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Diary of Elizabeth Doyle of Crimplesham Hall
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Diary of Elizabeth Doyle of Crimplesham Hall

The diary is anonymous, but from internal evidence was written by Mrs Elizabeth Doyle, widow, of Crimplesham Hall, where she resided with her sister, Hannah and her brother in law (Hannah's husband), James Doyle. Prefaced by a list of letters received and sent from 1 January to 8 May 1854, the diary has daily entries from 1 January to 12 May 1854. Mrs Doyle was an active member of the Society of Friends, and her diary records daily personal and family scripture readings, prayers etc at the Hall; arranging and attending Bible meetings, monthly meetings and anti-slavery meetings. In May, 'Benjamin Benson the black man' visited and gave a lecture on the 'horrors of slavery' in the schoolroom.
Domestic and social events recorded include private readings and studies, estate management, a new rockery and walk and other alterations to (and planting in) the garden; visiting friends and neighbours in adjoining parishes; several visits to King's Lynn (to stay with the Cresswells at Bank House, among others); a visit to Norwich on 6-7 April for a Friends' meeting and shopping (including 'Magnolia Grandiflora' from Mackies Nursery); incidents involving servants and their families, including a painful operation to remove a tumour from 'poor Hannah Draper' in February, and James Doyle's absence in February on a visit to Ireland.