London: 1857-1862. Two books. 4to. 150 pp. Original green cloth. Item #15091
Original account book of 150 pages, 22 lines each, on blue lined paper. Original green cloth, somewhat soiled; the interior in excellent condition.
Walpole lived at Strawberry Hill for about fifty years until his death in March, 1797. When he died, the house was entrusted to his cousin, Mrs. Anne Seymour Damer, who, in order to cope with the high expenses of the building, had been given a subsidy of about £2000 a year. Soon she realized that the cost of maintenance was too great, so in 1810 she passed the property over to Walpole’s grand-niece Laura Elizabeth Waldegrave. After Laura died, the heredity passed into the hands of her eldest son John Waldegrave and his wife Frances. In 1842 there was a great sale of some of Walpole’s curious collections of antiquities that lasted 32 days.
In 1855 the Countess Waldegrave decided to restore Strawberry Hill and turn it into a palace for great political receptions. She invested about £20,000 a year; during the period from 1856 to 1858, major restorations were made, including new floors, pantry, inside staircase, dining room, gardens, trees and fountains, paintings, drawing rooms, fire places, etc. These are only a few of the entries noted. The account book details the monthly expenses paid out, such as workers’ wages, their names and the amounts paid for the month.
Manuscript book apparently listing the prints, books and drawings for a massive extra-illustrated edition of H. Walpole’s letters (?).
4to. In double columns, approximately 7500 listings. A contemporary note states that this volume should come after Volume II, part II.
GEORGE (1751-1789). 4th Earl of Waldegrave, was a soldier and member of Parliament), descended from James II & James III. In 1782, he married his cousin, Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave.
George (1784-1794), 5th Earl of Waldegrave, married Walpole’s niece Laura.
John James (1785-1839), 6th Earl of Waldegrave, married Frances Elizabeth Anne Braham, Countess Waldegrave (1774-1856) and they inherited Strawberry Hill. Upon John’s death in 1839, Frances married George Edward (1816-1846), the 7th Earl of Waldegrave. Heavily in debt, they decided to sell Walpole’s treasures at their home in 1842. Frances ultimately came into sole ownership of Strawberry Hill upon his death four years later.
Frances Elizabeth Anne, Braham, Countess Waldegrave (1774-1856), daughter of John Braham, considered the greatest English tenor and composer of all times. Noted for his splendid voice and keen business sense, he made his debut at the Royalty Theatre in 1787 with the greatest success. He also produced many of his own operas. He appeared in Covent Gardens and his career was an unbroken succession of triumphs.
Frances was married twice more after George Edward’s death, first to Granville Harcourt (d. 1861) and then in 1863 To Chichester Fortescue, later Lord Carlingford (1823-1898).
FORTESCUE, Chichester (Lord Carlingford) (1823-98)
Son of Chichester Fortescue (d. 1826), he was educated at Christ Church, Oxford where he took a first in classics and won the chancellor’s English essay. From 1847-1874 he was a liberal member of parliament for Louth. He was junior lord of the treasury, under-secretary of state for the colonies, and succeeded Robert Peel as chief secretary for Ireland under Lord Russell. On formation of Gladstone’s first administration he became president of the Board of Trade, later lord privy seal. He shared the burden and the credit of some great reforms following the disestablishment of the Irish Church. John Stuart Mill described his measure as the most important passed by the British parliament since the Roman Catholic Emancipation act. He was raised to the peerage as Lord Carlingford, and succeeded Lord Spencer as president of the council. His wife, Frances Elizabeth Anne, Countess Waldegrave, was a great help in her counsel and encouragement through the most active part of his public career.