The diaries of William Parsons contain a wealth of information that evokes the life of a lawyerand gentleman in Nottingham in Victorian times. Parsons recorded his day to day activities andobservations including seasonal events (such as Christmas, Valentine's Day and Guy Fawkes Night),leisure pursuits (such as social engagements, drinking, hunting and reading), professionalactivities (such as details of legal cases and visits to clients), events in his family life, andgeneral comments on life in Victorian Nottingham (such as diet, transport, weather and class).
The collection comprises three series:
Eight diaries of William Parsons, January 1830-May 1871 (MS 489/1-8). The diaries do not containentries for every day and Parsons often grew tired of keeping his daily account by the end of March.Entries after March are less regular, reserved for significant events such as the death of hissister or his holiday in Wales, or entries providing annual summaries.
Letter book containing the text of letters sent by William Parsons between 1 January 1880 and 18October 1881 and by his son, Frederick Parsons between 15 November 1881 and 22 January 1886 (MS489/9). The letter book contains correspondence, both personal and official, providing a directinsight into their professional and personal lives.
Combined memoranda and address book of Frederick Parsons, June 1886-November 1808 (MS 489/10).The book contains addresses for people and firms as far away as India and New Zealand. It alsoincludes notes on seeds and roses that he purchased in a given year, remedies for ailments, farmaccounts, and notes on tasks he was involved in as a solicitor. This volume is considerably lesscomprehensive than the diaries of his father.