Monday 16th November 1846

“As soon as I arrived at Wharf, I found a horse dead in the stable, which had been bad some time and has had its throat open this past week and been attended by veterinary surgeons. It died last night late and was opened this morning by the knackers to find the cause of its death, and which was found to be a diseased windpipe, thereby suffocating, accelerated by the breaking of the skin dividing the guts from the ribs caused by inward straining (it is the first horse I ever saw opened and a most wonderful sight it is). It knocked up a terrible stink in the stable, but it was a rare day for the black cat, who feasted on the flesh till it could eat no more. In the evening the knackers fetched him away. They gave 35s for him. Cut initials and date ‘N B 1846’ in the privy between stairs. A curious circumstance happened today: Granny Shepard, whilst out in the Buildings, was stopped by a young woman who asked her who was buried from No 9 yesterday, and on being told a young man, “What?” says she, “that young man that lived in the garret that was out of his mind” and, on being told such was not the case, she looked amazed and said “Oh, but he was a little out of his mind, I am sure”. Whom she means is none other than myself, who till last May lived in the garret and certainly the only one in the house who shows any symptoms of insanity. Thus the neighbours suppose me to be dead and buried, whereas here I am well and hearty. Mr John McAuliffe, coal dealer, of 18 St James Street, Oxford Street, died aged 28 years, accelerated by catching cold on a previous weakened constitution, by a moving job to Cheltenham.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 17, 18, 19 or 20 November]

Thursday 1st October 1846

“Mr Dietrichsen, propreitor of the Royal Almanac, commited suicide by cutting his throat at his residence of the firm of Hannay and Dietrichsen, medicine warehouse, 63 Oxford Street. He was aged about 40 years.”

Tuesday 7th July 1846

“Cats’ meat man came to Wharf first time. Dined at beer shop in Elizabeth Street, Pimlico, first time. Met old Mr William Nodes at Buckingham Palace Gates waiting to see some of the grand folks going to an entertainment in the Palace. Walked homeward with ditto as far as Oxford Street from whence we parted. William Henry Wade completed his 16th year.”

Sunday 7th June 1846

“Rose early, breakfasted, and afterwards went to St Ann’s Coffee House, Oxford Street, opposite Bozier’s Court, and afterwards to Tottenham Court Chapel and sat alongside Ann.  Met George King and his mother there. After dinner took little walk about St Giles’s, Drury Lane and Covent Garden. Discovered for the first time a head and foot stone of a portion of the Bryceson’s family in St Paul Covent Garden Churchyard. — After tea had Ann up in my bedroom. After showing her my story of London, got at indecent practices. — Took walk with Ann in evening about the Strand and returned by Holborn. Had pint of 4d ale and biscuits at the Sun and Punchbowl, Holborn, nearly opposite King Street. Uncle John Shepard absent from his chapel this evening – this is a sign that his back is very painful.”

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.”