A Foray Into the World of Victorian Scraps

It appears to be big business I can tell you! I assume that many people collect Victorian scraps for art projects, such as decoupage, but some of the scraps go for quite a lot of money when you think that they have just been removed from old albums, and were originally just bits and pieces collected by children and young ladies of the time.

Anyhow, those of you who have looked at some of my jewellery collection I’ve shown here will know that I love things with hands in, so here are some from my little gathering of scraps. Don’t know that I shall buy more, but maybe a nice Victorian Valentines or Christmas card would be great for my collection. Watch this space!

About Eleanor’s Family

King Edward I or ‘Longshanks’ was born on the 17/18 June 1239 at the Palace of Westminster, London. He succeeded his father King Henry III as King of England on 20 November 1272 (whoops, sorry Edward, just missed your anniversary there!).

As was the custom, he was married as a child to Eleanor of Castile (also a child, I believe they were aged 15 and 10 at the time), daughter of King Ferdinand III of Castile and his second wife Joan, sometimes called Jeanne D’ammartin. Eleanor was born in around 1244/45, no recorded date is known for her birth or baptism.

Edward and Eleanor married between 13 and 31 October 1254 at the Abbey of Las Huelgas, Burgos, Castile and had the following children:

Eleanor 1264-1298
Joan 1265
John 1266-1271/2
Henry 1267/8-1274
Juliana or Katherine 1271
Joan 1272-1307
Alfonso 1273-1284
Margaret 1275-1318
Berengaria or Berenice 1276-1279
Mary 1278-1332
Isabella 1279
Elizabeth 1282-1316
Edward (later Edward II) 1284-1327 (murdered)
Beatrice 1286-? (died young)
Blanche 1289/90-? (died young)

Queen Eleanor died on the 28 November 1290 leaving Edward bereft. It was after her funeral procession to her burial in Westminster Abbey (which happened in December 1290) that Edward planned and eventually had erected the 12 crosses in the places where her body had rested overnight.

Edward I eventually married again in 1299 to Margaret, daughter of King Philip III of France. He died on 7 July 1307 and is also buried in Westminster Abbey.

Gainsborough, My First Love

Art-wise that is :mrgreen: , is and always will be Thomas Gainsborough. I can’t really tell you why, I couldn’t pick out a particular thing that I like about his paintings, I just do.

It was when I first saw a copy of the very famous ‘Blue Boy’, which many of you will recognise. Since then, my parents bought me books, and I’ve looked out for his paintings in all the galleries I’ve been to around the world.

I also went to a special exhibition at the Tate Gallery some years ago, which was amazing. It’s the only time I’ve been so engrossed in looking at the paintings that I could have fallen over the little wire fence that they put up to stop you getting too close!

Also, if you are so inclined, you can visit Gainsborough’s house, which is now a museum.

Millais Exhibition at the Tate Gallery

I’m so excited about this. I’m going to be bogging off to London in December for a week for a couple of gigs, and copious amounts of shopping. Tutankhamun is probably going to be booked up, so I might try and squeeze in the Terracotta Army as well.

My friend told me about this exhibition yesterday, and funnily enough I’ve just acquired an interesting new book about Katey Dickens by Lucinda Hawksley (who also wrote a fantastic book about Lizzie Siddal) one of Charles Dickens’ daughters. The book is simply called ‘Katey’ for anyone interested in getting a copy. I haven’t read much yet, but I’m loving it already.

Lucinda is actually a descendant of Charles, and was so fascinated by a painting of Katey (later in life as Mrs Perugini), this led to her researching and later writing about her life. The painting was by John Everett Millais, so my attending this exhibition was obviously meant to be! Millais also painted the very famous ‘Ophelia’ modelled by Lizzie Siddal, which I’ve talked about previously and was a personal friend of the Dickens’.

Any of you who can get to London for the exhibition, or just want to read a little more about it, can find it on the Tate’s website. I will of course report back in December as to what it was like. 😎

More Mackenzie Fraser Family Discoveries

My interest being piqued by my recent work on Mackenzie Fraser marriages, I remembered that I have an electronic copy of the complete 1881 British census and thought I would try and see what as many of the family who were still living at this time were up to.

Firstly, I looked at Fred and his second wife Theodora. I couldn’t find them in Scotland, which was not unusual for them as they travelled a great deal and let Castle Fraser frequently. I then decided to search for Theodora on the name index as hers was a more unusual name.

I found Theodora staying in Brighton, East Sussex. The houses’ principal family appears to have been the Nixons, but it isn’t clear what Theodora was to them. It isn’t listed as a hotel, but the family appear to have fairly humble origins and are still listed as ‘head’. Interestingly, listed with her is an Elleanor Darby, as a sister-in-law. Though this term has a couple of meanings, I’m assuming for now that she would be Theodora’s brother’s wife. As I don’t know anything apart from her parents names this is another line of enquiry should I look further into her life.

Fred, meanwhile, was staying at the house of the Governer of Portsmouth, Hampshire and who was a Prince no less. The Prince wasn’t at home at the time, but his wife was. She is listed as Augusta Weimar, and a quick search on that name brings up Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, who later became the first German Empress, and mother-in-law of Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria. So I wasn’t on the right track there, as this lady was born in Boxgrove, Sussex, which I found odd indeed for a Princess.

More digging produced a little melodrama all of its own. Augusta was born Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox, daughter of the 5th Duke of Richmond and Gordon no less (a descendant of King Charles II). She married Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar in 1851, but as the marriage was morganatic she was only recognised as the Countess of Dornburg in Germany. It was Queen Victoria who granted her the title of Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar in England. I wonder if this was quite scandalous at the time? I want to know more!

Augusta Charlotte and her husband Robert Drummond were living at the smart address of 1 Palace Gate, Kensington, London. With them their sons Charles and Wingfield. Charles had already followed his father into banking and Wingfield was on holiday from Oxford University. Where were Sybil and Kenneth you ask? Sybil I found in Fearn, Edderton, Ross-shire, Scotland. Here she is head of the household, with just 2 servants for company. At 22 years old, with no personal income that I’m aware of, I can’t help but wonder why this is. Was Sybil pensioned off for a misdemeanour of some kind? She certainly isn’t listed as an invalid. Kenneth wasn’t a huge leap of the imagination to find. There here was, as a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire which is still around and revered today. Another point of interest for me is that Sybil, Wingfield and Kenneth are all listed as being born in Scotland, Sybil at Castle Fraser. I’m assuming for now that they were all born at the Castle, which I’d always imagined the Tomlinsons to be.

Lastly, I searched for the Tomlinsons. Well Ellie and May that is, with 2 little surprises thrown in for me. Ellie and May were comfortably settled at 3 Hans Place, Chelsea, London (not far from the Drummonds and an area I know extremely well spookily) with a personal income. Surprise number 1? Both were born in Valetta, Malta. That was a curve, I hadn’t heard that before. Well then, I thought, just one last little search for George their brother. I doubt that I’ll find him, as he is rumoured to have died young and the last account I have of him is at about the age of 10. Firstly, nothing much to identify him, so I tried as a last resort the full name index. Nothing there, but hold on a moment, there’s a George born in Malta! The year of birth was out by only one year too, so I’m as sure as I can be for now that it’s him! He was living at 1 Chiswick Cottage, Devonshire Road, Chiswick again with a personal income and servants.  So yes, he still could have died young, but he made it to 23, which is more than I’d anticipated.  Still, I find the address slightly odd, like that of Sybil Drummond.

So, there we have it for now, more questions. Genealogy, though is ever both pleasure and pain.

New Films – Enchanted

This sounds so good to me, out in the UK in December, the US at the end of this month.

Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a Disney film, it starts out as a cartoon, then moves to live action New York.  It has some great funny moments from what I can see, and reminds me a lot of the 10th Kingdom.  (If you haven’t seen and enjoyed this mini-series you are a heretic.)

After all this, there is still Patrick Dempsey.  Take a look –

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