31 May 2013, Holt Bookshop: more on Mary Hardy’s life

The Holt Bookshop, an independent outlet in the north Norfolk town a mile from where Mary Hardy wrote her diary, is hosting an author event on Friday 31 May 2013 at 6.30 pm.

Margaret Bird, the editor of the diary, will be giving an illustrated presentation, “Mary Hardy: Holt’s local 18th-century diarist.”

The event is free, and all are welcome.

After the talk there will be an opportunity to buy one or more of the volumes, which Margaret will be happy to sign.

A sociable family

Mary Hardy enlivens the history of the area through her detailed coverage of events in which she and her family participated. To celebrate the recovery of King George III from his severe attack of lunacy in 1788–89, during which his eldest son nearly became Regent, the diarist and the rector’s wife Elizabeth Burrell organised and cooked a meal for Letheringsett’s poor.

Mary Hardy's diary, 24 March 1789

Plums for the pudding, a barrel of beer, and gunpowder for the festivities: part of the entry on the public dinner given to the poor for the King’s recovery in 1789  [Cozens-Hardy Collection]

It was held on 24 March 1789 in the great barn at the crossroads with the Blakeney road, demolished in the early 1830s to make way for a large rectory.

In the extract from her diary, pictured, she describes all the ingredients she used in cooking the meal of roast beef and plum pudding for 150 men, women and children. The miller at Letheringsett Watermill provided the bread.

In the evening our house and shrubbery were illuminated . . . and the evening concluded with firing of guns  (Mary Hardy, 1789)

In the talk Margaret Bird will not only describe Mary Hardy’s life, but show how her activities, and those of her family, related to events in the wider world.

For further details and directions on how to get to the bookshop in the Appleyard, please contact the bookshop on 01263 715 858, or on its website.

Read more articles

Margaret Bird

Margaret Bird in 2016

The editor and author of the Mary Hardy volumes

You can read about the historian Margaret Bird on the link above

See inside…