Monday 9th November 1846

“This morning at 10 minutes past 4 o’clock Joseph Richards, son of Mrs Richards, lodger in front attic, 9 Richmond Buildings, died of inflammation of the chest, aged 31 years and 5 months and 5 days. Born June 4th 1815.  Went in the evening to the Auction Rooms, Leicester Square, for first time — with Ann Fox. — Albert Prince of Wales completed his 5th year.  Lord Mayor’s entry into London: Alderman Sir G Carroll.”

Tuesday 6th October 1846  

“Bought very nice book, ‘The Memoirs of George III’, at Miscellaneous Repository, Princes Street, Soho. Suicide of the Swiss Giantess this evening for particulars see next day. I knew deceased well by sight and spoke to her once in Leicester Square the 18th September last concerning a fire that then illuminated the skies and which was the last time I saw her. She was biggest woman I ever saw, standing about 6 feet 3 inches in height and proportionally fuller.”

Saturday 19th September 1846

“Saw the Swiss Giantess this evening – as I found since, for the last time – in Leicester Square, whereupon she spoke to me concerning the above fire.”


[Editor’s note:  The Swiss Giantess was probably appearing at one of many shows and exhibitions in Leicester Square. Nathaniel notes her suicide on 7 October.]

Friday 18th September 1846

“Took walk in evening — with Ann Fox — through Holywell and Wych Street, Strand; returned homeward through Soho Square where I believed the sky to be illuminated with a red light over the south east corner thereof, as also Leicester Square, which I saw was from some fire which I ascertained since to be the Oil Mustard and Saw Mills in the Grove, Guildford Street, Southwark, which totally destroyed the stock in trade.”

Monday 3rd August 1846

“The baths and wash-houses for the labouring classes in George Street, Euston, opened this day. (Cold, shower, warm and vapour, and family baths. Wash-houses – two hours use of tubs, hot water and wringing machine, mangle, drying closet, irons and ironboard etc at charges exceedingly low for encouragement of cleanliness). The New Metropolitan Theatre is to be forthwith erected on a plot of ground on the east side of Leicester Square, formerly the site of Jaunay’s Hotel.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 4 August]

Thursday 7th May 1846

“Received information of Mrs Kitchener of Charley Freeman being ill with a consumption and not expected to live long. Heard first news of the lengthening of Dean Street by pulling down some houses in Gerrard Street and extending it to Leicester Square – whether true or no, time will prove. Dined at Watling’s Dining Rooms, Pimlico, for the first time with fellow clerk.”

Thursday 16th April 1846

“Dragonetti, celebrated double-bass player at the Opera, died at Leicester Square.  He was a Venetian by birth and was born 1761 or 1762 and was aged upwards 84 years.

This day was sold by auction the houses forming the east side of Whittlebury Street for the enlargement of London and Birmingham Railway terminus, the present terminus being inadequate to the immense traffic on the above line. The Company have also purchased the new houses in Birchmoor and Cardington Streets, likewise the ground between Upper Seymour Street and Hampstead Road. An attempt made on the French King’s life by Lecomte, a woodranger, and which he narrowly escaped.”