Moving house

(Here’s  a passage from Frederick Jones’s memoirs, about his father becoming estate builder and moving house. Not having enough furniture they borrowed from the countess and it seems they furnished their house with classic furniture and had well known artists hung on the wall)

About the time of the death of the Duke of Wellington (abt 1852), Mr Joseph Davy retired and went to live near the bridge in Lewes. The agent Mr Smith acting his lordships wishes appointed my father in his place; and he was moved into the Old Rectory at Stanmer, where Hampton and Davy had previously resided.  Before that time we lived at the top of the village, and the dear old ladies Mrs Tom Gladman, Mrs Reuben Finch and others watched all day to see my mother go into her grand house. They were disappointed my mother waited till night, then in Twilight I assisted her as far as I was able to clamber over the wall that separated the backwalk plantation and from our gardens  we stumbled through the shrubs and underwood until we arrived opposite our new abode and quickly getting over the ivy covered wall neath the fine yews which then grew there we were soon in the stately house which was my home till I was twenty years old.

My mother was not eager to go there. She told her ladyship that her little amount of furniture which my father had so assiduously wrought, would be lost. His Lordship overcame these scruples, by giving my father a lot of old furniture, prints and paintings that had lain in a room over the Coach house, some were too worm eaten to be moved. The result was that I was brought up surrounded with many charming prints etc etc. Many years after my fathers death, Lady Lilla, who had a good knowledge of the value of antique things and also able to distinguish between those which were beautiful an artistic and those that were repulsive if artistic, looked the house over and my mother gave her permission to take whatever she liked. I did not so much mind parting with several of Charles II long waisted ladies, but I felt a pang at seeing the mezzotints go, especially one of the second Earl of Chichester, I think by Charles Turner. A good many of the prints had been varnished! Especially the Italian ones by Morchen (?). Still they answered one good purpose, they taught me to appreciate good art. As a student at the Brighton School of Art I started studying prints, painting and have done so all my life. Many a valuable prize I have bought in local sales, years ago. (Interestingly Fredericks artistic talents, I have several oils of his, are carried on. My cousin is a well known artist and has an exhibition coming up at the Portland Gallery)

The result of knowing the technique of engraving in all its branches.  I made notes of all painters engravers  whose works I occassionally saw in the house. I could gaze with pleasure on the lovely pictures in the hall, the library the drawing rooms and the dining hall. His Lordship once described the to me. I still have a vivid recollection of the powerful Vandyke a Cavalier ? so realistically rendered. Nothing in this world gave one greater pleasure than contemplating the subtle beauties of the six Joshuas especially that of Master Thomas Pelham afterwards second Earl. The Marlborough picture and houses were treasures and incidentally caused me to acquire a good deal of Georgian History.

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2 Responses to Moving house

  1. thanks for another fine piece of family history. look forward to more

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