Thursday, March 20, 2014

Regency Murder and Mayhem

A new series of articles to appear from time to time for your edification.  These are Taken from the Belle Assemblee February 1814

Lighting Strike

The lightning on Tuesday, February 9, slightly struck Richardson's hotel in Covent Garden, passing between a crowd of people who were standing up for shelter there, but providentially without doing injury to any one. It broke two panes of glass in the kitchen window, but did not other mischief.

Shocking Accident

As General Darican, so well known in Paris, when he commanded sections against Bonaparte, and who resides in the Polygon, at Somers Town, was riding along Union-street, his horse took fright, and galloped off with him.  The animal on reaching the end of Union-street, plunged into a hole about twenty feet deep, and threw his rider, who received a severe concussion of the brain.  He was immediately conveyed to the house of a respectable surgeon in that neighbourhood, but he is not expected to recover. The horse was afterwards tken up dead from the effect of the fall.

I was unable to determine if he did indeed succumb to his injuries.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Regency Fashion March 1814

This is an evening dress designed to be worn during a period of mourning.

The description from La Belle Assemblee for March 1814 is as follows;

Half dress of French grey crape, over a white satin slip, which is slightly embroidered round the bottom with grey chenille. The half dress is sloped so as to be about a quarter of a yard longer behind than in front, and is richly embroidered in white silk round the bottom, which has a very elegant effect; the body a-la-chemise, is made with a little fullness, and drawn in to the waist by a white satin sash. 

An embroidery to correspond with the bottom goes round the bosom, which is cut very low, and the back of the neck. The sleeves are extremely tasteful; they are composed of grey crape on white satin, and are gauged at a distance of about two inches all down; each gauging is finished with a row of pearl, and two rows of pearl at about two inches distance finish the sleeve at bottom. 

Bonnet of French grey crape, turned up on one side and slouched on the other, ornamented with a very long white feather. White crape fan. Bracelets, necklace, and earrings of pearl. White kid gloves and shoes.

Until next time

Regency Fashion - March 1816

Opera or Walking From La Belle Assemblee

The plate says opera, but the description says walking. I will let you decide, but I'm thinking, well its spring, let us walk to the opera.

Here is the official description:

Round dress of jaconet muslin, made high to the throat, and rather longer in the waist than last month. Long sleeves gauged about the wrists about an inch; the sleeve is left about two inches in length from the gauging, and is edged with a very fine narrow lace. The collar, which is made tight to the neck, is also edged with a lace to correspond. A very rich embroidery goes round the bottom of the dress. 

The Huntley bonnet and scarf, for which we refer our readers to the Plate, have a very elegant effect; they are composed of rich twilled plaid sarsnet; the scarf is three yards in length, it is a straight piece, and is disposed according to the taste of the wearer.

A beautiful Prince's plume ornaments the bonnet. Very pale tan slippers and gloves.

I like the dress, but not so much the plaid, but it would be good for walking.

Until next time

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Montacute House II

Here is the front door which says

Through this wide op'ning Gate
None come too Early none Return too Late

This is a quote from Alexander Pope's Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace, Paraphrased  and come from a speech of an upper class ne'er do well, thought to have been added in the nineteenth century to the East frontdoor of this 17th century house

The coat of arms above the porch into the door are those of the house's builder, Sir Edward Phelips 1560- 1614 and dated 1601.
The door opens into the screens passage at one end of the Great Hall.

In this picture you can see the open door, and the passage behind the screen. This passage divides the great hall from the dining room.

And of course the screen itself.

It really is beautiful. It is a single story screen.

By this time, great halls were where the lord met his guests and took them up to the first floor private dining room.  At one time, the floor was tiled.  I am sure it was used similarly in our time.
The fireplace and paneling on this wall are original.

The stained glass in the windows is heraldic with the coats of arms of Elizabeth the first and Sir Edward Phelips and his brothers.

At the other end of the hall is a plaster frieze that  shows a story of what might happen to a man who strikes his wife with a shoe.

Until next time


Monday, March 10, 2014

Regency News and Adverts

La Belle Assemblee 1813, March

Here are a couple of  pieces you might find interesting


At Warrington: Mr. William Leather, breadmaker, to Miss Nanny7 Holland, confectioner, after a tedious courtship of thirty-six years.

Do you think the marriage was less "tedious". Do you think combination of baker and confectioner was all about business?


The Hon. Harriet Pryse, Lady of Pryse Pryse, Esq. of Gogerddan. This afflicting event was occasioned by the following accident:

As Mrs Pryse was preparing to go to bed, between two and three o'clock, on the morning fo New Year's day, her night-dress came in contacts with a rushlight that was burning in the room, and was instantly in a blaze.

While this last is not happy topic it contains some useful gems from speech at the time. I was interested in the use of a rush light give that this woman is clearly not of lower orders. But candles were expensive.


Rowland's Essence of Tyre;
Or Imperial Dye,

A Chemical peparation of wonderful metamorphosing powers,. for emmediately and effectually change the Hair when Red or Grey, to a beautiful Black, Brown, or Auburn. Price 7s 6d. per bottle.

Clear evidence that red hair is worse than grey?  What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed this mornings offerings. Please comment so that I can continue this blog.

Until next time, if there is a next time.......

Monday, March 3, 2014

Montacute House I

Moving on from Devon, we find ourselves in Somerset.

 At Montacute House.

A house built in the late fifteen hundreds. by Sir Edward Phelips.

The warm stone came from nearby Ham Hill and has been described as "the most beautiful Elizabethan House in England".

It must be noted that little of the original furnishings remain from any of the eras in which we might be interested, but the building and the decoration is original and would have been so during the Regency.

 These external views show an extraordinary house.

 This is a view of the east front, the principal front of Montacute. and is designed in the typical "E" formation from this period.  It also follows the height of Elizabethan fashion with its extensive areas of glittering glass. A hugely expensive proposition at this time.

Between each window on the top, third, story, and on the gable of the central bay are statues of the nine worthies - Joshua, David, Judas Maccabaeus, Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon.

The house is topped of with Flemish-type gables, whose curves were a fashion imported in the late 1570s

This is a pavillion, one of a pair each side of the forecourt at the east front were built and used as extra bedrooms.

There will be much more to come about this lovely house.

Until next time, Happy Rambles