Bardsley's commonplace book in which he makes notes on a wide range of medical and non-medical subjects. Contained in the front of the volume is a letter dated 5 November 1788 from John Coakley Letsom (1744-1815) recommending Bardsley as a physician with a note added to the bottom by Dr Blicke offering his agreement. Both signatures have been cut out and the letter has been mounted on paper and a brief pencil annotation indicates that it has been taken from James Lomax Bardsley's letter book. A brief and incomplete index is provided in the front with subjects listed by their first letter and first vowel.
There are a few additional items that have been inserted into the book by Bardsley including: a drawing and plan of the Manchester Royal Lunatic Hospital, near Cheadle (on the flyleaf), original pen and ink drawing of Lake Como by James Fraser, and a pen and ink drawing of the Bosphorus (p.337).
The volume also contains a number of newspaper cuttings, some of which are letters written by Bardsley to the editor of the Manchester Courier, which he used to sign as 'Senex'. The topics covered in the cuttings include: state of the country-its remedy (p.48), cholera morbus (p.124-126), meeting of leypayers of Manchester (p.128), debate on cholera and contagion (p.130), education (p.151-162), Mr Braid's discoveries, 2nd lecture (p.157-163), Peel on the Corn Laws (p.185-190), Royal Institution-Conversazione, Mesmerism (p.199-202), Bank Charter Bill (p.203), Medical Reform Bill (p.205-208), poison tests & the Salt-Hill murder trial (p.224-225), Mr Cayley's second letter to Lord John Russell (p.229-240), corn laws (p.241-242), tabular statement illustrating the bearing of the corn laws on the country during the century 1745-1845 (p.249), Sir Robert Peel's commercial resolutions (p.249-250), railway accidents (p.251), cure for cramps (p.270), the government: its present and future prospects (p.270), Manchester Juvenile Refuge & School of Industry (p.271), cramps (p.272), Royal Institution Conversazione-On Poisons and Their Antidotes by Frederick Crace Calvert (p.273-274), on the degrading and immoral tendency of the polka dance (p.287), the side pavement of Manchester (p.287), new royal lunatic asylum, laying the corner stone (p.288-291), is the Asiatic Cholera contagious? (p.295), Manchester Infirmary, Dispensary, Lunatic Hospital and Asylum, note of Bardsley's resignation (p.324), the medico-ethical society annual dinner 1849 (p.335-336), Manchester Fever Wards, or House of Recovery (p.338), history of the Manchester Royal Infirmary (p.338), canine madness (p.340), French railway shares (p.340), prospect of war (p.340), infection from typhus fever (p.340), and portrait of Bardsley (p.340)
The topics touched upon include: charades (p.2), poetry & politics (p.4), population (p.5), anecdotes (p.6-7), contagion & compounds for tackling it (p.8-11), hydrophobia [rabies] (p.14-15 & 39), economists, political, Adam Smith, James Maitland 8th Earl of Lauderdale (p.16-25), remedy against the tape worm (p.26), tetanus in Tonga & Fiji (p.26), observations on mathematics & raillery by Cumberland (p.27-28), cow pox (p.29), pedestrian expedition (p.30), plague (p.31), elephants (p.32), physicians in Arabia (p.33), music (p.35-36), exercise (p.37-38), angina pectoris (p.41-42), duelling (p.43), nationality (p.44), swallowing & Shakespeare (p.45), John Horne Tooke (p.46), insanity (p.47), Edmund Burke (p.48 & 66), Clarendon's history of rebellion (p.49-50), Cheltenham waters (p.52), epigrams, epitaphs, bon mots, anecdotes (p.54-58 & 63-65 & 67 & 132-133 & 136-138 & 154 & 156, 182-183, 195-196, 209-214, 218-220), Lord Eldon's life (p.59), prejudice of Scotchman (p.60), cotton factories (p.61-62), sedition (p.65), vaccination (p.66), mules (p.67), Poor Laws (p.68-78), life of Bonaparte, France & Waterloo (p.78-108), political reform (p.109-121), arguments against the secret ballot (p.121-122), Reform Bill (p.122), mortality (p.123), cholera outbreak (p.125 & 131 & 134), case of cholera by Dr Stephens (p.129), Tory & Whig (p.133 & 137), vote by ballot (p.135), woman (p.139), democracy & liberty (p.139-140 & 147), doctrine of necessitarianism (p.141-142), political economy, definitions of wealth (p.143-144), phrenology (p.145-146 & 170-174), education (p.148), corn laws (p.149-150 & 155-158 & 164-170), diet (p.153), population & Malthus (p.175), Samuel Weller's similes (p.176-178), manufactures (p.179-181), Sir Robert Peel on the Corn Laws (p.184), empiricism (p.191-192), metaphysics (p.193-194), mesmerism (p.197-198), atomic theory (p.204), Baron Cuvier's discoveries of fossil remains (p.215-218), political economy (p.223), Lord Chesterfield's sayings & maxims (p.226-228), token of respect to Dr Bardsley extracted from the Manchester Courier 1845 & his speech (p.243-246), faculty of reason (p.247-248), anatomy (p.251), instinct (p.252) metaphysics (p.252 & 256-259 & 267-268), Bardsley's address on the forming of the Jubilee School (p.253-255), corn laws (p.260-263), the distress in Ireland & Scotland (p.264-265), charades (p.266), enlargement of concert hall in Manchester (p.271-272), verses & anecdotes (p.277-285 & 291-292), copy of letter from Bardsley to John Carr Badeley re. cramps (p.293-294), copy of Bardsley's speech at Broughton Arches Ball (p.294), verses, anecdotes etc. (p.295-311), copy of letter addressed to Mrs James Lomax Bardsley on their wedding anniversary from Bardsley's attendant Robert Fisher (p.312 & 328), History of England (p.313-324), copy of letter from Robert Fisher to Bardsley on his 87th birthday (p.329), copy of an obituary for Bardsley's wife (p.339).