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 …”

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Thursday 21st May 1846

“Saw sight never saw before – the charity boys of St Margaret’s Westminster beating the boundaries of their parish. Met them at Elliot’s Brewery gate, which is shown to be one of the boundaries by a stone there fixed. There they formed a ring, and after singing a hymn they all set up an hurrah! beating the stones with long canes, which they carried whilst those outside beat their canes over those inside, some with violence (though all in fun), which they inside endeavoured to return, which amidst sticks flourishing, boys hallowing, and masters chiding, presenting a novel scene. After which they marched in procession, three beadles with maces and cocked hats taking the lead, preceded by men with ladders to get over any walls where necessary. After came the master and teachers of the several schools carrying rods and canes, then the Green Coat boys, the Black Coats and the Blue Coats, followed by divers schools in the said parish, all carrying long canes. I followed them to the boundary in William Street, Knightsbridge, which separates Westminster from St Luke Chelsea, where I left them, having already exceeded my dinner hour. Met Billy White, a former playmate of mine, in St James’s Park, whom I have not seen for nearly two years before.”

Friday 20th March 1846

“Fall of snow during the night which gave the Mall, St James’s Park, a very grand appearance, owing to the trees having, through the late mild weather, come out in full bloom – the snow sticking so thick to the leaves whereof.  Generally in winter the branches are bare, but this morning they looked like a hearse of white funeral feathers.  This day has been more similar to winter than any before this season, which caused a stir in the coal trade … we sold 76 tons.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 21 March]

Friday 6th March 1846

“Bookbinding this afternoon. Put on a temporary cover to Biographical Dictionary with gum and parchment – made sound job of it, though a rough one. — Sat on a bench in St. James’s Park opposite the Duke of York’s monument with Ann. We were accosted by a policeman who, mistaking her for some other person, accompanied by the threat warning her to be there no more. — “


[Editor’s note: No entry on 7 March]

Wednesday 18th February 1846

“A general election for the Liberty of Westminster took place this day between General Evans and Captain Rous, whereby Evans was chosen member. State of the poll at the conclusion 4 o’clock was: ‘Evans’ 3703, ‘Rous’ 2938 (majority 765), whereby Evans was duly elected. One polling booth was erected in front of St Margaret’s Churchyard, Westminster, and another at Trafalgar Square facing Charing Cross. Self took the opportunity at dinner time of running down to the first mentioned booth, and just caught sight of Captain Rous riding on horseback, in front of the statue of George Canning, when, the mob behaving unruly, he galloped off through Storey’s Gate, St James’s Park and Birdcage Walk, where I lost sight of him, though I kept at his heels for some distance. After the business of the day, I went in front of St Giles’s Church which rang a fine peal, and from thence to the ‘Phoenix’ public house and had half pint of fourpenny ale, a house formerly kept by John Fox.”


[Editor’s note: This by-election was caused by Captain Rous (1795-1877) becoming a Lord of the Admiralty and having to put himself up for re-election.  His rival was General George de Lacy Evans (1787-1870), who had fought with Wellington in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo in 1815 (he later fought in the Crimea in 1854).]

Sunday 4th January 1846

“Morning, went to Tillman’s Coffee House, Tottenham Court Road, to read newspaper. From there to the Old Bailey to see preparations for the execution of Martha Browning tomorrow. After dinner took walk with Ann Fox across Westminster Bridge to Horsemonger Lane County Gaol, to see if any preparations were being made for the execution of Samuel Quennell tomorrow, but such was not the case. Returned back over Westminster Bridge, through St James’s Park, and continued walk through the Green and Hyde Parks. There rested ourselves on an old seat opposite one of the gates. Returned home through Oxford Street. Granny Shepard bought me a pair of worsted stockings for 1s 2d. Ann gave me a shilling off what she owes Granny, leaving only 8d unpaid.”