Russell Mill

Just recently we featured a delightful oil painting of the building known as Russell Mill and you can see it here.

Now we have been given a book entitled Russell Mill.

Cover of Russell Mill book

Cover of Russell Mill book

This was written by Ann Saunders in 1881. Ann was the daughter of Amram and had been born in 1818.

Title Page

Title Page

We do not know how many of these books were printed. Printing was done by the Eastern Morning News of Hull, a paper which belonged to Ann’s brother, William.

The book is a real mixture. Much of it is a diatribe against the evils of drink. This extract comes from a page headed, ‘Benighted Lavington’.


Much of this does not make for easy reading – particularly in the section of the book where Ann is describing the area around Paddington where she appears to have tried to save the people from their drunken ways.

But there are sections of local interest, albeit not always as well described as one might like.


Of course, Neighbour Smith remains an enigma – a man with a common surname and no forename given. But he sounds an interesting character with his Ceylonese cinnamon estates.

We had a very poor photocopy of this book previously but it is a real treasure, now, to have the real thing.

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One Response to “Russell Mill”

  1. Huw Blake Says:

    A few years ago I was looking for this book. I went on to the Google Book Search website and was told that there was only three known copies; one in the British Library, another in the Wiltshire History Centre and a third abroad somewhere (I forget where). So the museum is very fortunate to have a copy.

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