3. Farm, maltings and brewery

Map of Letheringsett in 1834

Letheringsett in 1834, by Josiah Manning, showing the Hardys’ house (the large building in red by the church) and the riverside brewery (in grey, across the road)

Diary 3  1793–1797. This volume covers the middle years at Letheringsett.

The diarist’s husband William Hardy takes on a brewery apprentice, her nephew Henry Raven. The full text of Henry’s farming and brewing diary is intercut in this volume with Mary Hardy’s abridged record.

The military camp and bread riots

Despite the war with France the Hardys’ business continues to prosper. Although a pro-peace Foxite Whig, William Hardy has no hesitation in securing the beer contract for the military camp established on the coast nearby at Weybourne. The Hardys and Henry visit the camp frequently to watch the exercises, and the stretched workforce have another outlet to serve.

Henry Raven's diary, May 1794

Henry records the tasks. They make a Sunday delivery of Norfolk nog to the King’s Head, Letheringsett

Mary Hardy’s world takes on a new dimension: the meeting house. In 1795 she starts to attend Methodist meetings regularly in other villages. It is a quest she spearheads—and one in which her husband rarely joins. Spiritual salvation was an intensely personal matter, and families frequently worshipped apart.

In that same year she and Henry record the wheat famine riots which flare up locally. One of the Hardys’ outlets, the Swan at Sharrington, becomes the centre of a tussle between the starving poor and the military forces sent to disperse the rioters.

As with the other Letheringsett volumes, the text not included in this abridgment of Mary Hardy’s diary can be found in the separate publication The Remaining Diary of Mary Hardy. Henry’s diary, and Mary Hardy’s Coltishall diary (in Diary 1), are both unabridged.

Mr Hardy and William went to Weybourne and Sheringham to get the serving the Camp with beer

Mary Hardy, 1795