Two Yorkshire Diaries
These diaries by Ralph Ward (fl. 1754–6) and Arthur Jessop (1682–1751) were first published in 1952 and paint a valuable portrait of the trials, tribulations and pleasures of everyday life for the middle classes in rural Yorkshire in the mid-eighteenth century. A transcription of Jessop's diary from 1861 was first discovered in a Huddersfield bookshop in 1927. A local apothecary and pious community man, Jessop depicts the cycles of life in West Yorkshire, displaying a very British preoccupation with the weather. His diary, which covers the period 1730–46, notably discusses the impact of the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Ralph Ward was a fairly wealthy cattle trader, farmer and businessman in North Yorkshire. He was involved in local government, which he describes factually and clearly. His diary, covering the period 1754–6, also discusses business transactions, farming methods and, of course, the weather.