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 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. — “

Sunday 14th June 1846 

“Rose at half past 2 o’clock (moonlight) and went to locks at the end of Grosvenor Canal, opposite Battersea fields, and met there by appointment George Palmer, James Robinson and his son, whence we all proceeded in Mr George Lea’s boat ’Clara’ up the river to Chiswick, where we all landed, and after looking over the churchyard, especially Hogarth’s tomb, we launched (it was about 6 o’clock). We landed and had pot beer at public house in Chiswick, but though I took but little, it so disagreed with me, having an empty stomach, after nearing home I jumped from boat into the Thames, but could not swim across, the tide being against me. This was on the Middlesex side the river, a little beyond Putney Bridge. This is the first time I bathed in the Thames, heretofore always being in the Serpentine or Canal. Reached the White House, Pimlico at 8 o’clock, and arrived home half past 8. Went to St Magnus the Martyr near London Bridge. After service, whilst looking around, I was accosted by a man civilly to tell him the date of a stone in the church which he could not see, who was no other than old Thomas Williamson, a singular character living in New Road, St Pancras. We had little conversation and parted as we were going our different ways. After, walked to Greenwich Hospital and paid to see the Painted Hall and Chapel.  Returned home by railway from Greenwich owing to the new shoes which I wore for the first time drawing my feet into blisters. Wore also white stockings for first time. Got home about half past 8 o’clock. Poor old Granny Shepard completed her 75th year today, also her last tooth but one came out today.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 15 June]

Sunday 17th May 1846

“Had very indifferent night last night, Mother being very ill, which broke my rest. Rose about half past 6 o’clock and met Ann corner Rathbone Place and Oxford Street. At half past 7 sent her onwards to Paddington whilst I breakfasted at coffee shop in Oxford Street. Overtook her in Edgware Road and went to Great Western Railway station and took place for Ealing at half past 8 o’clock. Arrived there quarter before 9, walked from thence to Hanwell, first round the back of asylum by canal; afterwards made for Greenford where we arrived about 12 o’clock and after service dined in the church porch as the doors were left open (bread and beef). Afterwards cut initials and date (NB 1846) on the paving of the same (paved with red tile) very distinct. — Kissed Ann on every stile. She afterwards same to me. — Returned through Hanwell and whilst walking thereabouts met Richard Bond junior with a young woman in gig opposite asylum gate. Left Hanwell half past 4 for Ealing Station and started from thither to Paddington where arrived 6 o’clock and walked home by the New Road etc. Weather very cloudy in morning. 12 o’clock some rain. After 2 cleared off and remained fine.”

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.”

Wednesday 18th March 1846

“Mr John Langan, better known as Jack Langan the pugilist, breathed his last at the house of Mrs Ellis, Five Lanes End, near Neston, Cheshire. Jack passed through many vicissitudes of fortune and at length realised for himself a very handsome independence.  Went to Jones’s Auction Rooms, Princes Street, Soho, and there saw a very eccentric character, by name Thomas Williamson, who liveth in lodgings in Somers Place, New Road, and presenteth a very singular appearance, always dressing alike viz: a pair of old corduroy trousers, with an old brown great coat, white neckhandkerchief and an old hat short-crown, which I remember him to have worn for the last four years. He built a great portion of Somers Tower as Church Way and many of the small tenements at the back of Wilsted Street, Brewer Street, and about the neighbourhood of the Brill. His buildings are mostly distinguished by his initials TW and the date, which are about 1820. His age now is between 60 and 70 and I should think nearly approaching latter.”