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: December 1850

Woburn Abbey   1850, December 12

Sir E. Bulwer went away & the other person & left as we were on Tuesday. Much music in the morning by Lady Hardwicke & us. Then we most of us ladies went to the sculpture gallery, camelia & heath houses, conservatory & dairy & then came in to luncheon, after which most of the party drove & Lucy, Miss Waddington & I took a long walk in the park. A very merry evening. Mr. Radcliffe repeated yesterday's song enlarged & improved & after it instead of commerce, we played at a capital game, a race course & we each put in a shilling & appropriated a horse & the moves were made by throwing dice. Mr. Sanford won.

Woburn Abbey   1850, December 13

Several of the best of the party took their departure. Lord & Lady Hardwicke, Lord Gerald Fitzgerald, Mr. Radcliffe & Mr. Waddington not till after Mr. Radcliffe & made absurdly many apologies for calling us Miss Bridgemans in his song last night. A little walking in the morning to the menagerie & maze. Music too. In the afternoon most of the ladies drove & I walked with Papa a long walk. Lady Charles Russell lunched here & dined here & Mr. Ray Erskine dined here too. Commerce & billiards.

Weston   1850, December 14

We left Woburn at 12 o'clock today being almost the last of everybody & had a journey of misfortunes. First there was no truck at Leighton though we had ordered one on Monday, then the train was very late & we perished with cold waiting for it. Then as the carriage had to be put on a luggage truck it could only be very insecurely fastened & so we could go in it & there was no empty railway carriage but one that stopped at Rugby, so there we had to turn out (having just spilled a glass of wine & dropped a book under the train) & scramble into another carriage with two not clean looking men. Then it poured with rain so that it penetrated into some of the trucks(?). Then we continued to lose way, so that we didn't reach Weston till 9 o'clock. Famished & tired. Johnny had arrived yesterday.

Weston   1850, December 16

Monday. The boys went to Melton. A sad loss to us.

Mere   1850, December 17

Papa, Lady B., Mary & I went to Mere (Mr. & Lady C. Egerton's) for some balls at Knutsford. We met a variety of people on the railroad, Sir Watkin, Mr. H. Lane, Mr. Arthur Talbot & Mrs. Lloyd of Aston at Stafford & at Chelford, where we got off the railroad, Mr. Blackburne, who with his sister was bound also for Mere Hall. There are here no ladies but us & Miss Blackburne & the rest of the party consists of Mr. Macdonald (of Clamonald) Mr. Dashwood, Major Warre & Mr. C. Sykes. The cold of this house is intense . A little music in the evening & after 2 parties at cards, whist & vingt un.

Mere   1850, December 18

We two walked in the afternoon with Miss Blackburne & Lizzie Egerton, were frightened out of our wits by a governess, but had a nice walk & chat after we came in. Mr. Raruard(?) came. The 1st ball at Knutsford, a capital one, enjoyed it very much & danced a great deal, more than one generally does in a strange county. Came home about 2 o'clock. No distance to go which is a great point.

Mere   1850, December 19

Got up in time to breakfast & start at 11 to see the hounds meet at Tabley. It was too frosty to hunt comfortably, but there was an immense field all the same & it was very pretty. the first thing we saw as we drove into the park at Tabley was a horse running loose, which turned out to be Mr. Braccard's (?)& had kicked him off. We had hardly jumped out of our Irish car, being alarmed at our horse's fear of the horn, when an empty dog cart dashed past us. The horse going at full gallop & leapt a widish ..ra.n(?) in our very eyes, dog cart & all, before it could be stopped. Before we drove home again we went into the house at Tabley & walked through the drawingrooms with Lord A. Churchill, who with a Mr. Antrobus came on after us & lunched at Mere & walked with us to Tatton afterwards, where we went in to see Mrs. Egerton for a few minutes then walked about the gardens & had a race. Vingt un & whist.

Mere   1850, December 20

The second ball. A very foggy day. Papa, Lady B. & Lady C. Egerton lunched at Tatton. The gentlemen all but Mr. Macdonald (who was ill all yesterday & today) out shooting & we young ladies lunched with the Egerton girls & after it Mary, Miss B. & Lizzie took a walk. I staid at home to patch up a headache in time for the ball. I reasoned myself & was reasoned into thinking the ball was as likely to do me good as harm, so I unpreced..lly(?) went & as a natural consequence didn't much enjoy it. It was a funny sort of ball, the company consisting chiefly of the privates in the yeomanry & their families & the county people go p..ly(?) & for a short time only. It was not near such a good dancing ball, as the first, for it was chiefly country dances & polkas, but it was very amusing to look on at. Many of the costumes were deligthful. We came away a little before 12, rather sooner than the rest, because of my headache which was bad & a bad cold had come on.

Weston   1850, December 21

We came away from Mere. Mr. Blackburne came away by the same train & saw several more people we knew at the Chelford Station. Parties all breaking up. My headache continued but not quite so bad, my cold continued & much worse I was quite ill before we got home & tumbled into my bed very soon. Thought we never should have got home, for the snow was lying many inches thick all the way & just beginning to ..rd(?), which made it sloshy, thick & heavy. It was so odd, for there was not any at all in Cheshire. Johnny came back from Oakly Park, where he went on Wednesday for a Ludlow ball.

Weston   1850, December 22

Sunday. Cold dreadful. I don't think I have suffered so many pains with a cold before. Never left my bed till 7 o'clock when I got up, a good deal better, to have my tea & get my bed made. Mary was not very well either & staid from church & read to & had tea with me.

Weston   1850, December 23

Uncle & Aunt Charles, Emily, Agnes, Isabel, Leila & Nano came. Orlando was expected but never arrived. Leila & I had tea together & I did not go down in the evening.

Weston   1850, December 24

Tom & Louisa Moncreiffe came & Orlando. I had tea with Isabel & Leila & did come down. Lady B.'s cold bad & did not appear down stairs all day. Several others have smaller colds. Music, talk & billiards.

Weston   1850, December 25

Christmas Day. Was not able to go to church. It is odd how many times it happens that I am not able to take the Sacrament on Xmas day. Last year it was the mumps. I had tea with Isabel & Leila again. Tom, Orlando & Johnny were very wicked over (or rather under) the mistletoe, which for the first time in my life I ever saw put up, except in the servant's hall. Particularly in the evening they were very bad. We mean to cut it all down early tomorrow morning that there may be no more. I very much disapprove the proceedings of tonight & shall be glad to have done with them, though I have escaped very well, better than most. Some are much bruised & hurt in their struggle to get away. We had a game at Bowls. There was a very large soirée (tea & talk) in our sitting room this afternoon.

Weston   1850, December 26

The hounds met here. Mr. Wrottesley, Mr. Taylor & Mr. R. Brooke came in for a few minutes. They formed(?) at the White Sitch, came back into the park & race(?) it to Boscobel where they killed & Johnny brought back the brush & Mr. Leeke to luncheon. Several different members of the family saw several foxes, one of whose brushes they some of them thought they recognized in the one Johnny brought home! Some drove in the afternoon, another large soirée. Music & talk today, not tea & talk. In the evening billiards, Poet, magical music &c &c & wound up with a little valse.

Weston   1850, December 27

Such a lovely day that we almost all were out all the morning. Some following the shooters & Emily, Leila, Mary & I taking our favorite quarry walk. Mr. & Mrs. Maria Feilden dined here. Music, consequences & commerce. I dined. Lucy & Mary had tea. Louisa & Lucy drove in the afternoon.

Weston   1850, December 28

A large party went out riding to Chillington, Isabel & Louisa among others. Tom, Agnes & Letty went on the pool trolling & caught a good pike. Uncle Charles & I took a walk together round the water. Leila not well & staid in bed most of the day. Uncle Wolryche came.

Weston   1850, December 30

Monday. Uncle Wolryche & Orlando went over to Shrews- bury to shop &c & back. A large party rode. Some fished. Mary & Isabel walked together. Lady B. & Uncle Charles drove together. Papa & I walked together. Isabella & Emily Simpson, George & Emily & Edmund came. Large soirée & tea. Lucy had tea. Pleasant evening.

Weston   1850, December 31

A riding party. A "green room soirée" in Mr.(?) George's room. Lucy had tea. Romps & games till it struck 12, when we sang "Old year, good night, good night" & ..(?) regus(?). Games were Post, Start up, Blind man's buff, hunt the ring & Tapping, also bobbing for apples.