On this day… in 1829

Mary Elizabeth Lucy, our Victorian Mistress of Charlecote, recorded that on this day in 1829 her dear sister Miggy (or Margaret) was married.

Now, there is some dispute on the dates! A little bit of online archive searches will show that Margaret and Lord Willoughby of nearby Compton Verney, were married on 10 March. I, like many of her servants, would never defy what Mary Elizabeth says and will share with you the words from her memoirs

…in mid-January Lord Willoughby came to Charlecote for the hunt ball at Stratford. At the ball he sat by me and, our conversation turning on matrimony, I said to him, ‘Why don’t you take a wife?’

‘Oh, no nice girl would take such an old fellow as me’

I said, ‘Faint heart never won fair lady. Take my advice and try.’

The next day he left Charlecote and I got the most ridiculous letter from him, asking if I thought he had any chance of winning my sister. I showed Miggy the letter and said, ‘What answer shall I send? Remember he is old enough to be your father and you cannot be in love with him. It may be all very fine to be Lady Willoughby de Broke but a coronet will not ensure your happiness.’

George, too, spoke very seriously to her but all cautioning was vain. She determined to be mistress of Compton Verney, so my answer to him was ‘You had better come and ask her yourself.’ He came and she accepted him, with delightful anticipation of the future. You cannot imagine the surprise the talk of marriage occassioned.

 An antique line engraving after J. P. Neale. Circa 1830. The colouring is later.

An antique line engraving after J. P. Neale. Circa 1830. The colouring is later.

…we took Miggy to London to get her trousseau. Lord Willoughby gave me carte blanche to buy her whatever jewels she wishes and her wedding veil, and I did not spare his money!

On the 3rd of March she was married by special licence in the Cathedral at St Asaph by the Bishop. They came back to Boddlewyddan as Lord and Lady Wiloughby de Broke to luncheon and to have their healths drunk, and after it went off to Lord Baggot’s Poole Park for simply one night and then set off for Compton Verney.

‘Well and happy’ is the only comment in the journal, when after a 3 week interval, the Lucy’s dined at Compton with the bridal pair.


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