Tag Archives: Princess Charlotte

A Welcome to a New-born Daughter: 1770

Although the infant Princess Charlotte has already been heartily welcomed by the entire Empire, this delightful letter would have set exactly the right tone for her babyship as the Royal family prepares for the Princess’s Christening this week-end.

Miss Talbot to a new-born child, daughter of Mr. John Talbot, a son of the Lord Chancellor.

You are heartily welcome, my dear little cousin, into this unquiet world: long may you continue in it, in all the happiness it can give; and bestow enough on all your friends, to answer fully the impatience with which you have been expected. May you grow up to have every accomplishment, that your good friend the Bishop of Derry can already imagine in you; and in the mean time, may you have a nurse with a tunable voice, that may not talk an immoderate deal of nonsense to you. You are at present, my dear, in a very philosophical disposition: the gaities and follies of life have no attraction for you; its sorrows you kindly commiserate; but, however, do not suffer them to disturb your slumbers; and find charms in nothing but harmony and repose. You have as yet contracted no partialities, are entirely ignorant of party distinctions, and look with a perfect indifference on all human splendor. You have an absolute dislike to the vanities of dress; and are likely for many months to observe the Bishop of Bristol’s first rule of conversation, silence, though tempted to transgress it, by the novelty and strangeness of all the objects round you. As you advance farther in life, this philosophical temper will by degrees wear off. The first object of your admiration will probably be a candle; and thence, (as we all of us do) you will contract a taste for the gaudy and the glaring, without making one moral reflection upon the danger of such false admiration as leads people, many a time, to burn their fingers. You will then begin to shew great partiality for some very good aunts, who will contribute all they can towards spoiling you; but you will be equally fond of an excellent mamma, who will teach you, by her example, all sorts of good qualities; only let me warn you of one thing, my dear, and that is, do not learn of her to have such an immoderate love of home, as is quite contrary to all the privileges of this polite age, and to give up so entirely all those pretty graces of whim, flutter, and affectation, which so many charitable poets have declared to be the prerogative of our sex. Ah! my poor cousin, to what purpose will you boast this prerogative, when your nurse tells you, with a pious care to sow the seeds of jealousy and emulation as early as possible, that you have a fine little brother come to put your nose out of joint. There will be nothing to be done then, I believe, but to be mighty good, and prove what, believe me, admits of very little dispute, (though it has occasioned abundance) that we girls, however people give themselves airs of being disappointed, are by no means to be despised. Let the men unenvied shine in public, it is we must make their homes delightful to them; and, if they provoke us, no less uncomfortable. I do not expect you, my dear, to answer this letter yet awhile, but as, I dare say, you have the greatest interest with your papa, will beg you to prevail upon him, that we may know by a line, (before his time is engrossed by another secret committee) that you and your mamma are well. In the mean time I will only assure you, that all here rejoice in your existence extremely; and that

I am,

My very young correspondent,

most affectionately yours,

C. T.

A Selection of Curious Articles from the Gentleman’s Magazine, Volume 3, John Walker 1811

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The pious and ingenious author of the above letter, who died Jan. 9, 1770, aged 48, was the [unnamed! Caroline? Charlotte?] only daughter of Mr. Edward Talbot, Archdeacon of Berks, and younger son of Dr. Talbot, Bishop of Durham. There having been the most intimate friendship between him and the late Archbishop Seeker, his widow and daughter lived as inmates in his grace’s family till his death, when he left the interest of £3,000 to them and the survivor of them, and afterward the whole sum to charitable uses. 1770, Feb.



The Royal Baby and the Slum Baby: 1895

Victoria, the Princess Royal with Eos, Prince Albert's greyhound. by Edwin Landseer, 1841

Victoria, the Princess Royal with Eos, Prince Albert’s greyhound. by Edwin Landseer, 1841



“I am awfully tired of never being able to do what I want. What I would like is to have the dog to sleep with me, and to make myself as dirty as possible, and to cram all the lace off my cradle into my mouth. I wish they wouldn’t talk silly baby talk to me all day, and I wish they’d leave off saying: ‘Oh, how like he is to his dear papa and mamma.’ They won’t let me eat just anything I see; they give me nothing but that dull old bottle. I’ve often managed to throw it down and smash it; but they always give me another. I have so many mothers that I don’t know which is my real mother. My mothers are very beautiful, but I like my nurse best, except, when she dresses me, and sticks pins into me. I am so tired of always being dressed up, and being stared at by people who say: ‘Goo! goo! isn’t he a little sweet!” I should like to say what sillies I think them, but I can’t; so I only look at them—and sometimes I make a pet lip.”


“What I like is getting hold of bits of orangepeel, or herring-ends, and chewing them. I always like to be eating —it doesn’t matter what. Sometimes I get a pain in my stomach, and then my mother whacks me for crying. I like the mangy cats that play about our street, and I try to get hold of their tails and make them spit. It’s almost as nice as playing mud pies. I am hardly ever washed, except when I tumble into the coals, or roll in the gutter. My mother always has a red face, and I know she’s my mother because she always shakes me up so hard, but sometimes she’s kind, and wraps me up nice, in a red shawl and blue fishing-cap, and takes me off to the public round the corner; and then I open my eyes and stare at the gas, and mother has her hot gin and water, and says to the neighbours: ‘Bless the bubby, ‘e’s as good as gowld!” And it’s nice when the sun shines, and there’s bits to pick up, and our mothers aren’t cross.” 

The Quiver, 1895

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: This piece was written around the first birthday of Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, later, briefly, King Edward VIII.

One shudders at the mother with the red face, who, one fears, gave a sip of that hot gin and water to “the bubby,” although Mrs Daffodil might suggest that courtiers simpering “goo goo” at a royal infant are equally damaging.

With the birth of Princess Charlotte, Prince George will, undoubtedly have his nose a bit out of joint and make a “pet lip” with his rosebud mouth, but, of course, it is easier to be a delightful big brother when one is the heir.

Mrs Daffodil has written several times on royal babies and their royal or imperial Mamas, as in this post on royal cradles, this one on an amusing imaginary nursery contretemps by Prince Albert, and this collection of royal baby anecdotes.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


Saturday Snippets 6 July 2013: Dead men’s teeth, fishing with crinoline, a Suffragette spanked, Princess Charlotte in a temper

Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, from the collection of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.

Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, from the collection of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.

Dead Men’s Teeth. — Dead Englishmen’s teeth, collected on the battle-fields in the Crimea, are now in great demand by the London and Paris dentists  The price current of human ivory has greatly fluctuated recently, owing to the quantities of deceased soldiers’ masticators put into the market. It is stated the idea first entered the heads of some Londoners to send voyaging clerks to the seat of war in search of teeth. The harvest was a good one, apparently, and promises to yield a remarkable price, as connoisseurs vaunt the superiority of Englishmen’s and Higlander’s teeth over all others. The Medical World: A Journal of Universal Medical Intelligence, Volume 2 20 May 1857: p. 131 

Large fortunes sometimes have queer beginnings. The Gardiner (Me.) News says that one of the wealthiest firms in that state began business on $5,000, which a sister of the partners got in a breach of promise suit for damages against a rich man. Evansville [IN] Courier and Press  30 October 1889: p. 2  

The editor of the Plum Creek Gazette furnishes a practical illustration of woman’s rights. The foreman of the shop is a girl, the printer a girl, and the devil a girl, and such doubt exists as to the sex of the editor that a committee of citizens threaten to make an examination. Omaha [NE] Daily Bee 17 May 1886: p. 5 

A Princess of Spirit

The Princess Charlotte, daughter of George the Fourth, was a young woman of great spirit and originality. One day, one of her teachers chanced to enter the room when the princess was reviling one of her attendant ladies, in great wrath, and after giving her a lecture on hasty speech, he presented her with a book on the subject. A few days later he found her still more furious, and using language even more violent. “I am sorry to find your royal highness in such a passion,” said he; “your royal highness has not read the book I gave you.”

“I did, my lord!” cried she tempestuously; “I both read it and profited by it. Otherwise I should have scratched her eyes out!” – Argonaut

Youth’s Companion, Vol. 64, 1891: p. 485 

[Here is admirable post with many illustrations, about  Princess Charlotte of Wales, only daughter of George IV, her wedding gown and wardrobe. And a fascinating post on a royal reward for one of the ladies who tried hard to keep the “spirited” Princess in check, from the Two Nerdy History Girls.]


A Human Being Who Flirted at His Dead Child’s Funeral.

New York Dispatch, 27th

A statement alleged to have been made on her death-bed by Mrs. V. Woodward was to-day read to Justice Bartlett, in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. In it she declared that her husband, George S. Woodward, carried his amours so far that while going to the cemetery to bury his dead child, he tore off the apple blossoms that the mother had put on the coffin and tossed them to flirtatious young women whom they met on the way. The dying declaration was read to convince Justice Bartlett that Mr. Woodward, who is a theatrical man, is not entitled to the custody of his little girl Lillian, aged 3. A number of affidavits were read, in which Woodward is accused by various persons of such crimes as larceny, embezzlement, bigamy, seduction, criminal malpractice, conspiracy, cruelty and extortion .The case was not concluded. Charlotte [NC] Observer 30 June 1893: p. 3


He put his arm around her waist,

And closer drew her head

Unto his own with tender clasp,

And looking downward said:

“You haven’t got the right man, dear;

He’s not quite onto it.

You should have had my tailor, for

Those bloomers do not fit.”

The Clothier and Furnisher, Volume 24, 1897

The militant branch of the Suffragettes has been making the most desperate efforts to hush up the outrageous assault recently made by a gang of medical students at one of the Liverpool Colleges on Miss Christabel Pankhurst, one of the youngest, pluckiest and handsomest of the Suffragettes.

Miss Pankhurst had been attending a meeting and was lured away from her companions after the speeches were over by a band of students, who numbered about ten. Having got her in their power in a small room they locked the door and having submitted her to various, not serious, but humiliating indignities they each deliberately spanked her in turn and then let her go.

Miss Pankhurst was for sending for the police, but her friends dissuaded her as they said it would harm, rather than advance the cause. So the medical students have escaped all punishment and the Suffragettes never even mention Liverpool. Winston-Salem [NC] Journal 26 February 1908: p. 2 

THE yachting craze has been succeeded by the equine mania, which is one of the results of the recent horse show. The girls are wearing belt buckles engraved with horses’ heads, crossed whips, and jockey caps, while the tops of umbrellas consist of ivory, gold, or silver hoofs. Card-cases and portfolios, silver-mounted brushes and dash-board clocks are ornamented with the insignia of the stable, and are lavishly displayed as Christmas presents. Silver and gold brooches, sleeve-links and stick-pins, consist of tiny jockey caps, horses’ heads, whips, etc.; leather belts with harness straps are very stylish—in fact, anything that savors of horsey tradition is quite the thing with the swell women of today. Godey’s Lady’s Book [Philadelphia, PA] January 1896  

Shad Caught in a Crinoline Trap.

A few weeks ago a lady of Rocky Hill, Ct., while passing a brook which runs into the Connecticut, saw two find shad sunning themselves in the stream. The shad looked tempting; the lady coveted them, but had no fishing tackle with her. She finally bethought her of her hoops, took them off, and having tied the upper end, set the contrivance in the brook and drove the unsuspecting shad into the net, when they safely drawn to land, the most cruelly deceived victims of crinoline. Richland County Observer [Mansfield, OH] 9 July 1861:  p. 1


A well sinker got up early to his work one morning, and found that the shaft he had been making had “folded in.” Desirous of knowing how much he would be missed, he hung his jacket and waistcoat upon the windlass (as if he had gone down to his digging) and hid himself behind a hedge. Presently, quite a crowd of people gathered around the place–among them his wife–and they all “concluded up” that he was buried alive. The question arose, should they go to the trouble of digging him out, or should they leave him where he was, and save the expense of burial in the proper form? The wife said that, as he had left his jacket and waistcoat behind, it did not much matter. So they abandoned him, as they supposed, to his fate. In the evening he slipped away from the place, a sadder, and a wiser man. In three months he returned home, dressed precisely as he was when he went away, and without a word, took his old place by the fireside. “Why, Jabes,” exclaimed his wife, “where did you come from?” “Wal,” he replied, “I found that none o’ you critters would dig me out, so I set to work myself; and if it hadn’t bin that I got astray in the dark, and dug myself six miles away, I should ha’ bin here afore.” Moral: When you want anything done, don’t die waiting for friends, but go at it yourself!  The Christian Recorder [Philadelphia, PA] 17 April 1869

  Less to Carry and less to Count.—A chimney-sweeper’s boy went into a baker’s shop in the Strand for a two-penny loaf, and conceiving it to be diminutive in size, he remarked to the baker, that he did not believe that it was weight. Never mind that, replied the man of dough; you will have less to carry.— True, rejoined the lad, and throwing three-halfpence on the counter, left the shop. The baker called after him, that he had not paid money enough. Never mind that, hallooed young sooty, you will have less to count.

A Thousand Notable Things, Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquise of Worcester