We have – in class – been learning how to write diary entries as a child on the streets during the Victorian period. This is my diary entry:
10th February 1840 London town was jostling with fine-looking gentlemen, wimin and urchins and all. My mate Jim, a mudlark, told me that Queen Victoria is to marry a German bloke, apparantl’y ‘e’s royal’y. I dodged into the bun shop an’ crawled through some folk’s legs. I saw a man (rich looking) bend ov’r to get his spectacles. The bun on ‘is plate looked delicious and I went ‘o grab it but ‘e saw me and stopped me. I held my hand out for beating – or worse, he might take me to the House of Correction – but ‘e told me to sit down inste’d. He introduced himself as Mr Bernardo Picklethorn and asked me do I go to school. I told him no. Mr Picklethorn told me to meet ‘im outside the school jus’ round the corner at six sharp. I told him I would love ‘o come but if father found out, I would fear for my life.
Mr Spink came round for rent today, but we didn’t have the money to pay ’cause father spent it all on ale. Please God, say we don’t get kick’d out, ‘wise I’ll have to be a mudlark like Jim.
Today marks a new start for London. It was teeming with fine-looking folks. Streets were really busy with carriages, horses, carts and some people wearing creased and torn rags (like me) others in fine suits and silk dresses. I did not expect so many people in London. It was an important day because Queen Victoria was marrying Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
I trembled down the dirty and wretched streets of London. As I trembled, I found a strange newspaper lying on the ground. I carefully opened it up and it was the London Journal. I remembered seeing a fancy gentleman at the River Thames near the mudlarks scavenging for scrap. He went by the name of John Pound. He glared at me then whispered, “Come and see me tomorrow afternoon at half past twelve near the Ragged School.”
I yelled to him saying “Meet you there.” After that he trudged laughing. When I came home I found out that My baby sister was really sick and could die. I didn’t bring any food so now Pa will beat me when he gets back.
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