A few minutes before five o’clock on Sunday afternoon, I tapped at the little door in St. Mary’s Street. The Nephew came to let me in. There was nobody else in the house. As he opened the door, all was dark and still in the little shop. We crossed the shop, and went up-stairs into the bedroom, where we were to take tea. All looked bright and cheerful there. There was a blazing fire. The furniture, what little there was, looked bright and well dusted, and all put in proper order. The little tea-table was set out beside the fire; all in readiness. The kettle was singing on the hob. Read more
Saturday was a bitterly cold day; dark and gloomy; blowing a gale, with a cutting north-east wind. The frost was intense. The streets were sheeted with ice and frozen snow. But this did not prevent large crowds attending the poor old cobbler to his grave. As the funeral came out of White Horse Street into High Street, and turned to the left towards the Chapel, it seemed as if all St. Mary’s Street were pouring after it. The Nephew, and Mr. Lemmon and his family, and others of his near friends and relatives, walked after the coffin as mourners; but hundreds more came crowding along, – one mass of bereavement and lamentation. Read more
In the evening of the following day, the Nephew called at my lodgings to arrange for the funeral. He wished it to be on Saturday afternoon; and we appointed three o’clock. And his desire was, that the grave should be as near where his Uncle used to sit in Chapel as could be.
The New Year 1839, opened with a glorious sun-rise; bright and clear. The frost was intense; but there was a dryness in the air which made it pleasant and refreshing. John Pounds was up long before the sun; cooking hot breakfasts; and taking them round to poor sufferers in back courts and alleys. Read more
Monday evening; – the last evening in the year: – meeting John Pounds in St. Mary’s Street, as he was crossing over into Crown Street; – “Yer sarvant, Sir! – Sharp frost!” “Yes, Mr. Pounds; but you don’t seem to feel it much; with your bare arms, and open chest, and no hat on!” “I likes it! It makes me feel fresh and brisk like! I’se been to the King’s Bastion, to see the sun set: – the last sun, you know, Sir, in the old year. He goes down very grand; all crimson and gold: – bright – to the last!” Read more
One bitterly cold night in December, an esteemed member of my Flock, Mr Frank Faulkner, called upon me. He had driven the Rocket from London to Portsmouth that day, in the face of cutting sleet; but he came in with a countenance and manner so full of generous interest, that there was no appearance of weariness or fatigue. Read more
Mr. Thomas Sheppard, a boot and shoe maker of long standing in High Street, a member of my Flock, much respected for his sound good sense, his integrity, and general benevolence, called upon me one morning, and said: Read more