Tuesday 31st March 1846

“The White Hart Inn situate in Whitechapel near Somerset Street was sold by auction for the purpose of being pulled down and having some extensive building erected on its site. This inn is recorded to have existed before the reign of Henry VIII. It was condemned 40 years ago on the occasion of the first floor having given way by the weight of the coffin in which the corpse of the landlady. There were many remains of antiquity.

The oldest house in Marylebone parish was this month pulled down to the ground.  It was an old fashioned white public house which went down steps and stood back from the street, the sign whereof was the ‘Rose of Normandy’, the back of which was formerly Marylebone Gardens.  The house is situate in High Street No 32 between Bowling Street and Devonshire Street.

This month was concluded the war with India, which has been in agitation for some time between the British and Sikhs and in favour of the former.  After which an agreement has been entered into for them to pay £1,500,000 to defray the expenses of the British in four yearly instalments, until which the British hold their Government in their hands.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1588 tons.

Weather colder this month than any previous … though remarkably mild … .”


[Editor’s note:  The battles between the British and the Sikhs took place on 18-22 December 1845.  Nathaniel had first referred to them on January 28th.
No entry on 1 April]

Monday 30th March 1846

“Bought an old three-cornered beaver cocked hat of James Hollingsworth, screener at Wharf. The maker’s name inside is Lock, hatter, St James’s Street, London. It no doubt formerly belonged to a gentleman, but it is one of the has-beens. Executed this morning at the Old Bailey Thomas Wicks, aged 20 years, for the murder of James Bostock, his master – see back February 16th. At quarter before 10 o’clock this morning the remains of Mr Liston, who died 22nd instant were consigned to the Earth in the cemetery at Kensall Green.”

Sunday 29th March 1846

“Morning, rose about a quarter before 7 o’clock, went to coffee shop in Compton Street, St Giles’s. After breakfast went to King’s Head Court Chapel, Shoreditch, saw poor old Mrs Skirricker again, and after service followed her homeward down Cumberland Sreet, Worship Street and Providence Row into Finsbury Square where the old lady took the omnibus which I followed greatest part of the way along City Road, and then struck an angle through Islington across the New River, and came through the church yard and proceeded to her residence and there waited her arrival which presently followed. Hastened homeward to dinner, after which stopped the afternoon at home and had tea with poor old Granny Shepard. Afterwards saw ditto safely to Soho Chapel, then took walk by self up Tottenham Court Road, New Road towards Marylebone. Met Charles Freeman opposite Trinity Church with a young woman. Saw the ruins of the late fire in Crawford Street which destroyed four lives, viz a man and his three children. Proceeded onward down Edgware Road to Hyde Park, thence down Oxford Street to Soho Chapel and waited while the Chapel was over and escorted old Granny Shepard thence homeward (she has changed her residence lately and now liveth in North Street near to John Street, Tottenham Court Road), thence returned homeward and so closed this day.”

Sunday 22nd March 1846

“Mr Liston, the celebrated comedian died this day (Sunday). He was born August 1775 and was therefore entered his 71st year.

Rose at half past 6 o’clock, went to Rice’s Coffee Shop, corner of Compton Street and Broad Street, St Giles’s, filled principally by flash boys and their wenches. Read some of the news of the week. After breakfast went to a chapel in King’s Head Court, Shoreditch more to see Mrs Skirricker, the great-granddaughter of John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, and was successful thus far for she was there before I and sat in a square box close to the pulpit while I sat behind her in a free seat. After service the minister spoke and said to me, are you in want of anyone, to which I answered and said not particular, only I was noticing that old lady there. Yes he said, she in between 80 and 90 years of age.  I asked him whether it was she I sought. He said, yes, and asked me whether I would join them, I pleading in excuse the distance, when he said I could dine with them if I chose.  Well that passed off and I thought the old lady was perhaps going to dine with them, so I waited about, but she soon came out and I followed behind along Cumberland Street and Curtain Road, Worship Street and along Bunhilll Row by the burial ground, across Old Street to the turnpike gate where she took an omnibus which I ran after and followed at a rapid pace to the Angel Islington, whence it stopped to put down and take up passengers, which I was very glad of for I had well nigh lost my wind. It then proceeded through Islington past the church where it put her down, I keeping up to it all the way, not a little punished for to get breath; whence I followed her down a street to the Liverpool Road when she turned down a place with gates at the end of the street and went in a house of modern structure with stuccoed front, situate No1 Barnsbury Park, Islington, opposite Laycock’s Dairy, when I saw her no more, but proceeded homewards amid a shower of rain. Coming along Store Street, a little girl laying hold of my hand and asked me to carry her across the roadway, after which I saw a funeral at Cuxons the butcher, Tottenham Court Road, which I think is his eldest daughter. James Reid of Goode Street was undertaker, and John Goodwin one of the hearse pages. I met there a young woman who accosted me and whom I knew not till she made herself known. She turned out to be a cousin of Mary Cook who walked with me to the end of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, where I parted with her and went home to my dinner, which was nearly cold, and stopped at home all the afternoon and had tea with poor old Granny Shepard. After which, I accompanied her to Soho Chapel door and then went on for a walk to Islington, but rain coming, I turned back and went in coffee shop, corner of Pancras Lane, Tottenham Court Road, after which I took walk with Ann round the houses. A description of the above mentioned Mrs Skirricker: in height rather better than five feet, when young no doubt taller, rather inclined to corpulency, with broad fresh coloured face and full features somewhat resembling those of her great-grandfather John Bunyan, and for her age firm on her feet, though a heavy walker owing to her bulk; her dress the real old English costume with dark velvet bonnet, very large and of antique shape, black silk sown with ditto, cloak and ruff round her neck, altogether … the appearance of a thorough gentlewoman being … of … .”


[Editor’s note:  Nathaniel had added a note about the death of John Liston, the comic actor, on February 22nd, but Liston actually died on March 22nd .  The burial took place on March 30th.]

[Editor’s note: No entries on 23, 24 or 25 March]

Friday 20th March 1846

“Fall of snow during the night which gave the Mall, St James’s Park, a very grand appearance, owing to the trees having, through the late mild weather, come out in full bloom – the snow sticking so thick to the leaves whereof.  Generally in winter the branches are bare, but this morning they looked like a hearse of white funeral feathers.  This day has been more similar to winter than any before this season, which caused a stir in the coal trade … we sold 76 tons.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 21 March]