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Twickenham United Reformed Church

Local History: The Journal of Abraham Slade 1817-1903

Introduction and Prologue 1856-57 1858-59
1860-61 1862-67 1868-80 1881-86 1887-1903

- 1868 -

... [Jan] 17th. Trade is dreadfully dull. Many out of employ and starving, the country is in a bad state. 27th. The trials of our chaple are fast now coming on. 500£ wanted and we don't know how to raise it. ...

Aug. 22. Saturday evening ... I have been to Upton and staid a week...

Oct. 1st. ...This summer has been the hottest ever I knew out of 52 the heat has been sometimes up to 130 Farenheit, and often up to 120 - But now we have plenty of rain and good crops. The corn has been better than for many years...

- 1869 -

March 21st. I have been neglectful of my journal... many changes has taken place. The weather has been exceedingly mild. Trade has been favourable - Christmas past and gone - we had our nephew Able Tanner up here and spent the Christmas with us - I am much happier in myself than I used to be... The weather this March has been very rough - frosty with high wind and rain.

Sept. 10th. Mr Frank Arnold and his wife left Teddington to day for Gillingham... May the Lord forgive them (as I do) for all the harm they have done me. I have now started to build a house and bakers shop in the Hampton Road. Business is slack and money very scarce. We have had a dreadful storm and hurricane in this last 4 days. A great deal of damage has been done to the fruit trees and round the coast to the shipping.

- 1870 -

Jan. 1st. New Years Day - The old year is once more past away, full of events, and to many it has been a year of sorrow and trouble. Trade by most has been very bad. The building trade has had a severe check - so many failures by unprincipled people, and so many thousands of houses built and standing empty has made a panic in the trade... I have had a busy year and a profitable one - have added 3 rooms to my own house and made other alterations. Built the bakers shop at Willow Place, Hampton Road... Have spent a comfortable Christmas. Had Miss Fry, Cousin Ben, My Niece Miss E.Vining, do. Fanny James to dine with us. Went to Peckham on Boxing Day, Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Jan. 2nd. Every thing looks gloomy at the present, so many out of employ - I have Willow Cottage empty and one cottage beside. No prospect of any trade at present - now finishing my bakers Shop and rep[airing] a house in Popes Grove for Miss M. Goatly (possibly Radstock Lodge, now 71 Popes Avenue). The most sorrowful event of the past year has been the loss of my dear Sister Miriam Hanham in Salt Lake City, N.America. She died after a short illness, Oct. 21. 1869 aged 49 years...

April 22nd. I have been weighed to day and my weight is just 12 stone - I have had my photograph taken to day. Trade is very slack...

June 28. The season has been excedingly dry. Hay at this time £6.10.0 per load - corn cheap, oats 26 per quarter - Trade pretty good - Been painting the outsides and part inside of Apsley Villas - Trade in general very bad - many empty houses every where I go - Family all well, self poorly... Lost poor dear Uncle William some time ago - My poor dear mother, near 80 years, is the last of all her father's family - Soon we shall all follow - and our children take our place.

- 1871 -

A few thoughts on New Year's Day 1871. .. The past has been a year to be remembered by many as war was proclaimed by France against Germany and many has been the hard battles fought on french teritory - many thousand lives lost and still at the presant Paris is surrounded by the prussians after 18 weeks enclosure and to day the bombardment is going on - Great God what will be the end of those things. I pray that Old England many escape the troubles that are hanging over Europe... Our own Congregational chapel does not well fill. Mr Jackson our Minister has been ill 6 months and the pulpit has been supplied by neighbouring ministers which does not tend to forward the cause of Christ here (as we have no pastor).
I bought a horse in Oct last of Mr Cole at Halliford, cost £25 - and he has turned out very well as yet. My son Archie is now come in to learn my trade. I hope he will be of service to me. I need help in my business as competition is greater than ever in Twickenham. A man named J.Rose that has been in my employ about 3 years has now started against me...

Jan. 12th. I have this day made up my accounts and I have much cause for thankfulness - I find I am £380 better of than I was last year this time... The weather is very severe, snow on the ground.

- 1872

Jan. 5. 1872. Since I last wrote in this book another year of my life has passed away - I think I look older but I don't feel much older than I did 12 months ago... Trade has been very dull and money hard to be got - but I find I have made about £250 - when all is paid up...

March 28. The Church has this day chosen me for one of their Deacons - Feeling myself unqualified for the office I wished them to choose some one in my place, but they would not hear my objection and wished me to take a month to consider the matter.

April 24. I have well and prayerfully considered the matter of the Diaconite and feel convinced it is the Lords will I should do something to help on his cause...

July 20th. Went to Upton. Staid 3 days. Left poor mother on the 24th in the evening - went to Weymouth, took Teddy with me.

Dec. 29th. ...Xmas is past over once more. We have been very happy and quiet, have not been from home, but little company. This year has been a year of steady progress... On the whole I think it has been one of the happiest of my life.... I am as well as I ever was but feel a little more inclined to rest and quietness. Provisions are dear: bread 8` the 4lb loaf, Beef 10d, Mutton 10d, Pork 8d, potatoes 16/- per sack - carpenters wages 8d per hour

- 1873

... Sat. July 19th. Went with my wife to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight - went to Ventnor, Black Gang and over the hills back to Ventnor - beautiful weather. ...

22. Went through Portsmouth Dock Yard and saw the Ironclads. Went aboard the old Trafalgar, 120 guns - came home on the 23. Aug. 10th. ...Been lecturing my children and had my own soul blush in the doing. Trade is good, work plentiful.

(1873 March) Omitted to say I was chosen by the ratepayers for a member of the Local Board for 3 years. I am still performing my duties attending its meeting once every fortnight. Have the drainage question in hand - which is a difficult one.

Sept. 15th. A conference meeting was held this evening by the members of the Congregational church being the first of a continuance... felt it good to be there... ...

- 1874

July 27. Went to Ilfracombe with my son Isaac - stayed 7 days, found it a very nice place - went to Upton - stayed only one night and home next day. Aug. 28. Went to Upton to see poor mother - left her after 9 days stay... Xmas. Weather frosty. My health is very indifferent. Have had a bad cold and rhumatics - been under the doctor for 4 weeks.

- 1875

New Years Day 1875. Still very poorly. Trade has been favourable this year - Willow Cottage has been empty since Aug 17 of last year and still remains the same.

Jan. 3rd. Heard Mr Fisher preach - Family all well - self very poorly.

Feb. 6th. My birth day. I am this day 58 years old, quite an old man - yet thank God, I am as well as I have been for many years... Trade is pretty good for the season and I dare not complain. Thank God for all.

- 1876

... [Feb.] 25th. This day I have sold Gatcombe Lodge to Mr Buver for 420£ - have nearly finished Clovelly, Popes Grove (Clovelly Lodge, corner of Popes Avenue).

28th. ...Have taken sittings at the Baptist Chapel - cannot tolerate Fishers conduct (the pastor of the Independant Chapel). Sister Mary, up at Kensington; John Tanner has been up and been over the Tower, St Pauls, Madam Tusaud's & with me.

June. Have let Clovelly to Captain Riley for 3 years at 60 - Thank God for His goodness - it is all paid for.

July 17th. My Daughter Julia & self started for North Wales. Reached Llandudno in the evening... to chapel twice next day (Sunday). Started Monday for Bettsycoed - saw the Swallow falls, Miners Bridge, Fairy Glen - went on to Dolwyddelan. The afternnon very hot, the road very dusty, but the walk delightful, the scenery very fine... Coached it to the pass of Llanberris - walked through the pass, staid at Llanberis all night. Went on Snowden next day, started about 8, reached the top about 1. Never shall I forget the beautiful views from its summit... Went to Carnarvon. Saw over the castle, Menai Bridge &. Had 12 days ramble - felt all the better for it.

August. My daughter Mary married.

19th. Went to the Isle of Wight... Returned home on Tuesday - Ill with diarrea all the time.

Sept. 9th. Herd my son Archie offer up a prayer in the Baptist School room for the first time... ...

23. Went to Upton to see my poor aged mother. Found her lying on the point of death - Stayed with her till the 28 and attended her every night while there...

Oct. 17th. Just recd the news of poor mothers decease... her lot has been far from easy - she has been a widow about 25 years - her age is 85 next month. I shall miss her very much. I have been to see her at Upton every year for this last 27 years - I have been down about 35 times up to this year. I dont expect to go down many more now she is taken...

On the 14th Oct Mrs Slade went to Weymouth for the change of air - I went on the 28th and returned Nov 5th. My wife returned much better on the 6th.

[Nov] 6th. My daughter Julia, son Isaac & Archie was baptised by E.H.Brown - Thank God for the decision they have come to... 4 out of 6 are converted ... I have great hope of the other 2 young ones...

Christmas day (Monday). ...We had a very deep snow yesterday but this morning it is raining. The last year has been an eventful one... the turn out of nearly all the congregationalists & school over to the Baptist... Thank God for its mercies and now for Christmas dinner off goose, turkey, roast beef, puddings, &tc, &tc.;

- 1877

Feb. 6th. 60 years ago about 4p.m. I first saw the light of this world - Varied indeed has been my Pilgramage - but to look back it seems as a dream...

May 8th. Mrs Norton, my Daughter, safe del'd of a son at 7p.m. - Just rec'd new pair of boots from Pitman, Wincanton - Good fit. Very busy - Bricks selling at 50/- per m. Wages... Carpenters 8d and 9d [per hour] - Bread 9d 4lb loaf... Just had a new set of wheels made for old van, cost £10 - repair to do 48/-. Bought set of harness for £4-10-0 at Parkers, Upper St Martin's Lane.

July. Went to Ramsgate and down for 10 days - Teddy with me. Had fine weather and enjoyed it very much. October. Have been very unwell suffering with indigestion. Been to Weymouth for 3 weeks, came home much better. Have taken to eat brown bread and find myself much better.

Nov. 10th. Have finished one of Carnarvon Villas (now 65 & 69 Popes Avenue)and Mr & Mrs Norton (daughter and son-in-law)are going into it.

- 1878

... Jan. 2nd. My Son Thos Edward has left me and gone apprentice to the upholstry trade... 9th. I have this evening conducted the prayer meeting in the Baptist Schoolroom. Had the pleasure of hearing 10 pray earnestly to God... Wars and rumours of wars are distracting the world...

Dec. 31st. ...This has not been a very brisk year for business but on the whole I cannot complain. In July myself & Julia went to Guernsey & Jersey for 30 days and very beautiful weather we had... The weather this christmas has been very severe - the frost has made much work for the plumbers...

- 1879

July. Went to Dover. Staid 9 days - went over to Calais & St Peere [Pierre]. Staid there about 12 hours. Don't like the place - found it very filthy - the ditches full of stench & dirt - I wonder the people can live in it. Had a very agreeable companion, a gentleman from Westminster. Went to Wincanton... and Upton, staid 3 days.

August. My son Willie & daughter Julia came home from a visit to Yeovil with typhoid feaver. Had the Doctor 2 a day for 6 weeks, when they went to Ramsgate - thank God he spared them to us.

Oct. 29th. My oldest son Archibald sailed for Wellington N.Zealand from Blackwall... I never wish to have a nother parting like this.

Oct 26. Mrs Slade went to Weymouth for 3 weeks...

Nov. 3rd. Sold Willow Cottage property to Mr Hall for 950£. Changed my old horse Tommy for a young one, 3 years old, call'd him Tommy - gave £18 to book - I like him very much.

9th. I am now looking forward for the next 7 years of trouble to this world, as prophesied in Daniel & Revelation...

Dec. 20th. Sold Willow Cottage & 3 Shops to Mr J.Hall for 950£... I have now £500 which I intend to pay off a mortgage at Midsummer on my estate at Teddington - and about 800 to put to some other purpose but I really don't know how to lay it out; I am too old for building, I don't want the toil of it... Thank God myself & family are all well at this time - I am resolved to give up business as soon as I can put matters right. Having just altered my house to make more room I have now only a small shop which I intend to close as soon as I can.

- 1880 -

Feb. 6th. My Birthday. 63 years have been my pilgramage... I have purchased 2 small copyhold estates, Manor of Sion, one in the Richmond Road for 225, and Bute Villa for 420 exclusive of expenses, which will be about another 30...

Christmas. As I have not made any note so long I must refer back - At Whitsuntide I went to Weymouth for 5 days - then to Bristol for 5 days... went to Weston Supermare - Don't think much of the place... July, went to Ventnor, was ill with Rhumatism, stayed 10 days - went to Folkstone for 5 days enjoyed it much... Nov, went to Weymouth for 5 days, Upton 5 days... On the whole the year has been a very comfortable one. Have done but little business. Have not employed any men at home. Had several letters from Archie - he is doing next to nothing in N.Zealand (a complete sell). Don't advise any body to emigrate that can do here.

Introduction and Prologue 1856-57 1858-59 1860-61 1862-67 1868-80 1881-86 1887-1903

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