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 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 2nd August 1846

“Rose quarter past 5 o’clock, breakfasted and prepared for journey to Hampton Court. Started from home accompanied by Matthew Ward at 8 o’clock, ditto from Hungerford Pier half past nine. Weather seeming very unfavourably, raining hard with thunder, though it looked beautiful at first starting. It continued to pour down in torrents till just previous to our landing at Richmond, when it cleared off and turned into a beautiful afternoon. Landed at Richmond 20 minutes past 12 o’clock and walked through Twickenham and Teddington to Hampton Court. Had our dinner of bread and beef at public house fronting entrance of Palace and got inside Palace half past two. M Ward was agreeably entertained at the splendid paintings, tapestry etc, as I was myself. Afterwards walked about gardens and went inside the maze. Left Hampton Court at 5 o’clock and travelled through Bushey Park etc to Richmond and returned by same boat ‘Echo’ about half past seven. Landed at Hungerford at 10 o’clock and got home quarter past 10 o’clock, having spent a very pleasant day. The rain in morning having deterred many persons coming that had not started already; we had it quietly to ourselves, the company being thin. — The expenses of this were cheap for myself. Mattie cost me about 2s. — “

Sunday 26th July 1846

“Rose at half past 5 o’clock, breakfasted, and proceeded for Richmond. — Met Ann in Dean Street waiting to see me. Accompanied me as far as Westminster Bridge where I parted with her. — At half past 7 o’clock through Lambeth, Battersea, Wandsworth, East Sheen to Richmond, where I arrived half past 11 o’clock. Made for church first place and took down a few inscriptions in church and churchyard. Met Miss Kershaw, governess to Miss Manodes, near her residence Vineyard Lodge, returning from chapel with her little flock. Saw not Miss M A N amongst the number. Ate my dinner at the ‘Artichoke’; afterwards walked to Richmond Hill and, after tramping about till half past 4, made for home different road – through Kew and over the bridge, along waterside to Chiswick (saw 20 minutes to 6 o’clock Hogarth’s tomb second time this season), Hammersmith, Fulham, Brompton, Knightsbridge – home where arrived as the clock was striking eight.  Out twelve and a half hours, walked about 30 miles. Granny not being home, I took a further walk meeting Ann, and walked another two, making 32 miles. Ann Thomas came to see Mother this evening and I spent quarter an hour with them.”

Sunday 19th July 1846

“Rose at half past 5 o’clock, breakfasted, and prepared for journey to Richmond. Started and got as far as Lambeth when, rain coming on, I turned into a coffee shop, No 37 High Street. The clouds gathering thick, I turned back and was caught in a shower. Reached home 10 minutes past 10 o’clock. Started soon afterwards for the church of St Margaret Pattens, Rood Lane, Eastcheap. Dinner cold beef and cucumber.  Stopped at home all the afternoon looking over maps and books. Going to church this morning, I saw that a fire had broke out in the premises 76 Newgate Street, corner of Bath Street, City, which had broke out in the lower premises and, strange to say, had but little damaged the first floor while the upper ones were completely gutted (it was a coffee shop). — Expected Ann after, but was disappointed, she having gone to Tottenham Chapel instead, which was the best act. — After tea went into Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, to see the new church (just consecrated). Flocks of persons waiting before the doors were open to see the interior, and many were turned back, but I succeeded in getting admitted. It is certainly somewhat of a novelty in the build, but it is visible that economy has been the chief thing studied, combined with a little elegance. The pews are very plain and somewhat singular, having such low doors to them as almost to lead one to believe they were free. The pulpit is let in the wall in a singular way; the gallery seemed to me to be very dark, though built in a light style. Made my exit before service commenced and returned home.  Went to Serpentine and bathed therein, accompanied by Matthew Ward. It was half past 9 before I got there and every bather was gone, so I had it to myself. Had pint beer and biscuits in Dover Street, Piccadilly.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 20 or 21 July]

Friday 17th July 1846

“Had bread and cheese dinner at the Coach and Horses, York Street, Westminster, first time, adjoining the ancient almshouses in that street dated 1577, from the tap room of which I had a capital view of the back premises and gardens where was some of the inmates walking, all old widows of the parish of St Margaret Westminster, the eldest of whom was 96 years of age. Purchased engraving ‘Death of General Wolfe’ by Woollett, framed and glazed, dated 1776, at the Half Moon, Holywell Street, Strand, for a florin.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 18 July]

Sunday 24th May 1846

“Rose between 6 and 7 and after putting room little straight and having breakfast, went to St Luke Middlesex. Went round to Shoreditch to see Mrs Skirriker, but was too late. Dinner cold beef and lettuce and salad. Took walk in afternoon alone to St Pancras Churchyard and there took down few epitaphs. Spent evening with Ann at her lodging in Stephen Street and accompanied her to Dorset Place, Dorset Square, on an errand. Had pint cider and biscuits in High Street, Marylebone, and returned home. Queen Victoria completes her 27th year this day. Thomas Paver, Wright’s carman, also completes his 27th year today being born same day as the Queen, May 24th 1819.”