Sunday, 19 December 2010

3 June 1762

Went to Greenwich See the Chappell & Painted Hall the 4 Elements Fire Air Earth & Water 4 Seasons Spring Sumer Autumn & Winter 4 Quarter of the World Europe Asia Africa & America besides a Great many other Curious Paintings all of them are painted on the top of the Sealing 12d

Well.. that's easy, isn't it? Find a picture of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel. It is still there.
No, it is not easy! This is the chapel in 1779

The original design by Thomas Ripley was replaced and that is the interior you can visit today.

If anyone finds picture of the earlier chapel interior, please let me know, could you?

The Painted Hall is a magnificent place - almost every inch of wall and ceiling covered in paintings by Sir James Thornhill. To select one picture is almost impossible so here is a panoramic view.

However, I did say "almost" so here is where the painter included his own portrait in the mural

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

6th February 1762

Went to see the Whale that was taken on the Goodwin Sands near dale and brout to Green Land Dock near Deptford
it measured 58 Futt Long it was thourgh their was above 100000 people went to See it
Dined at deptford Mr Hall we Spt 12d

This whale was reported in the London Magazine. The picture above is the illustration which accompanied the article

"dale" is Deal in Kent!

There are further details of the Whale here - the whole text of the London Magazine is available online so you can read the account for yourself. On p105 of the same magazine is an account of how the whale was killed.

There is more about Greenland dock & Whaling here.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

24th October 1761

Bought of Robert Dartnell Stationer St Martins Court
2 Quire post paper 2/3
2 Quire foolscap 20d
2 Quire Gilt paper 18d
2 Sticks Wax 10
Book for Acct. 2/3
Almanack 6d

16th October
2 Bottles British Oyle 2/-

British Oil seems to have been mineral oil and taken as a medicine - I can't think that it did anything but make people feel iller!

1st January 1762
Went with Mr Hall aboard an India man lying at Blackwall
Bout. 2 silk Handkerchiefs on board

4th Jan Warr proclaimed against Spain

This is very complicated - the 7 Years War had been going on for ages by this time

Friday, 29 October 2010

20th October 1761

Spt 3d and Went to Covent Garden to See King Henry 5 with Corronation which was very Grand Severall Gentlmn & Ladys all agreed that it was grander than the real one was 2/-

There is no coronation scene in Henry V but it seems they stuck the one from Henry VIII into this production because it looked good! Mrs Bellamy was the Queen. She mentions this role and the fact that Rich produced the play in her memoirs.

I wonder what Thomas spent 3d on? It's unusual for him not to tell us (though I don't imagine he ever imagined that anyone else would read his account book).

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

9th November 1761

Monday Lord Mayors Show the King & Queen Princesses Wales Duke Cumberland and all the Royal Family went to Dine with the Lord Mayor & Aldermen at Gild Hall & a great number of Quallity went I see the King & Queen & the rest of the Royal Family in a Bellconey at the Quaker's over against Bow Church to see the procession of Lord majoyr & all the Comanys of the City of London the Bellconey was fitted up at the Citys Expence Alderman Fludyer Esq was Lord Mayor. Spent 9

This was a well documented event. There is even an engraving which shows the Balcony where the Royal Family stayed to watch the procession.

Here is a, roughly contemporary, picture showing Bow Church on a less crowded day.

And I have found a further account of the event.

"Sir Samuel Fludyer, Lord Mayor of London in the year 1761, the year of the marriage of good King George III., appears to have done things with thoroughness. In a contemporary chronicle we find a very sprightly narrative of Sir Samuel's Lord Mayor's show, in which the king and queen, with "the rest of the royal family," participated—their Majesties, indeed, not getting home from the Guildhall ball until two in the morning. Our sight-seer was an early riser. He found the morning foggy, as is common to this day in London about the 9th of November, but soon the fog cleared away, and the day was brilliantly fine—an exception, he notes, to what had already, in his time, become proverbial that the Lord Mayor's day is almost invariably a bad one. He took boat on the Thames, that he might accompany the procession of state barges on their way to Westminster. He reports "the silent highway" as being quite covered with boats and gilded barges. The barge of the Skinners' Company was distinguished by the outlandish dresses of strange-spotted skins and painted hides worn by the rowers. The barge belonging to the Stationers' Company, after having passed through one of the narrow arches of Westminster Bridge, and tacked about to do honour to the Lord Mayor's landing, touched at Lambeth and took on board, from the archbishop's palace, a hamper of claret—the annual tribute of theology to learning. The tipple must have been good, for our chronicler tells us that it was "constantly reserved for the future regalement of the master, wardens, and court of assistants, and not suffered to be shared by the common crew of liverymen." He did not care to witness the familiar ceremony of swearing in the Lord Mayor in Westminster Hall, but made the best of his way to the Temple Stairs, where it was the custom of the Lord Mayor to land on the conclusion of the aquatic portion of the pageant. There he found some of the City companies already landed, and drawn up in order in Temple Lane, between two rows of the train-bands, "who kept excellent discipline." Other of the companies were wiser in their generation; they did not land prematurely to cool their heels in Temple Lane, while the royal procession was passing along the Strand, but remained on board their barges regaling themselves comfortably. The Lord Mayor encountered good Samaritans in the shape of the master and benchers of the Temple, who invited him to come on shore and lunch with them in the Temple Hall.

Every house from Temple Bar to Guildhall was crowded from top to bottom, and many had scaffoldings besides; carpets and rich hangings were hung out on the fronts all the way along; and our friend notes that the citizens were not mercenary, but "generously accommodated their friends and customers gratis, and entertained them in the most elegant manner, so that though their shops were shut, they might be said to have kept open house."

This is taken from Walter Thornbury's Book of Old and New London pub 1887 but still in print!

The account goes on to tell us that Thomas's "Quaker" was a Mr Barclay.

Samuel Fludyer seems to have been the 18th century equivalent of camera shy (I don't believe it. I'm sure there is a portrait somewhere). However the elaborate wig he wore for his Lord Mayor's Show is depicted in William Hogarth's Five Orders of Periwigs. It is the fancy one on the far right with all those "wings".

Sir Samuel would have travelled in the the same Lord Mayor's State Coach as is used today. It was made in 1757.

It is now in the Museum of London, when the Lord Mayor doesn't require it. You can visit it.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

7th November 1761

Bout. at Auction 9 Pictures & Don Quicksett 16d

I just love Thomas's spelling of Don Quixote! This, often credited with being the first modern novel, was published in 1605, with the first English translation of the first part appearing only 7 years later.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

3rd November 1761 Tuesday

The King went to the House to Order the Comans to Chuse a Speaker they chose Sir John Cust of Grantham membr for Grantham

Sir John Cust served as speaker for 9 years, until his death in 1770

Monday, 4 October 2010

28th October 1761

St. Simon & St. Jude the Bishop of London was enthroned and installed Bishop of London at St Palls Cathedrill by Dr J Taylor LLD which Ceremony I see performed myself. his name is Dr Thos Hayter.

Dr Hayter was Bishop of Norwich before he moved to London, while he was there he started the project which became the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital. He seems to be the only Bishop of either London or Norwich who doesn't have a portrait on the web! I'll have to do some RL research

This is bit dull so here is a contemporary view of St Paul's.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

24th September 1761

Went to Drury Lane King Henry 8 with the Corronation Entertainment 2s

This play by Shakespeare is relatively unpopular today, but was loved by 18th & 19th century audiences for its spectacular pageantry.

The Coronation Entertainment was almost certainly the Ben Jonson play usually called the Coronation Triumph, though there is another tragicomedy by James Shirley, the Coronation, which might have been what Thomas saw.

Sadly, I can't find anything to illustrate this outing.

Monday, 16 August 2010

20th October 1761

Bout. in Crooked Lane a Baggam Table wth. Men & Boxes & a pair of Second Hand Dyes 17/-
a Mother of Pearl Mustard Spoon 12d
Tea Tongs 9d
a Fishing Rod 4 Lengths 3/9
a Box & Lynes & Hooks 3/-

"Baggam" is Backgammon, which was very popular in the 18th century. History here.

This board, counters, dice & cups all date from the eighteenth century.

There is no date given for this spoon, but mother-of-pearl spoons seem to look much the same today as they did when Thomas bought his.

I haven't found a good picture of a contemporary fishing rod, but this page will tell you something about the subject. However, Crooked Lane was an interesting shopping place. This picture is a little later.

19th Oct 1761

Sent a box to Nottingham Directed for me. Carriage 3/6 Box 2/-

Is Thomas finally getting ready to set up home with Elizabeth?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

15th October 1761

Went to Drury Lane to see a Wonder a Woman Keeps a Secrit Don Felix Garick Alissia Mrs Sibber wth Harliquin Ranger.
The King & Queen & the Royal family was their 2/3

The first play, by Susanna Centlivre, is still in print you can read the text here. This picture shows the author, who died in 1723.

This, somewhat later illustration shows Garrick playing opposite a different actress

Mrs Cibber was an actress & Singer who Thomas has mentioned before. Here she is playing opposite David Garrick in another play. This portrait is by Zoffany

He has also seen Harlequin Ranger before

Sadly, there do not appear to have been any suitable portraits of the King & Queen arriving at the theatre. Where were the paparazzi when I needed them?

Monday, 26 July 2010

12th Oct 1761

Bout. on Board an Indiaman at Blackwall 12 Cupps & 12 Sasers 9/- spent going 9d

The British Library's website assures me that by the early 18th century the East India Company were trading regularly with China bringing back Silk, Tea & porcelain. A list of items ordered in Canton by the Company dated 1734 lists 586 chests of China Ware (sic).

It had never crossed my mind that the customer might go aboard ship to buy the items brought back from the East.

I wonder if Thomas's cups & saucers were blue & white?

An Indiaman was a ship owned by the East India Company - see images and read about these ships here.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

22nd July 1761

Tuesday the King and Queen was Crowned at Westminster Abbey. I mobbd it and got near the Abby door and see all the procession The King Had a Canopy of Gold Tishew yellow Ground supported over his Head by Six Gentlemen they Call Barrons of the Sink Ports with Silver Staves & the Queens was the same the Ladys was Drest on there heds with Dimonds & Looked very Grand
The Lords & Ladys Carried there Coronetts in there hands when they went & had them on when came Back Knights of the Bath had Crimson Robes wth white Hatts and very Larg white orstridge feathers in there the King and Queen went the last and came back again the Last it was 10 minutes 6 OClock when they came back and they all got into the abbey half an Hour past one oClock it was Quiet when they got to Westminster Hall so that many thousands that Had taken plases in pallis yard Could not see them wn Returnd a Genlm Threw the meddell amongst the Gentm & Ladys that Satt in the Booths & Balconeys as they went a Long quite from the Abbey Door to Westminster Hall & I see the Conduit run with wine.
I spent in Eating & drinking Day 2/6

George III in Coronation Robes painted by Allan Ramsay

Queen Charlotte in her Coronation robes, also by Allan Ramsay.

The Barons of the Cinque Ports were not Peers of the Realm but a special group of Freemen of those ports who had the right to carry the King's canopy at his coronation.

The Order of the Bath had been founded in 1725 by George I. Here you will find more about them and a picture of Prince Albert wearing the robe and carrying the hat. It hasn't changed much and is still worn by modern knights of the Bath.

The "Meddells" were silver versions of this, thrown by the Treasurer of the Royal Household among the Peers & Peeresses.

I have found another eye-witness account of this coronation on-line, here.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

13th September 1761

Dined at Mr Samuel Pettys gave maid 12d

I don't record every time Thomas dines out (he always tips the staff though), but this one is special because I have been able to find out something about Samuel Petty.

Kent's Directory of 1740 tells us that Samuel and William Petty were silk throwsters, conducting their business from premises in Redlyon-street, Goodman's fields.

A Throwster is someone who twists threads into a yarn and the trade continues to this day, though it is mostly highly mechanised now.

I think that Samuel Petty traded from Red Lion Alley off Minories and close to Goodman's fields. Its position is shown here. (scroll down to see the small map excerpt)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

12th September 1761

Went with Miss Nancy Tutin to the Temple Church Lincoln's Inn Chappell & Foundling Chappell See Mr Cutts spt 6d

I'm not sure that Thomas ought to be out with another woman! He is engaged after all, though he doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get married. Still, at least he didn't spend a lot of money on Nancy.

The Temple Church, the first stones of which were laid in the 12th century, is still there, one of very few medieval round churches in England (Northampton, Cambridge... hang on while I google .. yes, one more survives, Little Maplestead in Essex)

Lincoln's Inn Chapel - still there - this is a bit more modern, having been consecrated on Ascension Day, 1623.

The Foundling Hospital Chapel is the only one of today's buildings which is not there for us to visit. It was demolished in the 1920s when the children were moved to a healthier site in Surrey, then to Hertfordshire.

I have no idea who Mr Cutts was.

Monday, 19 July 2010

8th September 1761

Tuesday the Queen arrived at St. James abt. 20 minutes past 3Oclock in the afternoon see her get out of the Coach & see the King hand her into the Drawing Room the Park was croed with people they was marri'd the same night at St. James in the Chappell the Town was iluminated particular the Earl of Northumberlands House & Chareing cross Spent 18

Here is a real gem. Joshua Reynolds did the 18th century equivalent of a Wedding photo for us. Now we can see the tapestry Thomas mentioned yesterday. Sadly there is no sign of the chairs or the looking glasses.

The new Queen, previously Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, had only arrived in England on the Sunday, met the King and his family on Monday and then the wedding was the next day! It took place at 8 p.m.

I suppose it is obvious that Thomas gets the day of the week right, but now and then I feel the need to check his information. Yes, 8th September 1761 was, indeed, a Tuesday.

Northumberland House, home of the Earl of Northumberland (later created Duke), was demolished in the late 19th century but this is the house Thomas saw. The painting, by Canaletto, was done in 1752. Northumberland House stood near enough where the building of the same name stands today, overlooking what is now Trafalgar Square.

There was no Cross (or railway station!) at Charing Cross, the Eleanor Cross having been demolished in 1647.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

6th September 1761

Went to see the Kings Chappell now fitted up for the marriage of the queen it was hung with Tapestry & Eight Looking Glass & 2 Large armed Chares covered with Crimson Velvet gave the men 6d

George III's wedding took place in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace. The Chapel Royal is a department of the Royal Household. Wikipedia explains it here. A distinctive feature of Chapels Royal is that the choir wear red. Strictly speaking, no other Anglican Choir may do this, however, it tends to be honoured in the breach!

I'm guessing that the chairs probably looked much like this (which was from the Chapel of the now vanished Chandos mansion.

There are not many pictures of the inside (or the outside) of the chapel and, to confuse things, there were two Chapels Royal in St James's Palace at the time. Now one of them is the Queen's Chapel and is outside the modern boundaries of this palace.

This must be a later picture and the chapel was redecorated in 1836. Many Royal Weddings have taken place there including that of Queen Victoria in 1840.

Here is a modern photograph of the chapel

Sunday, 4 July 2010

13th July 1761 Monday Proclimation for the King's Coronation to be 22 Sept next Spent 6

A Royal Proclamation has legal force (did you know that? I didn't).

28th July Went to Blackwall to see a 64 Ship of Warr called the Affrican and spt. 12

Here comes the sort of detail which makes me love doing this blog - HMS Africa was a 64 gun 3rd rate ship of the line launched at Blackwall Yard on 31st January 1761.

"Third Rate" is not in any way a perjorative term. It refers to a ship mounting between 64 & 80 guns and typically with two decks. It represented a good compromise between firepower, cost and sailing ability. HMS Victory is the only surviving ship of the line. Here is a diagram showing a third rate ship of the line ("ships of the line" are for fighting set piece battles as opposed to unrated, more manoeuvrable ships such as frigates).

The whole rating system is explained here. HMS Victory is a first rate ship of the line. I can't find a picture of a third rater but if you have visited HMS Victory, still the flag ship of the Royal Navy you will know that it seems very small today.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

24 June 1761 Spt. at Dulwich Wells with Mr Hall 6d

The Green Man Inn was where people came to take the waters at Dulwich Wells Spa.
This was where Dulwich Common Road meets Lordship Lane today. A pub has stood on the site ever since. Currently it is part of the Harvester chain which would be a really alien idea to Thomas!

29th June Went to Mary Lebone Gardens with Mr Smith 12d

A famous pleasure garden

Sunday, 6 June 2010

23rd June 1761 Spt at White Conduit House Mr Willson 6d

This Pleasure Garden was named after a stone conduit which supplied Charter House. There is a picture of the place in 1749 and a short description from 1754 here.

It was in Islington and only disappeared in 1831. It seems that there was a pub on the site until much more recently. It's a Sushi bar right now.

There is a poem, written in 1760 about the White Conduit House quoted here. It is by William Woty (bap 1732 - died 1791) who, among other publications under at least two names, was a contributor to The New Foundling Hospital for Wit and the Shrubs of Parnassus which he published as J Copywell (a rather Dickensian surname!)

On a more personal note "Mr Willson" seems to have been a visitor from Retford.

Friday, 28 May 2010

7th June 1761 Went wth Mr Hall to Kensington Gravel Pitts Holland house Fox's Esqr Shepards Bush Acton Little Eleing and went to the Earl of Warwicks House Branford Chiswick Devenshiers house and fine Gardens Crossd Kew Bridge to Kew Barn Elmes Rowhampton Putney Wansworth Battersey Nine Elms Lambeth so Home in all the places near 28 miles Spent 18d

Kensington Gravel Pits was famously healthy and clean - now approximately Notting Hill

This picture is a little later

It is by John Linnell and is in the Tate collection.

Holland House, sadly bomb damaged since Thomas's day, is in Holland Park. It is a Jacobean house, originally known as Cope's Castle but it passed into the Fox family and belong to Henry Fox when Thomas visited (almost certainly just the house and garden, tipping the housekeeper, not the owner whose portrait is shown below).

This is the nearest to a contemporary picture of Holland House that I can find.

It dates from 1812. And below here is one as it is today (thank you Steve Cadman for permission to use his photo - Steve has loads of great photographs of London on Flickr).

I can't find out where the Earl of Warwick's London house was. Thomas's punctuation is so vague that I am not sure whether it was in Brentford ("Branford") or not, but Chiswick House is still there and almost unchanged since Thomas saw it.

Devonshire House, like Chiswick House, designed by William Kent, was in Piccadilly.

The Duchess at the time was the famous Georgiana, subject of a recent film. This portrait is by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Kew Bridge was only completed in 1759. The current bridge is the third on the site. To see the one Thomas crossed and to read more about the history of the bridge click here.

Barn Elms is North of Barnes Common, named after a Georgian house which once stood there. The famous Kit-Kat Club met there and there is more history and a picture of the house here.

And finally Thomas goes "home" but he doesn't tell us where that is, which is infuriating!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

3 June 1761 Went to Drury Lane to see Jane Shore. Mrs Yates Elisia Mrs Sibber Mr Shore Mr Havers Hastings Mr Garick Gloster Mr Davis wth Harlequin Ranger 2/3

I've found the text of the play here. It was written by Nicholas Rowe "in imitation of Shakespear's style", first performed at Drury Lane in 1714 and based on the life of a real woman, Jane Shore, a mistress of Edward IV.

Thomas saw Mrs Yates earlier in 1761 , has has heard Mrs Cibber sing as well as act...picture here.
Her part is properly "Alicia".

Mr Havers is difficult but I think this may be him

Harlequin Ranger is the short comic piece. It was written by Henry Woodward, a protege of Lun who was a famous Harlequin. Here is one of many portraits of him which survive.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

1st June 1761 went to to Drury Lane to See King Lear.. Lear Garick Cordelia Mrs Sibber The King, Princess of Wales and the Rest of the Royal Family 2/3

Thomas has seen Garrick's Lear before and Mrs Cibber in another production but this must have been a very special event.

The King was the new George III. He was not yet married and his mother, Princess Augusta, the widow of his father, Frederick Prince of Wales, is the Princess of Wales mentioned.

The earliest portrait I can find of George III is by the Scottish artist, Allan Ramsay.

Here is his mother

Several other Princes and Princesses might be included in "the Rest of the Royal Family" but, of course, I don't know who was there.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

29th May 1761 Bout of Mr Venables at the Sign of the Beaver Piccadilly a Fine Beaver Hatt 21/- A Hatt Turning ..18d
Paid him for it before young Wade of Retford his apprentice.

I've found mention of a Mr Venables of Piccadilly - he was a subscriber towards a 1795 edition of Pilgrim's Progress.

Beaver hats were made initially from European Beaver but by this time most seem to have been made from pelts imported from North America. More here.

This hat seems likely to have been a tricorn - Some eighteenth century men's fashion is displayed here.

Thomas seems almost always very concerned that it is clear that he has paid. I find it interesting that he buys from a hatter whose apprentice is from his own home town. So often we seem to think that people didn't move much in the past but Thomas has many contacts who are spread over the country.

Monday, 26 April 2010

23 May 1761
Paid Mr Ward watchmaker in Abchurch Lane for a new Silver watch in Exchange for my Old Pinch Back Watch five pounds as by his Receipt the No. of it is No.6923

Thomas has upgraded his watch, having swapped from silver to pinchbeck once before.

Pinchbeck is an alloy of copper and zinc which was used to imitate gold.

Abchurch Lane is still there in the City of London, running between King William Street & Cannon Street.

I need to do some more research about Mr Ward, but he may have been the master of the Clockmakers' Company in 1795 - a bit about that here.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

18th May 1761
Went to see the paintings, modals, sculptures and drawings etc etc at the Society for Arts & Manufactures - Catalogue 6d

Thomas visited the second ever exhibition mounted by what is today called the RSA. It was founded as a result of a bright idea by William Shipley in 1754. There is more history here.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

5 May 1761
Went to See Mr John Payne at Merton in Surry. 10 miles from London
First Place Clapham Balam Tutin uper Tutin then Merton

I think Thomas must be living west of the City this time (he hasn't told us where he is, just the name of his landlord, Thomas Hall). If he walked this journey from the City it would be 15 miles. From Chelsea it is 11 miles. He has the route wrong as he would have reached Upper Tooting before Tooting.

Gentleman Seats at Tutin Scott Esqr Santiloes Esqr Salvidores Jews Hammon Esqr at Merton Alderman Chitty Esqr Medcalfs Esqr & the Abbey where they Print Cottons & Linnes and Bleach em after one man pays 1500 pounds a month Duty

I wish Thomas used more punctuation!

"Salvidores" should read "Salvador". The family were leaders in the Sephardic community in London and Francis Salvador was the first Jew elected to office in what is now the United States. After a crash in his family's fortunes, caused by the Lisbon earthquake (1755) and Francis left Europe to seek his fortune in South Carolina, where, in 1774, he was elected to the South Carolina Revolutionary Provincial Congress.

John Payne appears to have been buried in Merton Churchyard ... see here

Alderman Chitty was involved in the case of Elizabeth Canning, a famous 18th Century mystery

he Abbey where they Print Cottons & Linne" is Merton Priory Calico Works. William Morris owned it for a time and Liberty & Co bought part of it in 1904 and the part owned by Morris in 1940.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Concert with a Sermon

27th April 1761 Went to St Andrews Church Holborn to hear the Musik 36 Musitioner 16 Vocal for the benifitt of the Small Pox Hospital
Sermon Preacht by the Bishop Oxford gave 2/-
Text 12 Hebrew 21 vs

St Andrew's Holborn has a history of charitable connections. It was intimately connected with the Coram Foundation and the Royal Free Hospital was founded because William Marsden found a woman dying on the church steps but that was in the 19th century.

St Andrew's is a Wren Church. It was not completely destroyed in the Great Fire but was modernised in the 17th century to Wren plans
Here it is today

And here is a picture showing it in the 18th century.

It seems to have lost a lot of churchyard!

The London Smallpox hospital was in Windmill Street, off Tottenham Court Road (not to be confused with Great Windmill Street famous for the Windmill Theatre). It was founded in 1746 and is claimed to be the first specialist smallpox hospital in Europe. More about this here. Sometime between then and 1769, it was moved to a new building at Battle Bridge, where King's Cross Station now stands. It was in fields, well away from the possibility of infecting neighbours. The building looked like this:-

The Bishop of Oxford was John Hume who was also Dean of St Paul's (Shades of Anthony Trollope!). He went on to be Bishop of Salisbury.

The text reads

"And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:"

This refers to Moses's direct encounter with God.

I have found nothing about the concert which is a shame. I'll keep looking.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Thomas goes for a Walk!

26th April 1761 Sunday Went wth Mr Hall this day into four Countys Middlesex Surry Kent & Essex Greenwich Blackwall Bowbridge Bednell Green Hackney Lowlaton Epin Forrist and See the Earl of Finleys Gardens & House
Went Back by by Temple millns & Hackney Spt. 2/6

I don't know where Thomas and his friend started from as Thomas has not told us where he is living.

Greenwich - this part will have looked much the same to Thomas as to us today

Google wants him to go through the Rotherhithe Tunnel to get between Greenwich & Blackwall. But that wasn't open until 1908. I think he probably took a ferry from Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs. An 18th century map shows Horse Ferry House opposite Greenwich on the Isle of Dogs. This ferry is still commemorated in road names, East & West Ferry Roads and Ferry Street and a pub... The Ferry House

After Blackwall, Thomas went on to Bow Bridge which is over the River Lea, not the Thames.

From there on to what we call Bethnal Green, of course, but this it not an example of Thomas's often dodgy spelling - It was called Bednall Green and there was a large house which served as a lunatic asylum there in 1761... more about the history of the area and a picture of the house here.

Lowlaton is Leyton. Thomas has been there before.

Epping Forest stretched from Forest Gate to Epping so I think we can assume that Thomas touched the Forest in the South, nearer the former than the latter.

Temple millns must be Temple Mill Lane which is not far from Leyton tube station but I guess looked greener than it does today (google maps shows a bleak mostly concrete landscape).

I've drawn a complete blank on the Earl of Finlay & his house.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


22nd April 1761 Bout. Mr. Asycough a Glass to magnifi 4/-
a pair of Spectacles for my Dear Miss Bett Newton 8/-
a yard Rule 12 a glass for a watch 12d
a pair of Spectacles for my Self 2/6

Miss Newton must be important - her specs cost a lot more than Thomas's! There are examples of what the spectacles may have looked like at the British Optical Association's website here.

A magnifying glass of the right sort of age is illustrated here.

25th April 1761 Bout. a Cribidge Board 2/4 Comb Brush 6/-
Spice Box 16 2 Tortisshell Combs 3/6

I had no idea that Cribbage was such an old game, however, a quick google reveals, yet again, how much I have to learn. Click here to read a history of Cribbage. This is a cribbage board which is a little later than 1761 - it is thought to date from around 1775.

Here is a Georgian spice box. It will set you back around £400 today.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

5th April 1761
Went to Text 12 Eclias. 1vs spt 6d

In the King James this text is

1Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

We've already met the archbishop.

10th ltt. E Newton 4 Oysters 3d

Good to see that Thomas is keeping in touch with Elizabeth.

11th Went to See Covent Garden Romeo & Juliet Ross Romeo Miss Macklin Juliet 2/3

"Miss Macklin" was Mary, the daughter of the famous Irish actor Charles Macklin. She doesn't seem to have left any portraits. I've found only mention of "Ross" as an actor at Covent Garden in the right era but nothing much more (except that he was not as much of a draw as Garrick at Drury Lane at the same time!).

Friday, 29 January 2010

25th March 1761 Bout. 1 Spanish dollar five shillings

Here is a Spanish coin of the right sort of date. I hope Thomas's purchase was in better condition!

26th Came on Thursday the Election for the City of London for Members of Parliament. Ladbrook Glyn Beckford Fludyer & Harley. I got Drunk Bout this day a wedding Ring of Edward Salter in Cannon Street over against St Swithins Church for Elizabeth & Thos Tye to be married in .....8/-

The City returned 4 members. Thomas would have had a vote as a Freeman, as well as a vote as a landowner in Pinxton, though, with no postal voting, he could only really vote in one place in each election.

The MPs mentioned....

Sir Robert Ladbroke
- a previous Lord Mayor of London who founded a bank, now part of RBS. He is commemorated with a memorial in Christ Church Spitalfields

Sir Richard Glyn
- a banker who married rather well but doesn't seem to have had a portrait painted (or, if he did, no-one has put it on the web!).

William Beckford became wealthy from plantations in Jamaica.

Sir Samuel Fludyer - He was MP for Chippenham so I'm a bit puzzled that Thomas should mention him. However, he was to be Lord Mayor of London for 1761.

Thomas Harley - the younger son of the Earl of Oxford

And politics has rather distracted me.. Thomas is engaged! This is his first mention of it. One wonders whether buying the ring and being drunk are in any way related! The Jeweller's shop was close to the St Swithin's church

This Wren church was destroyed in 1941.

I haven't found anything about Edward Salter.. yet!