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Manuscript Diary

March 1863 and Horse Racing


Transcription and explanatory commentary of Ms. diary for March 1863 

4 pages Horse Racing in Ms. form only 

MARCH 1863




Felt uncommonly ill and had Malton to see me. I was ever fluctuating  - Bernard and Helen called - Not much to say a bit down - it being the same kind of story every day-

2. MONDAY.    


Felt much better - Into town Wisden's the club - Preparations for the Princess Alex. of Wales's procession - Dined early - To Monday Pop with Minnie   - Arabella Goddard - & played good as ever - Reeves did not sing - Wilbye Cooper - a fair substitute    



Henry de Blaguire expected to call- but never came- he left a card at Helen's Malton called to see me - Heard that H.De B. - had been in town for some time.



Dreadfully hot day -  quite sickening for this time of the year - Wrote to Dick and mainly about H de B's arrival surmised & C.C.B. gave me a lift in his Brougham into town Winser and wife and H De B called - but left no messages. 

5. THURSDAY.    Fine day but too hot - All London dressed out in honour of the Princess A - I would not let Minnie stay at home - she went with Helen and Bernard to Richmond - called but to no purpose on H de B. several people called - Had a good walk -

6. FRIDAY  Wrote to Dick and Rackham  - about B.   - Into town - arranged  about seeing the procession - rained like blazes - Wrote up a lot of back diary. Bad night - not well as usual   


7. SATURDAY.   Letter from Walker and Hunter claiming £160 and interest since 1858 - Waited at the club for the Prince and spouse Crush dreadful went away in disgust - Minnie with Fabricotts - to see them at Louise's window  -

8. SUNDAY   Took a good deal of walking for exercise - Bernard and Helen dined with us. I had a bad night . Smoking room cleaned out and washed etc.                  

March 2 

At Wisden's again


March 3 

I have not been able to find out who Henry De Blaguire was.  However he was clearly of significance to the author. A previous bank record show him as paying in one year 4,000 in cash in a lump sum into his bank account  and then later that year 3 four figure sums to Henry De Blaguire . Googling the name Henry De Blaguire produces only 1 result and some images that all stem from this ms. 

In July 2022  I learnt that HDB's name is not Henri de Blaguire as I first thought but Henri de Blaquiere.  Born in 1821 he was the son of Peter Boyle de Blaquiere a Canadian politician and the first Chancellor of Toronto University and who settled in Woodstock Canada in 1837.  In a work about the early years of Canadian cricket a scorecard is known about in which a gentleman by the name of Blaquiere played for Woodstock and scored 13 runs.  Woodstock is where Elwes's father in law initially settled.  Woodstock is also quite close (50 miles) to Hamilton, where one of the 1859 test matches was played

and Hamilton is also a team mentioned in early Canadian cricket. 

A cursory look at Elwes's accounts reveals several other transactions for significant sums 2oo pounds , 1000 pounds and 1643 pounds to be found in Elwes's accounts  between Elwes and De Blaquiere. There maybe others.   

I also had a quick look at his HDB's father  Peter Boyle de Blaquiere of Irish and before that French ancestry. Little is known of his early life but it is known that he served as a mid - shipman on board the Director, a ship commanded by Captain William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.  This provides a reason based upon acquaintanceship if not friendship  for the April 28th entry in the Almanack of "Mutiny on board the Bounty, 1789  

Following publication in Wisden 2021 of an article by cricket writer Jon Hotten information has been received about the existence of 3 volumes of diaries sold in the early 2000s.  There whereabouts is currently unknown but their contents presents intriguing possibilities, not the least of which is that these illustrated diaries cover the period 1855 - 1857.  A time when Elwes met his American wife and according to her testimony stayed in some of the places where the tests between England and America were played.   

In September 2022 I found out who sold them.  It appears they were sold by specialist cricket book dealer Chris Saunders.   Whatever has Saunders let slip!?  Perhaps they hold nothing of value to the world of cricket  but I seriously doubt that.    have

MARCH 1863

9. MONDAY  Morning post crammed with acct. of the reception of the Princess - Did a deal of back diary Took a good walk - Could not find the corn plaster man. Gave up the Monday Pop- Mr. Gully died at Durham aged 80 

10. TUESDAY.   Called on Bernard and Malton - neither at home however - Wedding day of the Prince and Princess - Fine but afterwards foggy day  Minnie and F.G. went to see illuminations at night - Crush frightful 11 lives lost

11. WEDNESDAY.   Took a good walk. Saw Malton  - Music rather kept me awake at night. - (????) to me when I could not sleep.

12.  THURSDAY.   Felt better. Cold stormy windy sort of day- Wisden's  Find corn plasters at Fabricotts- first rate - C.C.B. dined here Miss G. also - finished Eveline -- a capital book-


13. FRIDAY.   Thought desparately and consulted about this Whitby affair - Minnie went to ask Helen about it - rightly conjecturing it was something done for her - at Aislaby - Called at Winsor's old house - Could not find out where he lived.


14. SATURDAY.   Minnie set to work about the Whitby money - and got the thing in motion - Took a good walk . Nice letter from Rackham "Sir Tatton Sykes " died aged nearly 91 - grand old man and breeder of horses. -


15. SUNDAY.    4 IN LENT   Mr. B called in the morning - tried for a walk but it rained arranged with James Walls to go to the University Race Verner's Pride good - dragged out too long

16. MONDAY.  Took a good walk Lincoln's house not inhabited - Found the true and proper way of going to Lord's Fountains (????) Lisson Grove etc. - Minnie and Fanny to "Pop" I declined - Helen had heavy tea here Answer from Whitby - in re Helen's education bill-

March 9  

"Mr. Gully"  This man had a very interesting life  see Wikipedia.  A prize fighter, big time gambler and horse racer, and politician. Amongst other things he spent time imprisoned for debt and fathered 24 children.   John Gully bought the Derby winner Mameluke a horse that FEC's father had bred.    


March 10

"Wedding day of the Prince and Princess "  In the 1864 first edition of Wisden the entry for Thurs March 10 reads Prince of Wales married 


March 12 

Eveline A  book by Fanny Burney 


March 13   

What the Whitby affair could be is intriguing but unknown.
















Aislaby Hall

Small for a hall however the back view displays  a far more extensive ground floor level

than is apparent from the front view 



Aislaby refers to Aislaby Hall near Whitby which FEC's brother Dick  tenanted for 10 years and which for some time FEC used as one of his addresses. 

Aislaby may  also refer in a heavy, punning, jesting way to Benjamin Aislabie "cricketer" a man who was a former President and Secretary  of the MCC. He had possibly one of the worst first class records  on record. The entry for him in the Almanack section of the first edition of Wisden June 2 reads "Benj. Aislabie Esq.d. 1842 aetat 68.

Is the use of the latin word 

"aetat" Wisden or Elwes?  The latter surely. 


March 14 

"Sir Tatton Sykes"  quite probably well known to FEC's father who was also a horse breeder. There is an extensive  not to say interesting Wikipedia  entry for him. But also Sykes is the same surname as FEC's mother born Jane Marianne Sykes.  Sykes is a Yorkshire name  and both came from Yorkshire.


March 15 

"Veener's Pride" a novel by Mrs. Henry Wood a popular authoress in her day but largely ignored  and forgotten now. 


March 16 

 The "true and proper way to Lords" (there is such a thing) refers to the walk from his house in Queens Gate Terrace.  On his way to Lords he would have to have crossed the Regents Canal section of the Grand Union Canal somewhere.  Is this fact a contributory factor  for the inclusion of a list of the lengths of the canals of Britain.

20210913_180634.jpg Aislaby Hall

MARCH  1863

17 . TUESDAY.   Good long walk - a hansom gave me a lift to Hammersmith - walked on the bridge more to see if it was an important point in the race. Got out in the country again- and brought myself to Kens. Gardens.- thro' Campden Hill - enjoyed the variety of the walk. Paid away a lot of cheques   

18. WEDNESDAY.   Wrote to Percival - got receipt from Walker & Hunter. - Wrote to Winsor and Newton's - Minnie and I dined with Helen - we did get dinner at last- We did nothing but laugh at Pieto - whose anxiety was feverish - dinner was delicious - trying to eat peppered soup- Nice walk home-

19. THURSDAY.  Another good walk- To Hampstead - hoofs to Langham Place - Cab to Gates  into Camden town - walked again bus to Hampstead - Capital chop etc at "Jack Straws" - Home by Lords Larry had just been - Walked right home across the park . Did a good deal of M.s work.

20. FRIDAY.   Walked to Exeter Hall and got two tickets for oratorio- Worked hard at the Almanacks- over to Helen's - Hard day to get through- Early dinner - with M too Oratorio "St Paul and his Conversion" - (Mme Radasdoff Dolly Fever?)    Weiss - orchestra - first rate but we got to near

21. SATURDAY.   Charlotte came to luncheon- great fuss and excitement about the Almanacks - Malton also came- Walked up to Lords - found LB at tennis - taking it out of Stepney - arranged about Helmsley - walked of course -

22. SUNDAY . 5 IN LENT  Did not feel well. Minnie with Helen and Bernard to Richmond by some mistake - I never knew I was asked - Got letters from Rackham and Lindow,

23. MONDAY.  Missed Malton by 10 minutes - At Douglas's (why do I mention such things as these) it shows how little one has to say in a guiding diary - Chapman and Laurence Peel dined here and accompanied Minnie to Monday pop - and afterwards Pitt Taylor's - at home


24. TUESDAY.     Fine warm weather still looked over accts. . Our old friend Remmie dined here - to go with Minnie to Charley East's - an at home. (??????) Charley East and wife being the hosts Worked hard at diary - Malton called -

March 17 

The race in this instance refers to the upcoming university boat race a few days later which passed under Hammersmith Bridge


March 18 

Percival was a paying guest onthe Egton estate earlier in the year.  FEC's bank records show him receiving a check from him.

The receipt  refers to the payment of the bill for 160 pounds 


March 19 

"Jack Straws" was a well known land mark, which was a former pub Hampstead


March 20 

A very important entry in relation to the 1864 first edition of Wisden  is this first mention of the word Almanack.  The first line of  the first edition  reads "The Cricketer' s Almanack" Inside of course is the Almanack for the year 1864. Exactly what "the Almanacks " plural in this entry could be is debatable .  I propose that in part at least it may have been the missing pages in this manuscript and especially the table showing the University Rowing Matches and the Two Elevens each to appear soon.  


March 21   

"Charlotte" is probably his slightly younger niece 

"Great fuss and excitement about the Almanacks"  Once one truly realises that this manuscript is in part at least the original source manuscript  to the 1864 first edition of Wisden's Almanack  (see proofs in April and May sections) the idea that FEC is actually the author of much more than the 2 pages that are provably by him becomes a very distinct possibility that strengthens as more and more of the circumstantial evidence that is already added, together with the further circumstantial evidence to be added is considered.  As can be seen from the entries  for the 28th and 30th  March  the creation of Almanacks is something of a pastime but to use the word excitement about them indicates that these "Almanacks " may have had something a little special about them (An agreement with Wisden to create them ?)

 LB is his friend Larry Birch.  Helmsley refers to Helmsley in Yorkshire where FEC and LB were to go fishing a few days later.

March 23 

Not enough going on his life. The lot of gentleman aristocrats who did not have to work.   

25. WEDNESDAY.  Annunc.  Lady Day.  Gave away one or two cheques. Felt better. Worked like blazes at Diary. heard from Rackham and acknowledgement of cheque. "At home at Larry Birch's" Two or three very good looking girls there one a sister of Mrs. Lawrence - some nice water colours of South America -

26.  THURSDAY. Mrs. and Miss Judkins . (Very pretty but fallen off ). to luncheon. Mortlock came too and we went to the dog show at Cremane. Setters particularly - Irish - a black and tan - good. White terriers same  2 young bull dogs fine - bloodhounds, mastiffs wretched some good Clumbers - 2 pugs a King Charles very good very warm - doggy smell - we were glad to depart-

27. FRIDAY.  Camb T. Ends.  Letter from Goslings - wrote to Rackham enclosing ditto - many other letters went and came- G. Murray called - into town - missed Malton again - determined on going to Helmesley - on Wednesday in conjunction with Larry - and to see Oxford and Cambridge boat race on Saturday - to Wisden's about a Clumber bitch.

28. SATURDAY. Oxford T. Ends.  Up betimes - much trouble and some mistakes - never saw Walls all day - at last hearing that they were to row down instead of up. I took rail to Mortlake - and had time to see the last 3/4 mile. Watched race, deep blue - 7 lengths ahead - saw nobody I knew but Murray - picked up an Oxford man to guide me - bad cold - felt seedy - Into town - Gave Charlotte one almanack - copied from her loaned one.


29. SUNDAY.  PALM.S.  Found that Rackham had written to the other trustees - about getting relief for me - at a slight sacrifice to myself £40 p. a!  at Wisden's - neither - Jemmie nor the Clumber bitch had arrived. To our intense surprise - waited for Malton who never came - unlucky -

30.  MONDAY   Saw Rackham about my difficulties and he proposed the plan just alluded to previously- at Wisden's - Jemmie Dean there - had some grub and grog with them - Began an Almanack for Minnie - the French oak one which I did before - a failure - a smudging and I found the little oak frame fractured  -


31.  TUESDAY.  called at Charlotte's - where I found great dread of smallpox - Thank God - only in a servant as yet- at Princes - saw - Kennand and Russell Walker beat Ainslie and Plowden - 4 games to 2 Unluckily Daniel was hurt and Plowden took his place         

March 25  

More hard work  (this manuscript and its  missing pages?)


March 26  

The  Judkins were related to his wife.  Clumber is a Clumber Spaniel  a breed of dog FEC was interested in see 27th and 29th  March entries.

There are several dog related entries in this diary scattered about. Might they be what inspired the entry in the Almanack sectionof the 1864 first edition of Widsen for August 11  "Dog days end."  "Dog days  was the traditional name for the 40 hottest days of summer beginning July 3rd and ending August 11 


March 27

"Camb T Ends" The 1864 first edition of Wisden also notes the endings  of the Cambridge and Oxford  terms  "To Wisden's about a Clumber bitch" Did Wisden have access to sporting dogs 


March 28  

"Oxford T Ends 

"Gave Charlotte one Almanack - copied from her loaned one" more evidence to relate the creation of the Almanack section of the first edition of Wisden to Elwes.  Copied and  handwritten by Elwes this may have been the Almanack that provided all the important information regarding religious feast days saints days etc.  which take many of the daily entries in the first edition.    


March 29   

The sacrifice to Elwes possibly refers to the 160 pound outstanding bill the relief of which he would lose 40 pounds per year.

At Wisden's again Jemmie probably refers to Jemmie Dean cricketer and one of Wisden's best friends, a man to whom he willed his pub in Sussex too. 


March  30  

At Wisden's again. An interesting scene Wisden, Jemmie Dean, professional cricketers  and F.E.C. Elwes gentleman, aristocrat, eating and drinking grub and grog rather than wining and dining for example the O and C.

Another example of FEC creating his own Almanacks, this time for Minnie his wife.

March  31  "Called at Charlotte's where I found great dread of small pox - thank God its only in a servant as yet" Aside from the social comment the main point to make about this entry is its connection to the Almanack section for January in the 1864 first edition of Wisden.   The entry for January 26 reads Dr. Edmund Jenner who introduced vaccination died 1823. It was vaccination for smallpox that Jenner introduced.  

Princes was a rackets  club  and Kennand, Russell Walker,  Ainslie, Plowden , and Daniel unluckily hurt, were rackets players. 

The April diary section contains a "Wisden" like account of this match  


John Slusar owner of a website called the GREYHOUNDDERBY a site of immense interest to those interested in horse racing  has seen some if not all of the horse racing pages.   They mean little to me, but to him, a man who understands horse racing he tells me  finds them extremely interesting.

As regards 1st edition Wisden Almanack 1864 they provide another  clear evidential link between the author of this ms. and the pages devoted  to the winners of the Derby Oaks and St. Leger recorded  in this publication.  


The End of this section apart from the correction of typos

or the addition of relevant newly uncovered information 

Click Here for Wisden's Secret Part 2 

Manuscript April Diary and the first Sporting Reports Including the 2 Proofs of copying by Wisden  

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