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.”

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Sunday 31st May 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock and breakfasted. Afterwards went to Globe Coffee House, corner of Worship Street and Square, kept by a Mr Stacey, and read some news of the week. From thence to King’s Head Court Chapel to see Mrs Skirriker. Met her on Cumberland Street. She differed a little in dress since I last saw her by wearing a shawl instead of a cloak and a white bonnet instead of a black one. Waited half an hour after service to see her, but she did not come out, so I made best of my way homeward. Afternoon went with intention of going to Paddington Street Burial Ground, but could get no admittance, so went in Old Marylebone instead. Went home to tea and stopped the evening till 8 o’clock. — Had Ann up in own room, but there got to naughty tricks on the bed. — After which took walk with Ann round about Hyde Park and returned home by Piccadilly.  Had some cider and biscuits corner of Great Marlborough Street and Poland Street.

The weather this month has been very beautiful, especially the latter part, which has been a continuance of fine weather without any intermediate rain for the last three weeks.

Nearly all this month my mother has been confined to her bed with acute pains in the back, which, with a wound in her breast, renders her helpless, and at present there is no sign of her mending.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf: 1353 tons.”

Sunday 24th May 1846

“Rose between 6 and 7 and after putting room little straight and having breakfast, went to St Luke Middlesex. Went round to Shoreditch to see Mrs Skirriker, but was too late. Dinner cold beef and lettuce and salad. Took walk in afternoon alone to St Pancras Churchyard and there took down few epitaphs. Spent evening with Ann at her lodging in Stephen Street and accompanied her to Dorset Place, Dorset Square, on an errand. Had pint cider and biscuits in High Street, Marylebone, and returned home. Queen Victoria completes her 27th year this day. Thomas Paver, Wright’s carman, also completes his 27th year today being born same day as the Queen, May 24th 1819.”

Sunday 19th April 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock. Breakfasted in coffee shop in Wardour Street, Soho. After ditto went to Islington to see Mrs Skirriker leave her place of residence for that of worship, but was unsuccessful. Went to the church of St Leonard Shoreditch. Returning home through King’s Head Court, I fortunately met the old lady just coming out of chapel and followed her a short distance. After dinner, weather looking uncertain, went to Smithfield to hear some preaching going forward, which there was to a great extent, one whereof was a real enthusiast and on whom there was a deal of arguing by some of the mob. After he had done, we walked together a short distance, but was interrupted by two ladies who entered into conversation with him, after which I saw … .”

Easter Sunday 12th April 1846  

“Rose early and breakfasted at coffee shop in Cromer Street, Grays Inn Road. From thence proceeded to Islington to see Mrs Sirriker come from her residence and go to chapel, but missed being too late, it being 20 minutes to 10 o’clock, so made way through Ballspond and Kingsland to King’s Head Court, Shoreditch, and went to the chapel therein where the old lady was already seated. After service followed her across Old Street Road and through Hoxton in the direction of Islington where I left her and made fast home to dinner, whence I did not arrive till half past 2 o’clock. After dinner took walk with Ann through Piccadilly, Knightsbridge, Brompton, Chelsea and Battersea to Wandsworth to see house in which Matthew Ward received his education. It is an old white house at the corner of Garrett Lane and the High Street and directly facing the Ram Inn. It is now a Ladies Seminary and is called Wandsworth House. Had pint beer and biscuits at the Antelope and rested a while till half past 7 o’clock, after which proceeded homeward through Battersea fields (a heavy shower coming we narrowly escaped a drenching), Vauxhall, Lambeth, Westminster. Home very tired and sore footed, having walked in all from 27 to 30 miles. Wore breeches without the gaiters this day, blue worsted stockings.”


[Editor’s note:  Nathaniel’s usual spelling of John Bunyan’s descendant’s name is Skirricker.]

[Editor’s note: No entry on 13 April]

Sunday 5th April 1846

“Rose soon after 7 o’clock and dressed with intention of going to see Mrs Skirriker go from her residence to her chapel, but rain coming on prevented me, so instead thereof read part of news of week in coffee shop in Dean Street. After breakfast went to New Tottenham Court Chapel in Grafton Street, Fitzroy Square. Put into a seat alongside Miss Pitt, an old schoolfellow. Mr Elton read not the prayers being indisposed. Mr Lumley preached. After dinner took walk alone to Whitechapel to see the remains of an old inn called White Hart near Somerset Street, which was built before the reign of Henry VIII. Had very imperfect view – the house was partly razed to the ground and on its site is to be erected a more spacious building. Made for own neighbourhood and had tea at coffee shop corner of Grafton and Sussex Streets, after which took Ann for walk about Hyde Park. It may not be unworthy of remark that at the present time there is a little cherry tree growing on the City side of London Bridge, and a rookery in a tree corner of Wood Street and Cheapside.  — Paid into bank 20s. Total £18. — “


[Editor’s note: No entries on 6 or 7 April]

Sunday 29th March 1846

“Morning, rose about a quarter before 7 o’clock, went to coffee shop in Compton Street, St Giles’s. After breakfast went to King’s Head Court Chapel, Shoreditch, saw poor old Mrs Skirricker again, and after service followed her homeward down Cumberland Sreet, Worship Street and Providence Row into Finsbury Square where the old lady took the omnibus which I followed greatest part of the way along City Road, and then struck an angle through Islington across the New River, and came through the church yard and proceeded to her residence and there waited her arrival which presently followed. Hastened homeward to dinner, after which stopped the afternoon at home and had tea with poor old Granny Shepard. Afterwards saw ditto safely to Soho Chapel, then took walk by self up Tottenham Court Road, New Road towards Marylebone. Met Charles Freeman opposite Trinity Church with a young woman. Saw the ruins of the late fire in Crawford Street which destroyed four lives, viz a man and his three children. Proceeded onward down Edgware Road to Hyde Park, thence down Oxford Street to Soho Chapel and waited while the Chapel was over and escorted old Granny Shepard thence homeward (she has changed her residence lately and now liveth in North Street near to John Street, Tottenham Court Road), thence returned homeward and so closed this day.”