News of the Ladies, c1832

The great-aunt of Emma Austen (my diarist) visited Llangollen several times. In transcribing her diary for May 1832 I found the following:

19 Sa on this day Saturday we got to Langollen – where we dined and Slept the Kings Head is a most comfortable Inn – and as none of us like to travel on Sunday – we determined to remain here the whole of the next day. —

20 Su on hearing the Service was to be in the Welch language in the Morning we read our prayers at home – at one OC- we walked to Plasnewydd. Mr Hamilton who was left Executor to Miss Ponsonby having given us permission to see it – he shewed us the Cottage — and we afterwards walked over the grounds – we returned to the Hotel to rest ourselves – and at half past 3 OC– we all went to the parish Church – the prayers were mostly read in English – and the Clergyman gave us an excellent Sermon

It is very poignant, after reading earlier visits where the Ladies themselves entertained Mrs Smith, to read this last entry of a lone walk over the house and grounds of Plas Newydd, permission given by “Mr Hamilton… to see it”.

In the Grounds Plas NewyddVisit “Plas Newydd en peintre” by clicking the picture


Lord Hatherton’s Diary: the Ladies, 1832

Michael in Wales has unearthed this fascinating account, from 1832, that tells us about the aftermath following the deaths of Eleanor and Sarah. The diary exists in the Staffordshire Records Office (D/260/M/F/5/26/8), Lord Hatherton of Teddesley:

17 August 1832

Neighbourhood of large Towns — Proceeded to Llangollen. The town full – attracted by a Sale of all the Effects of the late Singulars &c celebrated Maiden Ladies, Lady Eleanor Butler, & Miss Ponsonby — My Visit to the same little Apart:ts in which Mr Littleton & I had breakfasted with them in July 1813 – 19 years ago – now full of Books & furniture & various objects of curiosity labelled for Sale — Excited Melancholy Reflections. These Ladies though retired from the world to this Spot, kept up by Letter a regular intercourse with it, & knew before most others the fashionable News & gossip of the Town. Their unvaried Dress was the Old long bodied Riding habit & Black Hat — It was quite affecting to witness various Portraits of their friends, with their names and some fond words of Remembrance inscribed on the Frames, lying about — the hearts that kindled at the remembrances of them, now cold & forgotten, & gone by like theirs. Finding no Beds here, we proceeded to Corwen & slept there–



Edward Littleton,1st Baron Hatherton

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