Harrold’s Diary

Edmund Harrold his book of Remarks and Observations

Manuscript diary covering the period 1712-16


This diary of Edmund Harrold (d. 1721), a Manchester wigmaker, was given to Chetham’s in 1889 as part of the bequest of John Eglington Bailey, a prominent local historian. The diary is one of the most remarkable sources for the study of the social history of Manchester. In it Harrold describes the deaths of his second wife and daughter Sarah, the courtship and marriage of his third wife, recreation and social life, heavy drinking, periods of repentance and extensive reading. Like another more celebrated diarist, Samuel Pepys, Harrold peppered his diary with details of his sex life, which he usually described as ‘doing his wife’.

10 July Remarkable for Peter Nedom’s being drowned, and Peter Downes being married to Grace Hulm. My wife and I was very merry there at night. On the 9th at night I did wife two times couch and bed in an hour an[d] half time.