Monday 7th December 1846

“A trial by jury took place this evening at office by Mr G Lea. The prisoner was young Gray, who was charged with having had the money for one and a half chaldrons coke which he had not delivered, but which he declared he had. He was cross-examined by Mr William Lee, who most strongly interrogated him, but without effect. I was but in as a witness, the lad Gray saying I gave him 3d beer money for shovelling the coke, which I have no recollection of. Appearances were so against him, and the father and son’s statements so contradictory, that it was settled the father should make good the coke.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 8, 9 or 10 December]

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Friday 27th November 1846

“All but out of coals at Wharf, having not one ton to spare in all the warehouses and craft being quite clear, which but for the good management of George Palmer, the weigher, would have been cleaned out in the early part of the afternoon. Since the Wharf has been opened, we never before have been so near out of coals.”

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]

Monday 16th November 1846

“As soon as I arrived at Wharf, I found a horse dead in the stable, which had been bad some time and has had its throat open this past week and been attended by veterinary surgeons. It died last night late and was opened this morning by the knackers to find the cause of its death, and which was found to be a diseased windpipe, thereby suffocating, accelerated by the breaking of the skin dividing the guts from the ribs caused by inward straining (it is the first horse I ever saw opened and a most wonderful sight it is). It knocked up a terrible stink in the stable, but it was a rare day for the black cat, who feasted on the flesh till it could eat no more. In the evening the knackers fetched him away. They gave 35s for him. Cut initials and date ‘N B 1846’ in the privy between stairs. A curious circumstance happened today: Granny Shepard, whilst out in the Buildings, was stopped by a young woman who asked her who was buried from No 9 yesterday, and on being told a young man, “What?” says she, “that young man that lived in the garret that was out of his mind” and, on being told such was not the case, she looked amazed and said “Oh, but he was a little out of his mind, I am sure”. Whom she means is none other than myself, who till last May lived in the garret and certainly the only one in the house who shows any symptoms of insanity. Thus the neighbours suppose me to be dead and buried, whereas here I am well and hearty. Mr John McAuliffe, coal dealer, of 18 St James Street, Oxford Street, died aged 28 years, accelerated by catching cold on a previous weakened constitution, by a moving job to Cheltenham.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 17, 18, 19 or 20 November]

Friday 13th November 1846

“Mr G Lea, accompanied by George Palmer, went to Kingston Fair to purchase a horse, which he did – a horse with only one eye, the other knocked out. Went round to Ann at Mrs Kennington. She has her head bound up in consequence of whilst breaking a coal, a piece thereof flew into her eye, causing her much pain and inconvenience, and of which at present all is not extracted.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 14 November]

Saturday 10th October 1846

“Most business done with teams this week than any previous.  Coals sent out 167 tons 3 sks. Had some … and read newspaper at new coffee shop, Old Compton Street, Soho, near the churchyard, for first time. A stylish affair this, it is fitted with seats, tables etc polished mahogany.”