Mar 152012

Richard’s birthday fell on 15th March. He recorded it in his diary each year, generally adding that he had been ‘spared to see the return of another birthday’ and bemoaning the fact that he had done far too little for the Lord in the previous year…!

Sometimes the occasion seems to have been marked by a small present –  one birthday was enlivened by the arrival of a new Cocker Spaniel. Another was celebrated by dining ‘on a Hare and a piece of Salmon’. Occasionally a member of the family returned home to mark the day (‘ Son Franky din’d with us today’) but what comes across is how low-key celebrations were – no cards, no wrapped presents, no celebratory meals or trips to the theatre.

His best birthday present must have been when he was 53 – for on that day his (new) wife gave birth to their baby daughter Anna.

So, 282 years on, Happy Birthday Richard!

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