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.”

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Wednesday 30th September 1846

The statue of the Duke of Wellington has arrived at its destination at the top of the Triumphal Arch opposite St George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner. I was there before 7 o’clock in the morning and had a fine view of the statue as it stood on the ground, and a splendid thing it is too. I went again at midday, but it was in the same place, only that it was turned round. I went again at night after business and it was then suspended nearly its full height, when I saw it drawn higher and finally wheeled on the arch, the apparatus moving with it. The scaffolding is a grand affair and has been above three months erecting.

The weather this month has been changeable, the former part to about the 20th intensely warm, like the middle of July, when it changed to almost winter. At present being so cold in the morning early that I am glad to wear gloves.

At the present time is being razed to the ground … old fabric the rectory of St James Piccadilly, corner of Church Place, which has stood about 160 years and was stated in the newspaper to have been one of Sir Christopher Wren’s architecture. It was built with red bricks and at the side had circular windows and in front sashes of immense thickness, the upper ones opening on hinges with diamond panes. The lower windows strongly … with iron bars; the cisterns were visible … Court, as also the water closet.”

Monday 29th June 1846

“Balloon went up from Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea. Saw it very plain in the Quadrant. Grand Review in Hyde Park this morning, His Grace the Duke of Wellington Commander in Chief.

The weather this month has been extremely warm and dry, things scorched up for the want of rain till the 22nd, since which we have had slight intermediate rains which gives hopes yet of a favourable harvest.

Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 908 tons 6 sacks.

The new carriage and foot road fronting Chelsea Hospital was opened the 16th instant: this is a decided improvement, being before so very narrow, and looking so confined.

St James’s Church Piccadilly has a new painted window being put in place of the old one which was very plain, having no stained glass. The present from without, though not finished, looks very showy.

There is now erecting a strong scaffold at the top of the Triumphal Arch, Constitution Hill, opposite Hyde Park Gates, and immediately fronting St George’s Hospital, for the purpose of erecting an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, which will be very conspicuous from the Duke’s residence, Apsley House. It is expected it will shortly be erected.

This month has been unfortunate to our family for illness, my mother being very bad all the month and at one time not expected to live and still keeping her bed. My Uncle John Shepard has also had a severe attack of the lumbago in his back, which confined him to his bed about a fortnight, but from which he is now fast recovering, though unable to work. Myself have been very indisposed, having a stoppage in my bowels accompanied with a severe headache, which one time I thought would have confined me also, but have managed to keep my work. Granny Shepard has been nearly knocked up with attending on them, her son and daughter. It also fatigued M Ward very much having his rest broke every night by attending a sick wife, and also attending the bugs, which in their room in warm weather, almost devour them.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 30 June or 1 July]

Monday 9th March 1846

“Married at St James Piccadilly by Banns Mr Frederick de Alquin, teacher of the pianoforte, to Miss Elizabeth Moyes, third daughter of the late James Moyes, baker of Hemmings Row, St Martins-in-the-Fields, and sister to the Miss Moyes who some years back destroyed herself by throwing herself from the Monument.”


[Editor’s note: No entries on 10 and 11 March]