Journal of a Young Lady of Fashion
By Major FRANCIS JONES,
C.V.O., T.D., D.L.
Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary
Among the more interesting documents preserved in the Carmarthenshire Record Office are the journals of Agnes Hermione Jennings of Gellideg, which contain vivid glimpses of fashionable life in the high noon of Victorian affluence. She had barely left the schoolroom when she started keeping a diary, and shortly before her marriage, decided to amplify the entries relating to her social activities, assisted by remembrance of occurrences still fresh and wholly within recall. Unfortunately the diaries are lost, but we have four volumes of her journals covering the years 1865-1872, beginning when she was seventeen years of age, and ending when she was twenty-four. Whether "Hermie", as she was known, continued the narratives we do not know, and we must be thankful for those that have survived.
A survey of Miss Jennings' background will enable us to appreciate certain attitudes and reactions expressed in the journals I propose to examine. Among her ancestors, Jennings, Jodrells, Hases, Lombes, Hamiltons, Macnamaras, were some remarkable and unusual men. They were a mixed bag landowners, merchants, parsons, lawyers, members of parliament, scholars, sailors and soldiers, knights and baronets, sheriffs, deputy lieutenants, justices of the peace, Old Etonians and Oxonians, often creative, pioneering, and adventurous, constantly in the public eye and public service, so we need not be surprised to find that the careers of half a dozen of them are contained within the covers of the Dictionary of National Biography.
Originating in the North Country, the Jennings' took the long road to the metropolis where they engaged with marked success in commercial enterprises, taking their wives from flourishing merchant-families in the City, and burying their dead in a vault within Christchurch in Spittalfields. The family is said to have been connected with "Miser" Jennings who died towards the end of the eighteenth century leaving an enormous fortune, with apparently no heir to inherit what became known as "the Jennings Millions", but intensive research has failed to provide evidence to establish the identity of the true heir. We are on firmer, if prosaic, ground with Jonathan Jennings who died in 1760 at the age of 78, leaving a son William, who established the family fortunes, before his death in 1771. The latter left two sons, John Thacker Jennings, a colonel in the army who died unmarried in 1818, and William Jennings (1751-1809) who bought Ridge as a country residence, together with a number of neighbouring properties near High Barnet, Hertfordshire. By his wife Jane daughter of William Richards of Walthamstow and London, William had an only child, Richard.
Richard Jennings conducted business as an importer and exporter trading with Russia on a considerable and lucrative scale, and being prominent in City circles, was elected Master of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors. In 1810-11 he bought properties in various parts of London, including No 21 (later re-numbered No 60) Portland Place, W.1., which became the town residence of the family. Despite successful ventures in the City, an agreeable life as squire of Ridge, and a marriage that proved as felicitous as it was advantageous, Richard Jennings was essentially a melancholy man, a congenital pessimist, a harbinger of doom. His continual harping on the troubles that were to afflict the world, and his gloomy forebodings of the wrath to come, earned him the soubriquet of "Anticipation" Jennings. To him, being doleful was the acme of happiness. He was a Job in a top hat. However, so far as his own family was concerned, his sombre prophesies never matured, for his descendants strode cheerfully along the sunny uplands of economic prosperity and social accomplishment. He died at his London house on 23 August 1848 at the age of 67, and was buried with his parents in the vault in the church of St Margaret at Ridge.
In many family trees there exists an individual, usually a woman, whom I call the gate-keeper ancestor, one who guards the portals leading to genealogical delights and heraldic splendours. This applies in cases where a man marries a daughter of a long-established stock with forebears eminent in national as well as local affairs. Such a woman might bring estates and wealth to her husband, but the real significance of the union lies in the fact that it allies the husband's family to one possessing high prestige and influence, with an ancestry providing historical depth and a tradition of public, and usually, voluntary service.
Such a gate-keeper ancestress was Louisa Jodrell, wife of old "Anticipation" Jennings. Among those who graced her family tree was Sir Thomas Lombe, alderman of the City of London, and sheriff in 1727, engaged in the weaving trade, who despatched his younger brother John to Piedmont to probe the jealously-guarded secrets of the notable silk-weavers of that province. So successful was he, that Sir Thomas was enabled to introduce into England an improved process of "silk-throwing", and for his devious initiative in the cause of commercial patriotism received a reward of £14,000 from a grateful House of Commons. When he died in 1739, Sir Thomas left a fortune of £120,000 to be divided between his two daughters, one of whom became the spouse of a baronet, the other of an earl. Brother John, who had been at the "sharp end" of the enterprise, was less fortunate, and it is said that the angry Italians sent an attractive dark-eyed beauty to gain his affection and confidence, and having succeeded in her design, she then, in true Borgia fashion, treated him to a menu of slow poison that brought his existence to an end in 1722.
A cousin of the silk-manufacturer, Mary Lombe, married John Hase of Great Melton, a Norfolk landowner, by whom she had two sons, John and Edward. In 1762, the elder son John, on succeeding to the estates of his maternal uncle Edward Lombe, assumed that surname in lieu of Hase, and twenty-one years later was created a baronet of the United Kingdom. The patent conferring the dignity on him contained an unusual limitation, namely a clause assuring that in default of male issue to the grantee, the baronetcy was to pass to his younger brother Edward Hase, and afterwards to the male issue of the said Edward's daughter, Vertue Hase. Sir John died unmarried in 1817, and as Edward had predeceased him, the devolution of the title through Vertue became operative.
In 1772 Vertue Hase had married Richard Paul Jodrell, younger son of Paul Jodrell (1713-1751) of Duffield, Derbyshire, Solicitor General to H.R.H. Frederick, Prince of Wales, and grandson of another Paul Jodrell of Sion House, Middlesex, Clerk of the House of Commons for forty-three years, who died in 1728 at the age of 82. The Solicitor General's wife, Elizabeth, was daughter of Richard Warner of North Elmham, Norfolk, by Elizabeth Lombe, so that his son Richard Paul Jodrell was second cousin to Vertue, gate-keeper of the baronetcy.
R. P. Jodrell (1745-1831) of Nethercote House, Oxfordshire, was a man of considerable distinction. From Eton he went to Hertford College, Oxford, in 1764, studied law and was called to the Bar from Lincolns Inn
in 1771. In 1790 he became Tory member of parliament for the borough of Seaford, Sussex, which he represented for nearly six years. But it was as a classical scholar, poet, and dramatist, that he made his reputation. He was a friend of Dr. Johnson, and in 1783 became a member of the Essex Head Club. In 1772 he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society, in 1790 Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1793 created a D.C.L. of the University of Oxford. Between 1771 and 1822 he published some eighteen literary works, some of which ran to several editions, while his plays were performed in the Drury Lane and Haymarket theatres. Equally distinguished was his younger brother, Paul, who graduated B.A. as 11th Wrangler
at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1769, proceeded M.A. in 1772, M.D. in 1786 and in that year elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; he was knighted in 1787 and appointed physician to the Nabob of Arcot, and remained in India till his death in Madras in 1803. He too, did some writing, and was author of a farce acted at Covent Garden.
By his wife Vertue Hase, R. P. Jodrell had three sons and two daughters. The eldest son, born in 1781 and named Richard Paul after his father, became the second baronet under the limitation in the patent of his mother's uncle Sir John (Hase) Lombe to whom I referred earlier.
The youngest daughter, Louisa Jodrell, married Richard ("Anticipation") Jennings in 1810, and had three children Richard (born 1814); William (died unmarried 1892); and Louise who married Charles Seale Hayne of Fuge House, Devon, in 1832, and had an only son, the Rt Hon Charles Seale Hayne, barrister at law, Liberal M.P. for Mid Devon from 1885, Paymaster General 1892-95, and a Privy Councillor.
The aforesaid Richard Jennings (born 1814) was the first of his family to settle in Wales. Educated at Eton, and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1836, M.A. 1840), he studied law, and in 1839 was called to the Bar from Lincolns Inn. He was a first-class oars-man, and had rowed in Charles Selwyn's celebrated II Trinity boat. Public service claimed a good deal of his time; he was a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and Carmarthenshire, a Deputy Lieutenant of the latter and High Sheriff in 1859; and for many years served on the committee of the Royal Institution. His wife, whom he married on 13 January 1844, had residential and ancestral connections with Wales, being Agnes Catherine Annabella daughter of Admiral Sir Edward Hamilton, Baronet, of Trebinshwn, Breconshire, by Frances daughter of John Macnamara of Llangoed Castle in the same county.
The father-in-law was already a legend in British naval history. Edward Hamilton, born in 1772, was the younger son of Sir John Hamilton, Baronet, of Trebinshwn, Captain R.N., who was the grandson of William Hamilton of Chilston Park, Kent, a younger brother of the 6th Earl of Abercorn, a family now represented by the Dukes of Abercorn. The Hamiltons were amongst the oldest of Scottish families, and could show descent from King James II's daughter Mary who had married James Hamilton, whose grandson James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, acted as Regent of Scotland.
Edward Hamilton's outstanding naval service is summarised in the Dictionary of National Biography,
and here I shall confine myself to the affair of the "Hermione"
. The "Hermione" had been a 32-gun British frigate, but in September 1797 her crew had mutinied, and, after murdering the officers, handed her over to the Spaniards who fitted her with forty-four guns and a crew of some 320 men. This aroused the most indignant feelings among the British who considered that the vessel sailing under the enemy flag was an affront to the navy and to their country. In October 1799, Captain Hamilton, then commanding the frigate "Surprise", was sent to watch off Puerto Cabello to intercept the "Hermione", expected to sail at any time. They anchored off the port on 21 October, and found the "Hermione" moored within the harbour, protected by two shore batteries mounting upwards of 150 guns. As provisions were running low, and the "Hermione" showed no intention of sailing, Hamilton decided to cut her out. A little before midnight on the 24th, the ship's boats carrying about a hundred men slid through the darkness towards the "Hermione". On their course they were challenged by a Spanish guard boat. She was driven off, but the noise alerted the Spaniards on the "Hermione" and the detachments manning the shore batteries. The seamen pressed on, and the leading boat, carrying Hamilton and only eleven men, reached the "Hermione" and promptly boarded her. For several minutes the little party was unsupported, but the other boats soon came up, and after a fierce struggle the Spaniards were driven below decks. Cables were then cut, sail made, and the vessel towed out of the harbour under heavy fire from the shore. During the action the enemy lost 119 men killed and 97 wounded. Miraculously, the raiders' casualties amounted to only 12 wounded. Among them was Hamilton who had received a terrible blow on the head from a musket butt, wounds in both thighs from a sabre and a pike, and severe contusions to his legs from grape-shot, the results of which plagued him during the remainder of his life. The vessel was restored to the Navy, and renamed, aptly, "Retribution". It was a notable exploit by any standard, in the best tradition of Drake and the sea-dogs of old England, and thrilled the fleet and the entire nation. The King conferred the honour of knighthood on Hamilton as well as the naval gold medal; the Jamaican House of Assembly voted him a sword to the value of three hundred guineas; and the City of London conferred its freedom on him at a public dinner at the Mansion House on 25 October 1800, anniversary of his dashing exploit. It is small wonder that "Hermione" became a popular name with the daughters of his descendants.
Hamilton's advancement went on apace. From 1806 to 1819 he commanded the Royal Yacht, in 1815 was made K.C.B., in 1818 created a baronet, in 1821 promoted Rear Admiral, in 1837 Vice Admiral, and in 1846 Admiral. He died in 1851. Courage seems to have run in the family, for his father had been created a baronet for gallant conduct during the siege of Quebec
(1775), while his elder brother, Sir Charles, after an adventurous career, attained the rank of Admiral.
Sir Edward Hamilton's wife Frances was the daughter of John Macnamara (born 8 June 1756), barrister at law of Lincolns Inn, Colonel of the Westminster Regiment of Militia, whose connection with Wales came about in romantic style. He eloped with Mary Jones daughter and heiress of Arthur Jones of St Asaph, Bencher of Lincolns Inn (he died on 4 January 1780), and married her at Gretna Green on 20 January 1780, forestalling a leisurely Lord Chancellor's permission for the union. It proved a happy marriage, and John Macnamara bought Llangoed Castle, Breconshire (of which county he was High Sheriff in 1797) and other properties in Radnorshire and in the Carmarthenshire parishes of Llangyndeyrn and Llanelli. Known as "Handsome Mac" for his good looks,1
Macnamara was a friend and supporter of Pitt the younger, and sat in Parliament as member for Leicester from 1784 to 1790. The family became extinct in the male line in 1906, and the estates (except the Carmarthenshire properties which descended to the Jennings') passed to John Macnamara's great-grand-daughters, Anne Mary wife of Monsr Adelwärd, Minister of Sweden in Paris, and Elizabeth wife of Count Ernest do Rotalier of Chateau Rotalier, France.
Richard Jennings' wife, Agnes Catherine Annabella Hamilton, was born in 1817, and grew into an extremely attractive woman. When presented at Court, the "Sailor King", probably recalling her father's exploit, showed her exceptional civility by kissing her on both checks. She married on 13 June 1844 [this date differs from the one stated earlier, 13 January 1844 -- ChrisJones
], and the Carmarthenshire properties known as the "Macnamara estate" formed part of the property settled on her.
On a hill in the southern part of Llandyfaelog parish, with a fine view over the valley of the Gwendraeth Fach, stands Gellideg originally a farm of some 98 acres, part of the estate of the Lloyds of Alltycadno in Llangyndeyrn, and was one of the properties settled on Maria Elizabeth Catherine Lloyd (eldest daughter and coheiress of Rees Lloyd) who married William Clayton in 1761. Their son Sir William Clayton, Baronet, sold Gellideg to David Humphreys of Nantyllan, gentleman, for £1200, in 1811. It was subsequently mortgaged, and in 1820 sold for £1900 to Richard Thomas Dixie of Wern, Llandyfaelog. By his will, proved in 1834, Dixie devised the property to trustees to sell same and to apply the money to his children. In 1839 the trustees sold it to Major General Sir James Cockburn for £2750, and on 4 April 1849 Sir James sold Gellideg (then 95 acres) to Richard Jennings for £3500. It had been converted, probably by Dixie, into a small but agreeable residence, retaining the older farmhouse as a wing for domestic offices, protected from north winds by the grove that gave name to the property. A survey made in 1830 contains a sketch and plan of the house, and I am indebted to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Jennings for allowing me to borrow and reproduce it. Towards the middle of the century, Richard Jennings built a far larger house, incorporating the older structure, and was later further enlarged by his son who extended the frontage and added a tower of the campanile type. A short distance away, a belvedere in the form of a small tower was built, with a splendid view over the valley, Carmarthen Bay, and the Gower coast. This was the house in which the author of the journals was brought up, and the scenes that she knew and loved. The house became ruinous some thirty years ago, but in 1962-3 the present mansion, incorporating the belvedere (now a library) was built from plans prepared by Colonel and Mrs. Jennings.
Richard Jennings and his family usually lived at 60 Portland Place from January to July, and spent the remainder of the year at their Welsh home. Both had literary interests and were friends of the novelist and dramatist Mary Russell Mitford. He was interested in economic affairs and wrote articles on political economy, and his book "Social Delusions" was considered a notable contribution to a study of contemporary problems. He delivered numerous lectures, and one delivered at the Carmarthen Assembly Rooms, is mentioned in his daughter's journal. This was a lecture on the martyred Bishop Farrar, afterwards printed as a booklet. He was also a patron of the Carmarthen Musical Society. Like all his family he was a dedicated Churchman, and it was mainly due to his endeavours that Llandyfaelog church was restored, and re-opened for Divine Service in December 1869. He died at Bath on 8 December 1891 at the age of 67, leaving an estate of 1500 acres in Carmarthenshire and Hertfordshire, and personalty valued at £101,536. His wife predeceased him on 16 May 1874. Both were buried at Ridge. They left four sons and two daughters, all of whom were baptised at Trinity Church, Marylebone, and as their names often appear in the journals, it may be helpful if I consider them in some detail.
The eldest son,
Richard Edward Jennings, born on 12 February 1845, was educated at Eton, and Brazenose College, Oxford, read for the law, and was called to the bar from Lincolns Inn on 9 June 1870, but never practised. He is the "Richie" of the Journals of his sister, who describes his marriage at All Souls, Langham Place, on 4 August 1870 to Margaret ("Maggie") daughter and coheiress of Richard Luther Watson, J.P., D.L,, of Calgarth Park, Westmorland and Harley Street, London. As already indicated he took an active part in Carmarthenshire life, and after selling 60 Portland Place in 1896, lived mainly at Gellideg and occasionally at his home at 15 Palmeira Mansions, Brighton. A humane landlord, he remitted 15 per cent of the rents of his Carmarthenshire tenants, and 20 to 25 per cent to his Hertfordshire tenants, during the agricultural depression in the 1890s. He was highly popular with the tenants, who in appreciation for frequent remission of rents and other acts of liberality, presented him with an illuminated scroll. He died on 12 October 1908, his wife having predeceased him on 23 January 1903. They had one son and six daughters. The son, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Charles Jennings, born 17 July 1877, was educated at Eton, later commanded the 6th Bn (SR) Royal Fuziliers, became a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Carmarthenshire and was created C.B.E. On 28 August 1943 he sold the Macnamara estate to Major John Francis of Myrtle Hill, land agent. He died in 1955. By his wife Ethel Anita Dawes daughter of Thomas Teece Whitehurst of The Mount, Shrewsbury, he had two children: i. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Edward Christopher Jennings now of Gellideg, M.B.E., D.L., High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire in 1957, married Margaret Mabel Gladys daughter of James Alexander Allan of Towerwood, Renfrewshire, and have a son Richard Hamish Jennings; and ii. Iris Hermione who married Major David Ewen Collins, now of Malta.
The second son
Edward William Jennings, born 14 October 1846, was educated at Cheltenham College, served in the Rifle Brigade; in 1866 he married Louisa Baigent of Winchester, by whom he had two children. He died at Melbourne, Australia, on 29 June 1875.
The third son
Arthur Charles Jennings, born 19 December 1849, was educated at Eton, and Jesus College, Cambridge, and was a scholar of St John's College in that university. He took Holy Orders, was vicar of Whittlesford, Cambridge, and rector of King's Stanley, Gloucestershire, for 30 years. A brilliant classical scholar and theologian, he carried off every major prize in those subjects when at the university. He wrote several books, including Commentary on the Psalms, Ecclesia Anglicana, Chronological Tables of Ancient History, and contributed to Elliott's Old Testament Commentary, Manuel of Church History, and The Medieval Church and Papacy. He died on 21 January 1932. By his wife Georgiana Isabella daughter of Colonel R. G. Wale, J.P., D.L., of Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire, he had three children.
The fourth son,
William Etheldred Jennings ("Willie"), born 4 March 1854, was educated at Eton. He was twice married, and died without issue on 30 April 1919.
The elder daughter
Agnes Hermione, born 7 May 1848, author of the journals, will be discussed later: the younger daughter, Louisa Frances Philippa ("Louy") born 17 November 1852), died unmarried on 28 October 1923.
(b) The Author of the Journals
Agnes Hermione Jennings ("Hermie") was privately educated, and showed marked ability in the arts generally, and in languages. Like most young ladies of that period she took a delight in music, became an accomplished pianist and singer, and especially competent in drawing and painting, and several references to these activities occur in her journals. Occasionally she turned her hand to poetry, wrote a number of lyrics, and in 1897, year of the Queen's Jubilee, composed a laudatory poem of eight verses which she sent to Her Majesty who graciously accepted and acknowledged the poetic tribute. On that occasion she presented 250 Jubilee medals and some verses of her composition to the children of Manorbier parish. Later in life she became interested in wood carving and became quite adept, which is the more remarkable as she was wholly self-taught. Some of her carvings were exhibited, gaining a number of prizes. Happily, several examples have survived, some of a singularly ambitious nature, all displaying a high degree of competence. The splendid reredos above the altar in Manorbier church, the font-cover and the decorated family pew in the same church, continue to testify to her exceptional abilities. More dramatic perhaps are the three magnificent over-mantles she carved for fireplaces in Holyland, near Pembroke, residence of her son-in-law Major Loftus Adams. Two of these contain lively rural and hunting scenes, and another is based on episodes from the "Sleeping Beauty". Such an interest was unusual in young ladies of those days, but then, "Hermie" was herself unusual. We can apply to her, the comment made by Dr Johnson in another but similar context "The wonder is, not that it was done well, but that it was done at all".
Her interests were not confined to indoor pursuits. She was an enthusiastic member of the Carmarthenshire Archery Club which held its contests in Dynevor park near Llandeilo, and reports published in the Carmarthen Journal
of the 1860s show that she won numerous prizes for prowess at the butts. An accomplished horse-woman, she also handled "the ribbons" with skill and confidence, and when living near Weston-super-mare, drove a coach-and-four from that place to her Pembrokeshire house, taking 3-4 days to accomplish the journey. She was a familiar figure on the roads of west Wales, driving her phaeton in a manner that drew compliments even from professional coachmen. Here was no simpering Victorian miss, but a competent adventurous lady of considerable versatility. A tall handsome woman, she stood out in any gathering and her portrait, now on the wall of the drawing room of her grand-daughter, Mrs. Barbara Hermione Gordon of Tenby, shows her to have been an attractive brunette with finely moulded features and steady inquiring green eyes.
She was 26 years of age when she married Captain Henry Fergusson Day Barclay, of the 63rd Regiment of Foot, a member of the well-known Scots family of that name, seated at Urie. They lived for some time at 10 The Croft, Tenby, later at Manor Mead near Weston-super-mare, and at Manorbier. She died on 29 May 1925, her husband having predeceased her on 17 March 1912. Both were buried at Manorbier. They had six children:
(c) The Journals
- Fergusson Barclay, killed in a flying accident during the 1914-18 war.
- Richard Charles Edward Barclay, of The Croft, Manorbier, and Elm Grove, St Florence. Major Barclay married Miss Nesta Lloyd of Glangwili, Carmarthenshire, and had a son and daughter.
- Edward Hamilton Barclay, died in infant.
- Herbert Jodrell Barclay, barrister at law. He married Amy Holland and had issue.
- Ronald Arthur Barclay, went overseas.
- Hermione Agnes Caroline ("Mia"), only daughter, married on 14 June 1910 Major John Loftus Adams of Holyland, Pembroke, sometime an officer in the 4th Bn The Welch Regiment (died 26 January 1943), and had three children: i. John Stephen Adams, Lieutenant R.N.V.R., killed on 18 March 1942. ii. Barbara Hermione Adams married lstly John Eastham of Knuck Knols, Lancashire, and 2ndly, Colonel William Gordon. iii. Sylvia Alston Adams, married Lieut-Comdr R. D. M. W. Thomas-Ferrand, R.N.
Usually, journals of this type were compiled during middle age, or later when the authors were approaching the period of the yellow leaf when one's life is seen in retrospect, often through a nostalgic haze, so that the memoirs are unconsciously coloured by wisdom and reflection of hindsight. Here, on the other hand is an account by a young woman, characterized by spontaneity and instant reaction, fresh, occasionally naive, seemingly compiled for the writer's delectation, not with a view of impressing others or attracting a wider audience.
In those days the circle of one's friends and relations formed the framework of one's life, within which lay all that life had to offer, so that the tendency was to move within a well-defined area, extended only by impinging on similar areas governed by similar conventions. Contact with a differing social group was normally of a formal nature, and when it was casual or accidental the results could be distressful, as Miss Jennings discovered when obliged to share a second-class railway compartment with some egalitarian hop-pickers on her return from the "fourth" at Eton in 1867. Hers was a life of country houses, county towns, leisurely spas, hunt balls, race meetings, theatres, croquet, billiards, concerts, music, polished mahogany and glittering chandeliers, a world governed by wit and good manners, a disciplined elegance, a formal culture and conformist acceptance of established forms. Occasionally an eccentric, some maverick, or "black sheep" livened or disturbed their organized lives, but such characters were rarely ostracised, for tolerance towards their own kind and an inclination to see the humour inherent in any oddity was characteristic of those agreeable folk. Sharp words might be spoken, but the poignard remained sheathed. It was a matter of mores.
The journals concern life in west Wales and in London. Miss Jennings was fond of archery and acquired a mastery of the art, as shown by her accounts of contests at Llandeilo where the Carmarthenshire Archery Club, consisting of members of the gentry with a few middle-class supporters, met on three occasions annually, with four practice meetings on other dates, after which members dined at the Cawdor Arms Hotel for 2s 6d per head. In the contests, 72 arrows where shot by each member at 60 and 80 yards. Lavish entertainment in the country houses was a feature of the period. As many as twenty or more guests, some accompanied by personal servants, would arrive often for a stay of three or four days or more. In Carmarthenshire, Miss Jennings stayed at Aberglasney (Philipps), Dirleton and Derwydd (Gulston), Dynevor, Ferryside (Hamlyn Williams), Glyn Abbey (Thompson), Iscoed (Crosse), Maesgwynne (Powell), Pantglas (Jones), Plas Llanstephan (Hamilton), Oakfields (Green), and Stradey Castle (Mansel Lewis); in Pembrokeshire, at Clynderwen (Gower), Ffynnone (Colby) and Pentre (Saunders Davies); with occasional visits to Derwen near Swansea, and Breconshire. One is impressed by the capacity of hosts and guests to provide their own amusements music, singing, charades, games, dancing, walks, boating, picnics, bright conversation and toothsome gossip. There were concerts and plays in local towns, and occasionally brother Richard Jennings delivered a public lecture, and Hermione gave magic lantern shows in the drawing room of Gellideg. She provides some attractive vignettes, such as her account of the little pet dog which followed the carriage from Gellideg through a night of driving rain to be with its mistress at the hunt ball in Carmarthen; and how the ten-years old Gerwyn Jones of Pantglas, "a good looking child with large prominent teeth", acting the part of a baby in a charade, drowned the actors' voices with his realistic howls. But it was not all frivolity, for guests at Dynevor found themselves attending a daily religious service rounded off by an extempore sermon delivered by their noble host.
Her concept of social propriety was occasionally outraged when introduced to "vulgar" persons, and she tells us that a crowded hunt ball at Carmarthen in 1867 was "not at all select, as I observed the reporter from the Carmarthen Journal,
Andrews the photographer, and young Richardson there". Conventions were observed with true Victorian strictness. Thus, when a house party at Derwydd was breaking up, a gentleman who had shown an interest in a young lady arranged for her to travel back to Carmarthen in his carriage. When the hostess, Mrs. Gulston, heard this she insisted that a servant maid should travel with them by way of chaperone. After appropriate farewells the carriage rolled down the drive, everyone apparently well content. However, as soon as they reached the turnpike road, the maid was forcibly decanted, and the gentleman and his lady went merrily on their way. When Mrs. Gulston discovered what had taken place she was furious, and abused her erstwhile guests with trenchant pungency.
Occasionally, her entries assist students of vernacular architecture, who for instance, will be grateful for her description of Mr. Gower's residence Clunderwen, in March 1870, as a house of "red brick and lately built, everything outside is unfinished, but the inside is very comfortable". Precise dating of houses is sometimes difficult and a description like this, however brief, is of value to historians.
If provincial life was a fairly leisurely affair, the London season proved to be a frantic social steeplechase designed to test the stamina of the most hardened moss-trooper. A whirlwind of balls, dinners, drums, routs, parties, concerts, assemblies, matinees, theatre sometimes as many as four or five events in one day provided continuous pleasure for the young who were forming new friendships, and for the parents who were keeping older ones in repair. At the theatre she saw leading actors and actresses, and at concerts and parties distinguished singers and instrumentalists, some from the Continent, some from nearer home like Brinley Richards, a son of Carmarthen, famous as composer of the music of 'God Bless the Prince of Wales'. The 1866 season was particularly eventful, the high light of which was her presentation at Court on the 23rd of March, an experience to be repeated four years later when her younger sister "came out".
Although several diaries of Carmarthenshire people have survived, none provides so much detail concerning the social whirl as those of Miss Hermione Jennings. To those attempting to describe social life in the county in mid-Victorian days, the journals are torches that lead us to the halls, drawing rooms, and dining rooms of the landed gentry who had been the undisputed arbiters of every aspect of Welsh life from Tudor times until the implementation of the Local Government Act of 1889. Records of Quarter Sessions, of the Shrievalty, and other statutory and legal documents enable us to see and judge the manner in which they shouldered their traditional responsibilities; Miss Jennings leads us along beech-lined drives into their homes where we can dine with the squire and tread a measure with his lady.
I wish to express my gratitude to Mrs. Barbara Hermione Gordon of Tenby, grand-daughter of the gifted author of the journals for assisting my researches and allowing me to consult family papers; and to Lieutenant Colonel R. E. C. Jennings of Gellideg, and Mrs. Jennings, for placing manuscript material at my disposal, and generally assisting me in what has been a most pleasurable excursion back to Victorian days.
Our excursion to Tenby.
On Saturday Aug 18th Mamma, Uncle William, and I went from Kidwelly by the 9 o'clock train to New Milford where we arrived in about two hours. We crossed the haven in a steamer. We then went to the Pier Inn and took a trap to Tenby. We stopped at Pembroke
castles on our way, both of which I sketched; at the former I was very much molested by the turkeys and cocks and hens, which, having been accustomed to be fed were tamer than was agreeable. I broke my parasol in driving them from me as they prevented my drawing. At Tenby we only stopped an hour. We walked up to the Castle Hill and saw Prince Albert's statue which I didn't much admire. There was a beautiful view from it which I sketched. We left Tenby at about 2 o clock and drove back to Pembroke Docks or Pater. We stopped at Carew Castle
on our way. It is a curious old castle more like a large mansion house than a castle. We had only about ¼ of an hour to see it. There is a curious old cross
just outside the castle, which I sketched without the carriage stopping. When we got to Pembroke docks we were put down at Hobb's point, the place where the steamer sets down, but we found it was on the other side of the Haven, so we took an open boat instead, and crossed. While in the boat I sketched Milford Haven. The distance from Pater to Tenby is about 14 miles. We returned by the mail train which reached Kidwelly at a quarter to 7, and we got home at half past 7.
Archery Meeting at Llandilo
On Wednesday the 6th of Sept I went with Mamma and Edward to Llandilo for the archery meeting. We started from here at 6½a.m. and drove to the Carmarthen station. Arthur, Louy, and Willy, threw Oxford shoes after me for good luck. We had to wait at the station nearly an hour as the train did not start till a quarter to nine. It was a very gloomy morning, and soon after we left home a thick mist came on, which cleared off afterwards for a short time, and then came on again thicker, and when we got to the Carmarthen station there was every appearance of a hopelessly wet day.
In about half an hour we got to Llandilo where there was an omnibus waiting from the Cawdor Arms. We asked the man who drove it if the meeting had been put off on account of the weather; to which he replied that he thought not. We then went in the bus to the Cawdor Arms where we asked again at the bar about the meeting, and they replied that it wasnt to be put off, and that they had made preparations for 60 to luncheon. They then showed us their ball room upstairs, which was decorated with evergreens for a hop there that night after the meeting. It was a good sized room. We then went and sat down in the coffee room where we amused ourselves for a short time with looking out of the window, but finding this occupation rather dull, there being not much going on outside, Edward and I determined to take a stroll out of doors and see what there was to be seen.
The rain had cleared off though it still remained a grey day and continued so throughout the day. We walked up to the gates of Dynevor Park, but did not go up to the castle
as I was afraid of tiring myself before the shooting began. We then went to a shop and invested in half a pound of biscuits as we were hungry, having breakfasted early. These we took to the inn and eat there.
When we got to the coffee room where we had left Mamma we found two archeresses had assembled, who afterwards turned out to be some Miss Hughes. Afterwards some gentlemen came in with bows and soon afterwards more people arrived. Then Edward and I finding ourselves thirsty after the biscuits, went out and got some soda water with orange syrup in it at the Chemist's shop. We then returned again to the Cawdor Arms and found our window taken by some gentleman.
Soon afterwards the people began to disperse from the room, and we thought that they must be gone down to the archery field which Edward and I had been to inspect half and hour before. So we collected our traps and trotted down to the scene of action where we found nobody but Mr Bishop, his sister, and another gentleman measuring the ground. There were two tents erected, with benches before them. On one of these we sat down and waited till the shooters should assemble. The first that came were the Bishop party, and then others came. Then Mr C. Bishop, Secretary, came, and asked us our names and if I wished to be at any particular target. I replied that I wished to shoot with Miss Gulston.
The people then began to equip themselves for shooting, and I went into the tent where I had left my bow, and was soon joined there by Miss Gulston. We then assembled at our targets, our captain was Mr Kosher. Miss Gulston, her brother, and a Miss Bishop were at the same target with me. We shot four dozen arrows at 60, and then had luncheon; some had it under the trees and others in the tent. I was in the tent with Mamma, Edward, Mrs Gulston, Miss Crosse, Mr Pew, Young Louis, and others. The luncheon was at about 3.
At 4 they began shooting again. Mrs Gulston persuaded Edward and Mansel Louis to shoot for the strangers's prize which her son was trying for. The shooting was over at 5. Then Mr C. Bishop, after seeing the scores, called out the names of the successful shooters, and the prizes were given by Mrs Biddulph. The first prize was given to Miss Hughes, £5 5 0 and a gilt and enamel inkstand; Miss J. Bishop, gilt inkstand; Miss Gulston, china casket; Miss H. Bishop, a fan; Miss Jennings, a gilt match box; Miss Snead, scent casket. The gentlemen who got prizes were Mr Rosher, Mr G. Lewis, and Mr A. S. Gulston. The prizes were given away in the tent.
There were several visitors there, amongst those we knew, were the Lloyd Prices, Mrs Harries of Aberglasney, David Jones M.P., David Pugh, M.P., Captain and Miss Crosse, Mr and Mrs Biddulph, and the Gulston party. After the prizes were given away we all returned to the Cawdor Arms. The Lloyd Prices took Mamma there in their carriage, and Captain Crosse put me into a carriage belonging to some friends of his of the name of Smith, in which was a lady and two gentlemen. They took me to the Cawdor Arms where I found Mamma. We then took tickets for a tea fight that was to be upstairs. Mrs Biddulph was the only person besides ourselves at first, but soon the Gulstons, Miss Crosse, and others came in. They gave us tea, muffins and cake etc. Then Captain Crosse sent us in his omnibus to the station where we found that the Biddulphs had arrived just before. We waited there for about 30 minutes. Then the Biddulphs went off at 7½ and our train came up immediately afterwards. We got to Carmarthen about 8 and got home at 9½. Edward stayed for the hop and slept at the Crosses; he returned the next day.
Our visit to Plas, Llanstephan
On Thursday the 28th of September, Papa, Mamma, and I, with Lee, went to stay with Sir James Hamilton. Mamma, Lee, and I started from here at about 11. We did some shopping at Carmarthen, and then waited in the garden of the Ivy Bush till 3 o'clock, during which time I sketched the view of Merlin's Hill. We then drove to Plas which we got to at about 5 o'clock. We were shown into the drawing room where were Sir J and Lady Hamilton and Mr and Mrs Latimer Jones who were calling there, who, in about a quarter of an hour took their departure, to my great relief. We then had tea, and Lady H took us round the garden, where Sir James joined us. He gave me a peach. Then we went to see the cows milked, and Lady H had her usual glass of warm milk. Then we went to see the fernery, and then we sat down on a seat in the garden, where soon afterwards we were joined by Papa who had come by the ferry. About 6 we went to dress for dinner and when we went down to the drawing room we found that General Sir Charles York had arrived, having taken a fly from Carmarthen. We then went into dinner. In the middle of it we heard the door bell, and Mrs Sheffield Grace made her appearance, having also taken a carriage from Carmarthen. We did nothing particular in the evening. I wore my muslin dress with blue sash and snood.
Friday. I got up and was dressed by nine at which time there were prayers held in the hall, all the servants attending. Then we waited about the hall till breakfast was ready, during which time Sir James fed the peacocks and pigeons. After breakfast Lady Hamilton took us in the garden and I sketched the castle
from a place she showed me. It was a cold grey day, and I didnt make much of it. Then I tried the view from the house. Then I went in and looked at books and things till luncheon time. At 1½, Sir James drove Papa, Sir C. York, Mama, and me, over to Llaugharne Ferry where he left Papa, Sir C and me, and drove home with Mamma. We crossed over to Llaugharne in the ferry boat. We left a note at the house of a friend of Sir James which he had given us, and then went over the church which has lately been restored. We then went to the castle
and asked permission to see it at the house of a gentlemen whom it belongs to. The girl who opened the door said her master was away and had given orders that no one was to be admitted to the castle. But Papa after some talk persuaded her to let us in. In stands in the middle of his garden, and the wall fruit is trained on the walls of the castle, and some statues are put up in niches in the wall, which did not look at all well. We then walked back to the ferry and recrossed it and walked back to Plas which is about 3 miles from it, and uphill nearly all the way, which, as my boot hurts me, was rather a painful proceeding. In the evening Mr and Mrs Talmache, and Mr and Mrs Scott, and Miss Shield, dined with us. The next day we took our departure at 11, and returned as before, through Carmarthen. Papa went in with Sir James.
Our visit to Fynone, Pembrokeshire
On Wednesday the 4th of October, Mamma, Lee and I left Gellydeg at 10½, and drove to Carmarthen station where we were joined by Papa who rode over. We waited at the station for nearly half an hour before the train was brought round, and then waited nearly three quarters of an hour in the railway carriage before the train started. After waiting there a little while I saw some people on the platform whom I recollected meeting at Mrs Coverdale's croquet party. They presently got in. I recollected the gentleman and his daughter, who played in the same game as Papa and I, and Mamma remembered the lady and soon began talking to her. They then remembered us, and told us their name was Molyneux, and the girl introduced me to her brother who showed me some photos he had bought of the monument in Carmarthen to the Welsh Fusileers, which regiment he was in. They told us they were going to Llandysil, the same station we were going to, and soon we found they were going to stay with the Colbys too. At Llandyssil we found an open carriage waiting for us, which Papa had ordered from the inn at Newcastle Emlyn. The Molyneuxes went in the coach which was also waiting, and was going to leave them at Kenarth where the Colbys were going to send a carriage to meet them. We proceeded to Newcastle Emlyn, about 8 miles, where we stopped at the chemist's to get some scouring drops to take out an oil stain on my dress which I had got in the train.
We went on to Fynone where we arrived at about 6, having stopped at Kenarth on our way to see the falls. It was a very pretty drive. All the way by the side of the Tivy there were several very nice gentlemen's houses which we passed. The hills about there are very steep, more so a great deal than they are here. When we got to Fynone we were showed into the morning room where were Mr Colby, Captain, Mr, and Miss Molyneux, two Mr Bowens, cousins, and a Miss Whiteman. Mrs Colby came in soon afterwards. We had some tea, and then Mrs C took us up upstairs and showed us our rooms. Mine was a little double-bedded affair next door to Papa's dressing room, and looking out on the back. It was in a passage which led to the bachelors' wing, where was the billiard room etc. After dressing for dinner, I went down to the drawing room where we found those I have before mentioned, and Lady Whiteman and Mrs Molyneux. Mr Brigstock was the only person not staying in the house who dined with us. I went in with Mr Molyneux. In the evening Mrs Molyneux sang, and the others, myself included, joined in the choruses of the Christy Minstrels.
The next morning after breakfast which was at 9, Mr Colby took us all over the gardens. Some of the gentlemen went out shooting. When we came in, Mrs and Miss Molyneux sang for half an hour. Mr and Mrs [lacuna] came to luncheon, some more visitors called afterwards. The two Mr Bowens left, and Mr Richardson came to fill up their place. In the afternoon Mrs Molyneux, Papa, and I went with Mrs Colby in an open carriage to call at Penlan and Pentre. Met Mrs Saunders Davies on our way driving over to call at Fenone. She turned back when we told her we were coming to call on her. We drove first to Penlan [Llandygwydd] to see the house. The Jones' were away, the front gate was locked, so we had to go the back way. The place was swarming with rabbits. Walked on the terrace and saw the view, then managed to see the ball room and dressing room by sneaking in through the greenhouse, all beautifully furnished, lately done up.
Then we went on to Pentre where we found the rest of the party, Mr and Miss Molyneux, Miss Whiteman, one of the Mr Bowens (the one who bore a great resemblance to Mr Tubman in Pickwick). The children were brought in to be inspected. There were four of them from 6 months to four or five years. There were also two jolly little dogs. Mr Saunders Davies came in from shooting just as we were going away. Mrs S. Davies took us to see the new drawing room and conservatory etc. On our way home we overtook Mr Molyneux coming home from shooting; he ran part of the way by the side of the carriage. Just as we got home Miss Whiteman came in from walking with Mr Richardson. Got home just in time to dress for dinner. Mr and Mrs Jenkins and another gentleman dined with us. I went in with Mr Richardson who was rather heavy in hand. The other gentlemen and Mr R both sang comic songs. "Lilabalera", "The young man from the country", "The lost child", "The ballad singer", etc. We all sang Christy Minstrels. I wore my white dress with blush roses.
The next day we had breakfast at half past nine. Miss Molyneux sat at the bottom of the table and poured out coffee. After breakfast I worked and read in the morning room. Miss Whiteman told us ghost stories. At 11 we all walked down to a waterfall to see the place where an accident happended when the bridge broke and the people hung on to a pole. We all walked down through a pretty wood to the place, stopped on our way at the gamekeeper's cottage. When we got to the place only Miss Molyneux and myself with our attendant slaves, Mr Richardson, and Mrs Molyneux, crossed the plank which had before given way so as none of the others would come we went home another way by ourselves through the wood and up some steep fields where we encountered several of the maids. We got home more than half an hour before the rest of the party, so we waited about on the lawn till they returned. Then we had luncheon, after which I looked at Punch till 3. Then we went out and played croquet in a field till 5. The first game Papa and I stood Miss Whiteman and Miss Molyneux. Then the gentlemen joined us, Mr Molyneux coming on our side and Mr Richardson the other. When I came in, heard that Mamma had asked Lady and Miss Whiteman to come on to us next week, which they had accepted. Then got ready for dinner, wore my white dress, with scarlet gerraniums in my hair. The Saunders Davies's and Mr Vaughne dined with us. I went in with Mr Richardson, while Miss Molyneux had Mr Vaughne. Singing in the evening Christy Minstrels again, and Mrs Saunders Davies sang "Vive la Compagnie". Mrs Colby played on the harp accompanying Miss Whiteman who played on the piano.
The next day after breakfast Miss Molyneux and I played billiards. Mr Richardson and Mr Molyneux assisting us. I won one game, and was ahead in the second when Papa came to tell me I must get ready as we were going to leave very soon and the carriage from Newcastle had come. We left Fynone at 12, all the people coming to the door to see us off. They put in the carriage a bottle of home made gingerbeer. We stopped at Canarth and went to see the falls again. I tried to sketch them but didnt succeed. Then drove on to the Salutation Hotel at Newcastle Emlyn where the horses were put up for half an hour, while we went to look at the castle
. I made a sketch of it. Broke my parrasol, bought some sucks at a chemist's shop. Papa got some gingerbread and a mug to drink the ginger beer out of. We then went on to Llandyssil eating our luncheon on the way. We got to the station at 4, and had to wait half an hour till the train was brought round. Then went on to Carmarthen, stopping at every station a tremendous time, did not get to Carmarthen till nearly 6. The carriage was waiting for us there. Did not get home till 7½.
Our visit to Dirwin, Glamorganshire
On Thursday the 14th December, Mamma, Richie, and I went to stay for two days with the Biddulphs at Dirwin [Derwen]. We started from here at a quarter to one, and drove to Kidwelly Station where we had to wait half an hour. Met Mr Onslow there whom Mamma talked to till the train came up. Then went to Llandore station where we changed for Swansea and arrived there above five minutes. Then we separated, Mamma and Lee (?Lu) going to walk about the town and do some shopping while Richie and I went to see the docks. We settled to meet at the station at 4 o'clock. Richie and I walked down the principal street which was a very long one with very good shops; then we turned off and went down by the docks, and saw all the foreign ships, etc, which was rather fun. Then we walked along by some more docks and came back to the station through some slums. We saw the old castle
on our way, which stands in a small back street and is not much of a place.
After an hour and a half's walk we met at the station and took a fly to Dirwin where we arrived in 20 minutes. We drove along a strait flat road from Swansea with sand banks, and a tramway on one side over which was a pretty view of the Mumbles on the left. For most part of the way was the wall of the park belonging to the Vivians. We drove along this road for about a mile and then turned into the carriage drive on the left leading up to the house. We arrived at 4.20 and were shown into the drawing room which was a good sized room with two others leading out of it, the furthest was a billiard room with the piano in it. After waiting a few minutes Mrs Gulston came and received us, saying the rest of the party were out walking. She talked to Mamma for half an hour, when Miss Gulston came in, and then Mrs Biddulph and Lady Thomas. We then all went out for a walk on the downs or sand banks outside the grounds, Mamma talking to Mrs Biddulph, and Richie and I fighting Mrs and Miss Gulston by turns. We did not come in till quite dark when we were shown up to our rooms on the third floor and when we had taken off our things we came down to tea in a little sitting room on the second floor where were Lady Thomas, Mr Biddulph, Mr Gulston, and Mr Dashwood, besides those already named. Then tea and smalltalk for an hour during which time a lot of fine toys were exhibited which Mr Dashwood had bought at Swansea for Sally Thomas's children. Then we went to dress for dinner which was at 7½. We were the first in the drawing room except Mr Biddulph and the eldest of Lady Thomas's children. Mr and Mrs George Morris dined there whom I sat between, though I went in with Mrs Biddulph. Richie went in with Miss Gulston. After dinner I looked at the photo books. The children came in to dessert and the elder one in the evening. Miss Gulston and I sang. Mrs G broke down in the accompaniment of "Some Folks" which she volunteered to play for me. I also sang "Addio". Afterwards we all played Pool.
The next morning we were down in the drawing room at 9½, but no one appeared till ten. Then we had some breakfast alone with Mr Biddulph and Lady Thomas, the others dropping in towards the end of it, the Gulstons were the last. The children came in and played about the room with toys during breakfast. Afterwards I looked at Mrs Gulston's stamp book and also a book with stamps to sell, sent her by some poor boy. I bought two shillings worth. At 11 I went out with the Mum for a walk about the grounds for about half an hour. When we came in Miss Gulston was singing in the billiard room; we came down and heard her. Mrs Biddulph also sang. All the rest of the party (except Lady Thomas) had gone to Swansea to see Mr Biddulph and Mr Gulston photographed.
We had luncheon at 2. The rest of the party came in soon afterwards. Immediately afterwards we were to have got ready to go for a long drive, but, some visitors calling, kept us till past 3. Then we started, some of us walking and the others coming after us in the carriage and taking us up. I walked on with Miss Gulston and the lady who had been calling at the house, and her child, and Lady Thomas's eldest girl. We walked about half way to the Mumbles, and then the two carriages overtook us. Mr Biddulph drove the first, with Mrs Biddulph, Mamma, Mrs Gulston, Lady Thomas and the second of her children inside. The other carriage was empty, with Mr Dashwood on the box, so we five got in. Mr Gulston and Richie walked all the way there and back.
We first drove into the village of Oystermouth, close to the Mumbles, and then turned round, and went to Langland Bay. The lady who was in our carriage then left us, and we got out and walked on the sands. There was a currious-looking house standing facing the bay which they said belonged to a Mr Crawshay. After walking about for half an hour we returned to the carriages, and drove home. It was quite dusk when we started and almost dark when we got back to Dirwin. Miss Gulston, Lady Thomas's two children, and I were the only ones in our carriage going back, Mr Dashwood on the box. We had tea when we got home, during which, Mrs Biddulph read aloud a letter she had got from a cousin in Italy about her going there for the winter. Dinner was at 7½. A Mr and Miss Wilmot dined with us. Richie took Miss Wilmot in and I went in with Mr Dashwood. Some children came and sang outside during dinner. We had singing and billiards in the evening.
The next morning we had breakfast in the same way everybody very late. Then I put up my things and played a game of billiards with Miss G. Then looked over Mrs Biddulph's songs and humbuged about till luncheon time which was at one. Richie walked over to Sketty in the morning. Soon after 2 our fly came round and we left Dirwin. The Gulstons were leaving too at the same time. We drove to the station at Swansea, and left our box and things. Then we separated and walked about the town for an hour as before. The train started about quarter to 4, and we got to Kidwelly at quarter to 5. Then drove home.
23rd of January
Papa, Mamma, and I dined with the William Morrises at Carmarthen. Met the Bishop, Mr and Mrs Thirlwall, Mr and Mrs Goring Thomas [Llanon], Archdeacon Williams and his married and single daughter, Mr and Mrs Grismond Phillips [Cwmgwili], and Mr Lleweilin Price [Glangwili].
Hunt Ball at Carmarthen, Tuesday, February 6 1866
Mamma, Minnie, Fay, and I went to the Ball at Carmarthen. Mamma wore pink silk with black lace over it, black velvet bandeau with feathers, ornaments, diamonds. Minnie and Fay were dressed alike in white and blue. I wore a white dress with green ferns and silver in my hair, and on my dress, silver ornaments. The servants (outdoor as well as indoor) came into the hall to see us dressed. We started at 9 and got to Carmarthen at about 10½. It was a very wet stormy night and when we went into the hall of the Assembly rooms, what was our astonishment to see little Collie bounding along in front of us in a most triumphant manner, at having followed us to the ball, unknown even to the coachmen. He thus proved his love to me, for it could have been no pleasure to him to run all that way when it was pitch dark and raining in torrents all the time. He would have followed us into the Ball room had I not carried him back to the carriage and given him to the coachman.
The dancing had just begun, and they were in the middle of the first quadrille when we entered the ball room. The first persons we recognised were Mr Saunders Davies and young Saunders. The latter engaged me for the following walse. Then I danced with Captain Stephens who introduced me to his friend Mr Gore Langton a most extraordinary being who was decidedly either mad drunk or a fool. He was very absent, and hardly spoke at all, asked me the same questions I asked him and repeated them several times over, talked about things and people I had never heard of, and engaged a vis-a-vis whom afterwards he deserted, and danced opposite some other people though reminded of his engagement by the person he had asked previously. He did not know a figure of the lancers, and told me that it was a great pity the floor was not polished for if I was to fall down on it in its present state I should certainly smash my nose; he walked in a very unsteady manner and his eyes had a very peculiar look about them, they looked different ways and were blood-shot. I was very glad to get rid of him, which I found rather difficult to do.
The widow Mrs Phillips introduced me to a Mr Williams, a Cardiganshire man whom I danced two or three times with, and went in to supper with. I also danced with Mr Saurin [of Orielton], Mr Loyd Pryce, Mr Elliott Pryce, young Saunders, and one or two others. Mrs Morgan of Alltygog and Susan Saunders were there, and a Mrs and Miss Boultbee. There were about 60 people altogether. We all danced a good deal, and left at 3, getting home very tired and sleepy at 4½ when Mamma and Fay went in for a stodgy meal of soup and ham. The two Hermiones retired.
The Second Hunt Ball, Tuesday, February 8, 1866
This second ball was a very much better attended ball than the first. Mamma wore a blue watered silk with white lace over, a blue velvet bandeau with a white feather and diamonds. Minnie wore black tulle with silver ears of wheat on it over a black silk skirt, silver wheat ears in her hair, coral ornaments. Fay wore white with holly and berries in her hair pearl ornaments. I wore the same dress as before, tarlatan over silk skirt trimmed with rose buds, and the same in my hair, pearl ornaments. We all had bouquets of snowdrops, mine had some violets in the middle. Mrs Martin came to see us dressed as well as all the servants. We got there at the same time as before. Collie was locked up and could not follow. I danced with Mr Williams, Mr Grenfell, Mr Bishop, Mr Saurin, Mr Saunders, Baron Rutzen, Mr Goring Thomas, Captain Stephens, Mr Elliott Price, and Mr Warlow. Mrs and Miss Gulston and one of their sons were there. They introduced me to Baron Rutzen and Mr Grenfell. The latter came with them. The Morgans and Saunderses were there, also the William Morrises, the Stuarts, Colonel Saunders Davies, Mr Fergusson Davie, M.P., and Mrs Davie, Mrs Phillips (the widow), Mr and Mrs Morgan Jones of Penlan, Mr and Mrs Lloyd Pryce, Mr and Mrs Goring Thomas, Mr and Miss Boultbee, and several others whom we did not know. There were 120 altogether. My cold was still bad. I danced every dance but one and went in to supper with Mr Saurin [of Orielton]. I got lame towards the end of the evening on account of having danced a hole in my shoe. We left at 4½ and got home at 6. It rained in torrents the whole way home. A stodgy meal prepared again for those who had insatiable appetites, but which I scorned to partake of. I got up the next day at 3 pm.
Our visit to Pentre
On Monday the 19th of February, Mamma and I with Lee and Walter went to stay at Pentre [Manordeifi]. We started in the new carriage at 10½. Went to Bagnall Davies and bought a crinoline, blue and violet ribbons etc. Then Lee and I went and bought some (?cehes) at Jones and then joined Mamma at the station. The train professed to start at 1½ but did not do so till 2. The Gulstons, Mrs and Miss, were in the same carriage with us, and a gentleman friend of theirs. Several people and Mr Llewellin Price and his brother who bore a great resemblance to Titmouse in "Ten Thousand a Year". There were also two or three people whom we did not know at the time but who afterwards stayed with us at Pentre, Mr and Mrs Molony and Mr John Phillips, Mrs S Davies's brother. We got to Llandyssil about 2½ or 3, and found the fly that was ordered waiting. The other people went in the coach where there seemed to be little room, Mrs. Gulston having brought so much luggage. We stopped at the Salutation Hotel in Newcastle Emlyn to pay the landlord for the fly and to get the hot water bottle filled. We got to Pentre about 5½. We drove up to it a different way from that when we went there from Fynone. We got there before those who went by the coach. Mrs S. Davies, Mrs Peregrine Phillips, and another lady, were in the drawing room when we went in. We had tea and then were shown into our rooms to dress for dinner. I was to sleep in Mamma's room, but had a dressing room next to it. Had great difficulty in getting hot water as they brought very small cans and the water barely warm. I wore my white dress with red flowers. When we went down we found the room quite full. Those staying in the house were Major and Mrs Molony, Mr and Mrs Beckwith and her sister Miss Founds, Miss Davies, Miss Pugh, Miss Di Phillips, Mr John Phillips, Mr Long Price [Talley], Mr Warlow, Mrs Peregrine Phillips, and Mr Morris Owen [Cwmgloyne] and Mr Windham Lewis, which with Mr and Mrs Saunders Davies and ourselves made a party of 18. I went into dinner with Mr Warlow. In the evening we had dancing and music in the new room.
The next day we came down to breakfast at 9½ after which Miss Davies and Miss Pugh took me to see the billiard room where there were a good many coloured drawings of John Leech's
. We then went a walk in the grounds, it rained off and on, and was a grey misty day. We walked along the road towards the race course but did not get so far, as it looked like rain, so we went into one of the lodges. In the afternoon the whole party walked about the grounds and some of them went on for a walk. Miss Davies and I then left them and came back to the house. Then we played and sang and got the children to play with. One of the little boys caused a panic by nearly choking himself. Some of the ladies dressed for the ball before dinner and some after. I made two dressing wearing the (?baby) dress with blue sash and . . . . for dinner, and putting on my white dress with green flowers afterwards. We started about 10, and went in four carriages. Two of the party stayed at home, Mr Windham Lewis and Mr John Phillips. I went in the carriage with Mr Saunders Davies, Major Molony and Miss Davies. The distance to Cardigan was about 7 miles. The room was not so large as the one at Carmarthen, but everything was cleaner and better managed. I danced with Mr Long Price, Mr Warlow, Mr Vaughne, Mr Elliot Price, Mr Price, Mr Hughes, Mr Williams, Mr Saurin, Mr Picton Evans, Captain Jones, and one or two others, names unknown. I went down to supper with Captain Jones. We stayed till the last and got home at 6. I came home in a post carriage with Mr Long Price, Miss Davies, and Mr. Warlow.
Wednesday. Got up about 12½. Every body had finished the luncheon breakfast prepared. I partook of it alone, then got ready for the races. The two carriages came round. Mrs S. Davies drove her pony carriage with Mamma and Mrs Powell inside, who with her husband and daughter-in-law arrived the evening before. I went in the break [brake] with Miss Di Phillips, Miss Pugh, Miss Davies, Miss Powell, and Miss Fownds. The others walked to the course which was only about a mile off. There were 5 or 6 races amongst which was one for farmers riding their own horses, and a pony race. There were a good many carriages by the course, and in front of us was the Penlan carriage with four horses driven by Captain Jones with Miss Gulston on the box and Mrs Jones, Mrs Gulston, Mrs and Miss Boultbee and one of the little Jones inside. It was a very fine bright day, though cold and frosty. All our party in the break walked home with the gentlemen, we a shorter way home through the fields. We saw the end of the pony race from the top of a bank, which they jumped over. We got home about 5½. We had dinner at 7½. I wore my baby dress with blue (?snood) and sash. I went into dinner with Mr Long Price, rather a slow party. We had singing and dancing in the evening.
Thursday. We had breakfast as usual at 9½, after which we all (except the Beckwiths and Miss Founds) got ready to go to the meet of the foxhounds at the house of some old ladies about 4 or 5 miles off. Mrs S. Davies drove her pony carriage with Mamma, Mrs Powell, and Mr Long Price insisted I went in the break with Mrs P. Phillips, Miss Davies, Miss Di Phillips, Mr Warlow, and Mr and Miss Powell in hunting costume, whose horses were to meet them at the house we were going to. We arrived there at about 11, and found a great spread prepared, which we did not feel inclined to partake of at that time in the morning. A great many people were there and soon the dogs and horses were brought round to the front of the house.
The Penlan carriage and four soon drove up with the same party as yesterday with the exception of Miss Gulston who was on horse-back riding with Mr Boultbee. The gentlemen then mounted and they all went off, after which we all went back to the sitting room and were joined there by Mrs M. Jones and Mrs Gulston. Then we found that all our party except Mrs P. Phillips had followed the party on horseback, and then, she proposing that we should do likewise, I went with her to a place about a quarter of a mile distant where all our party and several others were waiting about on the road where the riders were riding up and own. Mrs P. Phillips chaffed Colonel Bunbury a good deal, a gentleman slightly inclining to corpulence. I then joined Miss Davies and Mr Warlow. After waiting about an hour we returned to the house, and the break coming round soon we set off on our way home, but meeting with the hounds again we stayed about on the road some time, where Mrs Phillips amused herself by caffing the gentlemen she knew, which was rather fun. She sent the Dr Mr Newt to look after a little dog whose foot had been run over, telling him he would find a patient in the cottage she pointed out to him who had met with a serious accident.
On our way back the gentlemen threw out halfpence to some children who were running behind the carriage, and which they scrambled for. We had luncheon about 2½. We stayed at home in the afternoon and had singing. One of the children frightened Mrs Powell by suddenly falling asleep in her arms. We had dinner at 7. I dressed for the ball before dinner wearing my white dress and pink roses. I went in to dinner with Mr Long Price. Mrs S. Davies did not come into dinner as she was not dressed in time, so Mrs Powell took her place. All the servants came into the music room to see us dressed. We started about 10. I went in the carriage with Mrs Peregrine Phillips, Major Molony and Mr Warlow. The ball was very much like the first, only much fuller. My dress was perpetually getting torn and I had to have it stitched up about 8 times. I danced with Mr Long Price, Mr Warlow, Mr Vaughne, Major Molony, Mr Elliott Pryce, Mr Hughes, Mr Brigstock and Mr Williams, etc. I came home with Colonel and Mrs Saunders Davies and Mr Long Price. We got home about 6. I found that I had lost my pearl bracelet at the ball.
Friday. Got up about 11, and had breakfast, made preparations for our departure. I looked at the paper and some old 'Punches' till 2. Then got ready. The fly came round which we had ordered from Narberth, and we left Pentre at 2½, and drove to the Narberth Road Station. Got there about 5½. Train did not go till 4 past 6, so I walked with Lee to a shop and bought some biscuits. Mr. Beckwith, who was going to London went with us as far as Kidwelly which we reached at 7, got home at 7½.
[The London Season]
Dinner Party given by Mrs Stavely at the Grosvenor Hotel, London
On Monday the 19th of March, Mamma, Papa, Richie, and I dined with Mrs Stavely at the Grosvenor. My first dinner party in London. I wore the white embroidered muslin dress that Lady Jodrell gave me with my green and silver flowers. We got to the Grosvenor at 7½ and were shown into a large well furnished room on the first floor. We were the first there but the others soon began to arrive. There were General Hamilton, Blanche and Edith, Mr Mackinnon and Captain Mackinnon, Mr Jephson, Mr and Mrs Jemet Brown, Mr and Mrs Stavely Hill, Mr and Mrs Macnamara, Sir Charles Hamilton, Miss Rawson, Mrs Dyson, Edward Hamilton, Lady Green and Colonel Green. I went in to dinner with Mr Jemet Brown as the gentleman Mrs Stavely had intended for me failed her at the last. Richie took Edith in. We were 23 altogether. We had a very good dinner after which I talked to Edith and Blanch. We left at 11.
The Queen's Court held at Buckingham Palace on Friday the 23rd of March
At 11 I began to dress. The hairdresser Arnott came at 12, and took nearly an hour doing my hair which he made into double bandeaus, with Alexandra curls. He crumped my hair with hot irons. I wore a feather and veil at the back. The dressmaker Miss Turner came about 10 and put the flowers on here. The dress was a petticoat of white tulle, the body and train of white silk. The flowers were bouquets of white hawthorn blossom and blush rose buds; I wore one bunch in my hair, one in front of my dress, 3 on each side of the train, and one on the petticoat. The ornaments were a present from Sir L. Jodrell, a locket, earrings, and bracelet of gold, with turquoise and white corral. Lee dressed me, and Wakeford who had come up from Windsor to see us dressed. Mamma wore a petticoat of white satin trimmed with black velvet and point lace, body and train of yellow silk, headress black velvet bandeau with a spray of diamonds in it, feather and veil, ornaments diamonds. Papa wore a deputy lieutenant's uniform. The Watsons and Uncle William came to see us dressed. The Bentleys, Mrs Arthur Hamilton and his daughters, and Emma Style, never came though they said they would.
We started from here soon after 2, and drove through the principal entrance of Buckingham Palace into a sort of square court yard where we were set down, and shown into a large room to take off our cloaks. We were then marshalled along by beefeaters and servants along the hall and up the staircase at the top of which we were told to give up our tickets. We were then shown into the blue drawing room, a very fine room furnished and papered with blue. The room was nearly full, Sir J and Lady Hamilton came in soon after we did. Sir James spoke to us, but we did not see Lady H to speak to at all, as she found some other friends and went to the other end of the room. In about half an hour the folding doors were thrown open, and most of the people went flocking into the next room. We stayed behind rather as we wanted to meet Mrs A Douglas Hamilton who had not yet arrived. She came soon afterwards with Marie and Annie, and after talking to them a little, we all moved on into the next room.
The people were now all forming into lines and there was rather a crush as we moved slowly on, sometimes standing still for ten minutes, and then moving on a few steps. At last we got into the next room, and there was only one more before we got to the throne room. The people began to get excited, some grew pale, others pulled out smelling bottles, some stood on tip toe to see if they could obtain a glance of what was going on. Some hung back, the gentleman preached courage to the ladies though they looked more frightened themselves.
At last we got to the small ante chamber where the trains were set down. The room was lined with gentlemen at arms in uniform. We then went single file down the room following one another at the trains' length. At the end of the room we gave up our cards to the chamberlain who read them aloud to the Queen who was standing close to the door with Princess Beatrice on one side of her, the Princess of Wales, the Princesses Helena and Louisa and Princess Mary of Cambridge on the other side. Mama went first and made her curtesy, then I followed and kissed the Queen's hand, and made two curtesys to the Princesses. Then someone bundled up our trains and put them over our wrong arms. We then went into the next room; there were only about a dozen people following us, so very soon it was all over and the Queen had left the room. We then returned through another long room to the staircase which was lined with beefeaters and gentlemen at arms. We went to the cloak room and got our cloaks. We had to wait about half an hour for the carriage, so I waited near the hall where I could hear the people's names called out and see them get into their carriages. I saw Disraeli and his wife and several others go. At last our turn came and we drove off. We went to Aunt Louisa's, and Papa and I got out to show her my dress. We got home about 5.
The Haymarket Theatre
Went to the Haymarket Theatre on Thursday the 12th of April, Uncle William dined and went with us. Had 6 stalls. Arthur went in the dress circle. Saw Sothern in "The Favourite of Fortune". Two other pieces, "A Romantic Attachment" and "A Daughter to Marry".
Dinner at Lady Belcher's
Papa, Mamma, and I, dined at Lady Belchers on Tuesday the 17th of April. Dinner party of 16, viz, Lady Belcher, Lady Jodrell, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Bentley, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Dyce Nicholl, Mr and Mrs Unthank, Sir George Back, Sir Charles Hamilton, Mr L'Estrange. I sat between Mr Unthank and Mr L'Estrange; I went down with the former, C Bentley with the latter. I talked to Miss D. Nicholl and Constance in the evening, then to Sir Charles.
Evening Party given by Mrs Derby Griffiths
Mamma and I went over to 42 Portland Place (house hired for the season, and consequently very shabby). Went from here at 10½ Papa walked over later. There were no servants to announce us, and only a coachman opened the door. There was good music. Brinley Richards played one of his Welch airs, Mrs Derby Griffiths played on the harp once or twice. There were one or two ladies who sang, the best of whom was a Miss Angel. There was no one whom we knew except General Percival, and altogether it was rather a stupid affair. However there were good ices which was some compensation. We got home a little before one.
At the Princess Theatre
Papa, Mamma, and I went to the Princesses Theatre on Thursday the 26th of April and saw "The Streets of London", a very good piece taken from a French play. The different scenery of the Streets of London were "Drury Lane", "Charing Cross", on a winter's night, "Covent Garden", "The Garrets of Bedfordbury and London from the house tops". "London from Hamstead Heath", "House on Fire", and Crawleys Villa in the Regent's Park. The "Streets of London" was preceded by a very good farce called "A Ghost in spite of himself", in which a very ghostly looking man bears a great resemblance to a cousin of his who had lately died and who bears the same name as himself, both being called Mr Nicodemus.
Madame Pazzi's Concert
On Wednesday May the 2nd Miss Tucker took me to a concert at the Hanover Square Rooms given by Madame Pizzi, who received us in a sort of ante room. The concert began at 3. Mlle Enequist a Swede, sang some very pretty Swedish airs (the best singer there); Signor Mattei played very well on the pianoforte; Signor Ferranti sang an "aria buffe"; Madame Liebhart sang "Guten Morgen" and "Jenny of the Mill"; and Mr Blagrove played the concertina very well. There were several other performers; we left at 5 o'clock.
Opera of "Marta" at Her Majesty's Theatre
On Thursday May the 3rd, Lady Jodrell took me to see the opera of Marta. She also took the Champagners who came in their own carriage. We were there about half an hour too soon. Mrs C and Blanche did not come till some time after. The principal singers were Madlle Titiens, Signor Mongini, and Santley. The story is Henrietta (Madlle Titiens) a young lady of high birth sees all the servants and peasants going to the hiring fair, all very joyful on the occasion. She feeling out of spirits determines to go too and see some of the fun. She accordingly dresses herself and her maid up in peasant's attire and they go to the fair, and let themselves be hired by two young farmers. And then the story continues with their going to their new homes and of course not being able to do any thing, and the farmers are obliged to teach them how to spin. At last they find it rather uncomfortable, and make their escape. By this time one of the farmers (Mongini) discovers that he is very much in love with Henrietta (Titiens) and determines to find her and to make her his wife. He therefore sets all his servants to hunt for her through the wood, but to their surprise they find her in attendance upon the Queen and her royal party who are out hunting. The story ends by his being discovered (through a ring) to be some nobleman who had been brought up in obscurity, and he marries Henrietta while the other farmer, his friend, marries the maid. In the course of the opera Titiens sang "The last rose of summer" which was encored; she had several bouquets thrown her. There were two ballets in which the peasants were all introduced dancing at the fair. Martha was the name Henrietta took when in disguise.
Concert at the Crystal Palace, Performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea
On Saturday May the 5th, Papa, Mamma, Louy, and I all drove down to the Crystal Palace at 1½. The concert began at 3 and lasted 2 hours. Principal performers, Melle Titiens, Mr Santley, Gardoni, and Stagno. Got home at 7¼.
Gallery of Illustrations. Mr and Mrs German Reed and Mr John Parry
On Monday the 7th of May, Papa, Mamma, and I went to see the German Reeds and John Parry. The first piece was a "Yachting Cruise" in which they all three acted which was rather stupid. In one part of it Mr G. Reed and J. Parry dressed up as women. The second piece in which John Parry acted alone was called "The Wedding Breakfast" and which was very good.
The Yorkshire Ball at Willis's Rooms
On Monday May the 14th Mamma and I went to the Yorkshire ball. We were to have started at 10, but just as we were ready to go, it was discovered that I hadnt a decent pair of gloves to go in, and had to take my choice from a bundle of cleaned ones, all a size too large. This I protested against and at last persuaded Mamma to send out Lewis to get a new pair. This he succeeded in doing, but it detained us for about half an hour. When we arrived we found Aunt Fay and the cousins and Mr R Corbett whom I danced the first dance with (a valse) and began the ball as we were the only couple dancing at first. We also met Miss Rawson and her party, the Storys, Mrs Coverdale and Miss Tomkyns and Mr Hoare, and the Maclean party. Edward Hamilton and Edward Corbett arrived later in the evening. Fay introduced me to Captain Stack whom I waltzed with. Miss Tomkyns introduced me to two or three, one a Mr Bishop whom I danced twice with. Edward Hamilton took me in to supper. I also danced with Edward Corbett. We left at 2. Coutes band performed. There was one fancy quadrille danced by ladies in Spanish costume, some in red and some in blue. In the middle of the ball the schoolchildren (whom the proceeds were for) marched round the room with little guns in their hands, and a band of drums and fifes; they saluted and played "God Save the Queen" and then took their departure. I wore my court dress and flowers.
Mrs. Weston's Concert
On Tuesday May the 15th I went with Papa to an evening party at Mrs Weston's. Mamma did not go as she was rather knocked up by the ball the night before. We started at 10½. I wore my embroidered tarlaten trimmed with blue, and blue Swiss boddice, blue snood, and silver cord in my hair. We met old Mr Mackinnon and Mr Alexander Mackinnon, Lady Ingilby, Mrs Stavely, Miss Stanley, the Storys, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Paton, Sir George Bach, and the Miss Coquhns, one of whom sang twice. There was another lady who sang and one who played. I was sent down to supper with some gentleman. We left about 12.
General Hamilton's Dinner Party
On Friday May the 18th, Papa, Mamma, and I dined with General and Miss Hamliton's (19 Sussex Gardens) Dinner party of 16. Admiral and Mrs. Hamilton, Mr Ingles, Dr and Mrs Deane, Mr and Mrs Mackenzie, etc. I went down with Mr Mackenzie, a very stupid individual who had nothing to say for himself. I sat next to General Hamilton. We left soon after 10 as we were going on to Mrs. Lewis Loyd's concert.
Mrs. Lewis Loyd's concert, 20 Hyde Park Gardens
On Friday May the 18th we went on from General Hamilton's dinner party to Mrs. Lewis Loyd's concert. A very splendid affair, about 600 people present. We arrived rather late and were only just in time to get a chair. Met Lady Jodrell and Sissie Watson and Sir John Anson. The singers were Madlle Titiens, Mad11e Bettelheim, Madlle Liebharett, Signori Stagno, Ferranti, and Rohitansky and Mr T. Hahler. We stayed till the end and then had supper. We had to wait some time, for our carriage. I saw Titiens very well as I stood close to her in the cloak room for about quarter of an hour and heard her talking. We got home about 1½.
Mrs. Bentley's Dinner
On Saturday May the 19th, we dined with the Bentleys. We went and returned in one of their guests's carriages. There were 18 at dinner. Mrs and Miss Littledale, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Phillips, Mr Mayne, General Percival, Mr A Mackinnon, Mr Huddleston, etc. I talked to Constance Bentley, and Miss Littledale after dinner. I went down to dinner with Mr Mayne, a son of Sir Richard Mayne.
The Royal Academy
First visit, Thursday the 10th of May (Ascension day). Louy's whole holyday, she went with us too. We only looked at the principal pictures, mentioned in the "Times" The best were Hagar and Ishmael, Ere Care Begins, Her Most High Noble and Puissant Grace, Here Nelson Fell, by Maclise. Amy Robsart and Leicester, Mare and Foal, Indian tent (Landseer), The last moments of Raffaelle, An arrest for witchcraft, Queen Elizabeth receiving the French ambassador after the Massacre of St Bartholomew. Miss Lilly's carriage stops the way.
Our first dinner party
On the 24th of May (Thursday) we had a dinner of 18, viz, Sir James and Lady Hamilton, Sir Edward Hamilton, and Lady Belcher, Colonel and Mrs Saunders Davies, Mrs. Gwynne Holford and her son Mr Gwynne Holford, Mr and Mrs George Lyall, Mr and Mrs James Fellowes, General Percival, Miss Rawson, Mr E. Corbett, and ourselves. I went down with Mr Gwynne Holford and sat between him and Mr Corbett. Emma Style came in the evening; she played and Mrs Saunders Davies sang.
Our second dinner
On Saturday the 26th of May we had another dinner party of 18, viz, Mr and Mrs Biddulph, Mr, Mrs and Miss Champagne, General and Miss Hamilton, Mr and Mrs Martin, Mrs Stavely, Mr Townsend, Mr Ingles, Mr Pulsford, Mr Stuart, Mr Crosse, and ourselves. We had no music after dinner though frantic efforts were made to get some up. I went down with Mr Martin and sat between him and Mr Ingles. I fought Mary Champagne and Blanche Hamilton after dinner.
Sir James Hamilton's dinner
On Wednesday May the 30th we all three dined at Sir James's. A very state dinner party of 18, none of whom we knew. The folowing are the only ones whose names I know The Earl and Countess of Belmore, Lord Haywarden, The Earl of Bantry, and a Mr Home of the Blues whom I went down with.
Mrs Alfred Douglas Hamilton's small evening party
After the dinner at Sir James's, Mamma and I went on to a small party given by Mrs Douglas Hamilton in Oxford Terrace. We met General
Hamilton, Blanche and Edith, Mrs and Miss Neave and Mr Everard Neave, and Mrs and the Miss Gower's, Cardiganshire people. There was a little music. Miss Gower sang and the Alfred Hamiltons (Marie and Annie) played. We did not stay more than half an hour as it was a wet night.
Mrs Dyce Nicoll's ball
On Friday the 1st of June, Mamma and I went to a dance at Mrs Dyce Nicoll's. We started from here at 10½ and came home at 2½. I danced with a Mr Crawford who was introduced to me by Mr D. Nicoll; also with Mr Bishop whom I met at the Yorkshire Ball, and Mr Mayne whom I went down to dinner with at the Bentleys, and 3 or 4 others whose names I forget. We met the Bentleys, the Barclays, and the Lewis Loyds. A lady fainted towards the end of the evening.
The Fourth of June
On Monday the 4th of June, Papa and I went down to Eton. All day it had been dark and cloudy and very sultry, and at 5 o'clock it came on to rain very heavily till about 6 when it left off for about half an hour, and then just when the boats were starting at 6½ the rain came down in torrents and continued so for the rest of the evening. We started from Padington by the 2½ train; it was very crowded and they had to put on extra carriages; we went in the coupe. We reached Windsor about 3¼ and walked on to Eton. When we went into Eton Chapel, where we waited till the service was over the hopes of seeing Willy come out. While standing there we met Mr Gwinne Holford. Not seeing Willy, we went to his demes and went up to his room but not finding him there we came down again and found him just coming in at the door. He told us he had to get excuses for boys for being absent from the head master which would take him about half an hour. So while he was doing this we went over Eton Chapel and then went back to his room and waited till he came back.
We then walked with him to a confectioners' shop in Eton and bought some cakes. We then came back and had tea in his room. At this time it came on to rain very hard, and continued almost without stopping for an hour. At 6 we went over to the place where the boys' names were called over, after which we walked through Eton to a field by the side of the river to see the boats start. There were 8 boats, and each boat's crew were dressed in different colours, one was pink, another blue, violet, green, etc. They wore shirts striped with their respective colours, and the same coloured ribon round their straw hats. The stearers were dressed like naval officers, and wore large bouquets on their button holes. Just as the boats started at 6½, the rain came down in torrents and continued without ceasing for the rest of the evening. So instead of waiting for the fire works as we should have done had it been fine we walked back with Willy to the station and went by the 7½ train back to London. There was rather a nice girl (a Miss Lee) in the coupe with us, who talked to me a good deal. We went in the underground railway from Paddington to Portland Road.
Mr Pulsford's Dinner Party
On Wednesday the 6th of June we all 3 dined at Mr Pulsfords. I went down to dinner with Mr Mortimer Alfrey, and sat between him and Mr Prideaux. In the evening I talked to Miss H. Alfrey a cousin of the man who took me down. There were 16 at dinner. The only ones whose names I know were Mr, Mrs, and Miss Henry Alfrey, Mr and Mrs Alfred Latham, Mr and Mrs Prideaux, Mr and Mrs Holeton, and Mr Mortimore Alfrey.
Miss Rawson's dinner
On Thursday the 7th of June, Papa, Mamma, and I dined at Miss Rawson's. There were 18 at dinner. Those whom we knew were Captain, Mrs, and Miss Trafford (relations of Miss Rawson's and who were staying with her), Lady Ingleby, Lady Belcher and Mrs Stavely. I went down with some man whose name I forget. I talked to Miss Trafford and Lady Belcher in the evening. Miss Trafford sang "Maggie's secret". We left at 11. Lady Belcher took Mamma home in her carriage as Papa and I were going on to a ball.
Mrs Foster's ball
On Thursday the 7th of June Papa and I went on to Foster's ball in Chesham Place. It was a very fine large house but in consequence of not being a single window open in the ball room the heat was terrific. There were about 600 people altogether. Those we knew were Mrs Biddulph, Mrs and Miss Phillips, Miss Marsham, the Miss Macleans and Major Maclean, Miss Edith Martin, and Mrs Derby Griffith. Mrs Biddulph introduced me to two men but I couldnt dance with them as it was so hot in the ball room that I couldnt even sit there much less dance. We left early.
Our ball took place on the 8th of June (Friday) and was a great success. We had about 250 people altogether. They began to arrive about 10½. The first that came were the Fairfax Best party. Then Mrs Jones of Penlan, and then several gentlemen. About 11 the room was tolerably full and the dancing began. I didnt dance the first two or three dances as I wanted to see the people come in and be introduced to some of them. Lady Jodrell sent me a beautiful bouquet about 8 o'clock. I wore white tulle over white silk, and my court flowers in my hair, blush roses and white heather blossom, a white sash with pink flowers embroidered on it at the back, and pearl ornaments. Mama wore white satin trimmed with black velvet, and diamond ornaments. I danced every dance but two or three. Those whose names I can remember were Mr Bishop, Mr Crawford, Mr Edmund Vaughne, Mr Williams, Mr Mayne, Mr R. Corbett, Mr E. Corbett, Mr FitzPatrick, Mr Crosse, Major Maclean, Mr Butler, etc. We kept it up till 3. The last walse was wholly composed of the three Hamiltons and the three Watsons and their gentlemen. I danced with Mr Butler. We then all went down to supper.
The Princess's Theatre
On Monday the 11th of June, Papa, Louy, and I went to see Mr and Mrs Charles Keene in Louis the XI. Mr Jephson had given us a ticket for a private box where he joined us about the middle of the piece. The carriage was sent up to Long's seminary to fetch her at 6 and brought her down here. Mamma didnt go as she wasnt very well. The first piece was a "Lucky Hit", and after that "Louis the eleventh" which character Keene acted, while Mrs Keene was Martha, a peasant's wife. We didnt stay for the last piece as we had to came back and dress for Lady Anson's assembly.
Lady Anson's Assembly
On Monday the 11th of June, Papa and I went on to Lady Anson's assembly after the theatre. There were a great many people there but very few whom we knew. We didnt keep the carriage as we thought we would get some one to set us down, but the only people we knew there were Mr and Mrs Kynaston, and they couldnt put us down as they hadnt a carriage and were going to walk home themselves. This we also decided on doing and were just about to put our plan into execution when Mrs Derby Griffiths arrived very late, and so determined upon not going upstairs but on leaving, as she put me down on her way.
The Champagne's dinner
On Tuesday the 12th of June, Papa, Mamma, and I dined with the Champagne's. We met old Mr Mackinnon and his daughter Lady Dundonald and her daughter Lady Louisa Cochrane, Lady and Miss Harding and Mr and Miss Robertson, and other whose names I dont know. We were 22 altogether. I went down to dinner with a Mr Thomas, whom the Champagne's brought to our ball. I talked to Miss Champagne and Mr Mackinnon after dinner. We left at 11 and took Mamma home and then Papa and I went on to Mrs Barnet's drum.
Mrs Barnet's evening party
On Tuesday the 12th of June Papa and I went on to a drum at Mrs Barnets after the Champagne's dinner. There was no music, only an assembly. It was a small house and very hot and the candles all bent over by the heat and the wax dropped on the lady's dresses which didnt add to the pleasure of the party. We met Mrs Vernon and her daughters as they were going away, and Mrs Biddulph, Mr and Mrs. George Lyall, and Mrs Hopkinson and her two daughters and a lady who came about Lee's character.
Mrs Weston's Matinee
On Wednesday afternoon June 13th, Mamma and I went at 4½ to Mrs Weston's matinee. There was some very good music and amongst the singers were Miss Louisa and Miss Susan Pyne, who both sang very well. Miss Susan Pyne sang "Who can tell". We met Mrs Stavely, Lady Ingleby, Miss Rawson and Mrs and Miss Trafford, Miss Stanley, Lady Dundonald and her daughter, Mrs Lionel Mackinnon and her daughter, Miss Alexander Mackinnon with her governess, Mrs Macdonald, old Mr Mackinnon, Mrs La Motte, Mrs Molyneux, Miss Lowndes, Lady Belcher, Mrs Coverdale and Ella Tomkyns, and the Fairfax Best party, and the Miss Calquhns.
Mrs Reynolds' ball
On Wednesday the 13th of June, Papa and I went to Mrs Reynolds' ball in Eaton Place. It was a very fine house, but we did not stay long as we were going to another ball. I danced with Major Maclean. We met Mrs Biddulph and Mrs and Miss Amy Peters. We left about 12½ and went on to Mrs Phillips' ball.
Mrs. Phillips' ball
On Wednesday the 13th of June we went on to Mrs Phillips's after Mrs Reynolds' ball. We met the Bentleys, the Dyce Nicholls, Mrs Lionel Mackinon and her daughter, and the Storys. I danced with Mr Mayne and was engaged to Mr Dyce Nicoll when we came away. It was a very fine large house but very hot and ill ventilated.
Mrs Albert Goldsmid's Ball
On Thursday the 14th of June, Papa, Mamma, and I went to a ball given by Mrs Albert Goldsmid at the Claridges Hotel in Brook Street. There were two good sized rooms to dance in, out of which was a tent for refreshments, and three supper rooms led out of it. The tent was prettily decorated with stands of flowers all round and a fountain in the middle. The floor in the ball room was covered with canvass. We met Aunt Fay, Minnie Fay, and R. Corbett, Mrs Peters and two of her daughters, Miss Jekyll and her sister, Lady Goldsmith and Miss Clara Jekyll, Mrs Lionel Mackinon and her daughters, Mr and Mrs Kynaston and Mr Smith, Captain Stack and Mr Fitzpatrick. I danced with the two latter and also with two men who were introduced to me, one by Mrs A Goldsmid and the other by Miss Jekyll. I also danced with Richard Corbett and was engaged to dance with Mr Gower when we left at a quarter to three.
Mrs Gwinne Holford's Concert
On Friday the 15th of June, Papa, Mamma, and I went to a concert at Mrs Gwinne Holford's in Grosvenor Square. The singers were, Sig. Gardoni, Signor Bossi, Mr Santley, Mdlle Titiens and Madlle Biancolini. There was a wonderful child who played the piano, whose name was not mentioned in the programme. We met Aunt Fay, Minnie and Edward, Mrs Rudge, Mr and Mrs Prodgers, Mrs Biddulph, Mrs and Miss Gulston and Mr Stepney Gulston, Mr and Mrs Compton, Mrs Hamlyn Williams, Mrs Jane and Mrs Fergusson Davie.
Mrs. Coverdale's Croquet party
On Saturday June the 16 Mamma and went to Mrs Coverdale's croquet party at Brandesbury Park, Willesden. We had the carriage open, which we found rather cold as we were thinly clad and it was a very windy cold day. We dropped Papa, Louy, and P. Bagge (who had been spending the day here) at the Zoological on our way. We got to Brandesbury at about 4½ and joined the croquet party on the lawn. We met the Storys and Lady Rowe, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Paten, General Hamilton and his two daughters, Mrs Rudge, Mrs and Miss Weston, Mrs and Miss Fairfax Best, and Captain Stack. We were a long time before we could get a game up and when we did no one would attend to it, so we left it off when only half through it and went in and had tea. Those who played in our set were Blanch and Edith Hamilton, Miss Paten, Colonel FitzGerald, Mr Woodgate, Captain Stephens, and another gentleman. After tea we had dancing in the dining room which had been prepared for it and the floor polished. There was a piano and cornet. Coote and Tinney's band played, I danced nearly every dance. The only ones whose names I know amongst my partners were Mr Woodgate, Captain Stephens, and Captain Stack. There were ices and tea in the little back room. We stayed till 8½, and then came home in the carriage which had been closed. We got home at 9½.
Mrs Hopkinson's Ball
On Tuesday the 19th of June Mamma and I went to Mrs Hopkinson's ball in Eccleston Square. It was rather a small house and the rooms were very crowded. I danced with Mr Fitzgerald, Edward Hamilton, Mr Vernon and two or three others who were introduced. I was engaged to Mr Gulston and Mr Molyneux but mistakes occured through not having cards. We met Aunt Fay, Edward and Agnes, Mrs Vernon her son and daughters, Mrs Biddulph, Mrs and Miss Foster and Mr Banks whom we had before taken for Mr Butler. We took Mrs Biddulph home.
Mrs Cock's Ball
On Monday June 25th, Mamma and I went to Mrs Reginald Cock's ball in Hertford Street, Mayfair. We got there very early and were almost the first in the room. We met Mrs R. R. Phillips and her daughters, Mrs Hopkinson and two daughters, Mrs Barnet, Mrs Biddulph etc. The rooms were rather small, but beautifully decorated with flowers; there was a great crowd and it was very hot. I danced with Mr Somerset, Mr Mortimer Alfrey and another, name unknown.
Mrs Orme's Ball.
On Wednesday the 27th of June Mamma and I went to Mrs Orme's Ball in Upper Belgrave Street. It was a very fine house and decently ventilated. We only stayed two hours as we were going on to Mr Mackinnon's Ball. I danced with Mr Somerset, Mr John Martin, Mr Fitzpatrick, and Major Gosset. We met Mrs Biddulph and Miss Martin, Mr and Mrs Butler and Miss Amy Peters, the Glennies, Mrs Fergusson Davie, Miss Gulston, the Littles, Mrs Barnet, Mrs Foster, etc. We left at 1¼.
Mr Mackinnon's Ball
We went to Mr Mackinnon's ball after Mrs Orme's, and arrived there at about a quarter to two. We met the Champagne's, Sir Edw and Lady Jodrell, Mrs Watson, Sissie and Margaret, Mrs and Miss Paton, Mrs A. Hamilton and her nieces, Mrs and Miss Weston, J. Story, etc. Mrs Lionel Mackinnon received people at the entrance of the ball room which was a long picture gallery, and Mrs Lohlan Mackinnon stood at the door of the drawing room, and when Lady Dundonald came on from the Queen's ball she received people in the drawing room. I danced with Mr Gambier, Captain Stack and others unknown.
Mrs A. Hamilton's Party. Music and Dancing
On Tuesday the 3rd of July we went to Admiral and Mrs Hamilton's party. I had been spending the evening with Constance Bentley and only came home at 9½ to dress. Annie Hamilton and Mr E. Neave came here and went with us. There was music and singing till 12½ and then dancing which was rather heavy as there was no (drugget) only a carpet. I danced with Mr Brook, Mr Hay Hill, Mr Woodgale, and others, and was engaged to Mr Neave. We met Aunt F and F and A, General Hamilton, Blanche and Edith, the Storys, Mrs Stavely and R. Watson, the Champagnes, the Jodrells, the L Mackinnons, La Mottes, &c.
The Bulwer's drum
On Wednesday the 4th of July, Papa, Mamma, and I went to the Bulwers matinee. We met Lady Jodrell and Rose, Mrs Watson and Sissie, Mrs Hamlyn Williams and Lady Hanbury, Mrs Lowndes Stone and Mrs Rice, Sir Bulwer Lytton, Mr and Mrs Compton, Mrs and Miss Arkright, etc. There was tea in the drawing room and strawberries and grapes at a side table and that was all in the way of refreshments as there were no ices. I talked to Rose Watson most of the time.
Sir Claude Scott's Ball
On Wednesday the 4th of July, Mamma and I went to Sir Claude and Miss Scott's ball in Bruton Street. It was a large house but the rooms were low. There were a great number of people and it was very hot as the balcony was enclosed. There was a tent put over the leads down stairs where the ices were and it was beautifully decorated with flowers. We met Aunt F, Minnie and Agnes, the Miss Macleans and Major Maclean, Mrs Watson and Margaret, Mrs Hopkinson and two daughters, &c. I danced a good deal. My partners were all introduced except Mr Compton. I danced four times with Mr Ellison a very good valtzer.
Mrs. Dent's Ball
On Monday the 9th of July, Mamma and I went to the Dents' ball in Hyde Park Gardens. It was a splendid house with a curious square staircase with a gallery all round the landing place and doors at the four corners. It was beautifully decorated with flowers. We met Mrs and Miss Foster, Mrs and Miss Barnet, Mrs Hopkinson and two of her four in hand, Mrs and Miss Phillips, Mrs and Miss Gulston, General Percival, Miss King King, Mr Compton etc. I danced with Mr Fitzgerald, Major Gosset, Mr Alexander, and two others names unknown.
Amount of Gaiety in 1866
The Bulwer's dinner Party
- Stays in country houses 7 visits.
- Balls & dances 13 in London, 11 in Wales.
- Dinners 13 in London, 19 in Wales.
- Drums 2 morning, 11 evening.
On Tuesday the 10th of July, Papa, Mamma, and I dined with the Bulwers. We were 14 at dinner and the room was fearfully hot and stuffy and not a window open. The only people we knew were Sir Edward and Lady Jodrell and General Percival. I went down to dinner with a Mr Hobbert. Sissie and Margaret Watson came in the evening. I talked to Margaret who was rather hilarious, especially on the topic of the red lobster, viz a lady in a scarlet silk dress who rolled her eyes about in an extraordinary manner.
Aunt Louisa's dinner and evening party
On Tuesday the 17th of July, Papa, Mamma, and I dined at Aunt Louisa's. We went in a flie as our carriage was gone to the coachmakers to be kept while we were in Wales. We were 12 at dinner, viz General and Mrs Shaw, Mr Pulsford, Miss Ashford, Mr and Mrs Martin, Mr Scale, Aunt Louisa, cousin Charles and ourselves. After dinner a beautiful little dog was exhibited which Aunt L had lately brought from Paris. The Miss Smarts, Aunt Fay, Minnie and Fay, Mrs and Miss Ashford, Mr Stuart etc came in the evening. Cousin C and Miss Ashford sang.
[Back in Wales]
Visit to the Gulstons
On Tuesday July the 31st, Mamma and I went to stay at Dirleton, the Gulston's place. When Mamma first got up she was not at all well and thought she would not be able to go, but however she got better and we started from here with Wakeford at 10½ and drove to Carmarthen where we did some shopping. We met Mr Goring Thomas at Bagnall Davies's, and talked to him some time. We then went on to Carmarthen Station and went by the 2.20 train to Llandilo where we changed trains for Llangadock. Mr C Bishop got into our carriage at Llandilo. We found a close carriage awaiting us at Llangadock which took us up to Dirleton in a very short time as it is only a mile from the station. We were shown into the drawing room where we found Mrs and Miss Gulston, and soon Lizzie Gulston came in and Harry and May Gavine (Giveen) (Mrs Gulston's nephew and niece). After talking a little time we had lunch and were then shown our rooms, after which Mrs Gulston took us all over the house which took nearly an hour as it is an enormous place with long rambling passages and heaps of rooms not half furnished. At 4 o'clock Mamma and I went with Mr and Miss Gulston in the sociable for a very pretty drive, with lovely views. Harry went on the box, and went one way along the turnpike road and came back another. We got home about 7¼. We had dinner at 8 in the old dining room. There was no party, only themselves who consisted of Mr, Mrs, and the two Miss Gulstons, Stepney, Frank, and Arthur Gulston, and Harry and Robert Gavine. I went in to dinner with Stepney Gulston. The governess, Miss Young, appeared in the evening when we all sang Chrysty's Minstrells.
Wednesday. We got up and came down to breakfast at 10. Miss Gulston did not get up till about 11, so we had breakfast alone with Mrs Gulston as all the others had breakfasted early. At 12½ Mrs and Miss Gulston, Mamma, and I went in the brougham to Llandilo for the archery meeting. We first stopped at the Cawdor Arms and went upstairs to look at the prizes, which were none of them very pretty. We then went on to the archery ground where after a little waiting about we began shooting. Mr T. Jones was the captain of our target which Miss Gulston and I had to ourselves. It was a grey sort of day with no sun, but a good deal of wind, and before we had finished shooting at 60 it came in to rain. However we finished and 4 dozen arrows before we went into the tent. The shooting began at 11 and we had luncheon in the tent at 3, during which time it rained in torrents. Amongst those whom we knew were Mrs and Miss Cross and Alaric Cross (Richie came with them) Mr Alboy Pryce, Mrs Harries of Aberglasney and her niece Miss Pugh Pryce, D. Jones M.P. and his daughters and Miss Johns, Mr Long Price and two of his sisters, the Jones' of Velindre, the Lloyds of Glensevin, etc, etc. Miss Gulston and I kept close together in scores all the way through and when we left off shooting at 60 she was one ahead of me. After luncheon we only had time to shoot 6 arrows before the rain came down so heavily that we were obliged to leave off and after waiting in the tent half an hour. The prizes were distributed as there seemed no chance of the rain leaving off. During the last 6 arrows I had got two whites while Miss Gulston got nothing, so I was now just one ahead of her, and got the second prize in consequence, viz a double scent bottle with gold tops. Miss C Lloyd got the first pirze, a scent bottle like mine only red glass. The gentlemen who got prizes were Mr T. Jones and Mr Phillips. The other ladies who shot were Mrs T. Jones, Miss Neville, and Miss Hughes. After the distribution of prizes we all went to the Cawdor Arms and had tea, after which we drove home, taking Richie back with us on the dickey behind with Harry Gavine. Had dinner at 8 in the small dining room. No party. Had singing in the evening, "Long live the merry merry heart", etc.
Thursday. Showery. Went about the grounds with Miss Gulston, Mamma, and Richie. Then we went in the boat on the river, and I went a little way in the coracle with Stepney Gulston. When we came in, I played at a game with bags of peas with Arthur Gulston. After luncheon which was at 2, Mamma, Richie, and I went with Miss Gulston and her eldest brother in the sociable to Llandovery, where we called on Mrs Jones of Velindre to ask her to come that evening to the dance at Dirleton. I fought the two Miss Nevills who were staying there, one of whom stammered very much. We tried at several shops to get Richie a pair of white kid gloves, but in vain, such articles were unknown in these regions. We came back a different way and called at Cilgwyn (Mr Gwinne Holford's) to see old Martin who showed us over the house and was affected to tears. We were 14 at dinner. The Peels of Taliaris came, a party of 5, Mr and Mrs Peel, Mr Herbert Peel, and two daughters. I went in to dinner with Mr Jones of Velindre. During dinner S Gulston who sat on my right hand, passed my fan round the table, which at last came back to me on the other side. After dinner there was a dance in the dining room which was kept up till 1. Mrs Jones of Velindre and two Miss Nevilles came. Alaric Cross arrived at 3 in the evening.
Friday. Very showery. I played croquet on the new ground with Lizzie Gulston and her brothers and Harry. Miss Gulston and Alaric Cross (who had hot coppers) looked on. It came on to rain several times very hard but we went on playing all the same with cloaks and umbrellas. We had luncheon soon after 1, and left Dirleton at 2. A. Gulston went with us to the station, and ran back to fetch my archery box which I found I had left behind when half way to the station. A. Crosse went back with us to Carmarthen station. Did some shopping at Carmarthen and then came home where we arrived at 6.
Croquet Party and Dance at Aberglasney and visit to Dirleton
On Thursday the 7th of August, Arthur and I went to Carmarthen to Golden Grove station by the 1.15 train accompanied by Guilietta Crosse who joined us at Carmarthen station and who was also going to Aberglasney. At Golden Grove station she was met by her brother and Mr Peel whom he had been staying with and who had driven him over to the station. As the Aberglasney carriage was not there to meet us, Mr Peel offered to take us over to Aberglasney in his carriage, which we accordingly did. But after proceeding about half way we met Mrs Harries's carriage coming for us, so we changed and arrived at Aberglasney (a curious old fashioned looking place) in about a quarter of an hour. Mrs Harries and her father Mr Phillips received us at the door, and taking us in to the drawing room, and from thence to a small room beyond, where a cold lunch was prepared. We sat down to an elegant cold collation which Miss Pugh Pryce, Mrs Harries's niece, soon came down to, and a Mr and Mrs Alexander who were staying in the house, the latter a very eccentric vulgar person of about 30.
About an hour after lunch the Gulston party arrived whom it had been arranged I was to go back with, while Arthur remained at Aberglasney until the following day, and was then to join me at Dirleton, and as Mrs Gulston particularly wished us to remain with them till Saturday instead of returning the following day Arthur was to telegraph home the next morning to tell them so. The Gulston party consisted of Mrs and the two Miss Gulstons, Stepney and Arthur Gulston and Mr Gavine, Mrs Gulston's brother.
We played croquet all the afternoon on the lawn. There were three sets, and people came dropping in all the afternoon. Those playing in our set were Horatio and Stepney Gulston, Mr Gavine, Mother Gamp alias Mrs Harries, Guilietta Crosse, and Miss Alexander. At 7 we left off playing and got ready for dinner. The Gulstons, G Crosse, and I all had the same room. We all wore high white muslin dresses and wore natural flowers in our hair. We had dinner at about a quarter to eight. I went in with Stepney Gulston. We were about 24 altogether. There were 18 at the principal table and 6 at the side table. In addition to those I have before named there were Captain Lloyd and two Miss Lloyd and young Lloyd, a young man staying with Mrs Harries and Mrs H's ward, a boy of about 14, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Harries's sister, etc etc. Guiletta sat at the side table and made a great noise laughing and shrieking. After dinner we had dancing in the hall which was oak, but we were obliged to dance round the billiard table which was too heavy to be moved. We left Aberglasney at 12 and reached Dirleton at about 1½.
Friday. Had breakfast at 11 and was introduced to Mr, Mrs, and Miss Foley and two gentlemen staying in the house. At 12 we played croquet till 2, the players being Mrs and Miss Foley and myself, Stepney and Arthur Gulston, Lizzie Gulston, and Mrs Gavine. After luncheon Arthur and I went in the boat with Mr Gavine, Stepney Gulston and Robert, down the river to Llandilo, about 7 or 8 miles. Arthur rowed us all the way. We got to Llandilo in about two hours, and, leaving the boat at the railway station, we came back to Llangadock by the train which arrived in about a quarter of an hour, and in which Mr and Mrs Biddulph were coming to stay at Dirleton. We got into the same carriage with them and Mr C Bishop, and got out at Llangadock where the poney carriage was waiting for the Biddulphs who went up to Dirleton in it while we all walked back. There was no one else to dinner but those staying in the house. The French maid did my hair, and I wore my high white dress. I went in to dinner with Mr Gavine. The Aberglasney party came in the evening, when we had dancing in the new drawing room, which we wound up by a cotillon which I danced with Stepney Gulston who led it. We went to bed about 4.
Saturday. Had breakfast soon after 11. Then played croquet till 1½, after which we got ready to leave and took our departure at 2, Mr Gavine driving us in the poney carriage to the station. A. Gulston went as far as Llandilo.
Third visit to Dirleton
On Monday, the 3rd of September, Mamma and I with Wakeford and Lewis went to stay with the Gulstons for the archery meeting. Went from Carmarthen by the 1.15 train, and got to Llangadock at 2.30. Baron de Rutzen got into our carriage at Carmarthen and went with us, as he was also going to stay at Dirleton. When we arrived we had luncheon after which we played croquet till 6½. Those in our game were Arthur and Lizzie Gulston, Miss Young, Miss Pollzac, Baron de R and myself. Afterwards Miss Gulston took Lizzie's ball. Mr and Mrs and two Miss Llewellins and Mr Somerset and his brother arrived by the 6½ train. I went in to dinner with Mr Somerset senior. We had singing in the evening.
Tuesday. Wet nearly all day. We drove in the van into Llandilo in hopes of it clearing for the archery meeting. Mrs and Miss Gulston, Stepney Gulston, and Mr and Miss Llewellin went in the van, the others were to come afterwards. We got to the Cawdor arms soon after 1, and found no one there but the Bishops. As it was still raining with no hopes of clearing up, Mrs Gulston and Mr C Bishop sent messages and telegrams to all the members of the club, saying that the meeting was postponed till tomorrow, but the dance would be tonight. We then had luncheon and waited in the room at the Cawdor arms all the afternoon where the Lloyds of Glansevin and the Smiths and others came afterwards. The rest of our party arrived about 4 and then we played games, and acted charades in the ball room till 5½. Then we dressed in the bedroom putting on muslin garribaldis etc, and then had tea. Several more people arrived, the Miss Joneses of Pantglas, the Miss Pryces of Talley, etc. Dancing commenced at 7 and was kept up till 11½. There was a supper provided at 10½. The band was from Swansea. We arrived at Dirleton about 1 where a cold supper was provided.
Wednesday. Very showery day, doubt as to whether the meeting would take place or not. Young Lloyd (of Glansevin) rode over at 12 to ask if we were going or not. Mrs G sent him to telegraph to C Bishop to ask if the meeting was to take place or not. The answer came that it was. At 2½ Mrs G, Miss G, Mr and Miss Llewellin and I started in the covered sociable for Llandilo. It rained nearly the whole way, and when we got to the Cawdor Arms, Mrs G had out Mr C Bishop and arranged with him that the meeting should be put off till the first Wednesday in October. We met young Jones of Pantglas on our way and took him with us back to Dirleton where on our return we found young Lewis of Stradey had arrived. We played at games in doors till it was time to dress for dinner. The Peels, and the two Mr Gwinne Holfords came to dine. I went in with Mr Somerset. A large party arrived in the evening for the dance that was to take place. Those whom I knew were Mrs Harries and Miss Pugh Pryse, the Pryses of Talley, the Lloyds of Glansevin, Mr Phillips, Captain Lewes, the Miss Jones of Pantglas and Mr Jones of Blanos, the Jones of Velindre, the Tom Jones, etc, etc. We danced in the dining room and the band came over that played at the Cawdor arms the night before. The dancing was kept up till nearly 3 and ended with a cotillon which I danced with Mansel Lewis. The supper was in the old dining room, and the refreshments in a little place in the hall.
Thursday. Wet all day. Had breakfast at 11½ after which we played games in the hall till luncheon time. We left Dirleton at 1.40 and went with the Llewellins and Baron de Rutzen by the 2 o'clock train. We parted from the Llewellins at Llandilo, but Baron de Rutzen went with us as far as Carmarthen. I bought a sailor's hat, black leather, at Bagnall & Davies, and also a buckle, price 8 shillings. Reached home a little before 6.
Dinner party at the Crosses [Iscoed]
On Thursday the 23 of August, Mamma, Richie, Arthur, and I dined at the Crosses, a party of 12. Met Sir J and Lady Hamilton and Mr O Jones, and old Miss Crosse. I went in with Alaric king of the Goths. Had singing in the evening and a game at Pope Joan.
Luncheon Party at the Prices [Oaklands]
On Tuesday the 21st of August, Mamma, Richie, Arthur, and I went to lunch with the Pryces of Oaklands. We met Mrs Crosse, young Crosse, and Guilietta, Mr E. Bishop and Miss J. Bishop, Miss Andrews, and a cousin of Mr Pryce's. After luncheon we played croquet. We played a game, Gelly-deg v Iscoed. Richie, Arthur and I playing on the side of Gellydeg, and beating young Crosse, Miss Crosse, and Mr E. Bishop.
Dinner Party at Mrs H. Williams [Edwinsford]
On Friday the 21st of September, Mamma, Richie, and I dined with Mrs H. Williams, a party of 10. Met 3 of the Crosses, Lady Hanbury, Mr O Jones, and Mr Davies the curate. The latter I went in to dinner with, Richie took in Guilietta. In the morning we played vingt un. I won 3s 3d.
2nd Dinner Party at Mrs. H. Williams
On Wednesday the 17th of October, Mamma and I dined at Mrs Hamlyn Williams'. Papa was to have gone but he came back from a meeting at Carmarthen feeling not very well, and therefore sent an excuse. The party consisted of only the Goring Thomases and ourselves. We played vingt-un after dinner and I gained 1 shilling.
Fourth visit to Dirleton for the archery Meeting
On Thursday the 4th of October I went to stay with the Gulstons taking Wakeford with me. We started from home at 3 and reached Carmarthen station at 4.40, thinking we had half an hour to wait. But finding the trains had been altered we had only just time to get into the train before it started. On reaching Llandilo station we found we had half an hour to wait there, so we took a walk through the town. On returning to the station we fell in with Little C Bishop who got into our carriage and went with us as far as Llangadock. On reaching that station we found that my box had been left behind. So I telegraphed to Llandilo telling them to send it on by the first train tomorrow. There was no one else at Dirleton but the Gulston party who had only that day returned from their visits in England after coming back from the wedding in London. The sons at home were Stepney and George. We had singing in the evening. Miss Gulston lent me things to wear.
Friday. A grey day, without rain or sun, very good for the new archery meeting. At 12½ Mrs and Miss G and George G and I started in the broughm (after many botherations) for Llandilo. We reached the archery ground after every body had assembled, and after putting on our things and speaking to different people, we proceeded to our targets. Horatia and I were at the same target, the furthest from the tent; the only others at our targets were G. Gulston and the Captain, Mr Tom Jones. It was a very good meeting and there were a good number shooting and several strangers. Miss L. Jones of Pantglas shot, and Miss C Lloyd of Glansevin, two Miss Bishops, and three Miss Hughes, etc, etc., and several more, also a good many gentlemen. After shooting at 60 at which I scored 60 we went into the tent and had luncheon after which we went on with the shooting for an hour, more shooting 2 dozen at 50. On leaving off I scored altogether 111. After waiting about half an hour while the scores were being added up, we all went into the tent where the successful shooters were named by the Hon Sec C Bishop, and the prizes awarded. The first prize was given to Miss C. Loyd by D. Pugh Esq M.P. who made her a speech. The prize was a pair of earrings. The second prize given by D. Jones, M.P., he presented to me with a flowery and complimentary speech ending with "that he was very glad to award the prize to so fair
and lovely a damsel". The prize was a very pretty gold locket with 3 corral berries and green enamel leaves and a small diamond on each berry. I also had my choice of a pair of marble candlesticks but of course I chose the locket. The other prizes were won by Mrs T. Jones, Miss Gulston (for best gold) and Miss Neville. Miss Snead got the strangers' prize. There were three gentlemen's prizes but who got them I forget. There was a dance afterwards at the Cawdor arms from 7 till 11. We reached Dirleton at 1.
Saturday. Beautiful bright day. I was to have gone home but Mrs Gulston had pressed me to stay till Monday and had written to tell Mamma so. I wrote after breakfast to Mama giving an account of the archery meeting and then practiced my singing. At 1 Horatia, George Gulston, and I went in the pony carriage to call on the Peels of Taliaris. Horatia drove and George and I sat behind. We saw Mrs Peel, Mr Herbert Peel, and an odd child. We returned to Dirleton, about 5. Mrs G received a telegram from the Jones' of Pantglas (whom they had expected to come and stay till Monday at Dirleton) saying they were too knocked up by the festivities of yesterday to be able to come. Mr Somerset arrived; we had singing in the evening.
Sunday. Fine. We all went to Llangadock church in the morning. The service was half English and half Welch. Horatia and Mr Somerset behaved very badly, laughing, etc. She gave him the marriage service to read and a hymn on matrimony to learn by heart. After church we went to call on the Lloyds of Danyrallt in the town, but on finding the children there had the whooping cough we all left except Mrs Gulston who stayed there for luncheon. At 3½ we all went on the river in corracles. Horatia, Mr Somerset, G, and I each in four separate corracles. Mr Somerset bringing his very near Horatia's, she upset him. While he went in to change his things, S Gulston took his corracle and we all went down the rapids. We then took the corracles in, and Mr Somerset having returned we five went for a walk in the meadow by the river, where Mr Somerset did the excessively
agreeable to Horatia. We returned about 6, and had dinner at 7½. We looked over photos, etc, in the evening.
Monday. Fine bright day. I left Dirleton at 1½ and drove to Llandilo Station with Horatia, in the sociable. Got to Carmarthen about 3, did some shopping, went to the Junction Station to fetch Richie's portmanteau which he left there on Saturday on his return from staying at the Colbys. Saw the partial eclipse of the sun very well. Reached home a little before 6.
Third dinner party at Mrs IIamlyn Williams
On Thursday, November 1st, Papa, Mamma, and I dined at Mrs H. Williams who had asked me to stay there till Saturday. Mrs Price, Oaklands, had asked us to dine with her on the same day which we had declined. I went in a high white garibaldi (because my neck was covered in flea bites) and wore coral ornaments, with holly in my hair. We were 11 at dinner and met Mr and Mrs Lloyd Phillips, Captain, Mrs, and Miss Crosse, and Mr Owen Jones. At dinner I sat between Mrs H. Williams and Captain Crosse. In the evening we had riddles and puzzles to amuse us. Papa and Mamma went at 11, and I was left. Soon afterwards I was shown to my room which led out of the drawing room and looked out on the garden. Mrs H. Williams's maid did my hair, an old woman who had lived with the Stracys and knew the Arkwrights.
Friday. We had breakfast about 10. It was misty nearly all the morning and we stayed indoors and worked and talked. I played frogs and toads with Mrs H. Williams. Luncheon at 1, after which we drove to Iscoed where we met a Major and Mrs Hill, awfully vulgar people. We walked over the garden at Iscoed and returned to Ferryside about 4½, when Mrs Phillips and I walked about the grounds. No one else to dinner but ourselves; in the evening had puzzles and whist. To bed at 10½.
Saturday. After breakfast played frogs and toads till the carriage came for me at 11. I returned home. Lady Hanbury gave me a puzzle.
Fourth dinner at Mrs H. Williams's
On Thursday the 8th of November, Papa, Mamma, and I dined again with Mrs H. Williams. We had been asked by her to call for Mrs Phillips, Undercliff, on our way and bring her up with us. This we did, though not knowing her then it was rather awkward. Her husband walked up. We met, besides the Phillips's, Mr and Mrs Goring Thomas, and Mrs Harries (Aberglasney) who were staying in the house. I went down to dinner with Mrs Harries who burnt her mouth at dinner. We played vingt-un in the evening. On our way home we set down Mrs Phillips.
Our magic lantern party
On Monday, December 17, we had an exhibition of the magic lantern to all the gentry of the neighbourhood. The performance began at 3 and lasted an hour and a half. I exhibited the tragic parts and Louy the comic. Those who came were Mrs H. Williams, Lady Hanbury, Mr and Miss Crosse, two of the Miss Stoakes, Mrs Stevens and their son David, Mr and Mrs Price and two of their children, and the little girl the ward of the Andrews. We had asked besides the Owen Jones', the Phillips', the Andrews, and Mr Malephant, but they disappointed us at the last. The exhibition was in the hall after which they had tea in the drawing room which was helped by Wakeford and Elizabeth behind a long table.
Our visit to Mrs Biddulph
On Wednesday, December 19, Mamma, Richie, and I went to stay at Dirwin for a day or two. We went from Kidwelly station about 1, taking with us Lewis and Wakeford. Arthur walked to the station to see us off. We changed at Llandore for Swansea where we arrived about 2½. Mama and Wakeford did shopping while Richie and I walked about the town and were photographed at Andrews'. We returned to the station about 5 where we met the others, and, hiring a fly with half tipsy driver proceeded to Dirwin, a distance of about 3 miles. On arriving we were shown upstairs to the tea room, where we found Mr and Mrs Biddulph, Miss Gulston, young Jones, and a Miss Foley. Soon afterwards Frank Gulston arrived from London. Then we proceeded up stairs to dress for dinner. We had the same rooms as last year. I wore my blue dress with blue wreath. On going down to the drawing room, young Jones began showing us conjuring tricks. Soon afterwards Mrs Gulston made her appearance, and then Miss Chambers. Mr and Miss Wilmott and Mrs Morrice dined there, whom we met last year, and some others besides. I went in to dinner with a Mr Smith who came with Mrs Morrice. After dinner the Sketty hell ringers came and played several tunes in the hall on their bells, which was very pretty. We had singing afterwards, then a game of Poole, and then a little dancing round the billiard table till 12 o'clock.
Thursday. Fine and cold. Came down to beerkfast at 10½. Miss Gulston as usual not down. Pottered about in the drawing room in the morning. Some played billiards and Poole, and some sang. Young Jones immitated Miss Gulston singing "I cannot sing the old songs". Then some visitors came. Luncheon at two. Miss Chambers drove Richie and me out in a pony carriage in the afternoon. She payed a short visit while we drove on and then came back for her. Drove back to Dirwin through Sketty, a very pretty village. On our return we found Mama in the little boudoir reading (staying at home for her cold) and Miss Foley down in the drawing room. Miss Chambers, Richie, and I then walked down to the sands where we had to climb some wire fences to get to the sea. I lost my bunch of charms. After looking for them in vain we returned home. We had tea and then Arthur Gulston made his appearance, just returned from his holidays. Then Mrs Biddulph, Mrs and Miss Gulston returned from their drive to Swansea, and then came the gentlemen. Several people came to dinner, amongst them Mr and Mrs Wilmott and another Miss Wilmott, Mr Smith again, and others. I was taken in to dinner by a naval gentleman and had A. Gulston on the other side, had great fun chaffing him. Had a regular dance in the evening, kept it up till one, ended it with a country dance and Sir Roger de Coverley. A lady came who sang splendidly.
Friday. Came down soon after 10, just in time to see Miss Chambers off. Then we had breakfast. I played billiards and poole with the young Gulstons and young Jones. Then I put up my things. Richie and I took leave of Mrs Biddulph and proceeded to the sands to look for my charms, but could not find them. We then walked on to Swansea and went to see our photos at Andrews'. I was done again. We bought a bunch of mistletoe and then went to the station where we joined Mamma and the Gulstons who had just arrived, the latter with their 36 parcels and their attendant slave, young Jones. We started soon after 4 in the same carriage as far as Landore, where we had to wait an immense time for the train. We then got into different carriages, and went on to Llanelly where the Gulstons got out, also Mr Lewis of Stradey who was in our carriage. We got home a little before 7.
To be continued