Sunday 14th June 1846 

“Rose at half past 2 o’clock (moonlight) and went to locks at the end of Grosvenor Canal, opposite Battersea fields, and met there by appointment George Palmer, James Robinson and his son, whence we all proceeded in Mr George Lea’s boat ’Clara’ up the river to Chiswick, where we all landed, and after looking over the churchyard, especially Hogarth’s tomb, we launched (it was about 6 o’clock). We landed and had pot beer at public house in Chiswick, but though I took but little, it so disagreed with me, having an empty stomach, after nearing home I jumped from boat into the Thames, but could not swim across, the tide being against me. This was on the Middlesex side the river, a little beyond Putney Bridge. This is the first time I bathed in the Thames, heretofore always being in the Serpentine or Canal. Reached the White House, Pimlico at 8 o’clock, and arrived home half past 8. Went to St Magnus the Martyr near London Bridge. After service, whilst looking around, I was accosted by a man civilly to tell him the date of a stone in the church which he could not see, who was no other than old Thomas Williamson, a singular character living in New Road, St Pancras. We had little conversation and parted as we were going our different ways. After, walked to Greenwich Hospital and paid to see the Painted Hall and Chapel.  Returned home by railway from Greenwich owing to the new shoes which I wore for the first time drawing my feet into blisters. Wore also white stockings for first time. Got home about half past 8 o’clock. Poor old Granny Shepard completed her 75th year today, also her last tooth but one came out today.”


[Editor’s note: No entry on 15 June]

Wednesday 18th March 1846

“Mr John Langan, better known as Jack Langan the pugilist, breathed his last at the house of Mrs Ellis, Five Lanes End, near Neston, Cheshire. Jack passed through many vicissitudes of fortune and at length realised for himself a very handsome independence.  Went to Jones’s Auction Rooms, Princes Street, Soho, and there saw a very eccentric character, by name Thomas Williamson, who liveth in lodgings in Somers Place, New Road, and presenteth a very singular appearance, always dressing alike viz: a pair of old corduroy trousers, with an old brown great coat, white neckhandkerchief and an old hat short-crown, which I remember him to have worn for the last four years. He built a great portion of Somers Tower as Church Way and many of the small tenements at the back of Wilsted Street, Brewer Street, and about the neighbourhood of the Brill. His buildings are mostly distinguished by his initials TW and the date, which are about 1820. His age now is between 60 and 70 and I should think nearly approaching latter.”