Friday, February 25, 2011

27Oct1879, Special Train to Hardwick

HARDWICK, October 27th–November 2nd, 1879.
—We all broke up into a vast déménagement. Special train with all and sundry. Children and Co. went to Chatsworth. Duke, F., and I parted with them at Chesterfield and came to Hardwick, where we have not stayed since the New Year 1874, before any of the dark days had come upon me. I was glad to be in the dear old house of ancient associations again. Our host [FN: Lord Hartington, to whom the Duke had made over Hardwick.] only arrived from London on Thursday with a bad cold, which he said he vainly hoped would stop his speaking at Manchester. He is delightful as host, even coming down in time for dinner! I had long talks with good Mrs. Marriage, and visited in the stables and old house Mrs. Page, the new keeper's wife (who had grievous poacher-stories to tell), Mrs. Leslie, Mrs. Wilson, and Mrs. Miles; at Astwith the poor Blanksbys, who had a son killed by a fall from a cart; at Rowthorne, Mrs. Hibbart; at Stainsby, the old gardener's widow, Mrs. Holmes.

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