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Orlebar, Mary, 1730–1821
A journey from Ecton, through London, to Bath, and from there, back again, through Cirencester, and Banbury, to Daventry, and Northampton : from August the 3d to October the 12th, 1785.
England, 1785.
Physical Description:
1 v. ; 21 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process DA522.O75 J68 1785
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
The Orlebar sisters, Mary, Elisabeth (affectionately known within the family as Eliza) and Constantia, lived for more than 40 years at the Cot, having moved to Ecton in Northamptonshire after their father's death in 1765. The family was originally from Bedfordshire, and lived in Hinwick House, which was built between 1709 and 1714 for Richard Orlebar, their great cousin, on his marriage to Diana Astry. The Isted family purchased the Manor of Ecton in 1712, and developed the house and grounds throughout the 18th century. Rose was born in 1762, Charlotte in 1767, and Mary Orlebar in 1730, no doubt acting as traveling companion and chaperone for the two young Isted daughters.
Bound in original dark blue glazed paper wrappers, with a small paper label (numbered "LX" in pen and black ink).
A second travel diary by Mary Orlebar is in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, cataloged separately (DA522.O75 E93 1782).
Manuscript diary of Mary Orlebar, documenting her travels in England with her brother and Miss Jenour. A final leaf notes inns and distances, the whole excursion covering 286 miles. The diary is also accompanied by a portion of her original draft account (laid in at end), covering pages 8-15, with additional observations not present in the finished version.
The travelers' first visit is to Woburn House: "a fine library, and picture gallery; a shell room on the ground floor, lead[ing ] into a beautiful pleasure ground, agreeably planted with clumps of shrubs, and interspersed amongst those, some notable oaks maintain their station ..." Approaching London, "we ascend the Hill to Highgate, from whence we obtain the first view of our Metropolis ... at the bottom of Highgate Hill, some rich citizen has lately fix'd his abode; a porter's lodge dignifying the approach to this handsome villa, which in my opinion is too near the high road to convey the idea of rural felicity. We pass several neat houses in Green Street, nothing worthy of note, at Kentish Town the entrance of London, on this side, is not calculated to impress the mind with a high idea of grandeur ... I will therefore only say, that after taking leave of my fellow travelers, and spending the evening with a friend in town; I set forward the next morning, for Bath." She describes travelling through London, Piccadilly, Green Park, Kensington Palace, Holland House, and Brentford (a "poor dirty town"). "Hounslow Town & Heath are no otherwise worthy of note, than that many an unfortunate spendthrift has found the latter to be the ready road to the gallows."
Orlebar's journey continues with visits to Windsor, Salt Hill, Maidenhead, White Knights, Reading, Newbury, and onto Bath: "beautifully picturesque, my journey thither was crowned with the delight of seeing my valuable friends in Brock Street--nothing can exceed the beauty of the new part of Bath, but beauty is the least boat of that place, from whose salutary springs, health and comfort are restored to the jaundiced, the paralytic, and the gouty sufferer." There follows a good description of the new buildings and walks. On leaving the city, Orlebar passes Badminton, and through the Cotswolds back to Ecton.
Subject Terms:
Bath (England) -- Description and travel.
England -- Description and travel.
London (England) -- Description and travel.
Orlebar, Mary, 1730-1821 -- Diaries.
Women travelers -- Great Britain.

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