to Brocket Hall on poney, Ld Milbrims races, three days, the
prince of Wales and Duke of Bedford their a Vas Number of Gentry
etc. their one of the Gentm that rode fell from his Horse much
hert, his name was Butler Danvers." His biographer, Mr.
W. Branch Johnson, writing of this period, says: "The Prince
of Wales, afterwards Prince Regent and then George IV, was a
regular visitor to Brocket on these occasions, bringing with
him the cream of London society. John's usual route from Bramfield
was by Money Hole, the natural bowl which forms the lower part
of the Welwyn Garden City golf course, and back by The
Red Lion, Ayot Green - kept in his day by the Widow
Randall, of West End Farm, inspired no doubt by what he had
just seen, determined on a race of his own - 'with Randall as
by appointment to Runn his poney with Harrington but they did
year, John went with Nephew Thomas Beck, and Beck lost his greatcoat.
The following day, therefore, had to be spent in looking for
to Church but went to Brickwall, the Angell, one Barkers, to
enquire after a great cote wh Nephew T. Beck left at Ld Millburnes
Races yesterday spent their 6d from thence to Battens The White
hart Wellwin no news of it spent their Is Nevy Beck, Thos. Sheath
and Son, John & myself.'
the greatcoat had apparently gone for ever, one-and-six spent
on refreshment was indubitably the best possible compensation.
the Angel, Brickwall, there survives today
nothing but some irregularity in the ground, the remains of
a well and a gap in the roadside hedge.
stood about a hundred yards to the south of the Waggoners,
Ayot Green, and its site is marked by a clump of poplars, but
in John's time it was a large house and did a thriving coaching
trade - also did the White Hart at Welwyn,
which in later years was said to have effected upwards of eighty
changes of coach teams daily.
the landlord, came of a well-known Welwyn family of farmers
and auctioneers. His father, Abraham Batten (there seems to
have been an Abraham in each generation), who died in 1804,
was, John tells me, the Welwyn barber.
all amusement was homemade. There were times when it was imported
from without - and what times ! No doubt the periodical fairs
which enlivened the countryside had, as they were originally
intended to have, a commercial as well as an entertainment value,
but it was probably the side shows that attracted the bigger
crowds and even Carrington, his business over, was by no means
averse from patronising them.
throughout the diary we see him taking cattle, sheep, or horses
to the five annual fairs in Hertford - Lent Fair in March, May
Fair, Midsummer Fair, Bush Fair in September, and Wachard Fair
in November. When he does good trading he notes the fact with
evident pleasure, hut he is not always lucky.
to Hartford fair on poney to try to sell a Cow but did not siller
I should a took the first bidding 13 Guineas but I could reach
but 12 after so not sold.'
market on Dunn up at the Bull being the far I had 2 old Cows
their in good plight I offered them both for 10£ but could
not sell so brought them Home againe.' "