“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.”
“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.”
“Rose 6 o’clock, went to Nockold’s Coffee Shop in High Street, St Giles’s. After breakfast went to St Luke, Chelsea New Church, heard sermon preached for the aid of the erection of the hospital now being built in Fulham Road for consumption and diseases of the chest by Mr Montgomery, Minister of Percy Chapel, Charlotte Street, a man of wonderful flow of speech, very learned, and nowadays of great note, so much so that an hour before the chapel doors open, people are seen to be waiting thereat to get a front seat. His text this morning was Proverbs ch 22, v 2, ‘The rich and poor meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all’. Had dinner of beef steaks owing to mother’s illness. After ditto went out with Ann, first to the Cemetery Kensal Green, thence to Willesden about the churchyard and cage. Had refreshment at the White Hart opposite the cage. Returned homeward down the lane and through … . This day 50 years ago was Granny Shepard married at the church of St Andrew by the Wardrobe near Blackfriars.”
“Rose early and breakfasted at coffee shop in Cromer Street, Grays Inn Road. From thence proceeded to Islington to see Mrs Sirriker come from her residence and go to chapel, but missed being too late, it being 20 minutes to 10 o’clock, so made way through Ballspond and Kingsland to King’s Head Court, Shoreditch, and went to the chapel therein where the old lady was already seated. After service followed her across Old Street Road and through Hoxton in the direction of Islington where I left her and made fast home to dinner, whence I did not arrive till half past 2 o’clock. After dinner took walk with Ann through Piccadilly, Knightsbridge, Brompton, Chelsea and Battersea to Wandsworth to see house in which Matthew Ward received his education. It is an old white house at the corner of Garrett Lane and the High Street and directly facing the Ram Inn. It is now a Ladies Seminary and is called Wandsworth House. Had pint beer and biscuits at the Antelope and rested a while till half past 7 o’clock, after which proceeded homeward through Battersea fields (a heavy shower coming we narrowly escaped a drenching), Vauxhall, Lambeth, Westminster. Home very tired and sore footed, having walked in all from 27 to 30 miles. Wore breeches without the gaiters this day, blue worsted stockings.”
[Editor’s note: Nathaniel’s usual spelling of John Bunyan’s descendant’s name is Skirricker.]
“The White Hart Inn situate in Whitechapel near Somerset Street was sold by auction for the purpose of being pulled down and having some extensive building erected on its site. This inn is recorded to have existed before the reign of Henry VIII. It was condemned 40 years ago on the occasion of the first floor having given way by the weight of the coffin in which the corpse of the landlady. There were many remains of antiquity.
The oldest house in Marylebone parish was this month pulled down to the ground. It was an old fashioned white public house which went down steps and stood back from the street, the sign whereof was the ‘Rose of Normandy’, the back of which was formerly Marylebone Gardens. The house is situate in High Street No 32 between Bowling Street and Devonshire Street.
This month was concluded the war with India, which has been in agitation for some time between the British and Sikhs and in favour of the former. After which an agreement has been entered into for them to pay £1,500,000 to defray the expenses of the British in four yearly instalments, until which the British hold their Government in their hands.
Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1588 tons.
Weather colder this month than any previous … though remarkably mild … .”
[Editor’s note: The battles between the British and the Sikhs took place on 18-22 December 1845. Nathaniel had first referred to them on January 28th.
No entry on 1 April]
“Went to coffee shop in High Street, St Giles’s, opposite Dudley Court, to read news of the week. Wet morning. After breakfast went to the Church of St Lawrence Jewry, near Guildhall, a rather grand church, the first stone whereof was laid April 12th 1671, as stone in the church states. Dirty walking in the City. Saw a gilded coach, with ditto coachmen and footmen, in Holborn going towards the City, which I suppose to be the Lord Mayor’s with a gentleman and lady inside – the Mayor and Mayoress ‘Alderman Johnson’. After dinner took walk alone to Bunhill Fields Burial Ground to see (not the first time) the tomb of John Bunyan. While there fell into conversation with an elderly lady who came on the same errand, and from her learnt that there is now living an old lady, a descendant and the last remaining of that great man, who is also a member of a dissenting chapel in King’s Head Court, Shoreditch, one end whereof leads to the High Street, and the other to Cumberland Street, Curtain Road, and she liveth somewhere in John’s Row, Clerkenwell or St Luke’s. This same lady has had tea with her twice, and she the said descendent by name Skillicker has now in her possession a painting of him. ‘Remarks’: I must see this lady if there is a possibility and that next Sunday morning if the weather is fine, and nothing particular prevents and see if the same be true, her age is somewhere about 83 years. Returned home to tea rather lame from the pinch I received upwards of two months back from wearing stockings too large and doubled underwards. Took walk in the evening to meet Ann in Tottenham Court Road and walked together about Bloomsbury and Oxford Street.”
[Editor’s note: Nathaniel changed the surname of John Bunyan’s descendant from Skillicker to Skirricker on 22 March]
“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.”