Saturday 3rd October 1846

” — Ann Fox met me at midday in Pimlico near the Wharf with her small black clock. — Exchanged — Ann’s — small black, Dutch clock for one of the same colour but much larger and very old fashion at Mr Eves, broker, Little George Street, Chelsea for a florin and the small clock.”

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Friday 21st August 1846

“Annual bean feast amongst men at Eccleston Wharf comprising the master clerks (except myself only, not liking night feats which disorder the system and break the rest), weigher, carmen, wharfingers, screeners, lightermen, and some of the dealers’ men. The feast will be held at the Monster Public House, St George’s Place, over the wooden bridge, Chelsea. Ann Fox bought old edition of ‘The Whole Duty of Man’, with very good plates, at booksellers in Holborn for 1s 3d.”

Monday 29th June 1846

“Balloon went up from Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea. Saw it very plain in the Quadrant. Grand Review in Hyde Park this morning, His Grace the Duke of Wellington Commander in Chief.

The weather this month has been extremely warm and dry, things scorched up for the want of rain till the 22nd, since which we have had slight intermediate rains which gives hopes yet of a favourable harvest.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 908 tons 6 sacks.

The new carriage and foot road fronting Chelsea Hospital was opened the 16th instant: this is a decided improvement, being before so very narrow, and looking so confined.

St James’s Church Piccadilly has a new painted window being put in place of the old one which was very plain, having no stained glass. The present from without, though not finished, looks very showy.

There is now erecting a strong scaffold at the top of the Triumphal Arch, Constitution Hill, opposite Hyde Park Gates, and immediately fronting St George’s Hospital, for the purpose of erecting an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, which will be very conspicuous from the Duke’s residence, Apsley House. It is expected it will shortly be erected.

This month has been unfortunate to our family for illness, my mother being very bad all the month and at one time not expected to live and still keeping her bed. My Uncle John Shepard has also had a severe attack of the lumbago in his back, which confined him to his bed about a fortnight, but from which he is now fast recovering, though unable to work. Myself have been very indisposed, having a stoppage in my bowels accompanied with a severe headache, which one time I thought would have confined me also, but have managed to keep my work. Granny Shepard has been nearly knocked up with attending on them, her son and daughter. It also fatigued M Ward very much having his rest broke every night by attending a sick wife, and also attending the bugs, which in their room in warm weather, almost devour them.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 30 June or 1 July]

Saturday 20th June 1846

“William Monk, brother to Henry Monk, an extensive charcoal dealer of Leeder Street, Chelsea, died about this time in Chelsea, aged about 48 years. He was afflicted with an asthmatical complaint, which at times he suffered much from. I am troubled with a terrible feverish headache, which, if it does not abate by Monday, I shall be unable to attend the office. Nine years since the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne, in commemoration of which the Park guns were fired. Mr Guest completes his 61st year.”

Thursday 21st May 1846

“Saw sight never saw before – the charity boys of St Margaret’s Westminster beating the boundaries of their parish. Met them at Elliot’s Brewery gate, which is shown to be one of the boundaries by a stone there fixed. There they formed a ring, and after singing a hymn they all set up an hurrah! beating the stones with long canes, which they carried whilst those outside beat their canes over those inside, some with violence (though all in fun), which they inside endeavoured to return, which amidst sticks flourishing, boys hallowing, and masters chiding, presenting a novel scene. After which they marched in procession, three beadles with maces and cocked hats taking the lead, preceded by men with ladders to get over any walls where necessary. After came the master and teachers of the several schools carrying rods and canes, then the Green Coat boys, the Black Coats and the Blue Coats, followed by divers schools in the said parish, all carrying long canes. I followed them to the boundary in William Street, Knightsbridge, which separates Westminster from St Luke Chelsea, where I left them, having already exceeded my dinner hour. Met Billy White, a former playmate of mine, in St James’s Park, whom I have not seen for nearly two years before.”

Easter Sunday 12th April 1846  

“Rose early and breakfasted at coffee shop in Cromer Street, Grays Inn Road. From thence proceeded to Islington to see Mrs Sirriker come from her residence and go to chapel, but missed being too late, it being 20 minutes to 10 o’clock, so made way through Ballspond and Kingsland to King’s Head Court, Shoreditch, and went to the chapel therein where the old lady was already seated. After service followed her across Old Street Road and through Hoxton in the direction of Islington where I left her and made fast home to dinner, whence I did not arrive till half past 2 o’clock. After dinner took walk with Ann through Piccadilly, Knightsbridge, Brompton, Chelsea and Battersea to Wandsworth to see house in which Matthew Ward received his education. It is an old white house at the corner of Garrett Lane and the High Street and directly facing the Ram Inn. It is now a Ladies Seminary and is called Wandsworth House. Had pint beer and biscuits at the Antelope and rested a while till half past 7 o’clock, after which proceeded homeward through Battersea fields (a heavy shower coming we narrowly escaped a drenching), Vauxhall, Lambeth, Westminster. Home very tired and sore footed, having walked in all from 27 to 30 miles. Wore breeches without the gaiters this day, blue worsted stockings.”


[Editor’s note:  Nathaniel’s usual spelling of John Bunyan’s descendant’s name is Skirricker.]

[Editor’s note: No entry on 13 April]