Charlotte Bridgeman's Journals

February 1846 - January 1857

Lady Charlotte Bridgeman's journals

Transcribed by Marianne van Dael - van Zelm Zwern

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Selected period: May 1848

London   1848, May 7

Sunday. Papa, Johnny & I walked to Chelsea & about the gardens, & an old man admitted us who said "it was against his orders, but we looked so respectable he could not deny us". We came home too late to go to church again at St. Peters', so we went to the Chapel Royal.

London   1848, May 8

Georgey, Francey, & little Gerald came to London. We went to see them. Papa & I dined at Lord Cawdor's. Besides us there as Lord & Lady Carterel, Lady C.Thynne, Mr. & Lady C. Duncombe, Captain & Mrs. G. Campbell, & Mr. Egerton Harcourt. Lady Evelyn came in in the evening. Mean- while Lucy, Mary & Johnny drank tea with Grandmama.

London   1848, May 9

Edmund made his appearance just after breakfast (being on his way from Wigan to Lleden. He walked with us in the park & went to see the children, & showed us how well he baptized babies on Gerald). We went about 1/2 past 9 all three of us to Lady Comberence's, where there was a small party & some music, Kalkbrenner & his son played. Mlle Anachini & Miss Puliston sang. Lady C. also played herself wonderfully with one hand on the piano forte & the other a chorermusicon. Lucy came home & Mary & I went on to Mrs. Wyndham' s, a drum.

London   1848, May 10

We spent most of the morning with the Newports. Just before we went there Lady & Miss Yarde Buller called to give us what help they could about our ball. & in the afternoon Lady Cawdor & Lady Duncombe called for the same purpose. I begin to see people walking up the stairs in ball dresses. William Simpson came to luncheon. & Eleanor Murray also called. Our time at home was spent in looking over visiting lists with Papa, & our driving time in ordering cards & getting a this year's Blue Book &c &c. The Newports & Grandmama dined here. The extraordinary accusa- tion against Lord Leigh was talked over again.

London   1848, May 11

Regnier(?) came to plume(?) us for the drawingroom at 9 oclock! - Selina brought Georgey to see us dress & he was decidedly astonished. We went about 1, but when we reached Albemarle St. we remembered we had forgotten our cards & came home again to fetch them, which lost us an immense time. The drawing room was very full for a presentation one & we hear there was 250 presentations, among whom was Mary. We got away about 1/4 before 5. Had some tea & went out to sit in the square.

London   1848, May 12

Gunter(?) spent half the morning here arranging & talking over the balls. The 1st is fixed for the 23rd. We all spent the day in bad humour, for Papa finds he cannot go to Ileden next week, as arranged, because of the levee which he must go to on Wednesday, & Miss Baker has contrived effectually to prevent our going by ourselves which Papa had decided on our doing. We have now made our lists quite ready for when the cards come. William & Fanny Simpson, Mr. Octavius Gunning, Grandmama & the Newports dined here. Lucy & Mary went with Papa to Lady de Clifford's ball, where he left them with Lady Dartmouth & came home early not being at all well. For the same reason she did not go to Lady Fremantle's concert.

London   1848, May 16

Kept continually thinking how we ought to be enjoying ourselves at Ileden. & to make matters worse it is likely to cause a coolness. We had engaged with Newport to go with him to Covent Garden market early today, but at 1/2 past 8 finding he was not yet ready we took a drive in the Park which was delightfully fresh. We were much amused by listening to the people's conversation at the market & filled the carriage with flowers for Newport's conservatory. In the evening Papa & I went to a drum at Lady Jersey's where we saw everybody we ever knew. We went on from there to a ball at Lady Parke's where we saw every one else we know that had not been at Lady Jersey's & many of the same over again. Came home soon after 1. I very nearly went with Selina, but Papa found himself well enough. In the afternoon we drove with Papa to Campden Hill where we called on Lady C. Lascelles, & on the Dowager Duchess of Bedford who we found at home. Lucy & I called by appointment on Lady Yarde Buller in the morning for some business conversation.

London   1848, May 17

Papa went to the levee. Selina & the gowns.

London   1848, May 18

Papa, Mary & Lucy dined at Sir J. Yarde Buller's & then went on to a party at Lady Stanley's. I received a quarrelsome visit from Regnier(?) about our "pan?ɬches" & went after tea to Grandmama's for a little while.

London   1848, May 19

We went to a court ball. We waited an hour or two for the bodies of our dresses, & at last put some old bodies to them & went so. It was well we did not wait for Mrs. Murray did not sent them till past 11. It was a very pretty ball & we enjoyed it very very.

London   1848, May 20

Papa & I dined at Sir E. & Lady Kerrisons. There was Lord & Lady Dartmouth & F. Legge, Lord & Lady Malmesbury, Lord & Lady C. Wellesley, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzroy, Lord Henry Lennox, Mr. Bateson & I forget the others - about 17 or 18 in all. Lucy & Mary had a dinner party at home consisting of Edmund (who is come for two or three nights) the Newports & Grandmama. We sat up after we came home very late settling ball matters.

London   1848, May 21

Sunday - I had to come out of church for the first time in my life in the middle of service, for a sick headache. A very rainy afternoon - no walking.

London   1848, May 22

The only remarkable thing today is the innumerable notes all from people begging for invitations for friends to our ball. About 25 we answered. The house is topsy turvy.

London   1848, May 23

All notes today we would not answer. Lucy staid in bed allmost all day nursing her cold & cough for the evening. When the ballrooms were lighted they looked very pretty & I think we may feel satisfied that they were much a d...d(?) & that the whole thing went off well. There ought to have been more people, which is rather a comfort as we may ask more next time. The Fitzwilliams were the first people to come & they came terribly early for they must have been greatly bored at waiting so long. Dancing began late not till nearly 1/2 past 11 & ended at 1/4 past 3 with a country dance & Sir Roger de Coverley, which amused the Count Montemoulin very much. He had never seen these danced before & consequently made continual mistakes, but evidently thought it great fun. He was the only piece of Royalty we had. The two large drawingrooms were the ball rooms, the little front one & the boudoir were opened & had seats in them. The balcony over the porch was fitted up into a snuggery for flirting - or at least just room enough for that was left. The object of it being to put away the great cabinets that were too heavy to carry up stairs. The boudoir had a great glass draped with yellow & muslin & some of the doorways were hung with the same. All the doors & some windows were taken out. The back drawingroom balcony was also fitted up for people to sit in. The breakfastroom was cloak room & both that & the library, which was the refreshment rooms, had props in them, as we feared the drawingroom floors would shake dreadfully. & it was very successful, for they were wonderfully steady. The dining room was the supper room. The next day being the Derby day & the Duke of Devonshire's ball sent people away early & prevented many from coming.

London   1848, May 24

Mary & I went to Devonshire House but I did not enjoy it much, for I was tired & sleepy, & had a cough & was so hoarse I could hardly speak. We had to go as far as St. James church to get into the string, but came away as early as possible. Did not dance because the heat of the ballroom made me cough which bored Mary not a little. The drawingrooms here are left as they were, but the boudoir, library, breakfast & dining rooms made just useable.

London   1848, May 25

Lucy & I remained quiet at home, this causing I went to bed early. Papa & Mary dined at Sir William Middleton's. I went with Grandmama & Lady John Hay to Waterer's Show of American plants. It is very fine again this year but will be more so in a week or two. I met a party of Rokeby's there & also the Seymours. We went on to Knights nursery.

London   1848, May 26

Grandmama dined with us. In the afternoon Papa, Mary & I ended our drive by walking in Kensington Gardens to hear the band. We took an immense walk there & came home dead with fatigue. Met Mr. & Lady M. Egerton there.

London   1848, May 27

Papa, Mary & I went to the exhibition in Trafalgar Square. There are some nice things but nothing very particular. There were a few excellent portraits, among which Mr. & Lady Anne Charteris, full lengths by Swinton, & a miniature by Thorburn of Florence Wodehouse, were wonderfully like. A chalk one of Lord Downshire & a full length of the two lady Howards by Grant were also very correct likenesses.

London   1848, May 28

Sunday. Mr. Bagot being in London on his way to Lleden proposed to take us with him on Tuesday. We liked the proposal & wrote to Ursula a note to go by the early post in hopes of being able to get an answer.

Lleden   1848, May 30

In a great fright at getting no answer from Lleden, held consultations with the Newports & Mr. Bagot & settled at last to go. Accordingly we set out (Lucy, Mr. Bagot & me) about 1/2 past 12 o'clock & reached Canterbury about 6. There we found Lord Albert & a pheaton & he drove us to Lleden (about 6 miles) in it, leaving the servants to follow in a fly with the luggage. A very cosy evening. Ursula, Emily & Lord Albert being the only people there.

Lleden   1848, May 31

We walked to Bifrons where we ate luncheon in a summerhouse by a waterfall. Mr. Bagot fished & caught 5 or 6 trout. Emily sketched. Ursula rode there on a donkey with a sheepskin & it has a bad habit of lying down occasionally which it did once with her going, & twice with Lucy coming back. Mr. Bagot, Emily & I staid longer than the others & walked home in pouring rain. Em. lost her way & we came home over the downs a longer way & less sheltered. I never was so wet in my life. Got home in barely time to dress for dinner. No end of things arrived today. Box after box, till it ended with one of quillemots & kittiwakes eggs from Hamborough Head & one of curiosities from Boulogne. Keys of strong boxes lost, terrible disappoint- ment - amusing scenes. Locks broke &c. &c.