Lady Charlotte, the Gunnings, and Aynho

August 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm (carriages & transport, diaries, history, london's landscape, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Oh my gosh…

Doing just a little digging through Lady Charlotte Bridgeman’s journals, I have come across even more family — and I’m quickly learning why she knew so many whom the Smiths & Goslings knew:

Lady Charlotte’s grandfather, Orlando 1st Earl of Bradford, had a sister named Elizabeth Diana Bridgeman (1764-1810). In 1794 she married Sir George Gunning, bart. Among their children is one in particular who shows up in the diaries of the Rev. Richard Seymour of Kinwarton: Orlando George Gunning, RN. In 1830 he married Richard’s sister, Mary.

Richard’s existing diaries begin in 1832 (designated as volume 4) — so too late to comment on his sister’s courtship and wedding. Reading about Orlando Gunning’s siblings, on the Bridgeman website, made sense of so much: the estate Aynho, in Northamptonshire, was staring me in the face! (I wrote about Aynho last year.)

Published in 1989, Lili at Aynhoe: Victorian Life in an English Country House features drawings of the house by Lili Cartwright (1830s & 1840s); some of her diary entries (how I wish there had been a companion volume with MORE!) are included so that family life is fleshed out. I’ve used this book when discussing naive women artists.

Aynho_colored

Looking it up tonight, I see Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett included some GUNNING material — for one of Orlando’s brothers, the Rev. Sir Henry Gunning married (in 1827) Mary Catherine Cartwright, one of Lili’s sisters-in-law! So, by 1830, with Orlando Gunning’s marriage to Mary Seymour, the Cartwrights were “family”. In Richard’s earliest extant diary is notation of a visit from Orlando, Mary and baby (the future Di Gunning / Di Liddell).

A quick perusal and I see mention of Orlando’s youngest siblings, Octavius (born 1804) and Elizabeth (born 1803).

Richard mentions the death of “Miss Gunning” — which is one piece from Lili’s diary published in Lili at Aynhoe, from the 17th of March: “This morning’s post brought us sad news! Lizzy Gunning died in London yesterday during the aftermath of the operation which was performed on her eight days ago…”

Richard simply mentions hearing about the young woman’s death, so I have NO idea at all about “the operation”. There is much “trimming” of Richard’s diary, but what is left has this to say about Lizzy Gunning: “This morning {19th} we learnt from the Paper the death of Miss Gunning – an account which I fear will cause much deep affliction to poor Orlando and her other brothers–”

Lizzy Gunning had seven brothers!

She would have been close in age to Richard’s own wife, Fanny (who was born in October 1803).

The Gunnings had lost a young son at the Battle of Waterloo; now Miss Gunning. And in 1852, Lady Charlotte’s diary, as well as Richard’s, discusses the accident of Orlando Gunning, who was riding in company with his daughter Di.

Read Lady Charlotte’s journal, May 1852

Richard’s comments, which last for days, has much of the same information – but I have found out WHY Mrs Vyse (Richard’s sister, another “Lizzy”) is able to open the door to Lady Charlotte: it was the Vyse home (in Chesham Street) that Orlando Gunning was brought to: The Vyses were in Windsor at the time.

Lizzy returned first, then George — both to the news of the death of their brother-in-law.

Di Gunning’s marriage – on December 8, 1852, which took place at Coolhurst (the Dickins’ estate in Sussex) – is the event which opens Richard’s twelfth volume of journals.

I’m off to search for more “familiar” names in the Lady Charlotte Bridgeman journals.

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Charlotte Bridgeman’s Journals

August 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm (diaries, news, people, research) (, , , , , )

The link “OUR TEAM” tells how the journals — three of them, from the years 1848 to the beginning of 1857 — came into the hands of the transcribers. Philip and Marianne van Dael even located an earlier journal at the Birmingham University!

To give a slice of Lady Charlotte’s life, this is from the entry for 3 June 1848:

“The Fremantle’s also played & sang. Enjoyed it much & stayed till about 12. When we came home we were much alarmed to hear that Grandmama had set herself on fire & was much burnt. We drove immediately to her lodgings & learnt then the particulars from Lucy & Miss Baker who had gone there immediately on hearing it. She did it about 9 ock. while arranging some flowers in a glass, she set fire to her cap & collar, & the curtains of the room. Her neck & hands are dreadfully burnt & the side of her face….”

Poor Grandmama lived until the 17th; one of her doctors was Benjamin Brodie! Small world.

Indeed, it’s the smallness that brought me to this website.

I’m DYING to see if there are more mentions of Lady Elizabeth, or her family — but the “search” must still be “under construction”, of even this entry wasn’t called up:

Weston   1850, November 9

George came again to luncheon on his way back to Willey for Sunday. He had walked all the way from Newport, as the letter had never come in to which he asked for some pony to meet him at the station. Miss Brook called. Lord John Manners came & Mr. & Lady Elizabeth Dickens & a son, Mr. W. Dickens. Music.

1850 is a bit late for me, but this CHARMING scene of Lady Elizabeth makes the *find* precious to me:

Weston 1850, November 14

A cold fine frosty day. In the morning Mary & I went to call on Mrs. Wakefield & were accompanied in our walk by Edmund & Mr. W. Dickens. In the afternoon Lucy & Mary rode with Edmund & Mr. W. Dickens & Mr. & Lady E. Dickens, Lady B., Letty & I drove to Lilleshall Abbey again, for Lady Elizabeth to take the sketch of it….

The “Mr W. Dickens” is their son, William-Drummond, born in 1832

Find more on Lady Elizabeth on this site by clicking the link(s) above [or, the WordCloud at right); read Lady Charlotte’s Journal by clicking on the photo below.

lady charlotte bridgeman

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Nothing So Lovely as a Tree

September 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm (history, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I spent last evening reviewing photographs Charlotte Frost had taken of Fanny Seymour’s sketchbooks (held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University). Today, I sit at my desk (I call it “sitting in a hall, staring at a wall’ – but you’d have to see my ‘office cubicle’ to appreciate the poetry….), the window is high above the section of wall, and looking up don’t I see some tall, thin, green, leafy TREE — just like so many Fanny sketched!

I was suddenly transported back in time (c1830) and place (England rather than the state of Vermont).

Studying these drawings — mainly architectural (some of the Smith homes: Tring Park and Mapledurham; some homes of relatives: Castle Ashby, Coolhurst, Purley Hall; some surroundings: gardens, walks, villages) — makes me cast a glance back on my own art studies in college.

I have only two specimens in my collection (guess I didn’t care enough about still life or models to keep those studies) and really don’t recall how long it look me to do the most intensive one: a “collage” of various items all spilling over across the paper, one “scene” segueing into the next. I’ve always been rather proud of it, though. Proved — to me! — that I had at least imitative talent.

I’m dating myself here, but think of the campaign, “Can You Draw This Girl? You Might Have a Career in Art.” This was a correspondence course type of ad. I’m sure I attempted the girl or the “Bambi” deer, but I never sent anything in.

An Aside: Guess they are still around!

 

  • Art Instruction Schools — since 1914.
  • a student has actually posted an interesting “review” of the Schools; but also a complaint.
  • in a hunt for the “Can You Draw This Girl?” I came across Wikipedia‘s entry for the School.

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Coolhurst Discovered

September 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm (books, europe, history, places, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Come meet the Scrase Dickins family:

Maria, Marchioness of Northampton, widowed mother to:

Lady Elizabeth (née Compton) Scrase Dickins, a young lady described by her cousin Augusta as “your strength and courage have more than once led you into very imprudent situations, such as few other ladies would ever get into. You may feel like a man but remember you do not look like one. God bless you sweetest Liz.” Wife to:

Charles Scrase Dickins (or Dickens)- known as CSD  in the diaries of his cousin Charles Joshua Smith – was first a family friend, then husband to his beloved cousin Lady Elizabeth.

A great image of their children, drawn by Miss Corbaux; published in Fisher’s Drawing Room Scrap Book (1849).

For me, a thrill is to read about Horsham in an earlier diary, the delightful Diaries of Sarah Hurst, 1759-1762: Life and Love in Eighteenth Century Horsham, transcribed by Barbara Hurst and edited by Susan Djarbi (Amberley; 2009). A FASCINATING account and wonderful book. See the West Sussex Gazette review.

Read more about Coolhurst by clicking on the page “estates” (see menu on right)!

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Light Housekeeping

September 12, 2010 at 11:17 am (research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Do take a moment to check out a few new *pages*. I’ve created one page about various “missing” parts of this research, as well as acknowledged those that have come to light in private hands (special thank you to people who have contacted me; and to Alan, who continues to send scans as he finds new letters).

Readers will find all the page links under CAN YOU HELP (see PAGES, to the right), but the most important is the one entitled Where are these items?

*

NB: I worked on these pages while listening to the LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS, on Vermont Public Radio. Oh, to be in London again…

The Smiths & Goslings would have been EXACTLY the type to subscribe to such concerts year after year after year (lucky people, no?). One thought: the London Season in their day would NOT have been the hot summer months, but the winter months of January/February through spring (depending on when Easter fell); the plays, parties and operas continued for the Smiths & Goslings into the month of June.

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