More English Diaries: Further Reviews of Diaries from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century with an Introduction on Diary Reading

By Arthur Ponsonby | Go to book overview

JOSEPH MYDELTON

A SMALL leather notebook on the title page of which is inscribed "The Memoirs, Life and Journal of Joseph Mydelton, son of Starkey Myddelton, Minister of the everlasting Gospel. 1774," contains, in addition to an autobiographical preface, a diary kept from 1774 to 1787. The entries are brief and irregular and deal chiefly with religious occupations, pious reflections and notes of the births and deaths of children. Struggles with poverty, failure in his pursuits, punctuated by constant deaths in the family, make Mydelton's diary a rather dismal record. Moreover, it is difficult to get close to the writer not only because of the scrappiness of his entries but because he shows no originality of expression but falls back on stock phrases favoured by Methodists of that date. "Had a good time" is varied by "Had a melting time," "had a glorious time," "a very dry time," "a dead time" or "a comfortable time," and when anyone is dying he says they "are ripening fast for glory." Sometimes his ecstasy seems almost excessive:

My poor vessel was so filled with the Love of God that I really thought it would burst and let my Soul out to wing its way home to Xt. A night never to be forgotten.

In the course of one day his mood may vary:

Had a comfortable time in riding to the Hay with Bro: Clayton when we parted I found sweet communion with God, preached in the Morn and had a good time but a dry one in the Even.

He very occasionally and very briefly mentions public events.

Saw the King go to the Parliament House and a solemn sight; saw a poor man breath his Last, in Health one moment and dead the next,

-115-

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More English Diaries: Further Reviews of Diaries from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century with an Introduction on Diary Reading
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • INTRODUCTION ON DIARY READING WITH NOTES ON MINOR ENGLISH DIARIES 3
  • LIST OF DIARIES ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 33
  • SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES 37
  • Philip Wyot 38
  • Adam Winthrop 40
  • Margaret Lady Hoby 43
  • Lady Anne Clifford 49
  • Walter Powell 56
  • The Ishams - SIR JOHN, SIR THOMAS, AND SIR JUSTINIAN 59
  • Sir John Reresby 64
  • Anthony Ashley Cooper (first Earl of Shaftesbury) 68
  • Viscountess Mordaunt 71
  • Anthony Wood 74
  • Sir Richard Newdigate 83
  • EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 89
  • James Clegg 90
  • James Woodforde 92
  • Thomas Hollis 101
  • Nicholas Cresswell 110
  • Joseph Mydelton 115
  • William Jones 119
  • Henry White 133
  • Samuel Teedon 137
  • John Marsden 140
  • NINETEENTH CENTURY 147
  • Dorothy Wordsworth 148
  • Thomas Asline Ward 158
  • Colonel Peter Hawker 162
  • Thomas Rumney 167
  • Katherine Bisshopp (lady Pechell) 170
  • J. Vine Hall 179
  • William Kershaw 183
  • Henry Edward Fox (fourth Lord Holland) 190
  • Antony Ashley Cooper (seventh Earl of Shaftesbury) 195
  • Emily Shore 204
  • William Charles Macready 210
  • Miss J. 219
  • Ford Madox Brown 226
  • Charles Russell 234
  • Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 241
  • INDEX OF DIARIES AND CHRONICLES NOTICED IN THIS VOLUME 249
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