Saturday 1st August 1846

“A very remarkable heavy thunder and hail storm commenced this afternoon which will not be soon forgotten by those who witnessed it. It began with tremendous heavy rain, accompanied by flashes of lightning, and some very loud claps of thunder, followed by a hail storm hardly remembered by man living. The stones that fell were larger than marbles, and heavier, and some few might be seen to measure the size of a halfpenny. Those persons having skylights and summer houses are severe sufferers thereby, it having almost without exception smashed every of them. Reid’s Stone Wharf and Magnus’s Slate Works napped it in their skylights while a florist in Elizabeth Street, Pimlico, had his glass house literally demolished. It also caused a sad accident to happen to a poor man named Samuel Pritchard, who sent to Wharf for half ton coals, which was loaded into his cart, and the force of the hailstones falling caused the horse to fall, which broke both shafts of the cart, besides damaging the harness, and slightly hurting the horse. Mr G Lea’s staircase skylight was smashed and the lower storeys of all houses were almost inundated. People might be seen dipping the water by pailfuls out of their kitchens and areas, and some using pumps. The fall of water was so great as to have like to have sunk our ‘Sal’ barge.  Richmonds Buildings had not escaped having the skylight smashed and the rooms nearby flooded. The storm commenced about half past three and continued unceasingly for three hours.”

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Wednesday 20th May 1846

“The first stone of the north wing of the University College Hospital, Gower Street, was laid by Lord Brougham, President of the Institution. The expense of completing the edifice which has been just commenced is estimated at £4,000. Shop opened next door to top of gateway at Wharf, in the business of cheesemonger and butterman, this day. Reading Watt’s Buildings finished at last, having been in operation upwards two years. Granny Shepard slept at her new lodging in Richmonds Buildings first time.”

Monday 18th May 1846

“Took 2 rooms on second floor, 9 Richmonds Buildings, for self and Granny from this day. Rent commences at one florin per week, hence I commence paying rent. Hitherto I have never paid any towards it so that I may say I commence having a home of my own from today. Old Granny Shepard sleeps at her lodging tonight, the room not yet being in readiness for her, though mine is prepared for me. Slept in it for first time this night.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 19 May]

Wednesday 29th April 1846

“Received information from Mother of the Marshalls going to leave their lodgings in the second floor Richmonds Buildings, and the intention of Granny Shepard’s moving thence if terms can be agreed upon between the landlord and her, but at present it is only talked of.”

Sunday 26th April 1846

“Wet morning, went to Anchor Coffee House, Dean Street, and then to breakfast at home. After ditto went strolling about to find church and could not. Went in coffee shop, Snow Hill, and read news of the week. After dinner took walk through Seven Dials, where I bought a small oil painting on wood in plain gilt frame which I suppose to be Shakespeare. Had tea with Granny Shepard in Richmonds Buildings, afterwards went to 7 Chapel Street, Tottenham Court Road, to see the outside case to receive lead coffin which will contain the body of Mrs Ann Nodes, lately deceased, and which is of curious workmanship being one and a half inch oak, smoothed and polished with mouldings and plinth round the lid to fit, and four pairs of brass handles after the style of the Quakers. From thence went to see Ann at Mrs Kennington in Stephen Street. — There regaled ourselves a little unlawfully …. and kitchen. — Supped there – bread, cheese and ale, and returned home afterward.”

Tuesday 24th February 1846

“Died this morning at 9 Richmonds Buildings, James, son of William and Caroline Marshall of the second floor back after a short illness, aged one and a half years. Bought antique Pocket Bible at bookseller, corner of Princes and Richmond Street, Soho, date 1648.  Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, youngest son to the late George III, completed his 72nd year. Had pancake for supper.”