Catalogue Finding NumberSH:7/ML/E/17/0074
Office record is held atCalderdale, West Yorkshire Archive Service
TitleDiary page
Description[Diary Transcription]

138
1834
August
+
soil to remove — they are now taking off about 20 feet deep of stuff, soil and shale, and a vein
of grit stone about 10 inches thick — they throw the stuff back, and make into ground again what they do not
want to quarry — this company gets 500,000 quintaux métriques (1 quintal metrique = 100 kilos)
per annum that is, one-fourteenth of all the coal got per annum in the bassin houilier (coal basin)
of St Etienne and Rive de Gier, and one-sixth of all the coal got in the St Etienne district —
only 3 years qu’on a travaillé à decouvert (in open quarry) as at present — La couche
du Breuil (i.e. coal) 40, 50, 60, to 80 feet thick — La benne (corve) pèse en gros
morceaux 150 kilos environ — 10 to 12 bennes in cubic metre of coal — sells here
for 1/30, 1/. and six sols la benne — Sur 2040 bennes got last year on peut avoir
gagné 60,000 francs; but this was an extraordinary gain, in consequence of regetting in old galleries
having no stuff to move etc. etc. and cannot be expected to occur again — may reckon the average
price at ./75 per benne, here, at the pit’s mouth — the taxe paid to government, twofold — taxe
fine, 10/. per kiliometre carré, and taxe according to the étendue de la concession, and which
is proported to the benefice that is gained which varies every year — 58 kiliometres got last year paid
altogether 2000/. — besides this, there is the proprietor of the land (surface) to pay, and the law
gives him one-sixth of the coal got i.e. one benne out of every six; but this is too much
and the company pays by agreement only one-tenth, 1 benne out of ten — of what is got already,
there are 15 surface proprietors — and the company has paid one proprietor as much as 20,000 francs
per annum — the members of the company are concessionnaires du gouvernement — all the mines in the
kingdom belong to government, and for which the concessionnaires pay the 2 above named taxes or charges —
the land is here so divided — so many proprietors, the mines could not be so well worked, if
government had not taken them into their own hands — this was done in 1814 under Louis 18 — the
Marquis d’Osmond had the concession of all the mines in the bassin de St Etienne
made to him before the 1st revolution — he emigrated and lost it — had it restored on the return of
the Bourbons, and sold it — It is Carillon Gaury Q. des Augustins no. [number] 41 à Paris who
is libraire to the Ecole des mines at Paris — Monsieur Morillo, on our return from the quarry, very
civilly introduced me to his mother (from about 25 lieues from Paris near Troyes) and asked me
to breakfast — breakfast à la fourchette at 11 1/4 — very good breakfast riz de veau à la chicorée (very
good) large cold poulet or small dindon, Epinards, a sort of tart, and a gateau with
almonds and green grapes and greengages, and vin du pays — talked away — afterwards went with Monsieur
to his bureau for a few minutes and wrote down from his dictation almost all the above rensignmens —
gave him my address at Shibden and in rue St Victor à Paris, and said I should be glad to see and do him any
service — told him I had coal of my own, and should perhaps return to St Etienne to learn to measure
underground etc. — wished good morning to Madame who seemed to have thought me bien amiable, and off
from the Chateau de Firminy at 12 1/4 — they had pumped me about my politics, said I was no
politician but owned myself naturally a Tory — Lord Grey and Mr. Stanley retired in consequence of O’Connell’s

[margin text:] went to see the pit at some distance behind the chateau where the steam
engine brought up both coal and water from 40? toises deep — primitive
mountains here — 60,000 inhabitants in the parish of St Etienne —



139
1834
August
Irish church bill, and Lord Melbourne prime minister — odd I should 1st learn this at Firminy! — home at
1 50/.. in 1 35/.. hour, 10 minutes longer than we were in going — tired of the slow going and great heat — paid all — our
hostess would have profited prettily by us if she could — off from l’Hotel de l’Europe chez ‘Tainturier
de Lyon’ at 2 50/.. — nice road and country — Guyonnière merely a single house poste and Hotel de
Provence — at 4 33/.. pass handsome double wood-floored suspension bridge over the broad bedded Loire — had just before seen in the
distance left the good looking town of St Lambert — at 4 50/.. turn (right) to Montbrison and leave good
road to …… dusty but not so much so as yesterday — all the women (except les grandes) ride califourchon
New road opened 2 years ago from St Etienne to Marseilles, missing Lyons, going direct to Tain — saving 3 days journey from Paris to Marseilles said my cocher,
8 years in the 16th chasseurs till the revolution in 1830, servant to his colonel Monsieur de la Tour de Pin
‘le roi des hommes’ — would he ‘versé la dernière goutte de son sang pour lui’ — who saying he
had juré to serve one King, and would not serve 2, tore off his epaulettes and broke his sword (at Dieppe)
and left the service — the men all in tears on his bidding them farewell — at 5 1/4 we near the mountains —
at 5 35/.. St Priest, and chateau on conical mountain top — have seen 2 or 3 good chateaus since St Etienne
this afternoon — fine open country — good road — at 6 5/.. alight at l’Hotel du Nord at Montbrison —
the little demoiselle? of the house wanted 3 francs per bed for our own 2 — would not give more than 2/. She
herself asked 3/. a head for dinner and gave us a very meagre, bad one — no potage même — dinner
at 7 — sat talking — lastly riz au lait to make up for bad dinner — wrote all the above of today till
11 20/.. — A- [Ann] in bed soon after 9 p.m. — very fine day Fahrenheit 72° now at 11 20/.. p.m. —

Thursday 14
6 3/4
12 35/..
U
very fine morning Fahrenheit 72° at 7 1/2 a.m. She came to me for quarter hour this morning not with her last night
breakfast at 7 3/4 — off from l’Hotel du Nord à Montbrison at 8 55/.. — comfortable beds, though A- [Ann] much bit, and
Eugenie said there were punaises in the house — I killed a mosquito last night, and was not afterwards troubled — at
9 3/4 pass between 2 conical hills (distant — right and left) crowned with (right) church, and (left) small remains of old
castle tower and walls — Extensive, light, whitish sandy plain — hill range all round — distant right — Boen
tolerably largeish, shabbyish, narrow streeted town on hill-side in pretty, viny, wooded valley, the clear,
shallow widish little river Lignon winding at the bottom — market day and the narrow streets full of people but no
striking costume — good new road cut out of the rock just out of the town — very hot and dusty, but not blinded as on Tuesday —
road shaded with walnut and other trees, chiefly the former — beautiful narrowish winding valley beautifully shaped
hills yellow with corn, looking rather too yellow and arid — St Thierin a picturesquely situated goodish village —
several workmen on the road as we came along — the road hardly finished — soon after leaving St Thierin turn (left)
up narrower wooded (fine fir-wood) valley and montée for 35 minutes till 1 1/2 — the road all up the mountain newly cut
out of the granite rock — fine drive — at the top of the montée, the valley rather opens — then descend a while —
nice little stream with us all along — the fir-woods began from St Therin — Noiretable, goodish small town —
goodish looking auberge at la Poste — A- [Ann] had 2 boiled eggs and bread and butter and the servants bread and cheese and wine — at ./75 par
personne — then said it was trop bon marché but I would not pay more — judging from this and from the woman’s asking 1/50
par repos for the servants last night, offer these prices in future — but alight as seldom as possible — Have cold fowl
for A- [Ann] and let the servants have wine etc. with them — 5 or 6 minutes out of Noiretable changed horses, because no horses
or postillions at La Bergère — our new postillion said if I would pay for the rafraichissement (to give what I
pleased) he would drive me through to Thiers — I offered 10 sols per horse — no! but would do it for
1/. per horse = 4/. — declined this; finding that I should not reach Clermont tonight, thought we might wait an hour at
DateAug 1834
Extent1 page
LevelPiece
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