Sarah A. Wilkinson
The Diary of Sarah.A.Wilkinson

Transcribed by
Debbie Arseneau

September 8th

    Papa & I start to see pictures at Ex, passing Frasers are called back. Mrs. F wants to go shopping with me while Mrs. Reynolds calls she knows Papa but not me. Then Mr. & Mrs. Jabson, lunch. Papa & Mr. F to city, I & Mrs. F shop, back to Oxford & Regent St. & home.

September 9th

    Papa & I go across park in bus & ride to Kew Gardens a long way off find they do not open till 1, go round to Kew Church then to lunch at hotel. After to gardens which are truly beautiful, into several greenhouses & ferneries, very tired, home by 5. Dress and go to Mrs. Powells to dinner 6:30. Mr., Mrs. Miss & Mr. Davis, Mr. & Mrs. Fraser here, an elegant & stylish dinner, so many courses.

September 10th

    Raining most of the day. Papa writes to his cousin in Devonshire.

September 11th

    Start for Ex, Papa seems very tired but after meeting D. Milligan they get into conversation & go off together. I remain in Court.

September 12th

    Bus to Circus, then walk Regent St. to square, go to Burfords Panorama, see in 1st room Switzerland, a view at sunrise the man blowing the hour to awaken travelers, beautiful mountains, several lakes in the distance. The next room was Messina, here also beautiful scenery, large stone building looked like a fortress but was a lighthouse, the dike cut round was very good, fishing boats near, the distant hills & ships afar looked so good. Then descend to the 3rd room & largest, here color & perspective very beautiful. It was Naples & you might imagine yourself suddenly transported, there also large fortress with cells below the water { 18 ft } into which many poor creatures had been thrown. A street with stalls all along sell, cook etc. Fishing & pleasure boats & peculiar kind of circular net for catching fish. A British Man of War in Bay saluting the streamer supposed to have Parribaldi on board. See the burning mountain & the place where it is said you have to go down through a Bakers Shop to get near the ruins of Pompei, also Herculaneum the Island of Capri. Leaving this interesting scene we went along the strand through Temple Bar, the gates of which are closed & the Queen has to ask for admission. Had lunch and then to Guild Hall, see the hall an immense place, stone floor, statue of Nelson, Brittania, writing, Trafalgar, Duke of Wellington, then admitted into concil room, after to the Major & Alderman's room, windows of stained glass, Coat of Arms, name & year that each were made from there into another with benches. A large picture of Napoleon & a few others. Then go into cab & after driving some distance by Strand Petticoat Lane, London docks reached Thames Tunnel, went some distance down a winding staircase & then came to the famous tunnel. There are little shops or stalls, refreshment rooms, panoramic views all along did not appear at all damp lighted with gas. Had a long walk up winding stairs. In cab to Royal Exchange went & looked in the gates were shut. There were many groups, each seeming so engrossed in business conversation. Walked a little distance then drove to Bayswater.

September 13th

    Walk along Notting Hill down past Mrs. Grays, we were to dine there, back at 1/2 past 2. Meet Mrs. Miss. & Mr. Gray they are very nice kind people, particularly the old lady I have taken quite a fancy to her. A pleasant little dinner party stay tea leave 8-30 having enjoyed very much. Mr. Gray walks with us to Notting Hill gate. Call in at Frasers, they have received letters no news for us.

September 15th

    Start for Colloseum then through Regents Park to Gardens.

September 17th

    Mrs. Gray comes with us to Palace of Westminster. Through the houses of Lords & Commons also Westminster Abby, quite delighted with my days pleasure. I had forgotten to notice that we did not get into Chapel of Westminster Hall, asking the policeman he said " No " we could not. There are several keys in this building but not one will open that door. The floor is beautifully polished granite & finely fitted up. He told us it was in the walls of this Chapel that the Mummy was found years ago, he was on duty at the time. The body was in wrappings more than a foot thick & built in the wall, no coffin. There was a rod or staff in good preservation. It was supposed to be an Arch Bishop whose name he mentioned but I forgot. It was found about 10 years ago & noticed in the papers he said " It was the only mummy found in England ".

September 19th

    Mr. & Mrs. F leave today for Ireland. Go to British Museum. Good news from home, Papa letter from Mr. Abel goes to see him after tea.

September 20th

    Start from Gardens but after a long & tiring walk find they will not be open till 3. Go down near the river pass bridge then along near Cannon St. see the warehouse in which Papa was before he left. Go into oyster rooms. Walk to Oxford Circus.

September 21th

    Sunday. Started early for City Chapel. After long ride by bus, a Mr. Parks preached, spoke with great power & forcibly pressed the subject home. I was delighted with him & should think he would be very useful.

September 22th

    We started by bus for Crystal Palace, to Victoria Station & from there by train reach about 12. Went in & through the centre. It is a beautiful building. There is water in here 3 different color lillies growing on it, various trees & open with birds singing in them. Through the conservatory then came to Australian productions which I could not pass by. Went to tower walked up a winding stair to the top, there had a fine view of the garden, grounds & surrounding country. The day was not clear or it would have been very beautiful, coming down counted the stairs which were 400. Into conservatory & then through Alexandra Roman Courts, the work, painting was beautiful, so delicate also statuettes of Gods & Goddesses & Roman Emperor. We heard a performance on the Handel Festival Organ, finished with Auld Lang Syne.

September 24th

   Left Papa writing invoices he was in to city and back.

September 28th

   Rained

September 29th

   Rained

September 30th

   Go to Greenich in bus to bank walk over London Bridge then train to Greenich into the park go right across it & into a large common, there are several donkeys for hire, find we are on one called Black Heath. Walk round to a side entrance to park to a fine rise beautiful view, walk round observatory , to hospital 1st enter large gates then up steps into hall & picture gallery. There see Lord Nelson in many ways, as a Midshipman attacking a bear so that he may take home the skin to his father, boarding several ships, his coat worn at the battle (blue coat) & in another glass case his coat & waistcoat with the stains from the wounds which caused his death also his watch an old fashioned gold one. A picture of him dying & several others of him at various times.One of George 4th who with William 4th has presented many to the Greenwich Hospital. Life size one of Sir W. Peel also statue, relics of Sir John Franklin, statue of him, likeness of Columbus, Drake, Sir W Raleigh & Lord Rodney. Then into the church a small but pretty building, narrow gallery all round, scarlet curtains to windows, only seat downstairs. Pensioners are there to service every morning. Through a long passage & saw many of the sleeping apartments, narrow bed, table & chair everything so clean. We went out round the outside of the buildings they cover a great space. Peep into a window where bread & cheese is laid out for them on long tables. Rain commences & we leave, had intended going by steamer but return by rail. Can imagine Queen Elizabeth with all her splender starting in the barge from here. When we get at London Bridge Station rain heavily. Can't get on to the road, quite a block for some distance get over after some time. Creeping under horses heads & are some time before we can get an omnibus. At last in one which is quickly filled with gents dripping like ourselves. Our ride was not very pleasant, one kindly took my wet parasol & another had the pleasure of sitting on my rather damp garments. At last home 1/2 past 6. Well pleased with sights.

October 3rd

   I start at 1/2 past 1 to see my kind friend over Waterloo Bridge, go to see Miss G on platform. She recognizes me, very pleased to meet once more. Her home is close to station, am introduced to her Aunts, Mrs. Phelps & Miss. Rose, very kind nice people feel at home with them directly. After dinner I & Miss. G go for walk through the old town of Kingston. See a stone enclosed by iron rails on which it is said 7 Saxon Kings were crowned. Nice Market & Town Hall. Have such a beautiful walk by the river Thames, see Bushy Park on the other side. Go on the Kingston Bridge & there have such a charming view of river & park. It is a pretty spot & would make a pretty picture. Back through the town, tea. After Mr. Arthur Phelps comes home. We have a pleasant evening, music try over old pieces talk of the days gone by.

October 4th

    Saturday, start for Hampton Court Picture Gallery, King & Queen bed chamber, Sir Raphael's cartoons, Abraham, Isaac, the furniture of Queen's room velvet, the ring's satin. Some very good paintings & some I think as bad. Into the grounds with which I was delighted. They are laid out in Dutch style very fine beautiful Cedars, Chestnuts & Elms. Under some of these we sat & took lunch. Saw also the great vine which covers up the whole inside of the greenhouse, great quantity of grapes got from it.

October 5th

    Sunday go to Congregational Chapel very near, hear Mr. McKellar preach & excellent sermon.

October 6th

    Go with Miss. G to see her Aunt Glover. Very pleasant walk there and back, then all go in cab drove through Richmond Park, see many deer & grand old trees scenery rather hilly, ferns on the grounds more the appearance of home. Catch a view of the White Lodge where the Prince of Wales is sometimes to reside. Pass by Lord John Russell's house which does not look much but grounds nicely laid out & very fine. Drove on through park, day rather misty but we get some beautiful views on way, one specially on Richmond Hill is very fine & grand.

October 7th

    We two go to Mrs. Glovers round by anther road, see some fine parks. Mr, Drummonds, etc. Mrs. G gives me from the garden the last rose of summer. Leave Susbiton at 4. Say goodbye to very kind & dear friends. Miss G goes to station with me. Once more we part. Go by omnibus to Baywater.

October 8th

   Go with Papa to city in eve go with him to the Craven Hotel to see his cousins Mr. & Mrs. Grundy, who called on us yesterday, they seem kind people. I like the old gent very well, stay to tea & leave at 10.

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