Clerk of the House of Commons: Sir Denis Le Marchant

February 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm (history, london's landscape, people) (, , , )

In 1850 (ie, a bit past the period I research), Sir Denis Le Marchant — husband to Emma’s sister Sarah Eliza Smith — became Clerk of the House of Commons (a position held until 1871).

At a loose end today, I was on the hunt for more … of anything … letters … diaries … info.

I found an anecdote!

I wouldn’t have thought Denis had such a sense of humor (or was it self-preservation?). Do click on the photo to hear Sir Robert Rogers, current Clerk of the House of Commons, give his delightful talk, but below is the tale he tells of Sir Denis.

sir robert rogers

In describing the duties of the Clerk, Sir Robert claims (at 15:46), “We do try, of course, to be a bit more helpful then one of my learning predecessors, Sir Denis Le Marchant in Victorian times, where the Speaker of the day could see that there was disaster approaching. He leaned forward and he said ‘Sir Denis, Sir Denis, what do I do?’ and the Clerk of the House got up, tipped his wig on his head, gathered his books, shrugged his gown around his shoulders and went and stood beside the Chair and the speaker obviously thought, ‘right this is it, I’ve got the get out of jail card.’  Sir Denis Le Marchant said ‘I advise you Sir, to be extremely cautious’ and then disappeared behind the Chair.

Denis_etching-1874-Illustrated London News

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Chatsworth: the Boardgame?

July 14, 2012 at 10:33 am (books, entertainment, history, news, travel) (, , , )

I’ve recently come across this wonderful blog – all about an Oxfam Volunteer’s “finds” amid the “incoming”. Great fun – only makes me wish I could drop by and buy!

http://oxfamwilmslow.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/the-chatsworth-game/

The link above is for the Chatsworth boardgame, but do check out some other blog posts: a Hansard volume (I hate politics, but LOVE this write-up); some journals going for a song, some sheet music ditto.

Must admit to a HAUL of great items from the Oxfam Bookstore in Winchester in 2007… Newly retooled and just reopened, they had some great offerings. The Wilmslow Volunteer’s picks give a great indication of just what passes through Oxfam doors all over the UK.

UPDATE: in revisiting the site, I’ve had a look at the “rules of the game” — It DOES sound great fun: There is the general rule of “Take any Path. Do not retrace your steps” and then a series of variants to the game: THE GRAND TOUR (“start from the Orangery”); RACE; AFTERNOON TOUR (in which you can visit the Maze!); HIDE AND SEEK (with its talk of “the hidden player”); CHASE; and DIVERSIONS.

The “rules” end with this invitation: “Derive lasting pleasure by creating your own games in the exciting gardens of Chatsworth House…”

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