Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bankes's of Kingston Lacy (Continued)

Holiday Contest Reminder

Just a reminder to check back for details, either here or on my website on November 29 when the annual Harlequin Historical Contest begins. There are all kinds of prizes from each author every day, plus a grand prize of a Kindle Fire (where available) and an equivalent where it is not.
I will also be posting on twitter and facebook too.



Back to William Bankes 

 

The Philae obelisk.

Made of pink granite, the obelisk was first seen by William Bankes in 1815. It arrived in England in 1821, after almost sinking to the bottom of a river in Egypt, and was transported overland to Kingston Lacy on a gun carriage offered by the Duke of Wellington. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke in April 1827.

Can you imagine what your family would say if you brought this sort of souvenir home from your holiday?

As mentioned earlier. William Bankes's travels came to an end  in 1820. He did not inherit Kingston Lacy from his brother Henry until December 1834 and spent the next few years embellishing Soughton in Flintshire, instead writing up the details of his travels, sadly for us, I think.

Once he inherited, he began the task of altering Kingston Lady to suit his own tastes. Personally, I wish he might have left it as it was but that is purely selfish. I would not expect anyone to tell me I couldn't update my house.

Unfortunately, William was forced to leave England in 1841 after a second charge of  "indecently exposing himself with a soldier of the Foot Guards in Green Park". The possible punishments were dreadful at the time and his reputation in society would have been ruined. He jumped bail and fled to Italy. The rest of his life he continued to fit out the interiors of Kingston Lacy with the help of his sister Lady Falmouth.  There is some evidence that he did pay secret visits to the house on which he lavished so much care, but as a fugitive from the law, the family could never openly admit it. I certainly hope he did get to see his home from time to time.

There is more to know about the family and the house, and it is well worth a visit, for the grounds are simply spectacular, but for my purposes, all things 'regency', it is done.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.