Friday, September 18th
Started from Carmarthen on my first visit to London by the 9.38 Express train. We stopped at several very large stations, such as Neath, Newport, Cardiff, Gloucester and Swindon. Although small we had to stay at Port Talbot, because the whole of the place is owned by a Lady called Miss Talbot (a millionaire). She lives at Margam Abbey, a lovely place, which we can see, just above the trees, there are several lodges, and summer houses about it. After we passed Reading, we saw the large biscuit factory of Huntley and Palmer; also Suttons Gardens, which were all laid out with flowers and vegetables, to show the people. We had a good view of Windsor Castle, it is an immense building; the flag was not flying, as the Queen was at Balmoral.
When we got to Paddington, the scene was one of great bustle and confusion. Porters at different doors of the carriages waiting to be employed, one of whom soon hailed a cab for us; after finding our box, we started for Queen's Road, Dalston, which occupied us half an hour, raining heavily. We found Aunt and cousin waiting for us quite well. After chatting, taking tea, and supper, we went to bed and slept like tops.
Saturday, September 19th
We breakfasted at 8.30, and after penning a few lines to Carmarthen, wended our way to Dalston Junction, where we took train to Broad Street. The weather being so unsettled, instead of walking through the city as intended, we took a bus straight to Charing Cross, walked through the station, the Charing Cross Hotel above being very handsome. In the courtyard in front are numbers of cabs waiting to be hired, also in the centre, is a copy of the ancient monument to Queen Eleanor, being one of the resting places, during her funeral procession. Going out through the handsome gates of the station, we crossed to the famous square, Trafalgar, in the centre of which is a very high monument, to the memory of England's greatest naval hero Nelson, a life sized figure of his on the top standing on a coil of rope. Around the base of the monument are several bas-reliefs of the great engagement and death of the great naval officer Nelson, surmounted with the well-known words, England expects every man to do his duty. At each corner of the monument, are Landseer's famous cast iron lions, reckoned second to none in sculpture. We then went to the National Gallery, where we saw Hogarth's pictures, the Rakes progress, also Wilke's and Turner's collections, and the raising of Lazarus by Sebastian, the one mentioned by the Rev H Guildford Sprigg (our missioner). Amongst the collection of the British School, was a lovely picture, St Augustin and Monica; also a picture which took my fancy called Derby Day, where there were many characters depicted. These are only a few of the many lovely pictures there.
On leaving the building, we had before us, the beautiful Church of St Martin’s, it is a fine west front, with high stone steps, and massive Corinthian pillars. The ceiling is very handsome, also the stained window at the last end, which represents the Ascension. This was the Church which Dr Johnson attended.
When we came out from there, after refreshing the inner man, it rained heavily, therefore we took a bus direct to St Paul's Cathedral, the magnitude of which can never be comprehended unless seen. The first stone of the present St Paul's being the third building on the present site, was laid on 21st of June, 1675 by Sir Christopher Wren, was completed in 1710 in 35 years, under one architect, one master mason, and one bishop, at a cost of £747,954. There is a Latin inscription over the North Door, to the memory of Sir Christopher Wren, at the end of which are these words, “Reader if thou seekest his monument, look around". The choir contains some of the finest carving in the world, by Grinling Gibbons. There is a very handsome pulpit of several coloured marbles, dedicated to the men, who fell in the Punjab. There was also a very handsome lectern; a brass eagle standing on a ball. The reredos is handsome in the extreme, but being such a distance from it, I could not properly describe it. Its erection has caused a great deal of controversy, on the account of one of the niches, containing the Virgin Mary, but no doubt the animosity arose, from the antagonistic opinions of those opposed to the Establishment. The chief statues which took my fancy, were John Howard, the great philanthrophist, Bishop Middleton, the first Protestant Indian Bishop, Lord Melbourne, with two life sized Angels in white marble, representing death, and resurrection, the Cenotaph to General Gordon, in bronze, the monument to Nelson, Sir Charles Napier, etc etc. There is also a very large marble font, which I believe is seldom used except for Royal Christenings. In one of the side chapels, is a gigantic monument to Waterloo's hero Wellington, whose body lies in the Crypt of this noble Cathedral. There are several beautiful stained glass windows, one being in memory of the Queen's visit to the Cathedral, on the occasion of the thanksgiving service for the recovery of the Prince of Wales. At 4 o'clock we heard the usual Evening Services, with full choir, and a very pretty anthem was sung. Afterwards the rain cleared a little, and we took two turns up Ludgate Hill, a bus to Broad Street, where we took tea, and home for the evening, after spending a very pleasant day.
Sunday, September 20th
In the morning weather was pretty fair, went with Aunt Barnes to All Saints’ Church, where we had an excellent sermon from the Vicar, the Rev Mr Spencer. In the afternoon we called at my cousin's, came home to tea and went with Mr Henson, and my cousin to St John's Church, Victoria, Chapel of East to St Peter’s, Eaton Square. It was a grand musical service of high class, at the end of the service, was a grand processional hymn, with cross and banners etc. Came home through the city, on top of a bus, and then took train home. I had supper with them, and reached home at 11.30.
Monday, September 21st
It was much cooler in the morning and showery, so we took train to Broad Street and bus from there to the Strand, lunched, and took another bus, to the Oratory Brompton. The grandeur of the interior, marble gilding etc, must be seen, as I could not fully describe it. The building has Chapels on each side; two of them being entirely finished. I will try and remember them as they stand in order, taking our route on the right. The first is dedicated to St Patrick, the second to St Mary Magdalen, the third to the Virgin Mary, which is composed of many coloured marbles, surmounted by massive pillars, reaching nearly to the top of the building. The Calvary Chapel, being a life size representation of the crucifixion, and of course as natural, a great contrast to the others, being so much darker, two or three dim lamps, only being burning. The 5th is dedicated to St Wilfrid, on leaving this one, we come upon a life size figure of St Peter, sitting upon his throne. We are now at the centre of attraction The High Altar, the coloured Mosaics, on ceilings, and sides, with the massive gilding, candlesticks and candelabra, forming one grand whole. We next came to an Altar, which we are not acquainted with the name. We next came to St Philip Neri, the patron saint of the Church. Then came the Chapel of VII Dolores, which was adorned with lovely asters, purple and white. Then came the Altar to St Joseph. The last one is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Nearby is the font railed in. There are confession boxes at every chapel and fonttels of Holy Water; also a small gallery, and beautifully toned organ.
We then wended our steps to the Natural History Museum, it is a building of massive size, beautifully carved outside with handsome fluted pillars. In the galleries there are glass cases of birds of all sizes; so arranged as if they were on their native soil. There are rooms of stuffed monkeys, bears etc also minerals, coral, and skeletons of different animals. After well looking over it, we took some refreshment and then wended our way to the South Kensington Museum.
The museum consists principally of copies of originals, in plaster; Trojan's column being one of the chief objects of interest. Up in the galleries are to be seen Raphael's far famed cartoons; they were principally drawn as designs for tapestry work, for Pope Leo X. We saw several pictures, also drawn by Vandyke. In the centre gallery under glass-cases, are some elegant models of Chinese houses in carved ivory; also handsome collections of china, glass etc; we looked well over it.
We then took bus to Charing Cross and dined being 5 o'clock after which it came on to heavy rain, so we took a bus to Broad Street, and home for the evening.
Tuesday, September 22nd
In the morning, cousin Emily and us, took train to Broad Street, and bus direct to the Strand, purposing to go through the Embankment Gardens, but the rain came down in torrents, so had to shelter in the District Railway. After it cleared, walked over the Embankment to St Margaret's Church, Westminster, which had a beautiful porch, newly erected. The font is of many coloured marbles, pillared. The reredos is of carved oak, representing the Lord's Supper, above which is a very handsome glass window, representing the Crucifixion; also elegant windows to the memories of Lord Cavendish, whose awful death in Phoenix Park, will not soon be forgotten by English people and to Sir WaIter Raleigh .There was also a Jubilee window , a Caxton window, a Milton window and others which memory will not recall. The organ was a real beauty, and we were favoured by hearing, "How lovely are the messengers", and "The Hallelujah Chorus", which resounded through the Church. There is a very handsome tomb here, the recumbent figure, to the memory of Lady Dudley.
We now bent our steps to the famous Westminster Abbey, which took us 3 hours to explore, and cannot be described here. We also went over the cloisters, and into the chapter, or ancient Parliament House. On leaving the Abbey, we took some refreshment, and then took a bus up to Oxford Street, where we went to the British Museum, but had to take a cursory glance, owing to it being closed up in about an hour. We made our way at once to see the Egyptian mummies, which with the immense coffins they were encased in are something wonderful. We saw the original Magna Carta, signed by King John, in the King's Library, which I suppose is the largest in the world, some elegantly bound Bibles, also illuminated, a Jewish scroll on parchment, (of course in Hebrew), Wycliffe's Bible, and autographs of great men, such as Disraeli, Lord Palmerston etc. I also saw Gordon's last letter, and the Royal seals, of different Kings and Queens. As it rained so heavily and began to thunder and lightning, we thought it best to take a bus to Broad St and home for the evening, where we had tea.
Wednesday, September 23rd
Started in the morning by train for Abney Park Cemetery, where Isaac Watts tomb is, with a lifesize figure of him on the top. It is a very pretty place and we saw several handsome monuments. We did not have time to go all over it, so we came back by tram, and took train from Dalston to Broad Street took a bus from there to Wellington, and a bus from there to Waterloo. From there we took train to Clapham Junction, to see my two brothers (Jack and Harry) who are at Emanuel School, (near Wandsworth). We took them out, and inspected the nice shops there, and took a tram to Chelsea, walked over the handsome Suspension Bridge, from where we saw the model of the Eddystone lighthouse from the Naval Exhibition grounds. Returned by tram to Clapham Junction, took tea, and then went with Jack and Harry and saw all over the school. Returned home by train via Waterloo.
Thursday, September 24th
We took a bus to Threadneedle Street, walked into the Royal Exchange, went all round, and heard the bells playing God save the Queen. We then went into the Bank of England, and saw all around there. It is an immense place. Went into the Guildhall, and saw the banquet room; saw the free library there, also the museum and picture gallery. After we had lunched, went to the three Crane's Wharf, and then to Drury Lane Theatre where we got tickets for Friday night. Came home to Aunt's to tea, and had a very pleasant evening there, our cousins came, and we had some music and singing.
Friday, September 25th
Came by cab in the morning to Cecil Street (Strand) and then took a bus to Jay's great mourning shop, Regent Street. It is an immense shop, and contains only mourning. Just opposite is another large shop Peter Robinson. We had some lunch, and then walked about the West End, and saw the Alhambra Music Hall. We also went into Martin Wallis and Co's large shops. Walked all down Regent Street, came in and wrote some letters. Afterwards we went in the Embankment Gardens and had tea in the Strand. In the evening we went to Drury Lane Theatre, where we saw The Sailor's Knot, the scenery of which and the plot was very good. The band was excellent, and gained the popularity of the audience by playing the oIde English Airs, Sweet Home, Rule Britannia and Come lasses and lads, being among the numbers. We much enjoyed it, and came home about eleven. The enthusiasm of the audience was unbounded, the performers being called each time before the curtain.
Saturday, September 26th
It was very wet and neither of us felt very well, no doubt owing to the dissipation of the previous evening. Thought to go to Covent Garden but too wet, so took a bus to Bond Street and went to Doré's Gallery, which was very beautiful, most of them being of large dimensions. They are mostly religious subjects. Amongst the ones I liked were: The bale of tears; A day Dream; The neophyte; The Dream of Pilate's wife; Christ leaving the Proetorium and Moses before Pharaoh. We stayed there for two hours. Being fine when we left we leisurely strolled up Bond and Oxford Street, to Madame Tussaud's. The interior of that building being very gorgeous. The staircase is a copy of the Louvre at Paris. We saw it lighted with electric light, which added to the richness of the building. The models were gorgeously dressed, and one could scarcely distinguish between the wax figures and real people. One model of Cobelt was peculiarly so, he being seated among the audience, turning his head round; also a policeman, in the centre of one of the rooms. In one corner, in a room set apart by itself, and seated at a table writing, with a lighted lamp, and other accessories of a library was Her Majesty the Queen, which if it had not been in a waxwork exhibition, would never have thought it to have been a model. At the end of a room was large rockery and fernery combined filled in with glass. On descending to the Refreshment Room, there was a splendid representation there of: Execution of Mary Queen of Scots; The Boat Race; Preparing for the Hunt; Dr Koch in his laboratory; Robinson Crusoe and Cinderella; Mr and Mrs Hogg and baby also two carriages used by the Great Napoleon, in his exile at St Helena. On returning to the large room, we heard the Swiss band, and mountain singers Jungfrau Kapelle. They were several in number and were dressed in Swiss costume, the females in blue with white stripes, red satin aprons, white bodices, with black velvet stays laced with silver, and dark blue felt hats, with drooping white feathers. The men were dressed in pale blue knickers, with blue and white striped stockings, blue tunics, and felt hats trimmed with feathers at the side. They played the Violincello, Violins, Mandolins, Guitars, large and small kettledrums, clappers, flutes, harp, piano, American organ, Cornet, Harmonica, Zither, and an instrument composed of several long sticks, played with other sticks, the rapidity of which made it very wonderful. Altogether it was a very clever performance. They also sang several Italian songs. We had dinner in the Strand and came home for the evening.
Sunday, September 27th
In the morning we walked to St Thomas' (Regent Street) where we had a very nice service, and Sermon from the Rev Mr Bainbrigg, who took for his text What think ye of Christ? We waited to see the choral celebration which was performed by the Rev Mr Hitchcock, who had on an elaborately embroidered cape. Two acolytes with scarlet cassocks, and linen tunics, knelt at the top of the Altar steps, winging the Censer, several lighted candles were on the Altar, and a brass cross. The singing of the Introits was very beautiful, the organ being very powerful. The Cassocks of the choir were blue. There were three suspended lamps at the Altar, and these kept burning continually. Pictures of the station of the Cross adorn the wall. The outward demeanour of the congregation was very devout, an example that might well be followed by the so-called low churchmen. We came home to dinner at 1.30, and at 3 o'clock went to St Martin’s, to hear the Flower Service, it being Harvest Thanksgiving. There was a large attendance of the schools and nearly all carried nice bunches of flowers, or baskets of fruit. The service was read by the Rev Mr Kitto, and the address given by Rev Mr Paull; the subject being the rainbow. After the service we went through St James' Park, passing : Marlborough House, the residence of the Prince of Wales; St James Palace, where Queen Victoria was married; Clarence House the Duke of Edinburgh's residence; and Buckingham Palace, where the Queen spends a few weeks in the year. We saw many sentries guarding each of these buildings. We returned home by the side of the ornamental water, called Rosamond's Pond, the Wellington Barracks being on our right. Crossed the ornamental bridge to Westminster, walked round Parliament Square, and saw among others, the monument erected to one of England's greatest statesmen, Beaconsfield. Returned via Parliament Street, to Whitehall, viewing the noble buildings of the Home and Admiralty Offices. Saw the Life Guards patrolling, walked through the great square of the Park, returning by way of Scotland Yard, to Northumberland Avenue, where the fine Hotels, The Grand, the Victoria, and the Metropole, are situated; also the Constitutional Club, a very palatial looking building. Walked to the Embankment, and saw the famous Cleopatra's Needle, which a few years ago, adorned the burning sands of Egypt. Came up Savoy Street, and home to tea, being tired from the day's outing.
Monday, September 28th
Took bus to Bishopsgate and thought we should never get down, there was such a tremendous traffic, and made some purchases, which took us several hours. We then went and had something to eat, and then walked to St Paul's churchyard. Went into several book shops, including the Religious Tract Society, through Panier Alley, where we saw the well-known boy in the basket. We went through Paternoster Row, where we bought several things. Took a bus home, and after having dined went to Covent Garden Concert. Returned from the concert, after 11.15 which we enjoyed very much, especially, the joint bands of the Italian Opera, and Coldstream Guards. Covent Garden is a very handsome theatre of immense size, with an elegant gas chandelier in the centre, and we had very nice seats in the centre of the house.
Tuesday, September 29th
Took bus to Cheapside, going into the handsome premises of Mappin Bros and made some purchases, after which walked to Paternoster Row, and entered several bookshops. We then took a bus to the Strand, and after having refreshed ourselves, took another bus to Victoria station, where we took a train to Forest Hill, where we saw Aunt Emma, and Katie and Florrie (my cousins). We took tea with them, and afterwards went out to see the shops. Came back and then went to the station 7.30, reaching Victoria about 8.15. We then took bus to Charing Cross, and then came in.
The view from the train passing Chelsea Bridge was very pretty, the Eddystone lighthouse at the Naval Exhibition was lighted up; the lights from Chelsea were shining on the water, which gave it the appearance of a moonlight scene.
Wednesday, September 30th
After breakfast took a bus to Manchester Square, as we had business there. Then walked through Oxford Street, and had something to eat, then took a bus to the Strand, then another bus down to Bishopsgate on business. From there we took a bus to Cheapside, bought a few things and then lunched, after which walked through Lombard St, King William St, to the Monument, and on to London Bridge, which as usual was thronged with people and vehicles. Returned through Gracechurch St to Threadneedle St. Took a bus to Dalston, where we had tea at Aunt’s and stayed chatting with them till 7.45 and took a train to Broad St, and a bus direct to Charing Cross. The shops on the way displaying a pretty spectacle, being brilliantly lighted. Took a late dinner and came in tired with our day's outing.
Thursday, October 1st
In the morning took a bus to Sloane St, walked past the Knightsbridge Barracks, (an immense building), as far as the Albert Hall, a hall capable of holding 10,000 people, being built in circular form. Crossed to the Albert Memorial, a magnificent monument composed of numerous figures in white marble, musicians, artists, etc. It is exceedingly high and in the centre in gilt, is a figure of the Prince Consort, seated. The monument is composed of mosaics, studded with coloured stones, surmounted with a cross at the top. At the four corners are life-size figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America, all in white marble. Europe is represented by the bull, Asia by the Elephant, Africa by the Camel, and America by the Bison and being grouped together make one grand whole. The ascent is by several marble steps and the entire monument being closed in with magnificent gilded railings. The whole forms a fitting memorial to one so beloved by the nation Albert the Good. We then leisurely strolled through Hyde Park, passed the famous Rotten Row, along which we saw many Equestrians. Crossed the Park, leaving Park Lane on the right, to Cumberland Gate, where stands the famous Marble Arch. We then walked down Oxford Street, into the Dorothy Restaurant, where we had Maids of Honour and other light refreshments, and walked through Regent St, to Pall Mall, where it came to rain. Came as far as St Martin’s, where we had to stay rather a long time, the rain coming down heavily. We then walked over to the Lowther Arcade, came in and wrote some letters, went out and made some purchases, and took dinner at 6 o'clock, and being such a wet evening had to abandon any further outing.
Friday, October 2nd
In the morning went for a little turn to some different streets, and then after lunching, left by cab for Paddington, where we took train to Reading. We arrived just before three, and came to Denmark House, Erleigh Road (the residence of Aunt Sarah); it is a very nice house. After having a little refreshment, took a walk along the Erleigh Road, came in and had tea. After tea, Mabel, Frances and I went down town. Came home, and after having supper and chatting for a bit, went to bed.
Saturday, October 3rd
In the morning we went down town; there are a few nice shops and buildings. We came home to dinner, and afterwards had a carriage drive to a village called Sonning, passing Caversham Park on our right the seat of Mr Crashaw. We went into Sonning Church, some of the carving being very beautiful; also the coloured windows, which were very nice. There was a very handsome monument to the memory of the "Palmer" family. The church was decorated for Harvest Thanksgiving. Returned to tea via Caversham. After tea, we played cards, and after supper chatted till 11.30, when we went to bed.
Sunday, October 4th
In the morning Aunt Georgie, Willie and I went to St Luke's Church. It is a large brick building, but no ornamentation. It was a good hearty service, and a good reader, but could not hear the preacher very well, as we sat far back. The text was taken from Judges 8th chapter and 4th verse. After we came out, we went to meet Kitty and Frances, who had gone to St John's Church and then we came home to dinner. After dinner, Aunt Georgie, Frances, Willie and myself went to the cemetery. There are not many monuments of note, and it is built on very flat ground. We came home to tea, and afterwards had some hymns. Then Kitty and Frances, Arthur, Willie and I went to St Giles Church. We had a splendid service, very good singing, and reading, and a good sermon on Temperance. The Altar piece was very pretty and there was a brass cross, and flowers on the table. It is a very large church, I do not know whether there are any stained windows, because it was dark. We then came home and had supper, and after chatting a bit went to bed.
Monday, October 5th.
In the morning went over Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory, which was most interesting. We had several biscuits to taste; they employ 4000 hands and make 400 different sorts of biscuits. We then walked through the Forbury Gardens, and looked through the Roman Catholic Church, a building of little note. Then we went into St Lawrence's Church, a very nice old church, with monuments on the walls of ancient type. We then came home to dinner, and at 3 o'clock went for a drive along the Bath Road, passing many nice houses on the way. Came home to tea, and then had cards, and other games until supper time. After supper talked until 12 o'clock when we went to bed.
Tuesday, October 6th
We started from Reading by the London Express, on a very wet morning. Came through the Box and Severn Tunnel, both of which are very long. We reached Swansea at 4.45, where we were met by Cousin Millie, after booking our boxes, walked to·Aunt Emily's where we found them well, and also Lucy who was delighted to see us. We had a nice tea, and chatted until 11 o'clock, when we went to bed thoroughly tired.
Wednesday, October 7th
It was a wet morning but about 11 it cleared a little, so Cousin Millie and I went out, leaving Aunt Georgie chatting to Uncle John. We went into the town and came home to dinner at 12.30. We left for home about 4 o'clock and reached our destination at 5.30, had tea and found all well and thus ended a pleasant three week trip.

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