It isn’t true that the Ladies never slept from home. Elizabeth Mavor records rare nights away in January, 1786 at the Barrett’s house near Oswestry; in September, 1786 with the Bridgemans at Weston, Staffordshire, and in 1797 they made a trip to Barmouth and stayed a night at the Corsygedol Arms. — Elizabeth Mavor, The Ladies of Llangollen, pp. 55 and 121



Lady Louisa Stuart records that she has heard of them

Home (ed), Lady Louisa Stuart’s Letters, (1901), pp. 187-188
Mavor, Ladies of Llangollen, p. 52

1784, September

Monday. Set off to visit Llangollen at half past 8 … The vale of Llangollen dined at Inn called the Hand patronised by Miss Butler and Miss Ponsonby visited their cottage…

Frances Coape Smith (1758-1840) of Parndon
Handley and Lake, Progress by Persuasion: the Life of William Smith, 1756-1835

1785, July

(17th)  At Llangollen we drank tea with Miss Butler and Miss Ponsonby, who are noticed in one of ‘my silly blue books.’ Their house and gardens are much improved since I was last at Llangollen [in 1779].

Richard Twining
Papers of the Twining Family (1887), p. 114

1786, August

29.8.1786, Monday

Breakfasted this morning with Miss Butler and Miss Ponsonby, who live together at Plas Newydd at the south end of Llangollen, where everything is in miniature but extremely neat ; the views about Llangollen most beautifully picturesque.

10.9.1786, Saturday

Breakfasted and dined with Miss Ponsonby and Miss Butler at Plas Newydd,

[According to Elizabeth Mavor, the charming General Hervey taught Sarah Ponsonby a method of drawing in perspective in September 1785. (Mavor, E., The Ladies of Llangollen, 1971, p. 59). See also entry for 1809.]

Note in the published version of the journal: “Just 24 years ago he had visited the two ladies of Llangollen, and ever since he has uninterruptedly followed his course of life, perpetual motion, and they have uninterruptedly followed theirs, perpetual seclusion.”

William Hervey, Journals, Suffolk Record Office,
Bury St Edmunds Branch, 941/53/5-9

S.A.H. Hervey, Journals of the Hon William Hervey (1906),
pp. 368, 370, 482

 1788, February

(10th) Mrs Bunbury, wife of the Caricaturist, visits the Ladies

Mavor, A Year with the Ladies of Llangollen, p. 41


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