Sunday 23rd August 1846

“Rose half past 5 o’clock and went to Mechanics Bath, Little Queen Street, Holborn. Met Jack Rees in Great Queen Street as I was coming out. After breakfast continued copying the ancestors and members of family of James Wood, the rich banker of Gloucester, who died in 1836, and through whom there has been such difficulty in disposing the property.  Went to church, St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, the handsomest church of modern architecture that I have yet been to, but it is deficient of those embellishments, tablets, of which there is none at all.  Home the whole afternoon copying Wood’s ancestors. Mother very bad, unable to rise from bed.  M Ward’s hands full.  After had — Ann up in room as …; — before 8 o’clock took walk with Ann through the Strand and Fleet Street, Gough Square and Johnson’s Court where Dr Johnson composed his English Dictionary. Returned home by Holborn and New Oxford Street.”


[Editor’s note: James Wood, banker of Gloucester (1756-1836), was well known for his miserliness. After his death, his estate of £900,000 was mainly expended in legal arguments over his will.]

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Friday 14th August 1846

“Succeeded at last in getting ‘Johnson’s Dictionary’ 1786 at Mitchell bookseller, corner Wells and Charles Street, after having tried about 50 shops unsuccessfully.  … condition first rate, bound in russet leather … imitation of the same.”