original diary cover

Soane kept a notebook during the building of Number 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, now his Museum. We will be publishing the entries day by day to mark the 200th anniversary of this build - follow this link for more details.

August 17th 1812

Transcription & Scan

There is no diary entry on this day.


The image is taken from Soane Museum Vol. 83 / 5. Watercolour view drawn by George Basevi in August-September 1812, showing the central courtyard of No. 13 under construction.  "1813" was added as a date later, and is erroneous.

scan of sir john soane diary entry on August 17th 1812


There was good reason for the lack of activity on site, as Soane records in another notebook Gave the workmen at the new House 20 Sh[illings] to Drink the health of Ld Wellington and his brave Army!' The news of Wellington’s conclusive victory over the French at Salamanca on 22nd July (one of the most significant victories in Spain during the Peninsular War) arrived by ship at Plymouth in the form of despatches from Wellington on Saturday August 15th and was telegraphed to London. A bulletin was posted on the front of the Mansion House and from there the great news spread across the capital.  As an indication, the average daily wage of a skilled craftsmen at this period was 4 shillings a day, and so they would have been able to hold a reasonable celebration of the victory!