Nathaniel Bryceson lives on a little longer…

We were delighted to receive a visit recently from three descendants of Nathaniel Bryceson, the 19-year old clerk whose 1846 diary we are serialising throughout this year in a blog and a weekly podcast.

Jane, Mary and John - descendants of Nathaniel Bryceson, visiting the Archives Centre to view his diary with archivist Alison. May 2016

Jane and her sister Mary and cousin John, who are descended from Nathaniel’s son (also called Nathaniel), were thrilled to see their ancestor’s handwriting in the diary and to hear the explanation of the shorthand which he used to disguise details about his bank account and his activities with Ann Fox, who, at the age of 45, was his very much older woman! In one entry Nathaniel described these activities as “wicked tricks”, and the diary is certainly much more sexually explicit than one might expect from a Victorian.

It’s wonderful to meet more of Nathaniel’s descendants – back in 2010 we were pleased to make the acquaintance of the Reverend Steven Saxby, who then went on to take part in a Bryceson-themed walk across the city. If there are any more family members out there, we’d love to hear from you!

Diary entry of Nathaniel Bryceson, 26 May 1846

To read each day’s diary entry, you can subscribe to Nathaniel’s blog ‘The Life and Loves of a Victorian Clerk‘ (scroll down for subscription details), follow @VictorianClerk on Twitter or like Westminster City Archives on Facebook. If a weekly update would suit you better, listen to Nathaniel’s podcast, brought to life by local guide and Bryceson fan Sheldon Goodman.

[Alison and Michelle]


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