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The Diary of William Young of Cotchford Farm
Date: 28th February, 2022
William Young was the son of gentleman farmer Henry Young who owned Cotchford Farm in the mid-nineteenth century. At the age of just twenty-three William left the farm for what we might now term a 'gap year' working in Canada. This book, based on his own diary from 1854/5, tells the fascinating story of his journey via Liverpool and onwards on a three-masted schooner to New York, Buffalo and eventually Lake Erie. The voyage had its own perils, a long way from transatlantic travel today. Unbeknown to our diarist, the ship he travelled on was part of a criminal enterprise and eventually suffered both mutiny and wreck. In the mill towns on Lake Erie Young proves an indispensable worker both on crops and stonework. Just as he is about to return to England he is beset with difficulties..... His is a young, clear voice on life a hundred and sixty years ago.