Greg Family Album @ Quarry Bank (NT)

August 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm (entertainment, estates, history) (, , , , )

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.

the mill

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.

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Anything Exciting? Reading Other People’s Letters

July 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm (history, people, research) (, , , , , , )

A friend recently asked:

How about your letters, anything exciting?

As I typed my reply, the thought came: this would interest readers of Two Teens, too — or so I hope.

I’m just scaling the heights, after an influx of new-to-me information; mainly letters, but also a few early diaries. Here are some early thoughts on the *new* material:

pen and letters
“Can’t say I’ve come across anything that would be termed exciting in and of itself; just a build-up of family history. Seems quite a few letters were saved from a period in Emma’s life when she was “sought after” by Arthur Perceval. She certainly didn’t find him ‘attractive’; but gosh she experienced such ANGST over her negative thoughts!

“HARD not to wonder if she didn’t already think about Edward Austen – though this was a good 3 years before they married…

“I knew a few letters along this line existed, but there turned out to be more! And those letters from 1825 that I thought would be primarily about Charles and his recent bereavement, turned out to be MORE letters about Mr Perceval! The Oxford collection, though, had an interesting twist on the tale: Mr P visited Suttons! A bit of an uncomfortable encounter for them both.

“And in the end? he married someone else, seemingly rather quickly. Almost an “any girl will do”, rather like Mr Collins. (from your favorite: Pride and Prejudice.)

“The letters of Lady Northampton to her husband are – of themselves – not much. Short, written (and sent) nearly every day. Such longing for his return! and it seems they were SHORT (and frequent) because HE disliked long letters! So as a group, they are quite of use. She wrote her daughter in the same way. Never having much to say, but always keeping the conversation going.

“The question, now, is: If HER letters exist, what happened to those sent TO her?! Weren’t those saved??”

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Lady Frances Compton’s Library

February 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm (books, chutes of the vyne, entertainment, europe, jane austen, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , , )

Compton_Lady FrancesLady Frances Compton, sister of the 1st Marquess of Northampton of Castle Ashby, is just one of the many strong women I have come across in the extended Smith of Suttons family. You cannot image how thrilling it is to see a picture of her. And sold so long ago (see Sotheby’s 2006 auction). Her father’s miniature I had seen, but it’s hers I’m happy to see!

She is more easily tracked than her niece (and namesake), Lady Frances Elizabeth Compton (aka Lady Elizabeth Dickins, wife of Charles Scrase Dickins), and among the items unearthed yesterday are some BOOKS.

I have long been interested in the library holdings of the extended family. And was just overjoyed to be holding in my hands — thanks to a gift from Martyn Downer (author of, among other texts, Nelson’s Purse, which traces the friendship of Lord Nelson with Mary Gosling’s uncle, Alexander Davison) of an actual book once in the library of Mrs Gosling (her bookplate attachment). More about that important gift at a later date.

A small image of Lady Frances’ bookplate will continue my story.

bookplate_Lady FrancesThis appears in what seems to be a CURRENT sale of a book entitled, Wild Flowers, or, Pastoral and Local Poetry by Robert Bloomfield, published in 1806.

But there’s more out there…

This one is of great interest to me, being an ‘American Lady‘: Memoirs of an American Lady: with sketches and manners and scenery in America, as they existed previous to the Revolution. By the author of Letters from the Mountains, &c &c {Anne Grant}. Published in 1808. How wonderful to picture Lady Frances, whether in England or abroad on the Continent, sitting down to read about a woman who “spent her formative years” in Albany, New York — which is a few hours to the south of me in northern Vermont.

But there’s more….

A copy of Amelie Opie’s Valentine’s Eve (3 vols; 1816) also comes complete “Mit dem heraldischen Exlibris von Lady Frances Compton auf den Innendeckeln.” The seller is in Switzerland, a country which Lady Frances frequented.

And more…

Richard Johnson’s Lilliputian Library; Or, Gulliver’s Museum containing Lectures on Morality. Historical Pieces. Interesting Fables…. has a subscription list. Lady Frances began early then, as she is listed in this 1779 title.

Last, I will mention one academic library – King’s library at Miami University – which has in its Special Collections a volume once owned by Lady Frances. I LOVE the title, which I include in full: An essay on the art of ingeniously tormenting: with proper rules for the exercise of that pleasant art, humbly addressed; In the first part to the master, husband &c. In the second part to the wife, friend &c. with some general instructions for plaguing all your acquaintance.

I leave my best two thoughts for last.

The sellers of the first book, Wild Flowers, have possibly seen Deirdre Le Faye’s excellent Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family – for they cite the following as an inducement to purchase: “Lady Frances was a friend of the Austen family and frequently visited and dined with them.” Hmmmm….

And then there’s this:

The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets.

4 volumes. [6], 436; v, [1], 431; [4], 409 + [1] ad; [4], 452 pp. Copper-engraved frontispiece portrait of Johnson in Vol. I. 8½x5, period straight-grained red morocco ruled in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Attractive edition, in nice period bindings. With the bookplates of Mrs. Chute, and an ink inscription in the first volume, “Elizabeth Chute, Lady Francis Compton’s gift, 1799.”
Heading:
Author: Johnson, Samuel
Place Published: London
Publisher Name: Printed for T. Longman, et al.
Date Published: 1794

lives_English Poets

Did Eliza really write her name as Lady Francis Compton?
The entire family (until Emma’s involvement with James Edward Austen)
did typical write Austin rather than Austen.
“Misspellings” make searches more challenging.

Check out Lot 6 from the same 2006 sale. Who was Lady Tara?

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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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