Rachel in Lincolnshire, who’s just finished up a degree (BIG Congrats, Rachel!!) and done some interesting work at Belton House (once associated with Lady Marian Alford, daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Northampton), sent me a link to the National Trust’s “ABC Bulletin” -> which stands for Arts, Buildings, Collections Bulletin.
- The Summer 2014 issue tells a fabulous Tale of Two Portraits: the ‘reunion’ of Emma Vernon with her former home, Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire.
- The Spring 2014 issue has an article about THE VYNE which you won’t want to miss, all about a Veronese Altarpiece.
**NOTE: images contained in the online issues
seem far inferior to those issues received ‘in your inbox‘.
The ABC Bulletin, issued four times a year, has online links back to the 2010 editions. I myself must spend some time looking, reading, finding, enthralling. Maybe I should have contacted this periodical, rather than the editor of the larger National Trust Magazine -> they didn’t care at all to hear about my dear Eliza Chute! Their loss… Still an idea; although, after the rigmarole of trying to access their handful of Eliza letters, I’m not sure I care any more to share. Must think about that one.
But today I wanted to blog about something found while discussing the Bulletin with Rachel: another NT Property, Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. They purchased a Visitors’ Album once belonging to the Greg Family from James Cummins Bookseller (a very familiar name in the antiquarian book realm). The “Family Album” dates from 1800 to 1815 – and I just LOVED the comment that once it was seen in the flesh “Within seconds of opening its gilded pages we knew we had to have it.” Nice to have kindly benefactors… for original manuscripts can sometimes be PRICEY!
An aside: When I was in Northampton early this summer I leafed through a FABULOUS album or scrapbook once belonging to Miss Rowell, who has ties to the Comptons of Castle Ashby. As the archivist laid it out on cushions for me, she confessed that she had looked through the book — and was just enchanted. Ditto for myself! But up to a year ago this was rather buried in the stacks – for when I first inquired about it (the notice in an old, old bulletin of acquisitions) I got rather a surprising note and very little information.
So ‘enchanting’ items so readily exist – they just have to see the light of day.
For fans of North and South – whether Elizabeth Gaskell’s book or the BBC series with the scrumptious Richard Armitage – Quarry Bank Mill might be of great interest: there’s a Love Story AND a TV series, which this past spring filmed its second season at Quarry Bank Mill (just finished its run in the UK). IMDB has some useful Message Boards about the series, including this short one about the Greg family.
I must claim for myself a hometown that once depended on “The Mill” for employment, though it had ceased to be a working mill by the time I was born. Aunts and a grandmother worked in it though. You can read about the Winooski Woollen Mills online.
A FABULOUS FIND! Always seems to happen when I stay up super late (two or three a.m.)… As usual, in looking for something completely different I found this VERY USEFUL Smith & Gosling tidbit.
Housed among the superb WALLACE COLLECTION (Manchester Square, London) is a Visitors’ Book for Meyrick’s Armory. When Charles noted the visit in his diary, I have to admit: I was baffled when transcribing it.
BUT: Charles SIGNED Meyrick’s book!! Alas, the online version is only a transcription (though page one, with visitors King George IV and Sir William Knighton exists in a small image).
- search for MEYRICK and see some of the fantastic armour he had on display in the 1820
- read Malcolm Mercer’s article Samuel Meyrick and the Historic Collections at the Tower of London (academia.org)
- Meyrick in THE LONDON MAGAZINE, 1829
- Meyrick’s (lengthy) obituary in GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE, 1848
- Goodrich Court and Rosalind Lowe’s book
The first inkling _I_ had was when transcribing this sentence by Charles in March 1829:
The text reads:
Went to see Dr Meyricks very curious
collection of armour dating back
to the earliest periods no plate
armour before Edward IV all
the armour previous was
As you can see, his entry was curious, mainly because of his difficult handwriting — until I knew something about Meyrick.
The armoury collection was located then at 20 Upper Cadogan Place, London. Sir Richard Wallace acquired Meyrick’s collection in 1871. Charles seems to have visited all by himself. The visitors’ book tells a different story, with three successive signatures:
Sir Charles Smith Suttons Essex
Mr Spencer Smith Portland Place.
Mr Bennett Gosling 6 Stone Buildings Lincolns Inn
So, Charles arrived with his brother Spencer and their friend / next-door neighbor / Charles’ brother-in-law, Benntt Gosling.
The other surprise came with the listing of Benntt’s residence: I knew he had qualified for the bar before ultimately joining the family banking firm Goslings & Sharpe; but never realized he lived for a time at 6 Stone Buildings!
As the introduction to the visitors’ book indicates, Dr Meyrick dissuaded people from signing more than once – so when Charles returned on the 25th he is not listed, but his companions are:
Went to Dr Meyricks with L. Christie Mother Augusta H Wilder
and there they are in Meyrick’s book; though the typescript has suffered a misread: Henry has changed sex and become his own wife! (they weren’t married even yet) Here’s the typescript (with corrections in brackets):
Mrs Smith & Daughter [Mamma and Augusta]
Mrs. [sic] Henry Wilder Purley Hall Reading [H Wilder]
Miss Gosling [Elizabeth Gosling, future Mrs Christie]
Langham Christie Preston Deanery Northampton [L. Christie]
Mary’s diary for these dates are BLANK on the 6th of March; and only mentions “Baby free from sickness” on the 25th. GROAN! There DOES EXIST a “mystery” (LADY) MARY SMITH on page 39 (as opposed to Charles’ entry on page 55). Could This Be HER?? Without seeing the signature, I just can’t know for sure.
I invite readers of Two Teens in the Time of Austen to The Book Rat for the FIFTH annual AUSTEN IN AUGUST — August 18 through 31. A Fest to Feast upon. Check it out!