An internet search brought up the following for a former eBay auction – trouble is I have NO CLUE as to the date of the auction — recent? really old? The date of the letter is less in question, 1861 – though no day or month.
The original description read:
“Addressed to Lady Seymour. Stamp has been cut out leaving part Southampton cancel with Botley & part Berkhamsted CDS’s on back. 4 page partly cross hatched letter.”
Would LOVE images of the letter (so I can transcribe the contents) – in exchange for information on the recipient and/or writer. The “Lady Seymour” in question undoubtedly is Maria Culme Seymour (née Smith), Emma Austen’s youngest sister.
Click on the photo to read the history behind this pair of Candelabra, dating from the era of George IV – They once belonged to Denis and Eliza Le Marchant! Oh, the parties this pair must have witnessed…
Sold at auction in December 2007, the price as the hammer dropped was £94,100. Do not hesitate to take a closer look with the “zoom” feature.
I have become CONSUMED with getting more and more Smith & Gosling material, and that has included the dreaded WILLS of even earlier ancestors. The one thing that has proven to be a help? The old wills means I have some earlier orthography, which often helps with the segue into “modern” spelling. The same holds for the earliest handwriting! I even READ some wills I downloaded from The National Archives five or six (or more…) years ago.
So while I thought to share a particularly fabulous hand, I chose this one because its (currently) the earliest example I have – although it is almost (ALMOST!) modern in its legibility.
The give-away: the first word; otherwise, doesn’t it rather look like a child writing?
Just in case you’re unsure what it says: Elsewhere in the Kingdom of England…
Yes, this particular document has a most unusual (to me) ‘s’, which makes the first word look rather like Elfewhere… My document dates from 1726. And is related to family of my diarist Mary Gosling.
I’ll talk more about this document, which I’m just transcribing. In the meantime, I introduce you to palaeography on The National Archives website – which provides a delightful interactive tutorial.
Gotta love a book that begins,
“Years ago I found a trove of old letters. I found them in a broken-down steamer trunk buried under moldy blankets in a dilapidated shed attached to a decrepit row house.”
These words open the 2014 book Nina Sankovitch entitled, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing.
Although I’ve heard of her Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, it was a blog post about LETTERS that brought me to this later book. For the Love of Bookshops wrote about the genesis of Sankovitch’s “next” book:
Like Erin (the bookstore-loving blogger), I too cannot believe the “luck” of such a treasure trove. And, it’s addictive! The more I find on my Smiths & Goslings, the more I want to find.
Sankovitch’s “find” rather reminds me of the beginning of Célestine. Although Gillian Tindall’s trove was a handful of letters, the fascinating history of young Célestine, a French woman, made for a stupendous read and an enthralling untangling of someone’s past. Nina Sankovitch’s stash turned out to be early 20th century: a mother & son correspondence. Thanks goodness the letters found a home!
I’m curious to find out if any Two Teens readers know of ANY publication comparable to an old journal called The Connoisseur. This magazine ceased publication in 1992, but throughout much of the twentieth century it catered to an audience interested in art, portraiture, heraldry, genealogy, antiques, furniture, lace, books – and Notes & Queries from readers!
I have a copy (online) from 1915. It is absolutely FASCINATING!
- February 1915 features “Some Unpublished Lawrence Portraits”
- two unidentified portraits in a private collection, wanting to be ID’ed
- “Notes on Wincanton Delft”
- answers to earlier unidentified paintings
- and “notes” on Rowlandson drawings
I’d be interested to learn if ANYTHING even remotely similar is out there, in print or online. It must indeed have offered a unique “given-and-take” for collectors, as well as those (like me) who just have an interest — or a burning desire to uncover things currently shrouded in mystery. Like more letters, diaries, or portraits of my dear Smiths & Goslings!
Between it’s articles and its queries, The Connoisseur: a magazine for Collectors must indeed have been a “crowd-sourced” pleasure to see on the newsstand or in your mailbox.
Here’s what I’ve quickly found, and hope you derive as much pleasure perusing their pages as I have:
- volume 1: Sept-Dec 1901
- volume 10: Sept-Dec 1904
- volume 13: Sept-Dec 1905
- volume 20: Jan-June 1908
- volume 54: May-August 1919
- volume 57: May-August 1920
- a complete index 1901-1905
- more editions and my copy of 1915 and more 1915
“Things of beauty“: a 2014 blogger discusses the lure of the Connoisseur.
As always, finding an item LONG after it’s been sold at auction. Today’s find was this journal, written by Harry Holdsworth Rawson, aboard HMS Calcutta. Of interest to ME because young Rawson (only fourteen years old) was under Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, Richard Seymour’s brother. Richard’s diary, of course, has mention of his seafaring brother (and the wife & children left behind in England) – but, like mentions of his father (also Sir Michael Seymour), they are mainly of leaves or letters.
I’ve heard a little about Michael on shipboard, mainly because some of the children of Richard Seymour and John Culme-Seymour were aboard with him. How thrilling to hear of such a precious relic.
Would be interested to hear if anyone knows the present whereabouts of this journal, sold at Bonham’s on 19 March 2014.
“For God, the King, and the People”
Welcome to Summer time, Britain!
(clocks forward in UK on Easter Sunday, 2016)
March is Women’s History Month – and author Charlotte Frost has given me a boot in the rear by giving me notice of a New Book and a hitherto unseen History Blog.
The Blog is History in the Margins. “A Blog about History, Writing, and Writing about History.” Recent posts have discussed “Confederate Nurses”, new books (including a tie-in with the PBS series Mercy Street), and of course the New Book I mentioned at the top of the page.
Marie von Clausewitz:
The Woman Behind the Making of On War
What is MOST striking, is the informative interview with the author Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, on History in the Margins. Some wonderful moments, like seeing she has a connection to Norwich University (a short-ish drive from where I live) to the vicarious *THRILL* of some letters just turning up! She also touches upon the thoughts that resonate with ME about the “why” behind such thing as Women’s History Month.
- Women’s History Month (website)
Women from the past MATTER. And the more women whose lives are dusted off and introduced, the more the realization will grow that WOMEN have voices, and they have IMPORTANT things to say.
Marie von Clausewitz sounds a woman so like the Smiths & Goslings: she SAVED everything. But: a miracle when one realized (200 years later) that these items STILL exist!
My Sunday today began with remembering a Clephane relative of Margaret (Lady Compton, Emma’s cousin-in-law) was fighting on the British side during the American Revolutionary War. Today ends with anticipating a good read about a German woman, a patron of the arts, a writer whose best known work has only her husband’s name on the cover.
- Let Wikipedia whet your appetite for Marie von Brühl / Frau von Clausewitz.
The Jane Austen Society of North America, Vermont Chapter hosts their March 2016 meeting in Montpelier, Vermont, on the campus of Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Several members of “Jane Austen in Vermont” travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to attend the JASNA AGM. I was lucky enough to present a paper, which will be re-presented for a home-audience:
“Who could be more prepared than she was”
True Tales of Life, Death, & Confinement:
Childbirth in 19th Century England
Kelly M. McDonald
Period letters and diaries present stories of Austen-related mothers-to-be. Georgian women discussed among themselves what potentially preoccupied a woman’s life for twenty years and more: miscarriage, pregnancy, labor, childbed fever, lactation barriers, and rituals affecting a new mother up to (and including) “churching.”
Sunday, 13 March 2016
Gary Library, 36 College Street
Vermont College of Fine Arts
1. Learn & Discuss, “Living in Jane Austen’s World”
2. Illlustrations include images of actual letters & diaries
3. Meet others who read, watch, and love Jane Austen & England
4. Have a cup of tea and enjoy some munchies
5. It’s FREE and open to the public!
In looking for more information on Elizabeth Sykes – only daughter of Lady Smith (née Elizabeth Monckton) and her first husband Sir Francis Sykes – I came across this WONDERFUL resource for families connected to the East India Company. This includes MANY in the Smith & Gosling greater family.
There are “case studies” which you can find by family or by estate. I found the Daylesford case study to have been done by Elisabeth Lenckos. Elisabeth spoke about researching Daylesford, the estate of Warren Hastings, at last year’s JASNA Annual General meeting in Louisville, one of the break-out sessions I attended. On the East India Company at Home, she likewise writes about the Ivory Furniture Hastings brought back to England. Daylesford, of course, was known to Jane Austen’s cousin (and eventual sister-in-law), Eliza de Feuillide.
Much food for thought is offer on the EICAH website. Highly recommended!