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. — “

Sunday 29th November 1846

“Went to the church of St Mary Newington Butts; arrived there at 10 o’clock, saw a young couple married. Looked round the church and read monuments and commenced taking off one (a Latin inscription), but was interrupted by the pew opener, who told me come another day as service was about to commence. Sat in free seats in middle of church, between pews 51 and 70.  Hastened home and dined on pork sausages. Afternoon started with Ann (she wore her new cloak for first time) for St Paul’s Cathedral, where we arrived at 3 o’clock. First looked round the monuments and then went in the choir and stayed the whole of service time (indeed had we been not disposed so to do, we must have stopped the whole time, for the vergers lock the gates and there you are prisoners – only this afternoon two females were taken ill in a fainting state, but no assistance could be rendered without, the verger having locked the gates and departed and went his way, so that there was pretty confusion – people rattling at the gates, but nobody came till half an hour afterwards, when by chance the gate was opened). Left at 5 o’clock, returned home. — After tea I had Ann up in my room as usual.  We had not been closeted more than a minute when there came such a rattling at the outer room door which continued for about 10 minutes till at last the door was opened and Mattie walked in and caught us in the inner room. But [he?] said he had come for his milk which we had taken in. [He?] nodded as to say he saw how matters stood, but however, although he spoilt our sport, he did not totally hinder us from getting into mischief, for I made a terrible mess over Ann’s new cloak and my own breeches. — Reading etc the rest of the evening.”

Sunday 22nd November 1846

“Rose half past six, breakfasted and made for St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside; in my way there copied into scrapbook inscriptions on stones against houses as near facsimile as possible, as also in church porch an hour previous to service commencing. On my way home by St Giles’s Church in the Fields, seeing a funeral about to commence, I walked in and stayed the service time. Richard Andrews, undertaker, about the oldest in the metropolis – a wonderful little man – at a rough guess I should reckon attended to their graves not less than 20,000 bodies. Liver … for dinner.  Started soon after two o’clock to follow the remains of Mr McAuliffe, coal and potato dealer, of 18 James Street … half past 2 o’clock.  Mutes … . The hearse and coach arrived with single horse each, Jack Harris and Harry Green, coachmen. I was told that a Mr Jukes was the undertaker, Hatchard of Crawford was furnisher of the funeral, and Nodes of Chapel Street furnished the carriages. The coffin was covered with black baize and finished with black nails and cherub head handles, with tin plate inscription with gloria and urn on the lid. The procession moved about quarter past three. Two cabs with the friends of the deceased in followed; arrived at the ground (St George Hanover Square, Tyburn Road) about three-quarters past 3 o’clock and was taken into the chapel and from thence to the grave, which was about 16 feet deep, at the further end of the ground from the chapel and a little to the left of ditto, directly at the foot of the headstone of George Frederick Leyde and about five feet from the headstone of James Gamer, in a south-easterly direction, with the head lying direct west. A neighbouring clock told four just as he was let down. He was followed by six mourners – the first his widow, and then an elderly gentleman ( I think his father) and mother, with three other females.  His two shopmen (William Wood and another) were also there.  I got home to tea about 5 o’clock. — After walking about impatiently waiting for — three-quarters — of an hour for Ann, I went to her lodgings in Stephen Street and was there about an hour. — After 8 o’clock at home reading history of Queen Anne etc.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 23 or 24 November]

Sunday 15th November 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock, breakfasted and started at 9 o’clock for St Mary Lambeth.  On my way copied into scrapbook the inscriptions of stones against Crown Court, Richmond Buildings, and James Street, as also a few inscriptions in and outside church. Afternoon the burial of Joseph Richards. The body left Richmond Buildings at 2 o’clock in a single horse hearse and coach followed by six mourners – first his mother, and brother, and brother’s wife, and three other gents – to St Giles’s cemetery adjoining Old St Pancras, whence they arrived at 3 o’clock. I, accompanied by Ann, followed and saw him deposited in his last resting place, a grave very damp and about six feet deep at nearly the bottom of the ground between the tomb of Thomas Bethell and the flat ledger of Anne Allston, about four feet from the former and about two feet from the latter, with his head to the west. He was taken in the chapel. The coffin was about five feet four inches by 16 inches … and oiled and finished with white furniture ornamented with stars on the lid and sides. After the funeral we went into Old St Pancras and took off into scrapbook the inscription on William Woollatt’s stone. Afterwards returned home to tea. A birth also took place in our house, first floor back room: the wife of Mr George Mitchell, bricklayer, was delivered of a daughter this morning at 11 o’clock. The husband during his wife’s confinement takes his rest in the bed occupied by Uncle John Sheppard (back attic). — Had Ann up in my room as usual in the evening. — Closed the day by reading a portion of Ainsworth’s Latin Dictionary.”

Sunday 8th November 1846

“Started early for the church of St Mary Islington. Took down few inscriptions in churchyard and thence into the church.  Sat in free seats in middle of church. Pork sausages for dinner. Started at 2 o’clock for St Alban’s, Wood Street, and took down two inscriptions in the churchyard and then went into the church. Meant to take down some in the church, but the afternoon was so dark that I could not see. Stopped service time and then returned home to tea. — Had Ann up in my room as usual in the evening. — At home all the evening reading etc.”

Sunday 25th October 1846

“Chillblains getting very troublesome obliged to use onion and salt to them. Wore worsted stockings for first time this season. Went through the Temple and round the church and through the churchyard. Copied into scrapbook Latin inscriptions over door in Farrars Buildings as also one within the railings surrounding the church. Went inside and saw Knights Templars brass effigies. This I believe is the first time I was ever inside the Temple Church. From thence to St Mary Aldermanbury, Bow Lane. Rained very heavy all the way home, at times so violent that I was obliged to put up at different times. Beef sausages for dinner. A duel of an afternoon. Stopped at home translating Latin and taking to paper some particulars of Granny Shepard’s family from her own words, of which she tired and waxed wrath with me for bothering her so. — Had Ann up in evening as usual. — Afterwards took walk — with ditto — through the City by Fleet Street to St Paul’s churchyard and then returned home whence I arrived half past 9 o’clock. White puppy fell overboard in the canal and was drowned. Mr Richard Latham completes his 43rd year (a fellow clerk at Eccleston Wharf).”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 26 or 27 October]

Sunday 11th October 1846

“Morning went first of all to St Paul’s Cathedral and took down in scrap book the inscription on the statue of John Howard, the celebrated prison visitor. From thence went to church of St Mary Aldermanbury. A prayer offered up for the suppression of the approaching famine or otherwise sarcity of food which at present threatens this country – also a sermon for the aid of the suffers by the late disastrous fire at St John’s Newfoundland. No collection was made today but it was given out that a visit would be paid to all the parishioners in the ensuing week. 200 houses are reported to have been destroyed by the devouring element, the inmates of which are houseless and the climate there very severe; destruction of property is computed at a million sterling. Wet afternoon stopped at home looking into Latin Dictionary, progressing but slowly. — Had Ann up in the evening. Got to our old tricks. I spent a little seed up her petticoat. Very narrow escape of being caught by Old Granny Shepard as they must have met on the staircase. — Practised a little Latin till quarter before 10 and went then to rest.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 12 or 13  October]