Monday 22nd June 1846

“This week begins one gang off and one on – that is one to work every other day; ditto screeners. Taken very feverish in afternoon which increased towards evening as to make it difficulty to walk home, such violent pains in head. This night about 12 o’clock a violent storm arose accompanied by thunder and lightning, and rained through the night, a thing much desired. Benjamin Robert Haydon Esq, a painter of great eminence, committed suicide at his residence, 14 Burwood Place, Edgware Road. He was born January 1786, and was aged 60 years.”


[Editor’s note: Benjamin Robert Haydon, history painter, was frequently in debt, being imprisoned several times, as well as feeling embittered at his rejection by the Royal Academy and the committee selecting artists for the new Houses of Parliament.]

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Sunday 17th May 1846

“Had very indifferent night last night, Mother being very ill, which broke my rest. Rose about half past 6 o’clock and met Ann corner Rathbone Place and Oxford Street. At half past 7 sent her onwards to Paddington whilst I breakfasted at coffee shop in Oxford Street. Overtook her in Edgware Road and went to Great Western Railway station and took place for Ealing at half past 8 o’clock. Arrived there quarter before 9, walked from thence to Hanwell, first round the back of asylum by canal; afterwards made for Greenford where we arrived about 12 o’clock and after service dined in the church porch as the doors were left open (bread and beef). Afterwards cut initials and date (NB 1846) on the paving of the same (paved with red tile) very distinct. — Kissed Ann on every stile. She afterwards same to me. — Returned through Hanwell and whilst walking thereabouts met Richard Bond junior with a young woman in gig opposite asylum gate. Left Hanwell half past 4 for Ealing Station and started from thither to Paddington where arrived 6 o’clock and walked home by the New Road etc. Weather very cloudy in morning. 12 o’clock some rain. After 2 cleared off and remained fine.”

Sunday 29th March 1846

“Morning, rose about a quarter before 7 o’clock, went to coffee shop in Compton Street, St Giles’s. After breakfast went to King’s Head Court Chapel, Shoreditch, saw poor old Mrs Skirricker again, and after service followed her homeward down Cumberland Sreet, Worship Street and Providence Row into Finsbury Square where the old lady took the omnibus which I followed greatest part of the way along City Road, and then struck an angle through Islington across the New River, and came through the church yard and proceeded to her residence and there waited her arrival which presently followed. Hastened homeward to dinner, after which stopped the afternoon at home and had tea with poor old Granny Shepard. Afterwards saw ditto safely to Soho Chapel, then took walk by self up Tottenham Court Road, New Road towards Marylebone. Met Charles Freeman opposite Trinity Church with a young woman. Saw the ruins of the late fire in Crawford Street which destroyed four lives, viz a man and his three children. Proceeded onward down Edgware Road to Hyde Park, thence down Oxford Street to Soho Chapel and waited while the Chapel was over and escorted old Granny Shepard thence homeward (she has changed her residence lately and now liveth in North Street near to John Street, Tottenham Court Road), thence returned homeward and so closed this day.”

Sunday 8th March 1846

“Rose early quarter past 6, went to coffee shop in Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road to read weekly news. Went to church of St Olave Jewry in mistake, intending to go to St Lawrence – found it not out till seated in pew. Fine old church enough but rather dark.  Took walk alone (my companion feeling indisposed) through Marylebone, Lisson Grove, up Edgware Road leaving Kilburn to left to Hampstead over the Heath and homeward across the Fields, between the Hampstead and Highgate Roads, till I got to Taylor’s Alms Houses. A rather dirty tramp of it. Half pint beer and biscuits at public house, Hampstead Road. Made from thence to Gower Street Chapel and there saw poor Old Granny Shepard. — Gave her hint that I might shortly want to draw some money from the bank. — Thence to Tottenham Court Chapel, and took a little walk with Ann. One of the oldest houses in St Marylebone viz the ‘Rose of Normandy’ public house, 32 High Street, between Bowling Street and Devonshire Street, is now being pulled down to be rebuilt. It was a fine old house which stood back from the street and went down some stone steps, two stories high, the back whereof was formerly Marylebone Gardens. Adieu to relicks.”

Sunday 15th February 1846

“Morning rose at 7 o’clock and went to coffee shop in Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road, to read newspaper. After breakfast went to the church of St Katherine, Regent’s Park. The church was so full that I was obliged to sit along north side of organ.  After dinner took walk to Tottenham Court Chapel Burial Ground and sauntered about the south ground for upwards of an hour. Went home, tea, and afterwards escorted poor Old Granny Shepard to Gower Street Chapel. From thence returned and met Ann in Tottenham Court Road and took walk with ditto up Hampstead Road to Chalk Farm Fields etc. Returned home though Regent’s Park etc rather lame from wearing a stocking much too large some weeks back, which still affects left foot. Took refreshment at Pump, corner of Newman and Oxford Streets – gratis. Clara Lea, eldest daughter of George and Anna Matilda Lea, this day completes her second year. Two persons whom I knew well by name, though not by sight, were deposited in their last resting place this day. The one was a Mrs Burn, late of Stephen Street now of Tottenham Court Chapel Yard, south side, the other a Mr Suttell, late coal dealer of Bell Street, Edgware Road, now of Paddington Churchyard, Paddington Green. He was aged about 75 years.”

Sunday 18th January 1846

“Wore long gaiters, with drab breeches, for first time.  Went to the church of St Jude, Turks Row, Chelsea. Sat in pew opposite No 13 South Gallery, and about the centre of the church from east to west (a very plain church – economy seems to be the thing studied by the builders thereof). From thence made for St George’s Terrace, Chelsea Bridge, and dined with George Palmer and his wife, weigher and horsekeeper at Eccleston Wharf, and had a very nice dinner comprising roast pork, potatoes, greens, and plum pudding and gooseberry tart. Left at half past 2 o’clock for Soho Square, and proceeded from thence accompanied by Ann Fox to Paddington churchyard.  From thence to the Edgware Road through Kilburn to Hampstead. — Seated ourselves on a seat in one of … a breach of the peace.  Got a shade nearer to committing a capital offence. — Thence homeward through Hampstead Road … Town where Ann met a female acquaintance viz … place where she works ….”