Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

A Trip To West Sussex

Today has been a relatively warm and sunny day, allowing us to make our planned trip to Henfield without an outer coat. We borrowed our daughter's car to make a lunch appointment there with a distant relative of mine, as we are always summoned to do every time we are down here these days. The journey from SW19 is only 42 miles, through beautiful country, and the village itself is stunning.

This traditional butcher on the High Street makes the most beautiful sausages, so 2lb of them were purchased to take home.

My relative, a lovely lady in her 70's is from the same generation as me. Her great grandfather on her mother's side was the first cousin of my great grandfather on my father's side. That makes her my fourth cousin I do believe.

However, her mother married a gent from the Aristocracy, so she has a much more interesting background on her father's side than I do, or perhaps just in a different way, as mine has a famous artist. Her great grandfather X 4 was Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland. If we follow her family tree back from her grandmother, her great great grandfather was Thomas Bruce 11th Earl of Kincardine, 7th Earl of Elgin - who held a huge interest in antiquities and was responsible for controversially removing the famous marble friezes from the Parthenon in Greece and bringing them to England. She holds some fabulous artefacts from bygone days and the following are just a few that I feel I am able to publish here.

This is my cousin's mother, Claire. She was PA and friend of the actress Evelyn Laye, whom my cousin is named after with her middle name, Evelyn. It was Miss Laye who introduced Claire to her second husband, my cousin's father, at a cocktail party. (Miss Laye is also responsible for introducing the Australian speech therapist to King George VI, who was an admirer).

From her father's days at Eton, taken 1920.

Her grandmother. She is one of the children referred to in the next image. The one above was taken in Shimla in India in 1894, a place we are to visit next month to continue our family history research.

This is a telegram from the Queen, (Victoria) to my cousin's great grandmother, The Hon Mrs. Thomas Bruce, delivered to 42 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London on May 3rd 1880. It reads:

"Deeply grieved to hear of your great anxiety. I trust the dear children are better tonight."

One of the children referred to is my cousin's grandmother above.

She is unable to tell me the reason for this telegram, but her great grandfather, like generations before him were officers in the military, although in 1881 his occupation was listed as M.P. barrister not practicing. My cousin's father's father was also a military man, serving around the North West Frontier of India. He wrote a book at the end of his service, "The Making Of A Frontier", which can be found online.

Another image of another one of my cousin's ancestors, Lady Augusta Frederica Elizabeth Bruce, daughter of the 11th Earl of Kincardine above. She was a resident woman of the bedchamber 1862-1863 and extra woman of the bedchamber 1863-1876, when she was a Lady in Waiting to the Queen, taken at St. James' Palace, April 1863. She would be the sister of her great grandfather.

Finally, my own lady in waiting. The location is Henfield High Street.

Tomorrow we return home on Virgin Trains West Coast Mainline to Wigan, with a treat in store. We are travelling 1st class!

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