Queen Victoria’s Diary Entries Mentioning Thomas Cubitt

Entries for Thomas Cubitt in Queen Victoria’s Private Journal

The location that the diary entry was made is shown at the end of the reference line.

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Monday 31st March 1845, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“Rode home again, & on our return Albert went over the house with Mr Cubitt, a Builder, who is to make a few alterations in the house. — Vicky lunched with us, & then we took a walk being out 2 hours & ½. I never remember a more glorious afternoon, & the sun quite hot. We also rode part of the time, in the woods & fields, going by Barton, on to the property of Alverston (which as well as Wodehouse, & King’s Key Creek, we intend buying) & down to King’s Key where there is a little cottage, beautifully situated on a point above the Creek, with trees going down to the sea.”

Tuesday 1st April 1845, (Principal Royal Residence) Buckingham Palace

“Fine, but windy. — We walked out & went over some of the new very pretty houses near Osborne. We found it colder than the last days. Albert went again all over the house with Mr Cubitt.”

Friday 11th April 1845, (Principal Royal Residence) Buckingham Palace

“Whilst Albert was out with Mr Cubitt, to choose papers for Osborne, I read in Italian, with Ly Lyttelton.”

Saturday 29th August 1846, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“A fine day. — After breakfasting with Mama we went over our new house, & — then I drove down to the beach with Mama & her Ladies, Albert having walked down, & took leave of her & saw her safely off in the boat. The 4 Children were on the beach. — Fritz Strelitz came to luncheon, & at 3 we went out with him, our 4 Children & the Ladies & gentlemen to the Fête we gave to all our labourers, both of the property & belonging to Mr Cubitt(250 in number). The Fête was given in honour of Albert‘s birthday & took place on the flat piece of ground, between this, & Osborne Cottage. Dinner was served in 2 large tents & the Band was playing. We stayed till near 4 & saw our healths being drunk, one after the other. We all went out again later & saw the people dancing, playing at Cricket, jumping in sacks, running races & other spots. I never saw so much fun & people more cheery & pleased. The music, — the happy people, shouting, laughing, dancing & playing, (without ever being disorderly), was a charming sight; it clearly proves that the English can, & like to enjoy themselves, just as much as any other nationality & are not so dull & grave, as some wish to represent them to be. Some of our footmen & grooms & one or two steward’s room boys distinguished themselves greatly in remaining & jumping. Our Children & the 2 little Jocelyns were out till near ½ p. 6, & we remained till 7, when all was over. Toward, who had the management of the whole, exerted himself beyond everything. — The Ansons & the Bishop of Oxford to dinner.”

Monday 14th September 1846, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“Busied ourselves much in the new house & then I went out & sketched with Ly Canning, after which I walked with Albert, & we all went & established ourselves in our new house, which is beautifully & most solidly built. On entering the Hall, to the right, is the Drawingroom, a simple, get at the same time handsome room, with a bow to it, & opening into it, without a door, a handsome billiard room, with columns dividing it from the Drawingroom, but this is not yet furnished. Our Dining room is on the other side of the Drawingroom. There are 2 spare rooms on this ground floor. A handsome staircase, much resembling the one at Claremont, brings one to our living rooms on the 1stfloors, consisting of a charming bedroom (above the Dining room), dressing room & bathroom (in one), our sitting room, a lovely room, with a bow, very like the shape of mine at Buckingham Palace; opening out of that is Albert‘s dressing room. & leading out of that his bathroom. Mounting another flight of stairs one comes to the Children’s quarters, nurseries, schoolroom, governesses room, &c., & these are also rooms for some of my maids. All is so convenient, spacious & well carried out. Mr Cubitt has done it admirably. He is such an honest, kind good man. It appears to me like a dream to be here now in our own house, of we laid the 1st stone only 15 months ago! May god’s blessing on our new home, & all its inmates & may He allow as to enjoy it in peace & comfort for many many years to come! — The Anson & Miss Anson dined with us in our beautiful Dining room, & our healths were drunk. We walked over afterwards to the poor old house, where we sat in the Drawingroom. Went to see the Children peacefully asleep in their beds, & so nicely established.”

Tuesday 13th June 1848, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“A fine morning, & we were out for some time. — There was an alarm, which however ended in nothing, of 40 Chartists having come over to Cowes, with the intention of coming up here. In an instant all Cubitt‘s men & all our labourers armed with sticks, were placed in readiness. The sailors from the “Fairy” came up with carbines, some troops were sent for, from Park burst, who arrived in 2 hours time, — all was in bath array, but it ended in nothing. The suspected people belonged, it seems to a company of “Odd Fellows”, who had come to enjoy themselves on Whit Tuesday, & it happened that 2 notable Chartists had been seen by the Police, & had been rude in their question at the lodge. This was all that caused the alarm. — when we walked out in the evening, we saw the small company of troops march away from Barton. It was a fine, but very windy evening. — Capt: Crispin, the addition to our dinner party. We played Whist these 2 evenings.”

Tuesday 8th July 1851, (Principal Royal Residence) Buckingham Palace

“The anniversary of poor Uncle Cambridge‘s death. — We went with the 2 girls to the Exhibition & walked down the Nave, examining the beautiful things there, in particular a new casket in ivory, came from Paris. Walked through the English Furniture Courts, through those containing stoves & grates, along where the agricultural implements are & through the Machinery, where we met our agreeable instructor Mr Heusman. He has the supervision of the whole Machinery having been placed there by Mr WmCubitt, the Civil Engineer, an excellent, clever man, cousin to our Cubitt, who has been most useful in the creation of the building, & went round the Machinery with us, explaining all so admirably & concisely. The Nave was tremendously crowded when we passed through it & the Children of the Foundling Hospital were there. — Sat to Sir Ed: Landseer, who, with the help of Winterhalter, (whose advice he was particularly anxious to have) corrected the whole face, & got it into right drawing, & proportions. It is delightful to see 2 such great artists, so devoid of jealously & so ready to aid one another. — Drove late in the afternoon with Fanny Gainsborough. Immense crowds out. — We dined, & spent the evening together.”

Monday 28th July 1851, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“A dull morning. — Took our walk before breakfast, & after it Albert was occupied in directing & helping to clip the trees & shrubs in the pleasure grounds. I also helped to the best of my ability, & the Boys made themselves very useful in clearing away the branches. — Painted again after writing &c — & Albert kindly helped & painted too. — The afternoon again very rainy, however I went out for an hour’s drive with Mama, the 2 little girls & 2 Ladies. The evening cleared, & I walked a little with Albert. We met Mr Cubitt. — The Phippses dined. ”

Wednesday 13th August 1851, (Principal Royal Residence) Osborne House

“A very close morning, with rain, & there was a thunderstorm after breakfast, so that I only got out late for a walk with Albert. — Played & painted after luncheon. Finished the copy of little Amélie’s portrait & have now begun one of Clotilde. — Albert was much occupied most of the day, with the Gentlemen of the Executive Committee of the Exhibition settling alas! about the closing of this great work, & considering the new great plan for the Exhibition. Mr William Cubitt remained, Albert wishing to consult him about a steam engine for our Farm. — Sat out & Vicky read some Despatches to me, after which I joined & the 2 Mr Cubitts. Then joined the Children on the lawn, — remained out till late. — We dined alone together, & walked below the Terrace in the moonlight. It was indescribably beautiful.”

Monday 24th December 1855, (Principal Royal Residence) Windsor Castle

“Very mild & very bright, but a very high wind. — Already Christmas Eve! It comes round to quickly, — so much too fast, & yet how much has happened since last Christmas. — Very busy all the morning, & early afternoon with preparations, which I have been, since returning from Osborne, & indeed before we went. — Albert out shooting, & I, taking a short walk with the 2 dear little girls. — Have been much grieved by the death of that excellent & worthy man, Mr Thomas Cubitt, which occurred on the 20th. Shortly after returning from Scotland, we had heard that he was very ailing, & he rapidly became worse. Fortunately his sufferings were not so great at the last. In his sphere of life, with the immense business he had in hand, he is a real national loss. A better, kinder hearted or more simple, unassuming man, never breathed & Osborne must ever be bound up to us with the memory of this excellent man, who executed & aided in carrying out all my beloved Albert‘s plans, & he was so truly devoted to us. He used to come very frequently during the actual building of the Pavilion, & the other part of the house. We feel we owe much to him for the way in which he carried out everything. — A very short walk after luncheon, & then put the last touches to all the arrangements of the tables. — At a little after 6 we took Mama, Ernest, & the 8 Children into the usual room, which was one blaze of light, & the whole was a very festive scene. After giving all their presents, of which there were a great number, we went into the next room where there was another tree & Albert‘s & my present tables had been put. Received many fine gifts. — After 7 I gave the tree & presents to the Ladies & Gentlemen, & then we took them to see ours. — Vicky & the Phippses, the only addition to dinner.”

Wednesday 24th March 1880, (Principal Royal Residence) Windsor Castle

Just 14 years today, dear Queen Marie Amélie died. At ½ p. 10, held a Council for the Prorogation. Leopold, the Duke of Richmond, the Duke of Northumberland & Ld Beauchamp, were there. Mr G. Cubitt, & Mr Plunkett, were made P. C., the former turns out to be the son of our dear old Mr Cubitt, who built Osborne. — Saw Ld Beaconsfield. He spoke of the elections. Scotland & Ireland, (where a Mr Biggar had held treasonable language) make him anxious. — After luncheon, to which the dear little children came, as usual, saw Ld Beaconsfield again for a moment before holding the 2nd Council, for the Dissolution. — Leopold brought Willie of Prussia to see me afterwards. He has come to Cumberland Lodge for a week, to see his intended. — Drove with Beatrice to the Mausoleum, & then took a short turn. — Sorting papers, writing, packing my boxes.”