I believe my father picked it up in an English second-hand bookshop, having spotted the bookplate that shows it once belonged in the library of the Greys of Fallodon, an aristocratic family with ties to his native county of Northumberland.
|Walks in a Forest, 1814|
10 x 16 cm
Grey of Fallodon
On another page in the book and in fading ink, the following is inscribed:
Statue of Bishop Ryder, father of Anna Sophia
Copyright The Victorian Web
Being from a religious family it is debatable whether the young Anna, barely on the cusp of womanhood, would be permitted to attend the slightly risque gathering places of Regency Bath, but as she also had an aristocratic pedigree and several politicians in the family noted for their liberalism (and more than their fair share of illegitimate progeny among them), it is impossible to say. This extract about her father from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:-
... While participating fully in the fashionable social life expected of a clergyman of his means and connections, seems, from the beginning, to have taken his pastoral charge at Lutterworth and Claybrook with great seriousness. ... He was also attentive to the development of personal piety and to that of his family, whom he regularly assembled for the reading of prayers. His connections and his attention to his duty guaranteed further preferment, and in 1808 he was presented to a canonry of Windsor. His sermons in St George's Chapel were greatly admired by , who said that they reminded him of the divinity of former days ...
This image is dated August, 1817. Interesting that the book she is holding is the same size, with the same brown cover and rectangular emboss as my book and given the title of the image is also Walking Dress, it is very possibly a copy of Walks in a Forest.
The text in the book is extremely florid by modern standards and is littered with explanatory footnotes, some in Greek or Latin, and it takes a lot of patience to read, let alone comprehend. Although the cover is battered, the inner pages are almost pristine and the spine has never been broken. Perhaps young Anna also found it a little tedious and was more interested in the comings and goings of the fashionable set in Regency Bath.
Another observation, in this 1814 edition the text has been updated into modern usage and no longer has the long "S" which looks like an "f". Here is a link to the earlier edition at Internet Archive.
|The younger George Grey,|
sketch by George Richmond
Anna and George had only one child, a son, George Henry Grey, born in 1835, who followed a career in the militia. He was equerry to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as can be seen in this extract from the 1871 Census where he was in residence with the Prince at Marlborough House.
In spite of the strong moral principles of his father, George Henry seems to have followed in the footsteps of his other rakish relatives (and his boss, the Prince of Wales, for that matter!) as, according to an online family tree, he had two illegitimate children as well as seven legitimate ones. George Henry died quite young, in December 1874, at Sandringham and the Prince of Wales attended his funeral service in Northumberland.
It must have been a terrible blow for Anna and George to lose their only son, but they went on to play important roles in raising their grandchildren, one of whom would become the more famous Edward Grey, 1st Viscount of Fallodon.
This report is from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer of 18 December, 1874:-
FUNERAL OF LIEUT.-COLONEL GREY.The remains of Lieut.-Colonel George Henry Grey, only son of the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, Bart., G.C.B, of Falloden, Northumberland, and one of the equerries of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, were interred shortly before noon yesterday, in the family vault, in the small churchyard of Embleton, situated about two miles from Falloden. The Prince of Wales was present, having arrived in the North on the preceding evening, and become the guest during his short stay of Earl Grey, at Howick Hall, which is only short distance from Falloden.The deceased gentleman expired after short illness, at the Equerries' Lodge, Sandringham, whence his body was removed to the family seat. He caught a severe cold whilst on short visit to Falloden three weeks ago, but proceeded to Sandringham, where congestion of the lungs afterwards set in, and he died yesterday week, the immediate cause of death being inflammation of the pleuris. The funeral procession, which consisted of hearse and five mourning coaches, left Falloden at eleven o'clock, and, on its arrival, was joined by the Prince of Wales, Earl Grey, the Duke of Northumberland, Earl Percy, M.P., and a number of the neighbouring gentry. [Full list of attendees not included here].A large assemblage of the neighbouring agricultural population was in the vicinity of the churchyard and on the route, and they evinced every mark of respect for the memory of the deceased and at his untimely end. There were also present the permanent staff of the Northumberland Light Infantry Militia, of which the deceased gentleman was lieutenant-colonel. The burial service was read by the Rev. W. Streatfeild, rector of Howick. The Prince of Wales left in the afternoon express train for the south.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any images of Anna when she was alive, but here is the memorial to her and George in the Holy Trinity Churchyard, Embleton, Northumberland. Copyright Find-a-Grave.
Fallodon Hall no longer belongs to the Grey family, but is occasionally open to the public under the Open Garden Scheme
More to come on other Greys of Fallodon in a future post.