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…

Continue Reading From the Archive: A cold start for the housemaid

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.”…

Continue Reading The Madness of King George III

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”.

Continue Reading National Poetry Day

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.

Continue Reading Mystery at Cotesbach Rectory

New project: ‘Reconnect 2020’

Our theme for next year, ‘Reconnect 2020’, is about ecology, land use and climate change. We are curating a programme of talks, walks, workshops, events, displays, cross curricular educational activities and volunteer opportunities, which embed positive messages about low carbon lifestyles, protecting biodiversity and small scale farming, exploring issues around food and growing, and providing access to high quality produce, key to the well-being and future of people and the soil We…

Continue Reading New project: ‘Reconnect 2020’

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.…

Continue Reading Back to school

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…

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

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…

Continue Reading Springtime in the Georgian garden.