Reuben Gaunts Diary


Mount Pleasant

20th March, 1841.

Reuben Gaunt, now remembered as the founder of Reuben Gaunt & Sons Limited, was born into a yeoman-clothier's family in 1824. He was brought up at New Cote (probably the original name for Mount Pleasant) and when seventeen years' old, began to keep a diary. He was already ambitiously describing himself as a cloth manufacturer, and there are glimpses in his diary of the drive and personality of the embryonic business tycoon.

When he was nineteen years' old he arranged to have shorthand lessons after attending the cloth market in Leeds, and after just three lessons proceeded to make the writing of his diary a piece of practical homework. Despite the abortive attempts of several enthusiasts to decipher his unique brand of shorthand, it is not until this year that success has been achieved through the determined efforts of Mrs. Lexi Ellis.

The original diary has been handed down through members of R Reuben Gaunt's family and is now in the safe keeping of the Leeds City Library Archives, where it is available for any interested person to see.

We are grateful to the management and staff of Reuben Gaunt & Sons Limited for arranging for the duplication of the diary.


in about 1975


' ' Denotes the original spelling marked on the first occasion of use only

[ ] Where it is not possible to be sure of the meaning of the handwriting or shorthand the words are put in brackets.

Capitals I and J are difficult to differentiate.

The measure "when" probably is an abbreviation of warton,
i.e. 6lbs. (See entry 29th September 1843)

The Shorthand entries commence on Monday, 11th December 1843.

The gaps left after ages and names are left as in the original.

The entry on 15th December 1841 relating to S R & M "Noswal" is probably a reference to his future wife and perhaps two of her sisters (Noswel being an anagram of Lawson).