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Dinner At Kew Fetes At Syon House Queen Adelaide's Fund

False Rumours About The Queen

A Week-end Visit To Windsor

Dinner To Their Majesties At Boston House

A Brief Account Of Boston House And The Clitherow Family

The Royal Birthday Fetes

Defeat Of The Ministry Dinner At St James's

Death Of The King

An Appreciation Of King William Iv And His Reign

In The Beginning



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Luncheon At Windsor Visits To Windsor And St James's

In The Beginning

An Appreciation Of King William Iv And His Reign

Death Of The King

Defeat Of The Ministry Dinner At St James's

The Royal Birthday Fetes

A Brief Account Of Boston House And The Clitherow Family

Dinner To Their Majesties At Boston House

A Week-end Visit To Windsor

False Rumours About The Queen






Dinner To Their Majesties At Boston House








OUR next glimpse of their Majesties is not from, but at Boston
House. This unsought honour was rather deprecated, though thoroughly
appreciated by their hosts, who, in spite of their intimacy with the
King and Queen, never made any pretension to be more than simple
gentlefolk. Colonel Clitherow was the first commoner whom William IV.
so honoured, probably the only one, and instances of other monarchs
doing the like must be few and far between. In this case, doubtless,
both their Majesties regarded it as an act of simple friendship, and
not in any way as one of condescension.

'BOSTON HOUSE, 'July 10, 1834.

'On June 28, 1884, their Majesties honoured old Boston House with their
company to dinner. They came by Gunnersby and through our farm at our
suggestion; it is so much more gentlemanly an approach than through Old
Brentford.

'The people were collected in numbers and Dr. Morris's school, and they
gave them a good cheer. We then let the boys through the garden into
the orchard by the flower-garden, where my brother had given leave for
the neighbours to be, and it seemed as if two hundred were collected.

'We had our haymakers the opposite side of the garden, and kept the
people, hay-carts, etc., for effect, and it was cheerful and pretty.
The weather was perfect, and the old place never looked better.

'They arrived at seven, and we sat down to dinner at half-past. During
that half hour the Queen walked about the garden, even down to the
bottom of the wood. The haymakers cheered her, and had a pail of beer,
and when she came round to the house, instead of turning in she most
good-humouredly walked on to the flower-garden, and stood five minutes
chatting to the party, which gave the natives time to get her dress by
heart. It was very simple--all white, little bonnet and feathers.

'The King had a slight touch of hay asthma, the Princess Augusta a
slight cold, and therefore they declined going out, which separated the
party, and was a great disappointment to the people. We had police
about to keep order, the bells rang merrily, and all went well. We
received them in our new-furnished library.

'When dinner was announced the King took Jane, my brother the Queen,
and they sat on opposite sides, the Duchess of Northumberland[*] the
other side of the King, Lord Prudhoe[**] the other side of the Queen,
General Clitherow and General Sir Edward Kerrison top and bottom, and
the rest as they chose--Princess Augusta, Lord and Lady Howe, Lady
Brownlow,[***] Lady Clinton,[****] Lady Isabella Wemyss, Colonel
Wemyss, Miss Clitherow, Miss Wynyard, Mrs. Bullock, and Mr. Holmes.
That makes nineteen. The Duke of Cumberland[*****] was to have been the
twentieth, but Mr. Holmes brought a very polite apology just as we were
going in to dinner. The House of Lords detained him.

[*] Wife of Hugh, third Duke, and daughter of the first Earl Powis. She
was governess to H.R.H. the Princess Victoria, our late gracious Queen.

[**] Algernon Percy, second surviving son of the second Duke of
Northumberland, F.R.S., and Captain R.N.; born 1792. Created Baron
Prudhoe 1816. On the death of his brother he succeeded to the dukedom,
which, on his death in 1865, passed to his cousin, the second Earl of
Beverley.

[***] Emma Sophia, daughter of the second Earl of Mount Edgecumbe; born
1791, married, 1828, the first Earl Brownlow. She was Lady of the
Bedchamber to Queen Adelaide.

[****] Widow of the seventeenth Baron Clinton, Lady of the Bedchamber
to Queen Adelaide. In 1835 she married Sir Horace Beauchamp Seymour,
K.C.H.

[*****] He became King of Hanover on the death of William IV.

'As to the dinner, it was so perfect that it was impossible to know a
single thing on the table, and that, you know, must be termed a proper
dinner for such a party. My brother gave a carte blanche to Sir
Edward Kerrison's Englishman cook, and, to give him his due, he gave us
as elegant a dinner as ever I saw. Our waiting was particularly well
done--so quiet, no in and out of the room. Everything was brought to
the door, and there were sideboards all round the room, with everything
laid out to prevent clatter of knives, forks, and plates. Etiquette
allows the lady's own footman in livery, and we had ten out of livery,
the King and Queen's pages, seven gentlemen borrowed of our friends,
and our own butler. They all continued waiting till the ladies left the
room.

'We were well lit, wax on the table and lamps on the sideboards, and
many a face I saw taking a peep in at the windows. The room was cool,
for the Queen asked to have the top sashes down.

'The King was not in his usual spirits. He said had it been the day
before he must have sent his excuses. The Queen was all animation, and
the rest of the party most chatty and agreeable. The King bowed to the
Queen when the ladies were to move.

'Our evening was short, as they went at half-past ten. The Princess
played on the piano, and my brother and Mrs. Bullock sang one of
Ariole's duets at the Queen's request. When they went the sweep was
full of people to see them go, and their Majesties were cheered out of
the grounds.

'We had with us our little nephew Salkeld,[*] whom my brother puts to
Dr. Morris's school. He came in to dessert, a day the child can never
forget. The King asked him many questions, which he answered
distinctly, with a profound bow, and then backed away. He looked so
pretty, for the awe of Royalty brought all the colour to his cheeks. I
felt rather proud of him, he did it so gracefully. The Queen told him
she hoped he would make as good a man as his excellent uncle. After
dinner the Princess Augusta called him to her in the drawing-room,
saying, "I like that little fellow's countenance; he is quite a
Clitherow." She talked to him of cricket, football, and hockey, telling
him when she was a little girl she played at all these games with her
brother, and played cricket particularly well.

[*] He became a hero in the Indian Mutiny, losing his life in
volunteering to blow up the Cashmere Gate at Delhi in 1857.

'That we are proud of this day we cordially own, for my brother is the
first commoner their Majesties have so honoured; but we feel we ought
not to have done it. When Jane, with her honesty, told the Queen we
were not in a situation to receive such an honour, her answer was:
"Mrs. Clitherow, you are making me speeches. If it is wrong I take the
blame, but I was determined to dine once again at Boston House with
you.'

'The absurd conjecture of people at the expence of the day to my
brother induces me to tell you what it actually was, as we should be
ashamed at the sum guessed at. I have made the closest calculation I
possibly can, which includes fees to borrowed servants, ringers,
police, carriage of things from and to London, and I have got to L44.
Never was less wine drank at a dinner, and that I cannot estimate, but
L6, I think, must cover that. We had two men cooks, for he brought his
friend, and we got all they asked for. Really, I think we were let off
very well at L50.

'And now a word of our delights at the Abbey. The good Bishop of
Landaff, Copleston, gave us six reserve tickets, and we bought three.
Mrs. Bullock, Jane, and myself went twice, my brother three times, and
we all four went to the first rehearsal. We did enjoy it most
thoroughly!

'I delight in the thought of you surrounded by your family party, and
wish I could peep in. Remember us most kindly to them.

'Ever yours affectionately, 'MARY CLITHEROW.'





Next: Luncheon At Windsor Visits To Windsor And St James's

Previous: The Royal Birthday Fetes



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