The Oldest Diary in the Collection


Thanks to a chance acquisition, the collection of the Great Diary Project now covers a period of almost 300 years. In a recent donation to Bishopgate Institute, we discovered a pair of small, unprepossessing volumes, which contain an account of someone’s religious activities in the years 1735 and 1736. In minute handwriting, the writer documents a number of sermons he or she attended during those years. Meticulously recorded for each sermon are the date, location, preacher, text(s), and arguments. Most of the sermons were preached by Peter Goodwin, minister at the non-conformist chapel at Ropemaker’s Alley, Moorfields, in the City of London, a congregation which later moved to nearby Aldermanbury Postern. Thanks to the Great Diary Project, and to the chance survival of this diary, this fascinating document will now be available as a source for researchers interested in the history of religion in the 18th century.