Charlotte Bridgeman's Journals

February 1846 - January 1857

Lady Charlotte Bridgeman's journals

Transcribed by Marianne van Dael - van Zelm Zwern

July 1846

London   1846, July 1

We went to the Water Colour Exhibition in Pall Mall East. Papa dined at the Duke of Cleveland’s. We dined at home alone & went to bed early.

London   1846, July 2

We went to the Dowager Duchess of Bedford’s breakfast at Campden Hill & at night Papa, Lucy & I went to a ball at Beaufort House. The room is magnificent, but more filled for the French Embassy, or a room at Paris than for an English ....’s(?) house in London being all covered with fleurs de lys. Came home about 2.

London   1846, July 3

Papa, Lucy & I joined a party to Dropmore, which consisted of the Bishop of Rochester, Lady Sarah & three Miss Murrays & Miss G. & R. Murray, Mrs. Miles & 3 Miss Miles’s & 2 Mr. Miles’s of Belgrave Square & Mrs. Miles & 2 Miss Miles’s of Hamilton Place, Miss Seymour & a brother, Captain Fane, Lord Dufferin, Mr. Sanford, Mr. Blacket & a certain Captain Wyndham & a certain Captain Balhurst, that some of the endless Miles’s had brought. We went at the Paddington Station at 1 o’clock, filled two omnibus carriages & proceeded to Maidenhead where we got off the railroad & went in two omnibusses & a fly to Dropmore, Lady Grenville’s place, where there are most beautiful gardens. There we behaved ourselves in a most disorderly manner (according to the gardener’s ideas of order) & left him not at all impressed in our favour. We then went to a picnicking lodge at Clifden (Sir George Warrender’s) where we spread our provisions & had a most sumptious luncheon. That over, we walked to the spings & then to Clifden House, where we luxuriated some on the grass, some on garden chairs, till the Bishop sent word it was time to go back to the station. We all took so long about it that by that time we had got to our omnibusses, it was out of the question reaching the station in time for the ½ past 8 o’clock train, so we returned to our station in front of the house & luxuriated again for a good ¾ of an hour, the 3 Murrays & 2 of the Miss Miles’s singing glees . Then we returned to Maidenhead, but (consequent on our misbehaviour) we lost our nice large omnibus carriages & were obliged to come home in the common one. We reached home about 11 or soon after, had some tea & went to bed. George went to visit Mr. Percy at Moore Hall.

London   1846, July 4

On awakening heard that Selina had got another little boy. We went to see him after breakfast & I thought him an ugly little thing.

London   1846, July 5

Sunday. The heat in church so tremendous that Lucy & I did not go in the afternoon, but a thunderstorm cooled the air. “One of our nephews”behaved very well in the square this afternoon & the square was rich in “particulars”. There was the Honourable Otway Toler & his particular, Miss Scarlet, also the Reverend John Drake & his particular, Miss Micklethwaite, & we only wanted Lord Cranley & Lady Amelia Cust (who are unfortunately out of town) to make it perfect. I cannot think why people say there is a scareity of mar- riages this year. I think there are lots: Lord & Lady Brackley, Lord & Lady Guernsey, Lord & Lady Lewisham, & Lord & Lady Feilding, & Lord Dupplin & Lady Blanche Somerset are talked of, but not to be yet, & lots more.

London   1846, July 6

In the evening we went with a largish party to the Colosseum.The 2 Miss Smyths, Mr. & Mrs. Smyth, Lord C. & the two Miss Fitzroys, Papa, Lucy, Mary & me & several gentlemen. About 9 o’clock the party met at our door & we saw all that was to be seen at the Colosseum which really is beautifully lighted & the Panorama of London particularly well done. We left it at 11 o’clock when they close it & we returned to Lady Elizabeth Smyth’s house where we had supper & amused ourselves till 12 o’clock.

London   1846, July 7

Papa & I dined at Lord Kinnoull’s. Lucy, Mary & Miss Baker dined with Newport. We fetched Lucy afterwards & went to Lady Harriet Ellerton’s ball, where we hardly saw a creature we knew before. We did not stay late consequently.

London   1846, July 8

George came back. We had a dinner party here consisting of Lord & Lady Manners & Lady Annora Pierrepoint, Lord & Lady Worsley, Lady Combermere, the Bishop of Rochester, Lady Sarah & Eleanor Murray, Lady Torrington (Lord Torrington & Lord Combermere could not come), Mr. Edward Byng, Mr. G. FitzWilliam, Lord Forester, Mr. J.A. Lloyd & Mr. C.W. Grenfell. Mary & Sarah Murray came in the evening & we had some singing. When the party was dis- persed we went to Lady Powis’s party.

London   1846, July 9

We had our last dinner party, consisting of Mr. & Miss Clive, Mr. & 2 Miss Sulivans, Mr., Mrs. & Miss Dean, Mr. & Mrs. Griffiths Wynne, Mr. Walsh, Mr. C. Lloyd, Mr. Herbert Wynne, & Mr. Desvoeux. We had some music & a good deal of consequences.

London   1846, July 10

Papa was not well & could not go out with us. So George was our chaperon to Mr. Sulivan’s breakfast at Fulham, which went off much better than could have been expected in the morning, considering the weather. Edward & Arthur Childe & Grandmama dined with us. Soon after 10 o’clock began our adventures. Lucy & I started alone to the Duke of Cleveland’s to fetch the Duchess of Bedford, who was to be our chaperon to Devonshire House. When we got there the Duchess went for us up stairs saying it was to early yet to go to Devonshire House. Unfortunately there were a few people we knew there. When we did leave, we had to go all the way to Burlington House to get into the string of carriages. So we did not reach Devonshire House till ½ past 11. The Duchess advised us to order our carraige at ½ past 12 which we did. Mr. Ralph Neville took us down stairs & helped us to get our carriage &c. We were particularly struck with the new staircase which [is] the most beautiful fairylike thing possible. We then went to Lady Powis’s ball where we found George & Newport for chaperons. We left it (I, with great relucktance) at ¼ before 3 (having made up my mind to stay till the end).

London   1846, July 11

Mary drove with Grandmama & went to the British Insti- tution where there is now the exhibition of old masters. Newport dined with us.

London   1846, July 12

Sunday. Mary, George & I went with Newport & Georgey to the Kensington Gardens where we walked about & amused ourselves with Georgey some time & then leaving Newport & George to walk, Mary & I & our worthy nephew came home & went for a few minutes into the square. After dinner we went into the square again by appointment to meet the Murrays.

London   1846, July 13

Nothing particular happened in the course of the day, but in the evening Papa & I went to Lady Mansfield’s party. Lucy had a cold & could not go.

London   1846, July 14

In the morning Lucy, Miss B. & I met the Murrays at Werstminster Abbey, which we thoroughly lionized. In the afternoon our occupations were rather less pleasant, being: Mr. Lanzelle. Lucy & Papa dined at Lord Manvers’s. George & I had a dinner party at home. Our guests were W. Simpson & Mr. Desvoeux.

Newsells   1846, July 15

Papa, Lucy & I left London at ½ past 12 to pay a visit to the C. Drummonds at Newsells. We posted all the way (40 miles) & reached here soon after 5. We went out there to see some cricket that was going on. After dinner walked in the gardens & had a little music. We found only themselves here & Mr. Antrobus.

Newsells   1846, July 16

We could not go out before luncheon for the rain. After luncheon Papa rode somewhere with Mr. Drummond. And the rest of us, some walking, some in a curious sort of a vehicle which they call a ponycarriage & Lucy riding. Went to Royston to see a cave. A mysterious round place lighted up with tallow candle ends & the walls covered with oddley cut figures, the handy work of certain nun called Rosinnia who behaved herself badly & was shut up there . One of the figures represents Edward the ninth! (in anticipation I suppose). Spent a very merry evening.

Newsells   1846, July 17

Before breakfast we viewed the dungeon, one of the natural, or rather unnatural curiosities of this place. After breakfast we visited the kitchen gardens, village & the “consealed”dogs of which there are at least six besides those that are “authorised”& the useful ones. About ½ past 12 we started a party of six, 2 riding & 4 in the carriage to Audley End, where we lunched. Lady Braybrooke showed us all over the house, Lord B. & Miss Neville round the garden. The asked us to go there tomorrow for a day or two, but I am sorry to say that for various reasons we are not able to go. Had another very merry evening. Lucy Neal, Coton vole(?), quotations of Shakespeare & Wordsworth, the lawyers clerk at Croydens, being the principal subjects of amusement.

London   1846, July 18

We left Newsells after having a very enjoyable visit. We arrived in London time enough to do a little packing or rather arranging business.

London   1846, July 19

Sunday. The small population both in church & in the square is a distressing mark of the emptying of London. I should like everybody to stay till we go & then all go in a day or as soon after as they pleased. We went to see Selina between services. Newport dined with us.

London   1846, July 20

Dined early to enable Papa to go to the House. After driving with Grandmama we went to her lodgings to have tea & Lady Robert Kerr spent the evening there.

London   1846, July 21

We went to the opera. The opera was Lucrezia Borgia & the ballet La Gitana. I never heard Grisi sing so beautifully & Mario always sings well. Taglioni danced in the ballet. I had never seen her dance before & was enchanted with her. Cerilo & Lucile Grahn danced in an entré acte & I think they neither of them danced so well before. All the the royalty was there.

Wilderness   1846, July 22

Papa, Lucy & I came to Wildernesse to pay a visit to Lord & Lady Camden. There are staying here the Bishop & Lady Sarah Murray, Sir John & Lady Pakington & Eleanor Murray, George & Herbert Murray, Lady Georgiana Pratt , Mr. Hawkins & one or two more. We had some music & siinging in the evening.

Wilderness   1846, July 23

Went out in the garden all the forenoon working. Lady G. Pratt & a gentleman that I never heard the name of went away. Also Sir John Pakington. In the afternoon we drove in three different vehicles & Herbert Murray riding. First up a hill to see a lovely view & then to Knowle where we drove about the grounds & saw the views &c but did not go into the house though I believe it is most curious to see. To our great surprise we met there all the family of Whitmores, who are staying at Tonbridge Wells & by chance had driven over today to see Knowle. The trees in Knowle Park (particularly the beeches) & the avenues are beautiful. The younger members of the party walked home from Knowle, about a mile & a half. A certain Captain Somebody dined here. We had some singing in the evening.

Wilderness   1846, July 24

We heard by todays post of the death of Lord William Russell. Unexpected at last though he has been ill some time. In the morning we sat under the trees & worked. Papa & Herbert Murray walked to Knowle to see the inside of the house. After luncheon it rained so we could not go out, but amused ourselves playing at billiards & talking to the children. Two clerical neighbours dined here.

London   1846, July 25

We left Wildernesse at 12 o’clock & reached Belgrave Square about ½ past 3. Had some luncheon. Went to see Grandmama & came home at five to have a last music lesson from Mr. Holmes.

London   1846, July 26

Sunday. Paid Selina a long visit after morning service. The square emptying fast. Newport & Grandmama dined with us.

London   1846, July 27

Were busily employed packing most of the day. Johnny came back from Eton for his holidays. Must mention a remarkable circumstance that we were up to take a drawinglesson at ½ past 7 o’clock. Went to a concert at Apsley House in the evening which was crowded to excess notwithstanding the emptyness of London. The rooms are beautifully, the singing very good (Grisi, Castellan, Mario & Lablache & others) & alltogether I was very glad I had been to it, and the squash though great, was not so much for the number of people there as because of the Royalty who took up a large empty space in the middle. After they were gone it was very pleasant.

London   1846, July 28

We were equally busy packing &c &c. In the evening we went to a concert of English music at Grosvener House, which I enjoyed excessively. We did not stay for the 2nd. part as we had a journey before us the next day.

Castle Bromwich   1846, July 29

Georgey came to see us at breakfast. We left London by the 5 o’clock train for Castle Bromwich which we reached before 9 & found George there, the garden in high order.

Castle Bromwich   1846, July 30

Spent this day in unpacking, shooting & fishing. Shooting is to be our chief employment this year as we intend to get a prize at one of the many archerymeetings we are going to.

Castle Bromwich   1846, July 31

Mr. Kempson called in the morning. Mrs. K. in the afternoon. Shooting both morning & afternoon.