Queen Charlotte’s Brooch

January 4, 2014 at 11:33 am (british royalty, fashion, history, people, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , )

I’ve been crafting some “mini-biographies” of the Smiths & Goslings lately; one gave a short history of Charlotte Gosling, Mary’s younger (half-) sister. One of the thrilling stories about her occurred early in her life: her Godmother was England’s Queen Charlotte! It is doubtful that her name derives from the Queen; Charlotte Gosling’s mother was another Charlotte, the former Charlotte de Grey. But the connection undoubtedly could not have hurt, and it is possible that Charlotte (de Grey) Gosling was named for the queen: her father, Thomas 2nd Lord Walsingham, was Groom of the Bedchamber during the 1770s (his daughter Charlotte born in 1774).

Charlotte Gosling’s niece, another Charlotte — Charlotte Christie — remembered that when baby Charlotte was christened, her godmother the Queen gave the elder Gosling girls each a brooch, with her likeness. What could have happened to such treasures?!? What might these brooches have looked like? Searching, I found one that _I_ wouldn’t have minded being gifted with, by my sister’s godmother.

queen charlotteQueen Charlotte
J.H. Hurter, 1781
enamel, copper, gold, rubies, pearls

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The Beau Monde

November 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm (books, london's landscape, people, research) (, , , , , , , , , )

Kildare alerted me to a useful — and highly praising — review of the book I have recommended to several contacts and friends:

beau monde

Hannah Greig’s The Beau Monde describes a world in which the Smiths and Goslings participated, if on a slightly less-central level than someone like the glittering Duchess of Devonshire…

It has dawned on me, while reading, that the parent generation was more among the “movers and shakers” than the child generation. Routs, card parties, soirées – held for hundreds of guests – was the norm for the Hon. Charlotte Gosling at No. 5 Portland Place during the Regency years. Her two step-daughters, Mary and her sister Elizabeth, married well – young men of means; but they never supported the life Charlotte, the daughter of a peer (the 2nd Baron Walsingham) strove for in the early years of her marriage. Emma’s great aunt, Mrs Smith of Bersted Lodge, in her frequent interactions with the Royals – her twin sister, Lady Mayo, eventually served as Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Adelaide (1830-1837), enjoyed an intimacy with the likes of the Duchesses of Clarence, Kent, and Gloucester, Princess Augusta, and even attended parties at Carlton House. Emma has left an account of the presentation of her eldest sister Augusta in 1817. Mamma was magnificently dressed!

Carlton House

See my page The Fashionable World or posts like Erle Stoke Park: The Well-to-do Party and What If You Threw A Party – and Everyone Came

adelaide-ladies museum

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La belle assemblee, or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine

May 1, 2011 at 11:22 am (books, fashion, news, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

La Belle Assemblée (1806-1868) (also called Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine)

This magazine is exceptionally difficult to find within books.google: it may be the accent in Assemblée; there are issues out there, but not easily found with its title! I’m doing my best to flesh out the copies, and actually just found a few *new* ones yesterday!!

Charlotte Frost, whose interview about her biography on Sir William Knighton can be read on this blog (part 1, part 2), actually gifted me with a bound copy of volume July thru Supplement for 1818. Wasn’t that kind of her. That volume is  found online (see below).

So what has interested me, seemingly all of a sudden, in this periodical. I found a “relation” to members of family. Oh, the story is long (have a seat, grab a cup of tea):

The portrait seen here, of Lady Langham, wife of Sir William, appears in the January 1809 issue of La belle assemblée. The brief bio that appears quite clearly speaks of her in the present-tense:

“LADY LANGHAM, whose portrait, from the celebrated pencil of Hopner,…is the only daughter of the Hon. Charles Vane, by Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Wood, Esq. of Hollin, in the County of York. Her Ladyship is married to Sir William Langham Bart. of Cotesbroke [sic: Cottesbrooke], Northamptonshire.”

Some Baronetages list Lady Langham as having died in 1807! Even a private family publication, The Christies of Glyndbourne (where she is ID as Elizabeth FANE), gives her death as 1807. An old copy of Debrett’s is surely more correct, given the above January 1809 bio, in saying that she died in November 1809. Yes, this vibrant young woman was soon taken from her family, aged only 29.

The rather curious-infuriating part: her widower seems to have REmarried in May 1810! Where are the stout-hearted fathers and widowers like William Gosling, who wait YEARS before remarrying???

Sir William’s second wife is quite probably the LADY LANGHAM Mary Gosling/Lady Smith refers to: she was the former Augusta Priscilla IRBY, only daughter of William Henry Irby and therefore the niece of Frederick Lord Boston. Mary’s stepmother Charlotte de Gray (Charlotte Gosling)’s maternal grandfather was the first Lord Boston; Mary’s diaries are sprinkled with Irbys.

But “Langham” should also be a name familiar to readers of TWO TEENS: Langham Christie, the husband of eldest Gosling sister, Elizabeth. Indeed, that same older Debrett’s lays out the intersecting Langham of Cottesbrooke Baronets (no sons often meant the title went — time and again — to a nephew or uncle or sibling, so it jumps around a LOT). Langham Christie’s grandfather, Purbeck Langham — who married Elizabeth Lawton and had among his children Langham’s eventual mother, also named Elizabeth — was the brother of the 2nd and 3rd Baronets. The 4th Baronet’s grandson became the 8th Baronet and was the Sir William who married our lovely lady shown here. (SEE! we did return to her, in the end…).

Ah! I forgot to mention: Elizabeth Lawton’s sister JANE LAWTON married the 8th Earl of Northampton — and this, (of course), is the family from whom Emma’s cousin Spencer, the 2nd Marquess Northampton, descends. Oh, such interweaving of little family histories. No wonder Langham and Charles Christie were so around the Smiths: they were in turn related to Smith relatives (the Comptons of Castle Ashby). The Christies of Glyndebourne was the first to drop that little piece of info into my lap.

Very interesting to see this engraving of the Hopner portrait, for it SO reminds me of portraits by Vigée Le Brun (see, for instance the 1791 portrait of Hyacinth Gabrielle Roland, at Bat Guano – the wonderful site dedicated to this artist). You can see her self-portrait at the Kimball Museum, in Fort Worth, Texas! (Fort Worth is the site of this autumn’s Annual General Meeting, or AGM, for the Jane Austen Society of North America.)

* * *

This page is NOT being updated; see link for La Belle Assemblée’s page

So, in a VERY long-winded way, this post introduces the numbers of this journal that I HAVE found online. Enjoy!

February-July 1806; August-December 1806
*new find!*
January-June 1807; July-December 1807 (same issue at Internet Archive)

January-June 1809; July-December 1809
January-June 1810 (alternative link to issue ); July-December 1810
January 1811 (supplemental); January-June 1811; July-December 1811
January-June 1812; July-December 1812

July-December 1814 *new find!*

January-June; July-December 1818; January-December 1818 (Internet Archive) *new find!*

New Series:

January-June 1820

January-June 1823 *new find!*

July-December 1830

January-June 1832
January-June 1833; July-December 1833
January-June 1834; July-December 1834
July-December 1835
July-December 1836 *new find!*

January-June 1837

January-June 1850

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What if you threw a PARTY – and everyone came?!

April 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm (entertainment, news, people, places) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My first clue was Emma’s 1816 diary, in which she writes:

May 2, Thursday,  Mama & Augusta went to Mrs Goslings ball & supper

This ball made headlines! From the Morning Post for 4 May 1816:

Mrs. William Gosling’s Ball.
A very splendid Ball and Supper were given by that distinguished luminary in the fashionable world, on Thursday night, in Portland-place. The superb mansion put on all its attractions. The outer and inner hall were decorated with flowers and exotic plants.

The magnificent staircase was lighted up with crystal lamps; the Ball-room illuminated by costly chandeliers and lustres. The latter apartment was of great extent, in consequence of the whole suit [sic: suite] of rooms being thrown into one, through the medium of the folding doors, acting upon a retiring principle. The floor was admirably decorated by that skilful artist, Mr. ELMSMORE; it represented flowers in wreaths, and figures.

Dancing commenced at eleven o’clock, led off by Mr. PAULET and the accomplished Miss GOSLING {Elizabeth Gosling, Mary’s eldest sister; the future Mrs Langham Christie}. About fifteen couples followed. Waltzing was also introduced. At two o’clock, the company adjourned to the supper-room. Here was a matchless specimen of taste and elegance.

Every decorative ornament was used to give zest to a most excellent banquet consisting of every delicacy. Covers were laid in three rooms on the ground floor, for two hundred and ten persons. The party exceeding that number, an apartment on the first floor was set apart for the supernumeraries, exceeding fifty. [so, in reality, 260+ people attended!]

The dancing recommenced at three o’clock, and was kept up with proper spirit until six; after this a dejeune was served up in the best possible style. At seven in the morning the company separated.

An even-more-splendid write-up appears the following year (again in the Morning Post), 23 April 1817:
Mrs. Gosling’s Ball.
 A Waltz and Quadrille Ball was given in Portland-place, on Monday evening, to a circle of fashionables, exceeding 300 in number. As the mansion is one of the best built, and the best furnished, in that quarter of the town, it appeared, of course, when brilliantly lighted up, and filled with an assemblage of beautiful women, elegantly dressed, to great advantage. There were three drawing-rooms thrown open, pannelled with mirrors, from the ceiling to the floor; the fourth room attracted its share of admiration; it was one of the prettiest boudoirs in the town, fitted up with extraordinary taste. This room was appropriated for cards. Dancing commenced at a quarter past eleven, led off by the accomplished Miss GOSLING and a Military Gentleman, whose name we could not learn. Several sets danced in the saloon. On the ground floor, the library and great eating-room were thrown open; they are highly enriched by the most rare productions in nature and art; the pictures are particularly deserving of praise, being all chefs d’oeuvre of the old master. At half-past four this delightful treat concluded. A sandwich supper was given. There were present the following leaders in gay life, viz.:—
 
Well, that lengthy paragraph my tired little fingers will let your tired little eyes peruse! And now a gallop to the finish: 
 
The outer and inner halls, and the grand staircase were illuminated in a nouvelle and pleasing style. A prodigious quantity of flowering shrubs decorated the recesses.. In short, nothing was wanting to give effect to the scene.
Whew…
Maybe next I should mention a few little details about Mrs. William Gosling, née the Hon. Charlotte de Grey.
***
The above illustration is from Ackermann’s Repository for May 1816.
Read Charlotte Gosling’s guest list:

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