Sunday 19th July 1846

“Rose at half past 5 o’clock, breakfasted, and prepared for journey to Richmond. Started and got as far as Lambeth when, rain coming on, I turned into a coffee shop, No 37 High Street. The clouds gathering thick, I turned back and was caught in a shower. Reached home 10 minutes past 10 o’clock. Started soon afterwards for the church of St Margaret Pattens, Rood Lane, Eastcheap. Dinner cold beef and cucumber.  Stopped at home all the afternoon looking over maps and books. Going to church this morning, I saw that a fire had broke out in the premises 76 Newgate Street, corner of Bath Street, City, which had broke out in the lower premises and, strange to say, had but little damaged the first floor while the upper ones were completely gutted (it was a coffee shop). — Expected Ann after, but was disappointed, she having gone to Tottenham Chapel instead, which was the best act. — After tea went into Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, to see the new church (just consecrated). Flocks of persons waiting before the doors were open to see the interior, and many were turned back, but I succeeded in getting admitted. It is certainly somewhat of a novelty in the build, but it is visible that economy has been the chief thing studied, combined with a little elegance. The pews are very plain and somewhat singular, having such low doors to them as almost to lead one to believe they were free. The pulpit is let in the wall in a singular way; the gallery seemed to me to be very dark, though built in a light style. Made my exit before service commenced and returned home.  Went to Serpentine and bathed therein, accompanied by Matthew Ward. It was half past 9 before I got there and every bather was gone, so I had it to myself. Had pint beer and biscuits in Dover Street, Piccadilly.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 20 or 21 July]

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Sunday 21st June 1846

“Rose at 7 o’clock, head aching, but not violently. Breakfasted and went to coffee shop in Dean Street, opposite Little Dean Street. Afraid to venture far, so went to Salem Chapel, Meards Court Soho, with old Granny Shepard – Mr J Stephens minister. After dinner strolled into St Anne Soho Burial Ground. One funeral stopped an hour. At home till 6 o’clock looking over maps. — Expected Ann to pay me a visit, but was disappointed. —  Afterwards took walk through Camden Town and returned by Pancras and the New Road. Met an old acquaintance by name Bill Worley, and the Revd Arnold White, formerly a minister of Tottenham Court Chapel. Mich and another fellow workman of Uncle John Shepard came to see him and afterwards wanted to see my curiosities, but made it too late. — Very much to the gratification of old Granny Shepard, who was mightily displeased at the thoughts of it. — “

Thursday 30th April 1846

“Purchased five maps – parts of London and its suburbs – dated 1790 to 1800, in Peter Street, Westminster, corner of Great Smith Street.

I observed for the first time this month that there is a clock put up to the church of St Paul Knightsbridge (not before it needed).

Coals sold at Wharf this month: 1803 tons 2 sacks.

Weather this month cold with much rain, nay I think this has been the coldest month this year (though no frost).

There is now a great improvement being made in front of Chelsea College. Formerly, when you got to the end of Hospital Row and wanted to get to Cheyne Walk, you passed through an iron gate into a narrow pathway with railings each side; in width it would not have admitted more than three persons abreast. It is now thrown open wide and a foot and carriage way making; the former is already paved and the latter now making. This will be a great convenience for the inhabitants thereabouts having horses and vehicles, for now they have to go round the garden fronting the Hospital nearly half a mile, whereas they will soon be able to go straight through, thereby saving time, horseflesh and carriage wear.  (This road with Hospital Row has since been named ‘Queen’s Road’).

It may not be unworthy of remark that the first house finished and let in New Oxford Street is a public house just east of Bedford Chapel, the sign of ‘The Crown’ – landlord’s name Smith. The buildings hereabouts are growing up at a rapid rate.

The old fishmonger’s shop in the north side of the Strand, adjoining Temple Bar, which retained the ancient penthouse, one of the time before plate glass was in panes taking the whole front, when shopkeepers cried aloud to passers by ‘What do ye lack?’, has been taken down to give room for a modern erection.”