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. — “

Tuesday 3rd November 1846

“Old Mrs Lea from Barnet paid visit to her son George at the Wharf for to stop a while, I suppose. She gave me a shilling to give my mother for to assist her in her present illness and distressed circumstance.”

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.]

Monday 10th August 1846

“Nursery maid at Wharf left her situation. Mother went to a doctor’s in Gower Place and was so fatigued and ill that she was obliged to be brought home in a cab and was expected to die on the road. Bought penknife – pearl handle and three blades – Victoria Road, Pimlico.”

Sunday 26th July 1846

“Rose at half past 5 o’clock, breakfasted, and proceeded for Richmond. — Met Ann in Dean Street waiting to see me. Accompanied me as far as Westminster Bridge where I parted with her. — At half past 7 o’clock through Lambeth, Battersea, Wandsworth, East Sheen to Richmond, where I arrived half past 11 o’clock. Made for church first place and took down a few inscriptions in church and churchyard. Met Miss Kershaw, governess to Miss Manodes, near her residence Vineyard Lodge, returning from chapel with her little flock. Saw not Miss M A N amongst the number. Ate my dinner at the ‘Artichoke’; afterwards walked to Richmond Hill and, after tramping about till half past 4, made for home different road – through Kew and over the bridge, along waterside to Chiswick (saw 20 minutes to 6 o’clock Hogarth’s tomb second time this season), Hammersmith, Fulham, Brompton, Knightsbridge – home where arrived as the clock was striking eight.  Out twelve and a half hours, walked about 30 miles. Granny not being home, I took a further walk meeting Ann, and walked another two, making 32 miles. Ann Thomas came to see Mother this evening and I spent quarter an hour with them.”

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.”