Melesina Trench

The Dublin-born Melesina Chenevix (1768-1827) married twice. Her first husband, Col. Richard St. George, died two years after they wed; her son with second husband Richard Trench was the poet Richard Chenevix Trench. Mrs. Trench, herself a poet, wrote many letters, which were collected by her son and published as The Remains of the Late Mrs. Richard Trench, being selections from her journals, letters, and other papers (2nd revised edition: 1862).  It has been noted (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) that her correspondents included the Ladies of Llangollen.  Surely she stopped in at Plas Newydd when traveling to and from Dublin….

       The Remains of the Late Mrs. Richard Trench is available online through Google Book Search; in the preface her son says:

“During the years, now nearly thirty-five, which have elapsed since my Mother’s death, all, or nearly all her cotemporaries, all her correspondents, whose deaths had not already preceded her own, have passed away, and the papers of most of them have been either scattered or destroyed.  It has thus come to pass that I have only two or three series of letters at all approaching to completeness.  Of her letters to some, with whom for years she maintained a lively correspondence — as, for instance, ‘the ladies of Llangollen’ — I do not possess a single specimen….” [p. vii]

However, in a letter addressed to Mrs. Leadbeater, dated February 7, 1813, Mrs. Trench noted Sarah in passing:

“I could not but smile at the graceful naïveté and enthusiasm of friendship which sent one of my letters to Mr. Wilkinson, in order to be placed amongst those of ‘eminent persons.’ I feel obliged to make poor Mr. Wilkinson some amends for your thus imposing on him, however unintentionally on your part.  I therefore asked Mrs. Barnard, who happened to be present when your letter arrived, to procure me one of the Mr. Windham’s; and I send you for him an Italian sonnet, in the fairy penmanship of Miss Ponsonby, of Llangollen.  I believe the sonnet is unpublished.” [p. 271]

See an example of Sarah’s “fairy penmanship”.

And, again in an entry headed ‘To Mrs. Leadbeater,’ this time dated Cheltenham, August 8, 1819:

“My recollections of Anna Seward are as favourable as gratitude for the most sedulous desire on her part to receive with marked kindness the visitor introduced by her Llangollen friends can make them.” [p. 402]


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