Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Charles Jervas.  UK Government Art Collection.
The Duchess of Marlborough, late favourite of her Majesty Queen Anne, was a woman well-known about the Court for her hot temper.  Indeed, none could reason with her when, one day, she heard how a certain Lady of the Bedchamber had been granted a trifling gift of a pair of the Queen’s earrings.  The Duchess was slighted much by this - she being a mightily proud woman who prided herself on overseeing all the particularities of Her Majesty’s household affairs.  The French Ambassador, who at that moment was about to conclude an audience with the Queen, was alarmed indeed when proceedings were prematurely halted when the Duchess sallied forth into the Chamber.  “What is the meaning of this interruption?”, demanded the Queen, at which the Duchess flew into a violent passion on the privileges granted to one of her status within the Royal household.  “A Lady such as I should not be slighted thus”, concluded she.  The French Ambassador was most shocked at the Duchess’s ill usage of the Queen and certainly it did not become one of her rank.  The Queen, having regained her composure, saw fit to respond: “Madam”, said she, “The gift of a pair of earrings is a trifling matter indeed and one that a Great Lady such as yourself should not stoop so low as to concern herself with.”  The Duchess stood mute at this, and the Queen continued: “Indeed, if such things are of so great a concern to the Duchess, let it be known that I would bid her empty my closet privy, for it is certainly full”.  The Duchess stood dumb with rage, and those present were  sure to call a physician, so still was she that they thought she had been knock’d on the head!

Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Charles Jervas.  UK Government Art Collection.

The Duchess of Marlborough, late favourite of her Majesty Queen Anne, was a woman well-known about the Court for her hot temper.  Indeed, none could reason with her when, one day, she heard how a certain Lady of the Bedchamber had been granted a trifling gift of a pair of the Queen’s earrings.  The Duchess was slighted much by this - she being a mightily proud woman who prided herself on overseeing all the particularities of Her Majesty’s household affairs.  The French Ambassador, who at that moment was about to conclude an audience with the Queen, was alarmed indeed when proceedings were prematurely halted when the Duchess sallied forth into the Chamber.  “What is the meaning of this interruption?”, demanded the Queen, at which the Duchess flew into a violent passion on the privileges granted to one of her status within the Royal household.  “A Lady such as I should not be slighted thus”, concluded she.  The French Ambassador was most shocked at the Duchess’s ill usage of the Queen and certainly it did not become one of her rank.  The Queen, having regained her composure, saw fit to respond: “Madam”, said she, “The gift of a pair of earrings is a trifling matter indeed and one that a Great Lady such as yourself should not stoop so low as to concern herself with.”  The Duchess stood mute at this, and the Queen continued: “Indeed, if such things are of so great a concern to the Duchess, let it be known that I would bid her empty my closet privy, for it is certainly full”.  The Duchess stood dumb with rage, and those present were  sure to call a physician, so still was she that they thought she had been knock’d on the head!

un-boudoir:

Rosalba Carriera, Une Muse
Vers 1725

un-boudoir:

Rosalba Carriera, Une Muse

Vers 1725

(Source: mistralienne)

Hunting scene. James Seymour. The National Trust.  "Tally-ho!"

Hunting scene. James Seymour. The National Trust.  

"Tally-ho!"

Anna Maria Strada.  Johannes Verelst, 1732.  The Foundling Museum, London.
The late Miss Strada, one of Mr. Hendel’s primadonnas, a grand woman but of small stature, who thought herself all high and mighty, indeed.  So fine did she think her singing voice that she thought the Birds themselves would stop to listen.  “Ladies”, says she, entertaining one day in her garden, “What will you wager if I cannot but bring forth the Birds from the trees with my song?”.  This was soon settled and she proceeded to sing, at which the birds made a hasty flight, ‘tis sure, from their nests.  All but one remained in the branches and Miss Strada’s musick was rewarded in full when it did sh-t on her head.

Anna Maria Strada.  Johannes Verelst, 1732.  The Foundling Museum, London.

The late Miss Strada, one of Mr. Hendel’s primadonnas, a grand woman but of small stature, who thought herself all high and mighty, indeed.  So fine did she think her singing voice that she thought the Birds themselves would stop to listen.  “Ladies”, says she, entertaining one day in her garden, “What will you wager if I cannot but bring forth the Birds from the trees with my song?”.  This was soon settled and she proceeded to sing, at which the birds made a hasty flight, ‘tis sure, from their nests.  All but one remained in the branches and Miss Strada’s musick was rewarded in full when it did sh-t on her head.

The Long Canal and Gibbs Temple, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Balthasar Nebot, 1738.  Buckinghamshire County Museum.
 No finer views have been rendered of the great Estates of England than those by Mr. Nebot, a Spaniard by birth, who made England his home for some sixteen years, the climate being well suited to his disposition.  Indeed, Mr. Nebot’s talents have recommended him to many a Gentleman, eager to have his House and Gardens commemorated by his pencil.

The Long Canal and Gibbs Temple, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Balthasar Nebot, 1738.  Buckinghamshire County Museum.


No finer views have been rendered of the great Estates of England than those by Mr. Nebot, a Spaniard by birth, who made England his home for some sixteen years, the climate being well suited to his disposition.  Indeed, Mr. Nebot’s talents have recommended him to many a Gentleman, eager to have his House and Gardens commemorated by his pencil.

Head and Shoulders of a Young Man.  Susanna Duncombe (née Highmore), date unknown.  Tate, London.   Mrs. Duncombe, Lady artist and daughter of the celebrated painter Mr. Highmore, displayed a talent for drawing from an early age.  ‘Tis said that when other young Ladies preferred the company of their sex, engaged in prattle about this young Gentleman and that, Miss Highmore was a keen Pupil in the studio of her father and spent many a Night making copies from his Drawing books. 

Head and Shoulders of a Young Man.  Susanna Duncombe (née Highmore), date unknown.  Tate, London.   

Mrs. Duncombe, Lady artist and daughter of the celebrated painter Mr. Highmore, displayed a talent for drawing from an early age.  ‘Tis said that when other young Ladies preferred the company of their sex, engaged in prattle about this young Gentleman and that, Miss Highmore was a keen Pupil in the studio of her father and spent many a Night making copies from his Drawing books. 

Henrietta Howard, 9th Countess of Suffolk by Charles Jervas, 1724.
The late Countess of Suffolk who resided at Marble Hill House, and whose installation there at the King’s pleasure caused many jealousies to arise between herself and the Queen.

Henrietta Howard, 9th Countess of Suffolk by Charles Jervas, 1724.

The late Countess of Suffolk who resided at Marble Hill House, and whose installation there at the King’s pleasure caused many jealousies to arise between herself and the Queen.

Marble Hill House, 1724-1729.
 No finer prospect can be afforded to the viewer than at Marble Hill House, the late residence of the Countess of Suffolk, Mistress of King George, a Lady known for her love of musick and dancing, and who hosted a variety of lavish entertainments and masquerades in her extensive Gardens.

Marble Hill House, 1724-1729.

 No finer prospect can be afforded to the viewer than at Marble Hill House, the late residence of the Countess of Suffolk, Mistress of King George, a Lady known for her love of musick and dancing, and who hosted a variety of lavish entertainments and masquerades in her extensive Gardens.

The Downfall of Shakespeare Represented on a Modern Stage. William Dawes, 1763-5.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Downfall of Shakespeare Represented on a Modern Stage. William Dawes, 1763-5.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

St. James’s Park from the Terrace of No. 10 Downing Street. British School, 1736-1740.  Museum of London.
A fine prospect…

St. James’s Park from the Terrace of No. 10 Downing Street. British School, 1736-1740.  Museum of London.

A fine prospect…