January 22nd . Lady Louisa went to Miss Lowther in the morning to learn the tambour work. Mr. Bull and a Mr. Brooks dined here. Lord Shelburne spent the evening with me. Lady Louisa went out and came home again, and heard part of Abernethy's sermon and of Thucydides' history. Lord Shelburne looked over my fine map-book; we then went to supper, and were going to retire at twelve when Colonel Clarke came and staid with Lord Shelburne till four.The entry for February 28th is given in post 2.
February 14th. Lord Shelburne went this morning with Colonel Barré to Mr. Pitt at Hayes and dined out. I invited Miss Sophia and Miss Harriett to come to me, and Lady Louisa dined with Lady Charlotte. Major Fitzmaurice was of our party when they were gone I made a short visit to Lady Egmont, and carried Lady Catherine Perceval to Northumberland House, from whence I returned home by half an hour past ten. Lord Dunmore supped with us.
February 23rd. I had a cold and did not go to church. Lady Juliana Dawkins came to see Lord Fitzmaurice, and admired him as he deserves. I dressed him in garter blue, as the colour that becomes him best. Mr. Nugent sent me his little girl who is very much improved. Lord Shelburne and I dined at the French Ambassador's, where we met Lord and Lady Rockingham, Lady Sandys, Sir John and Lady Griflin, the Count and Comtesse de Saldern, the Duke of Kingston, Lord Ashburnham, Mr. Fitzmaurice, and some foreigners; from thence I went to Lady Hervey's, where I met Lady Bateman and Lady Mary Fitzgerald, Lord Newnham, Mr. Crawford, and some other men I did not know. I staid about twenty minutes and then went to Lady Windsor's; from thence I came home to Lord Shelburne, who read me a sermon out of Barrow against judging others, a very necessary lesson delivered in very persuasive and pleasing terms.
March 5th. Lady Louisa and I went to Law, the linen draper, to give him the first breadth of the gown she is working for me in the tambour to be calendered, and from thence we went to see a picture begun of Lord Shelburne at Reynolds's, and a famous table at Mayhew's in which I was disappointed. Lord Dunmore and Colonel Barré dined here. Lady Charlotte came to see Lord Fitzmaurice in the morning, admired him, and assured me he was much bigger than any of the Princes had been and than Prince William is even now, though allowed to be a very fine child. She farther flattered me by saying she saw a strong likeness to Lord Shelburne. General Clerke came afterwards and looked at him, and was polite about him; Lord Shelburne spent the evening with us and we had no other company. Lord Shelburne met Lord Winchelsea [President of the Council in the Rockingham administration] at the House of Lords today, who told him in conversation that he was seventy-eight years old. He also told Lord Shelburne that the Earl of Devonshire declared in the House of Lords, when the son of King James II. was alluded to as supposititious, that it never was his opinion that he was an imposture, he believed him to be the son of the King, and for that reason urged the more his exclusion. Lord Winchelsea likewise said that the Earl of Devonshire's principal motive was Lord Russell's execution, whose intimate friend he was, and from the moment of his death vowed to avenge it, being himself a man of as great courage as ever lived, a gambler too, and a very lively man.====================
Sunday, April 6th. This day past like the rest till we had just finished tea at seven o'clock in the evening, when Mr. Dunning arrived from the Bristol circuit. I left them to converse together till ten o'clock.
Tuesday, April 8th. We arrived in town. I was quite surprised at the improvement in my dear little child, who now takes notice of a watch. Mr. Nugent and Colonel Barré dined with us.
Wednesday, April 9th. Lord Fitzmaurice was put into a tub of water and bore it much better than I expected. General Clerke supped here.
Monday, April 14th. We all went, after breakfast, to walk over the house in Berkeley Square, after which I came home. After dinner my Lord came up and called me out of the room and told me that he had received a letter from the country with an account of Mr. Duckett's death, which made it necessary for him to go down the next day as he was to bring in the new member, which would be Mr. Calcraft, as he was under a sort of engagement to him, and if that met with difficulty, Mr. Dunning. That evening he went to Mr. Pitt.
Notes on people, places, and events
Lady Louisa: Sophie's aunt. She stayed with the family quite often.
Miss Lowther - not identified.
Tambour work. The "tambour" is a frame used to hold a piece of fabric. Tambour means drum and the fabric is stretched like the head of a drum. As you'd expect, the word tamourine is related.
Tambour Embroidery employs a continuous chain stitch on a piece of fabric.
The lady on the right is doing tambour work.
Mr. Bull - not identified.
Mr. Brooks - not identified.
Abernethy's sermon - see post 3.
Thucydides' history - see post 3.
My fine map-book. This shows what a page in a 1766 map book was like
Colonel Clarke - not identified. It could be General Thomas Clarke. He was a Lieutenant Colonel at the time of Sophie's writing.
Colonel Barré and Mr. Pitt - see post 3. Hayes was Pitt's birthplace
Miss Sophia and Miss Harriett. Miss Sophia is probably a cousin, Sophia Finch. Miss Harriett was probably Harriet Herring who married Sir Francis Baring, a supporter of Shelburne.
Lady Charlotte - see post 3.
Major Fitzmaurice - not identified. He's very likely a relative. Fitzmaurice was Shelburne's baptismal name, though his style at this time was General Sir William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne.
Lady Egmont - not identified.
Lady Catherine Perceval - not identified.
Northumberland House - see post 3. Do take a look at the enlarged version of this very interesting painting
Lord Dunmore. This was John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore.
Lady Juliana Dawkins - not identified.
Lord Fitzmaurice. Her baby boy. He was born December 6, 1765 and was thus almost three months old at time of writing.
Lord Newnham - not identified.
Mr. Nugent. This may have beenGeorge Nugent-Temple-Grenville, although I don't know what could be meant by "his little girl" since he was unmarried at this time. He was active in politics and frequently sided with Shelburne.
Rockingham. Shelburne had recently turned down an offer of the Board of Trade in the Rockingham administration.
Lady Sandys - not identified.
Sir John and Lady Griflin - not identified.
Count and Comtesse de Saldern - not identified.
Duke of Kingston - not identified.
Lord Ashburnham - not identified.
Mr. Fitzmaurice. This was Shelburne's brother, Dean of St. Asaph (see Fitzgerald biography of Shelburne, v. ii, p. 379).
Lady Hervey. This was Lady Louisa Theodosia Hervey who died June 12, 1821.
Lady Bateman - not identified.
Lady Mary Fitzgerald - not identified.
Mr. Crawford - not identified.
Lady Windsor - not identified.
A sermon out of Barrow against judging others. Henry Barrow (1550-90) was a separatist and martyr. Here are some extracts from his SERMON 4: OF CONTENTMENT:-PART 3::
I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. If we would diligently compare our state with the state even of those whom we are apt most to envy, it would afford matter of consolation. What is the state of the greatest persons, (of the world's grandees,) but a state encompassed with snares and temptations; which, without extreme caution, and constancy, and command of all appetites and passions, cannot be avoided? What, but a state of pompous troubles; of living in continual noise and stir, subject to the urgency of business, and the tediousness of ceremony; of being abused by perfidious servants, and mocked by vile flatterers; of being exposed to common censure and obloquy, to misrepresentation, misconstruction, and slander, having the eyes of all men intent upon their actions, and as many severe judges as watchful spectators; of being pestered and pursued with pretences, with suits, with complaints, the necessary result whereof is to displease many, to satisfy few; of being frequently engaged in resentments of ingratitude, of treachery, of neglects, of defects in duty, and breaches of trust toward them; of being constrained to comply with the humors and opinions of men; of anxious care to keep, and fear of losing all; of wanting the most solid comforts of life, true friendship, free conversation, privacy, and retiredness: In fine, of being paid with false coin for all their cares and pains, receiving for them scarce any thing more but empty shows of respect, and hollow acclamations: (whence the Psalmist might well say, 'Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree a lie;' a lie, for that their state cheateth us, appearing so specious, yet being really so inconvenient and troublesome.) Such is the state of the greatest men such as has made wise Princes weary of themselves, and ready to acknowledge, that if men knew the weight of a crown, none would take it up; such indeed as, in sober judgment, we cannot prefer before the most narrow and inferior fortune. How then can we reasonably be displeased with our condition, when we may even pity Emperors and Kings; when, in reality, we are as well, perhaps much better than they?
Calendared Fabric. A process of pressing fabric between rollers or plates to smooth and glaze.
Picture begun of Lord Shelburne at Reynolds. Here's a reproduction of the finished product.
Famous table at Mayhew's - not identified. Here's a Mayhew table
General Clerke - not identified.
Earl of Devonshire. He was one of Rockingham's party, the Most Noble William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire. He married The Hon. Rachel Russell (1674–1725), daughter of William, Lord Russell.
Lord Winchelsea. He was President of the Council in the Rockingham administration of the time: John Finch, 6th Earl of Winchilsea.
Lord Russell. Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George II, ii, 22. "The first Duke, besides being the finest gentleman of the age, had succeeded to the merits of his friend Lord Russell's martyrdom." Russell was put to death by James II in the period leading up to the Glorious Revolution. Wikipedia explains:
On March 26, 1681, in the parliament held at Oxford, Russell again seconded the Exclusion Bill. Upon the dissolution of parliament he retired into privacy at his country seat. ... Upon the violation of the charters in 1683, he began seriously to consider as to the best means of resisting the government, and on one occasion attended a meeting at which treason, or what might be construed as treason, was talked. Monmouth, Essex, Hampden, Sidney and Howard of Escrick were the principal of those who met to consult.
On the breaking out of the Rye House Plot, of which neither he, Essex, nor Sidney had the slightest knowledge, he was accused by informers of promising his assistance to raise an insurrection and bring about the death of the king. Refusing to attempt to escape, he was sent on June 26, 1683 to the Tower of London, where he prepared himself for his death. Monmouth [illegitimate son of Charles II] offered to returned to England and be tried, if doing so would help Russell, and Essex refused to abscond for fear of injuring his friend's chance of escape. Russell was executed on July 21, 1683. He was lauded as a martyr by the Whigs, who claimed that he was put to death in retaliation for his efforts to exclude James from succession to the crown.
The son of King James II. There was controversy about the son of James II. Wikipedia says: "When the young prince was born, a rumour was immediately spread that the call for a 'warming-pan' had been the pretext for a substitution, the real baby having allegedly been born dead. There is no historical evidence for this. However, within weeks of his birth, the child was sent to France for safety, and his father was fighting unsuccessfully to retain his crown."
Mr. Dunning. This is John Dunning, 1st Baron Asburton. At the time Sophie is writing, Dunning is recorder of Bristol. A supporter of Shelburne, he went out of office with him in 1770. Like Barré, he was an excellent speaker in the House of Commons. It was he who moved, in 1780, "that the influence of the crown had increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished," which he carried by a majority of eighteen.
On April 9, the baby was 4 months old.
This is the house they were remodeling on Berkeley Square.
Of it, Wikipedia says: "Lansdowne House is a building to the south west of Berkeley Square in central London. ... The positioning of the property was rather unusual. It had a large front garden occupying the whole of the southern side of the square, which it faced side on. This arrangement gave Devonshire House on Piccadilly an open aspect to the square."
A letter from the country with an account of Mr. Duckett's death - not identified.
Mr. Calcraft. This was John Calcraft, politician - friend and associate of Shelburne. He was retured in this election and Dunning succeeded him in 1768.
Thomas Gray wrote a poem in which Calcraft and Shelburne are mentioned:
On Ld H's Seat near Me, Kt ["On L[or]d H[olland']s Seat near M[argat]e, K[en]t"]
Old and abandoned by each venal friend,
Here H[olland] took the pious resolution
To smuggle some few years and strive to mend
A broken character and constitution.
On this congenial spot he fixed his choice;
Earl Godwin trembled for his neighbouring sand;
Here sea-gulls scream and cormorants rejoice,
And mariners, though shipwrecked, dread to land.
Here reign the blustering North and blighting East,
No tree is heard to whisper, bird to sing:
Yet nature cannot furnish out the feast,
Art he invokes new horrors still to bring.
Now mouldering fanes and battlements arise,
Arches and turrets nodding to their fall,
Unpeopled palaces delude his eyes,
And mimic desolation covers all.
Nor Shelburne's, Rigby's, Calcraft's friendship vain,
Far other scenes than these had blessed our view
And realised the ruins that we feign.
Purged by the sword and beautified by fire,
Then had we seen proud London's hated walls:
Owls might have hooted in St Peter's choir,
And foxes stunk and littered in St Paul's."