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 1853

Melton   1853, December 2

We went out hunting again, me with Lady Wilton. It was a strange day. The thickest fog I almost ever saw coming down & clearing off again in the oddest way & part of the time it was beautiful. We saw a great deal more of the hunting than the day before & I enjoyed it exceedingly. We did not get home till 4 o'clock. Dined at Egerton Lodge & besides the same people as yesterday there were Mr. Gilmour, Mr. Grant, Mr. Taylor & Mr. Atkinson

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Melton   1853, December 3

Selina & I & Francey walked to Egerton Lodge & met Lady Wilton & Alice in the garden & she took me to see a picture of Katty in Lord W.'s room & her room &c & then Mrs. Reid called there as we were just going to start together to call on here & we all went back together to the Old Chub & paid her a visit. Then we seperated Lady W. & Alice to the Coventries to pick up Katty who was there & we to the station to meet Johnny, but he did not come by that train & so we went to Mrs. Coventry's too & heard Lady Wallace play.He arrived by the late train after dinner. We dined at home.

Melton   1853, December 4

Sunday. Selina, Johnny, Georgey & I drove to Dalby for church. We were in excellent time today & met Mr. Hartopp & all his family just going to church & we went with them. After church we examined the church through & through. It is the most perfect thing I ever saw, most beautiful in all its details. Mr. Hartopp has built it lately. It only wants a good organ & singing in tune & then it would be quite perfect. Mr. Leslie, Mr. H. Forester & Mr. Taylor all came to luncheon. I did not go out again in the afternoon. Dined at home.

Melton   1853, December 5

I went out early with the boys to take a little sketch of Melton church. In the afternoon Selina & I looked in at Egerton Lodge & shopped & called on Mrs. Coventry who gave us a full & rich account of "darling Dora's" follies on Saturday night, of which we had heard a few little bits yesterday. Newport & Johnny hunted.We dined at Egerton Lodge. Mr. H. Forester & Mr. Leslie are gone. Lady Ellesmere, 2 daughters & a Mr. Fane were staying there & Mr. Taylor dined there. I am wretched at having come to the end of my visit here.

Babworth   1853, December 6

Very sorry to leave Melton. Johnny & I came to Babworth posted to Grantham & then steamed to Retford where the Simpsons sent their carriage for us. Such a transformation I never saw in any place before. From an ugly place it is a reasonably pretty one & the house is not only changed for the better in looks but in comfort. It is exceedingly nice in every way. The H. Simpsons are quite alone.

Babworth   1853, December 7

I called at the Rectory in the morning. Johnny went out riding to Clumber & Thoresby where he called & had his luncheon. Mrs. Simpson & I drove in the afternoon to Retford & Eaton & called on Mrs. Millers(?) in Retford.

Babworth   1853, December 8

I took a walk with Johnny. Henry B. came late.

Babworth   1853, December 9

Lovely frosty day. Johnny & Henry B. went out hunting. I spent a great part of the morning in looking over lovely drawings. In the afternoon Mrs. Simpson & I took a walk & then I called on Fanny again. Johnny dined at the Rectory.

Babworth   1853, December 10

Fine frosty day. I walked with Henry S. & Johnny to the farm & over it & then Johnny & I walked to Retfort to meet Mrs. Simpson who had driven there to shop. Found her in the booksellers shop & she walked home with us. We had met Fanny & Dy & Mrs. Lumly going to Retford.

Babworth   1853, December 11

Sunday. Johnny & I & Henry B. went to church alone & sat some time at the Rectory after.

Weston   1853, December 12

Johnny & I left Babworth & had a most disagreeable journey home, for I had a bad sick headache. We had luckily not to wait at Manchester but hardly more than time to change carriages. Reached Newport about 9. Very tired & ill & went straight to bed. Colonel Eyre & Georgiana & their boy, Isabella Simpson & Percy Herbert are here.

Weston   1853, December 13

I was so surprised to hear this morning that Percy Herbert was here for I had not an idea of it. He & Johnny must away together to Reese (?). Edward Childe came. Mr. Pigot (of Bolton) seems also to be here.

Weston   1853, December 14

This morning the account of dear Emily (who was confined last Wednesday at Brighton) was so very bad that we sent by telegraph for a fresh account & the answer was that she died last night. Poor poor George. Oh what misery & wretchedness there is in the world.

Weston   1853, December 15

Edward Childe went away early. Johnny came home. We telegraphed to Pype to know if Newport was gone to Brighton & heard he had. I hope he will be a comfort to poor George.

Weston   1853, December 16

Johnny was sent to Brighton, (Newport was only to remain there a few hours we found). He went at night.

Weston   1853, December 17

Johnny returned late at night.

Weston   1853, December 19

Monday. Lucy & I walked to Blymhill with Georgiana Eyre.

Weston   1853, December 20

Newport came & George & 4 of his brothers in law from Brighton. Mr. H.C.G. & F. Bagot. It was the saddest dinner & evening. George did not come down to dinner & Lucy staid with him. I staid with him most of the evening. Poor George. He bears his trial so beautifully & is so calm & composed but I feel there must soon be a reaction.

Weston   1853, December 21

A sad day. The funeral took place this morning at Blymhill. We two & Letty attended it, besides George, Newport & Johnny, Papa & dear Emily's four brothers. Mr. Feilden read the burial service. George was touchingly composed throughout & himself repeated all the responses calmly & audibly. Would have given all I possessed to have had the power of looking on her dear face once more if only for a moment before it was put away for ever from my sight. Newport went away soon after & 3 of the Bagots. Captain Bagot remained. George joined us at meals today. I had such a bad headache I could not go down to dinner.

Weston   1853, December 22

George & Captain Bagot went away early this morning. December 24th. Xmas Eve - Saturday. Orlando came.

Weston   1853, December 26

Lucy, Orlando & I walked to Blymhill. Nasty foggy, misty mizzling day as was yesterday.

Weston   1853, December 27

Isabella Simpson went away. There was a deep fall of snow in the course of the morning & at luncheon time it lay six inches deep. In the afternoon Colonel Eyre, Johnny & Orlando went out in the sledge & met with all sorts of mis- haps, upsets & breakages & were obliged to give it up for today till the sledge is made more secure.

Weston   1853, December 28

Frost very hard.

Weston   1853, December 29

Lady B. & Letty lunched at Woodcote. Colonel Eyre, Johnny & I took a walk in the afternoon & Johnny gave us a terrible fright. We had ventured on to the Temple Pool, but in spite of the intense cold (the thermometer was a 17 in the middle of the day - very bright & sunny too), the snow had prevented the ice from hardening properly & it gave way under Johnny & as long as I live I shall never forget that moment, seeing him gradually disappear - fortunately he never got his head under & Colonel Eyre got hime out. But it was a mercy it did not happen in the morning when he had been on the ice & only Lucy & me near him. It was a horrible sight but he is none the worse now.

Weston   1853, December 30

A thaw in the morning just enough to melt the surface of the snow, but it froze hard too most of the day & all the swept walks were like sheets of glass & it was next to impossible to keep on ones feet. I walked with Papa & Colonel Eyre.

Weston   1853, December 31

Still thick snow & icy walks. The Wrights came & Katey W. Uncle & Aunt Charles, Agnes, Isabel & Leila came here from Caerynwch where they have been for Edmund's marriage (last Thursday 29th). They had a tremendous journey to Basechurch across the hills, deep in snow & having to be followed by men on foot frequently with ropes to hold them back down hill & to cut the snow away from the wheels in the drifts & it was a wonder they have reached Bas- church at all. They picked up Gertrude there too & came on here arriving about 10 o'clock.