4 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

2 ref: was he an employee of 'me laud' or was he an independant carrier or both? "...Then to Harper

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Mr Beard (or Bird), the Huntingdon carrier. The name, spelt Beard, occurs in the registers of St Mary's and of All Saints, Huntingdon. Possibly the carrier was Thomas, who was married at All Saints in 1627. (L&M Companion)

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M Companion: Bird/Beard arrived at his London terminus, an inn in Cripplegate, every Wednesday and returned to Huntingdon the following morning. During the period of the diary there were between 200 and 300 carrier services operating to and from London. Mostly they carried goods and letters, but also took passengers when need arose. Probably not a very comfortable journey.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

FROM: J. Holland Walker, An itinerary of Nottingham: Thornhaughs' town house and communications, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 31 (1927)

By the 17th century, wheels were coming into general use, and huge cumbrous waggons of immensely strong construction were dragged about the country by teams of 6 horses and more. In addition to conveying goods, these waggons had great baskets slung at their rear for the accommodation of passengers, and their usual rate of progress was 3 miles an hour, 4 miles an hour being looked upon as extraordinarily rapid.
But the wheels of these monsters played havoc with the already dreadful surface of the roads, and all manner of plans were devised to remedy the evil.
Instead of improving the roads, our forefathers tried to stop the waggons, and they also introduced regulations encouraging the use of wide wheels, until eventually rollers were tried instead of ordinary ... wheels.


As we see from the minutes of the Royal Society during the last half of the 1660s, making transportation more comfortable was an on-going concern. I think experiments with rollers came much later.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Jan
  • Sep