1843

21 February 1843 [In Morley, II. 629]: … Last night I received an account of the death of my old friend Mary Hays (turn­ed of 80) One of the oldest of my friends – A very worthy woman in her day she had a sort of popularity, that is with those who could tolerate a warm friend of Mrs Wollstonecraft. She was very liberal in her opinions and had stuck fast in them like good Mr Rutt – especially in her love for the Americans. She had for many years sunk in obscurity and lived in a boarding house at Lower Clapton. I had for many years seen but little of her, but I retained a regard for her & her death puts an end to all memorials of my residence in London before 1800. She had ex­pressed a wish that I should attend her funeral next Saturday of which Mr Hays informed me but which I have been forced to decline on account of the Univ: Coll: Council Meeting. I wrote both to Mr Hays and to Mr George Wedd. …

25 February: A busy day – Early in bed I wrote a long letter to my broth­er giving him an account of the week and before I set out on my day’s business I received a satisfactory letter from him. I had a call from Prof: Key of which I shall have occasion to write more probably. At a little after 10 I set out and went first to Jones’s to order wine for Monday and then I took an omnibus to Clapton. I arrived early and went at once to Mrs H: Rutt’s and chatted with her till near one when I went to Mrs H’s late residence. (27th) The two Mr Hays were there and Mr Geo: Wedd and with them I drove to the Abdy (sic) Cemetery in Newington – The service of the Ch: of England was read in a surplice but the ground being unconsecrated the reader could not have been a clergyman. The sister and friend we were carrying home was scarcely alluded to during the drive but much was said of Jos: Wedd by John Hays. He would not give £100 to save his brother from ruin and Geo: Wedd did not contradict him. This led to a history of past occurrences. Geo: Wedd said his brother had lost by him on different occasions in all under £700 and had since refused him money when in the deepest distress – Other facts referring to the avarice of Wedd Nash and J: W: were related and I stated the history of Mr Nash’s will and of my having broken off all acquaintance with W: N: in consequence. We returned to the house. At three I went again to Mrs Rutt’s where I dined and spent the evening till past 8. Mr Rutt had been attending a funeral at the same cemetery and he brought him with him back to dinner 2 young men Tomkins & Smith both students of University College. They were sensible young men & the afternoon was chearfully spent in controversial talk. Old Mr Rutt and his sister slept in in the evening. He is an intelligent old man – College affairs talked of. I left early in order to call on the Sievekings but they were not at home. Rather early at home in consequence, having taken an omnibus from Islington.