Elizabeth Davis Bancroft (Mrs George Bancroft)

Letters from England 1846-1849 by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft (Mrs. George Bancroft). Published by Project Gutenberg under a General Public License.
This extract is from one of the letters written by Mrs Bancroft whilst visiting England with her husband, the American Statesman and historian George Bancroft. During a period of three years George Bancroft served as Minister Plenipotentiary (Ambassador) to London.

LETTER: To her son W.D.B.

LONDON, July 21, 1848

I was truly grieved that the last steamer should go to Boston without a line from me, but I was in Yorkshire and you must forgive me. . . . I left off with the 26th of June. . . . The next evening was the Queen's Concert, which was most charming. I sat very near the Duke of Wellington, who often spoke to me between the songs. . . . The next day we went with Miss Coutts to her bank, lunched there, and went all over the building. Then we went to the Tower and the Tunnel together, she never having seen either. So ignorant are the West End people of city lions. . . . And now comes my pleasant Yorkshire excursion. We left London, at half-past three, at distance of 180 miles. This was Saturday, July 8. At York we found Mr. Hudson ready to receive us and conduct us to a special train which took us eighteen miles on the way to Newby Park, and there we found carriages to take us four miles to our destination. We met at dinner and found our party to consist of the Duke of Richmond, Lord Lonsdale, Lord George Bentinck, Lord Ingestre, Lord John Beresford, Lady Webster, whose husband, now dead, was the son of Lady Holland, two or three agreeable talkers to fill in, and ourselves.


Lady Webster, Mr. Bancroft, and myself, went to Castle Howard, as Lord Morpeth had written to his mother that we were to be there and would lunch with her. Castle Howard is twenty-five miles the other side of York, which is itself twenty-five miles from Newby. But what is fifty miles when one is under the wing of the Railway King and can have a special engine at one's disposal. On arriving at the Castle Howard station we found Lord Carlisle's carriage with four horses and most venerable coachman waiting to receive us. We enter the Park almost immediately, but it is about four miles to the Castle, through many gates, which we had mounted footmen open for us. Lady Carlisle received us in the most delightful manner. . . . I was delighted to see Lord Morpeth's home and his mother, who seldom now goes to London. She was the daughter of the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, and took me into her own dressing-room to show me her picture. . . . On Wednesday we went into York to witness the reception of Prince Albert, to see the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, the Flower Show, to lunch with the Lord Mayor, and above all, to attend prayers in the Minister and hear a noble anthem. The Cathedral was crowded with strangers and a great many from London.

The next day was the day of the great dinner, and I send you the POST containing Mr. Bancroft's speech. It was warmly admired by all who heard it.