1840

27 January Monday: This was a very fine day and therefore I went out for the morning after breakfast with my nephew and had a very pleasant walk to Clapton – There I called at Miss Farrel’s boarding house but I received a message from my old friend Miss Hays that she was obliged by my call, but was too ill to see me. She has been confined for a fortnight and the servant says she is breaking – She is near 80 – I shall perhaps therefore never see her again and one other of the links connecting my early with my present life will be broken. She is an estimable woman, but belongs to the last age. Like Mr. Rutt she is a Unitarian, a lover of the Americans and thinks all political improvement depends on the increasing the power of the people. …


17 April. Good Friday:  I spent this day in the indulgence of sentiment. It was fine and I strolled to Clapton where I was admitted to my old friend Mary Hays. She is in her 80th year and a very old woman – quite infirm – She says she finds it a great trial to live and wishes for death -  yet she enjoys reading – She still reads without glasses. She was pleased to see me and I may call again but it will not be often.


14 June:  I received this morning the mournful news of my poor nephew’s death – He died on Sunday between 3 & 4 p.m. – My brother wrote with composure but the loss is one from which he never can recover and my poor niece’s grief tho’ sincere & bitter will have a consolation which his wants. In the child she will have a comfort that will preserve her. He will find it difficult to turn his mind to official business & the management of his property. I will try to be of use to him, but I like himself am growing old. On receiving this news I at once resolved to put an end to my friends engagements to me on Thursday and I sat down at once & having first announced my intention to my brother I wrote letters to Mrs Wordsworth, Mrs Sortaine, to LeGrice, HarnessTrotterCollierKenyon, also to Storks and Mrs ThorntonWestonsRogers and after this having engaged to go there walked to Clapton. I found Mrs Henry Rutt going to dine with the children and I invited myself to dine with them. Then I called on my old friend Mary Hayes who sent for me. She talks of dyeing and is yet anxious about her property. She loses in her income by not living with her brother who would have allowed for the £40 per ann she lost by his failure. She was very warm in praise of Mrs George Wedd. I took Mrs H: Rutt to see Mr & Mrs Rob: Procter who are in a very small cottage on the large farm P: has taken at Clapton. I took tea with the Rs and I drove back in an omnibus. Then I went to the Athen: where I left notes for Riou & Martin. I read today & at night the 1st vol of Mariotti’s review of Italian history & literature – a thrice told tale.


10 December: … I called on Mary Hayes I found her very infirm and complaining. She speaks of desiring death – She is turned of 80 I believe and only lately has taken to glasses. Walked home late.