Saturday 12th December 1846

“Met Miss Murray, a former servant of Lea’s, just come from St … Hospital, whither she had been to see her father, who has lately met with a severe accident, having had his arms broken with an engine (he is an engineer by trade). Bought large book or journal for forthcoming year 1847 at shop of Miscellaneous Repository, … Street, Soho, near Greek Street, for 1s (very well satisfied with my …). Had it been made to my order, it could not suited me better for the binding and ruling and number of leaves, being 66. The demolition of the ornamental colonnade forming part of the south wing of Buckingham Palace was commenced, from which point the new wing begins. The excavation of both wings fronting St James’s Park are complete and the foundations already laid.

Carried forward …”

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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.”

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.”

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]

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.”

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.”