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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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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Springtime in the Georgian garden.

This document is one of the earliest records of the Marriott family in Cotesbach. The ‘Mr Marriott’ to whom the bill was addressed was Robert, who had (at the age of 20 in 1763) recently graduated  from Oxford and taken up residence at the Hall. His gardener (one John Crow, as we know from his bills, also preserved in Cotesbach Archive) had been working hard to prepare the garden for the new…

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