Saturday 7th November 1846

“Went to pay £10 into bank (Sir Claude Scott’s). Rode back to Wharf in the four-wheel chaise with Mr Lloyd, whom I met there – something uncommon, being the first time of riding in a vehicle of Mr G Lea’s. Had some baked mutton, potatoes and pudding when I got home – a very unusual dish with me, especially for the time of day – and afterwards pint tea at coffee shop, Compton Street, Soho. Office dial cleaned and repaired by Moginie, Brewer Street, Pimlico.”

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Thursday 5th November 1846

“Dame Granny Shepard paid a visit to Eccleston Wharf, Pimlico, to see old Mrs Lea. She stopped nearly the whole day from 11 o’clock till 8 o’clock and was by them treated very nobly. Came from thence home with me. I had tea at coffee shop, Compton Street, Soho, side of St Anne’s churchyard.”

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.”

Sunday 4th October 1846

“Breakfasted and afterwards went to coffee shop near the Royal Exchange, a turning out of Cornhill, from thence to church, St Mary Abchurch, (I have noticed of late that all plugs are up in the City to keep the streets cleansed and to keep away the cholera (if possible) which is now prevalent in some parts of Europe and which it is feared will ultimately pay a visit to England, but it seems confined to the City, not having noticed any thing of the kind in the suburban districts). Stopped at home all afternoon taking black Dutch clock to pieces and oiling it, hoped to have it in going order by dark but was deceived, it being a more tedious task that I calculated upon. — Had Ann up in the evening as usual. — Took walk in evening with Ann to see Providence and Episcopal Chapel, Grays Inn Lane, and returned by 9 o’clock.”

Sunday 20th September 1846

“Started half past 7 o’clock for Edgware, where I arrived at half past ten. First place went to – Whitchurch – strolled about the burial ground an hour, taking down sundry inscriptions from tombstones into scrapbook. Went in the church during sermon, and afterwards was shown over the church by the clerk.  It is most beautifully decorated with painted walls and ceiling, all scriptural pieces. Then he showed me the Duke of Chandos’s family vault, over which is the marble monument of the Duke and his two wives, with sundry other branches of the family, and underneath is the coffins (48 in number) of the Brydges Chandos family (upwards 90 years) which is now extinct. The vault has been built 130 years and is sound as when first built. The most curious of all is a coffin with two bodies in it – a mother and daughter as I was told – the size whereof was tremendous, in appearance more resembling a coal barge than a coffin. It is elm, covered with black velvet, and finished with brass furniture; inscription on lozenge brass plate was dated 1761. The oldest date I saw was that of a child died 1704. This job cost me 6d, but I was highly gratified.  Dined at ‘The Old Boot’, Edgware (bread and beef). Afterwards went in burial ground of Edgware Church and then in the church, took down inscriptions from two brasses, 1599 and 1632, then back again to Whitchurch and viewed the same over as I did in the morning, more lengthened, and with this addition – I saw the public vault which was piled with coffins thickly and irregularly. Picked a few blackberries and afterwards made for home sharply, where I arrived shortly before 8 o’clock, having walked about 25 miles. Left Edgware just before 5 o’clock. ‘Remark’: Poor old Granny Shepherd this day is the same age as Dr Samuel Johnson was when he died, viz 75 years 3 months 6 days.  Had cup of tea at coffee shop, Dean Street, opposite Little Dean Street, to read Dispatch.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 21 or 22 September]

Sunday 6th September 1846

“Started quarter before 8 o’clock for Hendon by Primrose Hill and Hampstead. Had lift in carriage box above a mile beyond Hampstead Heath by offer of the coachman. Got to Hendon Church half past 10 o’clock. Picked and ate a quantity of blackberries in the lanes there, and took down some inscriptions from the tablets and tombs within and without the church. Interfered with by a policeman for not keeping the footpath and annoying the congregation by walking about the grounds. Dined at the ‘Greyhound’ Public House close to burial ground. Commenced cutting my initials and date on burial ground gate, but only completed ‘N B 1’ when I was interrupted by the sight of two policemen approaching, upon which I made off, leaving my job unfinished. Left Hendon Church about half past three and dawdled away an hour eating blackberries, when I made for home at a smartish pace, arriving thither soon after six, walking four miles per hour. — I tried to paw up Ann but she evaded me somehow, but I saw her comfortably seated in Tottenham Court Chapel where I let her remain unmolested, for which I am not sorry. — Very warm, distant thunder throughout the afternoon accompanied with a few large drops of rain. Had tea in coffee shop in Dean Street, opposite Little Dean Street.”

Saturday 15th August 1846

“Ornamental blind with collier and whippers at work, and bell and plate fixed: ‘Coal Office: Ring the Bell’ – zinc plate and bronze handle. A shocking murder was perpetrated about quarter past 12 this morning by JV Smith, man cook at the Guildhall Coffee House, King Street, Cheapside, on the body of Susan Tolledy, the kitchen maid, by cutting her throat in a fit of passion.”