Sunday 29th November 1846

“Went to the church of St Mary Newington Butts; arrived there at 10 o’clock, saw a young couple married. Looked round the church and read monuments and commenced taking off one (a Latin inscription), but was interrupted by the pew opener, who told me come another day as service was about to commence. Sat in free seats in middle of church, between pews 51 and 70.  Hastened home and dined on pork sausages. Afternoon started with Ann (she wore her new cloak for first time) for St Paul’s Cathedral, where we arrived at 3 o’clock. First looked round the monuments and then went in the choir and stayed the whole of service time (indeed had we been not disposed so to do, we must have stopped the whole time, for the vergers lock the gates and there you are prisoners – only this afternoon two females were taken ill in a fainting state, but no assistance could be rendered without, the verger having locked the gates and departed and went his way, so that there was pretty confusion – people rattling at the gates, but nobody came till half an hour afterwards, when by chance the gate was opened). Left at 5 o’clock, returned home. — After tea I had Ann up in my room as usual.  We had not been closeted more than a minute when there came such a rattling at the outer room door which continued for about 10 minutes till at last the door was opened and Mattie walked in and caught us in the inner room. But [he?] said he had come for his milk which we had taken in. [He?] nodded as to say he saw how matters stood, but however, although he spoilt our sport, he did not totally hinder us from getting into mischief, for I made a terrible mess over Ann’s new cloak and my own breeches. — Reading etc the rest of the evening.”

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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]

Sunday 8th November 1846

“Started early for the church of St Mary Islington. Took down few inscriptions in churchyard and thence into the church.  Sat in free seats in middle of church. Pork sausages for dinner. Started at 2 o’clock for St Alban’s, Wood Street, and took down two inscriptions in the churchyard and then went into the church. Meant to take down some in the church, but the afternoon was so dark that I could not see. Stopped service time and then returned home to tea. — Had Ann up in my room as usual in the evening. — At home all the evening reading etc.”

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.”

Sunday 25th October 1846

“Chillblains getting very troublesome obliged to use onion and salt to them. Wore worsted stockings for first time this season. Went through the Temple and round the church and through the churchyard. Copied into scrapbook Latin inscriptions over door in Farrars Buildings as also one within the railings surrounding the church. Went inside and saw Knights Templars brass effigies. This I believe is the first time I was ever inside the Temple Church. From thence to St Mary Aldermanbury, Bow Lane. Rained very heavy all the way home, at times so violent that I was obliged to put up at different times. Beef sausages for dinner. A duel of an afternoon. Stopped at home translating Latin and taking to paper some particulars of Granny Shepard’s family from her own words, of which she tired and waxed wrath with me for bothering her so. — Had Ann up in evening as usual. — Afterwards took walk — with ditto — through the City by Fleet Street to St Paul’s churchyard and then returned home whence I arrived half past 9 o’clock. White puppy fell overboard in the canal and was drowned. Mr Richard Latham completes his 43rd year (a fellow clerk at Eccleston Wharf).”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 26 or 27 October]

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]