Tuesday 29th September 1846

“Arrival of the Duke of Wellington’s statue at the Triumphal Arch opposite St George’s Hospital. At half past 12 o’clock I went to the top of Grosvenor Place to see if the Duke of Wellington’s statue had arrived, but it had not; but Piccadilly was lined with persons to witness its arrival, but I was obliged to get back to business in my hour.  It arrived between 1 and 2 o’clock. The carriage was drawn by Goding the brewer’s horses; it was said there would be 40, but an eye witness (R Latham) counted but 29, with a man to each horse. The weight of the carriage was stated to be about 20 tons, and of the statue about 40, and to the top of his head 40 feet. On the roof of Apsley House, the Duke’s residence, many persons were assembled which I suppose was the servants and their acquaintances. Coming home I peeped between the board enclosure and caught a glimpse of the horse’s hind quarters by moonlight.”


[Editor’s note:  Matthew Cotes Wyatt’s equestrian statue to the Duke of Wellington was removed in 1883 when the arch was moved to a new position.  It is now in Aldershot, Hampshire.  In 1912 the Quadriga, or four-horse chariot, designed by Adrian Jones, took its position on the arch.  Goding’s Brewery stood on the site of the Royal Festival Hall.  A Coade stone lion from this brewery is on the southern end of Westminster Bridge.]

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Wednesday 15th July 1846

” — Mr G Lea practised a most scandalous fraud on the Hon Mrs Wyndham of 39 Grosvenor Place by sending them shamefully light, and with charging with one more wagon load than was sent, making difference of about seven tons, all through the medium of a butler. — “

Wednesday 27th May 1846

“Grand Derby day at Epsom. Saw plenty of company returning therefrom down Grosvenor Place, which was each side thronged with spectators shouting out and hurrahing, which immediately fronting St George’s Hospital I thought improper. Mr George Lea absent all day, no doubt at the races, though much more quietly done than last year. Winning horse ‘Pyrrhus the First’ the property of Mr Gully, formerly a celebrated pugilist in the prize ring.”


[Editor’s note: The trainer of the ‘Pyrrhus the First’ was John Day, who was later accused of malpractice in the 1868 Derby by Admiral Rous.  The winning jockey was Sam Day, the great-great uncle of Lester Piggott.
No diary entry on 28 May]