Market Lavington Museum

John Smith’s notebook

It was back in March 2010 that we last took a look at a wonderful notebook that was found when Market Place houses were demolished in about 1960.

The notebook did eventually get to where we think it belongs – at our very own local museum. The names and dates in this simple exercise book tell us that John Smith owned it and used it in the year 1796. It could almost have the look of a modern day note book, with scribbles and doodles interspersed with more measured writing and arithmetic.

Here’s a sample page.

A page from John Smith's 1796 note book

A page from John Smith’s 1796 note book

It’s a real mishmash of doodles with some hard to read writing.


We are asked to ‘steal not this book’.


Here we have, with youthful mis-spelling, the Prince of Wales. This would have been the future King George IV.


A typical boy sketch of some kind of fight. No words seem to explain this.

This is very much one of the treasures of Market Lavington. It’s a real shame we can’t identify who John Smith was.