Dinas Bran, by A. Rushout

Although it is NOT a drawing of dear Plas Newydd, it does prove that a visit occurred at some point between 1824 and 1832:


by Anne Rushout. Yale Center for British Art has MANY images of Anne’s work, including other pictures from Wales. I think you will have FUN looking through them all, if you click on the ‘creator’ link near the top of the page.

Anne displays a somewhat ‘naive’ quality, but the scenes are vibrant when she includes what _we_ would rarely see, like this regatta of ships!

You can find further ‘RUSHOUT’ items, by clicking on the ‘search’ link and typing RUSHOUT in the box beside ‘creator’.



Happy 2016!

It is New Year’s Day, 2016. Best wishes to all Ladies of Llangollen readers!

Looking for something totally different, I came across Michael Freeman’s site about Wales & Welsh Travellers. It’s a Wordpress blog (called sublimewales)!

early tourists_wales

I was especially happy to find the page entitled Women Tourists, which made me look up the book Fragments in Prose & Verse by Miss Elizabeth Smith [no relation to the Smiths of Suttons; at least I doubt it…]

elizabeth smith

Miss Smith, at the very least, documented a visit with the Ladies of Llangollen in 1796 (she was in the Llangollen neighborhood in 1798, but they did not stop there). I’ve quickly put in the two quotes on the PLAS NEWYDD TIMELINE(s) for those years.

One early volume (1809), in inimitable books.google fashion, had pages missing; but of an 1811 volume – in TWO volumes, I find copies of volume I (different version; 1824 edition) and will link the 1809 Memoir of Klopstock (vol. II), which I hope is intact. Henrietta Maria Bowdler is the editor. She gives a TANTALIZING picture of “letters that used to be” when writing that Miss Smith had written a letter about her visit to the Ladies (in 1796) which was destroyed. A great loss, indeed!

For readers interested in “historical” travel to Wales, your New Year’s Resolution MUST include some of the books and/or manuscripts noted on Michael’s website.


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

Anonymous Gentleman, c1810

My! how time flies…

Just had to rectify the post that announced to the world: Happy September, while December is well underway!

And a delightful treat is in store: Michael in Wales, who has been steadily feeding news of visitors and their reactions, has uncovered a delightful little story. Alas, by an Anonymous Gentleman. Must admit to wanting to know more about the writer after reading this tidbit. There seems such a delightful sense of humor in his comments.

You will find him posted at the head of the page “1810-1819” in the PLAS NEWYDD TIMELINE.

For those of you new to our LADIES OF LLANGOLLEN website, I should explain. You have two ways of finding such “primary” material — comments about the Ladies, especially visitors to the Ladies — by the menus at

  • A Plas Newydd Timeline – see the menu at the right (or “hover” over that phrase on the menu above) and you’ll have a choice of dates; these are often unpublished works not found anywhere else!
  • Visitors – also on the menu at right (or “hover” over that phrase on the menu above), these visitors are mainly those whose published diaries, letters, or writings mentioned visits to Llangollen and the Ladies.

Both place an emphasis on finding what we hope are the “less-hackneyed” reactions, stories, and encounters. Michael made an interesting observation when, in sending this and an 1830 mention that I have yet to post, he wrote, “it seems the later they are in date, the more they build in their expectations and suppositions rather than actual observation”.

That is what makes such *finds* so fascinating to read!


I simply could NOT resist this lovely photo of Winter River Dee, Llangollen.
Happy Holidays!


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

May I Celebrate the Ladies of Llangollen?

Portrait in Library

Come VISIT the Ladies of Llangollen with me:
1820-1824 A Plas Newydd Timeline is now posted!

Further thanks to Michael in Aberystwyth and Liz Pitman for providing the material.

Exciting Times

A short post today to mention some new material: A PLAS NEWYDD TIMELINE is now up to 1804. Michael has sent much more, so MORE TO COME.

anna-sewardThe Anna Seward Letters now has 1799 reposted. I’ve many more files from the ‘Swan’ as well. I don’t lack the will to post, only the time to do so.

Have been in email correspondence with Liz, who’s very interested in “The Lollies and the Trollies“, AKA Amelia Lolley and Charlotte Andrew. If readers can help with info, post here or contact me on the gmail account. Liz has news about Sarah Ponsonby’s school. Stay tuned…

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