The Goslings of Roehampton


This trip, undertaken by Mary, her sister Elizabeth and their parents William and the Hon. Charlotte Gosling, provided the first clue to what has become my main research (See Two Teens in the Time of Austen). The year is 1821, and the Goslings were en route to Ireland.

“Wednesday [September 5] morning at ten o’clock we went to Plasnewydd to pay a visit to Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby who have resided there 42 years, ever since 1778 in the course of the time having slept out of it but very few nights, they are now old women, the former being near 80 and the latter about 10 years younger, their cottage is beautifully neat and most elegantly fitted up, all the wood work of the exterior and interior is curiously carved, some of it being of later [ie, earlier!] date than the reign of Charles 1st.  They have been four years in forming it the different pieces having been given them by several friends, nothing could equal their civility and attention, they shewed us all their curiosities and grounds which are very pretty: having spent four very pleasant hours there, we took leave with great regret, as they are very clever well informed women.  Their dress is very singular they wear their [hair] cut short and powdered, men’s hats, and a sort of riding habit. We left Llangollen at three o’clock…”


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