Sunday 1st November 1846

“Rose at 7 o’clock, breakfasted and went and took a turn in St Paul’s Cathedral, and from thence to St Mary-at-Hill. Returning home through Pancras Lane, I met a man who accosted me in a peculiar manner telling a distressing tale and prevailed in getting a penny out of me, I, by his manner, believing him to be true. After dinner went to meet Ann with the intent of going to St Paul’s, but, after waiting till it was too late, I proceeded alone to St Anne’s Soho, looked over the tablets and stopped while prayers. — Had Ann up in the evening. — Took walk — with Ann — over Westminster Bridge, and after the outside of the Abbey etc, returned home about half past 9 o’clock. Saw the 2d omnibuses running for the first time in Trafalgar Square north side.”

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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).]