Whymper's London Diary, January-June 1859

The Apprenticeship of a Mountaineer: Edward Whymper's London Diary, 1855-1859. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 2008.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Edward Whymper, 'Whymper's London Diary, January-June 1859', in The Apprenticeship of a Mountaineer: Edward Whymper's London Diary, 1855-1859, (London, 2008) pp. 156-170. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol43/pp156-170 [accessed 24 May 2024].

Edward Whymper. "Whymper's London Diary, January-June 1859", in The Apprenticeship of a Mountaineer: Edward Whymper's London Diary, 1855-1859, (London, 2008) 156-170. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol43/pp156-170.

Whymper, Edward. "Whymper's London Diary, January-June 1859", The Apprenticeship of a Mountaineer: Edward Whymper's London Diary, 1855-1859, (London, 2008). 156-170. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol43/pp156-170.

Whymper's London Diary, January-June 1859

1. January. 1859. Went on with alphabet, out errands etc. The new Portsmouth Railway was opened today.

2. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening. Mr. Millard preached both times. Very foggy.

3. Went on with alphabet, out errands, stamped blocks etc. Oh, what a world it is. Or at least what a strange world of creatures we are. My father came in this evening and in conduct acted in a perfect manaical manner. It resembled the conduct of Frederick the Great's father more than any other example I can give.

4. Marked out wood, finished alphabet, etc. Fine, but streets in a filthy state. Last night I was told, one of the staircases at the Polytechnic Institution fell down injuring upwards of 30 people. I am not at all surprised, for the crowding there at Christmas time is something terrific.

5. Went to Underwoods (Grosvenor Square) cut up wood, went on with alphabet etc. There was one person killed and between 30 and 40 injured in the accident at the Polytechnic. (fn. 1) It was as I stated, a spiral staircase fell from overcrowding. Rainy.

6. Finished alphabet, went errands, touched up blocks, went on with the History of the Virgin, drew in a cottage from a Gilbert etc. In the evening I went to St Martin's Hall to hear Charles Dickens read his Christmas Carol and the Trial from Pickwick, as Mr Green had kindly left us 3 tickets for the stalls. The hall was crowded with a highly respectable audience. (fn. 2) [almost complete column left blank]

9. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr. Millard preached, also in afternoon to the Young Men's Soc, the subject being the temptation of Christ. Very cold. I anticipate snow tonight. The first fall this winter took place yesterday morning.

10. Went on with History of the Virgin, cut up wood etc. Cold.

11. Went to Museum, traced cuts, wrote, looked over works etc, marked out wood, went to Gibson's. Fine and cold. Barometer much higher than it has been for a long time. It now stands at 30.7.

12. Went to Gibson's, on with History of the Virgin, made out lists, looked over and named cuts etc.

13. Went to Museum, traced cut, wrote and read etc. Fine and colder. Mr Gilbert came in evening.

14. Finished the cut from the History of the Virgin, etc. Cold.

15. Touched up History of the Virgin from the original block book at the British Museum, traced a cut, went to S.P.C.K., mended a block, commenced filling in our new scrap book, etc.

16. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning, afternoon and evening. Mr. Millard preached both times. Very cold.

17. Drew some more ornamental letters, cut up lot of wood, read White's history of Selborne for cuts etc. Very wet and very windy.

18. Went to Museum, traced cuts etc, cut up wood, went on with letters, began writing out a list of birds. Wet.

19. Finished list of birds, marked out 30 pieces of wood, began the Temptation of Christ from the Speculum Humanae Salvationis. My father has, I think, at last got one of the jobs settled which we have been looking out for a long time. It is a book of birds and will probably have 150 or 200 cuts in it. This will keep us going briskly for some months. Fine and very warm.

20. Made list of fishes, went on with Temptation, went to Museum etc. We have now every prospect of being busy this year as I think we are certain of yet further jobs amounting to 200 or 250 blocks. I sincerely rejoice, more for my father's sake than my own, as it is very dispiriting to a man with 10 children and no great fortune not to be able to obtain work to do. Very windy.

21. Finished list of fishes and learnt thereby a little of Ichthyology, finished the Temptation etc. The Brighton Ry Company applied at the end of last month for an injunction from the Court of Chancery to prevent the South Western Ry running trains over their portion of railway running from Havant to Portsmouth, but from the decision of the Lord Chancellor the S.W.R. have recovered their privileges. This evening I commenced drawing from life (at home). I have picked up a very good boy model about 12 years old who will suit my purposes pretty well at present.

22. Cut up wood, drew the Anglesey Morris, began mouth of Sturgeon etc. Fine.

23. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening. Mr Millard preached both times. It was windier today than I have ever known it. The rain also fell copiously.

24. Cut up wood, went to Museum, made out a fresh list of fishes, finished mouth of Sturgeon etc. My father is painting a small picture from a sketch of Miss Hepburn's of the Castle of Chillon, which will, if I mistake not, be one of his most attractive subjects. Fine. Hallam, the historian, is just dead, at the age I believe of 83. I must own with shame that I have not yet read a single volume of his writings, but hope to do so ere long.

25. Went to Museum, S.P.C.K. etc, began the head of the Hammer Headed Shark etc, cut up wood. I have just read a book in the style of Tom Brown's Schooldays, (which I have before spoken of). It is not so good as Tom Brown, but still is very good. I cannot tell how it is but such books as these affect me more powerfully than any others. I feel convinced that a simple style, natural and unaffected, not too minute, but describing with power, will produce more effect and affect the mind more than the loftiest or grandest matter written in the most magnificent manner. This evening I made my boy model strip (not having previously done so) and found that he is very well formed. His legs are a defect at present being too thin, but that may perhaps be got over. My father went to dinner at Mr Hepburn's. Today a Burns Commemoration Festival was held at the Crystal Palace. The directors have given a prize of 50 guineas to the successful candidate in a competition got up for the occasion. It was to be a poem, not less than 100 and not more than 200 lines in length.

26. Finished Hammer headed Shark etc, cut up wood, drew a block for Gosse's book and began the roe of the sturgeon. Fine. This evening we had the deacons of our chapel to tea and supper (with Mr Millard). The prize poem was read by Mr Phelps yesterday at the Crystal Palace. The successful competitor is a lady. The proceedings generally yesterday at the C.P. were on a miserable scale according to the Times.

27. Made out fresh list of fishes, finished roe of sturgeon etc. Fine: indeed it is wonderful weather for this time of the year. I heard it suggested the other day (in joke) by an acquaintance of mine that the calendar must be wrong, that the years in fact were too short, as the seasons are becoming now quite transposed. But seriously, there seems something in the suggestion.

My father and mother went to a church meeting at our chapel.

The name of the lady who has gained the Crystal Palace prize for her ode is Ida Craig. She is already known in the literary world.

28. Cut up wood, began Internal organs of Myxine, began reading a history of England for cuts etc. Fine.

29. Finished internal organs of Myxine, went on making list of cuts for new history of England etc.

30. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr. Millard preached, and to Westminster Abbey in the afternoon, Dr. Wordsworth preaching. Wet.

31. Finished list of subjects for History of England, marked out 20 pieces of wood, went to Museum. etc.

1. February. Cut up wood, went errands, drew a mackerel (a stinking job), wrote out list for history of England, etc. Very windy.

2. Began a skeleton of the Perch etc. Parliament I believe opens today. By the by, I have quite forgotten to put down that the Princess Royal (late) of England was safely delivered of a son at Berlin last week. It has been doing very well since. The telegraphic message arrived at Windsor from Berlin in 6 minutes.

3. Made lists of birds, cut up wood, went to Wolf's and British Museum, corrected engraving blocks, began Wolf fish etc. Fine but freezing. My father and Fred went to the first meeting of the A. and A. conversazione.

4. Went to Museum and Lewis' the auctioneer's twice, finished Wolf fish etc. Rainy. Parliament opened yesterday and not the day before, as I stated. There seems every probability of this session being an exciting one, reform in some shape or other will be accomplished, church rates will most likely be abolished and other measures of importance will come on.

5. Cut up wood, went to Vizetelly's, began a statue of Magister John Schow. Rainy.

6. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and Salters Hall chapel in the evening. Fine, very windy.

7. Went on with saint, cut up wood, went to Gibsons, began a large map for a new Quarterly Review of Bentley's etc. Rainy.

8. Went to Gibson's and errands, cut up wood, on with map for Bentley etc. Rainy. We shall, I think, be nicely busy this year, for we keep on having little jobs come in, as well as the big ones. Thanks be to our Father in Heaven from whom all blessings flow, and may we strive to deserve them, so far as we may be said to deserve anything.

9. Went errands, cut up wood, finished Bentley's map, finished statue of John Schow etc.

10. Put up blind, touched Gudgeon and Loach of Gibson's, went on with skeleton of perch etc.

11. Cut up wood, began a perch etc. In evening spent a pleasant evening at Mr. Roffey's. Met an old schoolfellow, Chester Foulsham, who I was always partial to, though I am not sure if the liking is reciprocal.

12. Marked out a lot of wood, finished perch, went to Gibson's etc etc. In afternoon went to Kew, but there being no boats there for hire, walked on to Richmond, from thence rowed to Twickenham, round the island and back again to Richmond. I then walked to Ham Common, took tea at Warners and from thence home again.

13. Sunday. Went in morning and evening to Maze Pond, Mr. Millard preached, and in afternoon to the Abbey. Fine.

14. Went to Raffles and various errands, cut up lot of wood, packed parcels, on with skeleton of Perch, began Lump sucker etc. My cousin came today from Yeovil.

15. Went to Brit. Mus., also to Butterworth and to Spooner, cut up lot of wood, went various errands, on with Skeleton of Perch, on with lump sucker etc. In evening Frank Dillon came with D. McKewan to see my father, Vacher also came in. I went in evening to the Old Water Colour Rooms to hear a lecture, Venice by G.E. Street (architect) at which [blank space left]

16. Went errands, cut up wood, went on with Lump sucker and on with Skeleton of Perch. John Cassell has offered some premiums for the best tales for his journals, to be sent in by next August under certain conditions. I am at present trying to concoct a story, getting material, etc.

17. Went to Museum, traced some plates from Britton's Lichfield, went on with Skeleton of Perch etc.

18. Went on with Skeleton of Perch, cut up wood, went errands etc Mr Gosse came up from York early this morning and will stay with us about a week.

19. Finished Skeleton of Perch, cut up wood, drew a rush-holder etc. Went to tea at Peckham and had a pleasant evening there. Wet.

20. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening. Mr Millard preached, and to Westminster Abbey in the afternoon, Dean Trench preaching. Fine. I like Mr Gosse exceedingly. Besides being a clever and learned man (and the conversation of such must always be pleasing to me) he is an excellent Christian, brim full of his Bible, and very apt with his texts. He is a Plymouth brother, which is the same as saying that he is no sect, and his opinions and views on religion coincide almost perfectly with my own. The stay of such a man in one's house is, I think, almost sure to do one good.

21. Went to Museum, traced a number of fishes, corrected proofs etc. Dr Hook, vicar of Leeds (whose High Church and almost Pusey tendency is well known) has just had the vacant deanery of Chichester offered to him and has accepted it.

22. Went various errands, cut up wood, began a Lancelet, the Butterfly fish and the Beardless Ophidium. The ministers last night asked for leave to bring in their bill on church rates. Leave was granted after a long discussion. Fine.

23. Finished Lump sucker, cut up wood, went errands, began the Forked Hake, Basking Shark and the Gymnetrus Hawkinsii. In evening I went to Pimlico to hear Mr Gosse give a lecture on "the wonders of the sea." He is a nice lecturer on those subjects and I should like to play the showman to him during the summer season at the watering places, where I have little doubt that he would draw well..

24. Went to Museum, traced diagrams for Tomlinson, finished Lancelet, Beardless Ophidium and Basking Shark, cut up wood etc. Fine. In evening went to a spread at Mr R. Taylor's next door. Dancing all the evening (24 dances) and broke up only at 5 next morning. I left at 12.

25. Went to Tomlinson's at Camden Town, cut up wood, drew 2 diagrams etc. Today Mr Gosse left us for his home at Marychurch near Torquay. He is an exceedingly nice Christian man, and I like him all the more since his stay with us.

26. Touched up a drawing of Skelton's, went to Walbrook (British Orphan Asylum) etc. (fn. 3) There will, I think, be no war as was feared. In answer to a question last night by Lord Palmerston, it was stated by the ministers that they had intelligence that Italy would very shortly be evacuated by both Austrian and French troops; and it was also stated that Lord Cowley's mission to Vienna was entirely pacific.

27. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond morning and evening. Mr. Aldis preached for the Baptist fund. The sermon in the evening on the humanity of Christ was most admirable. In the afternoon I went to the Abbey. Fine.

28. Went to Gibson's, finished touching up sheet of Skelton's, cut out sizes of 60 fish and pasted them in manuscript etc. The Ministerial Reform Bill comes on this week. It is generally understood that if there is any serious opposition to it that the ministry will resign.

1. March. Went to Museum, out errands, finished Forked Hake and Gymnetrus Hawkinsii, traced lot of fishes etc. Last night the ministers introduced their reform bill, but I have not had time to read it yet.

2. Went errands, marked out 80 pieces of wood, also cut up some, went on with Ocellated Blenny, began Cornish sucker.

3. Went to Blind School twice and sketched, finished it at home etc. My father went to 2nd conversazione at Willis' Rooms. I went in evening to Mr. Sandalls.

4. Touched up sketch of Blind School, also sketched central tower of ditto, went to Museum, made sketches of Lichfield Cathedral, finished Ocellated Blenny, touched up 2 others etc.

5. Went to Museum, made an elaborate tracing of choir of Lichfield cathedral from Britton etc.

6. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning, Mr. Millard preached, but had to stay at home in evening on account of illness; very severe headache and cold. Fine.

7. Altered silvery hair-tail and began a large block of some fort in New Mexico. I am considerably better today but Collambell says that unless I take care of myself and do not work quite as hard, I shall probably bring on a fever. Pleasant news.

8. Went on with Fort in New Mexico, put a number of cuts into scrap book, altered a block of Skelton's etc. I feel better.

9. Finished Fort, went to Butterworth's, put cuts in scrap book etc. Today I feel worse again.

10. Went to Ward's and Pewtress', marked out wood, corrected 5 fishes of Gibson's, packed parcels etc. The Government church rate abolition bill was defeated last night by a respectable majority. It was a most ridiculous and if entertained seriously might be called a most iniquitous bill, for the purpose and intent of it was, to compel everyone to pay them still, or else if you did not, it would deprive you of your parochial privileges.

11. Went errands, drew the Angel fish, began 10 spined stickleback etc. Very windy.

12. Went errands, on with Stickleback, counted out and parcelled 200 min. atlas etc

13. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning, afternoon and evening. Mr. Millard preached both times. Very wet. I am very much better indeed, though not strong yet, I may say quite recovered.

14. Went to Barbe's (for pencils) and to Museum, corrected fish of Gibson's, cut up and marked out wood, finished stickleback and began Tench etc. (fn. 4) Rainy.

15. Went numerous errands, marked out and cut up great deal of wood, went on with Tench etc.

16. Marked out lot of wood, finished tench, finished a block for Bentley of the valley of the Rio Grande etc. There was a few days ago a most remarkable squadron of Italians landed at Cork. (fn. 5) [space left]

17. Went to Clowes etc, touched various blocks, marked out wood, began interior of Lichfield Cathedral etc. Very windy. Today my father had the bad news that one of his smacks [space left]

18. Went to Evans, on with Lichfield Cathedral etc. Today the 'Comet' was towed up the Thames and my father learnt the extent of the damage that was done to it. [space left blank]

19. Went errands, on with Lichfield Cathedral etc, read the 'Gentile World' for cuts etc. Fine.

20. Went in morning, afternoon and evening to Maze Pond, Mr. Millard preached both times. Fine but very windy.

21. Cut up wood, packed parcels, wrote upwards of 30 letters, went on with Lichfield Cathedral and in evening went to Mrs Sowerby at Peckham. A good day's work. Fine.

22. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral etc.

23. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral, wrote letters etc. I have just managed to get myself into rather a queer position, as follows; [1 column left blank] (fn. 6)

24. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral, went errands etc

25. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral etc, and went several errands. There have been some severe debates on the Government Reform Bill during the last few nights which will probably end in the defeat of the said bill, and the resignation of the Derbyites or a dissolution of Parliament, either of which things we do not wish to come to pass at present. Fine.

26. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral etc. Fine. Held a committee meeting of my cricket club at our house of business this evening when some important business was transacted.

27. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning, afternoon and evening. Mr. Millard preached both times.

28. Went on with Lichfield Cathedral etc. Fred has got one of his pictures hung at Suffolk St out of 2 which he sent. The exhibition is I believe slightly better than usual. Rainy.

29. Finished Lichfield Cathedral, marked out wood etc. Mr and Mrs Pewtress came in evening.

30. Touched up Lichfield Cathedral, touched 2 blocks of Gibson's, went to Heaths, cut up wood, outlined fishes etc. A great deal of snow fell during the day, so much so, that in the afternoon it laid thickly on the ground.

31. Marked out and cut up lot of wood, went to Well's, and British Museum, went on with Viviparous Blenny and Rainbow Wrasse etc. The Brighton and S. C. Ry and the South Western Railway are at it hammer and tongs, as I expected they would be. We can now be taken to Portsmouth and back in 3½ hours for 3/6, or by the Brighton Ry to the Isle of Wight and back, by the special expresses for the same money. I suppose they will continue at this fun until next June, when they will suddenly learn wisdom, by discovering that their half-yearly meeting is approaching. The powder mills at Hounslow have again blown up, destroying 6 people. In a building 3 miles away, 100 panels of glass were broken by it. I have risked my guinea in the Art Union for this year and of course confidently expect a prize; perhaps 20,000 besides expect the same.

1 April. Awful day to be born on. Went to museum, on with Rainbow Wrasse and Viviparous Blenny, touched up drawings of Gibson's and went to Mr Smiles.

2. Finished Rainbow Wrasse and went to the museum, where when I was leaving I saw the Queen and Prince Albert who had also been just paying it a visit. Very wet. Mr Burt and Mr Smith (the author of the autobiography of a journey man printer) came today to dinner. My father went in evening to Frank Dillon's to meet some artists.

3. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times. Fine.

4. Drew Garfish, went to museum, went to Gibson's, helped to get my father's drawings ready for the exhibition etc.

5. Went to museum, arranged fish, corrected proofs, wrote titles to father's pictures etc etc.

6. Went errands, cut up wood, cut out cuts, began the centre of the Blind School. Fine, very hot; the heat being exceedingly oppressive from the very great change in the temperature. This day last week it was freezing.

7. Went to museum, drew Rough tailed stickleback, began Basse and Grey mullet, wrote letters, packed parcels, etc etc.

8. Went on with Centre of Blind School, packed parcels, wrote letters etc. Had another committee meeting of my cricket club (the N.L.C.C.). We have lately been delighted by receiving formal permission from the Archbishop to play in his grounds. We can now go ahead confidently.

9. Went on with blind school etc. The New Water colour exhibition will be rather over the average this year. I am afraid my father will not sell so well as usual, owing chiefly to three things. 1. This being a better exhibition, 2nd on account of the dissolution obliging many who would have purchased to spend their money in elections, 3rd to his subjects not being quite so good as usual, although I think the painting on them is better.

10. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times. Rainy.

11. Went errands, to Gibson's, on with centre of Blind school, finished Basse, went on with Grey mullet. Several very heavy showers of rain and great quantities of hail fell during the day, in one of which storms I got a severe drenching. The difference of temperature between last week and the previous one, was 58°. The highest last week was 78° and the lowest in the week previously was 20°. A very great change even for a changeable climate.

12. Drew 'John Dory' arranged fishes, wrote letters and packed parcels etc. In evening went to a meeting of the Peckham Rye Albion Cricket Club of which I am a member, at the Edinburgh Castle Tavern. I am afraid that they are a rather queer, beery lot and I must mind that I am not drawn into their bad habits. Very, very wet, and I managed to get fully my share of moisture.

13. Cut up wood, finished Grey Mullet, went on with centre of Blind School etc. Vulgar Frederick Doulton (the potter) is putting up as a member for Lambeth. I hope he may not get in, but am afraid he will.

14. Arranged fishes etc, packed blocks for and wrote to Mr Kelke, went errands etc, on with centre of Blind School. Very wet.

15. Named proofs, cut up wood etc, went on with centre of Blind School, began general view of Blind School, began 3 fishes etc. Very cold. In evening had another cricket meeting; we are going on pretty prosperously.

16. Went to museum, Dobbs Kidd and Co (fn. 7), Blackwood's etc, cut up wood, went on with fish etc. The Oxford and Cambridge boat race came off yesterday, between Putney and Mortlake, which resulted in the Oxford eight winning.

[space left]

The Queen went yesterday to the New Water Colour Gallery and bought 4 pictures, one of Edward Warren's, one of Mole, one of Richardson and one of somebody whose name I forget. In the evening there was a severe snowstorm.

17. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times. Fine.

18. Went errands, finished sketching and began drawing Blind School. My Father sold 5 of his drawings on Saturday at the New Water colour private view but has not sold any today. Strange to say, all those which are sold are the worst and the ones which he (and I also) considered least likely to sell.

19. Went to Society, cut up wood, went out hunting for photographs, finished 3 bearded Rockling, went on with Blind School etc. Parliament was prorogued today. Sir W. Clay, I believe, intends putting up for Lambeth. I hope he may succeed in keeping the ignorant, radical Fred Doulton out.

20. Went to museum, Gibson's, Askes', photograph hunting etc, cut up wood, went on with centre of Blind School etc. Mr. W. Williams has at last again put up for Lambeth and unless Mr Doulton makes greater efforts than I or others think him capable of, he will stand but a poor chance of being returned. My father went to Gilbert's. Skelton came in evening. Fine.

21. Went on with centre of Blind School etc etc. Had a cricket meeting in evening and afterwards went to the Victoria Theatre to a meeting of Doulton's in the hopes of making or helping to make a disturbance. There was, however, quite row enough without my assistance, the groaning and hissing was tremendous; although I was within a few feet of the speakers I could not hear a word they said. I got fortunately on the stage; being the first time I was ever in a theatre.

22. Good Friday. Finished centre of Blind School and cut up wood, although it was a holiday. War between the Austrians, and the Sardinians and French seems now certain; the first blow will probably be struck next Sunday.

23. Went on with Blind School, cut up wood etc.

24. Easter Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening. Mr Vince of Birmingham preached in the morning and Mr – of Bradford in the evening. They were both excellent sermons, the best however was most undoubtedly the former. And yet he was only a carpenter originally which shows that it is by no means a necessary thing to be educated (as it is called) for the ministry. Very wet, which drives all thoughts of cricket into the distance. Our opening meeting was to have been next Tuesday.

25. Went errands, marked out wood, worked on a picture of my father's etc, and on with Blind School. Very wet.

26. Went errands, cut up wood, made lists, went on with Blind School. My brother Henry's 14th birthday. Fine. Young Glennie came in evening and stayed to supper.

27. Went errands, went on with Blind School etc. The Times reviewed this year's exhibition of the New Water Colour today. My father in common with a number of others, got but a very brief notice. Fine. My 20th birthday.

28. Went to Clowes' etc, on with Blind School. Very wet. Today we had the sad intelligence that the Austrian army had declared war by crossing the Ticino, numbering 120,000 men, and also that the French were pouring their troops into Sardinia as fast as possible, 8 regiments left Paris for Lyons yesterday. Where this miserable war will end it is impossible to conjecture, but I think if it does not end within a twelve-month's time it will involve all the nations of Europe and then - - it is dreadful to think of. I forgot to mention on Tuesday (which was a great omission, as I am mightily rejoiced thereat) that Fred Doulton had - in spite of his protestations that he was going to the poll – resigned, or rather retired from the contest. Roupell and Williams, will therefore walk the course. All I can say for them is, bad is the best!

29. Finished Blind School, marked wood, wrote letter etc, began temple at Baalbec.

30. Went on with temple at Baalbec, went photograph hunting etc. In afternoon went to museum to carry on a life of Handel which I am compiling; with the intention of trying to get it published for the Handel commemoration which takes place in June. I think however it is very doubtful if it will be finished in time.

1. May. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times. Fine.

2. Went to S.P.C.K., to Hogarth's, museum etc, photograph hunting, touched up large block of Blind School, began the house at Delhi in which Mr Mackay was murdered etc. Fine. Today the Royal Academy opened its annual exhibition. My brother Fred succeeded in getting a picture hung which he sent. The exhibition is said to be a very fair, average one. Telegrams have arrived of accounts of skirmishes between the Austrians and the Sardinians.

3. Wrote letters, packed parcels, went on with Temple at Baalbec etc. I did not (as might be expected) get a prize in the Art Union, and there is likely to be somewhat of a disturbance from the fact, that out of 15,000£ subscribed, only 2,500£ was given away in prizes. Query. Where has the rest gone to?

4. Went on with House at Delhi, cut up wood etc, drew Gilt-head, went to Stockwell and South Lambeth to sketch schools etc. Very fine, but cold from an easterly wind.

5. Finished house at Delhi, marked out and cut up wood, went on with Temple at Baalbec, made a finished sketch of Springgrove schools etc. Fine.

6. Drew Springgrove schools, cut up wood, went on with Temple at Baalbec etc. In evening had my first spurt of walking of this season and find that at present I cannot walk faster than I did last year though doubtless I can walk further. Very fine.

7. Went on with Temple at Baalbec, cut up wood, arranged fish etc. Fine, though raining in evening.

8. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and Regent St, Lambeth in evening. Mr Clark preached at the former and Mr Lancaster at the latter. Very fine.

9. Went on with Temple at Baalbec, marked out wood, etc etc. The Archbishop of Canterbury who had forgotten to give orders for our admission to his grounds, has been reminded of it and has at last done so, so that the North Lambeth CC will meet for the first time (weather permitting) tomorrow evening. (fn. 8)

10. Finished Temple at Baalbec, marked out wood, went errands, went photograph hunting, to museum etc. In evening went to the first meeting of the North Lambeth Cricket Club. I hope it may continue many years in existence and I in it, but I have my fears about it.

11. Touched up fish of Gibson's, wrote letter, marked lot of wood, arranged photographs, began a general view of ruins at Baalbec etc. My father went today to Selborne in Hampshire, to make sketches for a new edition of White's Selborne. He will stay in the neighbourhood a day or two.

12. Went errands, marked out wood, went on with Baalbec etc.

13. Finished Baalbec, cut up lots of wood, began a plan of Delhi etc. In evening went to Archbishops' grounds. The old gentleman has behaved very kindly; he has signed our 20 members tickets with his own hand and appears to take some little interest in the affair. Very fine. My mother went down today to Haslemere to look at a house which my father saw and liked yesterday. They have been for a considerable time talking of a move and now perhaps we shall have it.

14. Was almost the whole day at my paper to be read to-morrow to the Young Men's Christian Association at Maze Pond. Got on but slowly with it. Very fine.

15. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning, afternoon and evening. In afternoon, read my paper on 'Ought Christians to resist tyrannical governments?' Rainy. Mr Millard preached both times.

16. Went on with plan of Delhi etc. Raining. The war in Italy does not make any progress, one way or another. The Austrians adhere to the character that they have always had, viz, of being extraordinary slow in all their movements. The Emperor of the French has left Paris and has arrived at Genoa.

17. Finished plan, began a view of Damascus etc. Very wet; went to Archbishop's in evening, but as only one but myself was there, we had no meeting.

18. Went on with Damascus, cut up wood, began several fishes, altered fish of Gibson's etc.

19. Went to Miller's etc, cut up lot of wood, drew Argentine, began Flying fish etc. My father has just sold two more of his pictures (value 52£) so that altogether he has done pretty well. It is however strange, that the whole of his best pictures in the exhibition remain unsold. Very wet.

20. Went to museum, cut up wood, finished flying fish, went on with Coal fish, Torsk and Trout etc. My father and mother went in evening to Mr Hepburn's.

21. Went to Gibson's, cut up wood, went on with trout, altered blocks of Green's and Skelton's etc.

22. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, and to the Abbey in afternoon. Mr Millard preached both times at former place and Dean French at the latter. Fine.

23. Cut up wood, finished 'Trout', altered Pike of Gibson's, ditto a block of Green's etc etc. Fine. This morning were telegraphed two accounts of a battle between the Austrians, and the French and Sardinians. The two accounts were very dissimilar.

24. Went to museum and S.P.C.K., marked out wood, touched up Pike, went on with Torsk etc. In evening went to Archbishop's grounds and had a meeting of the club afterwards, which latter performance was rather riotous. Very fine.

25. Finished Torsk and Coal fish, touched up Trout, began marking sizes of blocks for Gentile World etc. Very fine. My father went sketching at the old pond at Southend, the only pond he says in England that he has heard of, that is worth much.

26. Marked sizes of Gentile World cuts, and made a list of them, went to Clowes, the museum, and the Society, began a Salmon etc. In evening went to Peckham to a practice night of the C. Club I have joined there. I do not like [those] fellows much, and consider their bowling on the whole very bad; many can hit very hard but that is doubtful qualification.

27. Finished Salmon, began Cod, marked wood etc. In evening went to Archbishop's to cricket (N.L.C.C.). Very fine.

28. Made another list of Gentile World cuts, finished Cod, touched up fish of Gibson's etc In afternoon went to Richmond and from there rowed with Fred and Walker to Kingston and back. Sultry day.

29. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening; Mr Millard preached both times. Very wet.

30. Went to Hungerford Market for Haddock, drew it, cut up wood, touched up fish of Gibson's etc. Rainy. Today my Aunt and Uncle Woods from Swaffham came to stay the night with us, bringing a friend. My grandfather, grandmother in law and another aunt also came up from Ipswich. (fn. 9)

31. Arranged fish etc, went to Dickes, and to Maze Pond chapel to make plans of it etc. Today my brother Alfred came up from Edinburgh, much grown. My uncle and aunt etc, have also left us for the Isle of Wight, where they will pass a month. My grandfather today learnt from the surgeon that he came up to see, that his days were numbered and that he could not hope to recover from his bad leg. This is rather sad news for him, but at his age (72) he could not reasonably expect otherwise.

1. June. Derby day at Epsom. Arranged and got off another batch of 43 fish, marked wood, began a lion surrounded by 13 stars, etc. Walked in evening with Alfred and Thomas Roffey to the Morden turnpike on the Epsom road. The company returning I thought rather more numerous than usual, and although we walked more than 16 miles, yet we did not see a single accident.

2. Finished Lion surrounded by stars, drew letters in 2 blocks of Skelton's, began Gilbert White's house at Selborne etc. Very wet. Father went in afternoon with Gilbert to the Regent Park Zoological Gardens. (fn. 10) There was another battle on the 31st between the Austrians and Sardinians, in which the former are said again to be beaten.

3. Went on with White's house at Selborne, made list of and cut out sizes of the cuts for the first part of White's Selborne, put cuts in scrap book etc.

4. Went on with plan of Maze Pond chapel, marked wood etc. Decided that we are to leave London and take up our permanent abode at Haslemere (at least for 3 years). I have had nothing to do with this step but have always opposed it, as I think that it will bring many troubles. My grandfather etc left here today for Ipswich. Very rainy, and in afternoon had a small thunderstorm.

5. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening. Mr Millard preached both times. Heavy rain, and snow, thunder and lightning this afternoon.

6. Finished plan of Maze Pond, went on with White's house at Selborne, etc. Fine day. Father and mother went to a social tea meeting at our chapel this evening. I hate tea meetings.

7. Cut up and marked out a lot of wood, went on with White's house at [space left]

8. Went to museum to meet Mr C. Tomlinson and went on with Picked Dog fish, cut up wood, commenced cleaning out room in Canterbury Place for my future bed room etc. Very fine. Cherries were being sold today in the streets.

9. Drew some of Tomlinson's diagrams, marked out wood, cleared out rooms. In evening went [to] Peckham Rye intending to have an evening with the Albion Club, but they however did not play so I played with the Standard, and had a very pleasant evening. I bowled and caught 7 or 8 and managed to stick at my wicket pretty well. My father went in afternoon to Hayes Common, Kent. Very fine. In today's 'Times' there was announced the death of David Cox who is, as they said the greatest of English water colour painters.

10. Drew more of Tomlinsons' diagrams, wrote letter, packed blocks etc. Today I heard that one of Christy's Minstrels has just died. It was Mr Pierce, the inimitable singer and actor of the now world-wide song "Hoop de dooden doo". I am very sorry for them and for myself. Mr Soper supped with us.

In evening I went to Archbishop's Ground and had a pleasant game in spite of the wet evening. The Brighton Railway [space left blank]

11. [Left blank]

12. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times. We had a severe thunderstorm and heavy rain in the afternoon, for which I was very glad, and it now looks (11 p.m.) as if we are going to have a continuation of the same.

13. Went to Skelton's, Wolf and Tomlinson's, finished diagrams for the latter, cut up lot of wood etc. Prince Metternich died on Saturday. [space left]

14. Went on with Picked Dogfish, improved fish of Gibson's, and arranged 3rd and final batch of 53 fish. David Cox is buried today at Harborne Church, Birmingham. Very fine. Went in evening to Archbishop's Grounds to cricket. Heard a rumour of the death of Cook the water colour marine painter. Lord Palmerston is entrusted again with getting up an administration, and Lord John Russell has accepted office under him as Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

15. Drew an Eel, went on with White's house at Selborne etc. The rumour of Cook's death has resolved itself into a certainty. He was a charming painter, wonderfully facile and simple in his style and at the same time very true to nature. Very fine.

16. Cut up wood, touched up fish of Gibson's, went on with Picked dogfish. Went to museum, made tracings etc. In evening went to Peckham and played with my club. Was not so fortunate in either bowling or batting as I was last Thursday with the Standard club. Tonight I only got 3 or 4 wickets. By the bye I paid our sec E Bower my subscriptions last Thursday which he has not given me a receipt for. Father went to Southend.

17. [Blank]

18. Finished Sand eel, touched drawing of Gibson's, began Skate etc. Father went with our apprentice C. Green sketching in Holwood Park.

19. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening and to Westminster Abbey in the afternoon. Mr Millard preached both times, at the former place and Lord John Thynne at the latter. Very fine, though some call the heat oppressive..

20. Went to museum, arranged fish, corrected and touched up proofs, finished Skate etc. Very wet.

21. Touched up proofs, marked out wood and got into the very dirty operations of cleaning out rooms which have not been used for several years etc. Wet in evening. Went in evening to Archbishop's grounds; we keep up attendance pretty well, 14 being present.

22. Got off 3rd lot of fish, 56 in number, went on with White's house at Selborne etc. In evening rowed from Bishop's walk (Renshaw's) to above Putney Bridge in company with 2 others in a gig, which was pretty well, as we did it all the way up against tide, and the whole distance there and back in 3 hours. Rainy, sky looking tempestuous.

23. Finished White's house at Selborne, cut up wood, drew a diagram for Tomlinson, touched up a diagram of Green's etc etc. In evening went to Peckham to practice with Albion C.C. Got only 2 wickets and did not stick very well. Played very little time.

24. Drew some of Tomlinson's diagrams, cut up wood, cleared out rooms etc. In evening went to cricket at Archbishop's grounds. Very fine.

25. Went on with Tomlinson's diagrams, cut up wood, wrote letter, packed parcel etc. Father went to Haslemere to see how the house is getting on. Very fine and very hot.

26. Sunday. Went to Maze Pond in morning and evening, Mr Millard preached both times, and to Westminster Abbey in afternoon, Dean Trench preached. About ½ past 7 o'clock this morning we had a very sharp thunderstorm, during which a man was instantaneously struck dead by lightning on Clapham Common, who had taken shelter under a poplar tree.

27. Began a map of environs of Selborne etc. There has been another great battle fought between the Austrians, and French and Sardinians. One account states the Austrians hors de combat at 35000, and prisoners 15000 men. There were 300,000 Austrians engaged in it and their positions stretched to a distance of 12 or 15 miles. Exceedingly hot, with heavy rain in evening. My aunt and uncle Woods today returned here from the Isle of Wight.

28. Went errands, marked wood, went on with Damascus etc. The Emperor of Austria has left his army for Vienna. Why? This looks queer. Very wet.

29. Finished Damascus, marked out wood, went on with White's map of Selborne. Aunt and uncle Woods left today for Swaffham via Tring and Northampton. My mother went down to Haslemere and brought back an immense hamper of garden produce.

30. Cut up wood, touched up Damascus, went on with map of Selborne, made out new list of Gentile World cuts, wrote letter etc. Fine

On Tuesday morning at 3 o'clock my uncle Ebenezer's wife died at Debenham in Suffolk, in great pain. She had previously been attacked several times by apoplexy and paralysis, the cause of her death was however I believe neither of these, but I have not heard particulars.


  • 1. The person killed was a child, Emma Pike, aged 10.
  • 2. St Martin's Hall was in Long Acre.
  • 3. The British Orphan Asylum was at 12 Walbrook, in the city.
  • 4. Lechertier Barbe and Co. was a supplier of artists' materials in Regent Street.
  • 5. King Ferdinand of Naples had released from prison sixty-six political opponents who had been held since 1848, and sent them into exile on a steamer to Spain, from where they were to be taken to America. Placed on board an American ship at Cadiz, the Italian exiles, who outnumbered the crew, prevailed upon the American captain to take them to Cork.
  • 6. On 19 March 1859, a small notice appeared in The Times under the names of Miss M. Wilson of Kennington Lane, and Mr Edward Whymper of Lambeth Road, asking for financial contributions for a Richard Apps of Jonathan Street, Lambeth, who had been attacked by ruffians and left unable to support his family.
  • 7. Dobbs, Kidd and Co. was a stationers in Fleet Street.
  • 8. John Bird Sumner (1780 – 1862) Archbishop of Canterbury from 1848 to 1862.
  • 9. Edward Whymper's grandmother-in-law was Charlotte; the aunt must have been Theodosia Whymper, his father's youngest sibling (see Appendix 1).
  • 10. The Zoological Gardens – London Zoo – had opened in 1828.