by Victoria Hinshaw

On the night of 14 December, 1861, Queen Victoria lost her beloved husband Prince Albert. In the custom of the time, most of her subjects learned of his death through the tolling of church bells, traditional alert to crisis.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1840

In 2011, 150 years after the event, the BBC History Magazine carried an article about how the death of Prince Albert threatened the continuing existence of the monarchy.  Here is a topic with everything: love, dynasty, death and mourning, royalty, and Future Considerations, the capital letters well-deserved.  Most of the information in this post comes from the magazine article  by Helen Rappaport, author of Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy, published by Hutchinson, 2011.

Victoria was already Queen when she and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were married on February 10, 1840.  There is no doubt that she adored him — handsome, clever, and virile, Prince Albert had long been intended to be  her spouse by their mutual uncle, Leopold, King of the Belgians, since 1831 and the widower of the late Princess Charlotte of Wales, who died in 1817.

Leopold I, King of the Belgians; portrait by Winterhalter

King Leopold was the brother of both Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and Albert’s father, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Queen Victoria  and Prince Albert with their children in 1846; Painted by Franz Xavier Winterhalter
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were parents of four sons and five daughters and eventually 42 grandchildren, most of whom married into European royalty and aristocratic families.
There is little doubt from her writing that her marriage to Albert was a love match for Victoria.  If those early years were difficult for Prince Albert, he was confident of her adoration, and he worked hard to win the confidence of her advisers, government officials, and the public.
2010 Exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
Several years ago, Kristine and I attended the exhibition “Victoria and Albert: Art and Love” and feasted our eyes on the lovely portraits and objects they gave each other. According to the catalogue, “This exhibition is the first ever to focus on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s shared enthusiasm for art. Bringing together more than 400 items from the Royal Collection, it celebrates the royal couple’s mutual delight in collecting and displaying…”  We examined each item, until we could hardly stand on our tired feet.  Seeing their love so obviously expressed gave us a new appreciation of their mutual trust and dependence upon one another
Prince Albert, 1859, by Winterhalter
 By the time he died, most people (according to Rappaport) considered Albert to be King in all but name. Regarding the press accounts of his death, Rappaport writes, “Many of them were tinged with a profound sense of guilt that Albert had never been sufficiently valued during his life time for his many and notable contributions to British culture as an outstanding patron of the arts, education, science and business.” The Queen was plunged into a profound depression which lasted for many years.
The Death of Prince Albert
 As seemed to be common in the British Royal Family, first sons and their ruling fathers often did not see eye to eye.  Prince Albert was disappointed in his eldest son, known as Bertie, who succeeded his mother as monarch King Edward VII in 1901. Albert had kept Bertie to a strict regimen of preparation for his eventual role as King, but Bertie, being young and mischievous, managed to involved himself in troublesome activities.  The Queen, in part, blamed her son for her husband’s illness and death.
The fear grew in Britain that the Queen would never recover from her grief, and her exaggerated mourning would endanger the continuation of the monarchy.  Victoria and Albert had, during their 20-year reign, re-established the dignity of the royal family, so greatly reduced during the period of the Hanovers, the first four Georges and William IV.
Prince and Princess of Wales, wedding in 1863
Rappaport writes, Victoria “became increasingly intractable in response to every attempt to coax her out of her self-imposed purdah…the only thing that interested Victoria now was her single-handed mission to memorialize her husband in perpetuity.”
The Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, London, one of many memorials to the Prince Consort
 Not until 1871 did Queen Victoria begin to appear in public again. Rappaport writes, “…discontent escalated into outright republican challenges and calls for Victoria’s abdication…when Queen Victoria attended a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral” to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales from an attack of typhoid fever, the disease which may have killed his father ten years earlier.  From then on, public sympathy was recovered for the Queen and her son.
Queen Victoria, 1899, NPG
With the help of her favorite PM, Disraeli, and her beloved Scottish servant, John Brown, the Queen became “…a respected figure of enduring dignity and fortitude, ageing into her familiar image…only now that people started calling themselves ‘Victorian’s’…”
Albert and Victoria resting side by side in the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore


From  A Perfectly Unforgettable Christmas

“Miss Howard has the right of it. I haven’t any brothers or sisters to insult anymore. I have to make do with Redford,” Lucien said with a half-smile in the butler’s direction.

“I don’t have any either. Brothers or sisters, I mean. And my Papa is dead so I won’t ever have any.”

“My condolences.” Lucien bit into the biscuit. For some reason his belly had no difficulty with the gingery concoction. Perhaps Bonaparte was onto something.

“I think I should like to be your doxie,” the angelic little girl declared.

Lucien choked down an entire biscuit and reached for his tea.

“Oh, dear,” Redford muttered.

Oh dear?

His butler nodded repeatedly in the direction of the French windows, rather like a seizing chicken. The mysteriously opened French windows. The windows in which a horrified Lady McAlasdair now stood giving Lucien a glare of reproach so powerful as to turn him to a pillar of salt should he remain under it for long. Lucien lurched to his feet. A lightning bolt of pain shot up his leg. He grasped the mantel to keep his feet.

“Lady McAlasdair.” He executed a shallow bow. “Would you care for some tea?”

“I should like to know, Lord Debenwood, precisely what you have been telling my daughter.” Never had he seen a lady lovelier. Or more deadly.

“I asked Lord Debenwood what a doxie is and he told me, Mama.” Miss Lily dragged her cloak-clad mother to the footstool and indicated she should sit. To his astonishment, she did. Then again, the child had managed to persuade him to take tea with her, a doll, and a dog.

“And what made you ask his lordship such a question?” She stroked her daughter’s hair and all the while accused Lucien with her eyes.

“You and Miss Howard wouldn’t tell me. I came over here to thank Lord Debenwood for my gift and to bring him some of Mrs. McGillicutty’s biscuits. He said I could ask him anything.” She sent Lucien a dazzling smile. He hated to think of the men of London once she reached her mother’s age. They didn’t stand a chance.

“Oh, he did, did he?”

For a man who had given up on feeling anything years ago, Lucien found himself aroused and indignant at the same time. She raised an eyebrow. A dare if ever he saw one.

“I made the offer after she plied me with biscuits and had already asked me every question imaginable. I didn’t see the harm in one more.” He offered a Gaelic shrug, only because he suspected it might annoy her. It did.

“One more? Biscuit or question?” She spied the child’s coat and hat on the blanket chest at the foot of the bed and fairly shot up from the footstool to fetch them.


“Why on earth would you answer such a question?” She wrestled her daughter into the coat and settled the wool hat on her head.

His leg tortured him mercilessly. Only yesterday he’d have sat down throughout her visit and damned all gentleman’s manners and intruding neighbors to perdition. He wasn’t exactly certain what made him remain standing now. “I was endeavoring to be honest and truthful with the child.” He grinned in spite of the scolding scowl on Redford’s face.

She stopped fastening her daughter’s coat and slowly crossed the room to stand close enough to shake the snow off her cloak onto his bare feet. “You are endeavoring to be a horse’s arse. And succeeding. Admirably,” she muttered huskily between clenched teeth.

The rough timbre of her voice scraped across his skin with a pleasurable sort of pain. The pain brought about when coming from someplace very cold into someplace warmer than he’d ever imagined.

“Quite,” Redford affirmed quietly.

“Stow ‘em, Redford.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“I don’t understand, Mama. Don’t you want me to be a doxie?” Seated on the blanket chest, Miss Lily stroked Bonaparte’s head. “I think it would be very nice.”

Redford began to clear the tea table. Lucien couldn’t be certain, but he thought he heard the man mumble, “Stop talking.” Good advice. Too bad he’d never been very adept at taking the advice of others.

“What exactly did you tell my daughter?” Lady McAlasdair demanded.

“He said doxies are women who are paid to be nice to men who are lonely,” Lily offered before he could answer. “Some men aren’t good at making friends so they have to pay them. I think Lord Debenwood is lonely. That’s why he is so angry all the time. I should like to be his doxie, but he wouldn’t have to pay me. He’s already given me Miss Debenwood, and he lets me have Bonaparte during the day. I could be his doxie as a trade.”

Every time the child said doxie, Lady McAlasdair’s color deepened from pink, to pinker, to pinker still. Lucien wondered if the color was the same all over her body. He raised an eyebrow exactly as she had done. He’d put on a pair of buckskins under his dressing gown for the sake of his little female visitor. Lucien crossed his arms over his chest to draw the mother’s gaze to the vee of naked flesh where the garment gapped open.

“I am going to kill you later,” she promised.

“I look forward to it.”


The Sergeant’s Christmas Bride – Sergeant Jacob Burrows just wants a place to bed down for the night. He never expects to be confronted by a lady with a gun. Elizabeth FitzWalter intends to drive the stranger off her land, until she realizes he meets her most pressing need.

Home for Christmas – When Charity Fletcher receives a mysterious bequest—a house by the sea—she hopes to rebuild her life. Lord Gilbert Narron leases a seaside house to hide from his memories of war. Charity’s refuge is Gil’s bolt-hole… but what both are seeking is a home for their hearts.

A Memorable Christmas Season –The last thing Lady Roekirk expects at her Christmas party is a dead traitor in her parlor… or the Crown’s Spymaster helping her hide the body. Thirty years earlier, she’d been forced to wed another and Lord Keyminster became a spy. After this long, does their love stand a chance?

A Perfectly Unforgettable Christmas – Every day, Lucien Rollinsby endures a memory of Christmas Eve. Not even his lovely new neighbor can make him forget that horrible night five years ago. Caroline McAlasdair remembers that Christmas Eve, too. But if Lucien recalls her presence there, it will destroy their only chance at happiness forever.

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Authors’ Biographies:

Hannah Meredith is, above all, a storyteller. She’s long been fascinated by the dreams that haunt the human heart and has an abiding interest in English history. This combination led her to write historical romance. Hannah is a member of RWA, the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and SFWA.


Anna D. Allen lives deep in the woods with too many books and not enough dogs. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Language and Literature. Her future plans include growing tomatoes and cleaning out the freezer. When not writing or reading, she can be found in the kitchen.


Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery books by Christie, Sayers, and others. Now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered, and everyday items are studied for their lethal potential. It’s taken her years to convince her husband that she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she just can’t cook.


Louisa Cornell is a retired opera singer living in LA (Lower Alabama) who cannot remember a time she wasn’t writing or telling stories. Anglophile, student of Regency England, historical romance writer— she escaped Walmart to write historical romance and hasn’t looked back. She is a member of RWA, Southern Magic RWA, and the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA.


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Louisa –


OPERATION PIED PIPER – Guest Post by Alix Rickloff

OPERATION PIED PIPER                

WWII was declared on September 1st 1939, and by the end of that month over 800,000 London school children had been evacuated to the countryside ahead of the expected German bombardment.

Planning for Operation Pied Piper, as it was known, began years earlier. The bombing casualties sustained during WWI had frightened the British government badly. Taking into account advances in technology, they were certain that should war break out with a remilitarized Germany, any bombing campaign would result in catastrophic loss of civilian life.

As war grew closer, the government divided the country into zones of “evacuation” “neutral” or “reception”, compiled lists of available housing, and began an all-out crusade to convince the public of the necessity of evacuation. Posters and pamphlets were used successfully to persuade parents that their children would be safest far from the inner cities, especially London. Teachers, local authorities, railway staff, and over 17,000 WVS (Womens’ Volunteer Service) volunteers were brought on board to assist with the planning and implementation.


To prepare for evacuation, parents were given a list of items each child needed to take with them which included a gas mask, sandwiches for the journey, and a small bag containing such essentials as a change of underclothes, pajamas, slippers, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, and a warm coat. Yardly Jones recalls preparing before his evacuation:

“We went down Wavertree Road and bought an enamel cup, a knife, fork, and spoon from a list we had. I guess we bought clothing as well, I don’t remember, but I do know I was a little upset since I knew we weren’t that well off and I knew my mother couldn’t afford to go out and buy these things.”

The day of departure, children assembled at their local school where labels were attached to their collars with name, home address, school, and destination. After tearful farewells, teachers and volunteers marched the children to the station where trains waited to take them to such far-flung destinations as Devon, Cornwall, and Wales. Teacher L.A.M. Brech recalls:

“All you could hear was the feet of the children and a kind of murmur because the children were too afraid to talk. Mothers weren’t allowed with us but they came along behind. When we got to the station we knew which platform to go to, the train was ready, we hadn’t the slightest idea where we were going and we put the children on the train and the gates closed behind us. The mothers pressed against the iron gates calling, ‘Goodbye darling.’ I never see those gates at Waterloo that I don’t get a lump in my throat.”


Upon arrival, billeting officers arranged for housing. In many instances, this meant nothing more than lining the children up against a wall and allowing families to choose as Beryl Hewitson recounts:

“I noticed boys of about 12 went very quickly—perhaps to help on the farm? Eventually only my friend Nancy and myself were left—two plain, straight-haired little girls wearing glasses, now rather tearful.”

And Irene Brownhill remembers her own arrival in the country:

“…next to us a little thin girl sobbing and very upset and wanting her mother. I put her in the middle of my sister and me and she stopped crying. The people coming around to choose kept saying they would take my sister and me but they did not want three girls only two…”

It was common for the young evacuees to have trouble adjusting to country life. Some had never seen a farm animal before or eaten a fresh vegetable. Others were bored by the lack of entertainments outside of the city. Jean Chartrand remembers two boys billeted with her relatives:

“…one boy had put the pail under the cow’s udders and was holding it there whilst the other boy was using the cow’s tail like a pump handle…”

Evacuee John Wills said his biggest shock was the fresh air: “Nearly knocked us off our feet.” Later he and a friend decided to return to London. “We walked home on the thumb with the odd lift. I much preferred to take my chances in the air raids.”

Host families could be equally surprised by the children they were housing. Because the majority of children came from the poorer sections of cities, there was an idea that they would be undisciplined and dirty. And while this was sometimes the case, more often than not their fears were founded on bias and preconceived notions.

“How I wish the prevalent view of evacuees could be changed. We were not all raised on a diet of fish and chips eaten from newspaper and many of us are quite familiar with the origins of milk. It was just as traumatic for a clean and fairly well educated child to find itself in a grubby semi-slum as vice versa,” Jean McCulloch explained.

By the end of 1939 when the expected bombing didn’t materialize, parents were quick to bring their children back home. And by January of 1940, nearly half of those children sent away in the first weeks had returned to their families. But these were to be short-term homecomings. When France fell in June 1940 and again in the fall of 1940 at the start of the London Blitz, additional evacuations were set in motion. And this time, children would not see their families again until the end of the war almost five years later.

The lasting effects of the evacuation ran the gamut. Some had idyllic experiences with caring families who maintained close ties long after the war ended like Michael Clark:

“We could not understand these strange people who for some reason we were sent to live with, but as the years have gone by I realize just what diamonds they were”

Others, like Gloria McNeill, homesick and unhappy, recall the forced separation and sometimes squalid and violent conditions these children found themselves in.

“Every time I hear Vera Lynn sing “Goodnight children everywhere’ I see a forlorn 11-year old curled up in a corner of a strange bedroom, hiding tears behind the pages of The Blue Fairy Book.”

Operation Pied Piper officially ended in 1946 bringing to a close one of the largest organized movements of civilian population during wartime and one of the most heartbreaking and inspiring chapters of British history.


Dwight Jon Zimmerman. “Operation Pied Piper: The Evacuation of English Children During World War II.”

Laura Clouting. “The Evacuated Children of the Second World War.”

“Primary History World War 2: Evacuation”

Ben Wicks. No Time to Wave Goodbye (Stoddart Publishing, 1988)


From the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever. 

Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.

Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.

Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for.


Author Bio:

Critically acclaimed author of historical and paranormal romance, Alix Rickloff’s family tree includes a knight who fought during the Wars of the Roses (his brass rubbing hangs in her dining room) and a soldier who sided with Charles I during the English Civil War (hence the family’s hasty emigration to America). With inspiration like that, what else could she do but start writing her own stories? She lives in Maryland in a house that’s seen its own share of history so when she’s not writing, she can usually be found trying to keep it from falling down.





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by Kristine Hughes Patrone

If you’re at all like me, you probably prefer watching British television to American television. Not so long ago, this was almost impossible to do in the USA. The only options available were Masterpiece Theatre or buying mini-series and movies on video tape or CD. Then came Acorn TV, which was much better than what we had, offering more content and many British shows otherwise unavailable to us. Acorn TV answered a need and served a purpose. Yes, we had to pay for the service, but if you were a dedicated Brit telly fan, the monthly fee of $4.99 was worth it.

Enter Britbox, a joint service by the BBC, ITV and Amazon video, allowing those of us in America to stream UK telly. When it first launched I yawned. In fact, I’d been yawning for quite a while as my Acorn TV subscription had become a tad stale. Who needs Britbox, thought I, it will most likely be nothing more than another version of Acorn TV, where the same old programs were rerun again and again. And again. After several years of subscribing to Acorn TV, I’d grown tired of the slow turnover of “new” shows and I’d been seriously considering dropping my subscription. Admittedly, old standards such as Blacks Books, Cradle to Grave and Grandma’s House  were interspersed with more contemporary, and desirable, shows such as Vera, Doc Martin, A Place to Call Home, and Happy Valley, but new episodes were slow in coming. And besides, I wanted access to more than just dated, and well watched, series TV. I wanted prime time British telly.

I’m a huge fan of Coronation Street, the UK soap opera that’s been on the air since 1960. I’ve seen every episode aired since 1970, discovering the program on YouTube and watching it for months until I’d caught up with the current episodes. I also used to be able to watch new episodes on YouTube, where a handful of lovely people would upload them soon after they aired in the UK. Recently, Coronation Street’s parent company, ITV, began policing YouTube and reporting “pirated” content, which was quickly taken down. It’s almost impossible to find a recent episode on the platform any more. When I learned that Hulu was streaming new episodes of Coronation Street, of course I headed their way. $5.99 per month, so worth it to see Corrie. I signed up for their free trial and waited for new episodes of Coronation Street. And waited. And waited.  As of last night, as I write this on November 9, the latest episode available on Hulu was October 23rd. And that’s been the latest episode for almost two weeks now. Not. Funny. Not. Happy.

And so I found myself on the Britbox website. Since Britbox is affiliated with ITV, the producers of Coronation Street, chances were better that new Corrie episodes would drop in a more timely fashion. Taking a lesson from my Hulu experience, I checked the Corrie line up before getting too excited and, lo and behold, they had Corrie episodes right up until yesterday’s date. Joy! I cancelled my trial period at Hulu and signed up with Britbox and then browsed their line up of other shows.


And they had plenty that was current. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a good amount of old saws like Poirot, Dalziel and Pascoe, Rosemary and Thyme, Sharpe with Sean Bean (Sean Bean !!), Fawlty Towers, Upstairs, Downstairs and Cranford, but there were also many more current shows, such as Broken with Sean Bean (Sean Bean !!), Cold Feet 2017, Strictly Come Dancing, Kat and Alfie, The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge, Flog It!, In The Dark, Ordinary Lives, The Moorside, plus documentaries, Royal specials and, in addition to Coronation Street, new episodes of favourite soaps Emmerdale, Holby City and East Enders.


Acorn TV does seem to be stepping up it’s game with the arrival of Britbox on the scene, adding new shows like Loch Ness and The Good Karma Hospital, but they’re going to have to step up their line up of current shows in order to keep pace with the new kid on the block. For now I’ll keep both subscriptions for a total of $11 per month, but it would be lovely if the UK telly powers that be would just let us subscribe to their t.v. tax and allow us to watch real time telly. Until then, I’m happy to have new episodes of Coronation Street and I’m also enjoying Broken –  it’s gritty, gripping and heartbreaking. In short, entirely binge worthy. As is Ordinary Lies. And Scott & Bailey. And Britbox will also be airing the Queen’s Christmas speech on the day.

If you’ve subscribed to any of these streaming services, or are considering signing on for any of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts.



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John Hoppner – Lady Elizabeth Howard, Duchess of Rutland

From The Gentleman’s Magazine, December 1825

Duchess Of Rutland. Nov. 23. At Belvoir Cattle, in consequence of an inflammation of the chest, aged 45, Elizabeth Duchess of Rutland. Her Grace so lately as Friday the 18th was engaged in inspecting the progress of the numerous workmen employed in completing the splendid decorations of the grand drawing-room at Belvoir, which it was intended should have been first opened on the occasion of the Duke’s approaching birth-day: she also took her accustomed exercise, and wrote several letters. In the evening symptoms of the disease, with which she was severely attacked a year ago, began to manifest themselves; but on the following day they appeared to have abated very considerably. At two o’clock on Sunday morning, Mr. Catlett, surgeon to the family, who sleeps in the castle, was hastily summoned to her Grace’s apartment, and found her state so extremely dangerous as to excite the most alarming appreheusions. Expresses were instantly sent off to Dr. Wilson, of Grantham, Dr. Pennington, of Nottingham, Dr. Arnold, of Leicester, and Sir Henry Halford. The three first promptly obeyed the summons; Sir Henry arrived at the castle from London at 5 o’clock on Tuesday morning, but the hand of death was already on the Duchess; all the efforts of the faculty had been unremittingly exerted to arrest the progress of the disorder, but in vain. Her Grace, whose self-possession was remarkable, felt perfectly alive to the imminence of her danger, and the fortitude with which she bore her acute sufferings, and viewed her approaching fate, was in the highest degree affecting. The Duke never quitted the bed-side till she had ceased to breathe. Dispatches were immediately forwarded, announcing the afflicting event, to his Majesty, to his Royal Highness the Duke of York, and to the various branches of the Rutland and Carlisle families.

John Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland


Her Grace was the fifth, but second surviving daughter of Frederick Karl of Carlisle (Byron’s guardian, the 5th Earl of Carlisle), who died Sept. 4, 1825, by Caroline, daughter of Granville-Levison, the first Marquess of Stafford; was born Nov. 13, 1780. She was married to John-Henry Manners, Duke of Rutland, on the 22d of April 1799, and had issue nine children, of whom three sons and four daughters survive.

Due to her elevated taste, Belvoir Castle ( above)  will long remain a magnificent monument. From its first commencement, 25 years ago, in despite of momentary interruption from the calamitous fire in October 1816, until its recent completion, the lamented Duchess had been the presiding Genius of the place, and selected all the plans for its erection; nor were her active and useful exertions restricted to the castle alone. The grounds, the villages, the roads in its vicinity, even the general aspect of the country, were improved through her agency. Every rational suggestion which had for its object the decoration and the embellishment of this beautiful domain, was adopted with eagerness. and zealously carried into effect under her personal and immediate superintendence.

What many individuals would have required a century to execute, her perseverance in a few years achieved; nor was her Grace less successful in the cultivation of the elegant accomplishments of her sex. Her drawings exhibit correct taste. Her poetical genius, hereditary from her noble father the late Earl of Carlisle, and her musical attainments were of the first order. Indefatigable in whatever might promote the general good, and alive to the true interests of her Country, the Duchess was a practical agriculturist. The farm she held, consisting of above 700 acres, visited almost daily by herself, has always been considered a model of scientific management. On several occasions she was complimented with premiums from the Society for the Promotion of Arts and Manufactures, for her extensive plantations and acknowledged improvements in the breeding of cattle.

It is striking that with predilections so marked and decided for a rural life, her Grace was one of the brightest ornaments of the English Court, and whenever she graced it with her presence, an object of universal admiration. The ease and dignity of her deportment, her refined and polished address, the graceful condescension of her manners, fascinated every one who came within the sphere of her numerous attractions. Married early to the object of her choice, as a wife, a parent, and a benefactress, she was alike exemplary. To the sorrowing hearts now and for ever bereft of her soothing affection, her tender care, her munificent charily, her death is indeed an irreparable loss!

Dec. 9. The remains of the Duchess of Rutland were deposited in the family vault at Bottesford. Crowds of inhabitants of the vicinity had assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to their esteemed benefactress. Early in the morning the Duke of Rutland arrived at Bottesford, and immediately proceeded to the house of the Rev. Charles Thornton. The procession left Belvoir Castle at ten o’clock, and arrived at Bottesford about one. It was followed by a long train of carriages and other vehicles. The following was the order observed :

Mr. Pound, his Grace’s woodman, accompanied by twelve tenants of his Grace, in deep mourning.—The Duchess’s Coronet, on a crimson velvet cushion, carried by a gentleman uncovered.—A favourite pony of the late Duchess, enveloped in a black cloth, in the corners of which were embossed her Grace’s armorial bearings, led by two of her Grace’s oldest servants. —The hearse, drawn by black horses which had belonged to ber Grace, and driven by her Grace’s coachman —Five mourning coaches, drawn by six horses each —Her Grace’s carriage, drawn by four horses.—W. F. Norton, esq. in his own carriage, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Salmon.—Two carriages and four.— Forty-six of his Grace’s tenants in deep mourning.—Two of the carriages in the procession were occupied by the immediate family—one by the Earl of Carlisle and his brother, and the other by the brothers of his Grace.

The procession, in the first instance, proceeded to the Rectory-yard, Bottesford, where it remained about one hour. The remains of the lamented lady were then taken from the hearse, and carried into the Church by eight Gentlemen. The coffin was covered with a rich pall of black velvet, decorated with her Grace’s armorial bearings. His Grace joined the procession at the Rectory. Twenty-six of the noble ancestors and relatives of his Grace lie entombed in the vault, which now also contains the remains of his late amiable Duchess.

Her Grace was not forgotten, as we see in a piece that appeared in Bell’s World of Fashion – January 1 1829

. . . entertainments of much splendour and liberality have been given in many a noble mansion; and these have not been bounded within a narrow space, but have extended to the country, as well as occupied the town. Of these, it behoves us particularly to mention the grand file given on the 5th ult. at Belvoir Castle, upon the congratulatory occasion of the birthday anniversary of his Grace of Rutland, its noble and worthy possessor. The Duke of Wellington, and a very large party of highly distinguished personages, were present.

A drawing-room, of truly magnificent dimensions, was for the first time opened; at one end of which stood a full-length statue, executed on the purest white marble (emblem of her stainless character and unsullied virtue!), of the late amiable and greatly regretted Duchess. The ceiling of this rich apartment was divided into sections, in which, cleverly painted, were the portraits of the Duke and late Duchess, the dowager Duchess, and other members of the noble house of Belvoir; also that of the late Duke of York, who was much in the habit of honouring the Castle with his presence, and its excellent possessor with his highest confidence and his purest friendship. This entertainment was the first given by his Grace since the decease of his late ever-to-be-remembered and esteemed Duchess.


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