Philobiblon: Oww, feel that social put-down ...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Oww, feel that social put-down ...

In the British Library this afternoon, reading A History of Fox-hunting in the Wynnstay County: From this Beginning of this Century to the End of the Season of 1884-5, "printed for private circulation only":

The Sporting magazine of 1800 lists all of the packs of foxhounds in England. "Beside these there were other packs that hunted the fox, though unknown beyond their own district, probably trencher-fed, good hunting hounds, though possibly not very fast, nevertheless showing a great deal of sport to Squires and Yeomen in their drab breeches and very brown top boots, which were duly taken down from their accustomed hook on the 'house place' ceiling when they were wanted to be worn in the chase." (p15, original itals)

Explaining "trencher-fed proved easy: "hounds which are kept privately, then brought together on hunt days to form a pack".

I assume the "very" brown boots refers to farmyard muck? And the breeches didn't have the attentions of a gentleman's "man" and a squad of laundrymaids to get them white?

As a contrast there is at the front of the book an elegant picture of Louisa Alexandria, Lady Williams Wynn, in a very tight riding outfit (although of course a skirt for riding sidesaddle), whip in hand, with her arm thrown casually around a favourite dog, which is sitting on what looks like a hall table. She is, I think, if I've got all of the geneology right, the wife of Miss Frances Williams Wynn's brother's son.

I get the feeling Miss Frances was not, however, the huntin' and fishin' sort - perhaps that's why she didn't get married. More research will hopefully shed more light on this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Louise Alexandra Williams-Wynn (21 Dec 1864 - 18 Aug 1911) was the daughter of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, 6th Bt. (1820-1885) by his cousin and wife. Sir Watkin, 6th Bt was the eldest son of the 5th Bt and his wife Lady Henrietta Clive (whom you mention). When Louise Alexandra's father died, her father's next brother's son (i.e. his nephew) Sir Herbert Lloyd Watkin Williams-Wynn, 7th Bt (1860-1944) became the baronet.

Presumably, to keep property in the family, he had previously married (26 Aug 1884) his cousin Louise Alexandra, daughter of his uncle (and the then baronet]. So Louise Alexandra went from being the daughter of a baronet to the wife of the next baronet (her father's successor).

They had issue 1 son (who became the 7th Baronet) and 2 daugthers. Unfortunately, the marriage itself ended in divorce 7 July 1898 because of her adultery with one Ernest Murray Lucas. The title eventually passed to her son, who died without surviving male issue. It then passed to his uncle (Sir Herbert's next brother) and is now held by this man's grandson.

I believe that Louise Alexandra was the goddaughter of the new Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark), but I may be mistaken.

1/17/2006 09:12:00 am  

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