Wit and Folley in Amaizement

This is a genius piece of work, I have shared it on the ‘Roots Chat Forum‘ and had some great suggestions as to what it is, huge thank you to Andrew Tarr and Millipede for their input. Essentially you make it to be whatever you want it to be! The words in normal text are the actual lines of the poem, the bits in italics is where you add words, probably the ones in the larger font. It is probably a ‘Skill and Judgement’ exercise. It is all rather confusing, but undoubtedly brilliant and as one forum user said ‘No doubt it can be made as saucy as one wants’!

This is my first attempt at it (using just the large font words)!

Wit and Folley in Amaizement

Had both wit and a friend of whom I thought great store
Lent my money  to my friend and took his word therefore
Asked my friend of my money and nothing but word I got
Lost my friend and my money for sue him I would not 

But at length, with wit came my friend which pleaded me wonderous well
Got my money but my wit away quite from me fell.
But if I had money and a friend  as I had once before
Would keep my friend and my money and play the foul no more


Update 3rd May 2020

Holding the paper up to the light I have just spotted a really interesting watermark on the paper.

Rule of Three

Within the documents in the chest is a curious thing called ‘The Rule of Three’. I have looked it up, and it seems to some from ‘A new and complete system of arithmetick: composed for the use of the Citizens of the United States by Nicholas Pike and Nathaniel Lord. It is available to read at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=fxNRAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en_GB&pg=GBS.PP1 This version was published on the 1st January 1816. It starts with the words:

Be it remembered, that on the seventh day of November, in the thirty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Thomas and Andrews of the said district, have deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit: “A new and complete system of Arithmetic’.

According to the book:

The Rule of Three

If more require more, or less require less, the question belongs to the Rule of Three Direct.
But if more require less, or less require more, it belongs to the Rule of Three Inverse.

Rule of Three

Rule of Three transcribed as it was written – spelling included!

Rule of Three

The Rule is called the Rule of Three, beause in it there are three numbers given, to find a fourth

Rule._1 Observer that of thee three given numbers two are suposed and on the other lies a demand.*

2 The number on which the demand lies, must always be the third term of the stating; of the other two, you will find one of the same kind, make it the first, consequently the remaining number will be the second or middle term, and of the same kind with what is required.

3 Reduce each number to its lowest denomination, and the first and third to the same name;

4 Consider whether more of less than the middle term be required; if more make the less extreme, the division; if less the greater exterm and the product of the other two terms the dividend: divide and the quotiend will be the answer in the same name as the second number.

On the reverse of ‘The Rule of Three’ is the costings for groceries ‘Bought of William Charlton’. What is odd about it is the first costing is from 1840 and the one underneath is from 1834. There is no date on the document to indicate when it was actually written. I wonder why he has a copy a book ‘for Citizens of the United States’? Maybe it was sent to him by his brother John. I also wonder if he understood what he was transcribing? It means nothing to me! He certainly seems to ave been an astute businessman, so must have had a head for figures.



I looked up what bohea was and according to Wikipedia – Wuyi tea, formerly known by the trade name “Bohea” in English, is a category of black and oolong teas grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, China.

I have transcribed both documents and it can be downloaded here Rule of Three transcription.

William Charlton’s Complete Diary.

Esther Caswell’s (nee Charlton) father William, started his ‘black’ diary on February 10th 1876 and finishes on the 24th June 1884. This evening I finished scanning in the complete diary. One day I will transcribe it, but till then, here is the complete diary. It is a wonderful record of farming life in the late 1800’s.

http://familyhistoryhunter.co.uk/William_Charltons_Diary.pdf (9MB)

Page 3 of William Charlton’s Diary

1876 Feb
10 At Shotley Bridge with Copland and at Medomsley Shop with the Horse Stormy
Fri 11 At Medomsley with Copland and the Tythe rent gatherer
S 12 At home stormy
S 13 At Coal Burns with Jame Mews and Green Sids
M 14 At Medomsley with Mr Lister from the station. Stormy.
Tu 15 At Medomsley and Leadgate got summons from the Countess of Derwentwater
Wed 16 At Shotley for the Sommons for Jackson and Leadbitter
17 At Medomsley and at Home
18 At Hedley  for my fathers x at Broom Hill
19 At the sale and at home Stage House
S 20 At Chopwell to see Bolam
M 21 At the Sale at Castledean
Tu 22 At Leadgate and Consett with M Copland and home
W 23 At Home Layon manure
Th 24 At Alendale for cement and at home.
F 25 At Home very Stormy
S 26 To Consett and Dickinson got stones out the field 26 Load
S 27 In home
M 28 At Home Leading stones very wet in the afternoon
T 29 At Home Leading stones very fine


This is an image of the inside front cover and first page of the diary. It actually solves a little bit of a mystery! In the lower left hand corner there is the address of a John Charlton. This is actually William’s older brother, I knew that his family had moved to the US – but didn’t know where – until I received the diary. What a discovery!!


Mary Ann and Esther Elizabeth Charlton

Esther Elizabeth’s father had been married before (To Elizabeth Braban) and had had a daughter also called Esther Elizabeth who sadly died aged only one year. This funeral card remembers both of the children from this first marriage.

In Affectionate Remembrance at
Who died Jan. 2nd 1860, Aged 7 Years.

Esther Elizabeth Charlton
Who died Oct. 19, 1858, Aged 1 Year.
Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,
Death came with timely care,
These opening buds between conveyed,
And bade them blossom there.

Thomas Wilson d 1886

This is the funeral card of a Mr Thomas Wilson who died on the 7th May 1886. He resided at Broomhill, Ebchester.

I don’t know of any family connections to him but I did find him on the 1881 census:

Thomas Wilson, 1881 Census
Thomas Wilson, 1881 Census

This reveals that he was a farmer at Broomhill. This is interesting because William Charlton (Esther’s Grandfather) had been a farmer at Broomhill – as shown in the 1851 census:

William Charlton b1801 Census 1851
William Charlton b1801 Census 1851

Perhaps they rented the same piece of land from the Duke of Northumberland? Perhaps his name will come up when I investigate the diaries more….

Incidentally, according to the 1881 census – both Esther and her brother William were born at Broomhill – although the family were not living there in either 1871 or 1881

So there is cerainly a strong family connection with Broomhill!

Victorian Christmas Card

This is quite an unusual Christmas card. It is addresses to Madge – who ‘could’ be Margaret Charlton nee Hedley (Esther’s mother). From an Aunt Mary – Not entirely sure.

However, what makes it somewhat unique is that it is an envelope marked:

Safe Custody

Martins Bank Ltd 18 Oct 1951, Consett

Although I do suspect that the two were not paired together initially.

Inside the Christmas card is a lovely verse:

To Madge

A Happy Christmas

Gladness be with you
And sunshine o’er you
Love light the pathway
That stretches before you.

From Aunt Mary

Slipped into the card is a photograph of a grave and a tiny slip of newspaper which reads:

Our darling child has gone to sleep,
Her little head is free from pain,
And now for her we mourn and weep
On earth she’ll never wake again.

Ever remembered by her loving father and mother.

Unfortunately, I don’t really know anything about Aunt Mary or her lost daughter – but I shall endeavor to try to find out.

William Henry Charlton

This somewhat imposing figure is William Henry Charlton (b1829 – 1896); Esther’s father and the author of the diaries. He is the son of William Charlton (b1801 – 1892) and Esther Wilkinson (b1795 – 1851).

The photograph was taken (I believe) when he ran the Station Hotel, Ebchester, Durham.

The Wedding of William Charlton to Margaret Hedley

Esther’s parents – William Charlton and Margaret Hedley (2nd wife) were married on the 9th March 1871 at Benfieldside (a Parish in the County of Durham). This is a photograph that was taken on their wedding day – they don’t looked too thrilled about it!