Catalogue description Diaries of John Carrington, senior and junior farmers, of Bacons Farm, Bramfield, and associated papers, c1780-1948

This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of DE/X3
Reference: DE/X3
Title: Diaries of John Carrington, senior and junior farmers, of Bacons Farm, Bramfield, and associated papers, c1780-1948

The diaries (Nos. 1-13) and the miscellaneous notes and memoranda (No. 14) are mainly written on the backs of, in the margins of, and in other spaces in a variety of discarded documents. These are briefly summarized as follows:


Vol. I: tax assessment forms.


Vol. II: copies of notice entitled "Statutes and Regulations concerning Alehouses", 1799.


Vol. III notices as in Vol. II and tax assessment forms.


Vol. IV: four outside folios consist of instructions, tables and forms for tax assessment.


Vol. V: plain paper.


Vols. VI, VII & VIII: militia service returns (blank).


Vol. IX: tax assessment forms, instructions to tax assessors, militia return, sale posters.


Vol. X. sale posters, notices concerning tax returns, William Baker's election address, 1805, Carrington's waggon licence, 1785, public notice concerning tax returns, 1804 (signed by Carrington).


Vol. XI: sale posters, assessment forms, instructions to chief constables concerning militia, tax collectors warrants.


Vol. XII: sale posters, fire insurance proposal, militia lists of desertions and men not joined, constables' warrants, public notices and forms concerning taxes.


Vol. XIII: sale posters, tax assessment forms, handbill advertising sermon in aid of Sunday Schools, 1801, handbill for Hertfordshire Association against felons.


Miscellaneous memoranda (No. 14): sale poster, calendars of prisoners in Hertford Gaol, newspaper cuttings, broadsheet called The Perpetual Almanack, William Baker's election address, 1802.


The information contained in the above list is necessarily incomplete, because the documents are cut, folded and bound into book-form in such a way that total identification is not possible

Date: c1780-1948
Related material:

For details concerning the life and times of John Carrington see Mr W Branch Johnson's book, "The Carrington Diaries", published by Christopher Johnson, London, 1956.


A typed transcript of John Carrington senior's diaries (complete) done by W Branch Johnson is D/EJN/Z58 - Z59. Extracts from this were later published in 'Memorandoms For ....' by Branch Johnson (1973 Phillimore).

Held by: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Carrington, John, 1726-1810, farmer of Bacons Farm, Bramfield, Hertfordshire

Carrington, John, 1763-1833, farmer of Bacons Farm, Bramfield, Hertfordshire, son of John Carrington

Physical description: 1 series
Immediate source of acquisition:

[Accession 125]


[Accession 368]


Deposited 1946-1947

Custodial history:

This is an accretion rather than an accession whose history is obscured by the extreme difficulties of the working conditions in this office in the immediate post-war period. Certain facts emerge: "Good Friends and Merry" by Mr. W. Branch Johnson (later published under the title of "The Carrington Diaries") was serialized in The Welwyn Times from 19 September 1947 to March 1948. Mr. Johnson did all his preparatory work on the basis of a late 19th or early 20th century transcript of the diaries lent him by Miss Hilda Wickham of Hertford and, when the diaries themselves were deposited in this record office, he checked the transcript against the original. (The newspaper published a photograph of him doing so on 19 September 1947). According to Mr. Johnson's recollection this original deposit consisted of the diaries of John Carrington senior, (Nos. 1-13), as they appear in this inventory, the collection (No. 14) and the volume (No. 15) of memoranda and the diaries of John Carrington junior (Nos. 17-23). In the course of his researches he heard of diaries kept by John Carrington senior at an earlier date than those listed within, but was unsuccessful in tracking them down. It was Mr. Johnson who deposited the cuttings from The Welwyn Times, the notes on Carrington relationships (No. 34), the indexes (Nos. 25-27) and the typescript of "Good Friends and Merry" (No. 28).


The typed transcripts of parts of John Carrington senior's diaries (No. 31) and the carbon copy of it (No. 32), together with the late R.L. Hine's notes and bibliography (No. 30), presumably form a part of accession 368, deposited in August 1951. Carrington's instructions concerning his funeral and charitable bequests did not, according to Mr. Johnson, form a part of the original deposit. Miss Wickham lent him a copy which may be the one that has since then found its way into the collection (No. 16) and which may have been deposited later with John Carrington junior's family Bible (No. 24). The genealogical tables (No. 37) are probably from the same source.


The provenance of the other typed transcript of parts of the diaries (No. 29) is unknown. However, it refers to the "Black Books", which appear to have been the name given by the family to the MS transcript used by Mr. Branch Johnson. The source, or sources, of the copies of Blackwoods (Nos. 35-36) and the article taken from the same publication (No. 33) is also unknown, but it is reasonable to suppose that they were given by the author, Mr. W.R. Hughes, and added to the collection, perhaps as a temporary measure, when the deposit was made.

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