Editor: Alan Wadsworth
First Pasture Price: £20.00
From 1813 until his death in 1847, Thomas Pinniger kept a detailed daily account of the sheep and corn husbandry he practised first at Little Bedwyn Farm to 1825, and then as the owner of Beckhampton Farm in Avebury parish from 1829. These periods were separated by a stay on Sambourne Farm in Chippenham, when he was more an observer than an active farmer.
These 'Farming Memorandums', as Pinniger described them, provide a fascinating and detailed record of the challenges that he faced throughout his long career. Farming practices and developments, prices of corn and livestock, and the weather were all recorded in detail. Pinniger also noted the births, marriages and deaths of relatives, friends and acquaintances, revealing the social milieu in which he lived. Dates of funerals and of funeral services were also often provided, the latter rarely recorded in this period. He also provided a first hand account of the unrest of the Swing Riots of 1830, which he viewed as a serious threat. The years 1823 to 1838 have been transcribed, but the whole span is covered in the introduction. In keeping such meticulous daily records over so long a period, Thomas Pinniger stands as the principal representative of the class of yeoman farmers, from early to mid 19th-century Wiltshire.