29/07/2010

The Snooke Diaries

I made one of my little trips the other day. This time to the Gloucestershire Record Office in Gloucester, where they have transcripts of four diaries by William Snooke, esq. These diaries are for 1768, 1769 (though January-September has been excised from the original for some mysterious reason), 1774 and 1775. The diaries contain sparse comments on every day life and accounts.
I only had time to take notes from two and a half diaries so will have to return for the rest.
Most fascinating from our point of view are the references to Beddome and his family, especially the record of his texts Sunday by Sunday (except when Snooke is in London) and often in the week too. Initial observations are these
1. It appears to have been the Beddomes' practice to take tea at the Snooke's on Mondays. Sometimes it was on another day or without Benjamin's presence or not at all.
2. Beddome, as we know, was a textual preacher but he often preached runs of sermons on a passage, such as a Psalm or part of Matthew 25.
3. He was not over fastidious about keeping such series to the right service, ie having started a morning series he might switch to the afternoon.
4. Sometimes funerals would take place with a sermon at the time of the regular worship.
5. There were meetings in the week. In the earlier diaries these take place on Fridays (Preparation day) but later move to a Wednesday.
6. The sacrament was observed usually once a month. There is no obvious pattern, however.
7. Two Sundays a month were Stow days when, presumably, there was also a service in Stow.
8. Beddome was the usual preacher unless he was away at the Association, in London, unwell or making room for another preacher.
9. The evidence for Snooke's regular payments to Beddome is here. It was £2 2 0 quarterly.
10. Snooke obviously loved preaching being a regular hearer of Beddome and other preachers. He also bought and read sermons. He gave to beggars from time to time. He also went to plays and other entertainments in London and occasionally did the lottery. There is no strong evidence of rigid Sabbath keeping.

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