THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of May 1829

Marchioness of Londonderry hosts at Holderness House, London

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 10:00 am
Interior of Londonderry House, Park Lane, London c.1920s. Note the painting of 'Hambletonian, Rubbing Down' by Stubbs, which now hangs in Mount Stewart, Co Down. Picture courtesy of Lady Rose Lauritzen and the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI reference: D4567/2/23Interior of Londonderry House, Park Lane, London c.1920s. Note the painting of 'Hambletonian, Rubbing Down' by Stubbs, which now hangs in Mount Stewart, Co Down. Picture courtesy of Lady Rose Lauritzen and the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI reference: D4567/2/23

The first of the season’s series of “entertainments for the season” at Holderness House, hosted by the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry, was attended this week in 1829 by the great and powerful, reported the News Letter.

In attendance were Their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Cumberland, Prince Ernest Augustus and future King of Hanover (1837-1851) and also the uncle of the future Queen Victoria, and the Duke of Orleans, Louis Philippe, who would become King of France on August 9, 1830. Notably, he would the last King of the French (1830-1848).

The News Letter reported: “On the present occasion more than ordinary preparations were made to receive their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Cumberland, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Orleans and his son, the Duke of Chartes, and their suites.”

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Interior of Londonderry House, Park Lane, London c.1920s. Picture courtesy of Lady Rose Lauritzen and the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI reference: D4567/2/23Interior of Londonderry House, Park Lane, London c.1920s. Picture courtesy of Lady Rose Lauritzen and the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI reference: D4567/2/23

The report added: “The band of the 10th Regiment of Royal Hussars, of which the Marquis of Londonderry is Colonel, in full uniform, accompanied by their kettle drums and velvet banners, presented by His Majesty when he was Colonel of the regiment, were stationed in the vestibule, immediately adjoining the dining room, and at the foot of the ascent to the grand staircase. Upon the arrival of their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Cumberland and Gloucester, the Duchess of Gloucester, and also that of the Duke of Orleans and suite, the band struck up ‘God Save the King’.”

Shortly before eight o’clock the following “personages” descended to the dining room, “the military band playing during the while the old national tune of the ‘Roast Beef of Old England’”: The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Orleans, Duke de Chartes, Prince and Princess Lieven, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Beresford, Marquis and Marchioness of Downshire, the Earl of Chesterfield, the Earl Eldon, Prince Esterhazy, the Earl of Sandwich, Lord and Lady Granville, the Marchioness of Hertford, the Earl of Carnarvon, General Bandrane and Colonels Higgins, Burke and Harris.

Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Gloucester (“who appeared to be in excellent health”) was conducted to the dining room by the Duke of Orleans, the Marchioness of Londonderry following, supported by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.

Shortly after ten o’clock his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland arrived.

“The company did not retire until near three o’clock in the morning,” concluded the News Letter.