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Announcement, 4th October 1814

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Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:00 am

[The following was published in several suitable newspapers:]

For the education and enjoyment of the public, on Friday, the 7th October, at 2 o‘clock two horse quadrilles will be presented by officers of his Majesty‘s Army and prominent members of society on the grounds of Kensington Gardens. Vouchers for a limited number of seats are available upon application to the organisational committee, which may be directed to the attention of the Honourable Benjamin Fairfax, White‘s, 37 St. James‘s Street, until noon of the 6th instant.
For the committee,
Benj. Fairfax, Secretary

[By the time of the announcement, the Book at White's already contained several wagers relating to the event, most notably whether Lords Gwydyr and Alconbury would come to blows before (20:1) or after (12:1) the performances, whether the Prince regent or one of his brothers would be in attendance (40:1 and 26:1 respectively), and whether there would be a rider forgetting the routine (varying, depending on the riders). A bet was also entered whether the first hoove in the designated area would be a left or a right one.]
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:33 am



(The Book at Boodle's, although not so famous as the one at White's, had several wagers along similar lines, including one whether Lord Alconbury would apologise to Major Vickery (and thus indirectly Miss Vickery) before the performance - 50:1 - or after it - 30:1. There were unsubstantiated rumours that Lord Saltash and his heir had each separately wagered that the officer party would acquit itself gallantly and Alconbury's party would have some unspecified disaster either before or during their performance.)

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:32 am

Commander Walham was seen entering a bet with several of his fellow officers in the book of the Navy Club concerning the probability that the officers' performance would be disturbed by unspecified means.

A wager naming Miss Vickery by name was rejected at White's.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:48 pm

During the morning of the 5th, odds against a duel coming out of the whole affair were rapidly dropping after it was reported that Lord Worcester and Mr. Fontsbottle-Wickenham were seen in a "heated discussion" during an early morning ride in the Park.

Several of the riders were flooded with applications, offers and petitions to ride horses of certain colours during the performance.

To provide impartial judgement to settle the wagers, several committees were formed amongst the members of White's and the Jockey Club, among others.

Various periodicals of higher standard send their writers to read up on the finer points of dressage or made offers to aquire expert reports on the performance, wishing to distance themselves from the no doubt sensationalistic reports the tabloids would produce.

After being nearly overrun by visitors at home and approached several times by near strangers in the park, the Countess of Gleve took both her husband and her son roundly to task for participating in what was quickly becoming a spectacle.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:50 am

A little later in the day of the 5th more new wagers were entered at the White's. They began by pitching the army and the cavalry against each other, and escalated further into wagers for every branch participating. The list resembled the likes of a horse race with the winner being the most skilled. Among several men of the cavalry wagers against the different breeds of horse participating were made after a list of mount's names was leaked into the public. Speculations were made whether the leaked information was indeed true, or whether the riders would use different animals for the main event.

Rumours, begun by an unknown source, insinuated that Lord Gwydyr was incapable of riding well due to an old injury from the war. A particularly gossipy newspaper implied that the lord was no longer in London since no corespondence could be exchanged with him. This rumour however was quickly set to rights when the aforementioned gentleman was seen escorting his cousins through the park. Visitors at Earl of Parham's home were left disappointed however as Lord Gwydyr made very few appearances during their visits and refused to discuss the event or the performances on the 7th October.

Several parcels, which, it was hypothesized, belonged to the hopefuls intent on getting closer to Lord Torrington to learn of more intimate details of the event, arrived at the house of Earl of Gleve, addressed to lady Isabella. It seemed that the participants would have no rest until the event was over.

Earl of Parham was said to have had enough of the circus accompanying the spectacle and had the gates of his estate shut firmly in the face of one of particularly persistent indvidiuals. A different rumour suggests that the same individual had been chased from the estate by the younger Lord, riding a chestnut mount.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  John Vickery on Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:50 am

Several bouquets of flowers delivered to Saltash House were turned away by Miss Vickery, the intended recipient who was overheard to remark that it was ill-mannered of gentlemen to pay attention to a lady caught up in such a situation when they had never paid attention to her before.

There were rumours that Major Vickery had been refused a voucher to Almack's, and other rumours that insisted he had not and had, indeed, been practically ordered to attend Almack's by one of the Lady Patronesses.

Lord Saltash and his sons and daughter had been spotted out riding in Hyde Park on the morning of the 5th. They had not left the house since Lady Caroline's ball. They were leaving town to return to Hampshire. They were remaining in Town until the end of the Little Season.

Major Vickery had proposed to Lady Isabella Walham and been accepted. His proposal had been refused. He had not proposed to anyone.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Isabella Walham on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:37 am

Odds for a duel between the two sides dropped when it became known that the discussion in the park had been about the sale of a pointer bitch and the parties had parted amiably after sealing the deal with a handshake.
Mr. Pomeroy (in some obscure and undisclosed manner related to the Earl of Gleve) announced his engagement to Lord Alconbury's youngest sister, making the odds drop further.

The Prince Regent had departed for Brighton, but somebody claimed to have seen his wife returning from Italy incognito on the mail packet, leading to a few outsider bets.

The rumours concerning the private lifes of the participants multiplied. Lord Torrington had met (or was to meet) Lord Gwydyr at dawn over Lady Isabella. Lord Torrington was to meet Major Vickery. Lord Gwydyr was to meet Major Vickery. His lordship refused to give satisfaction to the Major. His lordship had already duelled the Major in the Peninsula. Only the first claim could be substantiated: Both lords had indeed agreed within the hearing of others to meet at dawn on the 6th in Hyde Park - for an hour of horse riding.

Lord Torrington was supposed to have proposed and been turned down by Lady Cathrine Cumberland, Lady Anne Cumberland, Miss Fanny, Charlotte or Sylvia Bromwell, and Lady Neddlestone. He was rumoured to have propositioned them and been slapped for it. Once again, there was a kernel of truth in it: Lady Thine had done the slapping with her fan, when she had teased her brother for only appearing for the dance he had been granted instead of giving her a first hand account of the affair immediately.

Wildly believed was the rumour that he had proposed to Miss Emma Vickery and that he walz they had shared was in celebration of their engagement. Several ladies tried to congratulate Lady Saltash and Miss Vickery on this, while a few others became remarkably cool in their greetings.

It later became known that Commander Walham and some friends had to forcibly escort his lordship from the breakfast room at White's after somebody unthinkingly made a rather crude comment concerning this rumour.

In the afternoon a bouquet arrived at Saltash House, addressed to Miss Vickery; it consisted of camellia flowers, blue and purple hyacinths, freesias and an oak leave geranium, bound in sprigs of eucalyptus, and was accompanied by a simple card reading "Commander moi. Your faithful servant, E. Walham".

On a lighter note, Commander Walham presented himself at Keswick House to inquire whether the ladies would like to see the new exhibition at Somerset House.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Emma Vickery on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:58 am

It was noted that Lord Torrington's bouquet was not refused, further fuelling rumours of their engagement. The notice of their engagement was expected almost hourly to appear in The Times.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:49 am

Not much later a further rumour did not spare even the visiting Spanish, particularly one lady who was seen at the ball in the company of some of the participants. The rumour claimed that the Spanish lady by the name of Lopes da Almeida had a deeper connection to Lord Torrington. A source, claimed as reliable, even offered some evidence to this.

This was later countered by another anecdote from the war and by which Major Vickery had an interest in the Spanish Lady. Both sources promised more details in near the future.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:14 am

It was as if a competition had been set to establish how many new rumours, facts, details of questionable nature and similar could be discovered in the shortest of time and then sent into public. It was certainly becoming a national sport and seemed as if an avalanche had been triggered that could only be stopped or might reach its peak when the actual event would take place. After the first wave, the influx of new wagers had diminished a bit. This however was speculated to be only momentary and there was actually a few wagers sent in betting on how long it would take until the next wave of wagers might begin.

As for rumours? There was no end to them. Nor did the newly made celebrities find peace from those wishing to know where they were, what they were doing and who they were meeting.

One of the latest rumours suggested that since a Bromwell had recently been sighted visiting Lady Isabella, they could soon expect a proposal, or a wedding to be had. Some speculated that Lord Torrington had finally accepted the gentleman while others spoke of a secret love between the two, to which the Lord and his family opposed. Since the number of gifts were seen sent to Lady Isabella, many speculated if those were from the same gentleman, wishing to impress her family. When joined with the rumours of Lord Torrington's proposals to Charlotte, Fanny or Sylvia some argued against the possibility of it being true while others considered it as evidence to support the claims of the joining of the two families.

Fanny's social position improved as she was said to have been invited to several events since her acquaintance with Lord Gwydyr had become public knowledge. Further information suggested that she was in good relations with the aforementioned gentleman and his cousins. Her sisters did not escape mention, however as Fanny's it was rather positive.

Interesting by association was Commander James Walham. Some socialites hastened to hint that further investigation into his personal history could bring some very interesting results worthy of gossip.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:17 am

Several people condoled Lord Gwydyr after a rumour that the old Earl had died of apoplexy.

The Earl of Gleve decreed that his son was only allowed out of doors if he he promised to rein in his temper; he also tried to find both Lord Saltash and Lord Parham in Parlament.

An old story about Miss Vickery was resurected, and various rumours dealt with the different ways her last betrothed had died - ultimately leading to the inclusion of her oldest brother in the round of men Lord Torrington was supposed to have challenged or been challenged by.

The magistrates, thoroughly fed up with all this talk about duels, ordered a special night watch on all known dueling grounds.
The Earl of Uxbridge wrote to all officers concerned, reminding them in terse words that duelling was forbidden and that it also would be quite inconvenient if one of them would not be able to attend the performance due to death, flight or arrest.

Lady Gleve took her daughter to visit an old and nearly deaf aunt, hoping to get a few hours of peace, and ordered the butler to refuse all gifts.

A stable boy was caught sneaking into Lord Parham's stables with a bag of barley contaminated with ergot.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  John Vickery on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:33 am

Mr Vickery took refuge in his club, and was overheard to declare that the sooner the whole thing was over, the better.

Lord Saltash and his sons and daughter forwent their usual morning ride in Hyde Park. Miss Vickery also refrained from receiving any calls, although she paid two, to two of her dearest friends who happened to be in Town for the Little Season.

There were rumours that Lady Saltash was planning to retire to the country estate within the next sennight, no matter what the outcome.

Major Vickery was rumoured to have been thrown out of the house or disinherited for his part in what was quickly becoming the talk of town.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:37 am

An additional voucher for Almack's arrived at Saltash House with Countess von Lieven's compliments to Lady Saltash.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:00 am

Reports of what happened to the stable boy that tried to poison the horses at Lord Parham's estate began quite innocently and escalated into the macabre. There was a grain of truth in at least some of the claims. When Lord Gwydyr faced the boy, his shouting could have raised the dead and his rage had the servants find all sorts important duties all situated as far away as possible from the two. Reports on what happened after differed as well, however it was clear that no money was worth facing the enraged Lord, especially when the health of his horses were in question.

If Lord Gwydyr had not been stopped, he would have certainly stormed to their opposition, and things would have become very ugly very quickly. Whether this was not just waiting to happen still, was another wager worth making.

The security at the stables ever since the incident could match that of the royal guard, and any food that was meant for the horses was said to be personally inspected by Lord Gwydyr.

Lady Rose was another name that came up in connection to Lord Torrington's infatuations, while new information surfaced about the Spanish lady as well.

Lady Lopes da Almeida was seen riding in the park in the company of a few members of the Spanish delegation. Further comments were made about the fashion of her riding, which was deemed unlady like.

A claim was made that Lord Torrington had gone mad and would not be participating in the competition and that the military party was looking for a new candidate. This claim was further supported by the report of his loss of temper, the event blown out of proportion, on one occasion and later disappearance from public view. Some even speculated that he was taken from London and that his sister and mother had gone ahead to have everything prepared for his arrival. Another rumour suggested he was accepted in Bedlam, the same speculated that his mother and sister went to visit him, when news spread of their absence from home.

Some wondered who would be next.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Emma Vickery on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:24 am

Miss Vickery let it be generally known that gossipping was ill-mannered and showed signs of low breeding; people ought to know better and should be ashamed of themselves.

She was later seen out shopping in Bond Street accompanied by her eldest brother.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:07 am

The rumour mill became further confused when Miss Lavinia Laybourn, heiress to 20.000 £, eloped with Captain Nathaniel Hollamby of the 5th Foot and somehow his name became mixed up with those of the participants.

Mrs. Laybourn was rather thankful that the abundance of false rumours made any true gossip about her daughter much less believable.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:12 am

It was reported that friends have abandoned lord Gwydyr since the challenge. Reasons for this were stated as finding him guilty of pulling them into this circus and being indirectly the cause of their present undesired fame. The claim was supported by reports that outside of the training sessions they refrained from contacting the Lord or seeking his company. The Lord's temper was said to have worsened since the last attempt at the life of his horses, though whether there were any actual further attempts made other than that of the stableboy, remained unknown and unconfirmed.

Earl of Gleve was said to have sent his daughter abroad to be taken into a monastery where she would remain out of harms way.

Major Vickery was said to court several ladies he has met at the dance unbeknownst to each other, among which names were given of the three Bromwell girls, Isabella, Lady Rose and also two others which he had been seen with at the dance.

One rumour suggested that James Walham was already married and had a wife on one of the islands in the Mediterranean sea. Speculations were made further as a source promised to bring evidence of this but later did not appear with it.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:56 am

When new information surfaced detailing Lord Gwydyr's history of dueling (speculation or fact), the bets in favour of a possibility of a duel or duels multiplied again, and speculations were made on how they might avoid discovery, which possible places they might choose and whether the duel would be interrupted or not. His reaction to the endangerment of his horses only greatened the possibility of a confrontation. It was at that time that another rather stern letter arrived at Parham's House. It was a no nonsense letter warning Lord Gwydyr of the repercussions of a duel, and impressing on him the importance of not succumbing to the passions which might in the heat of the moment cost one man his life, and another his freedom if not more.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:03 am

A particularly spiteful rumour claimed that the heir to the title of Earl of Parham and the estates, was incapable of siring children for the reasons of the aforementioned injury which he was said to have received after his horse crushed and pinned him to the ground. When further inquiry was made by a particularly overzealous journalist, Lord Gwydyr promptly threw him off the estate, some even suggested that that happened literally.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:18 am

In the evening edition of the 5th, one scrupulous writer pointed out that sofar none of the people rumoured to be dead, engaged, sick, out of town or coutry or bankrupt showed any sign of being so, and that the only violent encounter in connection with the quadrille performance recorded sofar was the incident between Lord Gwydyr and the stable boy.

He did, however, thorougly disapprove of the stable boy's and his employer's actions, calling the cowardly and not worthy of a gentleman.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:43 am

As if in answer to the claim that none of the above needed to be taken seriously two more rumours resourfaced. One cited Lady Catherine as eloped secretly to Lord Torrington, and offered even the place where this event ought to have happened. Another rumour attacked Marquis of Worchester, accusing him of being seen to bribe the professional judges, who would judge the competition.

A little later in response to the accusation of the stable boy, a claim suggested it was indeed the Military participants themselves that organized the stunt in an attempt to discredit their opposition.

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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:36 pm

Pseudo investigation into the matter which consisted of unconfirmed and fleeting hearsay also supported the marriageable claim, since Lady Catherine and Lord Torrington have been overheard talking about a wedding or weddings at the ball.

Lady Lopes da Almeida was rumoured to have 'accidentally' run over one or several of the public whose inquiries and claims of a personal kind had caused her to loose her temper. Others say, that it was her horse, barely tamed, that she had lost control off, ridding in the unlady like manner, so it was quite expected. She did have some success in having the nosey hold a respectable distance to her.  

Since then she appeared to have chosen to forgo riding in the park, or in other cases to choose a time which would have fewest of people walking its paths. Some speculators believed that in truth she was still riding at the normal times but that she had donned an attire in which she could not be recognised from afar.

While such a speculation caused an uproar and not too subtle - only a foreigner would do such a thing - some of the gentlemen remained intrigued while still others believed it to be a bunch of 'bull' and not to be believed. In her favour one or two reports surfaced which described her decorum and poise, propriety and amiability during a visit to certain families, who were not mentioned by name, but were said to be of good position in society.

Further questions were raised as to why she had even arrived in England, and some offered an opinion that it was not solely for the wedding of Lord Burlingame and his Spanish bride.

Another attack had been made at Lord Gwydyr,, who some were convinced, had planned to fight a duel at dawn of the next day. However many also suggested that he had proposed to Lady Isabella, and she had declined, her brother had disagreed strongly and her family would not allow it due to the recent information of his state. Some simply said that Isabella had a secret beau, and it was not Lord Gwydyr.

Lady Anne and Lady Catherine were seen to stay at Lord Parham's house, while their parents seemed to have left town. Some sources said these claims were untrue.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:10 pm

An acid rejointer in the next morning edition pointed out that if an unnamed newspaper correspondent was not able to access well-informed sources, it was small wonder that his newspaper had nothing to print but spitful denouncements of its rivals.

It also pointed out that Lord Torrington had been seen entering Boodle's, of which, as the writer had ascertained, he was not a member, but the male members of Lord Saltash's family were, that he himself could testify to Lord Gwydyr's vile temper, that the incident in the park involving Señora Lopes was well documented (leaving out that the person nearly run over had only been in danger because he had run up to the lady in a rather reckless fashion while she was riding at a sharp trot), and that several members of the two fractions had been seen in two seperate groups very early in the park. Also, Captain Sympher was now holed up in his rooms with a doctor in attendance (true, although the cause for this was an old injury which had decided to act up in the cool London morning air, and the Captain had summoned the doctor to be in the best possible condition on saturday.

During the day, workmen appeared in Kensington Park and began to rope off the area, search the green for stones and other sharp objects and construct seatings on both sides and a place for the musicians at one end. It was noted that despite the Regent's continuing absence, a box was constructed in the best spot that might very well be designed for Royalty.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Allhands on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:26 pm

The unnamed correspondend returned that it is a known fact that Lord Torrington and the younger Saltash that has served in the rifles, are good friends and that it is thus not unusual that they would meet in such a place. He had then gone to a distance at describing the ball and the dance which lead to supper as well as the trip to the theatre in which Both Lady Catherine and Lord Torrington were present.

That Lord Gwydyr had a temper was confirmed, although it was repeated that if any other reason should be prescribed to Lord Torrington and Major Vickery meeting that it must certainly be the indication that Lady Isabella's secret Beau was the latter of the two. This too would be the reason for the later alienation of Lord Gwydyr and the lack of invitation to the meeting.

The unnamed correspondend did confirm the news on Senora Lopes da Almeida, though he promised to learn more about her, especially of her motivations on coming to the colder England at such a time.

The news on Sympher was taken up by another source, which claimed to be a close friend to the doctor, and could confirm without doubt that the Captain might have trouble to attend the competition and will most probably not be seen training with the others till the last moment.
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

Post  Marashar on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:54 pm

The organizational committee met in a private room at White's to tackle the unthankful task of accepting or rejecting applications for seats. What had sounded like a good idea to prevent every Tom, Dick or Harry from watching had rather spectacularily backfired when the number of applications had surpassed the number of available seats several times over.

Mr. Fairfax, who had for the last two days faithfully organized the technicalities of the event, weeded the application and wrestled them down to a managable number, had been bombarded with questions and solicitations, and had read done his best to head off any false rumour that came to his ears, was beginning to think longingly of a nice long holiday. Abroad perhaps, now that the Continent was once more accessible ... Paris sounded nice, and perhaps Brussels after that ...
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Re: Announcement, 4th October 1814

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