John Dawson used to sit in Tunbridge Wells as a hop excise official from 1722 onwards. Whenever he did so he took lodgings in Penshurst with a widow and her daughter. While staying in the village he kept a diary which includes lists of inhabitants and of housekeepers. A keen cricketer, Dawson also records details of matches played at penshurst including one in 1726 between ‘Mr. Stead’s Club for Kent and the Men of Surrey’, apparently watched by ‘between 5 and 6,000 people.
Two volume are his diaries are now held at Hackney’s Archives Department; copies of thirty eight pages form part of the John Flower Collection within Penshurst Living Archive.
A full note on John Dawson, compiled by Christine Rose, archivist of the John Flower Collection, is attached to this entry.