Charlotte Bridgeman's Journals

February 1846 - January 1857

Lady Charlotte Bridgeman's journals

Transcribed by Marianne van Dael - van Zelm Zwern

August 1847

St. Catherine's   1847, August 1

Sunday. A lovely day & really hot. We went in the carriage to church. Did not see anyone to speak to but Sir T. Pasley & the Miss Watsons & no laking(?) friends. Lucy & Miss Baker came home in the carriage. We others walked first up Bisket Howe & then to Milnbeck cottage, where we staid a good while hearing a long story about a grievance of Miss C.W.'s in the church. Came home through Elleray. In the afternoon we went up Orest Head .

St. Catherine's   1847, August 2

Papa, Selina, Lucy & John took a ride before dinner. Meanwhile the Miss Watsons called, Miss C. very much in want of Papa to quarrel with. Then I read Roderick aloud to Mary as she sat working by the cascade. After dinner & Monastery we walked to see Harry Herd & then took a long walk on what once was Applethwaite Common. Were home very little before 9 o'clock hungry for tea.

St.   1847, August 3

About 1 o'clock papa, Lucy, Johnny & I started riding to pay a visit at Ecclerigg where we found Mrs. Luther Watson at home but not Mr. W. I think we shall get on with her, she seems very nice & pretty in short. I was agreably surprised, I don't know why. We saw two very nice little girls. The youngest pretty. When we came home we went directly to dinner without unhabitating. (I was equipped in Selina's habit, hat & “oh no, we never mention items”). After dinner Papa & Johnny took another ride. We went to the wood towards Elleray & sketched while Selina read Monastery aloud to us.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 4

It threatened rain so we took a walk immediately after breakfast. The rain did come & did not cease all day & night. We read Monastery after dinner & took a walk on the balcony. Newport's election day & we have not worn his colours. I suppose he has got in. Lady Pasley called but we were at dinner so we did not see her.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 5

5th. Another very wel day. In the morning we walked as far as Mrs. Benson's to order some soles & were caught by her to hear her son play the stones. We waited an age for him & were meanwhile much amused by Mrs. Benson, who told us how the stones were played. How one note was base & called “I” 1 &c she told us that her son had “made the viol” which is interprated, strung the violin. He had literally made a Pan's Pipe, which name she did not presume to pronounce, calling it “the thing you see, màm, as hangs on the wall”. The “cordial”, (which means accordion) had been left at Sir “Karterus” when he had taken it to play to the servants. So we could not hear it. At last “my soon” did come & stunned us & drove us wild by the musical stones & glasses & we were too happy to get out again. In the afternoon we took a dirty walk along the Kendal Road & went through the new hotel which is a very nice one, but were obliged to penetrate into a room where three “gents”were drinking porter & smoking cigars. Made a little round coming home.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 6

As it promised to be a lovely day a car was sent for & at 12 o'clock we started some in it & some riding to Grasmere where we paid Mrs. Luff a visit. Coming home it was agreed we should stop at Stock Ghyl Force & Mary, Miss B. & I who were the car party, got to Ambleside first & went up to the falls, but the others finding it late when they reached Ambleside, sent the footman after us to bring us back. It was a pity Selina did not see it, for though it was not as fine as it sometimes is for want of more rain, yet I have seldom seen it look so pretty. After dinner we read Monastery on the balcony.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 7

This day will be ever memorable, for we went to a concert (or rather Mr. Wilson's “entertainment”) at Bowness. We went in the carriage to it & most of us came back in it. Papa & Johnny walked home. It was held at the Crown & began at two o'clock. I have long wished to hear Mr. Wilson's Scotch songs & was not the least disappointed in them. He sang “Lizzie Lindsay” twice & was encored in “Its hame cam our Gudeman at e'en”, but he sung instead “Allister M'Allister”, which somebody had asked for & which he sang to perfection, imitating the drone of the bagpipe. He sang his Jacobite songs with great spirit. The room was quite full & we saw a good many faces we knew before.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 8

Sunday. It rained to hard we could not go to church, but read the service at home. We could not get our futher than a walk on the balcony, before dinner, but took a long walk in the afternoon, & were caught in a number of showers. Were much shocked to see in the newspaper the account of the death of poor Mr. Wilson who was thrown out of a carriage (of which the horses were running away) & killed on the spot. I cannot help continually thinking of poor Mrs. Wilson, who also was dangerously hurt, losing her only child in that dreadful way. I cannot realise it.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 9

A lovely day. We made a long expedition to Coniston. We went 4 in a car & only one lady riding. Mary there & Selina back. We went the usual way. Round by Water Head & then to the left past the quakers. We found the boats were all in use so we could not go on the lake at Coniston as we intended. So we took a sketch & a walk. We dined at Coniston Water Head & came home over a jolly joggy road, through rivers & over rocks, through Yewdale & Silverthwaite, up mountains & down precipices, till we got to Colwith Force, which was in great beauty. We wandered through the wood on the opposite side to see the view we found two years ago & thought ourselves rather clever not to lose ourselves, for the bushes were so grown up. When we were standing at he top of the falls, we thought of the green wide awake that paid us a visit there two years ago. We then went to Skelwith Force & home very glad of our tea.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 10

A very showery day in which the showers were considerably longer than the intervals of fine weather. During one interval Lucy & Mary put on their habits & the horses came to the door to call on Lady Pasley, but the showers began again & they could not go. I hope Lady Pasley won't be huffed again. We contrived to get a walk about sunset, when the sky was lovely.

Keswick   1847, August 11

Keswick. We did not decide till 12 o'clock whether we should come to Keswick or not, it seemed so impossible to tell wether it would be fine or not. But by 12 it seemed to be improving so much that horses were sent for & about ½past 1 we started some riding & some in the barouche. At Amberside the riding party stopped & paid a visit at Captain Luteridge's. At grasmere we (in the barouche) stopped for the riders to come up & I had time to take a sketch of Helm Crag. When they did come up Lucy got off & Selina got on & again at Thirlmere. Mary got off & Lucy got on. When we reached the Royal Oak, poor Mrs. Hudson “wished his Lordship had written”. “She will indeed be sorry if she couldn't take us in” etc. With a little arranging we found we could all sleep here but Papa & Johnny, who went to lodgings for tonight. While dinner was getting ready, we took brown & a boat & all the ladies stepped into it while Papa & John walked to Friar's Crag. Hearing that the Floating Island was to be seen, we rowed to shore under Friar's Crag & picked up Johnny. We landed at Barrow Falls which were looking very pretty, but rather empty. We then proceeded to the Falls of Lodore, but as Brown told us it was very empty we con- tented ourselves with looking at it from the water. The Floating Island was hardly above water & only very little of it, but we contrived to pick some lobelia roots from off it. It was so lasely pushed that when Selina pressing it with her hand, it disappeared for a few moments under water. The lake was very rough & we danced about a good deal & seeing some persons fishing at a distance we said, “Good luck to your fishing. Dance we merrily”. From the moment we got into the boat the hills began to look more & more mysterious, till at last it began to rain & quite hard before we got back to the landing place. We had dinner soon after 8 & listened to the sounds of sweet music, both local & instrumental, in the next room & to the sound of floors shaking & polka's dancing in the same apartment & at last went to sleep over the Monastery, which having by chance discovered, we left the chapter half finished & retired to our rooms.

Keswick   1847, August 12

Were awakened by a housemaid who told us our maid was “sick & bad” & could not come to us. So we three & Selina, who were all in a room had to do for ourselves, which we did not find very difficult. It rained hard all the morning, so we were obliged to give up the Borrowdale expedition that had been planned. All the young persons but myself (I having “had”too but not “sick”) sallied out shopping to buy plaids etc. & they brought me in a charming anchor inn(?), a present. Now all the Benbows have anchors. Well we spun(?) out our time till ½past 2 dinner(?). The afternoon being fine. Papa, John, Selina & Mary took a ride round the lake & as far as the Bowder stone. They stopped to look at Lodore & they really saw for the first time in their lives “how the waters comes down at Lodore”. While S. & M. had been preparing for their ride. We others went to Cowper's shop Le(?) nonvean(?) & Papa allowed us each to choose something. Miss B. & I took a walk on Friar's Crag & we could quite see from there how the water was coming down from Lodore. We had tea about ½past 8 & finished the Monastery after it.

Keswick   1847, August 13

Johnny took Selina before breakfast to see Flintoff's model of the Lakes. After breakfast we started for Buttermere & Crummock. Papa & Johnny & Selina riding there & Mary changing places with Selina back. We went by Borrowdale Hause & Honister Crag, a way we had none of us ever been before but papa; at least all was new to us between the parsonage where the Parson's daughter pumped the water for George two years ago & Buttermere. Mary & Miss B walked up Barrowdale Hause all the way & most of the way down. Our path was very often the bed of a running brook & now & then we had to cross rivers which M. & I did in fine stile. When we reached Butter- mere we all but Papa & Lucy went in a boat on Crummock to Scale Force, when we would not let the boatman come to be our guide & we did it beautifully though. There was so much water it nearly covered the stepping stones. Scale Force looked very well & we followed some people up who found it such a labour they were obliged to let down & refresh at the top & I am sure their silk gowns must have been spoiled. We came back to Buttermere & rode & carred to Scale Hill where we dined. We came back to Keswick by Whinlatter, from which the view of Scotland was very clear. We got back very late & had tea, began Abbot & went to bed.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 14

We returned to St. Catherine's. Immediately after breakfast Mary, Papa & Johnny started riding, (the groom led Billy Warner home) & made a détour by going through the Vale of St. John. We others in the carriage were to stop at Wythburn in case Mary wished to change, so we stopped a little beyond Wythburn & sketched Thirlmere looking back. It was a lovely day & Derwentwater & Thirlmere were like a lookingglass, so smooth & every thing reflected so extraordinarily distinctly. Mary & Miss B. changed places at Grasmere & we had a jolly drive home, wondering how she liked her new situation & seeing no end of people of of every sort, beginning at “very, very” downwards.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 15

Sunday. A lovely day. Papa, Johny & I walked home from Bowness & went up Ray Rigg Bank. In the afternoon our walk extended again to Ray Rigg Bank where we took Selina to see the view.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 16

Papa & John started on a two or three days riding excursion to the Duddon. We did nothing out of the common way. Read a good deal of the Abbot.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 17

A raining day. Expected Aunt Selina to arrive that evening, but she did not. Selina walked down to the station in the rain at ½past 6 under the excort of Davis & Tip, but came back without Aunt S. Davis went again at ½past 8, but no Aunt Selina. Read a great deal of Abbot.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 18

A very uncertain day. Spent part of the morning in watching Mrs. Burkett make oat cake & the afternoon in walking up & down the road towards Elleray. Papa & Johnny came back. We went to meet Aunt Selna at the station (heaving heard from her in the morning to explain her not coming yesterday & to say she would come today). We were all four very inproper young persons for we were some time at the station without a chaperon, as Miss Baker stayed behind. Found Aunt Selina had had Lord Brooke for a travelling companion & was rather surprised to see us speak & shake hands with her unknown & civil friend. Aunt Selina walked home with us through the Elleray woods.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 19

I staid at home with a bad headache while the rest walked to Bowness in the morning, partly to spend some money at Captain's Barrow's party to order rooms for the Murrays & partly to order a vehicle to take themselves to Rydal & Stock Ghyll in the afternoon. Lucy & Johnny rode to Bowness & back. Those who walked there came back in the last barouche & set of horses that was to be found at the village. They saw Lord Brooke there. They had luncheon at ½past one & the whole party but Papa & I went to the Rydal Falls & Stock Ghyll Force in the afternoon. Selina & John rode then & Lucy & John back. They dined late. I tead.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 20

In the morning they took a walk towards Troutbeck while I “read instructive” by the beck. Aunt S., Selina & Lucy then called at the Wood where they found Miss Yates, Miss Pasley & a great lot of young ladies. Meanwhile Mr. & Mrs. Staples called to see Aunt Selina from Bowness where they are staying a short time. Dined at ½past 2 & went afterwards to Miller Ground. There a boat had come to fetch us & rowed us to Wray Castle where we met the Luther Watsons who were gone to call there. Mrs. Dawson gave us leave to go over the castle & up to the top of the tower & just as we were leaving it, Mr. Dawson appeared & after talking a little at the bottom of a very pretty staircase, we left the castle & rowed down the lake to the Ferry House & landed at Bowness. Mr. Watson wheeled himself along in his boat instead of rowing . The most interesting thing we saw on the lake was a nice sailing boat in which the reading men at Ambleside (who hire it) were giving a treat to their ladies. We had two men to row us, being a party of 7. We stopped at the Royal Hotel to see if the Murrays were arrived. We found them & while we paid them a visit Aunt S. & Selina paid one to the Staple's. The bishop & Robert Murray walked home with us as far as Ray Rigg.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 21

Aunt Selina & Selina went away. They left by 7 o'clock or soon after. Papa, Lucy, Mary & Johnny took a dirty ride in the afternoon. They called at the Howe, but the Miss Wilson's were not at home. They then went to Calgaith where they paid a visit to Mr. & Miss Swinburne & heard a great deal of gossip of the country. They went to Bowness & saw the Murrays who had just returned from an excursion to Coniston & called at Milnbeck.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 22

Sunday. I cold day & showery in the morning which turned to decided rain in the afternoon. We brought the Murrays home with us & took them to the field to see the view. A large party from here excorted them half way home through Elleray, where they laid a good few plans. They came home very wet having been caught in a good deal of rain.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 23

Mary up very early & went by ½past 7 to meet the Murrays et Elleray where they sketched. All the Murray party breakfasted here on their way to Patterdale. I very nearly went with them, very nearly indeed. Papa, Lucy, Mary & john rode with them as far as the view of Brother's water, the other side of Kirkstone & came home by Ambleside. I spent my morning in writing letters & walking in the wood. In the afternoon the walk was towards Applethwaite. It was a lovely day.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 24

It promised to be a fine day, so about ½past 8 we decided to make the Langdale expedition & a proposal was sent to the Murrays to join us in it, which they agreed to do & we spent a very enjoyable day. We went the long round by Blea Tarn, which we have not done since we did it with Lord Delawarr etc. six years ago. And then there was no road that way even for cars, so we walked almost all the way, only doing change about with 2 or 3 ponies. Today when we got to Dungeon Ghyll we made our luncheon, which we were all considerably hungry for & chicken, tonggue, sandwiches, bread, plum cake & gingerbread biscuits all disappeared very fast. Then we explored Dungeon Ghyll when there was hardly a drop of water & we came home by .h.(?) water & Brathay Chapel. Papa, Lucy & John rode there & Mary rode back instead of Lucy. The meeting plan was the toll gate at Waterhead & there the Murrays & we, divided differently between the two carriages. Coming home I was in the Bishop's carriage & Sarah & Robert Murray in ours & that party stopped at Low Wood to sketch, so we could not get right at Cook's houses & I walked from there home. It is all settled they pay us a short visit as Weston next week.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 25

A rainy morning. In the afternoon Papa, Lucy & Johnny rode to call on Mrs. Graves & Mrs. Anfrère, but found neither at home. In the morning Johnny went out fishing in the lake, but only caught three little perch. About 12 it cleared & about ½past 1 the Miss Watsons called & as soon as they were gone Miss Swinburne called.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 26

Before dinner we walked to the Craig & as we did not find Miss Pasley at home we stopped at Milnbeck & paid the Miss Watsons a visit. After dinner Papa, Lucy & Mary rode to Rydal Mount & paid a long visit to Mr. & Mrs. Wordsworth & saw no end of gaieties on the road. People innumerable, cannons firing &c &c for no apparent reason. Johnny & I sat in the ..ood(?) reading & working.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 27

Mrs. Anfrère called. In the evening we took a walk down to the uninhabited bobbin mill. Found it was haunted in the most fearful way. Agreed we should none of us like to go there on “a dark night, all by ourself & nobody wi us” at least if we did not know the cause, which we found to be one enormous wheel which is still turned by the stream & rocades(?) the most frightful groans & shrieks imaginable; from want of oiling I suppose. The stiles and gates are made up with thorn brambles & the bridges broken in many places & completely rotten every where & the paths untrodden & the whole plan looks completely deserted & fit for ghosts.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 28

Mary & I sketched. Papa, Lucy & John made an attempt to go up Hill Bell, but did not succeed on account of the bogs. In the afternoon we went along the Bowness road & watched a most lovely sunset from Miller Ground Terrace. Coming home met Daniel Page going to a meeting of Odd Fellows & thought he must be the oddest of all.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 29

Sunday. A very fine day. We went to Milnbeck. On our way home had an absurd chat. Asked them to Weston, hope they'll come. It would be great fun. Papa, John & I walked home, the others went in the carriage. We met Mr. Luther Watson. In the evening watched another lovely sunset. John went to evening service at Bowness.

St. Catherine's   1847, August 30

A dull day. Rained in the afternoon. Papa & John walked in the evening to Bowness to see if the Murrays had come back from Keswick & found them. They are going by the same train as we do tomorrow.

Weston   1847, August 31

Weston. Up at ½past 5. Breakfast at ½past 6. At the station at ½past 7. Found the Murrays just arrived then too & who in the world but Charles Bagot & John Puget Esqrs. We & the Murrays divided as fas as Warrington where they got off to pay a visit at Tatton. We got off at Stafford when carriages & horses came to meet us. I had a bad headache & cold at night.