“His friend Wybault”

January 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm (books, diaries, people) (, , , )


Still somewhat perplexed about The Wybault Connection (see earlier post “The Mystery of Miss Macklin“), I’ve been searching this slightly unusual name. At least I hope it’s a bit unusual! Certainly the two I seem to come across are Patrick Robert Wybault and his brother, often referred to as General Wybault, Joseph William Wybault. The pair even both lived on Landsdowne-crescent in Chichester, later in life.

But the period I’m interested in is the decade from approximately 1818 to 1829. In 1821, P.R. Wybault married A. A. Macklin (Amelia Anne being the bride’s Christian names). So what has recently been unearthed is of GREAT interest IF it is the correct Wybault:

A biography of Alexander Buchanan – who ultimately has ties to Montreal – went as a young man on a tour to England and France. Somehow he came to be in the company of “his friend Wybault”. However, without either the original journal – or a fuller transcription, I will never know IF this travel companion is given a first name, or a fuller description! Here’s what I have:

buchanan book

  • “On Sunday the 26th March, 1820, he [Alexander Buchanan] set out from London in a mail coach, with his friend Wybault, for Dover, where they arrived on Monday at 7 a.m.  At 9.30 a.m. they embarked on board a small sloop of about 30 tons, crowded to excess with about sixty passengers. The passage to Calais was performed in three hours and ten minutes. On landing they visited the Hotel de Depin [sic: Hotel de Dessin], celebrated for the residence of Sterne.” (opening chapter V)
  • “‘I accompanied two French ladies, a Mrs. Strachen and her sister, and Wybault, to the Luxembourg. We took a walk in the gardens and a view of the exterior of the Palace, and afterwards went to the Gallery of Painting’….” (April 1820 entry)
  • “‘This morning Wybault, myself, Mrs. Strachan, her sister, Mrs. Storey, a Portugese lady and Mrs. Drake, set off in an open carriage to visit some of the Royal Palaces.'”

I’m unsure if “Mrs Storey” is the sister of Mrs. Strachan. There is mention that this sister won “a gold medal from Buonoparte” for her artistic accomplishments, so I will see if I can find her – which may lead to “them” which might lead to “him”. For I’d dearly love to know if Buchanan’s friend was the same P.R. Wybault. They do have Versailles in common; for that is where the Macklin/Wybault marriage took place.

The author of the biography, A.W. Patrick Buchanan, K.C., writing about a hundred years ago, DID say, in the opening pages of chapter III, that the comments on this trip were found in “the very valuable Journal which he kept”.

So I wonder: Does this “valuable Journal” still exist?

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