Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Regncy Snippets - Almacks

In James Grant's book The Great Metropolis published in 1837 he lists the following patronesses of Almacks.

"The commitee consists of six ladies-patronesses. Formerly there were seven; but since the Princess Lieven, the celebrated Russian politician and beauty, quitted this country the number has been only six. They are the Countess of Jersey, the Marchioness of Londonderry, Lady Cowper, the Countess of Brownlow, Lady Willoughby D'Eresby and the Countess of Euston. These ladies are self-elected."

* * * *

D'Orsay, who was in London for a first visit in April 1823 and went to France later that year, not to return before 1829, wrote.

"At the upper end, on a raised seat or throne, sat the all powerful dames. There might be seen the splendid figure and handsome face of the Countess of Jersey; by her side the slim yet graceful form of the female representative of the Court of the Czar; there the good-humoured enbonpoint Lady Castelreagh, all smiles and good humour; the ladylike aristrocratic Lady Gwydir; and the dark-haired daughter of France, Lady Tankerville.

"On the side benches, the lovely nieces of Rutland's Duke - the peerless Eliza, afterwards Hon. Mrs Smith; the fascinating Isabella, who married George Anson, and Anne, now Countess of Chesterfield. Mark the magnificent aristocratic and beautiful sisters, Ladies Caroline and Jane Paget. The Fitz Clarences - Sophia, afterwards Countess of Errol; Mary, still Lady M.Fox."

A list of distinguished men present follows as wekk as mention of other female beauties."

When writing my new Regency novel, Monday's Child, the sequel Sunday's Child, if I mention a patroness or patronesses of Almacks I shall be very careful to make sure who they were in 1814.

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