A very great tempest of thunder, lightning and rain, but in particular of lightning. It began about 12 o’clock in the morning and continued until near 2. This morning about 7:30 Mrs Porter was safely delivered of a girl. This day Francis Smith and I balanced accounts, and I paid him in cash 1.12.1, being in full to this day, carriage excepted…[including] 4 gals. brandy and 2 gals. of gin, which I got for Will Eldridge, 1.1.4. Upon examining the fore-going account, I find a mistake made of 11d which is there is due to him…the credit account being larger than the debit by 11d.
We having fixed on this day for my wife and I to go to Hartfield, my wife endeavored to borrow a horse (being doth disappointed of having one as we expected from Hartfield or Francis Smith) or Joseph Fuller, Thomas Fuller, William: Piper, Joseph Burgess and Richard Bridgman I believe they had no other reason for not doing it but want of good nature and a little gratitude, but I make no doubt they will, some one or other of them, be so good-natured as in a little time to come [to ask me] to write this land tax or window tax book for us [them]. And then I always find good nature enough to write them and at the same time to find them in beer, gin, pipes and tobacco while I am a-writing them. And then, poor ignorant wretches, they sneak away and omit to pay for paper. But God bless them. I’ll think it proceeds more from ignorance than ill nature.
After Francis Smith and I had balanced accounts today, I gave him £2, which he is to pay in London for me. I sent our maid to hire a horse of William Sinden, who replied he had never horse able to carry us (though I should not have sent, had not his man told me he had a very good double horse I could have which daily carries a man almost as heavy as us both, beside a sack of wheat). My wife then applied to John Watford, who hired us his horse. My brother came over to stand the shop for us in my absence (about 3 o’clock). And about 4 o’clock we set out on our journey for Hartfield where we arrived about 8:10. As we were a-riding along near to Hastingford, no more than a foot-pace, the horse stood still and continued kicking up until we were both off. Our fall happened to be in a very dirty hole, but thanks be given to God, we received no hurt. My wife was obliged to go into Hastingford House to clean herself. Gave the woman of the house 6d.
Called at Mr Browne’s at Withyham to know about hop-bagging, but he was not at home. His man told me he had not as yet bought any. This day received of Joseph Fuller 1 neck of veal, at 3d per lb. My wife and I spent the evening at my father Slater’s. We dined off some rashers of pork and green salad.