Findings

Blue2Hi, Jo here, doing a bit of exploring.

Regular readers will know I like to browse period newspapers. Usually I'm looking for a specific event or detail, or reading around a date. Sometimes I just look for amusement. I know, I know. Odd things amuse odd people!

I did start with the keyword "Dawlish", which is where I live, just to see if I could find any Regency references. I found one, and it was slightly interesting. Dawlish(As always, click on an image to enlarge it.

(Added later. Lady Mallet Vaughan was the daughter of the first Earl of Lisburne, and Mallet was her Christian name. She died unmarried in Dawlish in 1858 at the age of 92.)

I'm not sure where the public rooms were. I found a bit on line from a Regency source. "The lower part of Dawlish is principally occupied by those who visit it for the recovery their health, or, in the summer, by casual visitors, and excursionists. As it is essential to the comfort of the invalid, that all his wants should be within the least possible distance of being supplied, the lower part of Dawlish contains the baths, the public rooms, and a level walk, supplied with seats, for exercise and rest. The houses on the beach, that the advantage of sea bathing may be obtained as near as possible, are as close to the sea, as their protection from its wintry turbulence allows; the machines being in front of them."

From WILLIAMS, Thomas Hewitt: PICTURESQUE EXCURSIONS IN DEVONSHIRE: THE ENVIRONS OF EXETER. Pt. II. Description of Dawlish, Luscombe and Teignmouth.

DawlishpicThis picture is from the period and some of those houses along Dawlish Water are still there. Most of the hill is built up, and the star approximately marks our house. It's quite a climb up from the town!

Dawlish is still subject to "wintery turbulence" and despite breakwaters and such does sometimes flood. In 2013 a massive storm wrecked the train line that now goes along the shore beneath and sometimes through the cliffs you see. It's since been repaired.

Dtrain

 

That was it for Dawlish in my quick search, but I spotted something about Sidmouth. Sidmouth is further east along the coast and was a more popular and fashionable sea side place in the Regency. I used it as the base for Draycombe in Skylark, one of my Company of Rogues books.

Sidmouth

Here we get an idea of an elegant villa in a fashionable sea side town. Whenever I look at these things I realize that even 200 years ago can be a puzzle. "With attached roof…." I'd hope it was attached. Did it mean attached to the house or houses next door? I'd expect it to be described as a terrace house.

On the ground floor we have a saloon, drawing and music rooms, library, eating parlour, breakfast room, study, vestibule and hall. "Eating parlour" is new to me, and perhaps implies that it was too small to be called a dining room, but I don't know.

I've never figured out exactly what a saloon was, and given its modern American meaning I rarely use the word. The OED isn't much use as it generally goes with "grand" or a similar word. Did it mean a public room, unused by the family, but only for entertainments? If anyone knows, please share.

There also seems to be a small farm as part of the property. Does this appeal to you as a residence?

You would have been about 24 hours away from London, traveling on the fastest coach overnight.

 

 

FootmanHere's a last one, which caught my eye because it's not my usual idea of a footman. A middle aged man who could also be a gardener! Also, it seems to suggest the possibility of hiring a married man.

I hope you've found these glimpses into the past as interesting as I have. If you have any comments and insights, please share them.

If you want to explore period newspapers, check whether your public library has online access to the Gale historical newspapers archive or something similar. A time-sink, but fun!

Cheers,

Jo

60 thoughts on “Findings”

  1. We used to own a summer house in New Hampshire that had originally been built as a “casino” for the grander house at the bottom of the hill. The current term in the town for a similar structure is “party barn”! Incidentally, it was pulled to the top of the hill by oxen during a snowy winter.

    Reply
  2. We used to own a summer house in New Hampshire that had originally been built as a “casino” for the grander house at the bottom of the hill. The current term in the town for a similar structure is “party barn”! Incidentally, it was pulled to the top of the hill by oxen during a snowy winter.

    Reply
  3. We used to own a summer house in New Hampshire that had originally been built as a “casino” for the grander house at the bottom of the hill. The current term in the town for a similar structure is “party barn”! Incidentally, it was pulled to the top of the hill by oxen during a snowy winter.

    Reply
  4. We used to own a summer house in New Hampshire that had originally been built as a “casino” for the grander house at the bottom of the hill. The current term in the town for a similar structure is “party barn”! Incidentally, it was pulled to the top of the hill by oxen during a snowy winter.

    Reply
  5. We used to own a summer house in New Hampshire that had originally been built as a “casino” for the grander house at the bottom of the hill. The current term in the town for a similar structure is “party barn”! Incidentally, it was pulled to the top of the hill by oxen during a snowy winter.

    Reply
  6. That was fun, Jo! Thanks for sharing your town with us.
    “Attached roof” sounds to me like a pair or row of townhouses, joined at the roof like Siamese twins (or more). I like the term “eating parlour,” more apt than “breakfast room” for a place where family dining takes place any time of the day.
    More, please.

    Reply
  7. That was fun, Jo! Thanks for sharing your town with us.
    “Attached roof” sounds to me like a pair or row of townhouses, joined at the roof like Siamese twins (or more). I like the term “eating parlour,” more apt than “breakfast room” for a place where family dining takes place any time of the day.
    More, please.

    Reply
  8. That was fun, Jo! Thanks for sharing your town with us.
    “Attached roof” sounds to me like a pair or row of townhouses, joined at the roof like Siamese twins (or more). I like the term “eating parlour,” more apt than “breakfast room” for a place where family dining takes place any time of the day.
    More, please.

    Reply
  9. That was fun, Jo! Thanks for sharing your town with us.
    “Attached roof” sounds to me like a pair or row of townhouses, joined at the roof like Siamese twins (or more). I like the term “eating parlour,” more apt than “breakfast room” for a place where family dining takes place any time of the day.
    More, please.

    Reply
  10. That was fun, Jo! Thanks for sharing your town with us.
    “Attached roof” sounds to me like a pair or row of townhouses, joined at the roof like Siamese twins (or more). I like the term “eating parlour,” more apt than “breakfast room” for a place where family dining takes place any time of the day.
    More, please.

    Reply
  11. Near where I live there is a beach club which is still called a “casino”. No gambling, buth it’s used for holding weddings and parties.

    Reply
  12. Near where I live there is a beach club which is still called a “casino”. No gambling, buth it’s used for holding weddings and parties.

    Reply
  13. Near where I live there is a beach club which is still called a “casino”. No gambling, buth it’s used for holding weddings and parties.

    Reply
  14. Near where I live there is a beach club which is still called a “casino”. No gambling, buth it’s used for holding weddings and parties.

    Reply
  15. Near where I live there is a beach club which is still called a “casino”. No gambling, buth it’s used for holding weddings and parties.

    Reply
  16. Just looked up the meaning of saloon in the Macquarie Dictionary (the Australian dictionary), and it says ‘”a room or place for general use for a specific purpose”. I have seen the word used in relation to hairdressing saloon. It never really looked right, but maybe it is.
    Ref. old newspapers, in Australia our old newspapers are being digitised on Trove. Since early days, most towns at one time had a newspaper, and reading them can be quite entertaining. I have noticed the 19th century reporters really painted a picture, whereas todays reporters just seem to report facts. Maybe its just me but I love old newspapers.

    Reply
  17. Just looked up the meaning of saloon in the Macquarie Dictionary (the Australian dictionary), and it says ‘”a room or place for general use for a specific purpose”. I have seen the word used in relation to hairdressing saloon. It never really looked right, but maybe it is.
    Ref. old newspapers, in Australia our old newspapers are being digitised on Trove. Since early days, most towns at one time had a newspaper, and reading them can be quite entertaining. I have noticed the 19th century reporters really painted a picture, whereas todays reporters just seem to report facts. Maybe its just me but I love old newspapers.

    Reply
  18. Just looked up the meaning of saloon in the Macquarie Dictionary (the Australian dictionary), and it says ‘”a room or place for general use for a specific purpose”. I have seen the word used in relation to hairdressing saloon. It never really looked right, but maybe it is.
    Ref. old newspapers, in Australia our old newspapers are being digitised on Trove. Since early days, most towns at one time had a newspaper, and reading them can be quite entertaining. I have noticed the 19th century reporters really painted a picture, whereas todays reporters just seem to report facts. Maybe its just me but I love old newspapers.

    Reply
  19. Just looked up the meaning of saloon in the Macquarie Dictionary (the Australian dictionary), and it says ‘”a room or place for general use for a specific purpose”. I have seen the word used in relation to hairdressing saloon. It never really looked right, but maybe it is.
    Ref. old newspapers, in Australia our old newspapers are being digitised on Trove. Since early days, most towns at one time had a newspaper, and reading them can be quite entertaining. I have noticed the 19th century reporters really painted a picture, whereas todays reporters just seem to report facts. Maybe its just me but I love old newspapers.

    Reply
  20. Just looked up the meaning of saloon in the Macquarie Dictionary (the Australian dictionary), and it says ‘”a room or place for general use for a specific purpose”. I have seen the word used in relation to hairdressing saloon. It never really looked right, but maybe it is.
    Ref. old newspapers, in Australia our old newspapers are being digitised on Trove. Since early days, most towns at one time had a newspaper, and reading them can be quite entertaining. I have noticed the 19th century reporters really painted a picture, whereas todays reporters just seem to report facts. Maybe its just me but I love old newspapers.

    Reply
  21. I’ve seen both, Anne, but you’re right in thinking it means the same thing. But I find using “salon” for a room in a Regency is still problematical, especially when I don’t know exactly what it is!
    It seems to be distinguished from a drawing room, so I suspect it was a room used only for guests. A place to hold “a salon” — ie a musical, literary evening or such. Or it could have been pretentious by the Regency, with people trying to make a parlor sound grander.

    Reply
  22. I’ve seen both, Anne, but you’re right in thinking it means the same thing. But I find using “salon” for a room in a Regency is still problematical, especially when I don’t know exactly what it is!
    It seems to be distinguished from a drawing room, so I suspect it was a room used only for guests. A place to hold “a salon” — ie a musical, literary evening or such. Or it could have been pretentious by the Regency, with people trying to make a parlor sound grander.

    Reply
  23. I’ve seen both, Anne, but you’re right in thinking it means the same thing. But I find using “salon” for a room in a Regency is still problematical, especially when I don’t know exactly what it is!
    It seems to be distinguished from a drawing room, so I suspect it was a room used only for guests. A place to hold “a salon” — ie a musical, literary evening or such. Or it could have been pretentious by the Regency, with people trying to make a parlor sound grander.

    Reply
  24. I’ve seen both, Anne, but you’re right in thinking it means the same thing. But I find using “salon” for a room in a Regency is still problematical, especially when I don’t know exactly what it is!
    It seems to be distinguished from a drawing room, so I suspect it was a room used only for guests. A place to hold “a salon” — ie a musical, literary evening or such. Or it could have been pretentious by the Regency, with people trying to make a parlor sound grander.

    Reply
  25. I’ve seen both, Anne, but you’re right in thinking it means the same thing. But I find using “salon” for a room in a Regency is still problematical, especially when I don’t know exactly what it is!
    It seems to be distinguished from a drawing room, so I suspect it was a room used only for guests. A place to hold “a salon” — ie a musical, literary evening or such. Or it could have been pretentious by the Regency, with people trying to make a parlor sound grander.

    Reply

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