“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. — “
“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.”
“Purchased five maps – parts of London and its suburbs – dated 1790 to 1800, in Peter Street, Westminster, corner of Great Smith Street.
I observed for the first time this month that there is a clock put up to the church of St Paul Knightsbridge (not before it needed).
Coals sold at Wharf this month: 1803 tons 2 sacks.
Weather this month cold with much rain, nay I think this has been the coldest month this year (though no frost).
There is now a great improvement being made in front of Chelsea College. Formerly, when you got to the end of Hospital Row and wanted to get to Cheyne Walk, you passed through an iron gate into a narrow pathway with railings each side; in width it would not have admitted more than three persons abreast. It is now thrown open wide and a foot and carriage way making; the former is already paved and the latter now making. This will be a great convenience for the inhabitants thereabouts having horses and vehicles, for now they have to go round the garden fronting the Hospital nearly half a mile, whereas they will soon be able to go straight through, thereby saving time, horseflesh and carriage wear. (This road with Hospital Row has since been named ‘Queen’s Road’).
It may not be unworthy of remark that the first house finished and let in New Oxford Street is a public house just east of Bedford Chapel, the sign of ‘The Crown’ – landlord’s name Smith. The buildings hereabouts are growing up at a rapid rate.
The old fishmonger’s shop in the north side of the Strand, adjoining Temple Bar, which retained the ancient penthouse, one of the time before plate glass was in panes taking the whole front, when shopkeepers cried aloud to passers by ‘What do ye lack?’, has been taken down to give room for a modern erection.”
“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]
“Rose soon after 5 o’clock and took walk to Chelsea Bun House – great bustle. From thence to Wharf till 10 o’clock. Coals sold 21 tons 7 sacks. Money taken £11 7s 0d. Liberated at half past 10 and went and afterwards took walk till dinner time. Had for dinner boiled beef and pancakes. Granny Shepherd present after. After ditto took walk with Ann through the City, Shoreditch, Kingsland, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill to Tottenham and returned by the Western Road and ate some buns which she purchased, seating ourselves in a field near the four mile stone. Had pint porter at public house in the road upon which is written the following: ‘Queen Victoria halted here 1843’. Proceeded onward home down Maiden Lane, being none the fresher for my walk, my feet … me.”
[Editor’s note: The Chelsea Bun House on Jews Row (now Pimlico Road) was mentioned by Swift in 1711. It is said to have been closed down in 1839 having sold 24,000 buns on Good Friday.]
“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]
“The White Hart Inn situate in Whitechapel near Somerset Street was sold by auction for the purpose of being pulled down and having some extensive building erected on its site. This inn is recorded to have existed before the reign of Henry VIII. It was condemned 40 years ago on the occasion of the first floor having given way by the weight of the coffin in which the corpse of the landlady. There were many remains of antiquity.
The oldest house in Marylebone parish was this month pulled down to the ground. It was an old fashioned white public house which went down steps and stood back from the street, the sign whereof was the ‘Rose of Normandy’, the back of which was formerly Marylebone Gardens. The house is situate in High Street No 32 between Bowling Street and Devonshire Street.
This month was concluded the war with India, which has been in agitation for some time between the British and Sikhs and in favour of the former. After which an agreement has been entered into for them to pay £1,500,000 to defray the expenses of the British in four yearly instalments, until which the British hold their Government in their hands.
Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1588 tons.
Weather colder this month than any previous … though remarkably mild … .”
[Editor’s note: The battles between the British and the Sikhs took place on 18-22 December 1845. Nathaniel had first referred to them on January 28th.
No entry on 1 April]