Monday 31st August 1846

“The new bridge crossing the Grosvenor Basin, Pimlico, called Elizabeth Bridge is this month been cemented over to imitate stone similar to Eccleston Bridge.

The old bridge of Westminster has been long talked of being pulled down, but it seems now to be earnestly intended, as the roadway has been blocked up nearly all this month.  It is intended to build a new bridge near the old one, so we may expect to soon lose the sight of Westminster Bridge, about the oldest on the Thames, with its canopy towers with seats therein and old round lamps over and its old stone balustrades, which I dare say will not be seen in the new bridge.  The present bridge was finished November 10th 1750 and opened the 17th.

The weather this month has been beautiful and fine, dry and warm, but yet without the intense heat of the last month – it has been about the finest month this year.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 1, 2 or 3 September]

Sunday 30th August 1846

Bathed in Serpentine in evening. Went to St Martin’s Ludgate. After service, while looking at the tablets, an old gentleman beckoned to me and said ‘This is not a time to be gaping about the church, we are going to receive the sacrament’. It is also worthy of remark that the sermon preached today at St Martin Ludgate was from the same text as that preached at St Martin’s-in-the-Fields last Sunday, viz Hebrews ch 13 v 8. After went to St Paul’s Cathedral, but was too late to see the choir, but, however, saw some of the monuments which were certainly very handsome, though forsooth modern. Through Gough Square and Johnson’s Court, Dr Johnson’s residence, twice today. — Had Ann up as usual in evening, afterwards — took walk through Westminster as far as the Broadway; returned home by quarter past 9 o’clock.”

Sunday 23rd August 1846

“Rose half past 5 o’clock and went to Mechanics Bath, Little Queen Street, Holborn. Met Jack Rees in Great Queen Street as I was coming out. After breakfast continued copying the ancestors and members of family of James Wood, the rich banker of Gloucester, who died in 1836, and through whom there has been such difficulty in disposing the property.  Went to church, St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, the handsomest church of modern architecture that I have yet been to, but it is deficient of those embellishments, tablets, of which there is none at all.  Home the whole afternoon copying Wood’s ancestors. Mother very bad, unable to rise from bed.  M Ward’s hands full.  After had — Ann up in room as …; — before 8 o’clock took walk with Ann through the Strand and Fleet Street, Gough Square and Johnson’s Court where Dr Johnson composed his English Dictionary. Returned home by Holborn and New Oxford Street.”


[Editor’s note: James Wood, banker of Gloucester (1756-1836), was well known for his miserliness. After his death, his estate of £900,000 was mainly expended in legal arguments over his will.]