On Friday 4 October 1782 Cornelius Ashworth, a thirty year old farmer and handloom weaver in the West Riding parish of Halifax, made the very first entry in his ‘Book’. Thereafter he recorded events on a daily basis for over a year, a process which he repeated in 1785, 1809 and 1815. All four diaries have been transcribed in full, and they provide some fascinating insights into an age when the world of work and worship was being transformed.

The text is annotated and accompanied by an introduction which examines Ashworth’s weaving, his farming methods, his chapel going and his travel within the parish of Halifax and beyond. His keen interest in his neighbours and acquaintances is noted throughout, and the comings and goings of his extended family are regularly reported. A number of facsimile pages, illustrations and early maps complete this very particular account of Cornelius Ashworth and his times