Charlotte Bridgeman's Journals

February 1846 - January 1857

Lady Charlotte Bridgeman's journals

Transcribed by Marianne van Dael - van Zelm Zwern

July 1847

London   1847, July 1

Mr. Holmes. Mary Childe came to luncheon & Lucy & Papa went with them to the House of Lords. Ursula dined here & we went to a party at the Duchess of Grafton's & then to a ball at Mrs. Selwyn's.

London   1847, July 2

Mr. Smart. Lucy & Papa dined at the Duke of Grafton's.

London   1847, July 3

Mr. Stanley. Papa & I dined at Mr. Dugdale's. Lucy went to the opera with Mrs. Packe Reading & (lucky girl !) heard Jenny Lind in the Somnambula, which of all things I am dying to hear as it is her best part. Mary went to the Drake's to see an conjuror & Papa & I joined her there a little before 11 & found the conjuror gone & a whole host of little children dancing. We did not stay above ¼ of an hour or 20 minutes.

London   1847, July 4

Sunday. Little Francis's birthday. Square as full as ever. Georgey made himself rather agreable.

London   1847, July 5

Papa & I dined at Sir Edmund Hartopp's & staid till past 12 as there was a party afterwards & a great deal of music. Emiliani came & played a little, but was very soon obliged to go. Miss Lyttelton played & sung & Miss Chandos Pole sung.

London   1847, July 6

Mr. Smart. A very, very hot day. In the morning we walked with Newport half way to the House. In the afternoon Papa, Emily, Mary & I went to the Zoological Gardens & took Georgey with us, who was highly delighted with it, but very tired at last. We dined at home. Aunt C. dined out. Aunt Selina & Selina lunched with us.

London   1847, July 7

Mr. Stanley. Went in the afternoon to choose vales for the conservatory at Weston with Papa. In the evening we went to a concert at Mrs. Chandos Pole's. Alboni, Castellan, Lablache, Gardoni & Ciabatta were the Singers. Shirked Lady H. Ellerton's ball.

London   1847, July 8

Papa, Lucy & I went to a breakfast at Camden Hill. Lucy staid with Selina Newport & Ursula came home early with Papa & me, as she & I had to dress & have tea early for the opera. Aunt Selina & Selina came to pick us up about ¼ past 7 & we got just exactly in time, too late for the fiddle-tuning & just in time for the first note of the overture. The opera was Roberto il Diabolo, which Jenny Lind sings to perfection. What a pity it is Papa has not heard her in something good. I am sure he would like her; he must have liked her tonight. Castellan also sung beautifully, as did Standigl & Gardoni (in his little part). Fraschini, who was Roberto, I do not like at all. The opera is certainly beautiful music, but the story is very horrible & very wicked I think & very unsatisfactory as far as regards Rambaldo & Alice. I am glad Ursula sees the likeness I told her of between Gardoni & Nano. We did not stay for that ballet (which I myself did not care for, as I had seen it before). It was Les Elemens. The opera was over very late, not till ½past 11 when we found ourselves rather badly off for want of a gentleman, but got our carriage at last. We dropped Ursula at Lady Ailesbury's on our way home.

London   1847, July 9

Mr. Smart. In the afternoon Papa & we three went to a sort of artistical dejeuner at Mr. St Leger's. The object was looking at drawings, both his own & other People's. The curiosities in his drawingrooms are innumerable. We then fetched Miss Baker & went to see the prize pictures at Westminster Hall. There are many very good indeed. Lord Compton has one there, which is extremely good for an amateur, but I had heard so much about that I was a little disappointed in it. Prince Albert & a large party came in while we were there. We went in the evening to Lady Susan Reeve's ball; staid till 3 o'clock.

London   1847, July 10

Mr. Stanley. Went round about London winding up paying up bills & Papa & we three went to the opera (Covent Garden) chiefly for Mary to hear Alboni, but were disappointed in that, for she has very little part in Anna Bolena & the only good song she has to sing was just finished before we arrived. I admired the last act of it very much. Mario is perfect in Vivi tu & Grisi acts & sings her part admirably & is very well serounded by Corbari. Tamburini contrives to look the very image of Henry 8th. The ballet was L'Amour & la Dance & we saw some very pretty dancing by Mademoiselle Plunkett, but we came away very early.

London   1847, July 11

Sunday. A fine day but very, very hot. Ursula dined with us, as did Isabella Simpson, Aunt Charles & Ursula went to the Deans immediately after dinner & spent the rest of the evening there.

London   1847, July 12

Aunt Charles, Emily & Ursula went away soon after 10 o'clock. Ursula brought Georgey when she came to go. Aunt Selina & Selina came in for a few minutes to say good bye & to bring Emily her daughter & heiress Fanny, who will very soon supplant Ursula's son & heir, Fop(?). In the evening we went to a party at the Duchess of Cleveland's, from where we walked to Mrs. Hoare's, where there was a party going on & a little dancing. We staid till one.

Horton   1847, July 13

When our packing was finished Mary, Miss B. & I went to call on Miss Elpinstone. Georgey came to see us at luncheon to say good bye. Papa, Lucy, Mary & I started at ½past 3 for the railroad, leaving Miss Baker in London. We left the train at Blisworth & came on along the Peterbord- line as far as Northampton & posted the remaining six miles to Horton. There is nobody here but Sir Robert & Mr. Octavius Gunning & Mr. Stanley, a clergyman, brother of the Grosvenor Square Mr. Stanley. The country is delicious.

Horton   1847, July 14

A lovely day, very hot & delightful. We started at ½past 12 to see Castle Ashby, papa, we three & Mr. Gunning. Sir Robert went with us as far as the arch to show it us & then went home to join Mr. Stanley & go to the assizes. We went a little out of our way to see Gog & Magog. They are magnificent old oaks & should like to see studies of them drawn by De Wint . We three went along the chase almost to the house & then turned to the left & went to see & have luncheon with little Mr. Cautley & his wife & sister. We saw quantities of pretty drawings, some of which I should like to possess (for their own sake only). We then went all over the house at Castle Ashby & round the outside & into the church & down to the water & along the shrubbery to a beautiful view of the house we knew to & had a long talk with an old man at the lodge who was coach- man to the late Marquis 50 years ago & who thought he remembered Papa's face. Lucy did not take the last walk, but went with us afterwards to the garden & when we got into the carriage again we found ourselves rather tired. Lord William Compton was at home, but he never showed himself though he knew we were there. We only saw the top of his wide a wake when he came to the garden gate thinking we were gone.

Horton   1847, July 15

A tolerable fine St. Swithin. A very uncertain morning but no actual rain & the afternoon warm & sunny. Before luncheon we walked round the shrub- bery to the Gamekeeper's Temple, to the arch, to the farm- house & home to luncheon. After which papa, we three & Sir Robert drove to Althorpe, 12 miles off. Lord & Lady Spencer showed us over the six libraries, which contain upwards of 47.000 books. One in particulary is devoted to te most valuable books & is locked. Lord Spencer showed us one (Bocaccio's Decameron, the only one existing of that edition) that had been bought by Lord Blandford (I think) at a sale for more than £ 2.250 & after his death Lord Spencer's father bought it for an enormous sum but not so great as this. We saw afterwards the picture gallery, a long gallery of interesting family historical portraits, almost all very old, which made one fancy oneself in some French chateau. There are many valuable pictures in the drawingroom & diningroom too. As we came throught Northampton home, we stopt to look at the temporary room built for a diningroom for 1.200 people to be used next week at the agricultural meeting. It is made of canvas & there are stained glass windows which we were told were made for it, but would be sold after the dinner. I should not like to dine there, for it was much too hot when nobody was in it but ourselves & must be dreadful when 1.200 people are collected in it. Mr. Thornton dined & slept here.

Castle Bromwich   1847, July 16

We left Horton about ½past 12 & posted to Blisworth, where we got on the railroad to Birmingham. At Hampton we saw Mr. Charles Finch & talked to him for a minute or two from the carriage window. When we got off at Birmingham we found the carriage pole was missing & had been left behind at Blis- worth. But is had been found & sent on & arrived at C.B. soon after us. We left my little watch at Allport's on ones way through Bromicham. Dandled in the garden till dinner, which we were very hungry for at 7, not having had anything to eat since 10 o'clock breakfast. After dinner we strolled to the new buildings at the barn & met Mr. Twamley & Mr. Smallwood. The latter gave us a long rambling description of the dreadful railroad accident near Wolverton at which he was present. At breakfast this morning in talking over railway accidents it was proved that the chances were a million to one on our side against being killed on the North Western Railway. As for 18 or 19 years, ever since the first bit of it was opened, 5 million people have travelled by it & 5 persons only have been killed on it. Talking of accidents, Mr. Stanley told us an amusing anecdote of Lindley, who with a good many other musicians, was once overturned on his road to Worcester for one of the Musical Festivals there. When the others got up they found Lindley sitting by the roadside, having taken his violoncello out of its case & was tuning it to see if it was broken or otherwise injured.

Castle Bromwich   1847, July 17

Grandmama Moncreiffe came this morning from Leamington to stay as long as we do. Our walks did not extend beyond the garden walls, the roses & the straw- berries being very tempting. Every room is now filled with roses & it smells so sweet. The Newports came in the afternoon to stay two nights on their way to London from Knowsley where they have been spending the week.

Castle Bromwich   1847, July 18

Sunday. Mr. Kempson gave us as usual two long sermons. Mr. Bagot came over to dinner, but would not sleep here. He came very soon after afternoon church & then we sat in the garden & the foul copy of Newport's address to his constituents was read aloud for the edification of the company. We had some “scrape” very publicly out in the garden.

Castle Bromwich   1847, July 19

Newport went away early to meet Mr. Austin in Birmingham to lithograph his four thousand & odd letters to his constituents. We, that is Grandmama, Selina, Mary & I went in Grandmama's Leamington fly to join him at Dees Hotel. From where we walked to some shops in New Street. The fly picked us up at Mrs. Martin's & took us all five to the London Station where we staid till the train was on the point of starting to gave over the Newports to the Charge of Lord Hill & fat pigs. Grandmama cannot make out what sent(?) bonnets are like.

Weston   1847, July 20

To Weston. Grandmama went back to Leamington. We started somewhere about ½past 12 & came here by Norton where our own horses met us. I have not been that way for years when we three youngest used to travel from C.B. to Weston with the maids, in the break, all the way with our own horses & stop two hours to wait at Norton & have dinner in a particular room with a bay window & bad prints hang round the wall. I remember as well as possible what our dinner away was. Mutton chops & potatoes, duck & pease, custard, very, very old cheese & gooseberries for desert. We got here about ½past 4 & found Tip waiting for us at the front door. We went to the kitchen garden & made a violent assault on the strawberry beds, picked a handful of roses and then came in.

Weston   1847, July 21

Called at the Rectory in the morning & appointed to shoot at 5 o'clock which we did till nearly ½past 7. Miss Baker came.

Weston   1847, July 22

Mr. Hussey came about the stables & slept here. We did not shoot.

Weston   1847, July 23

Mr. Hussey went away. Selina Bridgeman came to go with us to the Lakes. Aunt Selina brought her here & staid an hour or two.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 24

St. Catherines. We had a most tiresome tedious journey. We started soon after tea from Weston, 4 of us, two servants, in the barouche (which came with us here). 2 in the chaise with two more servants. The break with a great many boxes & 4 more servants & lastly a cart loaded with boxes. To begin with we were half an hour at Stafford before the train ought to have arrived & it did not come till an hour after it's time. It kept continually losing ground all the way to Park Side, where we came to a dead stop for more than half an hour, on account of two new carriages being too long & in the sharp turns at Park Side one of them came off the rails. After trying in vain to put them right again, they were at last taken away alltogether. By that time it wanted but 5 or 10 minutes of the time the next train should come, but we came off only with the fear of a concession. When we got to Preston we found the train ours was meant to have gone on by, had left Preston an hour or two before, so we had nothing to do but wait there for three quarters of an hour till the mail train came up for that was the first train that left Preston. But that too was a great deal behind its time, as we had nothing but misfortunes. By good luck we found Mr. Grenfell & Mr. H. Grenfell at the station (the former having come to canvass for the next week's election). At last the mail train came & we went on but we had a long stop at Lancaster & again at Kendal so that we arrived at Windemere station at ½past 9 instead of half past six as we meant to do. To add to our grievances it had been pouring with rain & was still raining when we arrived, so we took a cart from a horrid new inn built since we were there & came up here where we found a very melancholy letter from Knockin waiting for us., to tell us of the death of poor Charles, who was killed in India from jumping out of a carriage which the horse were run- ning away. His skull was fractured very badly & he died in a few hours.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 25

Sunday. We did nor go to church. It was a fine morning, but rained very hard & even thundered in the middle of the day. Dined at 3. Read a sermon directly after & then took a walk. We went up the wood walk first & then along Patterdale road to the “pretty field” which we crossed, went to Troutback Bridge & then home up the “Cline”.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 26

Dined at the same time. Gathered bilberries in the heat of the day. After dinner we had a consultation whether we should go to the water or ride. At last the first was agreed upon & a boy was sent to Bowness to order the a boat to Miller Ground. We were at Miller Ground at ¼ to six & had a most delightful boating. It was a lovely evening. We landed on one of the Lily of the Valley Islands & on Curwen's Island & left the boat about 8. We learnt all the Windemere news. Mr. Swinburne's second marriage, Mr. Bowness taking Stellock's(?) Hotel & marrying in concequence.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 27

Another lovely day. Johnny came for his holidays. He made his appearance at breakfast having travelled all night. Papa, Selina, Lucy & Johnny rode in the afternoon. We others walked on Applethwaite common. Called on Mrs. Binson in her nice little oldfashioned parlour & heard her son play the musical stones & the accordeon.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 28

Papa, Mary, Lucy & Johnny rode. Selina & I sorted flowers at home. I walked in the morning but not in the afternoon.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 29

It promised to be such a fine day that a cart was sent for the galloways ordered & taking two carpetbags with night things for the whole party in case of being obliged to stay all night. We started servantless for Patterdale. For some time after we started the weather seemed doubtful, the clouds very low, covering all the mountains & very little sun. But by the time we reached the Kirkstonepass the sun had broke out beautifully & the clowds though still low let us see the top of some of the hills. We could not have seen Ullswater to greater perfection, for as it turned out, the lights & shades & “effects” on the hills were quite beautiful & so varied & the clouds hanging sometimes on one hill & sometimes on another. Heaving ordered dinner for when we came back from Gowbarrow Park, we started in a boat to Lyulph's Tower. Everything was in great beauty but Aira Force & in that there was hardly a drop of water. After dinner we started home (Mary & I walked almost all the way up the Kirkstone pass) & reached home about ½past 8 heaving had a most lovely delightful drive home. Found the piano forte arrived & played all the evening.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 30

Horses & riders all too tired for another ride today, so we staid quietly at home & took homely walks in the morning. In the afternoon we began the Monastery, reading aloud & working about ½past 6. We started on our walk which lasted till nearly 9. We went down the Cline(?) to Troutbeck's Bridge, & went on along the ridge to our favourite old Bobbin Mill, which we found quite preserved & the works evidently stopped & taken to another lower down the stream. It is inhabited only by the ghost of the mill, which by dint of poking about we found to be the old wheel still turns round slowly groaning horribly. There is a new one being built close to Longmire's cottage at the bridge & there we found a new walk to us, very pretty leading by the side of the river for a little way. We came home the way we generally start when we take that walk, by the Patterdale Road.

St. Catherine's   1847, July 31

Selina & Mary rode with Papa & John today. Their ride was to Clappersgate & Skelwith Bridge.