Sunday 13th September 1846

“Bathed at Mechanics Bath, Queen Street. Morning went to the church of St Martin Outwich by the New Road and Shoreditch. A church has just been completed in Old Street Road. Went round to see if I should meet Mrs Skirriker, great grand-daughter of John Bunyan, but was unsuccessful. A new stone has been lately fixed against 103 Bishopsgate Street Without, corner of Spital Square, showing the City bounds A D 1846.  Afternoon took walk to St Paul’s Cathedral and took down in scrapbook the Latin inscription … of Doctor Samuel Johnson as also that of Sir Christopher Wren … — Got her drawers off at last, but to no purpose. — Took walk with M Ward in evening.”

Sunday 2nd August 1846

“Rose quarter past 5 o’clock, breakfasted and prepared for journey to Hampton Court. Started from home accompanied by Matthew Ward at 8 o’clock, ditto from Hungerford Pier half past nine. Weather seeming very unfavourably, raining hard with thunder, though it looked beautiful at first starting. It continued to pour down in torrents till just previous to our landing at Richmond, when it cleared off and turned into a beautiful afternoon. Landed at Richmond 20 minutes past 12 o’clock and walked through Twickenham and Teddington to Hampton Court. Had our dinner of bread and beef at public house fronting entrance of Palace and got inside Palace half past two. M Ward was agreeably entertained at the splendid paintings, tapestry etc, as I was myself. Afterwards walked about gardens and went inside the maze. Left Hampton Court at 5 o’clock and travelled through Bushey Park etc to Richmond and returned by same boat ‘Echo’ about half past seven. Landed at Hungerford at 10 o’clock and got home quarter past 10 o’clock, having spent a very pleasant day. The rain in morning having deterred many persons coming that had not started already; we had it quietly to ourselves, the company being thin. — The expenses of this were cheap for myself. Mattie cost me about 2s. — “

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]

Sunday 5th July 1846

“Up at half past 4 o’clock. Went to Serpentine and had comfortable bathe. Home to breakfast by 7 o’clock; afterwards went to Tom’s Coffee House, Holborn, opposite Day and Martin’s Blacking Manufactory, and read newspapers. From thence to St Margaret Lothbury. After dinner went to Westminster Abbey. Whilst on the road a gust of wind blew my hat many yards; a storm followed, accompanied by thunder. Got in the Abbey about half past 3 o’clock; spent an hour looking over the tablets etc in Poets Corner and the Cloisters. Home to tea at 5 o’clock. — After tea had Ann up, who, in her flurry to get away, she met Mattie and Mother on the stairs, which no doubt frightened her. — Mother got out of doors for first time since her illness, accompanied by her husband. Went up and had long talk with them.”

 

Monday 29th June 1846

“Balloon went up from Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea. Saw it very plain in the Quadrant. Grand Review in Hyde Park this morning, His Grace the Duke of Wellington Commander in Chief.

The weather this month has been extremely warm and dry, things scorched up for the want of rain till the 22nd, since which we have had slight intermediate rains which gives hopes yet of a favourable harvest.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 908 tons 6 sacks.

The new carriage and foot road fronting Chelsea Hospital was opened the 16th instant: this is a decided improvement, being before so very narrow, and looking so confined.

St James’s Church Piccadilly has a new painted window being put in place of the old one which was very plain, having no stained glass. The present from without, though not finished, looks very showy.

There is now erecting a strong scaffold at the top of the Triumphal Arch, Constitution Hill, opposite Hyde Park Gates, and immediately fronting St George’s Hospital, for the purpose of erecting an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, which will be very conspicuous from the Duke’s residence, Apsley House. It is expected it will shortly be erected.

This month has been unfortunate to our family for illness, my mother being very bad all the month and at one time not expected to live and still keeping her bed. My Uncle John Shepard has also had a severe attack of the lumbago in his back, which confined him to his bed about a fortnight, but from which he is now fast recovering, though unable to work. Myself have been very indisposed, having a stoppage in my bowels accompanied with a severe headache, which one time I thought would have confined me also, but have managed to keep my work. Granny Shepard has been nearly knocked up with attending on them, her son and daughter. It also fatigued M Ward very much having his rest broke every night by attending a sick wife, and also attending the bugs, which in their room in warm weather, almost devour them.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 30 June or 1 July]

Saturday 27th June 1846

“Mother completes her 49th year, and her fifth of her marriage with Matthew Ward. Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues tendered their resignations, which Her Majesty accepted, and sent for Lord John Russell to Construct a Cabinet, which he did accordingly.”