In 1964 I came across an old journal in Thorps second hand bookshop at the top of Guildford High Street. I found it in a pile of books in the corridor waiting to be sorted out. It cost me 7/6d.
To begin with the journal was a bit of a puzzle, the feather pen script was difficult to read, but eventually over a period of time I managed to decipher it and the clue to where it came from was in title on the cover, Ravenscourt.
The journal (number V) covered a period from December 1843 to August 1844 and belonged to a young lady called Jessy Emma Scott. She lived with her family on an estate near Hammersmith, London called Ravenscourt. When the family eventually sold the estate to the local council in 1887, the grounds became Ravenscourt Park and the house became Hammersmith’s first public library.
Over the years the journal has been mostly kept in a drawer but now and again I’ve done a little bit more research on the text. I have had the journal for so long now that I feel I’ve got to know Jessy quite well. So when lockdown happened I thought I’d do her justice and put the journal on the web so other people can see it as well. I really enjoyed doing this.
There are three things I’d love to know, I’d like to see a picture of her. There must be a sketch or a photograph about somewhere. Also what made her wait until she was 50 years old to get married? And thirdly I wonder if any of her other journals have survived?
This is the link to the journal online:
And the family tree
The journal begins December 1843 with the family visiting Brighton.
Ravenscourt House from the white bridge, July 1831. Probably drawn by Jessy’s sister Lucy or Marianne. Picture credit: Hammersmith and Fulham Archives Centre
Ravenscourt House 1859 Picture credit: Hammersmith and Fulham Archives Centre.
I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if the house could be rebuilt on the same site?
Ravenscourt Park – Picture from a postcard c1910
London and its environs 1841