Sunday 9th August 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock, went to Westminster Baths, Charles Street, Oakley Street, Westminster Bridge Road, for first time this season. Home to breakfast half past eight and after ditto went to St Margaret’s Westminster. Very well amused with monuments etc therein; sat on free seats north side. After dinner took walk up Holborn to see the late smash of two houses falling down, 22 and 23 Middle Row, directly opposite Grays Inn Lane. Such a sight I never before saw. The ruins have not been disturbed since they fell (one day last week – Sunday last, 2nd instant), and they falling straight have carried all the furniture with them, completely burying greatest part, but some few articles may be seen sticking out, of which I noticed a chest of drawers and a chair, and against the wall I saw a print or two hanging, with two looking glasses, presenting a novel sight. One flight of stairs was still hanging. This event had likely to have caused a great loss of life, but they providentially escaped, having just quitted the crumbling fabric. Walked on through the City and returned by Clerkenwell, noticing the damage done by the late storm and the fast increase of buildings in the new street in continuation with Farringdon Street. — After tea had Ann Fox up. After looking through prints got to our old tricks in which I got a little further than ever by just catching a glimpse of the hairs covering her c**t.  She wore a new straw bonnet for the first time. Hope to get on better hereafter in matters of secrecy. — Saw two persons of whom I have not seen a long time, Benjamin Smart and Henry Kitchingman – the former in Fore Street, Cripplegate, the latter in Dean Street, Soho – neither of whom spoke to me, not liking my appearance, being too ancient. At home the rest of evening.”

Sunday 15th March 1846

“Went to coffee shop in High Street, St Giles’s, opposite Dudley Court, to read news of the week. Wet morning. After breakfast went to the Church of St Lawrence Jewry, near Guildhall, a rather grand church, the first stone whereof was laid April 12th 1671, as stone in the church states. Dirty walking in the City. Saw a gilded coach, with ditto coachmen and footmen, in Holborn going towards the City, which I suppose to be the Lord Mayor’s with a gentleman and lady inside – the Mayor and Mayoress ‘Alderman Johnson’. After dinner took walk alone to Bunhill Fields Burial Ground to see (not the first time) the tomb of John Bunyan. While there fell into conversation with an elderly lady who came on the same errand, and from her learnt that there is now living an old lady, a descendant and the last remaining of that great man, who is also a member of a dissenting chapel in King’s Head Court, Shoreditch, one end whereof leads to the High Street, and the other to Cumberland Street, Curtain Road, and she liveth somewhere in John’s Row, Clerkenwell or St Luke’s. This same lady has had tea with her twice, and she the said descendent by name Skillicker has now in her possession a painting of him. ‘Remarks’: I must see this lady if there is a possibility and that next Sunday morning if the weather is fine, and nothing particular prevents and see if the same be true, her age is somewhere about 83 years.  Returned home to tea rather lame from the pinch I received upwards of two months back from wearing stockings too large and doubled underwards. Took walk in the evening to meet Ann in Tottenham Court Road and walked together about Bloomsbury and Oxford Street.”


[Editor’s note:  Nathaniel changed the surname of John Bunyan’s descendant from Skillicker to Skirricker on 22 March]