2013: Two Poems @ Bonhams

poem Lady Eleanor

A mystery ‘CH’ affirms that the poem was written by Lady Eleanor Butler of Llangollen. This, one of two poems (the other showing Sarah Ponsonby’s handwriting, though not of her composition), was sold at auction in 2013.

Here’s the catalogue description:

TWO AUTOGRAPH POEMS, one by Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829), the other written but apparently not composed by Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1832), both identified as being in their respective handwritings by ‘CH’, both being on very small, delicate and neat hands; Lady Butler’s poem ‘On the New Year’, 12 lines, beginning ‘Thus oft, when Youth has fled, when health decays…’, 1 page, small folio; Sarah Ponsonby’s poem, addressed to Diana, 36 lines in five stanzas, beginning ‘Since thou and the stars, my dear Goddess desire…’, inscribed ‘Written but no[t] composed by Miss Ponsonby of Llangollen’, 2 pages, small folio, the paper from the same stock, formerly pinned together

If anyone has information about what happened to these after the sale, or who “CH” turned out to be – do say!

An interesting, more recent, auction concerned articles in the library of Elizabeth Greenly (1771-1839) [see page 83 of the PDF]. She kept DIARIES from 1784  until before her death – though evidently “edited” them during her lifetime. Two volumes once owned by her came from the library of SARAH and ELEANOR!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose McMahon
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 21:49:58

    Denbighshire County Council certainly knew about the auction, as I gave the details to Plas Newydd’s manager. Some years ago, I arranged for the money going into the donation box would be ring fenced in a special account that would buy anything that could be authenticated as relevant to the collection as defined by the collecting policy. I never heard if the museum had acquired these items.

    I hope efforts were made to buy the items from the Greenly library, again, if they were authentic, but with out a curator dedicated to Plas Newydd these opportunities could be easily missed.


  2. Rose McMahon
    Jul 17, 2016 @ 21:56:07

    I’m afraid the link to the PDF of Greenly’s library didn’t work for me. Can anyone tell me the titles? The 1832 Sale catalogue lists the contents of The Ladies’ library.


  3. Janeite Kelly
    Jul 18, 2016 @ 08:41:06

    Hi Rose (always good to hear from you). The PDF should open Dominick Winter’s auction catalogue. There’s one page within the catalogue that talks about Greenly.

    I’ve also seen some of the books in eBay – though usually past auctions (recent auctions).

    They do not specify WHICH 2 volumes came from the ladies’ library – so I presume they are not among those in the catalogue. Oh, wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL for their library items to return to the house!



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