On this day… in 1823

On 2nd December 1823 Mary Elizabeth Williams married George Lucy of Charlecote. She became our Victorian Mistress of Charlecote and you may well know that she wrote her memoirs which we still have today. They have been published in a book and give us a wonderful insight into life at Charlecote from 1823 to 1889.

I think my own personal favourite part of the memoirs are the early days of the marriage and indeed finding out that Mary Elizabeth was horrified when Mr Lucy asked her father for her hand in marriage in October 1823. ‘In agony’, she wrote, ‘I fell on my knees and implored him to refuse, as I could not, could not love him.’ Mary Elizabeth was consoled by her mother who advised ‘My sweet Mary, love will come when you know all of Mr Lucy’s good qualities’ – and indeed it did come.

George and Mary Elizabeth were married on 2nd December.

Detail of the white silk wedding dress worn by Mary Elizabeth Williams when she married George Hammond Lucy on 2 December 1823. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Mary Elizabeth’s dear old nurse dressed her in a robe of snow-white silk and her lady’s maid, Turner, arranged the brides hair with a wreath of orange blossoms, a lace veil ‘of texture fine as a spider’s web’ over her face. She had her bridesmaids dressed in white cashmere and white bonnets with pink trim. Pink was Mary Elizabeth’s favourite colour.

It was at 3pm when Mary Elizabeth and her bridal party took the family coach with four black horses to St Asaph. The Bishop of Luxmoor oversaw the marriage ceremony. The couple needed a special license as no couple had been married at the Old Cathedral. Once the couple had said their vows and declared man and wife, Mary Elizabeth promptly fainted!

Oh and we do have copies of the Mistress of Charlecote available to buy in our shop and it is also in other local bookshops if you wish to read it too.

Ruth, Administrator


One thought on “On this day… in 1823

  1. This is a great book! I read it recently, and being a descendant of the Lucy family, it was even more enchanting for me. This could be made into a movie! I encourage all to read it. I am also reading “The Children of Charlecote”, and “Charlecote and the Lucy’s”. I can’t get enough!

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