Make mine a LANDAU

September 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm (carriages & transport, entertainment, places) (, , , )

Susan Bennett, who’s researching the diaries of Georgiana Henderson (née Keate), has spotted my GOSLINGS once or twice. I suspect they are “Old Mrs. Gosling“, William Gosling’s mother (my Mary’s grandmother, who died in the summer of 1811), for she seems to have been the one to introduce Miss Norford to Eliza Gosling (William’s first wife; Mary’s mother). Susan IDs Miss Norford as “Annabella” – so terrific to have a FIRST NAME! Now she’s a bit less anonymous…

Two others of interest have turned up as well: Mr & Mrs Gregg — who (in company with Mrs Gosling) can only be William’s sister, Maria, and her husband Mr Henry Gregg of the Middle Temple. SUCH a thrill to catch these little glimpses of them in the early years of the 1800s.


Susan also sent me a newspaper “clipping” from 1805 – though the “Mrs Gosling” listed currently remains an unknown. Eliza Gosling had died in December 1803; and William doesn’t remarry until 1806 – so it’s not his wife. And there is always the possibility that any given Gosling is from the branch of the family attached to Francis Gosling (William’s cousin and partner in the banking firm Goslings and Sharpe).

But it’s less about the PEOPLE mentioned than the THINGS: carriages to be exact!

The news comes out of MARGATE (The Morning Post, dated 25 Sept 1805), and concerns the Dandelion Royal Fete. How enchanting to read of the “persons of exalted character” as well as the “sultry heat being tempered by the sea breezes”. Then arrive “the fashionables from Ramsgate”!! And the article’s writer is only too ready to tell you (the audience) which “fashionable” arrived in which equipage; it’s simply TOO DELICIOUS.

My currently-anonymous “Mrs. Gosling” appeared in her chariot

Mrs Gosling 1805

Others (as you can see) came in landaus and curricles (guess none in phaetons or barouches were “prominent” enough to be mentioned!), though some “in full regimentals” came on horseback.

Now, if anyone has a diary or some letters from 1805 which pinpoints which Mrs. Gosling was in Margate and Ramsgate in September… come find me!


  1. bella andrewes said,

    I am at the moment researching the Townley family, who originated from Towneley Hall, Burnley, Lancs. My greatgrandfather x4 was a William Pinhey – Whose cousin James Townley married a Mary Gosling (1753-1839). She was a well-known architect in Ramsgate and designed lots of buildings including Albion House and Townley House there. So it could be her mother but what connection to the banking Goslings i am not sure but am trying to find out. She is also a relation of Joshua Reynolds?? Any help would be wonderful!

    • Janeite Kelly said,

      Hi, Bella —

      I wish I could offer you some help and good news. Mary Gosling, aka Lady Smith, was the daughter of Margaret Elizabeth Cunliffe and William Gosling. William did have a sister Maria, sometimes found in the records as “Mary”. She was born in the 1760s and married Henry Gregg.

      William’s father, Robert Gosling, did have a sister Mary; but she married a Dalton.

      I’ve not gone back much further, ie, looking at the siblings and beyond of this Robert Gosling (d. 1794); and the name Townley is not familiar. With Mrs. Townley’s long life, if she had been a relation, she should have been mentioned (the letters & diaries I use are primarily 1790s thru 1840s). I have come across other Mary Goslings, so it is not an uncommon name. Even the British Museum, which houses a sketch called “The Gosling Sisters at a Music Lesson”, have hypothesized a relationship to the Fleet Street-based banking family (I found no connection; and see their website no longer has the lengthy description it once did, and which was printed in the book The Intimate Portrait).

      Your brief explanation, however, is quite filled with detail. If you’re just starting out, search (online or in a local library) through the likes of Burke’s LANDED GENTRY. Different volumes will have more or less information – so finding several volumes may help!

      Looking up the buildings you listed, associated with them in Ramsgate, I see her maiden name listed as GOSTLING = a related name, but if truly used by her will make a difference for your online searches (though it’s always worth it to search with several different spellings; newspapers and such can be highly fluid with name spellings).

      To answer your Reynolds question; even this family of Goslings were not related to Reynolds – friends; and their portraits painted by him.

      Happy to help with pointers (especially if you’re just starting to look and unsure where to look); email me (see my “author” info link in the menu to the right).

      Good luck in your researching.


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