“Purchased five maps – parts of London and its suburbs – dated 1790 to 1800, in Peter Street, Westminster, corner of Great Smith Street.
I observed for the first time this month that there is a clock put up to the church of St Paul Knightsbridge (not before it needed).
Coals sold at Wharf this month: 1803 tons 2 sacks.
Weather this month cold with much rain, nay I think this has been the coldest month this year (though no frost).
There is now a great improvement being made in front of Chelsea College. Formerly, when you got to the end of Hospital Row and wanted to get to Cheyne Walk, you passed through an iron gate into a narrow pathway with railings each side; in width it would not have admitted more than three persons abreast. It is now thrown open wide and a foot and carriage way making; the former is already paved and the latter now making. This will be a great convenience for the inhabitants thereabouts having horses and vehicles, for now they have to go round the garden fronting the Hospital nearly half a mile, whereas they will soon be able to go straight through, thereby saving time, horseflesh and carriage wear. (This road with Hospital Row has since been named ‘Queen’s Road’).
It may not be unworthy of remark that the first house finished and let in New Oxford Street is a public house just east of Bedford Chapel, the sign of ‘The Crown’ – landlord’s name Smith. The buildings hereabouts are growing up at a rapid rate.
The old fishmonger’s shop in the north side of the Strand, adjoining Temple Bar, which retained the ancient penthouse, one of the time before plate glass was in panes taking the whole front, when shopkeepers cried aloud to passers by ‘What do ye lack?’, has been taken down to give room for a modern erection.”
“Received information from Mother of the Marshalls going to leave their lodgings in the second floor Richmonds Buildings, and the intention of Granny Shepard’s moving thence if terms can be agreed upon between the landlord and her, but at present it is only talked of.”
“Mr Lea and Lloyd went to Barnet to see Mrs Lea. Had tea with the maids, which saved me a penny (a penny saved is a penny gained).”
“The ‘Bet’ Barge sunk in the cut during the night laden with 42 tons Russell’s, Hetton, Wallsend, which with the late death of one horse, and lameness of another put us to … Mrs Nodes … .”
“Wet morning, went to Anchor Coffee House, Dean Street, and then to breakfast at home. After ditto went strolling about to find church and could not. Went in coffee shop, Snow Hill, and read news of the week. After dinner took walk through Seven Dials, where I bought a small oil painting on wood in plain gilt frame which I suppose to be Shakespeare. Had tea with Granny Shepard in Richmonds Buildings, afterwards went to 7 Chapel Street, Tottenham Court Road, to see the outside case to receive lead coffin which will contain the body of Mrs Ann Nodes, lately deceased, and which is of curious workmanship being one and a half inch oak, smoothed and polished with mouldings and plinth round the lid to fit, and four pairs of brass handles after the style of the Quakers. From thence went to see Ann at Mrs Kennington in Stephen Street. — There regaled ourselves a little unlawfully …. and kitchen. — Supped there – bread, cheese and ale, and returned home afterward.”
“Mary Duchess of Gloucester, daughter of George III, this day completes her 70th year. Diabolical murder and apprehension of the assassin. This evening, about 20 minutes to 9 o’clock, a murder was committed by a youth aged 16 by name John Graham on the body of Thomas Blewitt aged 36 by shooting him with a pistol in the open street by Morgan’s Cook Shop in Drury Lane, near Princes Street. The bullet entered his right breast and came out through the shoulder bone. No motive is yet known for the act.”
“Died at the stables, Eccleston Wharf, after a strong fit of the gripes, the black horse last bought from a countryman near Oxfordshire about five months back. It was taken very bad at Willesden, where we sent a load of coals. It died seemingly in great agony. George Palmer, weigher and horse keeper, absent from Wharf through illness accompanied by a swollen face.”
[Editor’s note: No entry on 24 April]