[xx] = Diary page numbering

Click the F/N button for numbered footnotes.

Introduction to the 1858 journal.

Since the earlier diary, the following significant events have occurred: 1857 6 July - Reverend William Somerville, Rector of Barford, Warwickshire, wife of Charlotte (referred to as Mrs Somerville), and Kenelm's sole surviving brother dies.

Also in 1857 a gun from the Crimea War arrived in Leamington. The Gardens Committee, of which Lord Somerville was a participant, had requested such a souvenir of war from the Secretary for War. The cannon, which had been captured at Sebastopol, was duly located in the Jephson Gardens (see diary page 1860/66). The Local Board of Health however laid similar claim to it and after a minor skirmish the cannon was re-sited in Holly Walk. Here it remained until removed for war scrap in World War II.

The Leamington Spa Crimea Gun was not an isolated memorial to the men who died fighting for their country. There were a number of similar cannon in other towns including Newcastle-under-Lyme, Ely, Ludlow and Nottingham. In addition twenty were also sent to Canada and are to be found in major cities there. To find out more go to: Click for Footnote detailwww.crimeancannon.info

Although the Crimea war is over, there is a strong military theme to life for the Somervilles. Nevertheless, friends and recreation are the key objectives for this holiday on Wight. The sons are older and noticeably independent and have left home to pursue their careers and a social life. The daughters on the other hand remain at their mother's side. Marine based activities play a major part in the day to day recreation of the Somervilles. The steamers are a vital means of transport and it is interesting to note how little use is made of horse drawn carriages. Where ever they go they appear to bump into friends and relations. This can not all be by accident and the continual flow of letters indicates that they are communicating their intentions regularly. This social intercourse is one that is largely lost in modern society where sheer numbers force anonymity and insularity.

Another aspect that is apparent, which is less fashionable in modern society is the loyalty to Queen and Country. Salutes were fired when the Queen passed on the Royal Yacht. This partly goes to explain the acceptance of the appalling hardship and loss of life in the Crimea, it was all part of one's duty. The expression 'better to be a live coward than a dead hero' would have been in direct contravention of their belief systems. Underpinning this was the religious aspect, which provided spiritual stability while the accumulated wealth and investments in the developing Victorian economy provided financial security. Although Lady Somerville is critical of the more extreme views of the clergy, she continues to subscribe to the principals, although one can not help noticing that church is less frequently attended than in her earlier 1855 diary.

A number of aspects we would recognise today - bad food in a restaurant and overcrowded trains. Mass tourism was just starting to take off for the Isle of Wight at this time and the brush with an excursion boat is a taste of things to come. The Isle of Wight was still very much a 'Garden Isle'. A landscaped parkland dotted with the villas, mock castles and stately homes of the wealth and privileged. This atmosphere and ethos is largely lost today, small pockets survive but modern urbanisation has strangled all in its path as nettles choke the wild flowers.


The promenade West Cowes.

July 15th St Swithun - who alas! kept up his charter by a thunder storm just as we landed here - We left Newbold at 12-15 - five girlsClick for Footnote detailF/N 1, and Miss Kaye, just getting an 8 carriage to Basingstoke - where we met Miss Boultbee just coming from her sister's marriage to Captain Naughton and going to stay at Lyndhurst - We were then obliged to disperse into different carriages - Kenelm met Mr Compton and got into his carriage to talk over old times - At Winchester we fell in with our young RiflemanClick for Footnote detailF/N 2, who jumped into our carriage and went with us to Southampton. Saw us on board the Pearl, and promised to come and see us on Saturday - he is looking in high force, and seems very happy with his Regiment - The girls walked up from the steamer and Kenelm and I came with the luggage in a boat - Had our tea and then walked down to Rosetta to see Lady Erroll, who is staying with Lady Caroline [2] and also Lady Isabella WemyssClick for Footnote detailF/N 3, - Her daughter joins her on Saturday - Lady Erroll. is wonderfully well, and fights her misfortune like a true Christian.

16th Thunder storms all night - and it rained til 12, when we went into the Town to get a Pianoforte etc. Lady Erroll came up and sat here some time - Kenelm and I went in a boat to look at the improvements in Egypt HouseClick for Footnote detailF/N 4, which is now Mr White's school - and Mr Ward lives at Northwood surrounded by guests! Miss Ward sat with us some time - After dinner we walked up again to Lady Caroline's and sat half an hour with them - beautiful sunset. Kenelm went to the Club which is now at the CastleClick for Footnote detailF/N 5, metamorphosed into a sort of French Chateau - with a glazed platform very ugly - but comfortable no doubt.

17th A lovely day - at 12 they all went to bathe, and I went to sit with Lady Erroll for an hour - She was very cheerful - After luncheon walked up to call on Miss Wards who were out - Kenelm took us to [3]

The former Castle at West Cowes.

[4] see the new Club house / view opposite page / It is certainly very handsome and comfortable, with a much more extensive view than the old one - but there were very few gentlemen there - Mr de Horsey was the only one we knew - I suppose his daughter will soon be Lady CardiganClick for Footnote detailF/N 6, as the real one is just dead! Sat in the garden reading a long letter from Charlotte Hunter, in answer to our nonsense from the train - She is at Byron Lodge, and has some hopes of coming here next week, which would be a great pleasure to all. After dinner we sat out on the Green watching a large ship come in - and the beautiful clear calm sunset and moon.

18th Lovely day - walked to see Lady Erroll after church, as they were non of them there - A Mr Bond took the duty for Mr Geneste / who is very ill / and preached a long, and rather eloquent Sermon for the Sunday schools all over England. Lady [5] Erroll sat with us an hour, and then we walked home with her, and sat in the garden, with IsabelClick for Footnote detailF/N 7, - She was very civil and amicable this time - but has none of her mother's beauty or charm of manner - Captn and Mrs Denman paid us a visit, and I was much pleased with her manner and appearance - We talked over Mary Granville's marriage etc.Click for Footnote detailF/N 8. After dinner we walked to Egypt and round by the Castle etc.

19th Lovely day - Went down to meet the Lushingtons at the Pier - walked with them to Rosetta - The girls went sketching, bathing, and walking; and we sat with Ly Caroline Lady Isabella, Ly Erroll etc. on the beach - they went to see the Club and the Victoria and AlbertClick for Footnote detailF/N 9. The Thorolds called - Louy Emily and I went to drink tea at Rosetta - met Mrs Frederick West and her daughter - the former is a beautiful musician, and Isabel Wemyss sang several songs beautifully, [6] Such a fine contralto voice and great expression - Walked home with the Lushingtons, who sleep at the Marine.

20th We went at 12.40 to Southampton with Ly Erroll and the Lushingtons Louy and Mary then they went on to Lyndhurst, after shopping about with them for some time. Met Colonel and Mrs and Miss Tryon - walked and sat with them in the shops - After buying tea, Cheese, Hams etc. we got into a Fly and went down to the Pier where we waited some time for the steamer - Saw one sail for Jersey - got home at 7 and dined at half past - Louy and Lady Erroll were rather squeamish in crossing - it was so rough - but the Sea so beautifully green and bright, and such a fine breeze - poor Ly Erroll was very nervous in getting in and out, and crossing the sheets - A little rain this evening - the girls have been to East Cowes and round by Osborne - A long letter from Charlotte Hunter, still at Leamington - Poor Mr Smigd? has had a paralytic stroke! but is better. [7]

21st Took a walk in the wood looking for ferns - then called on Mrs West, and found her and her daughters at BelmoreClick for Footnote detailF/N 10, house all very clever and agreeable and excellent musicians - We then went to call upon Mrs Denman - Such a dear little lively woman! They live in the pretty white Rose Cottage near the Marine Hotel - they seem so happy and devoted to each other - Walked up to Mr Ward's garden to buy some Grapes - and got a lovely bouquet from the old Scotch Gardener Leslie. Went into the Town to get Emily a new dress, and myself a light MantleClick for Footnote detailF/N 11. While we were at dinner a note came from Captn Denman, asking us to slip in to tea at 9, and Kenelm to go round the Island with him in the Royal Yacht tomorrow at 8-20 when Prince LeiningenClick for Footnote detailF/N 12, enters upon his new Office under him. He accepted the tempting offer - and we went to tea, and spent a very pleasant evening [8] meeting 2 Lieutenants of the Yacht Mr Thonbray and Mr Hewett who has distinguished himself in the Crimea at the Lancaster Gun - Mrs Denman sung very nicely and is so lively and pleasant we delight in her - Walked home at 10, lovely night Met Lady Caroline and Mrs Willie MorantClick for Footnote detailF/N 13, and Isabel - Had some faint hopes that Charlotte Hunter and her mother might appear but the bets were 10 to 1 against it.

The Victoria and Albert at Portsmouth.

22nd We saw KenelmClick for Footnote detailF/N 14, embark at 8-20 in the Royal Yacht - he has a charming day for the Excursion, and I hope will enjoy it much - Isabel Wemyss called, and I walked down with her to meet Lady Isabella, and call on Mrs Denman, who we met, and sat for some time on her balcony While she sang for us upstairs and Isabella also - About one we saw the Victoria and Albert return to her moorings - having been round the Island in 4 hours - 54 miles, very successfully - he enjoyed it much, and was delighted with Prince Leiningen's manner and amiability [9] It turned out a drizzling afternoon but we got out a little after dinner, and met the Morant party.

23rd Lady Isabella came early and sat here till luncheon Miss Kaye, Emily Sim and Ju went to Carisbrooke, and also Lady Caroline and her party - saw the Queen in her Charabanc at Newport Church found ferns, and enjoyed their trip very much Meantime I went with Kenelm and Lady Isabella in a boat, and had a nice little row - Her handsome son Charles was with her, having come down in a Yacht the 'Maria' with young Davenport. Captain and Mrs Denman called - After dinner walked up to Egypt with Isabella - Letter from Mary Granville who is to be married forthwith / and is full of bustle and happiness - from Hugh, Dr Hudson / in Cornwall / and Mrs Manning. Cloudy, but no actual rain -

24th Being a calm day we proposed an expedition to Cowes, to call on Lady [10] Lifford and her daughters - but no sooner had we embarked in the steamer than a drizzling rain came on which went in crescendo till we returned by the 3-30 boat - Mr and Mrs Willie MorantClick for Footnote detailF/N 15, went over with us - She is a pretty little pleasing thing and he very attentive to her. Miss Ward was also going over in a great bustle to the Beckfords etc. We parted at the Pier head, and went on to explore the new terrace on the Strand and Dover bank, which is a great improvement, and they have built no end of new Villas towards St Clare - We walked round towards the upper part of the Town ate our luncheon at the confectioners through the Arcade towards Yarborough Villa to call on Lady Lifford, Spencers Road - but as we were drizzling along we met a woman who had the charge of her house, and who informed us that she was gone away for 3 months, and had let her house for 3 months - So we turned [11] back disconsolately, and resolved to return by the 3-30 boat - which we did, in perpetual rain - most uncomfortable and the view all in a Mist - On our return found a letter from Miss Kaye at Mr Ashton's in Cheshire -.

25th Sunday - It blew quite a Gale in the night, and Isabel had a wet walk to Rosetta - Went to Church morning and afternoon, and had long Sermons from Mr Bond who is too familiar, and not well adapted to his congregation. Walked in the wood, and round the lane by Egypt caught in a shower. Out again and sat on the Green with Lady Isabella and her daughter, Went to hear Mr Thorold read to the schoolboys, came in tired - the girls went out again

26th Heard from Freddy this morning, and have settled to go to Winchester on Wednesday to see him, and all the Lions - Mrs Denman called - and carried Isabel Wemyss off to Osborne [12] to call on Lady PhippsClick for Footnote detailF/N 16, Lady Disart etc. We went to see Mrs Thorold, and Isabel joined us there on her return and told us all about her expedition - We walked home with Isabel - met Lady Caroline just returned from the Dentist at Portsmouth / Martin / where she went with Captain Denman - Sat some time on the Green with Lady I (Isabella) - the girls sketching and met Colonel Tryon, and his daughter and boy and brought them into luncheon after a walk to Egypt. Drive after dinner to see the Sunset - and back to the Parade to see the glorious full moon rise at East Cowes.

27th It began to rain at 12 - but we went to call on the Morants, and found them all at home - their last day I am sorry to think - Isabel walked back with us - on our return we found an invitation from Mrs West to go to Belmore house for a Matinee Musicale which we were very glad to do and we had some charming music from Mrs and the [13] Miss Wests. Concertina, singing and playing but a wretched pianoforte. Old Mrs Weld, who is blind, and nearly double etc. her daughter and Mrs Joseph WeldClick for Footnote detailF/N 17, and all the Rosetta party making 14 in all - We had tea between the acts - Mrs West is a beautiful musician etc and most enthusiastic and romantic about every body but her husband who does not suit her at all! We stayed till 6 o'clock having wiled away some wet hours this dark dreary day, very pleasantly. Found a letter from Mrs Somerville, saying that Everard had accepted a situation as a tutor to a Mr Michell's son of 18 in Cornwall! He goes there next week - we hear from Newbold that the storm on Saturday night blew down a branch of our dear old Elm tree on the Lawn!

28th It rained and blew all night and this morning so we gave up our intention of going to Winchester - Returned at 12 and we went to see Mrs Denman and the waves dashing [14] up by the Castle - found Lady Disart and Miss Kerr with Mrs Denman and she sang to us - Met Lady Caroline and Isabel etc. After luncheon we all walked up to Miss Wards - not at home so we walked round the garden - shopped and came home again - Walked out after dinner - a fine but cold evening

29th Being dear Emily's 22nd birthday she begged to take her sisters a little excursion to the back of the Island for a sort of picnic - So at 9 they all started in a Fly in high spirits - did not return until 8-30 highly pleased with their expedition, having been to Bonchurch, Shanklin, Arreton, Godshill etc. - Sketched got ferns and seaweeds to their hearts content and had a charming day - Kenelm went to dine on board the Victoria and Albert with Captain Denman - Poor Louy and I went to see Lady Isabella, took a walk together and she sang to us - Henry HeadClick for Footnote detailF/N 18, surprised us by coming to luncheon - He is staying [15] at Southampton with his friend Captain Wigsall in his Yacht - he went back by the Steamer Captain Eden called and sat in the Garden with us - he has the Command of the whole Coast Guard - A severe sea at 9.

Right: Son Fred. in the Rifle Brigade.

30th Started at 9 this morning by steamer for Southampton, walked up the Town to get a present for my Goddaughter. At the station we met Henry Head who went on with us to Winchester. Found Freddy waiting for us in his uniform - and we all walked up to the nice old-fashioned George Inn. Ordered our luncheon at 2 and walked up to the Barracks, which are finely situated, commanding a view of the whole Town - The old barracks a very large handsome hollow Square, were formerly the Palace of Charles 1st. New ones have been built close by, in which Freddy has a most capital room with 2 windows and all his Camp furniture so nice - He introduced us to the handsome and gallant Colonel Norcote, who commands [16] the whole of the Rifles. He was very civil and gave Freddy leave to come to us whenever he liked - After resting we walked back to the Inn - ate a considerable luncheon and then went to see the beautiful Cathedral which we admired extremely, and stayed to hear the Service and Anthems / one of Keats from 29th Chronicles 10th VerseClick for Footnote detailF/N 19, / a very fine Organ beautifully played - and the back carving is most beautiful - Meantime Freddy and Kenelm went to see the College which we had not time for, so we came back to the station and found all the carriages so full we could hardly get places - and were nearly carried on to Portsmouth by Bishopstoke - but at last we reached Southampton parted with Henry Head at the Pier Head, and embarked in the Medina, with an immense cargo of luggage belonging to the Villebois family - Met Emily and joined Mrs Denman and Lady Isabella etc. Saw the Queen and Prince go by in the Victoria and FairyClick for Footnote detailF/N 20.

Left: The terrace at Osborne House.

31st This is the day for the fetesClick for Footnote detailF/N 21, at [17] Osborne, and I long to be there but no one is asked but the household - it is a lovely day - Captain Gooch came to breakfast, having failed in finding his 'Maria' - Sat with Lady Isabella and Mrs Well on the Green - took the girls and Isabel to East Cowes, and left them there to walk then took a row of an hour and a half with Lady Isabella, up the Medina etc. The girls took a row with her by moonlight - it was so calm and lovely - Captain Gooch dined with us -

August 1st Sunday Fine hot day another trimming sermon from Mr Bond, who I can not like - Saw Mrs Denman, the Wemyss's and Mr Hoare who was so civil to us 3 years agoClick for Footnote detailF/N 22, - Saw the Duke of Rutland and Lord Willow etc. a good many smart people - most of them living on board their yachts, the Roads are crowded with Schooners, and look so pretty -. Walked to Egypt after dinner with Isabel - very fine - [18][19]

West Cowes

August 2nd While we were at breakfast a note came from Mrs Denman, asking us to lunch on board the Victoria and Albert which is lying at Osborne - It was so blowing and rough that all the young Ladies took fright, and we went to Mrs D to decline - but the sun came over us, and it ended in Emily and Isabel, Kenelm and I, embarking with her in the Black Eagle's barge - getting on board that steamer, which took us to the Victoria and Albert. After a little dance in the boat, which made Isabel very miserable we all got safe on board - I was rather afraid of poor Ly Isabella, but the Sailors took such care of her that she was all right and enjoyed it more than any of us - As Captain Denman was not returned from Portsmouth the Prince Leiningen received us, and was so unaffected and nice, we were all delighted with him - We went over the Apartments and then they gave us some luncheon but Isabel was so ill, she was obliged to have recourse to the Doctor and chloroform / and we were sent back in the Fairy which was all ready [20] to take her Majesty to Portsmouth and give away the Victoria Medals! So we landed in great State, much pleased with our expedition - At 10 the 3 Vessels sailed for the Prince Consort's Cup, the "Lulworth" of course won it easily! We went to the Club to see the Emperor's Cup which is massive, but not very handsome value 200 guineas - Met Captn Eden, and Captn Charles Balfour - He is so handsome and pleasing - met the Wests and Naylors. He so smart but so repulsive and cold! Took a walk to Mr Ward's garden for grapes and to Egypt after dinner -

3rd Very calm and hot again today - We went with Isabel to sit for her photograph with the rain pouring in, and the most primitive apparatus I ever saw - So of course it was a failure - a breeze sprung up and we went out sailing in the 'Amphion', with Lady Isabella, the only one who enjoyed it - We went round all the 11 ships at Spithead 'Royal Albert' 'Renown' etc. there was a strong breeze but we liked it, and got home. [21] Lady Isabella came to dine with us, and Isabel sang all the evening - fire works at Mr Villebois "Harriet Lodge" -

4th At 10 this morning went to Lady Isabella's to see the Vessels start - 4 Schooners Alarm, Ella, 'Shark' and Claymore - Of course the 'Alarm' carried off the Queen's Cup - and also her jib boom, and a man was washed overboard but saved! The Steamers, Fairy, Elfin, Vivid etc, all went out to Cherbourg this morning, and the Queen in the Victoria and Albert but no saluting or cheering and very dull - Freddy and 2 brother officers arrived from Winchester for the Ball and then the Lushingtons and General Robins and Bevil GranvilleClick for Footnote detailF/N 23, who we secured for dinner as well as Fred's friends Saw Captain Gooch and Mr Davenport - not yet gone to Cherbourg - Rather a rainy evening Lushingtons, Bevil Granville Mr Bunbury and Mr Purdon dined with us - and at 10 are all adjourned to the ball, which was not very full, but good, and the girls enjoyed it and Isabel still more -. Met Lady G Cathcart and her daughtersClick for Footnote detailF/N 24, - Lord Willow, Duke of Rutland, Newcastle etc. [22]

5th Lushingtons went in the Solent to Lymington, with the Wests and Sir G Hammond, Freddy went back to Winchester at 5. I went out in a boat with Lady Isabella up the harbour - met Captain Gooch again not yet started for Cherbourg but came back from the Needles! Met Mrs Denman just returned from the Malcolms with her nice little brother - After dinner took a charming walk to Egypt with Isabel, The air and sky delicious. The 17 Schooners all start for the Emperor's Cup to Cherbourg from the Nab tomorrow evening at 6 -

6th Our dear little sunbeam Emily left us at 9 this morning for Beech hill. We shall miss her much - I went with Mary to see Mrs Denman who was hearing her little brother Virgil, and astoundingly expecting her husband's return from Cherbourg - Walked with Lady Isabella into the Town - Louy and Isabel went to Osborne to call on Lady Phipps - After luncheon sat on the Green and saw the Queen [23] and all the steamers return safe from Cherbourg - We dined at Miss Wards such a large party of 17. Petres, Major and Mrs Wing, Col. Jeffries, Mrs Jas. Ward and her daughter, Mr Wilson, Hughes, etc. Came home at 11 - .

7th Mrs Denman and her nice little brother Edward Russell came to luncheon with us, in a desperate hurry before their departure in the Elfin for London - Captain Denman takes the Royal Yacht round to Gravesend, from whence the Queen embarks for Antwerp on the 10th. We were so sorry to lose the D's who have been so kind to us, and made our stay here so pleasant! After seeing her off in the Barge we went in a carriage to see Newport Church which is most beautifully rebuilt, and the very pretty monument to Princess ElizabethClick for Footnote detailF/N 25, daughter of Charles I, put up by the QueenClick for Footnote detailF/N 26, and sculptured by Marochette? - We then Louy, Mary and I went on to Caribrooke Castle. Met Lady I. Blachford with a large picnic party there - Louy sketched, and we enjoyed [24] the fine day and lovely scenery extremely. Walked down to the Village of Carisbrooke and met the carriage there and returned home Meantime Selina and Julia had been out with Lady Isabella and Isabel in a boat to see the 'Euryalus' off Osborne point - The Queen went on board to see Prince AlfredClick for Footnote detailF/N 27, and they manned the guns and fired a salute - A sight I should like to have seen! - Isabel took Selina and Julie to see the fireworks at Mr Villebois'Click for Footnote detailF/N 28, - but we saw them as well from the shore - they met Miss Bagge, Mr Mildmay, Hanbury Davenport etc.

8th Sunday - Brilliant day - Mary and Julia went with the Maids to Whippingham Church but the Queen was not there and they had a very hot walk - Mr Atkinson did the duty, and gave us a good sermon for the National Schools - in the evening a new Man, who gave us a tirade upon Cigar Clubs, dress etc., which was not palatable. Sat on the Green with the Villebois and walked to Egypt with Isabel after dinner. Most lovely sunset - many of the yachts returned from Cherbourg - [25]

9th A fine calm day so we decided on going to Ryde by the steamer with the Wemyss's - Isabel implored in vain to be spared but we overcame her and she yielded, but was miserable the whole way - On the Pier we met Freddy to our surprise, and he accompanied us to Ryde. We went first to Lady Georgina Cathcart who received us very kindly gave us luncheon, and the maid of honour, Emily sang us her own song - We saw from her balcony the Queen in the Fairy go to Portsmouth and on to London - the ships at Spithead manned the guns and fired a salute and we saw it beautifully. Lady G was very kind, in her cold stiff way and the girls all so graceful and ladylike but in great awe of their mother! We next walked in a boiling sun to the end of the Strand to call on the William Morants, who have a pretty small house Grandsden Villa and look very happy in it. Another hot walk up the Town thro' the Arcade to call on Lady Isabella Blachford who we found at home also - then down that long hot Pier, where we met Colonel [26] Blackburn, and Mr Barnard of Leamington Unfortunately we had to pass through an excursion boat - and the crowd was quite awful going down the steps but we got safe at last to our steamer and back to quiet little Cowes - the sea was like glass - but Isabel Freddy etc. and Mary came by land, and did not get home till near 8 - singing walking etc.

10th Today Mary Granville becomes Mrs Forbes at Malvern!Click for Footnote detailF/N 29, and has our best wishes for her happiness - Louy, Mary, Freddy and Isabel started this morning in a carriage for Freshwater - Lady Isabella came to us for the day, and HughClick for Footnote detailF/N 30, surprised us by walking in about 3 having slept at Beech hill - and been to 3 balls from Styvechale - Thunder and rain came on so we could not get out much, and it is very hot and damp - the Freshwater party did not return till after 9 - drenched through and having had more than enough fresh water but still enjoyed their trip - went up the Needles lighthouse, and were very merry and surprised to see Hugh! [27]

11th Went with Ly Isabella to sit in Mrs Villebois garden with Colonel Forrester, Miss Hennage etc - Freddy returned to Winchester dreadfully hot, but a lovely day - Took a row in a boat for an hour. Hugh went to dine with the Thorolds - Quite a sea fog, but we walked to Egypt with Isabel.

12th A dead calm this morning but a breeze got up in the afternoon - I went out in a boat with Lady Isabella. Mary went up to Osborne with Isabel, and sat in the garden with Lady Phipps, and came down in the Pony carriage - Mrs Villebois invited us to a little dance, so Mary and Hugh went with Isabel and Lady Virginia Saunders. Received an invitation from Mrs Digby to attend her daughters Wedding in September, and we hope to go - Hugh went out Yachting with the Thorolds - The Ryde Regatta begun Hugh and Mary went with Isabel, and Lady Virginia Saunders to Mrs Villebois, and heard Miss Bagge sing and Mr Mildmay play - but as there were no men and no dancing, they found it dull, and returned early! [28]

13th A letter from Emily who is enjoying herself much at Beech hill - and also from Mrs Tryon at Clifton - still in search of a place to buy - Sim and Ju and Miss Kaye and Hugh went to Ryde to see the Boat race etc. I sat with Lady Isabella who had fallen down in the Town and could not leave her sofa! Delicious breeze - Sat on the Green, and near Egypt - Went in again to Ly Isabella - after dinner.

14th Pouring all day long - Isabel came and sang her whole book through and romped with Julia etc. I took a solitary walk round by Egypt Hill - Letter from Mrs Tryon at Clifton, all well -

15th Fine day - two good Sermons from the unknown Clergyman - one on Eve's transgression particularly striking, but too long - Walked with Lady Isabella - and sat with her and Lord Jusegon on the Quay - The girls and Isabel went to evening Church - Met the Villebois, Heneages etc. [29]

16th Hugh went over to Ryde for the Ball - Nice breeze - Kenelm went out sailing with the Thorolds, and Mr Mansell. The William Morants came over - Mrs Richards called upon me from Newport. Walked up to the Miss Wards, and found them with a large party as usual in their balcony. Walked with Lady Isabella, and she and her daughter came to tea with us, being their last evening. here singing and laughing -.

17th Rather a showery day, in tears for the departure of Lady Isabella and her fascinating daughter. They took their parting dinner with us at two or rather Lady Isabella only, for her daughter was too ill to come - but she recovered and they drove to Yarmouth at 4, meaning to cross over to Lymington in a steamer and go with the Balfours to the Ball tonight / We shall miss her merry laugh, and beautiful singing sadly having no intimate friends left now and her amiable gentle Mother! After [30] they were gone, we walked to Egypt sat on the Green, and watched the frolics of the "Swells" - Hugh returned from Ryde, much pleased with the Ball -.

18th It rained all night, but cleared at 12 and we went by the steamer, / Louy Mary and I, escorted by Hugh / to the Ryde flower show - We had a shower in going but it proved a fine evening - We first went to Legrands, considered a first rate cafe - but I never tasted worse soup and soon gave up the attempt to eat it. We then made our way to Sir A Chiffnos's very pretty Villa - with Terraces down to the sea, and quantities of statues and vases rather overdone I thought but very pretty. There was a very good band of Marines and we met Lady G. Cathcart, the Morants, Wards, Blachfords - A'Court HolmesClick for Footnote detailF/N 31, etc. Came home with a whole family of Wards by the steamer - got home at 7.15.

19th Not much doing today - sat on the Green, and sketched above Egypt. Hugh went out with the Thorolds. Fine day - [31]

20th at 9 this morning we started with Louy Mary Selina and Julia for Lyndhurst - rather a windy passage but nobody ill - Met Captain Bridgeman on the Pier - Shopped a little, and then took a carraige to Shrub's hill - found the Lushingtons and Lady Erroll with open arms to receive us, and a pretty nice place -. The girls took a drive to Stoney Cross in the Pony carriage, and I went after our 2 o'clock dinner to look at the Cricket match near Bolton's Bench - Lyndhurst won it - The Children all fine all boys with a Tutor - Beatrice a nice little girl and the baby a poor little misery half starved but they have got a Donkey for it - Sat with poor dear Lady Erroll, had Coffee, and then returned home by 9 - after a beautiful moonlight transit in the 'Pearl' - a Severe Tea plenty of letters from Miss Kaye, the bride Mrs Forbes at Bowness, Emily etc. - Marriages announced, Miss Hartopp to Lord Walter Scott, Mr Morris and Miss Lughan.

21st Stormy day - took a short walk and met Mr Morant, and took him to see the Club - rained all the afternoon so we could not get out again - Heard from Emily wishing to stay two days longer at Beech hill. [32]

22nd Fine Sunday - Went twice to Church - Mr Sweet preached a very good but too long a sermon - took a stroll to Egypt - fine sea - Another long walk with Louy in the afternoon. Just "Rejoice in the Lord always etc"

23rd Letter from Isabel, who is rather late at Lymington, and wishes herself back here - tells us of Tom Cartwright's marriage to Lady E. Melville - I am very glad - . At 12 o'clock we went via Ryde to Portsmouth - Louy, Mary, Hugh and I - met Mr and Mrs Pigott on the Pier at 1 - She looking thin but nearly recovered - After walking up the Town to the Confectioners we crossed over on the Iron bridge to Gosport in the rain - and took a ferry to Angleseyville, to call on Lady Hereford at Eastern houseClick for Footnote detailF/N 32. Unluckily every sole was out - so we soon returned to Gosport took a boat and went on board the Excellent - Unluckily Captain McKenzie was out - but the paymaster very civilly showed us all over the ship. We got home at a 1/4 past 7 and found that Kenelm had tripped and fallen on the Pier and hurt his Ankle [33]

Fountain Inn, West Cowes. Queuing for the Steamer.

24th Hugh went to Ryde for another Ball, to his friend Hudson - Went in a boat up the Harbour and landed at the FountainClick for Footnote detailF/N 33, to call on Miss Wards found the kind old Ladies at home. A letter from Captain McKenzie so disappointed at missing us and he too was gone to Angleseyville to see his sister.

25th After enjoying the rough waves at Egypt with Louy for some time I went out sailing with the Thorolds and Miss Alderson and Captain Mansell, and had a charming sail in the Haidee down to the Needles - wind and tide in our favour - got in at 6 saw the new Lighthouse on the Lower Needle rock - it is a very nice little Vessel of 40 ton - Met Kenelm and Hugh on the Landing - the latter just returned from Ryde, where he enjoyed the Ball - and dined with old Mr Hudson. Letters from Emily Miss Kaye etc. and an invitation to luncheon with the Whateleys at Edgbaston during the Birmingham Festival - Found [34] that Lady Hereford and Colonel Blackburn had been here in a sailing boat with Major and Mrs Manser during our absence - very frustrating to have missed them again!

The Needles in Victorian times showing the lighthouse erected in 1859, the year after Lady Somerville's visit.

26th Hugh went off in the 'Arrow'Click for Footnote detailF/N 34, with the Chamberlaynes to meet Minnie and Fred - they are to leave him at Southampton to go on to Winchester - after luncheon walked up to Miss Ward's pretty grounds, and strolled about as they were gone away / till I was sent for home, to meet Lady Caroline and Mrs W Morant who had come over from Ryde. Walked to the steamer with them - dined with the Thorolds, and met Colonel and Mrs Jeffries from Parkhurst, Major Grant, the Mansels, Miss Alderson / a pretty girl / etc. a pleasant party of 12 - Walked home.

27th Henry Head surprised us early by a visit from his Yacht The 'Acorn'. Took my last walk to Egypt with Louy and into the Town - called on the Thorolds P.P.C. - dined early and had a late Tea - Sorry to leave this cheerful place and the refreshing sea, which has [35] certainly agreed with us all most perfectly.

28th At 9 this morning we crossed over to Southampton in the 'Pearl' walked up the Town - met Colonel and Miss Tryon at the station, and had a palaver with them - Went by the Railroad to Winchester where we got a glimpse of Hugh but not of Freddy who was on a Court Martial. At Mortimer we found all the Hunters and Emily, and such a jabbering ensued that we none of us heard or understood each other - and in a few minutes we pursued our journey being detained an hour at the odious Reading station and then came on to Leamington without further adventure - found our carriage ready to meet us and all well and prosperous. Garden gay, house clean, and Jem in rapture to receive us - but alas! he has been guilty of Dog Slaughter to some Lady's pet causing a terrible sensation!

29th Called on Mrs Manning who is on the evening of departure for Brighton. Colonel Pratt, Colonel Skipwith, and Mr Bruce [36] paid us an early visit - Miss Hatfield and the Townsends - Very wet Sunday morning, - I sat a long time with Mrs Smith Barry Mrs Kenedy etc. on Monday - much disappointed to find Miss Kaye cannot come to us for the Birmingham Music meeting - she is staying to nurse poor Edward Ward in London - Drove to Moreville and found Mrs Bracebridge in wonderful preservation having been at Aston Park and back in a day - Hugh went off to Somerville Aston for Partridge Shooting, with his new Gun and full License!

September 1st I took the 3 girls to Birmingham to hear "Eli" (Elijah) and were much delighted. All adjourned to Mr Whateleys at Edgbaston to luncheon - met Lords Lothian, Bradford Shrewsbury, Sandys etc - got home at 5 - Kenelm and Louy dined with the Parks Emily and Selina at Mrs Smith Barry's!

[37] West Gate Winchester, St Thomas's Church Newport Isle of Wight [38] (The Tomb) In Memory of the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Charles I.

[FINIS] - transcribed by Bruce Osborne 2001

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