Diary extracts as an Oxford undergraduate

The series of Diary extracts falls into five groups on separate pages, reflecting Woodforde's career: Oxford undergraduate; Somerset curate; College fellow; Norfolk rector; Tourist.

In each extract the first part is a faithful transcription of the original manuscript, as published in the Parson Woodforde Society's edition in seventeen volumes. The diarist's line-breaks in his manuscript are retained. The second part is a transcription in modern English, with revised punctuation and spelling and set as continuous prose.

In these glimpses into Woodforde's daily life we see him in his student days at New College. He had matriculated at Oxford University in 1758 while in residence at Oriel College, but moved to New College in 1759 on obtaining a scholarship.

The square towers of New College and the Bodleian Library in this Oxford panorama by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck 1731Oxford from the south-west, by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck 1731; the square towers of New College and the Bodleian Library are a little to the left of the City Church, the steeple on the far left (no. 27)

His wig, an uncontested election and cards, 8 April 1761Lord Charles Spencer, elected MP for Oxfordshire in 1761 Lord Charles Spencer (1740–1820), second son of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough, elected as an MP aged 21 [painting by Joshua Reynolds 1759, from the University of Michigan Museum of Art Collection, accession no. 2001/2.128: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Nosegays for Peckham & myself pd -  0 - 0 - 1
For two Rolls of Pomatum of my Barber pd -  0 - 1 - 0
For the Barber to Drink - gave  0 - 1 - 0
N:B: It is always when one has a new Wigg -
For Fruit - pd-  0 - 0 - 5
I went to the Town Hall where I saw
Lord Robert Spencer, his Brother Lord Charles's
Representative, & Sir James Dashwood,
made Members for the County of Oxford,
I saw them both chaired, no opposition at all.
At Bragg in the BCR, with Oglander, Ridly,
Caswall, Ballard, Peckham, & Master - won  0 - 1 - 0

Nosegays for Peckham & myself: paid  £0 0s 1d. For two rolls of pomatum of my barber: paid  £0 1s 0d. For the barber to drink: gave  £0 1s 0d. NB: It is always when one has a new wig. For fruit: paid  £0 0s 5d.

I went to the Town Hall where I saw Lord Robert Spencer, his brother Lord Charles's representative, and Sir James Dashwood made Members [of Parliament] for the county of Oxford. I saw them both chaired: no opposition at all. At brag in the BCR [Bachelors' Common Room] with Oglander, Ridley, Caswall, Ballard, Peckham and Master: won  £0 1s 0d.


'The Skater (Portrait of William Grant) 1782', by Gilbert Stuart['The Skater (Portrait of William Grant) 1782, by Gilbert Stuart: Andrew W. Mellon Collection, accession no. 1950.18.1]

Skating on the Thames, 24 January 1763

Went with Nicholls this Morning
a skating, and we skated
down to Abingdon where we
dined . . .
We were going down about
one Hour and Half; N.B. We
walked about 2 miles out of it,
It is about 10 Miles by Water –
Gave a Fellow for putting
on my Skates  0 - 0 - 2

Went with Nicholls this morning a-skating, and we skated down to Abingdon where we dined . . . We were going down about one hour and a half. NB: We walked about two miles out of it; it is about ten miles by water. Gave a fellow for putting on my skates £0 0s 2d.