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 15th November 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock, breakfasted and started at 9 o’clock for St Mary Lambeth.  On my way copied into scrapbook the inscriptions of stones against Crown Court, Richmond Buildings, and James Street, as also a few inscriptions in and outside church. Afternoon the burial of Joseph Richards. The body left Richmond Buildings at 2 o’clock in a single horse hearse and coach followed by six mourners – first his mother, and brother, and brother’s wife, and three other gents – to St Giles’s cemetery adjoining Old St Pancras, whence they arrived at 3 o’clock. I, accompanied by Ann, followed and saw him deposited in his last resting place, a grave very damp and about six feet deep at nearly the bottom of the ground between the tomb of Thomas Bethell and the flat ledger of Anne Allston, about four feet from the former and about two feet from the latter, with his head to the west. He was taken in the chapel. The coffin was about five feet four inches by 16 inches … and oiled and finished with white furniture ornamented with stars on the lid and sides. After the funeral we went into Old St Pancras and took off into scrapbook the inscription on William Woollatt’s stone. Afterwards returned home to tea. A birth also took place in our house, first floor back room: the wife of Mr George Mitchell, bricklayer, was delivered of a daughter this morning at 11 o’clock. The husband during his wife’s confinement takes his rest in the bed occupied by Uncle John Sheppard (back attic). — Had Ann up in my room as usual in the evening. — Closed the day by reading a portion of Ainsworth’s Latin Dictionary.”

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 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.”