Diary of Elliot Woolford of Hook Farm, Lydiard Tregoze, 1900
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The turning of the year and the beginning of a new century appears to have made little impact on the establishment at Hook Farm where life and work continued as usual.
Monday January 1, 1900 - I went to Winterbourne Bassett and fetched four sacks of potatoes which we bought last week of Mr George Lovelock @ 8/- per sack. Bought a weaned off calf of Mr Samuel Lewis for £3 3/- Expences 1/- Rowl and the Carter ploughing for Swedes Charl at odd work. Weather Fine day very wet night.
Elliot faced his own personal challenges when on Wednesday April 11 ‘Miss Dinah Cove paid us a visit which was of an unfavourable circumstance.’ Miss Cove named Elliot as the father of her new born daughter.
The following day Elliot writes in his diary: Charl & I went to Swindon and met Miss D.R. Cove with respect to an illegitimate child “female” which she alleges me to be the Father. She has been living with Mr E. Plummer Lydiard whose moral character is anything but good. I signed an agreement to pay 3/- per week to be paid quarterly. I was served with a summons to appear on Saturday next but to save a scandal & talk I agreed to pay. I paid £1 3/6 for Lawyers Expences & Stamping & Paid Miss Cove £1 11 Confinement Exp
In the autumn of 1900 the Woolford brothers responded when a neighbour was struck by not just one but two tragedies.
Wednesday October 3 - Rowl went over to Purton and called at Mr James Sadlers as we are getting up a subscription for Mr Norman Hitchcock who has had a fire, and lost his wife and is left with 11 children he gave £1 Mrs Kittoe 10/- and Mr Robson 5/- he is to Mr H. Whites and Mr Kinchins this evening.
Throughout the months of October and November the three brothers continued to canvas for donations and on November 30 Elliot recorded in his diary: Gave Mr Norman Hitchcock “Baker Hook Cheque £20 10/- which we collected from friends & neighbours on his behalf owing to a fire at his house and the loss of his wife immediately afterwards leaving him with a family of 11 children.
Elliot and his brother Rowland acquired the tenancy of Hook Farm in 1899 from the 5th Viscount Bolingbroke. In 1930 Elliott was able to purchase the farm when part of the Bolingbroke estate was sold by the Viscount's widow, Mary in 1930. The Woolford family remain there to this day.
The 1899 diary was transcribe by Frances Bevan in 2023.
- Elliot Woolford
- Private Collection
- Friends of Lydiard Park
- Frances Bevan
- Last updated on:
- Tuesday 10th October 2023