Volume Eight begins with a family holiday, probably the only time in which the whole family, including grandchildren, spent a long time together (May-June 1846). The destination was the Isle of Wight where they had an enjoyable sojourn of five weeks, although Margaret's poor health precluded her doing much walking. Much of the volume covers property matters and the Hunt Trust. The summer of 1847 did not include a holiday, but as a substitute, Francis and Margaret spent nine days with the Hunt family in Stoke Doyle, Northamptonshire, and of course much Trust business was discussed. The following year saw their holiday, with a four-week break in North Wales. From 1848 onwards Margaret's health went into a severe decline. Missing diaries result in us knowing little of what happened between November 1848 and December 1849, but from that point onwards Margaret became bed-bound and by the end of this volume she was lying at death's door. Volume Eight is interesting for depth of detail. The Irish Potato Famine is covered, although not in as much detail as one may have imagined. There is also the say news of the death of Frederick Howell, in South Africa, killed in a conflict with Hottentots. Frederick was the eldest son of Thomas Howell, Francis Witt's closest friend.
Publisher: Fonthill Media