Saturday 12th December 1846

“Met Miss Murray, a former servant of Lea’s, just come from St … Hospital, whither she had been to see her father, who has lately met with a severe accident, having had his arms broken with an engine (he is an engineer by trade). Bought large book or journal for forthcoming year 1847 at shop of Miscellaneous Repository, … Street, Soho, near Greek Street, for 1s (very well satisfied with my …). Had it been made to my order, it could not suited me better for the binding and ruling and number of leaves, being 66. The demolition of the ornamental colonnade forming part of the south wing of Buckingham Palace was commenced, from which point the new wing begins. The excavation of both wings fronting St James’s Park are complete and the foundations already laid.

Carried forward …”

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Sunday 6th December 1846

“Went to the church of St Mary Rotherhithe. Arrived there half past 10 o’clock; copied into scrapbook a curious inscription on church wall, Came through the Thames Tunnel homeward. At home in afternoon looking over Latin dictionary. Mother came down to tea (the first of her getting down stairs for two months), a poor emaciated creature looketh she, almost double, and obliged to support herself on a great stick. At tea she looked like more like her mother’s mother than her daughter, Granny looking a fresh coloured dame of 70 while mother looks extremely aged as approaching 90. — Had Ann up in evening. She hath hurt herself in the week lifting things above her strength. — “

Friday 13th November 1846

“Mr G Lea, accompanied by George Palmer, went to Kingston Fair to purchase a horse, which he did – a horse with only one eye, the other knocked out. Went round to Ann at Mrs Kennington. She has her head bound up in consequence of whilst breaking a coal, a piece thereof flew into her eye, causing her much pain and inconvenience, and of which at present all is not extracted.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 14 November]

Friday 6th November 1846

“Whilst mending a pen this morning, the knife slipped and gave me a very nasty cut on the middle finger. I hastened to the chemist and bought a pennyworth sticking plaster.  In evening strolled into Richmond’s Auction Rooms, Rathbone Place. Moore the toyman’s house in a very dangerous condition propped up with deals, the inhabitants being obliged to make a hasty quittal, the foundations having gave way and the front wall bulging forward, which, but for the support offered to it, would in all probability before this time have been level with the ground.”