How the Duke of Rutland Spent His Birthday

The Court Circular
Thursday January 10 1835
John, 5th Duke of Rutland
We are ever gratified in having to record the particulars of this truly English festival, presenting, as it does, a combination of all that is splendid and hospitable, and including in its circle of participators not only the titled, but the intire of the more humble friends and dependents of the Duke of Rutland, than whom a more popular Nobleman does not exist . . .
The natal day of his Grace falling on Sunday, occasioned the postponement of the general celebration to the succeeding day. Covers were, however, laid on the 4th instant, for a numerous circle, amongst whom was the illustrious hero of Waterloo, who had arrived late in the afternoon from Apthorpe, in Northamptonshire, the seat of the Earl of Westmorland. On Monday the leading guests at the Castle enjoyed a protracted day’s shooting. The fine woods which encircle the Castle abound with pheasants, and repeated discharges re-echoed throughout their extent till nightfall. The Duke of Wellington was remarkably successful, seldom missing his aim. When darkness began to prevail, the illumination of the interior of the Castle commenced, and proceeded until it assumed one continuous blaze of light. The Guard Chamber, the lengthened gothic Corridors, the two Staircases, the Dancing Gallery, Picture Saloon and State Dining-room, and the Regent’s Gallery, wherein the guests assembled previously to dinner being announced, presented, «”ith the various treasures of art they contained, > series of attractions of no ordinary character. Within the area of the great staircase the military band of the Leicestershire Militia was stationed. Their commencement of ” O, the Roast Beef of Old England,” was the signal that all the arrangements for the repast were completed. The Duke of Rutland, with the Countess of Denbigh on his arm, led the way to the banQDetting-room, followed by the intire of his guem. As the cortege passed through the Picture Saloon, the many spectators who had there assembled, warmly greeted his Grace as well as the Duke of Wellington, with reiterated plaudits. The Duke of Rutland took the centre of the table, with the Countesses of Denbigh and Brownlow on either hand; immediately opposite sat the Duke of Wellington, between Lady Adeliza Manners and his niece the Viscountess Burghersh.
Interior, Belvoir Castle
We have before had occasion to enter into a minute description of this fine apartment, so much admired for its very appropriate and classic enrichments. On this occasion it appeared to peculiar advantage. The gold and silver vessels on the tables and sideboards were arranged with consummate taste, and finely relieved with beautiful vases, containing the rarest flowers, whilst the immense mirrors at cither end reflected fairy-like vistas of seemingly immeasurable extent. On a lofty pedestal, covered with scarlet drapery, appeared the famous antique wine-cooler. The golden tripods each bore lights as well as the magnificent chandeliers which descend from the elaborately sculptured roof. Most of the gentlemen wore the uniform of the Belvoir Hunt, scarlet coats lined with blue, and the ladies exhibited great taste in their respective costumes. The Countess Brownlow wore a lustrous suit of diamonds of the finest water and oriental costliness. The following were amongst the distinguished assemblage which would have been doubled but for the untoward circumstance of the election occurring at this juncture:—Duke of Rutland, Duke of Wellington, Earl and Countess Denbigh, Right Hon. John Wilson Croker, General Upton, Earl and Countess Brownlow, and the Lady Sophia Cust, Viscount and Viscountess Burghersh, Mr and Lady Elizabeth Drummond, Lord and Lady Manners of Easton, Lords Charles and Robert and Lady Adeliza Manners, Earl and Countess Jermyn, Lord Forester, Rev. Charles Roos Thornton, Miss Goodwin, Lord Rokeby, Hon. Mrs Howard, Sir F. French, Marquess of Granby, etc.
Whilst the banquet is in progress let us take a glimpse at the festivities in other quarters of the Castle. A very numerous and delighted party, after enjoying most excellent dinners, and having partaken of coffee, had assembled in the ball-room, where dancing began, to the fine music of the Militia Band, so early as eight o’clock; in the pauses of which refreshments and supper were liberally supplied. About the hour of eleven, His Grace of Rutland entered, and, bowing on all sides to his gratified friends and dependants, proceeded to the top of the room, and with the Countess of Denbigh led off his favourite contre dame — ‘ The Campbells arc coming.’ The Duke of Wellington followed, with Lady Adeliza Sutton, the Marquess of Granby and Lady Sophia Cust; indeed, nearly the intire of the Ducal party promiscuously joined in
general dance of more than forty couples, with that unaffected condescension which is ever the attribute of true nobility. With such aids we need scarcely remark the time flew with unwonted rapidity and another dance was called for—and yet another, and it was not until the musicians were fairly overcome with fatigue, that the coming of the final hour for a separation became apparent.
The next morning, the Duke of Wellington said farewell to his munificent Host, and quitted Belvoir Castle, it was understood, for Oxford. His Grace left at seven o’clock, and passed through Melton Mowbray, where, however, he made no long tarrying. The Duke of Rutland will continue to receive a constant succession of visitors at the Castle until the first Newmarket Spring ing, which occurs in April.

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