Friday 11th December 1846

“Died this evening at his residence, the Foot Guards Suttling House, Whitehall, Mr Brice McGregor in the 65th year of his age, formerly of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards. He was a native of Argyleshire and entered at Glasgow into the 3rd Guards 1799. In 1821 he was discharged, receiving a handsome pension and appointed Keeper of the Foot Guards Suttling House. Afterwards appointed Yeoman of the … at St James’s, which place he held till his death. It is … he has left a … not less than £15,000 … liberal … many in … in … country and London. Snow has made its appearance for first time and continued to fall through the morning accompanied by a very sharp frost. The wife of William Filkins, carman, delivered of her first child since her marriage – a boy – about 11 o’clock am. Purchased an old edition of Herveys Meditation 1750 for 1s in Bozier Court, Tottenham Court Road.”


[Editor’s note: A suttling house provided food and drink to soldiers.]

Saturday 28th November 1846

“Some person this afternoon threw a basket from Eccleston Bridge with a cat in it, but the cat made its escape by getting out of the basket and swimming across, whilst the coal heavers pushed a light barge off, and took possession of the basket, which was nearly new. Somewhere about this time died Mr Pharoah, landlord of public house north side Little Pulteney Street, and one door from Wardour Street, aged 22 years.”

Wednesday 25th November 1846

“Had job for first time to change silver into gold (an unusual thing) at the ‘Monster’ Public House, St George’s Terrace – over wooden bridge, Pimlico – and the Grosvenor Arms, Lower Belgrave Place, Pimlico. Miss Isabella Emery of 24 Hanway Street died, being subjected to violent fits, of which she had 11 the Sunday previous – this was one of my former mistresses, whom I served in the years 1840-41 as errand boy.”

Saturday 21st November 1846

“Westminster Bridge – workmen were employed in levelling the parapets on either side of the bridge with the footway, preparatory to wooden palings being erected in lieu of the former balustrades. Soon as the work is finished, the bridge will be open again for the use of vehicles, and in that condition will remain until the new bridge is completed. Received intelligence from Granny Shepard of the death of Mrs Wilcocks, aged about 40, wife of Mr Thomas Wilcocks, pork butcher, Tottenham Court Road, corner of Chapel …, who died this morning early after about two months illness, and whose body yet remaineth uninterred. The Princess Royal, first daughter of the present Queen Victoria, completeth her 6th year.”


[Editor’s note: The Princess Royal was Victoria (1840-1901), later wife of Friedrich III of Prussia and mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II.]

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]

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.”