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BIRTHDAY BOOK.

SOUTHOUSE, William (1705–after 1789)

Kalendar (title on covers); Wm Southouse. This book made in 1757 (inside front cover); An Accot of Mourning Rings

London or home counties: , 1757–1789 or later
Bound manuscript on paper, 168 x 72mm, 31 leaves (quired 4, 10, 1, 16), pp. [10] 49 [3], written on 58 pages including pastedowns. Pp. [2–5], ‘Index of names’; [6–9] blank; [10] Southouse’s family; 1–49 calendar, ruled in red with days of the month and holidays and dates relating to public figures in red ink, evidently written in first, entries for births, deaths, marriages etc in dark brown ink; [1] blank; [3] ‘An Accot of Mourning Rings’ (written from the back, starting on inside back cover).
Binding: Original stiff boards, rubbed, inner joints cracked.
£300

The main part of the manuscript is a universal calendar in which have been recorded the births, deaths and marriages of members of the writer’s family and other persons. Written from the back is a ‘An Accot of Mourning Rings’, giving the dates of death and age of 61 persons, only some of whom appear in the Kalendar, from 1728 to 1784. Many of the entries in the Kalendar concern family members, including the dates of birth of Southwell’s father and mother and the date of their wedding. I can find little trace of the Southouse family, but prominent families also appear, including those of Sir James Colebrooke, whose daughter Mary married Sir John Aubry on 9 March 1771 and died in 1781, lieutenant Edward Harvey and Fanny Bankes, Lady Brownlow, a relation on Southouse’s mother’s side. Only some of these names appear in the list of mourning rings. Was Southouse perhaps a jeweller, manufacturing mourning rings? He was certainly meticulous in keeping records of his immediate family, keeping this notebook for over 30 years and providing an index.
Southouse tells us he was born on 10 October 1705 (o.s.), his wife on 19 March 1721. The couple had three children, Mary, born 15 June 1742; William, born 12 March 1744 and died 2 July 1750 and buried in the N. aisle of St Lawrence’s Church, London; and Thomwas, born 15 April 1747 and died 26 January 1786 at his house in Charlotte Street, Bedford Square. His wife died 9 December 1789, the last date recorded in the Kalendar.