John Joseph Briggs, of King's Newton in the parish of Melbourne, is remembered in Derbyshire as an historian, poet and naturalist, but his work relating to his home territory is the most valuable of it all. Briggs was born into a farming family, but was disinclined to follow his father's footsteps, and a short apprenticeship in the printing trade failed to agree with him either. As luck would have it, Briggs' father remained active to a ripe old age, and Briggs himself was left free to indulge in his favourite leisure pastime of writing. A batchelor until the age of 49, Briggs then married and had four children before dying at the age of 57.
In 2004-5, the Melbourne Historical Research Group prepared and presented an exhibition on Briggs' life and work, accompanied by a lot of work behind the scenes on transcribing and editing Brigg's unpublished Melbourne Diary, written between the 1840s and 1870s. The project culminated in the publication of the diary in April 2005, generously assisted by the District and County Councils.
Read more about The Melbourne Diary of John Joseph Briggs .
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