Sunday 24th May 1846

“Rose between 6 and 7 and after putting room little straight and having breakfast, went to St Luke Middlesex. Went round to Shoreditch to see Mrs Skirriker, but was too late. Dinner cold beef and lettuce and salad. Took walk in afternoon alone to St Pancras Churchyard and there took down few epitaphs. Spent evening with Ann at her lodging in Stephen Street and accompanied her to Dorset Place, Dorset Square, on an errand. Had pint cider and biscuits in High Street, Marylebone, and returned home. Queen Victoria completes her 27th year this day. Thomas Paver, Wright’s carman, also completes his 27th year today being born same day as the Queen, May 24th 1819.”

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.”

Sunday 10th May 1846

“Rose 6 o’clock, went to Nockold’s Coffee Shop in High Street, St Giles’s. After breakfast went to St Luke, Chelsea New Church, heard sermon preached for the aid of the erection of the hospital now being built in Fulham Road for consumption and diseases of the chest by Mr Montgomery, Minister of Percy Chapel, Charlotte Street, a man of wonderful flow of speech, very learned, and nowadays of great note, so much so that an hour before the chapel doors open, people are seen to be waiting thereat to get a front seat. His text this morning was Proverbs ch 22, v 2, ‘The rich and poor meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all’. Had dinner of beef steaks owing to mother’s illness. After ditto went out with Ann, first to the Cemetery Kensal Green, thence to Willesden about the churchyard and cage. Had refreshment at the White Hart opposite the cage.  Returned homeward down the lane and through … . This day 50 years ago was Granny Shepard married at the church of St Andrew by the Wardrobe near Blackfriars.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 11 May]