Plumptre of the Foundling Hospital

February 4, 2012 at 11:20 am (books, diaries, history, jane austen, people, research) (, , , , , , , , )

While reading Richard Seymour’s diaries this week, I couldn’t help but wonder about a certain “Mr Plumtree” whom he mentions on Sunday, the 19th of January 1834.

Such a familiar name — for Fanny Knight wrote Aunt Jane about her undecidedness about marrying (should he ask) a Mr Plumptre.  (This was also the story behind the TV show Miss Austen Regrets.) Was Richard’s spelling more phonetic than accurate?

Indeed! the two men are related! And even related to Sir Brooke Bridges. A Small World.

A search *finally* procured an essay on the Rev Henry-Scawen Plumptre, minister of St Mary’s, Lambeth; and also evening preacher at the Foundling Hospital. The book — The Living Preachers’ Portrait Gallery — even had this illustrating his essay!

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Another Fanny Knight

March 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm (a day in the life) (, , , , , , )

Today, while looking up information on Jane Austen’s niece Fanny Knight, I came across an old — 1960 — article on an entirely different Fanny Knight. The interesting thing here is that she and her parents spent FIVE years on a “Grand Tour”. Their home? New York. VERY interesting reading because this young Fanny spots the likes of Queen Victoria. My favorite line in the article is about her; the Queen, passing in her carriage, “sat there in her pink silk bonnet. One of [the policemen standing nearby] said to Pa: ‘She looks just like a little girl’.”

Beside the Queen rode Prince Albert, the Princess Royal (Vicky), the Prince of Wales (Bertie) and Helena. The year was 1854. Presents a vastly different image from the little Queen all enveloped in black we are used to seeing in photographs!

Mary and Emma, of course, were alive when Victoria first ascended the throne. They were as thrilled as any with gaining a young and vibrant woman as monarch.

I invite you to read about young American Fanny Knight’s trip — though beware of a poor ‘translation’ from magazine (American Heritage) to website. A LOT of mis-read words on behalf of their OCR program. Also: the pictures referred to are not shown; a real loss (you’ll see why, once you read the article).

Find it at American Heritage.

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