On September 14 1812, John Cam Hobhouse is on his way to Wales with his friend, Baille, but decide to stop at Stratford-upon-Avon for thirty minutes. He writes in his diary:
…visited Shakespeare’s house, where lives one Hornsby a butcher. Several relics of disputed antiquity and a room scribbled all over with names – Prince of Wales – Lucien Bonaparte. A gentleman of Stratford told us that he knew Malone when Malone lived in the town and that he doubted the relics. Near Hockley, ten miles from Birmingham, lives a besom-maker [a besom is a birch or broom] whose ancestors have been in possession of the spot two hundred years and have all been besom-makers. At the Swan Inn at Birmingham, well-treated.