Sunday 22nd November 1846

“Rose half past six, breakfasted and made for St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside; in my way there copied into scrapbook inscriptions on stones against houses as near facsimile as possible, as also in church porch an hour previous to service commencing. On my way home by St Giles’s Church in the Fields, seeing a funeral about to commence, I walked in and stayed the service time. Richard Andrews, undertaker, about the oldest in the metropolis – a wonderful little man – at a rough guess I should reckon attended to their graves not less than 20,000 bodies. Liver … for dinner.  Started soon after two o’clock to follow the remains of Mr McAuliffe, coal and potato dealer, of 18 James Street … half past 2 o’clock.  Mutes … . The hearse and coach arrived with single horse each, Jack Harris and Harry Green, coachmen. I was told that a Mr Jukes was the undertaker, Hatchard of Crawford was furnisher of the funeral, and Nodes of Chapel Street furnished the carriages. The coffin was covered with black baize and finished with black nails and cherub head handles, with tin plate inscription with gloria and urn on the lid. The procession moved about quarter past three. Two cabs with the friends of the deceased in followed; arrived at the ground (St George Hanover Square, Tyburn Road) about three-quarters past 3 o’clock and was taken into the chapel and from thence to the grave, which was about 16 feet deep, at the further end of the ground from the chapel and a little to the left of ditto, directly at the foot of the headstone of George Frederick Leyde and about five feet from the headstone of James Gamer, in a south-easterly direction, with the head lying direct west. A neighbouring clock told four just as he was let down. He was followed by six mourners – the first his widow, and then an elderly gentleman ( I think his father) and mother, with three other females.  His two shopmen (William Wood and another) were also there.  I got home to tea about 5 o’clock. — After walking about impatiently waiting for — three-quarters — of an hour for Ann, I went to her lodgings in Stephen Street and was there about an hour. — After 8 o’clock at home reading history of Queen Anne etc.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 23 or 24 November]

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Sunday 26th April 1846

“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.”

Monday 20th April 1846

“(From the Times newspaper) ‘Melancholy Event’. Died on the 20th instant in her 31st year of rapid consumption, Ann, the beloved wife of Mr Henry Oliver Nodes of No 7 Chapel Street, Tottenham Court Road. A former mistress of mine whose service I left about May 1842 owing to a misunderstanding arising between us, in which she called me a fool, to which I made answer ditto, hastily, but unmeaningly, and which insult she never forgave me, but had me discharged forthwith without notice but with a week’s wages instead.”

The life of Nathaniel Bryceson, 1826-1911

Details of the life of Nathaniel Bryceson, wharf clerk of Soho and Pimlico, London
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A written version of this podcast is available: Life of Nathaniel Bryceson, 1826-1911