Sunday 1st February 1846
Morning, went to the Church of St Katherine Cree, Leadenhall Street. Had for dinner an unusual dish viz roasted hare, and I wish it to remain unusual, for it is poor, dry eating when compared with beef or mutton. Afternoon, took walk with Ann Fox up Maiden Lane to Highgate. From thence to Hampstead. Sat ourselves on a stone in the churchyard. Returned by Hampstead Road etc. Homeward met George King and his brother Henry in Carlisle Street. He has lately left Nodes and is now in a lawyer’s office. Saw a very aged man at the top of Maiden Lane near Copenhagen House, with a large placard on his breast stating his age to be 92 years. Gave him a penny for the curiosity of himself, for old age was written in his face and limbs. Paid into bank 20s, making total £16.
Editor’s note: Of the four undertakers’ companies by the name of Nodes listed in the Kelly’s Post Office Directory for 1846, Nathaniel is referring to Henry Oliver Nodes, undertakers, 7 Chapel Street, Tottenham Court Road, where he had formerly worked until his dismissal, which is related in the diary on April 20th.
Monday 2nd February 1846
A very heavy fall of rain this morning, so much so that I was obliged to put on Matthew Ward’s plaid cape for the first time, which gave me much the appearance of a policeman, only that I was wanting in stature.
Thursday 5th February 1846
A letter directed to Mr Lloyd, postage unpaid, when opened proved to be a Valentine, supposed to be meant for me by my name being mentioned twice, or more, and which I suspect was sent by the nursery maid at Eccleston Wharf. If so, I feel obliged to her for directing it to Mr Lloyd, thereby saving me 2d. Her motive for so doing I know not, but she reversed the picture by sending an old house maid with mop and broom, thereby taking herself off rather than me. Bought five curious old prints at Miscellanous Repository in Princes Street, Soho, the subjects of which are as follows: a view of Privy Garden Westminster; a view of the Savoy from the River Thames; a perspective view of the new buildings at the Horse Guards; a view of the Foundling Hospital; a view of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich.
Friday 6th February 1846
A good day’s trade among dealers - most ready money taken at Wharf £43.16.5. Took walk with Ann in the evening through Clare Market etc. Old Granny Shepard has been at her today about so many small matters.
Saturday 7th February 1846
Charles Dutton, screener at Eccleston Wharf, fell overboard. Slipped off the gunnell of the ‘Jim’ barge while hauling in another. Was ducked well over head and ears. Wages commenced at 20s per week this night henceforth. Received 20s this night to begin with. All things going on well at present. Mr Burn of Stephen Street died this morning aged 72 years less one day.
Sunday 8th February 1846
Went to the Church of St Katherine Cree, Leadenhall Street, for the second time. Sat on south side of church. After took walk with Ann Fox through Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. Got very thick in the mud where my companion left me to go up the hill myself. Indeed we had a temporary fall out about her whim in not liking to cross the suspension bridges over the ornamental water to Regent’s Canal. However I met her in Tottenham Court Chapel Churchyard, where a reconciliation took place, but it hindered her from going to chapel for some motive of her own. Made for home and had some tea. Ann Thomas paid us a visit and I had to lend her my company homeward to St James Street.
Monday 9th February 1846
Commencement of cold weather. Clear, dry frost all day and which made some difficulty in business for we sold just 90 tons of coals.
Tuesday 10th February 1846
The Queen Victoria has been married six years this day. The Sikhs were defeated a second time by the British troops who drove them across the River Sutlej, capturing 67 cannons and upwards 200 camel swivels. In this instance our troops were commanded by Sir Hugh Gough.
Sunday 15th February 1846
Morning rose at 7 o’clock and went to coffee shop in Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road, to read newspaper. After breakfast went to the church of St Katherine, Regent’s Park. The church was so full that I was obliged to sit along north side of organ. After dinner took walk to Tottenham Court Chapel Burial Ground and sauntered about the south ground for upwards of an hour. Went home, tea, and afterwards escorted poor Old Granny Shepard to Gower Street Chapel. From thence returned and met Ann in Tottenham Court Road and took walk with ditto up Hampstead Road to Chalk Farm Fields etc. Returned home though Regent’s Park etc rather lame from wearing a stocking much too large some weeks back, which still affects left foot. Took refreshment at Pump, corner of Newman and Oxford Streets – gratis. Clara Lea, eldest daughter of George and Anna Matilda Lea, this day completes her second year. Two persons whom I knew well by name, though not by sight, were deposited in their last resting place this day. The one was a Mrs Burn, late of Stephen Street now of Tottenham Court Chapel Yard, south side, the other a Mr Suttell, late coal dealer of Bell Street, Edgware Road, now of Paddington Churchyard, Paddington Green. He was aged about 75 years.
Monday 16th February 1846
Terrible murder, 4 Pitts Place, Drury Lane. James Bostock, a working brass finisher, shot by his apprentice aged 20 (Thomas William Wicks) in fit of revenge. Murderer apprehended in the evening in coffee shop.
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).
Thursday 19th February 1846
A rather unusual occurrence happened this afternoon. I was sent to the bankers in Stratford Place, Oxford Street, a circumstance that has not happened before for many months, and would not now had it not been a case of emergency, and no one at home besides myself. Returning I got my tea at coffee shop in Wilton Road, Grosvenor Basin, Pimlico, opposite the ‘Windsor Castle’ public house, and when I got back Mr Charles Lea was there on a visit to his brother.
Saturday 21st February 1846
Wall at Eccleston Wharf, name etc washed out, and wrote afresh the name ‘LEAS’ written tremendous large, nearly six feet in height, and well done. It reads thus: ‘Lea’s Coal Wharf, the Trade supplied’, which originally ran thus: ‘Eccleston Wharf Lea & Co, Coal Merchants, from Regent’s Park Basin’. The present writing shows very conspicuously indeed from Eccleston Bridge, Pimlico. Purchased this evening an old print of William Hogarth in gilt frame at broker’s shop in Tothill Street, Westminster, date thereof 1795. Took dose of physic this night.
Sunday 22nd February 1846
Rose early, 6 o’clock, owing to my physic working me. Went to coffee shop in Little Rupert Street, Soho, to read news of the week. Made for St Katherine’s Church, Regent’s Park, very early, arrived there at half past 10 o’clock. Doors not open, crowd of people waiting. Bishop of Hereford preached in aid of the funds for building the new hospital in Brompton, now building, for consumption and diseases of the chest. The Bishop delivered a rather able sermon: text Hebrews ch13, v16. After service a collection took place. Church filled before 11 o’clock with people of the upper class. After dinner took afternoon walk accompanied by Ann. Wore half-mourning gown and new straw bonnet trimmed black, first time, in respect to the decease of the late Mrs Burns. Walked through Regent’s Park. Rain threatened, halted, held up again. Proceeded onwards over Primrose Hill and fields to Hampstead Church. Rain fell in torrents, rather wetted. Sat awhile in church; looked over some monuments and tablets. Proceeded homewards raining very heavy. Ann got very wet, self fared better. Got across the fields to a narrow lane with an archway over. Sheltered ourselves under arch. Got to wicked tricks. Rain gave over, hastened home. Had pint beer and two biscuits at ‘St George’ public house in Hampstead Road. Met old Dicky Andrews in Euston Square, right well looked he. Home and to bed etc. Old Granny Shepard very poorly. Mr Liston, the celebrated comedian, died this day, in his 71st year, being born August 1775, and on Monday 30th (corrected to March 2nd) was buried at a quarter before 10 in the cemetery, Kensal Green.
Editor’s note: Nathaniel added this note about the death of John Liston, the comic actor, some time after February 22nd, but Liston actually died on March 22nd and Nathaniel mentions the death again then. The burial took place on March 30th.
Monday 23rd February 1846
Settled with gang by daylight first time this year. Quarter before 10 o’clock this night the Park and Tower guns commenced firing in quick succession for upwards of a quarter of an hour. The cause thereof to us unknown. Express extraordinary arrived from India in which is stated that a long and severe engagement has taken place between the natives and the British, which is reported as yet is somewhat in favour of the latter. Great slaughter both sides. Many English officers killed among which is General Sale.
Tuesday 24th February 1846
Died this morning at 9 Richmonds Buildings, James, son of William and Caroline Marshall of the second floor back after a short illness, aged one and a half years. Bought antique Pocket Bible at bookseller, corner of Princes and Richmond Street, Soho, date 1648. Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, youngest son to the late George III, completed his 72nd year. Had pancake for supper.
Wednesday 25th February 1846
Took old print of Hogarth to Roger’s frame maker, Old Compton Street, Soho, to have glass put in.
Thursday 26th February 1846
Had job to move the Grenadier Guards from the Barracks near Charing Cross to the Railway Terminus, Paddington, which occupied nearly eight hours. This job is most annoying as there is no remuneration made it. We care not how seldom it comes.
Friday 27th February 1846
Going to the office this morning, as passing through Oxenden Sreet heard band of music strike up. Followed sound, found it to proceed from a regiment of the Grenadier Guards marching in … Barracks … .
Saturday 28th February 1846
Matthew Ward gave me to understand that it was time I paid something towards the rent, but I remain unmoved. Thoughts at work too concerned how to act. Must shortly see about getting a home of my own. The west end of Piccadilly, the length of the Green Park and on that side the way, there has been great alterations made viz the foot pavement has been thrown back some feet, so that the trees that were formerly enclosed in the iron railing are now in line with the kerb, the railing being also removed back, thereby allowing considerably more room for the carriage way.
At the top of Piccadilly, near to Hyde Park Gates and directly opposite St George’s Hospital, has been lately erected three urinals, or places of convenience for the male sex, built of stone.
The weather this month has been most wonderful with the exception of about three days slight frosts it has been quite warm, more resembling May or September. This winter will be one remembered for years to come, as such weather for the season was never remembered by the oldest person now living, to commence so mild, and continue so all through. But it is not too late yet for frosty weather to come, as March month is generally considered a cold one. But as yet it is most extraordinary. To my recollection I have never passed a winter through without chilblains, more or less severe, but this winter I have had no signs of any. Nay, this day Feburary 28th, I sat in office with windows and door both open to admit of a little air and so close was it in the evening that I was obliged to book the day’s work in my shirt sleeves. The trees are now budding out very fast while some bear small leaves already.
Coals sold at Eccleston Wharf this month: 1476 and nine twentieths tons.
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