Sunday 30th August 1846

Bathed in Serpentine in evening. Went to St Martin’s Ludgate. After service, while looking at the tablets, an old gentleman beckoned to me and said ‘This is not a time to be gaping about the church, we are going to receive the sacrament’. It is also worthy of remark that the sermon preached today at St Martin Ludgate was from the same text as that preached at St Martin’s-in-the-Fields last Sunday, viz Hebrews ch 13 v 8. After went to St Paul’s Cathedral, but was too late to see the choir, but, however, saw some of the monuments which were certainly very handsome, though forsooth modern. Through Gough Square and Johnson’s Court, Dr Johnson’s residence, twice today. — Had Ann up as usual in evening, afterwards — took walk through Westminster as far as the Broadway; returned home by quarter past 9 o’clock.”

Sunday 16th August 1846

“Rose quarter past six. Went and bathed in Serpentine. Breakfasted and to St Margaret’s Church.  Stopped but a short time, took down Mr Emery Hill’s inscription, and then went to Christ Church, Westminster, and took down a few inscriptions in burial ground, the most remarkable of which is ‘Margaret Patten 136 years of age’, and also inscriptions on almshouses in York Street. Home to dinner and afterwards to St Margaret’s Church again, and took down some more inscriptions in scrapbook before and after service, which I stopped, making third visit to this church successively. After tea — had Ann up but to very little purpose. I saw more of her cabinet than I ever did. — At home reading remainder of the day.”

Sunday 19th July 1846

“Rose at half past 5 o’clock, breakfasted, and prepared for journey to Richmond. Started and got as far as Lambeth when, rain coming on, I turned into a coffee shop, No 37 High Street. The clouds gathering thick, I turned back and was caught in a shower. Reached home 10 minutes past 10 o’clock. Started soon afterwards for the church of St Margaret Pattens, Rood Lane, Eastcheap. Dinner cold beef and cucumber.  Stopped at home all the afternoon looking over maps and books. Going to church this morning, I saw that a fire had broke out in the premises 76 Newgate Street, corner of Bath Street, City, which had broke out in the lower premises and, strange to say, had but little damaged the first floor while the upper ones were completely gutted (it was a coffee shop). — Expected Ann after, but was disappointed, she having gone to Tottenham Chapel instead, which was the best act. — After tea went into Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, to see the new church (just consecrated). Flocks of persons waiting before the doors were open to see the interior, and many were turned back, but I succeeded in getting admitted. It is certainly somewhat of a novelty in the build, but it is visible that economy has been the chief thing studied, combined with a little elegance. The pews are very plain and somewhat singular, having such low doors to them as almost to lead one to believe they were free. The pulpit is let in the wall in a singular way; the gallery seemed to me to be very dark, though built in a light style. Made my exit before service commenced and returned home.  Went to Serpentine and bathed therein, accompanied by Matthew Ward. It was half past 9 before I got there and every bather was gone, so I had it to myself. Had pint beer and biscuits in Dover Street, Piccadilly.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 20 or 21 July]

Sunday 5th July 1846

“Up at half past 4 o’clock. Went to Serpentine and had comfortable bathe. Home to breakfast by 7 o’clock; afterwards went to Tom’s Coffee House, Holborn, opposite Day and Martin’s Blacking Manufactory, and read newspapers. From thence to St Margaret Lothbury. After dinner went to Westminster Abbey. Whilst on the road a gust of wind blew my hat many yards; a storm followed, accompanied by thunder. Got in the Abbey about half past 3 o’clock; spent an hour looking over the tablets etc in Poets Corner and the Cloisters. Home to tea at 5 o’clock. — After tea had Ann up, who, in her flurry to get away, she met Mattie and Mother on the stairs, which no doubt frightened her. — Mother got out of doors for first time since her illness, accompanied by her husband. Went up and had long talk with them.”

 

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]