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: January 1856

Weston   1856, January 2

Too foggy to photograph. In the afternoon the party dispersed in many ways. Some drove to Tong, some to Blymhill, some walked & meet the shooters & Lilla, Isabel & I drove to Aston & called on the Corbetts & then proceeded to shop at Lander's. Mr. George Monckton dined here & kept us alive with laughing. He sung an Indian song !

Weston   1856, January 3

We had a grand photographing morning & succeeded very much better & are quite pleased with ourselves. We did a little biggie(?) of Agnes & some big biggies(?) of Selina & Isabel & some groups. A statue in a niche of Edmund smoking was unluckily not so succussful & one of the groups got spoilt. So tired I did not go out again but spent a quiet afternoon. Kept Twelfth Night by Snap Dragon, Bullet pudding & a variety of feats with candles &c. The 3 boys & Arthur Eyre came down for them. Gerald cut down the bullet. A better account of Tom by telegraph. The first really good one.

Weston   1856, January 4

We went photographing at 10 o'clock to take a "big biggie" of Agnes before she went. She & Sir Vincent went away at 1/2 past 11 & we went back again & took 3 or 4 more beauties. We are in great heart about them now & we have so many more than we can print in a month for all the people that want. Lady Dartmouth & George Legge came to luncheon. He is getting on a little - is much better in health but can hardly walk at all yet. I did not go out in the afternoon. George did not come back to dinner tonight.

Weston   1856, January 5

Mr. Wright went away & the Edmund B's. Newport also went to Longford to shoot & remain the night. Mary & Robert came, Mr. Hamilton Russell & Ernald Lane. We could neither photograph nor print it was such a bad day, but got out a little in the afternoon. Francis only came down stairs. The others had been naughty. Played at bowls.

Weston   1856, January 6

Sunday. I went to Blymhill with George & took Georgey & Francis. Played the organ in church there, had luncheon & walked home in the rain after afternoon church. Lent Francis my tweed cloak to save his velvet cap, but he was divided between his wish to do that & fear of meeting people ! Organ in the evening.

Weston   1856, January 7

Mr. Hamilton Russell, Helen & Uncle Wolryche went away & Orlando after shooting. Photographed in the morning. Frances Legge came to luncheon. We did not go out again. The boys came down in the evening. Georgey & I did a Princess of Timbuctoo & afterwards we played at Bowls.

Weston   1856, January 8

The Newports went away. We did 2 or 3 photographs in the morning & filtered & sensitized all the afternoon. We dined early & the annual servant's ball took place. We danced with them the 3 first Country dances & then left Georgey to Robert's care to be sent to bed at 1. Robert, Mr. Leighton & Ernald Lane remained late.

Pitchford   1856, January 9

The whole party dispersed different way. Lucy to Acton Reynald with Aunt C., Isabel & Leila. Papa, Lady B., Letty & I to Pitchford, where the party consists of Lord & Lady Stafford, Lord Hill, Lord Powis, Mrs. & Miss Howard besides ourselves.

Pitchford   1856, January 10

We walked before luncheon & some of us after too. Went the Hunt ball. Pretty full one, but no "swells" or strangers, so I am afraid Lady Stafford must have found it very dull & won't be inclined to honour the Salop ball again. (Her piper piped during desert). We were home before 3.

Weston   1856, January 11

We came home. I had a horrible sick headache. Georgey had gone this morning.

Weston   1856, January 12

The boys went away. Lucy came home & George with her who remained to luncheon & then I walked part of the way with him. Lucy Thompson heard that her mother was dangerously ill, so we let her go off to Wolverhamton as soon as she had unpacked Lucy's things. Mrs. Monckton called.

Weston   1856, January 13

Sunday. George dined here but would go home after.

Weston   1856, January 14

In the morning I went to the Temple with Davis & fetched away all the photograph concerns we need at Torquay. George came before luncheon & staid. In the afternoon I skated with him on the Park Pool on the most beautiful ice I ever saw. So clear it was that we could see the fish swimming below us & to the bottom of the pool all over. It is my first & I fear my only chance of practising skating this year as George will not be here again before we go.

Weston   1856, January 15

George went to Stoneleigh so no more skating for me. Miss Brooke called. Lady B., Lucy & I drove to Blymhill to say goodbye to the children there & walked home.

Weston   1856, January 16

Lady Louisa Cotes called & brought little ..(?) with her.

Weston   1856, January 17

We left Weston for Torquay. Slept at Bath.

Torquay   1856, January 18

Reached Torquay. I had one of the very worst of my sick headaches, which gave me & everybody else a most miserable journey. The train all so full too that we could not keep to our- selves. Got straight to bed on getting to our house (Voucero(?)). Mrs. & Miss Hope called as we arrived but I did not see them.

Torquay   1856, January 19

Mrs. & Miss Hope had luncheon here. I came down about luncheon time. It seems a very nice house with a beautiful view & large garden & terraces, but I have not been able to explore.(?) them yet. We are to have a most convenient room for our photo- graphy, close to a door opening on the terrace.

Torquay   1856, January 20

I did not to go to church: explored the garden afternoon. Miss Hope had luncheon here. Showery.

Torquay   1856, January 21

Rainy day. We have not our old Torquay weather. This miserable. Made many arrangements about our photographing ..(?) - have to get a yellow curtain, a drugget or matlin (?) & a table. Hope to get it usable in a day or so. Lucy bad with face ache. Letty & I went to Oversfield & staid on to luncheon & till 4 in hopes it would clear which it didn't. Mrs. Hope dined here.

Torquay   1856, January 22

Another rainy day. Miss Hope came to luncheon & after as it seemed clearing she & Papa & I took a walk to the Beacon & down to the Bathing Cove, met Mr. Selwyn & home round by Rock end. Very tired, dirty & soaked, for it poured with rain the whole time & the mud in places ankle deep. Mrs. Hope dined here.

Torquay   1856, January 23

Our table & drugget came & Davis hung up our yellow calico & I sensitized paper in the morning. In the afternoon I drove with Lady B., Letty & Mrs. Hope to the Goodrington Sands where we got out & walked a little while. Letty's & my umbrella fell out of the carriage unbeknownst & were lost. Mr. Selivius & Miss Dyott called while we were out.

Torquay   1856, January 24

Printed a good deal this morning & mixed some chemicals. Day blustery & stormy but often fine. Lady B. & Letty made some calls in the afternoon & found Miss Dyott at home. Lucy & I each with a swelled face took a quiet & short constitutional on the terraces between showers.

Torquay   1856, January 25

I had another awful sick headache the whole day & night. Lucy & Letty fetched Miss Hope & drove to Petit Tor. Mrs. & Miss Hope dined here. They tell me it was the most heavenly day. How I wasted it ! Poor me.

Torquay   1856, January 26

Showery. We ladies took a drive meaning to stretch our legs on Paignton Sands, but it looked so threatening, that we turned back & not to soon for it began to pelt before we got home. Miss Hope looked in after it was over. Papa did calls for the family.

Torquay   1856, January 27

Sunday. Most lovely day. Went to church in a fly in the morning some of us. I was so glad to find myself again in that very nice Upton Church. It has got a most beautiful sphere & peal of bells now & has had the chancel fitted up with tiles. The music is still very good, but the organist not up to our friend Mr. Geddy, but he is dead & they would find it diffi- cult to get such another again. Papa, Letty & I walked home & did not go in the afternoon, but sat awhile out on the terrace.

Torquay   1856, January 28

Photographed in the morning in the intervals of hair cutting. Did one of the little boys & basket in the garden with me beside it which was succussful & one of Lucy & a vase which had a little accident & meant to do Miss Hope & her dog & Letty to, but while we were fixing the focus & the screw going wrong again, it began to rain & we had to give it up. Miss Hope had luncheon here & drove with us after. Mrs. Boyle called & Lady Yarde Buller after we were all out but Lucy. We made a round of calls, on Mrs.Selwyn, Lady Eardley, Lady S. Reeve, Lady Clonmell (the only one we found at home), the Miss Grenfells & the Miss L...vans(?) & Mrs. Joscelin Percy. We go out on Waldon Hill & walked down thru' the fir wood to the sea & the carriage went round to meet us. Home round Tor Abbey & Mr. Widger's where I left our refractory lens to get its screw put right.

Torquay   1856, January 29

In the morning Papa, Letty & I walked to Miss Dyotts but did not find her at home, so we went on over part of Warberry Hill, thro' fields where we shouldn't be, in paths the steepest & muddiest I ever had the pleasure of walking in & home past the Scoresby's. Lucy sensitized more paper, for what we did yesterday afternoon proved badly done & wouldn't print & we filtered a great deal this morning. After luncheon Papa & Letty took a ride. Lady B., Lucy & I drove to the Paington Sands & walked a little there, then on to the Goodrington Sands & walked again there. Bitterly cold day. Mrs. Hope dined here.

Torquay   1856, January 30

Lucy & I printed & wrote letters in the morning. It was a brilliant day, cold sunny & clear & the printing went on fast & I really hope we have got off a good many. Miss Hope came to luncheon & drove afterwards with Lucy, Letty & me. We went to the Paington Sands again. Sent the carriage home from Oversfield & had our 5 o'clock tea there. Miss Hope dined here.

Torquay   1856, January 31

Photographed in the morning, not very successfully I fear. Miss Hope came in the morning & I walked with her to the town to shop & back with her to Oversfield & then she came back to luncheon. In the afternoon Lucy & Papa took a long ride. Lady B., Letty & I called on Lady Brownlow who has the prettiest & most comfortable house by far that I have seen in Torquay. Is is high above Hesketh Crescent & oh such a view of the sea, which today was the most lovely blue. Brilliant day again - frosty but so still & bright quite hot in the sun. We drove on to the Hesketh Crescent end of the New Cut, sent the carriage home & walked round. Lady B. & Letty stopped at Oversfield a bit on the way home. I came straight home & sensitized paper - very tired all of us.