Wednesday 18th February 1846

“A general election for the Liberty of Westminster took place this day between General Evans and Captain Rous, whereby Evans was chosen member. State of the poll at the conclusion 4 o’clock was: ‘Evans’ 3703, ‘Rous’ 2938 (majority 765), whereby Evans was duly elected. One polling booth was erected in front of St Margaret’s Churchyard, Westminster, and another at Trafalgar Square facing Charing Cross. Self took the opportunity at dinner time of running down to the first mentioned booth, and just caught sight of Captain Rous riding on horseback, in front of the statue of George Canning, when, the mob behaving unruly, he galloped off through Storey’s Gate, St James’s Park and Birdcage Walk, where I lost sight of him, though I kept at his heels for some distance. After the business of the day, I went in front of St Giles’s Church which rang a fine peal, and from thence to the ‘Phoenix’ public house and had half pint of fourpenny ale, a house formerly kept by John Fox.”


[Editor’s note: This by-election was caused by Captain Rous (1795-1877) becoming a Lord of the Admiralty and having to put himself up for re-election.  His rival was General George de Lacy Evans (1787-1870), who had fought with Wellington in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo in 1815 (he later fought in the Crimea in 1854).]

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Thursday 1st January 1846

“Edward Heskett, fellow clerk, had to leave a letter at the White Horse corner of Dean Street and Oxford Street, to which place I accompanied him thither and there had a glass of ale at his expense.”

1 January 1846. Image of first entries in the diary of Nathaniel Bryceson, wharf clerk, aged 19. Image property of Westminster City Archives.