Friday, 10 October 2014

Sepia Saturday: coach rides






Lady Sarah Champion de Crespigny (1763-1825) was the wife of my 1st cousin six times removed, Sir William Champion de Crespigny (1765 - 1829), the second baronet. She was the daughter of Other Lewis Windsor, fourth Earl of Plymouth.

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt reminded me of a newspaper report of an attack by the London mob on Lady Sarah and her child while they were travelling in her carriage. The incident was reported in the London Morning Post of 20 April 1801.

In 1801 Sarah had seven children. There had also been an eighth child who had died in infancy. The oldest child was 14 and the youngest was one year old. I do not know which child was travelling with her. Lady Sarah had two more children after this incident.

Charing Cross and Northumberland House from Spring Gardens: 18th century. View shows Northumberland House in the centre with its turrets with lead cupolas and Percy Lion above parapet of frontispiece. The monument on the right is the bronze equestrian statue of Charles I. Among the shops seen are: jewellers, instrument makers, hosiers, trunkmakers and saddlers. The sign of the Golden Cross Inn appears on the left. Its yard was one of the principal starting points for mail coach services. Painted c. 1776-1800. Image retrieved from http://www.museumoflondonprints.com/image/139509/british-school-charing-cross-and-northumberland-house-from-spring-gardens-18th-century


I am not quite sure what Lady Sarah's coach would have looked like.

A stage coach in 1801 was painted by John Cordrey. The passengers in this picture include a wedding party. The milestone apparently shows this coach is eight miles from London.

(Picture from http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_London_to_Birmingham_Stage_Coach,_1801.jpg )


The attack on the coach must have been a terrifying experience for Sarah and her child. There are reports of other attacks on coaches in the period including the murder of the occupants and highway robbery by gangs of 40 men. (Carlow County 1801  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/PPP_Doc_1801.htm) The King's coach had been attacked several times in the 1790s. (William TOPLIS (1814). A Genealogical History of the English Sovereigns, from William I. to George III. inclusive ... With ... biographical notices of the families connected with the Royal Houses, etc. p. 79.) 

In 1838, some 37 years later, Lady Sarah's youngest son Herbert had an accident when his gig collided with a donkey cart on Paddington street.  He was thrown from the gig and broke his leg.

London Standard 10 September 1838 page 4. An almost identical article also appeared in the Morning Post of the same day.