Saturday 16th May 1846

“The Corn Bill was again introduced for the first time since January 28th by the Premier (Sir Robert Peel) for the 3rd reading.  Lord George Bentinck as the head of the Protectionist Party threw his whole strength against the Bill, but nevertheless the 3rd reading was ratified by a majority of 98 in a House composed of 556 members.”

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Friday 30th January 1846

“An Irish woman with child was begging in the Strand of a young man who, not taking any notice of her, she gave him a blow in the face whence a bit of a scuffle ensued, and a policeman making his appearance he gave her in charge and she was forthwith taken to the station house in Bow Street.  Self saw the same.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1357 and nine tenths Tons.

The south side of the Quadrant, Regent Street, is very much lightened, the skylights being made the width of the roof of the colonnades, from Air Street to Regent Circus, in consequence of the late duty being taken off glass. They were formerly only a small fanlight just over the shop fronts. In shape they now somewhat resemble the cucumber frames – they will be continued the whole length both sides the way.

The weather this month has been very remarkable all through, yea, the oldest person living remembers not such weather for January. It commenced quite warm and has so continued, the climate being of the temperature of May month. We have had a good deal of rain, but for the shortness of the days it is almost like unto summer. No winter have we had yet, neither is there any appearance of any coming.

The Corn Law Bill of Sir Robert Peel became early this year the all engrossing subject. On the 28th January Sir Robert Peel introduced the Corn Bill to the notice of the House of Commons for a second reading. Previous to this time the Right Honourable Baronet had freely unmasked himself. He had declared for Free Trade and the country was with him. This example was followed by his colleagues, Sir James Graham, and the Duke of Wellington, and the great financier, Mr Goulbourn, were foremost in advancing protection as a robbery, and agitating free trade as a right, to the House and occasion to which I allude. There were present 556 members and the bill was carried by a majority of 97.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 31 January.]

Thursday 22nd January 1846

“Queen Victoria opened the Houses of Parliament. Self saw the carriages, including the State one preceded by about six others, proceed from the Royal Mews to the Palace, altogether presenting a very gaudy sight, so covered with gilded ornaments. In my opinion a procession of aged parish paupers and almshouse inmates would make a much more pleasing sight. New shirt came home made by Mrs Olive making p…l buttons 2d, also new pair of worsted stockings.”