Monday 29th June 1846

“Balloon went up from Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea. Saw it very plain in the Quadrant. Grand Review in Hyde Park this morning, His Grace the Duke of Wellington Commander in Chief.

The weather this month has been extremely warm and dry, things scorched up for the want of rain till the 22nd, since which we have had slight intermediate rains which gives hopes yet of a favourable harvest.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 908 tons 6 sacks.

The new carriage and foot road fronting Chelsea Hospital was opened the 16th instant: this is a decided improvement, being before so very narrow, and looking so confined.

St James’s Church Piccadilly has a new painted window being put in place of the old one which was very plain, having no stained glass. The present from without, though not finished, looks very showy.

There is now erecting a strong scaffold at the top of the Triumphal Arch, Constitution Hill, opposite Hyde Park Gates, and immediately fronting St George’s Hospital, for the purpose of erecting an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, which will be very conspicuous from the Duke’s residence, Apsley House. It is expected it will shortly be erected.

This month has been unfortunate to our family for illness, my mother being very bad all the month and at one time not expected to live and still keeping her bed. My Uncle John Shepard has also had a severe attack of the lumbago in his back, which confined him to his bed about a fortnight, but from which he is now fast recovering, though unable to work. Myself have been very indisposed, having a stoppage in my bowels accompanied with a severe headache, which one time I thought would have confined me also, but have managed to keep my work. Granny Shepard has been nearly knocked up with attending on them, her son and daughter. It also fatigued M Ward very much having his rest broke every night by attending a sick wife, and also attending the bugs, which in their room in warm weather, almost devour them.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 30 June or 1 July]

Sunday 31st May 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock and breakfasted. Afterwards went to Globe Coffee House, corner of Worship Street and Square, kept by a Mr Stacey, and read some news of the week. From thence to King’s Head Court Chapel to see Mrs Skirriker. Met her on Cumberland Street. She differed a little in dress since I last saw her by wearing a shawl instead of a cloak and a white bonnet instead of a black one. Waited half an hour after service to see her, but she did not come out, so I made best of my way homeward. Afternoon went with intention of going to Paddington Street Burial Ground, but could get no admittance, so went in Old Marylebone instead. Went home to tea and stopped the evening till 8 o’clock. — Had Ann up in own room, but there got to naughty tricks on the bed. — After which took walk with Ann round about Hyde Park and returned home by Piccadilly.  Had some cider and biscuits corner of Great Marlborough Street and Poland Street.

The weather this month has been very beautiful, especially the latter part, which has been a continuance of fine weather without any intermediate rain for the last three weeks.

Nearly all this month my mother has been confined to her bed with acute pains in the back, which, with a wound in her breast, renders her helpless, and at present there is no sign of her mending.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf: 1353 tons.”

Sunday 5th April 1846

“Rose soon after 7 o’clock and dressed with intention of going to see Mrs Skirriker go from her residence to her chapel, but rain coming on prevented me, so instead thereof read part of news of week in coffee shop in Dean Street. After breakfast went to New Tottenham Court Chapel in Grafton Street, Fitzroy Square. Put into a seat alongside Miss Pitt, an old schoolfellow. Mr Elton read not the prayers being indisposed. Mr Lumley preached. After dinner took walk alone to Whitechapel to see the remains of an old inn called White Hart near Somerset Street, which was built before the reign of Henry VIII. Had very imperfect view – the house was partly razed to the ground and on its site is to be erected a more spacious building. Made for own neighbourhood and had tea at coffee shop corner of Grafton and Sussex Streets, after which took Ann for walk about Hyde Park. It may not be unworthy of remark that at the present time there is a little cherry tree growing on the City side of London Bridge, and a rookery in a tree corner of Wood Street and Cheapside.  — Paid into bank 20s. Total £18. — “


[Editor’s note: No entries on 6 or 7 April]

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.”

Saturday 28th February 1846

” — Matthew Ward gave me to understand that it was time I paid something towards the rent, but I remain unmoved. Thoughts at work too concerned how to act. Must shortly see about getting a home of my own. — The west end of Piccadilly, the length of the Green Park and on that side the way, there has been great alterations made viz the foot pavement has been thrown back some feet, so that the trees that were formerly enclosed in the iron railing are now in line with the kerb, the railing being also removed back, thereby allowing considerably more room for the carriage way.

At the top of Piccadilly, near to Hyde Park Gates and directly opposite St George’s Hospital, has been lately erected three urinals, or places of convenience for the male sex, built of stone.

The weather this month has been most wonderful with the exception of about three days slight frosts it has been quite warm, more resembling May or September. This winter will be one remembered for years to come, as such weather for the season was never remembered by the oldest person now living, to commence so mild, and continue so all through. But it is not too late yet for frosty weather to come, as March month is generally considered a cold one. But as yet it is most extraordinary. To my recollection I have never passed a winter through without chilblains, more or less severe, but this winter I have had no signs of any. Nay, this day February 28th, I sat in office with windows and door both open to admit of a little air and so close was it in the evening that I was obliged to book the day’s work in my shirt sleeves. The trees are now budding out very fast while some bear small leaves already.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1476 and nine twentieths tons.”

Sunday 11th January 1846

“Morning, wore knee breeches for first time. A terrible bother we had to get them on and make them meet at the knee and button. Started for St John Southwark fully equipped (costume, beginning uppermost: high-crowned broad-brimmed hat, black frock coat, strait-collared waistcoat with brass buttons, drab breeches with covered buttons and silver buckles at knees, speckled worsted stockings, shoes with straps and buckles to the same, white neckhandkerchief with plain fronted shirt); but found that I had been to the church about three weeks previous, viz St John Horslydown. Returned home through the City, Clare Market etc, rather quizzed by some but minded it not. Afternoon, bullock’s heart for dinner, after which I took walk with Ann Fox to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens etc, returned home to tea about half past 6 o’clock. Eliza, otherwise Ann Thomas, came to Richmonds Buildings for a short time after which I accompanied her to an acquaintance at 101 Chancery Lane. There was I kept waiting half an hour after which I accompanied her to her home, 22 St James’s Street. Pretty good sweating, walked in all about 22 miles.  Met Mr Perry, father of the now celebrated John, in Newport Market.

— Paid into bank 20s, making total £15.– “

Sunday 4th January 1846

“Morning, went to Tillman’s Coffee House, Tottenham Court Road, to read newspaper. From there to the Old Bailey to see preparations for the execution of Martha Browning tomorrow. After dinner took walk with Ann Fox across Westminster Bridge to Horsemonger Lane County Gaol, to see if any preparations were being made for the execution of Samuel Quennell tomorrow, but such was not the case. Returned back over Westminster Bridge, through St James’s Park, and continued walk through the Green and Hyde Parks. There rested ourselves on an old seat opposite one of the gates. Returned home through Oxford Street. Granny Shepard bought me a pair of worsted stockings for 1s 2d. Ann gave me a shilling off what she owes Granny, leaving only 8d unpaid.”