all returned to Huggate. Left bab at P. on account of measles in Huggate..
25th: I wrote Fairweather about measles.
26th: He replied stating that schools must be kept closed till Monday June 6th.
29th: Had Dr Trotter today – neuralgia in the head.
6th June: Letter saying bab was not so well.
7th: Another letter saying bab was worse – measles. Mrs Blyth drove Minnie down at noon. I walked over in the evening, and returned with Mrs Blyth.
8th: Fetched to P. to bab, worse.
9th: I and Betsy returned in the morning. Bab was worse but they did not let us know.
11th: Bab was very nice.
12th: Relapse at noon.
13th: Better again. Mr Ross came to Huggate to take school for me. Mother cam to see bab.
16th: Letter to say that bab is mending nicely.
21st: Queen’s Jubilee Festival today at Huggate and Pocklington.
25th: Minnie returned with May.
28th: Huggate Club Feast. Mrs Ross, Miss Gillingham and Miss Kinsley came. They brought the news of Stonemason Richardson’s suicide on the Railway at Pocklington this morning.
2nd July: Heard of death of G.H. Parrish, B.A., a fellow student at York. He died on June 17th of congestion of the lungs.
8th Aug: Primrose Fete at Kilnwick Percy (Admiral Duncombe’s seat)
14th: Minnie taken very bad with spasms. Sent for Trotter. Mr and Mrs Ross came over.
20th: Mrs Ross very poorly.
22nd: We went to Bridlington for holidays.
23rd: Mrs Ross took to her bed. Doctor pronounced her illness a case of scarlet fever on the 25th. We stayed at No. 8, South Parade, Hilderthorpe (Mrs Burton’s).
5th Sept: Returned to Huggate. We hadletter from Pocklington, every day while at Scarboro’ saying that Mrs Ross was going on favourably.
6th : Had letter saying that Mrs Ross was not so well, but we were not to apprehend anything.
7th: Had a letter saying that Mrs Ross was dead. She died at 6 am, and her death, which was quite unlooked for, was a heavy shock to us. We went down to Pa, leaving May at Mrs Blyth’s.
9th: Mrs Ross’s funeral at noon today. Many wreaths and crosses were sent by sympathising friends. Many letters and visits of condolence received in the interval from 7th to 12th.
17th: Ada had come home poorly from Swinton and came up here (to Huggate) by carrier with Margaret Johnson to stay a few days.
18th: Ada in bed very poorly.
19th: Ada growing worse. Sent for doctor. Case of Typhoid.
22nd: Mrs Steels came up to wait on Ada. Misses Lamb, Tinson, Thorpe and Mrs Moor came to see Ada. Doctor Trotter’s cousin was in attendance to this date.
23rd: Doctor Trotter here today. Ada is very bad.
24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th: Doctor here every day. Ada very bad. We despaired of her life 3 times to the last date mentioned. Mr R. went to Pock from the 26th every day and returned every evening. Miss Gillingham came up at nights. Mr and Miss Jolley have been the best of friends during Ada’s illness sending tit bits every night for us watchers and port wine for Minnie. For Ada, Essence of Beef, Jelly, Champagne, Eau-de Cologne, Grapes, Lemon Syrup, Raspberry Syrup, Seltzer water and everything that Ada might have. Today (30th) she seems to be mending but in her case appearances are treacherous and we are anxiously awaiting the subsidence of her fever before feeling she is safe.
Time wore on till the 15th day of October. I, Mrs Steels, Mrs Moore, Miss Gillingham and Mr Ross took turns at sitting up. The fever abated and Ada at times seemed to us to be recovering. She wandered at intervals, but at other times she seemed perfectly conscious of everything passing on around her. Bronchitis and ulcerated throat set in after the fever. These she could not overcome, and she gradually sank. She died on Saturday, October 15th at 2.40 p.m.
18th: Ada was buried today (2 pm) in Pocklington Cemetery.
19th: I and Minnie returned to Huggate to find our “May” blossom poorly.
22nd: Minnie went to Pocklington intending to stay till Monday morning, but May was so poorly and fretful after her mother left that I sent for her to return at night.
25th: As May was getting worse we had the doctor up today. He said he feared she was starting in the fever. He advised that she should be taken to Pocklington and there nursed. Accordingly a cab came in the afternoon and took Minnie and our Pet down.
26th: May very bad.
27th: I felt so out of sorts and dispirited that I sent for a cab to take me to Pocklington. The doctor saw me and assured me that my stomach was out of order and that I should soon be right again.
28th: May very bad, but improved towards evening.
29th: May seemed very nice today.
30th: May again seemed improving. Fever nearly gone.
31st: Ulceration of the bowels set in. Doctor is in fear for her recovery.
1st Nov: Better news today. May improving.
4th: May improving to this date.
14: Spoke to Mr Jolley about our probably removal to Pocklington Schools.
19-23rd Dec: Spent spare time in packing goods for flitting.
24th: Came to Pock. For Xmas. Brought load of things. Found Minnie in bed. Had been exerting herself too much.
25th: Christmas Day. I stayed with Minnie in the morning. She was in bed.
30th: Sold my furniture today in Huggate.
1st Jan: Sunday. I was at Pocklington. Church. Spent a very quiet day. We thought, as we had many times done, what great changes the old year – the Jubilee Year of Her Majesty – had wrought in Mr Ross’s family and among my father’s family – my father had lost a brother and a son, and we wondered what this New Year has in store for us. Well! Our lives and happiness are in God’s hands and we will trust in Him.
2nd: I went to Huggate in the morning to take charge of school for another fortnight. Lodged with James Walker. Was very comfortable. Passed a quiet week; was every morning anxious for a letter from Pn.
9th: Went to Huggate for the last week. S. Kelton, my successor, sent his furniture on Thursday the 12th.
13th: Skelton and family came to Huggate. Family – Mr and Mrs and 3 children. Had a conversation with him in the evening. Saw Mr Jolley in the evening. Bade goodbye at the Rectory.
15th: Face ache. Stayed in all day.
17th: Natal Day. This afternoon at 3 Minnie was confined of a son. Wrote letters in the evening informing our friends of the great event. Dr. Trotter was in attendance. M. is very weak. Had a very hard time.
18th: Minnie very weak today. Has to keep very quiet.
19th to 27th: Minnie goes on very slowly. In bed yet. Bad pain in the head these last 3 days. Weaning baby today. Gets very little rest. I was going to Scotter today, 27th, but could not leave Minnie.
27th: I arranged to go to Scotter tonight but found that Minnie was not well enough to leave. I wrote giving the reasons for my not going.
28th: Stayed all day with Minnie.
29th: Saw a change in Minnie for the better – evening.
30th and 31st: Minnie improving. Wrote to Scotter, thanking them for pig cheer.
1st Feb: Minnie up today for a few hours. Had taste of Sausage. Pain in her face came on though not so severe as before. Bathed her head in poppy water. Finds much relief in that.
3rd: I went to Scotter by the 3.20 pm train from Pocklington. Arrived at Scotter at 8 pm. Found Grandfather very ill and weak. He seems to be in his last illness. I found all else well except Aunt Emma. Uncle Wm. is now at Grandfather’s
4th: Saw Grandfather in the afternoon. Had a little talk with him. Saw him again at 6 pm. Bade him a last farewell as we both thought. Reached Pock at about 12.20 am. Found Minnie not so well, as I expected. Had a very bad attack during the evening. Mrs Blyth (Huggate) confined – daughter.
7th: Registered birth of Thomas Ross Skinner at Fowler’s today.
14th Feb: Half Holiday. Entertainment (Negro Minstrels) in the Schoolroom this evening.
15th: Had a letter from father saying that Grandfather (Wm. Skinner) died on 13th inst. Born Feb 14 1801. Died Feb 13 1888. By his will, Father gets house and garden on the hill after paying £19.19s.0d. to Uncle Al. Aunt Mary gets £100. Mrs Elwood £10. Uncle Jack £5. Uncle Willm. takes farm and pays mortgages and all legacies.
27th: The Rev. J.H. Wicksteed, Vicar of Pocklington, set out on his tour to Egypt., Palestine and Asia Minor – overland route.
1st Mar: The weather is very stormy. Great snow storms, and bitter piercing winds.
13th: Commenced shaving (and haircutting) @ 2/6 per quarter at Hudsons.
24th: Mary Elizabeth Flint comes as servant in place of Harriet Thackeray tonight. She agrees to serve till Martinmass (Nov. 23rd) 1888 for the sum of £4. A new arrangement to be made at that date.
5th Apr: We all returned by Hull. Had a good dinner at the Wilberforce Café, near the Monument.
9th: Began school after Easter Holiday. Wrote to Father about lending bit of money.
16th: Jno. Jarvis went to the Odd Fellows’ Arms today as Landlord.
21st: I and Mr Ross at York to hear the Blue Hungarian Band play in the Exhibition. The band (all stringed instruments) performed splendidly. All music was played from memory, and the precision, power, shade and thoroughly concerted effect were marvellous. Two of the performers played on instruments called crymbals. These consisted of horizontal wires stretched in parallel lines across a framework, and tapped with little drum sticks. Their music was sweet as the Aeolian harp. We had tea at the Conservative Club in Coney St and went to the pantomime (Sinbad the Sailor) in the evening.
May 1st : Had a tussle with Robt. Thackrey* in school this morning. His ear bled. He knocked it against the wall, blamed me. Mr Ross took him to Bulmer’s and Dr. Trotter’s who dressed it. He took out a summons.
5th: Case came on for hearing today. I had Dr. Trotter, Arthur Moore and Reginald Steels. He, Reginald Shaw. He lied and was not supported by his witness. I defended my action by showing that I was bound to uphold the discipline of the school. Magistrates – Mr Calverly Rudston and Mr Duncombe – dismissed the case. Thackray to pay costs. Mr Ross promised to help him with costs. The case was a revengeful act. The spleen originated with the dismissal of Harriet Thackray complainant’s brother from our service (Domestic)
11th I and Mr Ross went over to Fangfoss to see Mr Butcher (school master). Nice roomy house. Pleasant spot.
12th: Report of my alleged assault in Pocklington paper.**
22nd June: I and Mr Ross went to Londesboro in the evening for a look round Londesborough estate.
End of Part 1"
* In 1891, Robert Thackeray was living with his parents, John (agricultural labourer) and Harriet, and his ten siblings (including Harriet, aged 21, general domestic servant) and two nephews at Chapmangate, Pocklington. By this time, Robert was a bricklayer's apprentice, aged 16.
** Report in The York Herald, Saturday, May 12th 1888, pg.3 : POCKLINGTON PETTY SESSIONS On Saturday, Atkinson Skinner, one of the masters of the Pocklington National School, was charged by Robert Thackray, a pupil, with assaulting him in school on the 1st inst. Case dismissed, complainant having to pay 7s. costs.
Atkinson's wife, Minnie, died on 22nd January 1935. The family were living at the time at Wold View, Pocklington and Atkinson was retired. In her will (Probate York, 14th February 1935) she left all effects, of £926.1s.3d., to her husband.
Atkinson died 27th January 1942.