Saturday 12th December 1846

“Met Miss Murray, a former servant of Lea’s, just come from St … Hospital, whither she had been to see her father, who has lately met with a severe accident, having had his arms broken with an engine (he is an engineer by trade). Bought large book or journal for forthcoming year 1847 at shop of Miscellaneous Repository, … Street, Soho, near Greek Street, for 1s (very well satisfied with my …). Had it been made to my order, it could not suited me better for the binding and ruling and number of leaves, being 66. The demolition of the ornamental colonnade forming part of the south wing of Buckingham Palace was commenced, from which point the new wing begins. The excavation of both wings fronting St James’s Park are complete and the foundations already laid.

Carried forward …”

Saturday 7th November 1846

“Went to pay £10 into bank (Sir Claude Scott’s). Rode back to Wharf in the four-wheel chaise with Mr Lloyd, whom I met there – something uncommon, being the first time of riding in a vehicle of Mr G Lea’s. Had some baked mutton, potatoes and pudding when I got home – a very unusual dish with me, especially for the time of day – and afterwards pint tea at coffee shop, Compton Street, Soho. Office dial cleaned and repaired by Moginie, Brewer Street, Pimlico.”

Thursday 5th November 1846

“Dame Granny Shepard paid a visit to Eccleston Wharf, Pimlico, to see old Mrs Lea. She stopped nearly the whole day from 11 o’clock till 8 o’clock and was by them treated very nobly. Came from thence home with me. I had tea at coffee shop, Compton Street, Soho, side of St Anne’s churchyard.”

Wednesday 14th October 1846

“Bought eight prints (portraits) at Printsellers, Princes Street, Soho, 8d. A destructive fire broke out about 5 o’clock this morning at the Red Lion Public House corner Wild Street, Lincolns Inn Fields, which entirely destroyed the stock in trade and furniture and must have burnt very fierce although … was hardly damaged. Went to see it in the evening.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 15 October]

Saturday 10th October 1846

“Most business done with teams this week than any previous.  Coals sent out 167 tons 3 sks. Had some … and read newspaper at new coffee shop, Old Compton Street, Soho, near the churchyard, for first time. A stylish affair this, it is fitted with seats, tables etc polished mahogany.”

Tuesday 6th October 1846  

“Bought very nice book, ‘The Memoirs of George III’, at Miscellaneous Repository, Princes Street, Soho. Suicide of the Swiss Giantess this evening for particulars see next day. I knew deceased well by sight and spoke to her once in Leicester Square the 18th September last concerning a fire that then illuminated the skies and which was the last time I saw her. She was biggest woman I ever saw, standing about 6 feet 3 inches in height and proportionally fuller.”