Pimlico Blogging Victorian Style 1846

Pimlico Flats – the Premier Blog, but not the First!

Whilst a quick check on Google confirms that Pimlico Flats (this blog) is the premier Pimlico Blog on the internet it is forgotten that people like Samuel Pepys have been blogging for centuries, and in fact there was another Pimlico Blog nearly 200 years ago. The blog of Nathaniel Bryceson runs from 1 January to 12 December 1846 and gives a fascinating insight into the daily life of a Victorian clerk, including details of his job at the coal wharf which you can still see from the embankment, and the diverse places he visits across London, the numerous mentions of family ailments and his assessment of the weather, local events (especially murders, sudden deaths of famous people and the execution of criminals).

Illegitimate Scandal

The Blog is being serialised by Westminster City Council Archives service who have been a little coy about Nathaniel’s provenance – he was born in St Marylebone on 5 June 1826 – his mother Mary (born in 1797) had been married to John Bryceson who had died two years previously, and from Nathaniel’s baptism entry on 4 July 1826 we can see that his father was Nathaniel White, a pauper in the St Marylebone Workhouse.  Mary was married again in 1841 to Matthew Ward (‘Mattie’), a tailor 13 years her senior, and it would appear that in pre-Victorian times, as now, legitimacy was not the stigma it later became.

The Pimlico Blog of 1846

During the time of the Blog Nathaniel is employed as a clerk at Lea’s Coal Wharf (Eccleston Wharf) situated off  Buckingham Palace Road – about 200 yards from Pimlico Flats.  He was related to the proprietor, George Lea, through his grandmother, and the coal business at Eccleston Wharf was established in 1844.  The blog suggests that it was not a flourishing enterprise, partly due to George’s neglect of the wharf in pursuit of a good social life.  In 1851 the business failed and George was declared bankrupt.

The blog is written in longhand, interspersed with Pitman’s shorthand entries embracing private matters such as his financial affairs, his observations on the proprietor, colleagues and activities at Eccleston Wharf, and most of all his relationship with Ann Fox, his only regular companion.  Some of the references to his sexual behaviour with her are written in surprisingly explicit language!

To follow his Blog click on the picture below.

Diary of a Pimlico Wharf Clerk

Diary of a Pimlico Wharf Clerk

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2 Responses to “Pimlico Blogging Victorian Style 1846”

  1. aisha says:

    Thank you for pointing me to Nathaniel’s diary — amazing!

  2. Marty Hilsden says:

    Why is it being called a blog??? It’s a diary. Nathanial kept a diary. I doubt such a word “blog” even existed in those days.

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