The Diary of Mary Ann Denham

Wootton Bridge 1857 -1859
December 27th, 1858

Monday 27th December 1858

I went to Newport. Miss Dorcas Dore and Mr. J.H. called to see Julia. In the evening Mr. W.W.D Mr. F.L. and Mr.H.I.L called in and spent a few hours with us.

December 26th, 1858

Sunday 26th December 1858

I and Julia and Mr. W. W. DMiss D. D and Mr. and Mrs Dore went to St. Thomas’ Church. In the afternoon Mr. J. L called in, also Miss. Baker and Mr. H.J.L  about 3 o’clock Julia and Mr. F.L. walked home to Wootton Villa but I remained at Mr. Dore’s till evening we arrived home about 8 o’clock.

November 1st, 1858

Monday 1st November 1858

All Saints. I and Julia went to Newport. Julia bought a new dress. Miss D.D drank tea with us. Returned home about ½ past 5 o’clock.

October 30th, 1858

Saturday 30th October 1858

I went into Newport. Miss D.D. went with me to Mrs. Wray’s. Mr. G. Cooper came to work at the farm.

October 24th, 1858

Sunday 24th October 1858

Julia went to Wootton Church. In the afternoon Miss D.D. and Miss C.C. drank tea with us, after tea we walked into Newport Church. Mr. W.W.D came and met us. He also came home with me. Mr. F.L called to see Julia they returned to Newport  about 10 o’clock

September 11th, 1858

Saturday 11th September 1858

I went to Newport. In the afternoon Julia went to Newport Mr. J H and Miss Dore home with her. We saw the comet* for the first time.

*This would have been Donati’s Comet one of the brightest and most visible comets of the 19th century; it was discovered by Giovanni Donati on June 2, 1858, brightened to magnitude -1 in September 1858, reached perihelion on September 30, came closest to Earth (0.5 AU) on October 9, and was last seen on March 4, 1859. Around the time of closest approach the Earth, the comet developed a prominent dust tail, up to 60° long and curved like a scimitar, for which it is best remembered.

 Donati’s Comet was the first comet to be photographed. It was nearest the Earth on October 10, 1858 and is expected to return in the 39th century.

September 5th, 1858

Sunday 5th September 1858

I received the sacrament at Wootton Church. In the afternoon Mr. J.K. and Miss Dore drank tea with me Mr. G.C . Mr. H…. and Mr…… went to?

September 1st, 1858

Wednesday 1st September 1858

I went to Newport. Miss Dore came part of the way home with me.

August 31st, 1858

Tuesday 31st August 1858

I went to Newport. Mr. W.D. and Miss D. came home with me. We then went to a picnic party near Wootton Bridge. We arrived there rather to early so we went for a very pleasant walk as far as Woodside and back again we then had tea and tript on the light fantastic  till dusk after which we returned to Mr. R. Cooper Farm which was fitted up for the occasion, a great many friends from Newport honoured us with their company, we arrived home by ¼ past 10 o’clock, our little picnic gave I believe general satisfaction to all who had the pleasure of going.

August 28th, 1858

Saturday 28th August 1858

I went to Newport, in the afternoon Julia walked into town. Mr. J.K. and Miss D.D. walked home with her.