Lady Charlotte, the Gunnings, and Aynho

August 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm (carriages & transport, diaries, history, london's landscape, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )


Oh my gosh…

Doing just a little digging through Lady Charlotte Bridgeman’s journals, I have come across even more family — and I’m quickly learning why she knew so many whom the Smiths & Goslings knew:

Lady Charlotte’s grandfather, Orlando 1st Earl of Bradford, had a sister named Elizabeth Diana Bridgeman (1764-1810). In 1794 she married Sir George Gunning, bart. Among their children is one in particular who shows up in the diaries of the Rev. Richard Seymour of Kinwarton: Orlando George Gunning, RN. In 1830 he married Richard’s sister, Mary.

Richard’s existing diaries begin in 1832 (designated as volume 4) — so too late to comment on his sister’s courtship and wedding. Reading about Orlando Gunning’s siblings, on the Bridgeman website, made sense of so much: the estate Aynho, in Northamptonshire, was staring me in the face! (I wrote about Aynho last year.)

Published in 1989, Lili at Aynhoe: Victorian Life in an English Country House features drawings of the house by Lili Cartwright (1830s & 1840s); some of her diary entries (how I wish there had been a companion volume with MORE!) are included so that family life is fleshed out. I’ve used this book when discussing naive women artists.

Aynho_colored

Looking it up tonight, I see Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett included some GUNNING material — for one of Orlando’s brothers, the Rev. Sir Henry Gunning married (in 1827) Mary Catherine Cartwright, one of Lili’s sisters-in-law! So, by 1830, with Orlando Gunning’s marriage to Mary Seymour, the Cartwrights were “family”. In Richard’s earliest extant diary is notation of a visit from Orlando, Mary and baby (the future Di Gunning / Di Liddell).

A quick perusal and I see mention of Orlando’s youngest siblings, Octavius (born 1804) and Elizabeth (born 1803).

Richard mentions the death of “Miss Gunning” — which is one piece from Lili’s diary published in Lili at Aynhoe, from the 17th of March: “This morning’s post brought us sad news! Lizzy Gunning died in London yesterday during the aftermath of the operation which was performed on her eight days ago…”

Richard simply mentions hearing about the young woman’s death, so I have NO idea at all about “the operation”. There is much “trimming” of Richard’s diary, but what is left has this to say about Lizzy Gunning: “This morning {19th} we learnt from the Paper the death of Miss Gunning – an account which I fear will cause much deep affliction to poor Orlando and her other brothers–”

Lizzy Gunning had seven brothers!

She would have been close in age to Richard’s own wife, Fanny (who was born in October 1803).

The Gunnings had lost a young son at the Battle of Waterloo; now Miss Gunning. And in 1852, Lady Charlotte’s diary, as well as Richard’s, discusses the accident of Orlando Gunning, who was riding in company with his daughter Di.

Read Lady Charlotte’s journal, May 1852

Richard’s comments, which last for days, has much of the same information – but I have found out WHY Mrs Vyse (Richard’s sister, another “Lizzy”) is able to open the door to Lady Charlotte: it was the Vyse home (in Chesham Street) that Orlando Gunning was brought to: The Vyses were in Windsor at the time.

Lizzy returned first, then George — both to the news of the death of their brother-in-law.

Di Gunning’s marriage – on December 8, 1852, which took place at Coolhurst (the Dickins’ estate in Sussex) – is the event which opens Richard’s twelfth volume of journals.

I’m off to search for more “familiar” names in the Lady Charlotte Bridgeman journals.

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