Written by JulieW
(11/5/2003 6:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: ch 6 homes & hospitality, penned by LaurieC
Elizabeth Montague( the famed "Blue Stocking")at her home at Sandleford Priory berkshire, fostered just one of these estates.Indeed in an echo of Donwell in Emma3, she delighted in holding harvest parties for her staff;
" I assure you it was very splendid in its way.We had a large lamb roasted whole, and crowned with garlands of flowers, and much of other good cheers.I have a great pleasure in feasting those who are seldom feasted.." ( letter held by the British Library, 1773)
and she wrote to her friend James Beattie in 1774;
"!I had yesterday thity-six haymakers their children,at dinner in a grove in the garden.When they work in my sight I love to see that they eat as well as labour and often send a treat..."
The first Duke of Northumberland often referred to his staff at Alnwick Castle as "his family" or "The Family".The Duchess ( who was a fascinating character) when she was describing the number of bedrooms at Alnwick Castle wrote of "quartering the Family" and her list of roooms and thier allocatons,included the rooms for servants.
The Duke and Duchess were famed for their hospitatlity at the castle- even though the Duchess could forget how many hundreds of peopel she had invited to great festivals ( including all classes of people)
The 5th Duchess of Rutland who rebuilt Belvoir Castle after a fire had devastated the original building ,from 1816 onwards was devoted to her estate and the running of it.
So the idea that this paternalistic aspect of estate life had dissappeared , is not quite right.IMHO ;-)
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