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Flood, Luke Thomas, 1775–1860
Diaries of Luke Thomas Flood during travels in England and Wales.
England ; Wales, 1824-1828.
Physical Description:
2 v. ; 16-18 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process DA537.F56 D53 1824
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
The Flood's lived at 23 Cheyne Walk and later Belle Vue Lodge, Chelsea. Luke Thomas Flood (1775-1860) was a great benefactor to the parish, and evidently a friend of the historian Thomas Parlebaine, whose 1829 History of Chelsea included some verses addressed to him, which conclude with the halting line “Sweet Chelsea shall ever live in thee.” Flood Street was named after him, and his benefactions are celebrated at the parish church by a service on January 13th, “Flood's Day.” He left £3,000 to the parish when he died in 1860.
Both notebooks bound in contemporary limp sheep.
Manuscript accounts by Luke Thomas Flood (1775-1860) detailing long summer excursions made with his wife and children in England and Wales, in 1824 and 1828.
The earlier volume, closely written on 54 pages, is inscribed: "Excursions to Leamington and the Country Around and Thence to the Isle of Wight, 1824." It begins: “Left Belle Vue Lodge, Chelsea, ...” to Leamington, where he takes a house in Brunswick St. at 4 guineas a week, his “carriage & saddle horses with coachman” arriving the following morning. They visit Warwick, Kenilworth, Coventry, and Stratford-upon-Avon. At Leamington he goes to: “... the Theatre & saw Elliston as Vapid in the Dramatist--the House is remarkably small”. On the 1st Aug. he notes that: “these sulphurous waters had a great tendency to throw the Blood to my head by overcharging the system & not having been cupped for 13 months” he seeks the services of Mr. Chambers of the firm of Chambers & Jepson who relieved him of 16 oz of blood and a fee of 10/6: “Mr. Chambers admitted that it was not an uncommon case for the system to increase in blood under the operation of these waters”. On the 4th August he: “Rode on horseback with Luke & Elizabeth through Warwick ... in the evening went to the Theatre to see the Indian Juggler & the Blind Boy etc. -- many good tricks exhibited -- a stone weighing 5cwt was placed on his chest & broken with a sledge hammer -- there was no deception in this ...” and on the following day they “see Mr. Green ascend with a young female in a Balloon -- it went off very finely & was rapidly carried among the clouds ...” On the 17th August they depart for the Isle of Wight. He describes the route from Leamington through Banbury, Woodstock, an account of Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Abingdon, Speenhamland where they spend the night at the Pelican, to High Clerc, Whitchurch: “Where we had a most excellent breakfast consisting of a Fowl & six eggs” and thence to Southampton; “The last few miles before you enter this pleasant town is equal to any place I ever saw for variety of prospect--in richness & extensiveness & the last mile is peculiarly singular by passing under & through a range of lofty trees with a kind of little forest at the sides--in short the whole of the country on every side of this famous town is delightfully pleasant”. They sail from Lymington: “a very clean pretty town” to Yarmouth and manage to “get the carriage into the ship without altering any one thing belonging to it by running it on to the deck from the wharf”. Yarmouth he finds: “small & dull--the streets very narrow & the inhabitants poor--nothing whatever to recommend it”. At Cowes he tries to find a house to rent: “but as this place was then in such a scene of bustle” he is unsuccessful, they do however witness the regatta; “carried out with great spirit & expense ... seemed to be covered with beautiful gentlemen's yachts -- with all colours hoisted--and three boats sailing about with each a band of music ... most imposing indeed!”. On the 21st Aug. he takes a house in Ryde: “there was not another house to be had”. The remaining 28-pages of the journal descriptive of their excursions in the Isle of Wight, various houses visited including that of Sir Willoughby Gordon: “the house is a slated cottage of an elegant description & every thing about the premises proclaims Taste & Beauty”. Four day trips are also made, fully described, to Portsmouth to inspect the Dockyards, the Royal George yacht, and the Victory: “whilst on board a salute of thirteen guns were fired ... the unexpected & tremendous noise of which alarmed Luke & almost stunned us both”.
The latter volume, 70 p. is inscribed: "A tour into North Wales through Matlock, Harrogate, Cumberland, and Liverpool, 1828." It comprises an account of an 880-mile excursion of over three months into Wales, the Lakes, and with visits to Liverpool, Birmingham, York, & elsewhere, 17th July-21st October 1828. “Myself & wife, with son & daughter left Chelsea on Thursday the 17th July & slept that night at the George in Northampton, a very large Inn.” From here they proceed to Matlock Bath: “a most delightful place, perfectly unique & in every was bewitching in its locality & scenery.” Here he describes the hotels and visits Chatsworth. They dine at Sheffield noting that the: “stage to it was very hilly, but the stage beyond Barnsley was much worse, from this town we went to Wakefield where we slept & the next morning breakfasted at Leeds & dined at Mrs. Whincups, No. 4 Prospect Place, Harrowgate, being Monday 21st July. In our way hither we had continual rain & storm & saw with great regret the country much inundated ... we saw the water taking possession of the cottages, the fields & the roads in a frightful way & from Derby to Belper it was, the night before, impassable & dangerous.” Here he gives a good description of the town and its wells and lodgings “Never bring a cook--for every house & lodging produce one==It is very difficult to procure a whole house as they make much more by letting the dwelling to 2 or 3 families.”
They visit Studley Park and Fountains Abbey, and whilst at York: “the Retreat & the Asylum for the reception of lunatics--the former is under the management of Quakers ... the other is under the Management of a select body of Gentlemen--both do great credit to those concerned in every way--they are very pleasantly situated and resemble respectable gentlemen's houses more than Institutions for Lunatics--some of the individuals pay 5 Guineas per week.” On the 25th August: “we all went to the Dragon Ball, which was fully attended, the ladies dresses very good--but Mrs. Carnack shone forth most resplendently with diamonds & emeralds.” They leave Harrogate on the 1st September for Bolton Abbey: “the Duke of Devonshire ... has a snug cottage opposite & close to it”, to Skipton, Settle, and Kirby Lonsdale: “Luke & myself slept out for all the beds in the house were engaged.” At Kendal they: “had a famous good breakfast consisting of Fowls, Ham, Fowl Pye, & Eggs” and on to Bowness; here he describes the houses of Mr. Bolton and Mr. Curwen, before; “ ... we left ... in a Boat for Waterhead--the end of the lake which is really a most enchanting spot--at which place an open carriage was waiting to forward us on to the town of Keswick, 22 miles in going there ... we then came to Ambleside where there is an excellent Hotel called the Salutation about 1/4 of a mile from Waterhead--after which we passed by the lakes of Rydal, Grassmere & Thirlmere & through a Country of Mountains such as we had never seen before, the grandeur & sublimity of which cannot be described--for no pen can afford any just conception of such awful scenery."
"The lake we went all round in a Boat, & we walked up the famous mountain Skiddaw but at the end of 4 miles we were tired & not having a guide & Luke becoming giddy we turned back with great reluctance ... some courage was necessary to reach the point we had arrived at & therefore it was much to be regretted we had not gone the whole way having surmounted nearly all of its danger ...” Flood gives a good 8-page description of Liverpool and an account of visiting manufactories in Birmingham. A 5-page itinerary at end lists mileages covered, where they breakfasted, dined, and slept. Places visited or passed through included Lancaster, Preston, Chester, Holywell, Conway, Bangor, Beaumaris, Caernarvon, Llanberis, Bangor, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Coventry, etc. “At St. Albans ... where we slept at the Verulam Arms, a very excellent house ... from there we went to Edgeware, 11 miles, where our own horses met us & took us home to Chelsea ... the 21st October after an absence of three months & five days, with grateful thanks to God for having preserved us from all the perils & dangers incidental to travelling ... to our own home in health & happiness!”
Travel literature -- England -- 1824-1828.
Travel literature -- Wales -- 1824-1828.

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