From the Archive: A remarkable harvest.

High up on a sheltered, well lit corner of a wall in an outbuilding at Cotesbach Hall can be deciphered a faint scribbling entitled ‘TOTAL TATERS 1920’ [1].  The unmistakeable hand of Rowley Marriott (1899-1992) can be discerned listing the weight of potatoes yielded from each of three areas in the walled garden, to a total imperial equivalent of 1,238 kg, nearly three times what we considered to be an exceptional yield…

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From the archive: Christmas Fare

It seems that struggling to find a suitable gift is an issue that has long been perplexing people... The back page of this 1940s magazine called 'Christmas Fare' shows a range of 'useful' gas appliances! Imagine tearing off the wrapping paper on Christmas morning to find you have been given a soldering iron heater!Here is the list of items pictured, sure to thrill even the most tricky to buy for... If you…

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From the Archive: Cotesbach and the East London Hospital for Children.

Archive document .3588.1.a : ‘Account of offertory alms, Cotesbach.’ One Sunday in 1872, the Cotesbach Church collection money (more than £5, as documented in the above ledger) was sent to a tiny hospital in Ratcliff Cross in the East End of London. What prompted the people of the rural village to support so generously such a seemingly insignificant cause? The answer involves an epidemic, a hospital romance and Charles Dickens.There was an…

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From the Archive: Maxim’s Pipe of Peace

Are those winter coughs and colds still lingering? Maybe the Archive can help. This “Pipe of Peace” medical device (delivered to Cotesbach in 1916) was one of many thousands produced in the early twentieth century to treat throat and chest problems such as bronchitis. Soothing vapours could be delivered right to the back of the throat via a long glass tube. Maxim himself began suffering with bronchitis in 1900 and spent many…

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From the Archive: A cold start for the housemaid

Duties of Housemaid To be downstairs by 6 a.m. To open shutters and light fires To call Mr & Mrs Marriott at ¼ before 7 o’clock To dust dining room & sitting rooms & be ready for prayers at 8.30 To make beds & do bedrooms, sweep & dust front staircase Servants’ dinner 12.15 To dress and be ready to answer front door bell in afternoon To take schoolroom tea at 5.15…

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The Madness of King George III

13th November 1810 (Tuesday). “The times are very awful.” ‘My dear Robert’, wrote George Wharton Marriott (a London-based lawyer) to his brother, the Rector of Cotesbach in the Leicestershire countryside, “If I could have found time I should have written to you on Saturday merely to give the good tidings then received of the King. He has since that time not proceeded uninterruptedly towards recovery, but the retrograde steps have not been very important.”…

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National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a UK-wide celebration of poetry taking place on the first Thursday in October. The theme for 2019 is ‘Truth’ so this hymn, written by the Rev. John Marriott, contained in our archive seems appropriate. Spirit of Truth and Love,Life giving Holy Dove,Speed forth thy Flight.Move o’er the Water’s faceBearing the Lamp of Grace,And in Earth’s darkest place“Let there be Light”.

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Mystery at Cotesbach Rectory

Recent refurbishments at the house built as Cotesbach Rectory revealed an inscription inside a window frame. Archive volunteers were asked whether any of our documents could shed light on the writers’ identity.

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Back to school

One line in a letter from a Victorian schoolboy catches the attention. John Marmaduke Marriott (aged just fifteen) writes home from Winchester College to his Papa in Cotesbach with, amongst other news connected with his return to school, the fact that “I am having claret every day here.” Despite Samuel Johnson’s famous assertion that “Claret is the liquor for boys”, it seems that by this era such was no longer generally the case.…

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A piece of detective work inspired by a mysterious note from 1892!

A summer Sunday in 1892 and two young men are sitting on a gate in the sunshine. Alfred Shortland (19) and Abraham Jennings (17) are spending what little leisure time they have in the countryside, having taken a walk from Lutterworth along the footpath to Cotesbach. What could be more idyllic? The scene cannot be as innocent as it appears, however, or why were the youngsters’ names recorded and a log of…

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