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]

Sunday 15th November 1846

“Rose at 6 o’clock, breakfasted and started at 9 o’clock for St Mary Lambeth.  On my way copied into scrapbook the inscriptions of stones against Crown Court, Richmond Buildings, and James Street, as also a few inscriptions in and outside church. Afternoon the burial of Joseph Richards. The body left Richmond Buildings at 2 o’clock in a single horse hearse and coach followed by six mourners – first his mother, and brother, and brother’s wife, and three other gents – to St Giles’s cemetery adjoining Old St Pancras, whence they arrived at 3 o’clock. I, accompanied by Ann, followed and saw him deposited in his last resting place, a grave very damp and about six feet deep at nearly the bottom of the ground between the tomb of Thomas Bethell and the flat ledger of Anne Allston, about four feet from the former and about two feet from the latter, with his head to the west. He was taken in the chapel. The coffin was about five feet four inches by 16 inches … and oiled and finished with white furniture ornamented with stars on the lid and sides. After the funeral we went into Old St Pancras and took off into scrapbook the inscription on William Woollatt’s stone. Afterwards returned home to tea. A birth also took place in our house, first floor back room: the wife of Mr George Mitchell, bricklayer, was delivered of a daughter this morning at 11 o’clock. The husband during his wife’s confinement takes his rest in the bed occupied by Uncle John Sheppard (back attic). — Had Ann up in my room as usual in the evening. — Closed the day by reading a portion of Ainsworth’s Latin Dictionary.”

Saturday 31st October 1846

“Had the unpleasant job to discharge James Hollingsworth from his employment as screener through repeatedly absenting himself.  But he saw and promised the master better attendance in future upon which a reconciliation was effected and he was permited to resume his employment.

The front of Buckingham Palace presents a different appearance from the commencement of the month [?] being encircled with boarding which extends round the front rails as far distant as the semi-circular pathway. The palace is to be enlarged which from the continued cart loads of rubble taken away and the cart loads of bricks taken in appears that the alterations to be undertaken will be very extensive.

The exterior and interior of St James’s Church Piccadilly is now undergoing a thorough repair and beautifying the windows of which are nearly half fresh glazed, which suffered extensively from the effects of the late storm.  The foundation of the new Rectory house on the same site as the old one is just commenced.

The gallery or bridge in Richmond Mews, Richmond Buildings, back of our house which … Pianoforte maker to the premises opposite has been roofed over with glass.

The weather this month has shown appearance of the approaching winter with … fogs which last 10 days has been very prevalent.”

Monday 9th November 1846

“This morning at 10 minutes past 4 o’clock Joseph Richards, son of Mrs Richards, lodger in front attic, 9 Richmond Buildings, died of inflammation of the chest, aged 31 years and 5 months and 5 days. Born June 4th 1815.  Went in the evening to the Auction Rooms, Leicester Square, for first time — with Ann Fox. — Albert Prince of Wales completed his 5th year.  Lord Mayor’s entry into London: Alderman Sir G Carroll.”

The life of Nathaniel Bryceson, 1826-1911

Details of the life of Nathaniel Bryceson, wharf clerk of Soho and Pimlico, London
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A written version of this podcast is available: Life of Nathaniel Bryceson, 1826-1911