Monday, January 03, 2011

31Jul1876, Improvements to Althorp Estate

LONDON, July 31st—August 6th, 1876.
—A capital piece of matrimonial news after all the twopenny ones: B. and the Bishop of Exeter!! [FN: Beatrice Lascelles, cousin of Lord Frederick, married Dr. Temple, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.] She is in great happiness. I have always thought highly of him, knowing Papa and Uncle B.'s high opinion of him. Folk say he is undoubtedly much in love. I had tea at No. 62 on Friday and found him there; liked much his simple, quiet manner, manly and unconstrained. They are to be married the end of August, and after September he will be hard at work. B.'s episcopal experience will begin at the Land's End where he holds Confirmations in October....

We went to Harleston, where the Spencers are staying, while Althorp is to be turned over to builders for improvements. I have never been there since a happy visit before I married with Papa, in 1863, when he hunted with great enjoyment on a famous hunter of Spencer's called Pale-Ale, and affronted Spencer by blaming the horse for refusing a brook. "My dear George, you rode him at it with a loose rein—you never put his head at it!" "Well, all I know is, my old hunter would have gone over it if I had put his tail at it!" How well I remember this! We all went over to Althorp, Sunday afternoon, and in spite of its being all in curl-papers I revived old old recollections, going back to New Year '54, and Uncle Fritz calling me Topsy. They have laid out a garden on one side which is an immense improvement.

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