Thursday, 4 February 2010

Diary of a mad Victorian clerk

No, he's not mad, but he certainly is a Victorian clerk. He's Nathaniel Bryceson, wharf clerk of Soho and Pimlico, whose 1846 diary is now available online. Bryceson takes on everything from bad soup to public hangings with a classic stiff upper lip:

"Saw in Chelsea ‘Leg of Beef Soup 2 [shillings] per Bason’, so had a bason for dinner, which make-believe bason was nothing more than a large saucer on a high stand, with a broad thick bottom with pieces of meat like so much twine. ‘Remarks’: no more Chelsea soup," he says, a few days before describing an execution. "The culprit showed great presence of mind on the occasion and ascended the gallows with a firm and steady step, and without any assistance. The body was cut down at 9 o'clock."

I'm still not quite sure what the problem with the soup was.

1 comment:

  1. Well, he had every right to be angry about the soup. He was expecting a basin and got a saucer instead. He looked for chunks of beef leg and saw only small shreds of measly meat. He has all my sympathies.