Charlotte Bridgeman's Journals

February 1846 - January 1857

Lady Charlotte Bridgeman's journals

Transcribed by Marianne van Dael - van Zelm Zwern

June 1847

London   1847, June 1

Mr. Smart. We drove to Knight’s nursery garden this afternoon & took Georgey with us, who did not quite like the tortoises. Papa took Uncle C. to see the House of Lords. Papa & Lucy dined at Lady E. Smyth’s & Isabella Simpson dined at Lord Cork’s. Had tea instead of dinner.

London   1847, June 2

Mr. Stanley. Drove about in the vain hope of getting an operabox for a moderate sum to hear Jenny Lind tomorrow night, but had to content ourselves by settling with Mr. Chappell, that if he had one returned in the course of tomorrow we would take it. Papa & Lucy went in the evening to a party at Sir Augustus Clifford’s.

London   1847, June 3

Mr. Holmes. He kept me playing the whole three hours. I hot & exhausted. Georgey came at 2 & staid an hour & a half with us. Miss Baker went away for the night. We three drove by ourselves to the Drummonds, where we paid a very long visit. Then Papa joined us & we went again to try for an operabox in several places, but all efforts were fruitless. When we came home dinner was ready (having been ordered early) & we persuaded Papa to send out Cattell to try in some other places. Accordingly he went & contrived to get a very good one next to the Queen Dowager. We were enchanted with Jenny Lind who sang in the Figlia del Razzi- mento. It’s no use saying more of her. Cerito & Rosati danced part of Thea between the acts & Carlotta Grisi danced La Esmeralda afterwards.

London   1847, June 4

Mr. Smart. At 4 o’clock we started, Papa, Lucy, Mary & I to go to Eton. When we got to the Paddington station we found we were only just in time not to be too late. Mr. Desvoeux & Mr. Somerset came in just at the same time & we thought we should have a jolly journey to Eton, but behold there was no where so many as even four seats together so we were obliged to go into the “Ladies only”, where there was not a soul but our three selves & we had to beguile the time by singing & despating(?) to the best of our powers. Found John at Slough & a carriage waiting for us which we got into & proceeded to Mr. Birck’s house where we found a room full of grand people, namely LadyAilesbury, Lady Chesterfield, Lord & Lady Wilton & two smart Lady Grey’s, Mr. & Lady Caroline Kerrison & Robert Herbert. Newport came soon after. It was a fine day (though cold), which inclined quan- tities of people to go down & being Ascot week every body on their way home from there stopped, so there was an immense crowd & lots of people we knew. After seeing the boats go off from Brockhurst we drove to Surly Hall without accident further than a pole running into the back of the carriage. Willy Herbert went about with us & made himself generally useful. We got out at Surly to see the boys eat & drive & get knocked about in the crowd & then went back as every body else did to Brockhurst to see the fireworks, which were extremely pretty. It was a particularly pretty sight to see the boats passing between us & the lights & the boys standing up in the boats & cheering with hats off & oars upright. We went back to Mr. Birck’s when it was over & he gave us a supper. Mr. & Lady C. Kerrison were the only other people besides us. We came home by the eleven o’clock train. Brought Newport home in the carriage who came in with us & had some tea.

London   1847, June 5

We went to see Waterer’s show of American plants which was quite lovely. Dined at home quietly.

London   1847, June 6

Sunday. A cold day, but a good many people in the square. Had a visit from “Uncle Ned” & a nephew of his, Mr. John Monckton, who is lately come home from India.

London   1847, June 7

Isabella Simpson went away. Ursula & Uncle Charles came back from Dover. Ursula dined here & then went to a ball at Lady Londonderry's with Selina. We were quiet at home.

London   1847, June 8

Mr. Smart. We [were] in a great fright about the weather As it rained all the morning, but it fortunately cleared towards the afternoon & we went to the Duke of Devonshire's breakfast to the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, who put his stick through my gown & said “oh”, at Cheswick [sic] . People had to keep a good deal to the house as it contin- ued showery. Had a dinnerparty in the evening consisting of the Duchess of Bedford , Lord Cawdor , Mr. & Lady G. Balfour , Lord & Lady Braybrooke & Miss Neville , Sir Augustus, Lady & Miss Clifford Mrs. Egerton & Captain Egerton, Uncle C & Ursula , Lord & Lady Comber- mere , Sir Watkin , Mr. H Pierrepont , & Mr. R. Drummond. Orlando came afterwards.

London   1847, June 9

Mr. Stanley. Had another dinnerparty of 22. The people were Mr. & Lady Harriet, Mary & Robert Clive, Lord & Lady Leigh & Caroline Leigh (Augusta & Mary came in the evening), Lady F., Fanny & George Higginson, Mr. & Miss Newdigate, Sir Edmund Hartopp & Miss Grove, the Newports, Uncle Charles, Mr. Wilson, & Mr. G Whitmore. Ursula had tea with Mary. When all were gone but the Leighs we made a party & walked altogether into Mrs. Miles' hall. We stayed there till one & then we went to Lady Sefton's ball, where we staid till nearly 3 ½. Her balls are most enjoyable. The Newports who had been with Ursula to Lord Foley's party while we were at Mrs. Miles', left Newport with us at Lady Sefton's.

Castle Bromwich   1847, June 10

Castle Bromwich. Got up very late & packed up in as short time as possible, so that we had time to go & pay the Newports a visit in the morning. At ½past 2 we started (Papa, we three & Miss Baker) for Castle Bromwich, where I was rather sorry to find myself in the evening (not that I like railroads, particularly when travelling without one's carriage), but, strange to say, I would much rather be in London. It is to cold here. However the country is beautiful: Rhododendrons, Azalias, Scotch roses, honysuckles, banks in roses & in full bloom.

Castle Bromwich   1847, June 11

Got up very cold & with a headache & wishing they had left me in London, but by the evening was rather glad I was where I was. We dined at 3 & had tea late. I was obliged to take something for my headache & did not go out till after dinner & then never went out of the grounds.

Weston   1847, June 12

Weston. Left C.B. at 12. Met Mr. G.Whitmore at the station in Birmingham. Came from Wolverhampton here in the break. Had dinner on arriving, then went out & walked a great deal about the grounds, found every thing (but apples & pears) very flourishing & the new building at the stables getting on fast. We called at the Rectory.

Weston   1847, June 13

Sunday. It rained almost all day in showers, however we got a walk round the cottage in the morning & to the boathouse & round the water in the afternoon & came home soaked through. Dined late.

Weston   1847, June 14

The Feildens lent us their carriage to drive round the White Sitch & Mr. J. & Maria went with us. The Rhododendrons there are beatiful. We dined at 3 & afterwards went to see Mrs. Russell & the poultry yard. Met Mrs. Wakefield who had walked over to show the garden to her sister. Went to see Maria Feildens date trees & ended by sitting in the Shrewsbury walk some time. Had tea at 8.

London   1847, June 15

London. Left Weston in the break as before & reached London in little more than time for Papa & Lucy to dress to dine at Lord Leigh's. Mary, Miss B. & I had tea by ourselves & were joined afterwards by Ursula. Soon after ten I went to join Papa & Lucy at the Leigh's where I found a most formidably large party & Marras singing & Emiliani playing the violin. We staid there till 12 o'clock when we went on to Mrs. Seymour's ball & staid there till more than ½past 2. Spent a very pleasant evening altogether.

London   1847, June 16

Mr. Stanley. A pouring wet day. Ursula drove with us in the afternoon. Had a dinnerparty in the evening consisting of Mr. & Lady C. Duncombe, Sir John & Lady Yarde Buller, Mr. & Mrs. Y. Buller, Sir Thomas, Lady & Miss Fremantle, Miss Elpinstone, the Newports, Ursula, Uncle Charles, Lord Anton, Lord George Quin, Mr. Bagot, (not his Majesty), Mr. Russell & Mr. Somerset. Advanced it to 7 o'clock on account of the ball at Stafford House (of the Queen). Every Lady went away early but not till after we had had some beautiful singing from Mrs. Yarde Buller. The ball at Stafford House was quite magnificent. I never saw such a house, such a stair- case, such a gorgeous tout ensemble. And being full dress added much more to the general appearance, I could have stood for hours on the top of the staircase looking. We staid very late till nearly 4 o'clock.

Babworth   1847, June 17

Mr. Holmes. We had another dinnerparty. The people were the Duchess of Grafton & Lord Euston, Lord & Lady M. Alford, Lord & Lady Desart, Lady Shaw Stewart & Miss C. Stuart & Sir Michael S. S., Mr., Lady Mary & Louisa Ross, Mr. & Mrs. P Pierrepont, Mr. Cecil Forester, Mr. Cholmondeley, Mr. Meynell, Mr. C. Neville & Mr. Snape Douglas. The party began to break up early on account of the Duchess of Glouster's ball. We went to a dance at Mrs. Law's. Came home soon after one o'clock. I hear the Prince of Lucca had a fall from his horse at the Review in Hyde Park, given for the Grand Duke Constantine & hurt his hand. However he was not prevented by it from going to the D[uche]ss's of Gloucester's ball this evening. His father has sent to recall him, as he has had hints given him of the wild odd way the prince has been going on in England, & they say the Queen wil be rather glad when he is gone, that she is tired of him though much amused at his familiarity. He told Lady Desart that “ depui un an et demi je suis si ennuyé chez moi - on ne me laisse bouger de cela ” - (showing the tip of his finger) - he also said “ Si mon père était dur j'aurais plaisir à la contrarie et je resterait ici, mais il est si bon qu'il faut que je retourne ” - that is the best trail of him that I have heard. He says he has only written once to his wife, for he does not see the use of it, & thinks proper to add "however we are very good friends". He ran before the Queen at Windsor the other day making a wheel of himself going head over heels, & when he gets impatient he makes no scruple of tapping the Queen on her arm.

London   1847, June 18

Mr. Smart. A raining morning & fine afternoon. Ursula drove with us in the afternoon. She told us of various misfortunes that took place at Gloucester House last night. The Prince of Lucca's hand burst out bleeding afresh in the middle of the ball. The Grand Duchess of Saxe Weimar's necklace fell & all the pearls were scattered, & Prince George went down on his knees to pick them up & his trowsers burst at the knees & he was obliged to go home & change & poor Lord Anton having had a fall out riding could not go to the ball, where he might have seen the effect of his beatiful bouquet.

London   1847, June 19

Mr. Stanley. Papa was on a committee in the House of Lords & could not go with us to the Chiswick Flower Show. We went soon after one, a large party in two carriages - Ursula & Lucy in the Chariot & Mary, Uncle C., Newport & I in the barouche. It was a very nice day, fine & not hot. There was a great crowd but not such a nice one as usual; there were hardly any friends of ours. The show itself was a very good one. The Prince of Lucca was there. Filthy Lucre as he is called sometimes, because he is rather fond of his bottle. He came to talk to Newport & was very melancholy about going which he says he must do on Wednesday, & if he had not been sent for he would have staid two months longer & gone to Scotland for grouse shooting. We drove in the park afterwards. Uncle Charles & Mr. Childe dined here.

London   1847, June 20

Sunday. Ursula, Lucy & I went to St. Paul's in the afternoon & I was agreably surprised at the catechizing. I think it is very interesting & much more useful than a second sermon. We went into the Square afterwards, which was very full, but the company was far from select, & the flirtations both unpleasant & disgraceful. We have serious intentions of applying to the committee of the Square to have it written on the boards at the gates: "No unmarried gentlemen under a certain age can be admitted into the Square, unless they come with their sisters & stay with them all the time". Because really it has come to such a point that we poor unfortunate girls will not be able to walk there without having a governess at ones heels, instead of being turned out to grass as we used to be.

London   1847, June 21

We went to a breakfast at Fulham given by Lady Howard. It turned out a very fine afternoon, but a little cold, & I thought it a delightful breakfast. The place itself was very pretty and besides the usual walking about & dancing, Lady Howard gave us a delightful concert. Mario & Pischek singing as usual most beau- tifully. The other singers were nothing particular: Mlle Vera & a Signor Ciabatta, who I never heard of before. We came away about ½past 6, & Ursula joined us at tea in the evening. Shirked Mrs. Packe Reading's ball.

London   1847, June 22

Mr. Smart. Newport was to have taken us to see Landseer's studio, but was so busy playing at tennis that he forgot all about it. Had a dinnerparty, our last. Lady Norbury & Charlotte Jolet, the Bishop of Rochester, Lady Sarah & Eleanor Murray, Sarah came in the evening, Mrs. & Miss Praed, Mrs. & Miss Miles, Mr. & Lady Caroline Kerrison, Lord Churchill, Lord Henry Loftus, Mr. Bouverie, Mr. Courtenay, Mr. J.A. Lloyd, Mr. Fuller & Mr. Alfred Seymour & Mr. Granville Vernon. We afterwards went to Mrs. Fellowes's ball, which I like very much. Came away about ½past 1 o'clock. Mrs. Packe Reading has offered to take me to the opera with her on Tuesday next & Papa has consented to my going. I am trying to persuade myself that there is very little chance of Jenny Lind singing that night, as it is pleasanter to be very agreeably surprised than to be dreadfully disappointed.

London   1847, June 23

A very wet day. Mr. Stanley. Papa drove with us & we went to choose a carpet for Weston library & to choose one last birthdaypresent at Laurière's. Mine is ordered a bracelet of carbuncles & diamonds. It will match the cross Miss Elpinstone gave me. We dined alone at home & went afterwards to a ball at Mrs. Drake's, which was crowded to excess & yet there was hardly a creature we knew. Came home at ½past 1 very tired, very hot & wishing we had not been there.

London   1847, June 24

Mr. Holmes. Had a merry afternoon. We three & Ursula driving about in all directions with Newport for our afternoon. First we went to Landseer's house in St. John's Road, but infortunately he was out, so we could not see his studio. Then Newport took us to Lord's to go & see tennis played, but when we got there we found the great match was going on between Barre & somebody & so many people looking on that we came away. Some cricket was going on too. We then bethought ourselves of going to see Mr. Grant's studio, but as Mrs. Grant was at home we could not go up to the drawing room to see Selina's picture, which was the thing of all others I wished to see. Then we made Newport come to the carpet shop & give his opinion about the library carpet for Weston. Also to Howell & James, & there we left him & came home. We then went to Wilton Crescent to see Selina B., but she had some Naples friends who staid all the time we could, so we saw her hardly to speak to. Papa, Lucy & I dined at Lord Braybrooke's & afterwards went to a very nice ball at Mrs. Praed's, which we left at 1 ?Ǭ?.

London   1847, June 25

Mr. Smart did not come. In the afternoon we we went to see the Brittish Gallery, which is now exhibiting pictures by the old masters. We met a large party of Herberts there. Papa & I dined at Lord Combermere's & Lucy joined us afterwards to go to Lady Rolle's concert, which was a most excellent one. Grisi, Alboni, Lablache, Mario, Coletti & Marras being the performers. Alboni's “In quetto semplice” was to my mind the gem of the evening, even more beautiful than Mario's for a wonder. We went from there to Mr. Grenfell's delightful ball, where we found Ursula with Newport who soon left her with us. We staid till nearly ½past 3.

London   1847, June 26

Mr. Stanley. We went to the Water Colour exhibition this afternoon. It is very good indeed this year. Dined at home & went to bed at 10 o'clock.

London   1847, June 27

Sunday. A fine warm day, almost hot. A very large reunion in the square, but very mixed society as last Sunday.

London   1847, June 28

Aunt Charles & Emily returned here. Emily no better I am afraid, from her stay at the sea. She is to try Dr. Watson this time instead of Chambers. We had a small country dinner party. Mr. & Mrs. Childe, Uncle & Aunt Charles, the Newports & Ursula, Mr. Charles Lloyd, Mr. Ralph Leeke, Mr. Henry Whitmore, & Mr. Reverend Dean & Admiral Bowles. We went to Mrs. Malcolm's concert afterwards. Lady Suffield called for Ursula & took her there, but left to us to bring home. We took Uncle C. in our carriage there. It was an excellent concert, Grisi, Alboni & Persiani, Lablache, Mario, Gardoni & Tamburini. Alboni sung again that lovely “In quetto semplice”. Mario sung beautifully as usual & Gardoni was rather frightened to sing a duet with him, so did not do as well as he can. We staid till the end, so were not home till nearly two o'clock.

London   1847, June 29

Mr. Smart. Feeling rather tired. I did not go out but rested for the evening. Papa & Lucy dined at Lady Shaw Stewart's. Ursula drank tea there. I went to Mrs. Packe Readinge to dine at ½past 6 & go to the opera. Miss Legh also went with us & Mr. C. Packe. It was un- fortunately not a Jenny Lind night which disappointed me not a little, but Castellan, Lablache & Gardoni sang admirably in L'Elisir d'Amore & we had an extremely pretty ballet called Les Elémens, in which Carlotta Grisi, Cerito & Rosati all danced. We had afterwards an act from Torquato Tasso, sung by Coletti & a chorus & a little more dancing from Rosati & Cerito.

London   1847, June 30

Mr. Stanley. Ursula dined with us. We went to Lady Shaw Stewart's delightful concert. I wish more people would give con- certs than do. They are such nice parties, Grisi, Alboni, Mario, Lablache & Tamburini. Aunt Charles & Mary tried to hear the music through the wall, but did not hear very distinctly. We went on to a ball at Lady Yarde Buller's.