Jo here, apologizing for being late. We have heavy rain predicted — it's just starting, in fact — and I've been trying to get some planting out and sowing ahead of it.
I'm talking today about parties, which fits a holiday Monday. That is, social events in the London season. Whilst researching something else, I discovered records of events during 1817 (time period for next year's Regency, A Shocking Delight) in the Morning Chronicle.
Here we go!
We ladies here would not have been invited to commemorate Mr Pitt's birthday on May 28th, but it would seem that an excessively good time was had by all! That was Pitt the Younger, BTW, prime minister at aged 24.
They enjoyed their dinner, then "After the cloth was drawn Non Nobis Domine was sung "(that's the touching song from the end of the film of Henry V sung as they're clearing the corpses after Agincourt. It starts at about 1.40.) It's a sensitive song, so I hope they sang it thoughtfully.
Then the toasts. As you'll see there are a lot. No wonder they got through many bottles of wine! Also, a lot of singing. I can't imagine how long it all took!
The King, with three times three — song and full cheers, God Save the King.
The Prince Regent, with three times three — song Glee — Hail! Star of Brunswick.
The Queen, with three times three, Glee,Glorious Apollo
The Duke of York, and other branches of the family 3×3, Song When Vulcan Forged.
Toast to Pitt, 3×3 Song, The Pilot that Weathered the Storm.
The Navy, song and chorus, Rule Britannia
The House of Brunswick and may they never forget the principles which seated them on the Throne of These Realms (nice dig there!), 3×3 Glee The King and the Church
His Grace the Duke of Wellington, 3×3 See the Conquering Hero Comes
Ministers 3×3 "No Longer To France"
The Protestant Ascendancy, Britons Great And Brave.
I bet they all needed carrying home after that!
Now on to some events ladies could have attended in early June 1817.
Which would you choose, assuming you received an invitation?
Most reports were after the event, and I suspect the hostess, or rather a minion, sent a report to the newspaper. As you'll see, some over-egg it a bit, as they say over here. A few are ahead of the event, and I'm not quite sure what the purpose of that was, as I assume they didn't want gate-crashers.
Note the word "fashionables" which I hadn't come across before.
The Marchioness of Salisbury gave an elegant conzervatione in Arlington Sreet
Lady Castlereagh entertained a select party of fashionables with a grand supper on Saturday evening, after the opera, at her residence in St James's Square.
The Countess Dowager of Clermont had a card party on Saturday evening at her house in Berkeley Square
Lady Hampden entertained a select circle of fashionables yesterday evening at her house in Green Street, Grosvenor Square
Not the right sort of ball, but a slight idea.
Lady Hyde Parker has a large assembly on Thursday next at her house in Cumberland Place
(There really were people called "Hyde Parker" which sounds so made up!)
The Countess of Mansfield gave a large rout on Thursday at her residence in Pall Mall.
The Dowager Countess of Essex has a card party on Wednesday at her house in Curzon Street, Mayfair
The Countess of Mingden gives a grand rout on Friday next at her residence in Gloucester Place
Mrs Boehm has issued cards of invitation for a grand masked ball on the 19th instant at her house in St James's Square
Mrs Anson has issued cards for a large rout on the 15th at her house in Queen Street.
The Marquess and Marchioness of Abercorn gave a grand entertainment on Wed at their residence in Stratford Place.
(It's more normal for the event to be under the name of the lady, who is the hostess.)
TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland gave a large entertainment yesterday atCumberland House
Lady Halford gives a grand ball this evening at her house in Curzon Street.
Mrs. Robinson gave a splendid rout yesterday evening at her house in Albemarle Street, which was very numerously attended.
Lady Codrington gives a grant rout tomorrow evening at her house in Charles Sreet, Berk Square
The Dowager Countess of Cork has a large assembly tomorrow evening at her house in Burlington Street
Mrs. Bevill had a grand musical party last night at her house in King Street, Portman Square, which was attended by a very elegant assemblage of distinguished fashionables.
The Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley give a grand entertainment tomorrow to a large party of distinction at Cholmondeley House. The link will take you to an 18th century picture of this house. I can't be sure it was still there is 1817, but it seems likely. Suited to a grand entertainment.
Count and Countess Lieven entertained a select party of fashionables yesterday evening at their house in Harley Street.
(Here's the over-egg. An over-anxious hostess, perhaps, desperate to impress those who failed to accept an invitation?)
The Lady of Sir William Clayton, Bart, gave an elegant quadrille ball on Tuesday evening at her house in Gloucester Square. The interior was fitted up in a nouvelle and beautiful style. A temporary room was erected in the garden, parallel with the first flight of the grand staircase. This apartment was fitted up as a Turkish tent. The two draw rms were brilliantly illuminated and appropriated for the dancing, which commenced at 11 o clock, and was kept up tll nearly 5
in the morning.
It is rather a nice overview of a society ball, however, and shows how even an elegant London town house was too small for a ball without expansion. That's Grosvenor Square above.
So, what takes your fancy?
Do you have any questions about the above? Did anything surprise you? The term "fashionables" surprised me.