Footprints left in “Hair Powder”

December 1, 2013 at 9:42 am (books, fashion, history, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , , )

Every once in a while I come across a *fun* piece of information. This one is not only fun it’s also a step back in time, a moment from the lives of the Smiths of Erle Stoke Park.

The year, circa 1795/6.

As governments still desire to do, the English Parliament needed money. But how to get it, where to get it? Some bright idea occurred to someone: Let’s tax something! Ah, yes… cast your mind back: The Stamp Act; a tax on Tea; how about paying tax based the number of windows in your house, or the number of dogs in your kennel.

In 1795 that brilliant idea served to tax that commodity so many used on a daily basis: Hair Powder.

gilray_powder tax

Unlike someone counting your windows or your dogs, this was based on obtaining a certificate. A tax of One Guinea gave you leisure to powder for the year (in this instance, through to 1 August 1796). Joshua Smith of Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire was a Member of Parliament; what choice did he have but to pay:

William Hiskins, under-butler to J. Smith, 11 April.
Augusta Smith, daughter of Joshua Smith, 11 April.
Emma Smith, daughter of Joshua Smith, 11 April.
Joshua Smith, housekeeper, 11 April.
Sarah Smith, wife of Joshua Smith, 11 April.
Alexander Struthers, footman to Joshua Smith, 11 April.

NB: See the page “Servants – Clerks – Governesses” for more household

My favorite portion of the announcement is a section, which reads: “… NO MORE IS TO BE DEMANDED OF ANY PERSON upon taking out a Certificate for using or wearing of Hair Powder, upon any Pretence whatever, except where there are more than two unmarried Daughters in a Family, in which Case a DOUBLE CERTIFICATE stamped with two Stamps, of One Pound One Shilling each, is required to be taken out.”

If you can locate a copy of Beryl Hurley’s booklet “The Hair Powder Tax, Wiltshire” (1997), you can read about the Smiths of Erlestoke yourself! Needless to say, powdering wigs and hair quickly went out of fashion…

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Let’s peek inside Stoke Park, 1798

August 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm (estates, history, people, places, research) (, , , , )

Why does Erle Stoke Park intrigue me? Perhaps because it no longer exists.

Joshua Smith‘s children were already born when his family (in a letter, delightfully referred to as “Mama and her saucy girls“!) moved to this country estate. So to find a description about the interior, c1801, is such a great thrill!

earlstoke_jpneale-1822

Slowly, this building arises from the ashes, especially as the Royal Society of British Architects (RIBA) has several “elevations,” drawn for Joshua Smith. My favorite is the “Perspective View of the Hall“. And with that “view” in mind, we’ll enter the house with the writer of The Beauties of Wiltshire. Let’s run to catch up with the couple walking the path to the front door.

“The old house at Stoke Park, which was built close on the edge of a small stream at the foot of the hill, was taken down, and a new one erected on an eminence. This is built of fine white free-stone, and was completed from the designs of George Stewart, Esq. …. [It] is a monument of praise to the talents of its architect. It was begun in 1786, and finished in five years. The house and offices extend from east to west three hundred and fifty-six feet in front; in the centre of which is a Doric colonnade, which opens into a very handsome hall, forty feet in length by thirty-two feet in breadth. It is ornamented with a screen of six fluted Corinthian columns, and communicates to the drawing-room, dining-room, library, &c.”

I have indeed come across several book (for sale) which — from their bookplates — once graced the library at Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire. Although I can’t find a picture of Joshua’s bookplate, there does exist this description:

“a book-late of Joshua Smith, Stokepark, quartered as follows:–

1. A saltire, &c. as given.
2. A ship at sea, closed-reefed.
3. Azure, a panther (?), sejant.
4. Or, a crescent. Motto: “Marte et ingenio.”

Compare that description to this hatchment:

hatchment_JoshuaSmith-bonhams2012

“The first of these apartments is thirty feet by twenty-four, and is ornamented with several pictures, copied from the most celebrated masters. Two large mirrors in this apartment, being placed directly opposite to each other, present a kind of optical delusion to the spectator who stands in the centre.”

LOVE the idea of an “optical delusion“!

“The dining-room to the east, is thirty-six feet by twenty-four, which communicates with the library facing the north. This elegant and interesting apartment is forty feet in length by twenty-six feet in width, and contains an invaluable assemblage of choice books, the chief part of which are in the most handsome bindings.”

And yes, all the Erle Stoke girls – Maria, Eliza, Augusta, Emma – LOVED books.

“West of this is the breakfast-room, measuring twenty-six feet by twenty-four. This apartment is ornamented with a large landscape by Loutherbourg, whose bold, spirited, and grand compositions, cannot fail to arrest the attention of every admirer of the picturesque, and the sublime in painting.”

loutherbourg_byGainsborough_Dulwich

view Loutherbourg works at BBC “Your Paintings”

“These, and a dressing-room, twenty-four feet by sixteen, constitute the ground suite of apartments, all of which are sixteen feet in height.

The first floor contains several bed-chambers and dressing-rooms, to which the access is through a gallery, remarkable for the singularity and beauty of its architecture; over this are many good rooms in the attic, and the offices are proportionably numerous and well distributed.”

So, while we’re upstairs, among the “bed-chambers,” let’s grab a good book and snuggle for a nice night’s rest. It’s been a long day…

* * *

blog posts on related subjects

Part I: Erle Stoke Park, 1798

Erle Stoke Park: The Well-to-do Party!

Erlestoke – home of the “energetic” Joshua Smith

1795 – ‘I fear much we shall be invaded’

Sarah Smith – wife of Joshua Smith, of Erle Stoke Park, Wilts

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Erle Stoke Park, 1798

August 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm (books, estates, history, places, research) (, , , )

“I was very sorry not to go to Stoke the first Year of my Marriage.”
Mamma Smith, 1798 diary

The Wiltshire Council’s online copy of The Beauties of Wiltshire, Vol. 2, by John Britton. 1801 (also available at Books.google) includes a fabulous description of the house at Stoke Park, as well as this etching which dates from the period of 1798!

stoke park

“The view accompanying this description, was taken in 1798 from the opposite side of the road, where this sandy broken bank makes a good and bold fore-ground.”

The book puts the estate “about seven miles south-west” of the town Devizes (Joshua Smith’s constituency). “The turnpike road from Devizes to Westbury, passes within a hundred yards of the front of the house; but being hollowed out of the sand to a considerable depth, it is not to be seen from the windows; nor is it in the least incommodious to the appearance or effect of the lawn.”

“The house, the pleasure-grounds, with extensive plantations, and an ornamental village, have all sprung into existence, and acquired beauty and utility, under the present proprietor {Joshua Smith}.” To stay in the gardens for a while, we are transported back in time (and place) in order to imagine that “The north front commands a view, not only of its own grounds and plantations, but also a beautiful expanse of country, in which the village of Seend forms a pleasing and conspicuous feature. …The sides and summit of this hill have been thickly planted with wood…”

“The park abounds with many fine large elm trees, and is enriched with a sheet of water. This rises under the ridge of Salisbury Plain… After forming seven different cascades in its progress, it is collected into a lake of considerable dimensions.”

Mrs Norman wrote about “Papa making water” (which, at first, I thought meant something totally different…) in a letter to Mamma Smith the following year (November 1799), as she passed on to Augusta news of everyone in the house:

Mama [Sarah Smith] is charming well & Walking
Emma [sister of Augusta; my Emma not born till 1801] painting sweetly
Papa: making Water
we all send love….

“In visiting the pleasure-ground, we are conducted over the above hollow-way by an arch that admits waggons, carts, &c. to pass under it  This spot of beautifully decorated ground, abounds with a choice collection of botanical plants, and is pleasingly diversified with a variety of indigenous and exotic trees and shrubs. It is situated in a secluded dingle, through the centre of which runs the murmuring stream.”

The writer moves to the “village of Stoke” – so we will stop here, and let him walk around the “humble cottages”. When he returns, we’ll move inside the manor house, to see where Maria, Eliza, Augusta and Emma once roamed.

 

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New Images: Richings & Erle Stoke

August 4, 2013 at 12:24 am (books, entertainment, estates, research) (, , , , , , , , )

Have been doing some internet searching, and came across this BEAUTIFUL image of Richings Lodge, the home of the Rt. Hon. John Sullivan, papa to my dear Georgina Vere Sullivan, AKA Mrs Robert Gosling. I invite you to see the full image at Richings Park’s website, but here’s a small teaser (which has a permanent home on the ESTATES page):

Richings_Lodge_small

Also new on the ESTATES page, an “updated” (larger!) image for Erle Stoke Park, the Wiltshire home of Joshua Smith.

I’ve found a new La Belle Assemblée — which just happens to be for 1826, and includes the marriage announcement for Georgina! I was looking to find if there were any other new additions of this journal, but got tired of finding only those I had already unearthed. But a project I will get back to…, I promise.

On the other hand I found a copy (very late indeed for my time period) of THE LADIES CABINET OF FASHION MUSIC AND ROMANCE. Must admit I really haven’t looked at this beyond its date (1847). Its opening “story” is entitled “Confessions of a Felon“! That makes me rather wonder at the type of journal this purported to be. I assume this “story” falls under the “romance” banner? Funny to find an image of a work rather familiar: the portrait of “Ruben’s Wife” in this issue. A little poem accompanies it.

ladies cabinet

I’d love readers to tell me whether this journal was froth or is something worth seeking out. I also find a couple of (earlier) titles for a journal called The Ladies Literary Cabinet.

Here’s a book that should be of interest: Victorian Women’s Magazines: An Anthology (2001), by Margaret Beetham and Kay Boardman. In looking for this book in my university’s library (not in their collection, unfortunately), I see that Margaret Beetham, who died in 1996, had published a book A magazine of her own? : domesticity and desire in the woman’s magazine, 1800-1914 — which they DO have on their library shelves. The time period is nice, for Smith & Gosling research, though the writer seems to quickly move on to the later era (a lot of ground to cover in the years of 1800 to 1914…); you can view the book online at Amazon.

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Bleak house? November Notes from Letters

November 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm (diaries, history, research) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Ah, the days have grown so short, now that the clocks are turned back. Night settles around the house, lights pop on at the flick of a switch, and I think of life for the Smiths & Goslings, 200 years ago.

So today I look up a few quotes, from November Letters and a Journal, to brighten up these lengthening November nights.

  • “Tuesday, being the 5th of Nov:br I tryed to get some squibs & crackers & at last John succeeded in making some, so we let them off last night.” — Drummond Smith, 6 Nov 1822, writing from Suttons, to his brother Spencer
  • “I believe Tanner has got a ferret, Miss M. mistook it one day for a very large rat.” — ditto
  • “you really can have no idea of how much we have to do, & how little time to spare, unless you could take a trip down here and spend a few weeks among us.” — Drummond Smith, 17 Nov 1824, writing from Harrow, to his eldest sister Augusta
  • “There have been several pugilistic encounters lately, I think I shall send Eliza notice that she may come, as she takes delight in them.” — ditto
  • “I afterwards went to Lady Compton’s  She is a gigantic, well-informed, hard-headed, blue Scotchwoman.” — Journal of Henry Edward Fox, 26 Nov 1824

And from the earlier generation:

  • “Dear Papa’s Eyes Glistened with Love & pleasure, he Blessed his little favorite  said she had always been a good Girl” — Sarah Smith, 13 Nov 1793, writing to her newlywed daughter, Eliza Chute
  • “I never heard of such a shameful conduct in any Officers as these Irish ones; swearing most shockingly, pass thro’ the Turnpikes without paying, they are the bane of Devizes, and no one can walk the Streets at night in safety.” — Emma Smith (“Aunt Emma”), 16 Nov 1794, writing to her sister Eliza Chute
  • “The accident would not have happened if he had staid at home with Lady Compton to knit.” — Eliza Gosling (Mary’s mother), 7 Nov 1795, writing from Roehampton Grove, to her friend Eliza Chute

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A Lady Rancliffe Mystery

October 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm (books, diaries, history, news, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A letter written in French in late January 1797, by Augusta (“Mamma”) Smith to her friend Eliza Gosling, had this tidbit of gossip:

“All talk of the death of Lady Rancliffe as sad, & caused by her carelessness; there is surely something that we do not know; have the grace to tell me what caused her death: I hear that she has had some gallantry, & I think with Mr. Matthews. but did she ever leave her husband; we are wholly ignorant of this Chapter.”

Inquiring minds — mine included! — want to know more.

A couple of images of Lady Rancliffe exist – like this 1795 study for a portrait by Hoppner. She was Mrs Parkyns then. And her “biography” is really the only thing I can find. According to the Annual Necrology, Elizabeth Anne James was the only daughter of Sir William James. Her father died on her wedding day! Married to Thomas Boothby Parkyns on 16 Dec 1783. The year of Hoppner’s drawing, 1795, Parkyns was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Baron Rancliffe.

By the time she died, Lady Rancliffe would be written up as “married at 18; has been the mother of nine children in thirteen years, six of which, one son and five daughters, are now living.” Her obituary describes her as, “with every elegrance of person, youth, riches, dignity, and mental accomplishments, in the highest degree refined, and cultivated; matched to a husband, whose worth is equalled only by his benevolence; nothing seemed to have been wanting to complete the happiness of the charming woman whose loss we now deplore.”

So what is the truth?

A happy, charming woman – or a wife on the look-out for other men? What might her “carelessness” have been?

To echo Augusta’s comment, “I am wholly ignorant of this Chapter.”

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Sarah Smith – wife of Joshua Smith of Erle Stoke Park, Wilts

September 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm (a day in the life, chutes of the vyne, history, news, people, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I wish I had a picture of Sarah, Mrs Joshua Smith, to share. Alas, the one citation I have of a miniature of her — by Anne Mee — came with NO illustration!

So, to illustrate this lengthy obituary of Sarah, I include this illustration of Stoke Park, where she died. The write-up comes from The Monthly Magazine and British Register, 1810:

“At Stoke Park, near Devizes, Mrs Smith, the lady of Joshua Smith, esq. one of the representatives in parliament for that borough. She was the daughter, by a second wife, of Nathaniel Gilbert, of the island of Antigua, sequire [sic], a gentleman of large landed property there, and chief legal magistrate of the island, the maternal sister of the late lady Colebrooke, and mother of the present lady Northampton. Through life, this lady was conspicuous not only for great good sense and very amiable manners, but also for the great sincerity of her attachments; a sincerity which was the result of affection, principle, and benevolence, alone. In an age in which the woman of fashion too frequently affects the most extravagant degree of moral sentiment, the purity of her conduct expressed the innate worth and value of her mind; and while her charitable heart was ever ready to mitigate distress, the delicacy of her pecuniary favours never wounded the feelings of those, whom her bounty so liberally relieved. Though handsome in her youth, she was totally free from vanity and affectation; her charity, though exerted on the precepts of the divine word, in secrecy and silence, was not confined merely to alms, but manifested by a liberal and charitable opinion of the conduct of all. So far was she from uttering scandal of any one that she did not even think it; and as to pride, if it resided in her, it was of that decent kind which preserved her within the bounds of virtue and propriety. Thus beloved and revered for three generations, in consequence of a debility of body produced by an arthritic complaint, she expired at the end of her sixty-second year, when threatened with a total loss of sight, leaving her inconsolable husband, children, and other connections, the example of a woman, illustrious in every social department of life. Her remains were conveyed for interment to the family vault at Lambeth.”

[Curious mistake: the Lady Colebrooke, who was half-sister to Mrs. Joshua Smith, died in 1818 – eight years later.]

*

Sarah Smith of Erle Stoke Park lives on in letters, especially those to her daughter Eliza Chute of The Vyne, now housed at the Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, England. Eliza, in 1793, was newly married, and frequent correspondence passed between the two households.

A plea to anyone coming across letters of the 1790s: This important decade connects the Smiths & Goslings together in the “parent generation” – not only is Sarah Smith writing to Eliza and William Chute, she also writes of the newly-married pair William and Eliza GOSLING. Eliza Chute, as well, writes of her life — at The Vyne, at Roehampton Grove (the Gosling home), at Richmond — to her sisters Emma Smith (at Stoke); Augusta Smith (at Suttons, in Essex); Maria, Lady Compton (later: Lady Northampton = Marchioness of Northampton). Please contact me (see about the author for contact information) if you have letters to share!

  • Just bought a letter from eBay, for instance, and
  • its contents point to the people in this blog??
  • Contact me; I’d LOVE to hear from you!

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On Cloud 9

September 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm (british royalty, chutes of the vyne, entertainment, history, news, people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Last Sunday I was crowing to myself about all the *FINDS*. Just think: THREE different “items” turned up in one week, after some searching and much fortuitous clicking. On the last I have some extra news as of last night. I *LOVE* it when items rise to the surface, clambering to be noticed.

(1) Margaret Clephane / Lady Compton

My first find was stumbling once again upon ARCHIVES HUB. This time with a true piece of my research at the other end!

Archives Hub enables searches at “nearly 200 institutions in England, Scotland and Wales.” At first I could see the “hit” concerned letters written by Margaret, Lady Compton — but the site (or my connection?) was having problems. It took a lot of searching to realize the letters were housed at The John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester. I have fond memories of the name of this library: The French Diaries of Mrs Thrale and Dr Johnson was based on JRUL holdings! It is a favorite book, my used copy in quite decent shape.

So what was found, I hear you ask: 39 letters, penned by Margaret, plus 2 sets of verse. The citation is rather confusing. At first it sounds like the letters were written from October 1828 up to September 1829 — but further into the record I read that all the letters, addressed to Henry Edward Fox (later 4th and last Baron Holland), mainly written from ROME (check: the Comptons resided long in Italy), “are addressed to Fox in France (mostly, February-March 1826), Italy and London. All are dated within a period of nine months (October 1825-June 1826), except for four which are dated July and August 1829”

So: October 1825 to June 1826…. or, October 1828 to September 1829???

Time will tell – for this set of letters must for now remain on the back burner. Like the letters at the National Library of Scotland, penned in that case to Walter Scott. Scott’s own letters to the Clephanes and Comptons have been published. Luckily, my university’s library has the set and I long ago began culling family news.

The description says: “The letters are primarily personal, but have social and literary value“. Yeah!

(2)  Letter from Aunt Emma / Emma Smith

I’ll jump to the last “find”, for it is the least visual. I had come across internet comments by Dr. Kevin Linch (Leeds University) a while ago. I knew he had seen a letter of Aunt Emma’s (ie, Emma Smith, the youngest sister of Maria, Eliza, and Augusta – the four Smith Girls of Erle Stoke Park, Wiltshire), dating to 1794. Dr Linch was interested in Emma’s description of the exercises of the yeomanry. The picture painted rather makes me think of a war-era drawing by Diana Sperling.

Of course, Dr Linch pushed to one side the very bits I wanted most from this letter I hadn’t yet transcribed (the original is at the Hampshire Record Office): the family chit-chat. So imagine my surprise when I found online Dr. Linch’s full transcription (nice…) AND the ENTIRE “original” letter (far better*).

[*by the bye: I much prefer to do my own transcribing; one transcription was given to me as “Dear Ivy” – who the hell was Ivy??! I wondered. The letter’s content indicated Lady Elizabeth Compton, cousin to the Smiths of Suttons (Maria Smith’s only daughter; sister-in-law to Margaret Clephane / Lady Compton); I had never heard her called “Ivy” though. Another letter soon surfaced and this time I read the salutation – and knew the mistake. The three-letter word ended not in a “Y” but in a “Z” — and the name was Liz! Which made complete sense.
Another source for a letter indicated the writer was someone I did not know at all. Still, I asked that a scan be sent, as the letter was well within my time period. Imagine my surprise when the writer turned from a complete unknown into the MOTHER of Mr Odell, school friend and fellow-traveller with Drummond Smith! Her letter I wanted to read – and thrilling reading it was, too.]

Here, looking at it myself, was Aunt Emma’s comments in Aunt Emma’s own loopy writing.

Emma even anticipates the arrival of Miss Meen. Margaret Meen, who surfaces in the diaries and letters, was an artist who gave lessons (I discount The Vyne’s theory that she was governess to the Erle Stoke girls), not only to the four Smiths sisters, but also to Queen Charlotte and her princesses. Little did I know, when I read this letter by Emma, that I had already put my finger on many of Margaret Meen’s watercolors!

(3) Royal Horticultural Society: Miss Meen and the four daughters of Joshua Smith

Smack in the middle of all these letter discoveries came the Botanical “watercolours on vellum” housed at the Royal Horticultural Society. Trouble is, depending on which website used, you find less or more drawings, less or more images. FRUSTRATING! and yet last night I uncovered at 48 images (one you REALLY have to search for) by this quintet!!! May rival the holdings at The Vyne – none of which are currently pictured online.

You have the choice of the following:

I naturally began with the CATALOGUE. I mean when you want to know the extent of holdings where else would you go?

Looking up keywords margaret and meen I found four hits – and one image, which belonged to the citation for her 1790 book Exotic Plants from the Royal Garden at Kew. Searching for smith and elizabeth — which I knew should bring up drawings, for those were what I had found for purchase — drew a blank. smith and augusta brought up two citations for drawings from 1787, but their artist was described as Augusta Smith (17–) => Was this Mamma?!?

Maria was nowhere to be seen – and those of Emma, which like Eliza, had been found “for purchase” were best found at another site too. What’s a girl to do? She sends an email.

And keeps on searching…

Why all the hullaballoo? Because I had found a watercolor of Eliza (Chute) Smith’s for sale through Amazon (of all places…) and the description said: “Smith was one of four daughters of Joshua Smith the MP for Devizes in Wiltshire. The Smith sisters were instructed in painting by the botanical artist Margaret Meen (fl.-). The RHS Lindley Library collection holds works on vellum by Meen and all of the Smith Sisters.” My stunned reaction: REALLY??!?!

I had to find out how many, by which artist.

Facebook had another image. Mediastorehouse.com had more – and only $15.99 for an 8×10 print. Reasonable… I now realize, though, that Mediastorehouse is NOT RHS – and searching their print “store” you can find TWELVE Miss Meen botanicals. Be advised, THIS set is the only image and info for Solandra grandiflora (LIB0036980), c1780s.

[NB: again frustration: two works are dated 1789 in the “images” but 1785 in the “prints / shop”]

In the “images” one unearths ALL when searching for Margaret Meen (she turns up in their descriptions): without knowing (until I hear back from RHS) whether ALL their Smith/Meen holdings are digitized, and barring the “can’t find this drawing here, but it is listed somewhere else”, I now see:

  • numbers: LIB0002763 – LIB0002770 –> eight Botanicals by Emma Smith
  • numbers: LIB0002761 – LIB0002762 –> two Botanicals by the elusive Maria Smith
  • numbers: LIB0002749 – LIB0002755 –> seven Botanicals by Augusta Smith (here rather described as marrying her father-in-law; Charles Smith of Suttons, not Stratford Langthorne…)
  • numbers: LIB0002737 – LIB0002748 –> twelve Botanicals by Eliza Smith
  • numbers: LIB0036963 – LIB0036981 –> eighteen (out of 19) Botanicals by Margaret Meen

And on the “images” site you are treated to a GALLERY by Miss Emma Smith:

I could hardly believe my eyes — and they will be a treat for your eyes.

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Need Help: Susannah Smith, nee Mackworth Praed

May 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm (diaries, history, news, people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have been thinking of letters and diaries these last couple of weeks. Some diaries are in the 1810s; others propel me forward to the 1840s; and the letters have been as early as the 1790s!

Today I want to make a special appeal to anyone who might have knowledge of letters written by or to Susannah Smith, the wife of Thomas Smith of Bersted Lodge.

Susannah and Thomas married in 1800; Thomas was a brother of Joshua Smith of Erle Stoke Park, so he was Augusta (Mamma) Smith’s Uncle and therefore a great-uncle to my Emma.

This close-up is from a miniature that recently sold at auction. How can you resist this face?!?

Susannah had a twin-sister: Arabella, Countess of Mayo. She became a lady-in-waiting.

Knowing well that LETTERS were the bread-and-butter of life then, I suspect Susannah’s letters, at the very least to and from her sister, but probably also to others in the Smith’s extended family, must exist. Mrs Thomas Smith was of the generation who visited Tring Park to stay with Mr and Mrs Drummond Smith – and also visit Roehampton, where resided Eliza Gosling (Mrs William Gosling), sister to Mary, Mrs Drummond Smith. How wonderful it would be to read comments – even slightly negative ones! – about my Smiths & Goslings.

Even hints to possible whereabouts of some correspondence would be welcome! Published sources as much as manuscript sources.

* * *

UPDATE: it was stupid of me not to include more information on Susannah’s sister and brother-in-law. The Earl of Mayo had the familial name of BOURKE. Some places associated with the family include Naas and Palmerstown. The Praed family were also related to the Shore family, which produced the delightful publication The Journal of Emily Shore.

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The face of Joshua Smith!!

September 28, 2011 at 7:44 am (people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , )

Thanks to a reader giving me a heads up on a bookplate, I literally stumbled upon this image — and the connotation is that this portrait is JOSHUA SMITH of ERLE STOKE PARK.

Really???

I’ve emailed the seller to find out whatEVER info might have led eBay seller Prexiepost or Photobucket’s RobertsonBruce to think — or know — this is a portrait of my Joshua. But if this little “pitch” here helps to answer that question also, I pitch away!

On the hunt for the library of Erle Stoke’s bookplate, I came across these “finds,” the first about a book belonging to Joshua — now, thanks to Mike H. at Tring Park School, I have Joshua’s will and can see how he divided his property (once I decipher the extremely terrible hand of the probate copywriter!):

  • Maggs Rare Books is selling a copy (£800) of Boswell’s An Account of Corsica (who knew Joshua read any of Boswell’s writings?!? fascinating!!). The listing says “Contemporary bookplate of Joshua Smith of Stoke Park, Wiltshire.”
  • Neale’s Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen (1823) which includes Earl Stoke Park

* * *

BREAKING UPDATE even before the post is published: It IS Joshua!!!!!

 

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