Wednesday 7th October 1846

“Miss Harriet Lea completes her 1st year. Suicide of the Swiss Giantess, Eliza Laurence, alias Madame de Lebzi, better known as the Swiss Giantess, supposed to have thrown herself from Waterloo Bridge yesterday evening as she was last seen alive about 10 o’clock on the above bridge. Her body was floating up the river near the Red House Tavern, Battersea, and was picked up by a lighterman (belonging to the Citizen Pier) named Rock this morning about 8 o’clock. In her pocket was a piece of paper upon which was written No 9 Short’s Gardens, Seven Dials, knock twice and ask for Emma. The last time deceased was seen alive in the neighbourhood of her residence was last night at public house Sherrard Street, Golden Square. She was 51 years of age, never married, had one son who did not live with her.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 8 October]

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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.”

Thursday 1st October 1846

“Mr Dietrichsen, propreitor of the Royal Almanac, commited suicide by cutting his throat at his residence of the firm of Hannay and Dietrichsen, medicine warehouse, 63 Oxford Street. He was aged about 40 years.”

Monday 22nd June 1846

“This week begins one gang off and one on – that is one to work every other day; ditto screeners. Taken very feverish in afternoon which increased towards evening as to make it difficulty to walk home, such violent pains in head. This night about 12 o’clock a violent storm arose accompanied by thunder and lightning, and rained through the night, a thing much desired. Benjamin Robert Haydon Esq, a painter of great eminence, committed suicide at his residence, 14 Burwood Place, Edgware Road. He was born January 1786, and was aged 60 years.”


[Editor’s note: Benjamin Robert Haydon, history painter, was frequently in debt, being imprisoned several times, as well as feeling embittered at his rejection by the Royal Academy and the committee selecting artists for the new Houses of Parliament.]