Sotheby’s Silver Secret

May 22, 2016 at 8:03 pm (entertainment, history) (, , )

Click on the photo to read the history behind this pair of Candelabra, dating from the era of George IV – They once belonged to Denis and Eliza Le Marchant! Oh, the parties this pair must have witnessed…

Le Marchant Candlesticks

Sold at auction in December 2007, the price as the hammer dropped was £94,100. Do not hesitate to take a closer look with the “zoom” feature.

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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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Elusive Eliza Smith (Sarah Eliza, Lady Le Marchant)

March 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm (news, people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

GROAN!

The ever-so-obliging Charlotte Frost, author of the new biography on Sir William Knighton, a Regency-era physician (include among his patrons, the Prince of Wales), consented to do a little research for me while she was consulting the Parliamentary Archives on her own behalf. What she turned up, however, was not quite what I had expected…

In the papers of Denis Le Marchant (at the archives) is a line item entitled “Photographs of Le Marchant family members“. The description reads: Four photographs entitled “Ewhurst, 1874, early photos of Le Marchant family”: Eliza Le Marchant, W G Le Marchant, H C Le Marchant and E T Le Marchant.

For a couple of years I’ve had dreams of seeing Eliza, Miss Sarah Eliza Smith, Lady Le Marchant.

Alas, alas… be careful what you wish for!

The foursome photographed individually are … all … CHILDREN! Not one “older” lady among them!

Charlotte kindly photographed the backside of them as well, and indeed they are ID’ed with the initials seen above. Maddeningly, someone seems to have “shrink wrapped” the pictures, along with the “envelope” they had once been kept in, which is attached to the backside. The writing on the back of the photos seems to read: W. Le M [this one cut off by the envelope; all you see is W L and part of the upper tail of the M]; H C Le M; and E.T. Le M — the fourth, a robust little boy — is entirely hidden by the envelope. He certainly is not “Eliza”!

The envelope reads:

Ewherst 1874 [looks more like Ervhist!]
Early Photoes [sic]
        of
[sth crossed out] E Le M
                                WG   ”   ”
                                H  C  ”    ”

So who even came up with the idea that any represented an Eliza?? And who is that fourth child?

Searching (for I had known all along the others were probably children, for the initials did not fit Eliza and Denis’ own immediate family), I find the following people:

  • Sir Edward Thomas Le Marchant, 4th bart (b 1871)
  • William Gaspard Le Marchant (b 1873)
  • Herbert Carey Le Marchant (b 1875) [which makes no sense with Ewhurst 1874… so somebody’s incorrect!]
  • and no mention of their daughter

These being children of the son of Denis and Eliza, Henry Denis Le Marchant (b 1839) and the hon. Sophia Strutt.

The Debrett’s of 1879 describes “Widow living of 1st Baront — SARAH ELIZA (Lady Le Marchant), da. of Charles Smith, Esq., formerly M.P. for Westbury; m. 1835 Sir Denis Le Marchant, 1st baronet, who d. 1874. Residence, 2, Easton Place West, S.W.”

Eliza, Lady Le Marchant, died in 1894.

Needless to say, I’m still on the HUNT for a photograph of the Elusive Eliza.

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