Sunday 9 January 1994

Halliday Commonplace Book


In November 1993, the Warminster Dewey Museum received notification from Nancy Lunden, who lives in Sweden (but grew up in Warminster in the 1930s; her father being W.R. Marshall of the firm of solicitors Ponting & Marshall), that she was to dispose of her book collection by auction at Sotheby's in December.

Of particular interest was a Commonplace Book kept by Edmund Halliday of East Street, Warminster. Halliday, a member of one of Warminster's oldest families, was sent to Spain as a young man to learn the wine trade. In the book, handwritten in small but clear writing, were accounts of local items including the finding of a live newt in a fossil at Warminster; the corn and flour trade at Bishopstrow Mill; and the falling in of his mother's grave at the Minster Churchyard.

The Museum passed details of the book and the auction to Steve Hobbs, County Archivist at the Wiltshire County Record Office, Trowbridge, who was successful in purchasing the book on behalf of the County Record Office for £200. It is to be added to many other items regarding the Halliday family which are already deposited at the Record Office.

Steve Hobbs says the book is in excellent condition and a typical example of Halliday's avid quest for facts and information. Steve is happy for Warminster people and anyone else to call at the Record Office if they wish to see the book.

Report by Danny Howell.