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76270 Neufchatel-en-Bray

Th« Religious Character

th« Gurney Family.

Letter from R.H.J.G. to Lady Buxton, 1893.
My dear Mother, I hare found my little search of great
interest; you may like to keep the list. Surely God
does honour those that honour Him. Of the above 31
generations 26 hare shewn a religious feeling.

Your affate son, Hish. H.J.durney.
The Religious Charaeter of the Gurney Family.
The tone of a family is of great importance and it may
be of interest and use to preserve for future generations
the devout character shown by different generations of
the House of Gurney. I have therefore collected what
may almost be called a religious pedigree of the family,
which, according to the "Record of the House of Gournay"
can be traced back in a direct line from A.D. 912, when
they were settled in Normandy. During that century the
Lords of Gournay founded more than 9 monastic establish-

Gautier de La Fsrte de Goumay founded the Priory of

La Ferte en Brie.

His son - Hugh.................the Priory of Bee.

His son - Hugh. .. .became a monk in the Abbey of St Ouen

at Rouen.
In the next generation
Hugh de Gournay...retires towards the end of his life to

the Abbey of Bee.
His son - Gerard..dies on his way to the Holy Land,as a


His son - Hugh....dies in the Holy Land as a crusader.
His son - Hugh....visited the Holy Land as a crusader,

and brought back a pieee of the reput

ed "true Cross"to his great Church of

St Hildevert at Goumay, and from which

circumstance is supposed to have ori

ginated the family arms of a blood-red



gave tithes to the Church at Harpingham(


His son - Sir William


His son - Sir John

a crusader.

His son - Sir William

Unknown, but he had a brother

John, a priest.

His son -.John 3rA.......doubtless contributed to the

building of the Chureh at
Harpley, Norfolk, as patron.

His son - John 4th.......Unknown.

Hi8 son - Bdmund.........In 1367 was arbitrator with

Edmund de Clipesby and Sir Roger
de Felbriggs in a dispute between
the Prior of Norwich and the
Prioress of Carrow, also a com-
missioner in a dispute between
the inhabitants of Yarmouth and

His son - Sir Robert.........Unknown.

His son - Thomas lBt.....Unknown.

His son - Thomas 2**d.....Benefactor to several religious

houses by will, 1469.

His son - William 4th....left several legacies for reli-
gious purposes in Norfolk.

His son - William ...Not known, but his brother

Chrsitopher was Prior and Rector

of Harpley, Norfolk.

Anthony........made hie will, 1555, wherein he

wrote "being in good and holle
mynde thank* be to God, I be-
queathe my sowle unto Almightie
9od, trusting to have the frui-
eion of hie glorious presens
amonges the saints of Heaven.

Francis lBt....Unknown.

Henry..........in his will writes, "I bequeth

or resigne my sowle to the only
omnipotent and most merciful God,
and Father and Governor of
heaven and earth,and all there-
in, as his proper right from
the Creation, and my body to
rest till the joyfull resurrectio
in the parish Church next to my
wife there." He proceeds to
leave legacies to the poor and to

Francis 2nd
who used the
building of
St James,Lynn,
for business,
and never



his children "so that none (of
them) hold any fantasticall or
erroneous opinions, so adjudged by
our Bishop or eivill Lawes."

The above was the last Roman
Catholic, and among his children

a great Protestant
preacher and cler-
gyman, who wrote
several anti-papal

a daughter
who married a


His son - Francis 3rd.>>a "eommunicant.*

His son - John of Norwich.who joined the Quakers and

was imprisoned for 3 years in
Norwich gaol for conssienoe


sake, and was a greatly esteem-
ed minister.

His sons - Josnph.......("the sincere Quaker"), a miniate

at 21, and his brother John, a

minister at 22.

His son - John...........like-minded.

His son - John...........like-minded, father of the

Earlham Oumeys.
Samuel, Joseph John, Daniel, Elizabeth Pry, etc. etc.,

all such markedly religious



Reports of Commissioners appointed by net of Parliament
to enquire concerning Charities and Education of the
Poor in England and .Vales.

1815 to 1835.

Hay's Charity.

iiy Indenture,bearing date 13th May 1830, between Ann, widow of
the Revs Thomas Hay, late canon of Christchurch and rector of
North ,<epps, of the one part, and ISdward Lord Nuffield of the other
part, reciting that the said Thamas Hay, previous to his decease,
which happened in January then last, had requested the said
Ann Hay, to whom he bequethed all his personal estate,to transfer,
after his decease, the sura of^l,000 ^.Three per Cent.Consols to
trustees, on trust, to pay the dividends to the rector of
North Repps for the time being, to be by him applied for the aMajar
support of the ounday-echool there| and reciting, that the said
nnn Hay had transferred 1,000 Consols into the name of the
said Lord Nuffield; the said Lord Nuffield declared to the rector
of north Repps for the time being, to the intent that he should
pay to the master or mistress,or both, of the ounday-school at
North Repps such a salary for teaching the .Scholars, and for
other services, as he should think proper,and to apply the
residue in clothes and rewards for the scholars, as he should
think most for their benefit: and it was agreed that upon the
decease of the said Lord Nuffield the stock should be transferred
into the name of the person who should succeed him as Lord of the
llanor of Uorth Repps,


or that it should be lawful for him as lord of the manor to
appoint any fit person or persons, to be-approved by the said
rector, as trustee or trustees for the said stock.

This stock still stands in the name of Lord Sufi'ield, and
the dividends, amounting to £30., are received from him by the

Out of this income a salary of £24.a year is paid to a
mistress, who teaches a Sunday-school, and has also weekly scholars

The school is kept in a room built by the late Dr.Hay upon
land which was given for the purpose by Lord Nuffield, on payment
of an acknowledgment of is.a year.

About 80 children usually attend the Sunday-school, and
between 30 and 40 of them attend the weekly school also. Books are
provided for the children, and the school-room is kept in repair
and supplied with coals out of the funds, .'/hatever remains is added
to a fund arising from the contribution of Id.or 2d. a week from
the weekly scholars, which fund is applied in rewards.

The following lands have been held by the churchwardens, and
the rents applied to the general purposes of the church-rate
for above a century:

1st. A slip of land,containing between two and three roods,in
the occupation of Villiam Amiss, at the yearly rent of 4s. This
is stated to be worth lCs.a year, and it is proposed to let it at
the fair value.

2d. About three roods, late in the occupation of Robert Breifet
at 5s.a year; but at the time of our inquiry this was about to be
let again, as from Hichaelmas 1832, at lOs.or 12s.a year,according
to the value.

3d. Two slips of land, containing together about one quarter of
an acre, held by Robert Read at 2s. a year, which is nearly the
value thereof.

The following annual suras have also been received by the
churchwardens for the like purpose, as rent for some lands which
cannot be identified.

From John Gross, tenant of Richard Gurney,esq. £• 8* d.

two sums, Is.and 3s. ------------------------- - 4. -

From George Smery, tenant of Lord Nuffield----- 2.

From James Pearson,tenant of Richard Gurney---- 1 4. -





hundred years '



Richard H. J. Gurney
1795 - 1895.

"Our many deeds, the thoughts that we have thought

They go out from us, thronging every hour
And in them all is folded up a power,

That on the earth deth move them to and fro
And mighty are the marvels they have wrought
In hearts we know not, and may never know."

Miller's Week day Religion

3 Mo. 27, 1835.

My dear Fowell,

How richly are we blessed in our family circles.
May we ever be devoted to our good and gracious Master - simply,
solely and decidedly. Ex parte Christi !

With dearest love to all,

I am thy nearly attached brother,

J. J. Gurney.

Northrepps, like most villages, is mentioned in Domesday
Book, which great book was completed in 1086, In it we read
of the church round which clustered the cottages of the one free-
man, two villains (or farmers) and five boarders (or laborers)
on the estate of Ketell, the Dane.

The next glimpse of the parish we have is in 1286, when we
lettrn from the Feet of Fines for Norfolk, that Aylward de Crosdale
conveyed to his son John, house and lands in Crosdale, Northrepps,
thus showing that another hamlet had been settled in what was doubt-
less mostly heathery or woody land.

As time went on we read of the great families of de Repps,
Heydons and Rugges successively owning land there, which estate
seems to have been entirely on the East side of the parish, and
is now owned with the Manor, by Lord Suffield.

To whom the Westerly portion of the parish adjoining, "Crosdale
Street belonged in early days I cannot find; probably but little
was cultivated.

In 1602 Richard Ellis, only son of William Ellis, yeoman of
Rockland - St Mary, and Audrey, his wife, came to Northrepps and
married there-, Mary Playford, a member of the old Northrepps yeo-
man family of that name. They were blessed with numerous des-
cendants, who soon became land owners and set up two family estates
on each side of the parish, and it is not impossible that this
couple built Northrepps Hall which is about that date, though there
seems little doubt that it was then only rebuilt with old material,
but from what site it is impossible to say.

The church registers often refer to Richard Ellis of Crosdale
Street, Gentleman, who we know owned the Hall and some 260 acres
round it. He married in 1719 a Miss Russell, daughter of the
Rector of Postwick. Mr Ellis died 1763, and left his property
to his only surviving child Elizabeth, who soon after married at
the age of thirty-six Edwara crooke, Gentleman and surgeon of
North Walsham, in Northrepps Church, November 4, 1766. Mrs Brooke
died 1785 at Stalham Hall, leaving her estates in Stalham Brunstead

Ingham, Salton, Northrepps, Overstrand, Felbrigg and Oromer to her
only child, Susannah Ellis Brooke, who continued to live in the
charming old picturesque Stalham Hall till her death in 1864 at the
great age of ninety-six. At the death of Mrs Brooke, Northrepps
Hall reverted under her father's will, to Richard Ellis, of Catton,
son of her eldest brother, the Rev. John Ellis, Rector of Southrepps
He and his wife Martha, nle Riches, sold it in April 1790 for some-
thing over £5000 and an annuity of £52 to Robert Barclay of Bury
Hill, Surrey. We do not know the latter's motive in buying a Nor-
folk property, probably it was an investment, but "The family" had
just discovered the charms of Cromer' and its neighbourhood.

Four years after, Mrs Barclay, who had been Rachel Gurney of
Keswick, died leaving eleven living out of her twelve children (ther
is a charming portrait of her and two babies at Bury Hill; doubtles
it was owing to her death that Mr Barclay sold the house and estate
to his brother-in-law Richard Gumey of Keswick, near Norwich, Oc-
tober 1795. We see from an old estate map that the house had been
a perfectly plain oblong^and we know it was built of grey flints,
with crow stepped gables, at this date,but whether by R.Barclay or

8 The Ellises died entirely out of the parish, and their des-
cendants emigrated to South Australia.

/ "Excursions in Norfolk", 1818, says"Cromer was first frequented
as a watering place, about the year 1785 by two or three families
of retired habits.

t. Gurney we cannot tell, tradition says the former. The house
is altered in the semi-classic style then in vogue, the old paneling

the drawing-room was taken down (as was afterwards discovered)
id a new and grander door made into it, while outside Tudor windows
Save place to the fashionable high sash windows, and several stacks
of the old Elizabethan chimneys wire rebuilt in hideous square style
four good rooms, two with large bows, and a stair-case were added
on the East and probably at this time, the kitchen and servants'
hall were also added, thus nearly doubling the original size of the
house, which was then fashionably white-washed .

The new owners were a Quaker family, but of a very mild kind.
Mr Gurney was"in person rather stout, florid, with dark hair and a
prominent nose; he had very much the effect of the old fashioned
country squire, rather unusually well appointed. He used to
ride a handsome grey horse, with a dapper groom behind him on a
second grey horse. He was fond of sport, particularly coursing
and shooting." At the time of his purchase of Northrepps he was
married to his second wife, Rachel, n£e Hanbury, a sweet and gen-
tle lady who wore a Quaker dress. There were then four chil-
dren, the handsome and lively Hudson, then aged twenty and Agatha
of nineteen, who married the next month her step-uncle Sampson
Hanbury of Poles, Hertfordshire, a great sportsman and Master of the
Hounds; of whom young Louisa Gurney of Earlham writes, "I rode home
with Sampson Hanbury, I liked him rather, he was so kind to the poor!

children who opened the gates. It seems odd to me such a charm-
ing person as Gatty should marry him, he is such a Hanbury in his
outward man, however, I don't know his inward."

There are two beautiful pictures of this handsome brother and
sister by Opie at Keswick.

The second family were Richard Hanbury and Elizabeth, of
twelve and eleven, and a month after Gatty's wedding another little
sister, Anna, was added to the family; she was a cripple from
infancy, having it was supposed, had a fall from her Nurse's arms.

The following Autumn the^Gurneys spent in their new house,
having their Earlham relations in turn to stay.

Louisa Gurney of Earlham writes:-

November, 17, 1796.
"After breakfast set off with Uncle Gurney for Northrepps, I
had a most dis drive, but most glad to see Elizabeth.

November 18, (Friday).

We walked about the roads, then we went to the church, it was
very cold, but I felt everything very interesting in the church.
We then rode down to Cromer, it was quite odd to me to see the sea.

November 23.

I have had rather a dis day, but a very happy ending.

How amazingly dull being here is to be sure, I was most un-
comfortable all the morning, I was so hurried and my cough so bad,
p-reat was my joy to see Kitty, Chenda, Hannah and my father arrive

in the evening.

November 25.

We all left Northrepps."
The next year John Pitchford was staying at Northrepps Cottage,
with the Bartlett Gurneys, enjoying the woods and "after dinner
took a walk and drank tea in the Reed House", a Summer house which
tradition says was cut out of a stack of fern to surprise Bartlett
Gurney's wife, and which is only now falling down (1895).

John Pitchford saw much of the cousinhood and writes:-
"I was uncommonly pleased with Elizabeth Gurney, daughter of
Mr Richard Gurney, she thanked me for the book I sent her in a
very sweet affectionate manner, she is about fourteen, has a beau-
tiful face, very interesting manners, an excellent mind, great

energy of spirit and activity of body......she very much resembles

Louisa (of Earlham). If she were two years older, I believe I
should fall in love with her, as it is I do not know I am quite
safe. Hudson Gurney was remarkably agreeable, he is a young man
of much reading and of a brilliant imagination."

August, 1798

"Elizabeth is a most sweet girl, her manners are uncommonly ele
gant, her beautiful hair between flaxen and auburn, her lovely blue
eyes beaming with intelligence and full of inexpressible sweetness,
her complexion is exquisitely fair and her whole countenance full
of the glow of youth."

Again John Pitchford writes of a dance at Earlham.

January 26, 1799.
"There is something singular about her, she seemed to speak to
nobody: between the dances she generally sat alone. Dalrymple
remarked to me afterwards that he thought her proud. In person
she is taller and lovelier than ever."

Northrepps Hall seems to have been lent to the Earlham Gurney
October, 1800, as in their old ledger under that date is, "Residenc
five weeks at Northrepps, £54 - 18 - 8.

In October and November 1801 T. F. Buxton was staying at
Northrepps, which he says is perfectly delightful. "I did littl
else but read books of entertainment (except now and then a few
hours Latin and Greek), ride and play Chess."


In February 1803 Bartlett Gurney died and having no e-hildrwa
left the beautiful cottage and "Hill" estates at Northrepps, to
his second cousin Richard, who then became head of the family, and
the two estates of the Hall and the Cottage thus became one fine

When Bartlett Gurney first purchased land at Northrepps, 1792
he employed Humphrey Repton, the celebrated landscape gardener, t
lay out the estate, and William Wilkins, the architect of the Lon-
don University. Plans of a mansion and park by them were drawn
up and are still preserved. It was to have been made South of
the Hill House, but Mr Gurney preferred to build, in 1793, "The Co

tage. It is described in 1800 by E. Bartlett, in "Observations
upon the town of Cromer and its neighbourhood," as a "House which
is flinted and thatched, with a Gothic porch, also thatched, fitted
up with the greatest neatness and simplicity, and the stained glass
which occupies the upper parts of the arches of the windows throws
a very pleasing light into the apartments. (Two of these,panes,
of birds, were copied from Bartlett Gurney's copy of Edwards' His-
tory of Birds, now belonging to Edmund Backhouse). The parlour,
which commands an elegant view of the sea, is decorated with colour-
ed prints, extremely appropriate to the situation, such as "The
Sailor-boy's Return", the ship-wrecked sailor-boy telling his tale
at the cottage door, and on the chimney-piece are shells and pieces
of Derbyshire marble.

Planting has been done with a liberal hand, and the healthy ap-
pearance of the young trees, when the situation so near the sea is
considered, promises hereafter, amply to reward the owner for his
perseverance," For this purpose a hundred pounds worth of young
trees had been used, between 1793 - 4. 8

The new owners preferred spending the next few Autumns at the
Cottage, rather than at the Hall, but I do not find they came at
all in 1803, though a party of cousins were at Cromer on September 8

8 See Bartlett Gurney's Old Account Book.

*< »

when Richanda Gurney writes, "Sally gave a grand entertainment at

the Hall, where everybody met, the ladies all dressed in white
gowns and blue sashes, with nothing on their heads. After dinne
we all stood on a wall, eighteen of us, and it was really one of
the prettiest sights I ever saw.

It is not improbable that the daily expectation of a descent
on the Norfolk coast by Napoleon may have deterred them, as the
Earlham Gurneys kept not only their valuables packed that Autumn,
but their horses ready harnessed in the stable, and I have heard
many Northrepps traditions of the farmers' waggons being all ready
to convey the women and children inland when the great bonfire of
furze and pitch should be lighted at the neighbouring old British
Camp on the Runton Hills; indeed from this arose the name of the
"Black Beacon." It was then one of the Northrepps farmers got th<
nickname of "Bona" Curtis, from his likeness to the universal enem]
that was in everybody's mind.

In 1806 the beautiful Elizabeth became engaged to her first
cousin, John Gurney of Earlham, of whom his brother Dan writes:-
"His personal beauty was great, I remember him in early life
with long dark brown hair, tall and rather thin, but always very

B Is this Northrepps or The Cliff, Cromer ?_ ^

^ William Wyndham of Felbrigge was busy all that Autumn in-
specting the preparations along the coast. See Rye's Cromer, p.75

graceful in person, his complexion florid and fair, eyes hazel,
nose rather prominent and thin lips, and manners extremely and un-
usually polished, his talents were of a superior order, great
quickness of perception and much power of reflection; he read muc|
and was extremely well informed and very agreeable in society,"

The engagement was by no means liked by the Quaker parents, a
sixty years before on the marriage of two Gurneys, first cousins,
the Soeiety passed a rule, that in future those who contracted sue
marriages must be disowned. Nevertheless, the wedding took
place at Northrepps Church, January 6, 1807, but none of the pa-
rents attended.

Two marriages had also lately occurred among the Earlham
family, and Rachel Gurney writes:-

May 17, 1807.

"I accompanied my father to Northrepps, to visit our three
dear pairs. The sight of them all so happily married - John
and Elizabeth - Sam and Louisa - Fowell and Hannah - was delight-

"Those who knew this Gurney couple, so rarely endowed both
person and mind will not readily forget them, or their delightful
union, which promised every happiness to themselves and others,
but it pleased God otherwise. Her health, which had never been
very strong, began to give way, and after many illnesses and par-
tial recoveries, she died at Lynn in May, 1808, in a premature

confinement. H

"Never", writes Joseph John Gurney, "can I forget the solemn
Summer evening when our sister's remains arrived at Earlham, the
hearse slowly advancing to the house through the Avenue of Lime
trees, never can I forget the overwhelming woe of our brother."

"John Gurney never wholly rallied from this dreadful blow,his
health had suffered in his attendance upon Elizabeth and from his
having lifted her very often when unable to walk, he had sprained
some muscle, which rendered him partially lame for the rest of his
life." He died in 1814, aged thirty-four.

"They were lovely in life and in death not now separated.
What flowers have been cut off beautiful in person, distinguished
in mind, gifted in spirit.

John with all the dignity of a tall commanding figure, ruddy
of countenance, abundance of curling auburn hair, dark dove-like
blue eyes; surely so beautiful a man has been rarely seen, and
with Elizabeth leaning upon his arm as I can now see them, almost
perfect as a lovely young woman particularly distinguished by the
beauty of her hair, mouth and teeth, none could look upon their
outward forms and the distinguished loveliness of their countenance
without admiration.

Then the mighty work of grace which we saw in him,we could

H Dan Gurney's "Family Reminiscences", and "Memoirs of Rachel
Gurney. Vol. 2.


8 M. S. by Richenda, Mrs Cunningham.

say that in Christ Jesus all things became new to him and both he
and his young wife were early called to the marriage supper of the
Lamb." • 8

"Elizabeth Ourney was cut off at a period in which the large
circle of brothers and sisters and cousins were very remarkable in j
the enjoyment of this world's highest prosperity. It suddenly
arrested the stream of prosperity and earthly happiness of the fam-
ily." It drove the whole circle to seek light and comfort from j
the highest source and resulted in the eternal happiness of the
poor widower, who before had largely held the fashionable free-thinl
ing views of the day. The sisters, Catherine and Richenda, as
the result of deeper thought, both shortly joined the Church, and
according to the former's "Family History", had the effect of de-
ciding two first cousins, Anna Buxton, afterwards Mrs Forster, and

Hannah Gurney, afterwards Mrs Backhouse, to become strict Friends.


To return to Mrs and Mrs Gurney, they about this time, let the
Cottage to Sir George Hoste, and paid their annual Autumn visit to
the Hall, as in former days.

Catherine Gurney writes from there:-

Northrepps, November 29, 1810.
"I am writing in Anna's room at Northrepps, while she is busy
on the floor as usual. I had a comfortable ride here on Sunday

8 The family journals refer to his sarcastic mind.

with my Uncle and Aunt, and found Sarah (Buxton) and Anna (Gurney)
very glad to see me, and it has been a great pleasure to see both
my pupils going on so well. Sarah now makes the study of the |
Scriptures her first object, and besides this she is hard at work
at Greek with Anna, I should never be surprised at her becoming a
very superior character, there are no common materials to be
turned to account in her, she and I spend two or three hours to-
gether in the first part of every morning, and I have scarcely ever
enjoyed so much reading with anyone else, and in the latter part
of the morning she and Anna and I read something else together.
I scarcely ever had two pupils so rich mentally, or so interested
in all our pursuits; it is quite a treat to me to be with them.
It is a real comfort to me also to be with my Uncle and Aunt, my
Uncle declines perceptibly and is in a sweeter state of mind than il
have ever seen him in before, so content under his infirmities,
though fully aware of the decline of all his powers. My Aunt's
conduct to him is quite an example."

A few months after, on 16 July, 1811, Richard Gurney died at I
his principal residence - Keswick Hall, near Norwich, aged sixty-
nine .

Catherine Gurney writes an account of his funeral:-


Earlharn. July 24,1811.
"We passed through yesterday more comfortably than might have
been expected. Nothing passed at Meeting calculated-to give
pain. Dear Eetsy's company has been most acceptable to us all,
she did not speak at the Meeting or the grave, but in our solemn
sitting in the drawing-room at Keswick, she prayed most sweetly,
there were very few there, except the very nearest relations,
Not another word was said at Keswick, nor could any desire an ad-

When we arrived at the grave-yard (Gildencroft, Norwich),
numbers were already assembled, Ann Burges only knelt down in
prayer. At the Meeting, Henry Hull stood a long time exhorting
all to profit by the solemn occasion, two of the women Friends
spoke and I think Henry Hull finished the Meeting by prayer.

My dear Aunt was an example of meekness, fortitude and resig-
nation the whole day; she was up in the morning giving all the or
ders, perfectly tranquil through the whole Meeting and dined at
the head of the table with the greatest composure afterwards.

Gatty Hanbury and dear Anna only sat with us before Meeting,
they did not go there."

Mr Gurney left his houses at Keswick and Northrepps to his
widow for life. She was peculiarly kind, gentle and benevolent.
She had not much force of character, which all her children had,
and in consequence her influence was not great over them, her gene

—-.-..... M

■ LaJUyTt- door. -J^cn-N sHxivs m >*M*~z*l

rosity and denial of self almost amounted to faults, everybody
loved "Aunt Gurney", but she did not inspire respectful few'.
When at Keswick, her carriage, a plain-coloured one, with old black
horses, was to be seen in Norwich most days, she going there after
the poor. When at Northrepps she employed the daughter of the
Gamekeeper Davidson, who afterwards married Edmund Beare, a farmer,
and died in Cromer, 1877, and who used to speak of helping Mrs
Gurney in the Study, in which were many cupboards well filled with
materials for the poor, and to whom she would say, "Come Sarah,
bring thy thimble and scissors and we will cut and contrive."

I have known many old villagers who knew and loved "Madame
Gumey", and "Lady Gurney", as it was the old-fashioned way of
speaking of a Squire's wife, just as they spoke of her husband as
"Squire", or "Sir Richard". One remembered how her children when
ill, with fever, were entirely fed and kept by her; another, the
kind words and presents on going to service; another, the annual
treat to the school children, and how, after they were ar-
ranged in the back yard in a line, for her inspection, Madame wtuldj
speak kindly to the clean children, but of the dirty would take no
notice. She gave each of the girls a straw bonnet, a white "wislfl
for the neck, and a pair of long gloves coming well up the arm.

Mrs Gurney was tall and had an elegant figure, and wore a
Quaker dress, but not of the most decided character, it usually
consisted of a black silk dress and a short white shawl. There



« 18251

is a sketch of her in a Friend's cap at Stoke Holy Cross, and there
is also a little etching by Amelia Opie, of her in a huge bonnet
and enormous sable fur muff, which was said to have cost £100 and
was annually sent to the furrier in London to be taken care of in
the Summer months; over this she would place r, rose. 8 This mufjj
she left to her niece, Lady Buxton, who gave it to Caroline, f.rs
Hoare, who passed it on to her daughter-in-law Annie Hoare.

This kindly life ended at Keswick at the age of sixty-two, 2
June, 1825. jti There is the following account of the funeral in a
letter from Richenda, Mrs Cunningham, to Louisa, Mrs Hoare.

July, 14', 1825.

"On Thursday morning we all assembled at that solemn Gilden-
croft. I felt a good deal in our all being gathered there once j
again, as well as from the loss of our dear Aunt. The sight of (
dear Anna dragged in her chair by her old servants with Richard !
by her side, following the coffin, was truly affecting. Joseph
(John) knelt by the grave and prayed impressively and beautifully,
and Betsy (Mrs Fry) also gave an encouraging address, dwelling on
the joy and peace which attend the death of the righteous.

The Meeting was crowded by a very mixed multitude. I though!

8 Traditions of Dan and John Henry Gurney

"She was a true Dorca3 and lowly in spirit." J. J. G.

the ministry beautiful and most edifying, and the testimony to
our Aunt's character most just and comforting, but Saran and Anna
did not feel the consolation, they were both stunned, Anna never
shed a tear."

Anna Gurney had been a cripple from ten months old and had
had the unwearied attention of her Mother, who took her annually
to Hinkley in Leicestershire to see some celebrated surgeon there.
She always wore "Irons", but John Henry Gurney could remember her
walking up the Norwich Meeting on crutches, and at Northrepps Hall
a second hand-rail was placed on the stairs for her to pull her-
self up by, but as she became very stout and apparently more help-
less, she finally entirely lived in wheel chairs, that she proj,elld
with her hands which became very strong.

"She moved about in her self-propelling chair almost as rapid-
ly as others on their feet, and seems to have kept pace with the
active pursuits of her companions in a manner which would have ap-
peared beforehand, well nigh impossible. She actually learned
to swim in her childhood, supporting herself by her hands alone,anc
she used to speak of accompanying her brother in his shooting ex-
cursions in her chair and even learning to fire a gun. She was
educated chiefly by her sister Elizabeth and other relations, af-
terwards followed by a tutor, whose only complaint was that he 1
could not keep pace with her eager desire for and rapid acquisi-

I 1825

tion of knowledge." 8

She was soon perfectly versed in modern languages, Latin,
Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Anglo-Saxon and more or less with some
others. It is said she was found when quite young with an Anglo
Saxon grammar under her pillow, and one of her last undertakings
was the commencement of a compilation of derivations from the He-
brew into Greek, English and German, to show the common origin of

Her greatest work was "A Literal Translation of the Anglo-
Saxon Chronicle", in 1819, with a preface by her intimate friend
Sir Francis Palgrave. It was published only a few weeks after ai
other translation by the Rev. Willi&m Ingram, which was the first
printed in English.

Not only was Miss Gurney's life filled with literary pursuits
but her interest was as great in the far-off oppressed slave, as
the poor peasant near by who needed help.

The school at Overstrand was entirely built by her and Sarah
Maria Buxton, and the Overstrand children constantly were taught
in her house. Above all was her wonderful and practical help to

8 This little account is culled from three short Memoirs of

Anna Gurney, by Mrs Austin in "The Gontloman's Magazine" for Sep-
tember, 1857; "The Fisherman's Friendly Visitor", for January,
1858,-a little periodical Miss Gurney edited for twelve years-,
and a short account by Miss E. J. Whately, in the "Sunday at Home,
for 1880.

f TF ft vufcf k fc* * ^U. (k. ik« \^~y tt^jr ^ § fc**o 2° t***f*-f*f -

the fishermen and sailors in time of danger, for in those days
ship-wrecks were far more constant than happily is now the case,
since the passing of the Plimsol's Acts. She would go down to
the cliff, whatever the storm was, to encourage and direct the men
in their endeavour to help those in sore distress, and would take
the saved ones home, speaking to them in their own tongue, and
when they were warmed and clothed assisting them to their own land.

Anna Gurney left the Society of Friends and was baptized at
Overstrand Church by the celebrated Rev. Leigh Richmond on 25 Oc-
tober, 1826. Every one of her brothers and sisters also left the
Society, though I believe one of the party never formally joined \


the Church.

Three portraits remain of i iss Gurney, one a sketch as a girl,
another water-colour by Richmond, in middle life, and an oil by I
Briggs in later years.

Sarah Maria Buxton was first cousin to Anna Gurney, their I

Mothers having been two Miss Hanburys, and apparently after her f
Mother, (Mrs Buxton's) seconci marriage to the Rev. Mr Henning,she
stayed a great deal at Northrepps with her Aunt and cousin, making I
it a second home. After Mrs Gurney's death in 1825, the two cou-J
sins moved to Northrepps Cottage and were henceforth known as the
•Cottage ladies", although speaking of themselves as "partners".

B Miss Gurney published in 1825 an essay on "The Means of Assist
ance in Case of Shipwreck

Sarah Buxton was tall but slight and. frail and her character
was more like that of her gentle Aunt than of her Mother, whose
powerful mind was much more reproduced in Anna Gurney than in her
own daughter.

There is a portrait of her by George Richmond, at Colne House|
it being a pair to that of her "partner,"

Richard Hanbury Gurney, second son of Richard Gurney, inherit|
ed the Northrepps estate, but never lived there, though he was vei
fond of it for shooting; during his Mother's life, a bedroom - the|
Fawn Room, by the back stairs - was kept for his occasional use

I do not know what happened to the house after 1825, but
either at this time or between 1803 and 1806 it was let to a lady
of the name of Parsons, of whom I know nothing.

In 1828, it was let to Mr and Mrs Buxton, who had been living
for some seven years at Cromer Hall; of which the owner, Mr Wyndl
then required the use.

Sarah Maria Buxton writes:-

Northrepps Cottage.
"On Thursday, January 24, Fowell and Hannah left Cromer Hall
and honored us with a visit, and were with us more or less till
Monday, February 4th, a season of gratification never to be for-
gotten. "

Northrepps Cottage, January 30,18

To Mrs Cunningham

My dearest Chenda,

We are still in our passage from Cromer Hall to Northrepps,
and very comfortably sheltered at the Cottage, with our dear sis-
ters, who are affectionately kind and attentive to us. We find
the help of being here great, it is not only an important conve-
nience, but much more cheering than to be in either house, in the
confusion of furniture heaped in one, or emptied in the other.

I have heartily felt leaving dear Cromer Hall, but my mind is|
now occupied by Northrepps, which I very much like, and I am in-
terested in getting it into order.

We had no solemn parting from Cromer Hall, the family were
so entirely occupied the last morning, that we could have no read
ing. Mrs Upcher and her girls were with us, and we did not wis
to make it a melancholy occasion though we felt it deeply at hear

Thy most affectionate sister

H. Buxton."

Her eloest daughter writes in her journal:-

"Northrepps Hall,February,4,3828.

Here we are! This day we have entered our new abode; begu
that new stage and section of our lives.... Dearest Mamma looked
tired and I thought low, when we went up to bed. After some
conversation we knelt down together and I was much relieved by

8 Mr and Mrs Buxton had lost no less than four chileren, and
the party at this date consist-d of:-

rn Daily Press

Tiaptain !»fl>0vv 1954

Sir—I have read in some old records
of happenings in Nnrthre-pps that Capt.
Manbv, being unable to interest the
inhabitants of coastal places in his .
rocket apparatus. was assisted I
financially by 'the Misses Gurney. of1
Northrepps. and that the first trial was
held on the lawn of Northrepos Hall,
t^e life-line beini? secured to a tall
Iver fir tree. P«"-hans some r»ader
if this was so.—Yours

mav know




Priscilla aged
Edward "



John Henry "


Richenda "


Thomas Fowell "


Charles "


pouring out my full heart for her. 8

The party were scarcely settled at Northrepps before Mr Buxtc
was called to London to resume his Parliamentary labors in con-
nexion with the Mauritius Slave Trade, and his efforts for the Ho
tentots which were crowned with complete success. It was at th
time that a village on the Kat river was called after Mr Buxton,tl
schoolroom, used also as a church, being chiefly paid for by him.

When at home they found many and various interests. There

is a sketch done by Mrs Buxton in 1828 or 1829, of a curious ex-

periment by Anna Gurney, of Captain Manby's Gun for 3aving life
from wrecks, which was tried on the lawn at the Hall, the rope be
ing fastened to the Silver Fir, which then, as now, was the high-
est and most prominent tree there, in spite of its having lost ae\
eral feet from the top, about 1860.

Priscilla Buxton writes:-

September 24.

"Overstrand Church was rather pleasant, Mr Wilberforce*sBbe-
haviour quite edifying, nice dinner and evening, Mr Wilberforce
most beaming in mind, I have never seen him brighter. He is al-
together a glorious sight. The honor that encircles his hoary
head, the brilliancy of his genius and the light of his mind, con-
trast with the decrepitude of body."

December 1st.

There was a great storm and the sea getting up rapidly, Harry
Buxton, who was at Cromer, mounted his poney, and rode up to North
repps to tell Cousin Anna^and his father. He writes, "As I was
going, I saw the ship coming in at a terrible rate; Cousin Anna
went off to Sidestrand, and my f"tlt«r to Crn_.er; when I arriv-
ed there the ship was ashore by the gangway. The crew was safe
and hundreds of oranges were floating about."

August 4th.

We are really anxious about Harry, he coughs and complains of
pains in his chest. Yesterday was his baptism. Soon after
breakfast we went to Overstrand, the ceremony was peculiarly sat-
isfactory and delightful. V<< ?^

8 The celebrated William Wilberforce had stayed with the Buxtons
at Cromer, 1822; The Hon. Mrs Upcher mentions meeting him on
this visit.

March 25, 1830. Cu~7 v+*A

Mr Law*was introduced to us by Mr Clowes on the 18th- gen-
tlemanlike, quiet, not offensively pious on a first introduction,
perhaps we may suit.

Sep. 29, 1830.

There was a great run (Smuggling), about a fortnight ago at
Beckhithe. Howes and Harrison are clear, we have not ventured
to enquire as to the others. Implication in this system, seems
to produce great confusion of conscience, if not callousness.
It makes them very unimpressible.

It is generally said that the people do not consider smug-
gling wrong, therefore practise it without hesitation. I am on
the contrary, rather inclined to think that they do not see the
distinction, which more refined moralists would with some justice
make between this and other breaches of the law, and that they
feel it wrong while they practise it.... Whatever be its intrinsic
degree of guilt, it certainly Teads into much that is evil.

On Friday the Preventive Officers and men searched the plan-
tation - part of a keg of brandy was found, sixteen bottles of
brandy and two of gin - nearer the Hill House than ourselves.
I am afraid that I rather enjoyed the location.... However, there
is not much cause for us, and it is painful to see to what temp-
tation our tenants and people are exposed.

March 12, 1830.

Yesterday George moved the drawingroom flower bed bodily, with
3 ft depth of soil, to please a whim of his mistress, who prefer-
ed a transverse to a longitudinal view of it.

The churchyard turf, the people tell him, wil3 do no good, it
will never, they say, grow nor will anything grow on any mould from
a churchyard. However, as it was only taken off the path, their
feelings are not offended.

Note by R.H.J.G.

For many years smuggling played an important part in
the lives of Northrepps and Overstrand people, in which many, but
not all, seem to have taken some share.

Olc; Edmund Summers was the chief, and when there was
a run,called out his allies, who took horses and carts (from the
farmers?) and conveyed the goods - spirits, tobacco, silk and lace -
to the hiding places, or as far as possible inland.

William Silver remembers as a boy (about 1830), having
to drive a cart three nights running to Norwich, not by the turn-
pike, but by the unfrequented Col3>y road: the men were paid in
money, and perhaps in some goods. Many had secret niches, for
instance the olo Silvers had a receptacle under the floor, and R.H.J.G,
remembers when old Curtis's house was pulled down to make room for
the present Board School, seeing in the kitchen a cupboard with a
false back, the Hall also has had many holes and corners, now most-


ly made into regular cupboards by J.H.G. and R.H.J.G., which are
supposed to have been used in ancient days for goods. In Bull's
Row there was once a gap in the hedge stopped with a dead bush,
which was really an entrance to a smugglers! hole, with which all
the woods abounded, and one of which to this day is called Smug-
glers' Grove, not far from the Church, the tower of which is said
to have been utilised, and which contained ropes and pulleys up
to 1872, as R.H.J.G. remembers, who also remembers the very old
Mrs Curtis saying to J.H.G.

"We al'es had very good understand with the folks in fureign

Some of the old people remember a great seizure of horses, carts,
etc. which were to be sold by auction at Cromer. One of the horses
(a black one), really belonged to Mr Playford, who went to Cromer and
called to his horse, who promptly followed his master home. No
sooner was it reached than the animal was well dredged over with
flour, etc. and when the Officers appeared there was no black horse,
only a grey, and so they left discomfited.

The last run was during the last Cromer races, about 1851 - 2,
when all the initiated in the crowd saw a Yarmouth boat hovering
off the coast, and which managed to land its cargo at Beckhithe,
that night, but the Preventive Officers getting wind of it, caught
several men who were imprisoned, they also went in pursuit of old
Summers, who then lived at Foundry House, but they only got hold
of his coat tail as he fled through the back door to live in the
woods (mostly in Foxhill), for several months, till the quest died

out. Occasionally an odd woman was seen in the street, and once
some child called out,

"Why that du fare like Ted Summers", but was promptly squashed
by the elders.

I believe the last attempt to smuggle in the neighbourhood
was when "the Cottager" was taken, between 1850 and 1860.

Hasborough Light-ship.

The constant loss of life at sea, was so ever present in
I iss Gurney's thoughts that she used her influence with such ef-
fect that Trinity House placed a light-ship off Happisburgh or
Hasbro', which for many a long year was called the "Gurney light",
and is I believe still so called by the Fisherman. The follow-
ing correspondence was about it.

Haseborough Light.

Aug 29. 1830.

Yesterday I had a great pleasure; T.F.B. has fairly set his
shoulder to the Hasborough Sands, and it already seems to me that
he has given them a shove. He and M1* W. had a conference at
which I was present; Mr Wheatley 3tated that the reason of the
present frequency of accidents is that formerly vessels from the
North always went to the W. of the Dudgeon Sands, there being a
good channel between that and Races Sands, so called after the
keeper of the Dudgeon light, who first discovered it twenty years
ago. That this channel has been filling up and within the last
five years has become impracticable. Thus vessels are compelled
to go outside or to the E. of the Dudgeon, which course carries
them to the East also of the Hasborough Sands and takes them beyond
the sight of the Blakeney and Cromer lights; Mr Wheatley there-
fore says the frequent accidents are not at all owing to the want

of cars in sounding, but to the want of a light at the North end
oi Hasborough Sands. He agrees that a small life boat might be
attached to a floating light and render great service. Sir T.F.B
asked him how many vessels he supposed are on an average yearly
lost on these sands. He said he could not put the number lower
than twenty - what might be the probable value? They are gen-

erally large vessels and could not be estimated at less than £2000
each, making £40,000 per annum. How many lives did he calculate
might be lost every year. The answer was sixty or seventy.
They determined to endeavour to get a petition from ship owners of
the principal Northern ports to the Trinity House. If this does
not succeed Sir T.F.B. will move in the House of Commons for a
Committee. I asked Mr Wheatley if he as a ship owner would
think it worth while to pay the Toll. He said entirely so, a ves-
sel of his nearly got on the sand coming fro* Hand this spring
for want of a light at the Northern end. It is a great relief
to me that this cause is now attached to our "Cassar " and his fortunes
because I think it will now be carried through - or rather I should
say I am thankful that my supineness has met with so very undeserv-
ed a reward, and that after all my delay and idleness an opportu-
nity has still been given of obtaining Mr Wheatley's important evi-
dence i-df interesting so efficient a person as Sir T.F.B. in the
case - I am sure I felt as if a hill of sand were taken off my con-
science .

By T.F.B's desire I have drawn up the following statement and

sent it to Aberdeen &c. to the owners of coal vessels.

Hasborough Sand.

The wrecks occurring on the Hasborough sands are so numerous
and distressing that the inhabitants of the adjacent coast feel it
their urgent duty to endeavour to obtain some remedy for these ca-

Within the last four or five years the wrecks have increased
owing it is supposed to the filling up the passage to the Westward
of the Dudgeon light, which obliges vessels coming from the North
to go to the Eastward of Dudgeon light and brings them in a new
direction upon the Hasborough sand. It is therefore thought that
a floating light at the North end of Hasborough sand would prevent
many accidents. As it is probable however, that some wrecks
will always occur, and there is no possibility in most instances
of sending assistance from the shore (a distance of twelve miles
or more) it is thought that if a small lifeboat were attached to thd
Floating Light it might save many lives. - vessels frequently go
to pieces in twenty minutes after they have struck on these sands;
there are doubtless many which never come to his knowledge, but
the cases in which he has been able to identify the wrecks, have

had to write to the owners of fifteen vessels ascertained to be

reported seven wrecks; in 1829 fourteen vessels are known to have

of late years especially been very numerous.

In 1827

wrecked on these sands from Northern ports alone.

In 1826 he

been wrecked there, and five this year, 1830 (up to August)

Mr Wheatley states that for the last four or five years, when-
ever the wind has been from the N.E. or E.N.E. he has always been
sure to see or near of vessels lost on the Hasborough sands - that
he is convinced that a great number of vessels and crews are lost
unseen by any one and that he cannot calculate the yearly losses
at an average of less than twenty vessels, fifty or sixty lives
and £30,000 or £40,000 of property.

Mr Wheatley is of opinion that a Floating Light with a small
lifeboat attached to it stationed at the North end off this sand,
would prevent much of the evil to the ship owners of the Port of

concur in this opinion and will they unite in a petitior
to the Trinity House for this object?

Sep. 29. Sir T.F.B. has been in London and I am thankful to
say brings hope that if we get the Petition, the Trinity House
will establish the light. Stockton has helped us famously at
Hull, and I am now waiting with some impatience for a good charge
of paper to let fly at once at the Board. I do not see that I
can do anything else at present.

Jan. 14 . .1831. The promise oj the Floating Light is a
great satisfaction. Last month two vessels were lost for want
of it.

T.T.R. to A.G.

Jan. 1. 1832.

My dear Anna,

Long life to the new Light and to the determination (some
people call it obstinacy) which extracted it from the reluctant
Brethren of the Trinity House.

I hope that it will save fifty lives every year, and that
every first of January you may feel cheerful and happy in the con-
ciousness that you have done some real good to the Mariners.

The ladies are talking so loud and so fast on the subject of
Indian rubber shoes, which seemsto engross their mind3 this
first Sabbath of the year, that I can say no more, except dearest
love and best wishes to Sarah.

Yours ever,

T.T\ Buxton.

To Miss Gurney.

Extract from

letter of

T.T\B. to





On Board the "Monarch"

Aug. 12, 1836.

We have made a little way yesterday off Cromer in the

Si j

evening. I had a long conversation with the Captain about Hap-
pisburg Light.
It ran thus:-

T. P. B. "Has that light done any good?"

Captain. "It is always doing good. It is the greatest comfort
of my life. It was too dangerous to be out at sea on
dark winter nights. I was obliged to keep by Sher-
ringham & Cromer, and that was dangerous enough. But
now I run to Happisburg Light as if I were in a rail-
road. "

T. F. B. "Has it saved many vessels or many lives?"

Captain. "That it has; you may fairly calculate it saves a crew

for every gale. It has already saved hundreds, it

will save thousands and thousands more."
T. F. B. "A lady who lived yonder did that job. She worried

the Trinity Company into it. They said it would do

no good."

Captain. "I wish they had been aboard my vessel; they would have
known in a gale whether it was wanted. I tell you,
whoever did that, ought to have her heart dance when
a gale is blowing, for then her work is saving human

February 24th, 1830.
"I (Priscilla), have been to the brink of the grave. In Nov
ber bad quinzy v/as followed by distressing and almost incred-
ible weakness, I was exhausted next to death."

Priscilla Buxton had a terribly delicate childhood, but gradi
ally outgrew it.
She writes:-

November 5, 1830.
"I have been very busy indeed this week with my new Clothing
Charity at Little Northrepps. We had thirty-seven women assem-
bled on Saturday in the Servants' Hall. I received their money,
accomplished our business, and then made them a speech, a very
striking one it was, I must say, and brought many of my audience
to tears.

Our assembly ended by their each having a famous plum loaf t<
take home. I sold them six prayer books and got twenty subscril
era for Bibles. H Besides this we are in the act of establishini
an infant school, This has long been an object of my desires,

and Aunt Chenda at last, with her magical touch, has accomplished

H In Lady Buxton's memoirs mention is made of the Bible Societ;

in Northrepps in 1827.

The building formerly used for an Infant School and since
the Board School was founded, as a second reading room, in Cros-
dale Street, was built through the influence of these girls.

it for me. We have chosen a poor woman (Mrs Susan Storey), who
can read and sing and who has a good large kitchen, for the mis-
tress. I am sitting in the ante-room, dearest Harry asleep, Mam
ma knitting by him, Papa asleep in the great chair, Christianna
Glover H reading to them.

T. P. Buxton writes to Dr Philips at Cape Town:-

Northrepps Hall, November 10,L830.

"My dear Friend,

I must not let my wife and daughter's letters go without a
line to tell you that I have very sincerely sympathized with you ir
the trials to which you are exposed.. . My poor boy is at the gates
of death. To-day we took the Sacrament together(in the ante-roon
about twelve o'clock, when his Aunts^Sarah, Catherine, and Priscilld
Chenda, Miss Glover, Mr and Miss Clowes and his parents surrounded
his peaceful couch).

As a little child leans upon his Mother, so our dear Harry
leans upon his Saviour. He knows the event which is coming, and'
is prepared to meet it with entire serenity.

Excuse me for saying so much on a subject which engrosses a]1

our thoughts..... Our slavery concerns go on well, I,have a

hundred, perhaps a hundred and fifty petitions waiting for me in
London, but I do not leave home at present.

8 The governess, whose sister invented the Sol Fa system.
Mr Clowes was the tutor, and lived at Colne House.

Cut with wou MlMor*,

(•fed 13 jrwt)
wtthont Drawing or nwebiiK.

November, 19.

"Our precious beloved one is gone. His dear spirit departed
yesterday afternoon at 3. We stood in solemn silence round....
He had sunk into the most profound peace of body and mind.... We
knelt down and his father returned thanks for having seen him
brought safe into the haven of everlasting rest. We kissed his
beautiful forehead and then went downstairs, where we met the dear
children, Cousin Anna, Mr and Mrs Clowes ana the servants, and as-
sembled in the drawing-room for a solemn meeting. My father read
the last chapter of Revelation and gave thanks. The grace of
God enabled my Mother to receive her younger children with composur
and to tell them that Harry was gone to glory, to the New Jerusalem
about which they had all read together; and then to address us and
the servants, and tell many fresh particulars of Harry and all

without any apparent great effort.........

During this conversation Uncle Joseph John entered the room,
His ministry helped us through the next few days.
Mrs Upcherwrites:-

"I have been to the Hall and Cottage to-day. I am not enthu-
siastic when I say Northrepps Hall is, as it were, the very gates
of heaven.... It was like a visit to an angel I thought when I
came out of the dear Mother's room last night.. . Her weakness,
great depression, wondrous exaltation, exquisite kindness and
consideration for the feelings of every individual, is the most

B Buxtons, son and nephew.

splendid, the most touching spectacle in the world.... The chance!
of Overstrand is in ruins and in the midst of the area the vault
is sunk which contains the earthly remains of this child of brigh

T. F. Buxton writes:-

Nortnrepps,January 31st, 1831.
"I feel this morning more than usual dejection, partly occa-
sioned perhaps, by the prospect of leaving tnis quiet place on
Tuesday and plunging once more into the distracting cares and
hurries of Parliament and business, but still more by the painful

picture which suddenly burst upon me yesterday. I took the boys


Edward and Edmund and the two Upchers to shoot on the barren hil!
opposite the coast. The ground was covered with snow, the sea
was dark and fretful. I went along the town side and turned up
one of the most distant hillocks, and there I placed myself, and
then in a moment a picture burst upon me, which made this one of
the most melancholy moments of the last melancholy year. On
that same hillock, about the same day two years ago, I stood.
Nature seemed as if she had not changed, the same surface ,of white
beneath my feet, and the sea bearing the same blackening aspect,tl
gamekeepers and dogs in the same hollow, and the boys exhibiting
the same eagerness - all was the same, with one sorrowful exceptia


^ir Stomas goMl Qxxdm tor Jris (-('life,



'M KNOW that I leave thee dejected, my dearest;

G>~> Those looks of deep sadness have haunted my view;

My home is before me in colours the clearest;

But my heart is still aching while thinking of you.

I think of thy nights, which are wasted by tears,

I think of thy days, and the gloom which attends them;

I recall the events of so many sad years,

And share in the anguish which memory lends them.

But cheer up, my darling, with the prospect before thee;

These afflictions arc light, and a moment their date,
Compared with those transports of joy, and of glory,

Which (blessed be our God) thy pure spirit await.

A mourner, a pilgrim, an exile no more,

l?ut a glorified guest in the Mansions Shove;

There thou shalt perceive, and perceiving adore,
That each sorrow was sent on a mission of love.

Thy sisters, thy babes, and e'en thy bright Harry,
Surround tbee, caress thee, thy coming attend;

There lie reigns who redeemed thee; «mtl there thou shalt tarry
In perfection of bliss, and that bliss without end.

IIORt XV. »T*rr, 1' m N 1 1 1:, NUftWICH.

dearest Harry was nearest to me on the former occasion, his quid:
eye perceived a wild duck sailing near the sea, and we observed it
alighting in a pond near the farm below us. I sent him, full of
life and alacrity as he was, to secure the bird.in his hand and th
pleasure I felt afe his pleasure: and now I see nothing but the
churchyard where his bones repose, dear fellow I How large a
portion of my life and joy lies there I How has the world changed
with me since that joyful hour ! But there is this comfort, if
we are left to sad recollections, he is gone to eternal security
and peace.

December 31st, 1831.
The interect oi tni3 day is great, the close of another year
and commencement of a new one, and to complete the feeling, our
most dear Edward left us this morning,to begin his career in Brick

Lane. U^s&t- <n- /*u**o:^5 L^m

Miss Clowes writes of Northrepps Hall, in 1833:-
"I have in my memory vivid visions of that sunny court, bril-
liant with flowers, .the "Cottage ladies" in their glory, invaluable
helpers in all philanthropic objects to their adored chief, Mr Bux-
ton, he, poor worn-out M. P. fatigued from slavery work, sauntering
on the lawn or driving out in his high mail phaeton, with Mrs Buxto
and Priscilla behind, charming and happy, the drives to Sheringham
(Upchers) or Felbrigge (Windhams) and then the evenings 1 when
Mr Buxton would lie on the sofa and his anxious wife would sigh

8 I believe he always spoke of these as "Bible and water."

over his worn appearance. Then the Cottage ladies would appear,
bright and cheery, with choice matters of interest to arouse his
spirits, Miss Anna Gurney rolling herself in her wheeled chair in
which she always sat.

There were Sunday evening Meetings in the old Hall, held in
the dining-room, for the country people and visitors, besides the
invited guests, and Mr Buxton's own household. The Overstrand
fishermen occasionally came, those rough, weather-beaten old men,
with long flowing hair. The stout ploughmen and the farm maidens
were already assembled. It was a simple service as conducted by
the Master of the Hall without formality and with great solemnity,
and after the chapter in the Bible was read, his own well-digested,
well-arranged and homely remarks were made, well adapted to his
village hearers."

"It has been said of him that he never, either in private or
public, as an orator in the House of Commons, or as the Chaplain
of his domestic service, left his auditors in doubt of his meaning

The cottagers loved and respected T. F. Buxton, who was at
once the country gentleman and the friendly neighbour, He did
so many kind and thoughtful little things for them. When asked
by a poor neighbour to buy a joint of pork, he would buy two, one

» The Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton.

one for himself and one for the seller. "It was so cruel a thi
he would say, "for the poor labourer to part with all his pig." 8

London, May, 10, 1833.
"My dearest husband went off yesterday, manfully to oppose
Government, resting himself and his cause upon an Arm of Almighty
Power. "

On the 14th May, he presented a petition bearing 187,000 sig-
natures from the women of Great Britain in favour of the abolition
of Slavery. The roll was so enormous that it required four men
to lay it on the table at the House. On the 28th August, the
Bill for the abolition of Slavery received the Royal assent.

Priscilla, who had acted as Secretary to her father, writes
to her Aunt at the Cottage:-

"After this letter I think I must burn my paper and pens,and
give my poor tired wrist, which is nearly worn out and always ache
some rest. I am tired, most utterly tired, of writing and of
everything connected with work. . As to petitions, I only wis
I mipht never see the face of another, what a bad mind you will
think I am in ! "

In the following June, she became engaged to Mr Andrew John-
ston, M. P. of Renny Hill, Fifeshire, and writes:-

Thursday, 31st.

"Here is the eve of my wedding day, I am going to lock up my

desk and close my single life \ m

Her account of the wedding, which took place from their Lon-
don house, in Devonshire Street, is as follows:-

■Breakfast was in the drawing-room, my dearest father read
Psalm 103, and followed it by fervent prayer, for the slaves and
then for me. After breakfast I helped to adorn my lovely brides
maid and sister, and soon Kitty, Elizabeth and Pris, arrived. J.

I was so bright, I let them all come into my room, and in gle
I was dressed in my bridal white satin. The girls were a sight,
one more beautiful than another; they were in fairy white, and
all wore natural flowers, mostly in their hair. The scarlet
geranium in Kitty's shining locks was one of the most lovely pic-
tures I ever saw. But I am forestalling. At length I was
dressed, my white shoes pinched me dreadfully, but the girls only
laughed at my cramp. Uncle Cunningham came up to see me, and
soon all drove off: then my parents and I. My bridesmaids were
standing about the church door, and others of the party; many
caught my hand as I passed and as I walked up the side aisle with
my father, my mother and Edward next, then Mr Johnston and Chenda.
By the Altar sat Aunt Sarah and Anna Gurney. My father made a
great muddle, and would hardly let me get to tne rails, and after
all settled himself on Mr Johnston's side ! At length however,

H Gurneys of Ham House, who became Lady Buxton, Madame de Bun-
sen and Mrs Leatham.

we were put right, nearly sixty round us. Uncle Cunningham read
the service to my hearts content.

"I will", said Mr Johnston, in so sturdy a manner and so broad
an accent that I (inwardly) laughed. My voice and power were
astonishing to myself, but I should leave others to tell of my su-
perior behaviour. How each word seemed to sink into my heart !
We proceeded to the Vestry, where there was plenty of kissing and
signing of names - my father, Edward and Chenda, Sir A. Agnew and
Sir H. Verney, the witnesses. We r*rove home, Bessie and Pris
ready to receive us, and I felt quite in glee; we had cake and
wine and talked and laughed. I quite enjoyed greeting everybody
and felt thoroughly happy and at ease. My Mother and I were
alone for a few minutes: she was wonderful through the whole day,
up to everything, attentive to everybody, and looking beautiful.

After sufficient loitering the party gathered, and my father
took his place by the table in the drawing-room. He read several
passages, and his prayer was noble - most bold and steadfast -
first for the slaves, and to my comfort, he found words for me,but
with a faltering voice. Are they not more to me than silver and
gold ? I was relieved by tears; he came and sat by me on the
sofa while a hymn was sung. I could hardly detain him tillEd-
mund Buxton appeared bringing in the salver. The inscription was
then read:-

To Thomas Powell Buxton Esq. M. P.
Presented by his nephews and nieces
August 1st 1834,
With the humble but earnest desire,that they may
be enabled to act through life upon those high prin-
ciples which have led him with undaunted resolution
to pursue the noble object, by the blessing of God
this day accomplished in the
Abolition of Slavery
Throughout the British Dominions

v' XA j

Itt, ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.

You may imagine how the Latin at the end spoke to my heart I
My father was extremely overcome, he burst into tears and threw
himself back. It was a most affecting and interesting sight
for all. Soon after this the children and youth all went into
the garden and diorama. I finished off one or two little matters
talked to one and another, and came down to luncheon, flowering
myrtle and pomegranate in my hair. The party, consisting of fif-
ty-two, were all fittingly seated, our five bridesmaids opposite us
were as beautiful as a sight could be. Everyone was speedily
helped, champagne circulated, and in process of time Mr Cunningham,
in a very kind speech, proposed the health of Priscilla Johnston.

They would all get up, and after my husband's thanks and my
father's health, Mr Cunningham, with his usual fertility, began a

rigmarole about the descent of the Northern barbarians, ending with
"Mr Johnston." He could say nothing, I said aloud, "I think I
ought to return thanks for the "Northern barbarian", which was re-
ceived with great applause. Some lines were then read by Anna
Gurney, which excited the astonishment of all. They proved to be
Miss Hoars's, and truly valuable and interesting they are. Twice
they were read and a poem my father had got, and then I read to
the company Cowper's "Morning Dream". I quite liked it. Soon
after we moved and I very quickly changed my things and dressed in
my dove-coloured silk, blue bonnet, white scarf and veil. I did
feel it excessively when I took leave of my precious Mother up-
stairs, with many tears. My father almost carried me downstairs,
and would scarcely let me speak to anyone. All the world was ga-
thered at the drawing-room door. I kissed the front row, and
dearest Aunt Sarah and Cousin Anna in the dining-room, and we were

From Anna Gurney.

Northrepps Cottage, May 12,18&4

"My dearest Priscilla,

It just comes into my mind to give you a little sketch of
our state and condition, I wish you could just now see us in our
very quiet life, at this moment my partner playing some gay tune
while I am writing - door open into the drawing-room - I often long
to record the happiness of these days, but you might as well try

to bottle the fragrance of the furze blossoms, and after all there
is a shivery sense of its not lasting. So far we are very com-
fortable and tolerably prudent. My partner has just given up
coming down to (family) reading, so I expound Jeremiah to myself
and Randell, etc. We have perched up a new gallery in the churcH
at Overstrand, it is over the door, and the organ is to stand there
It was not however, finished yesterday, but the church was so full,
we were glad to tumble up my boys into it sailor fashion, a feat
they enjoyed performing for the benefit of our eyes. There were
fourteen of them, and a diadem they were to our congregation, not
above two of them asleep, and the others far too delighted with
their perch to think of absconding.
I really am as pleased with my converts as St Paul could have been
with his "saints that were at Ephesus", and gave them much the same
advice, viz., to let all clamour be put away from them.

I hope you will not think me in a naughty mind, for I am in a
remarkably good one. I have had two days of fishing - a few
soles that would have made your father sing for joy; no curios-
ities, but one nasty creature that I felt bound to preserve for
Charles, and so I bundled it into my tract case, and he is such a
monster that I do not like to look for him, and take him out.
Do not let your father forget that if he wants any Dutch books or
papers over-hauled, I can do it for him, and with great glee, if
he will employ me."

8 The present church at Overstrand was not built till .

ft There was also a barrel organ at Northrepps Church, which the
ladies also attended.

The Cottage ladies took a great interest in Overstrand Church.l
A portion had long been in ruins, but about half of the Nave was
still used, and regularly attended by the ladies, Miss Gurney al-
ways sitting in the low gallery. H

At one time she presented the church with a small barrel or-
gan, then often used, of the nature of a musical box. This in-
strument could play twelve tunes, and was set going the next Sunday
the congregation sang through the first hymn and doubtless ended,bv
not so the organ, which went through the second, and as nobody
could remember how to stop it, it had to be finally carried into
the churchyard, where it was heard playing out the remainder of its
tunes !

Another letter from the Cottage, this time from S.M.Buxton is

Northrepps Cottage .February 1^ ,1835

"My dearest Niece,

In this storm I will write to you. Perhaps a gale without
may sober down the hurricane of my impetuous feelings within,and
I may be able, under the bustle of the morning,to slide in easily
a letter to you.

8 The maid, afterwards Mrs J.ore.

p Stephen Rogers, the^manservant. hf> u ru^>ly *** '*

it^^ ^ k*U s.W< 9- UtZu&J

' ^ C.v.^te W,^vt

The wind is blustering at our windows, the boughs and even t!i
stems of the trees, roc'ing to and fro, Wamba asleep on the chair,
one puss on one sofa and Spot on the other, a primrose in the war-
mer window ami one little stand of glasses for hyacinths in another
but the green buds scarcely show themselves yet. I had no desire
for January's blossoms since my flower was not here to admire them.

My eyes are towards the cliff, and I write to you by snatches,

I run to the kitchen to make sure that we have hot water, soup and

fires. We have had no reading as a family and scarcely any sleep

from anxiety, and before six we heard that a crew of nine men had

left their sinking vessel in their little boat and had reached the

shore, off Cromer in safety. Soon after seven Anna started in


her pony-chair, with Hannah Roper and William, she returned alone
half an hour since, a little boy only following her. She looked
distressed, but could not wait, or I, face the wind in our porch.
Stepherr^jumped in to return with her and her little hand-gun, with
it3 lines etc. I made another messenger scamper to the Hall, and
very shortly the "Chief of ten thousand" on John Bull with coat-
flaps flying, galloped by. I can only gather that there is an-
other vessel off Cromer in peril, striving to come in. Oh !
May the lives be spared \ Another report - the vessel has struck

The Cottage ladies were particularly hospitable and from hav-
ing more rooms to spare than the Hall party, had really at this
time more visitors. Among them was the brilliant Mrs Amelia Opi<
a lifelonr friend, and an annual guest. On one occasion she
wri tes: -

"Such a good nirhtl we read as usual,afterwards dear Anna was
dragged in her chair to visit the cottages and sea. The cold on
going out was intense, the snow in our faces. Went to the cliff
and saw on the shore planks and baulks which a most angry sea had
washed up, a wreck no doubt. My dear friend ordered the men to
bt on the alert and watch, lest any vessel 3hould be in distress
on the coast, that the mortar might be used. Drew three like-
ne ses, two reckoned very good."

and with glasses from our cliff, some poor creatures were seen get
ting into the boat, and they were lost! and our watchers say they
can see some still on the vessel; and at this moment I conclude
your father has joined Anna, and they are laboring to save them!

Anna now home - sullen with cold and pain; she is taking off
her things; and I shall hear more when she can bear it, you know
how her heart writhes under the torture of a calamity - hope quenc
ed and live lives lost before her eyes!

MP *1


On the 12th April, 1836, the eldest Buxton son, Edward, was
married to his cousin Catherine Gurney of Ham House.

To them Priscilla Johnston wrote:-

"I only wish thee could see the very interesting party assem-
bled - Dr Phillips (from Cape Town), my father, Anna and Andrew,
the table, each with a copy of the huge Blue book before them and
pens in handl It is surprising how well tney work together.
The Notes Dr Phillips has brought are really capital as an abstra
oftheevidenpe;bones they are, and Anna has the flesh ready for th
she has fine bones too. Dr Phillips reads his, she hers, then
they discuss, make notes and settle it.

My father is uncommonly bright, and Anna sets to work with a
kind of intensity which is most interesting to see. We all sit
round, I say, like ostriches' eggs, outside the nest, to look on
give our assistance from time to time. Aunt Sarah and I on one
sofa, my Mother and Chenda on the other, and just now Miss Glover
and the boys are sitting by the window, as they are to-day over t
Caffre case, yesterday was detoted to the suggestion of remedies,
not so interesting; but how important! Charlie's little clear
voice now pops in an observation; in short we all help."

The following correspondence is of great interest as showing the
great tie of friendship between the Hall and the Cottage and the
wonderful way T. F. B. and A. G. worked together.

T. P. B. to Anna Gurney.

Northrepps. 1836.

My ladies dear,.........But what think you of having saved a na-
tion ? What think you of a lady's talent and industry being
successfully dedicated to such a work? The preservation of a na-
tion is but a tenth part of the victory. There is the example,
the principle, the novelty, of doing justice to savages. What-
ever you may do, I think a great deal about it.

T. F. B. to A. G.

Bricklane. 1836.

..........Don't talk to me about saving a few hundred fishermen

off Happisburg. That is all very well, but the real cause for
your self-complacency is, that owing exclusively to you the commit
tee was formed, and that saved a nation.


..........I must tell you a piece of news, which has made me sing

Northrepps, May 13.

From her Father.—" My dearest Pris.,—I am not going to write to you *
now, but to throw upon paper (which you may read if you please) some
record of yesterday, which was a memorable day with me.

"When I went to breakfast in Charles's day-room I brought in the box
containing the watch ; and having collected the party, I asked Amelia^ Carr
what sho thought ought to be done to a girl who had been good forthirty ^a*-
years together. I then exhibited our splendid prize (which, by the bye, in^ltlfl
called ' the flitch'), made it sing its silver tones, shewed its inscription, which
I admire, and all its beauties. Hannah was really pleased—exceedingly pleased
—gratified and flattered ; so the whole matter went off to perfection. And I
have dwelt, both yesterday and still more to-day, very much on the mercy which
has been showered upon me by a gracious and indulgent Lord. I feel that I
cannot be grateful enough for the heaps and loads of mercies which have
been my lot. Thirty years ago I was married to one I loved with youthful
ardour. I love her ten times more, as might be expected ; but I admire
her at least twenty times as much: I am more of an admirer and lover of
hers than this day thirty years back. What has she not been to me ? Was
there ever so tender, so generous, so disinterested, so refined a creature?
I can truly say that in all that time I never heard from her a harsh word,
or saw her do anything intentionally wrong to me or others; so that may
fairly stand first amongst earthly blessings. The next is a blessing of
a still higher order, derived, indeed, from a higher sourco; but she was
the medium through which it was sent. Her spiritual instruction has been
invaluable to me; constant, invariable, steady, and indefatigable, she sought
and found truth and taught it to mo.

ever since I heard it. It is the most remarkable event in your
life, and it is light itself and liberty and land and tenements to
a whole nation. It is nothing short of this; the hand of the
proud oppressor in Africa has been, under Providence, arrested by
Miss Gurney of Northrepps Cottage, and a whole nation doomed by the
one to exile, ruin and death, has been delivered by the other, and
restored to a degree which surpasses all our dreams. On a given
day the drums were beat in the front of Tatsoe's house, and the
troops were marched back again to British territory and the fertile
and beautiful Adelaide was once more Kaffirland. Surely we must
make a party and pay King Macomo a visit.

That is not all. The whole of the neutral territory
has been restored to the savages. Three thousand square miles
in this quarter ! Only think how delighted must our savage
friends be, and with what feelings they must have viewed our re-
treating army. Well, I am not only proud, but all pride, for I
have done something in this noble victory of right over might.
What I did was to enlist you in the service and I solemnly declare
that to you, under Providence, belongs the chief honour of this ad-
mirable conclusion.

T. F. B. to A. G.


..........The slave trade is uppermost in my mind, but let me give

you, Miss Anna, a great lecture. I hear evil things of you,

namely, that you are so inveterately industrious that you are work-
ing yourself to the death. Pray be more moderate and self-merci-
ful; such desperate efforts do not answer .

How infinitely pleased I shall be if you were rewarded
for your zeal and perseverance by the greatest of all great vic-
tories - and I expect it will be so.

Anna Gurney to T. F. Buxton. 1839.

Saturday fc Sunday, June 9.
Northrepps Cottage.

My dear Master,

I send you up a heap of notes on African education.
They are I fear, rather disjointed, but what I have endeavoured to
do has been to furnish you with references - to pile your bricks
in fact - it is for you to build them into shape.

But it ha3 occurred to me that you might get a sketch of
the actual state of African schools and of the progress of the
children from the two Missionary Societies who have been engaged ir
that country - The Church and the Wesleyan - you will find a strong
er extract than I have given, for attempting the conversion of the
Ashantees from the Wesleyan notices. I enclose it. (no, but
I will get it copied for the next packet).

We quite long to form an acquaintance with young Barra,


how do you treat him T as a sort of Highland chief, I fancy (but
perhaps that is from the name), not exactly like a Prince of Europe.
It would be a capital thing for him to be with gentlemanly, not
merely upright and religious persons. I wish the youth could get
in with your party.

My papers come thus:-

1. Introduction.

2. The paper on human sacrifices (sent on Wednesday).

3. On the Handicraft skill of negroes.

4. On education.

With these I send my old Paper on People and Trade, forming a 2nd
Part to my old Commercial Capabilities - because I have referred to
some large portions - perhaps you would like me to collect more on

I keep my productions to Index and to mark the parts you
have not yet used up, and in London I could index the other parts.

Tell me what points I have not been sufficiently full upon.
Have you made enough of Liberia T

I send you an extract from Captain Arab in. I have left
out the East Coast altogether, but if you touch that, you know we
have a capital paper - by Mr Cooby - on the great civilization of
the Tribes about Delagoa Bay which would dovetail with W. E. F.'s
In fact if you bring forward that side of the question, use it you
must, but it cannot be turned to account without seeing W. E. F.'s
paper. We are rather intensely interested about your plans.


Do not dispose of a Cairo secretaryship without telling us if you
have room for attaches. I have fifty pardons to beg for not
getting all my M.S. fairly copied out. I thought I had better
not delay one day sending you even the rough article, as you want t
write your chapter upon those subjects. But I would get the Se-
cretaries of the Church and Wesleyan Missionary Societies to send
you a statement of the actual condition of their Missions in Africa
from the latest reports. All news you will find in our epistle
to Mrs Buxton. I find Sarah better now on my return from Church.
We are most anxiously wishing to hear about Fernando Po.


A. G.

Mr Richards has, we think, managed the note on the numbers most

Besides the home party of children, Chenda, Fowell, and Charle
they had living with them for some years their cousin Richard Hoare
and kept up a great friendship with another cousin, John Henry Gur-i
ney of Earlh&m, all much the same age. About 1634 the boys form-
ed a Naturalist Society, for which they were to write essays,
John Henry Gurney was their leader, aged sixteen, he wrote as fol-
lows to them:-

"Dear F. and C.,

I am very far from wishing either of you to buy Temminck's
(Natural History) at present, I do not wish you to go by my opinions
but I think myself that it would be worse than useless for you to
go on to any other system of Zoology till you have got Linnaeus
well up. I believe you have no idea how useful it is. A few
days ago, a good Naturalist, and still better Anatomist, told rneth*
he would give almost anything to have learnt the outline of Linnaeu
well off, I would have you attend particularly to the Orders anc
the English names of the genera."

Tne young people had also for many years an Essay Meeting fron
time to time, to which the elders also contributed, and which
Mrs Upcher refers to in her journal, under 1838.

"There have been several capital parties at Northrepps.
There was a sort of revival of the old "Cromer Examiner"? everybody

8 Called also, "The Waste paper Basket."


Parody on "The Loss of the Royal George."

Toll for the cups,

The cups that are no moro,
All smashed beneath the tray,

Upon the drawing floor.

The teapot and the cups

Whose china well were tried,

Had made the servant reel,
And laid him on his side.

The carpet caught his foot,

And he was overset,
Down went the china then,

With all the set complete.

Toll for the cups,

The coffee pot is gone,

No more from out its spout
The coffee brown shall run.

It was not by a broomstick

That George was thus laid low,

No person ran against him,
No footstool caught his toe.

contributed, and a large party met, and they were read by Chenda,
and very amusing it was."

Many of these essays remain, and some, like the description
of the Ham House party, by Chenda, published in "The Gurneys of
Earlham, " page 95, have become really valuable as contemporary

The following is one by Charles, upon the smash of china,but
whether at Northrepps or at the Buxtons' London house in Dewori3hir<
Street, I cannot tell.

His hands were on the handles,
His fingers on the tray,

When George the cups and teapot
Upon the floor did stray.

Pick the china up

Now dreaeed by our toes,
And mingle with the cups.

The tear that Upton owes.

The tray is still unhurt,
And may be used again,

Once more to carry china
Instead of what is slain.

But coffee pot is gone,
Its services are o'er,

And it, and all the 20
Will be of use no more.

The next is a scrap of an essay, written by Elizabeth S.Gurney

upon Mrs Foster's well-known tenderness for cats, which it is said,

she always drowned in milk.

"Aunt Foster's Kittens."

"My dear Aunt,

I herewith send you a cat and kittens "all alive 0"

I have

put up some hard eggs and a bottle of milk with them, so that if

they starve by the way it is not my fault.

My Mother never gave

me any other dinner on a journey when I was young, and I don t see

why they should fare better whatever the

"Cottage ladies" may say.

They feed that bold bad black-headed cat "Wamba" on rich cream
while the Christian maids sink or swim as they can in skimmed milk.
I say Christian maids emphatically, for had they not been Christian
maids and good Christians too, Wamba's tail and ears would have
been whipped off long ago, but I believe it does take Mr Cubitt an
extra long preface of all that may be 3aid every Sunday to keep
them up to the endurance of the cream-for-cat, and skimmed-milk-
for-Christian, system which they have at "the Cottage".

Kill them your own way, my dear Aunt, Hanged or drowned
its all one to me, I assure you, so long as you have the pleasure
of doing it, and they have the happiness of your attentions.
It is a remarkable proof of the variety of human taste that your
love for cats should naturally lead you to wish the poor things
dead, "Safe underground", as Mr Jary said of his Whig friends,
while"the Cottagers", whose love is hardly less strong, almost
wish you dead for wishing them dead.

The following is a letter, not an essay to

Joseph John Gurney. 31st 12th mo. 1838.

"My dearest Uncle,

Papa wishes me to write to thee about the kittens to give the
account of them. First there is thy tortoise-shell kitten, whose
name is Apprenticeship, which does not like to be nursed at all,
and likes the kitchen much better than the dining-room, but she is

rather prettier than the other, whose name is Jamaica, who is a
dark kitten and sits on your shoulder.

Farewell, thy very affectionate niece,


And the following which was an essay, from the Uncle, Joseph
John to his niece, is interesting as being the first reference t
keeping cockatoos at Northrepps.

Die Traurige Chenda.

Until some gentle swain and true
Shall find his heart well smitten,

My husband is a cockatoo,
My bosom friend a kitten.

On silken wing my cockatoo

From house to house was tripping,

Some fifty other maids to woo,
I cured him with a clipping.

My kitten too in water clear,
Deserves a deadly sousing,

For oft he leaves his lady dear,
And skips away - a mousing.

Alas! alas! what shall I do?

With such perfidious rovers?
Avaunt my kit, my cockatoo,

Henceforth I scorn all lovers.

Upton, 8 mo. 1841.

But to return to our history!
"This will reach you all assembled at Northrepps, I shall pic-
ture everything, the garden, court horses' rooms, and above all,
the dear Cottage carriage, driving up. How often indeed is the
image of my dear window and its fringe of red leaves be-
fore me. How thankful I am to hear you are so nicely (dear Mo-
ther), and sitting to Delacourt." 8


"My dearest Anna,

I must tell you, the Aborigines'Meeting went off in fine style
My father spoke for an hour"out of Miss Gurney", he says, Uncle
Gurney uttered the musical voice of the Earlham race beautifully,
and the society has got a nice launch,

It is odd, and we are very proud to think of the moving spirit
down at the Cottage built to shoot pheasants, now employed to stir
continents! That Meeting and all its soul would not have been
but for Miss Gurney. I think Aunt Sarah may be proud; her part-
ner only looks sulky, I dare say and teases ¥amba.

Most lovingly,

P. J.

Mrs Upcher tells us of a dinner party in December at Northrepp
given purposely "to see the two presents ray friend had just had
presented to him from Weymouth - one a handsome candalabra from his

8 From P. Johnston's journal, September, 28, 1837.

constituents accompanied by an address, a specimen of beautiful
penmanship and couched in flattering and gratifying terms, such as
were due to him and did credit to the offerers - the other a silver
snuffbox with inscription, presented on a velvet cushion by the
young people.

The party was large, the dinner service plate splendid, but
alas! he was not in good spirits and we in vain attempted to be
gay and ended by being flat."

Mrs Cunningham was a constant visitor and writes to her hus-
band as follows:-

Northrepps Hall,January 2,1838

"My dearest Love,

Here I am in the Bow room this bright lovely morning, Betsy
and Hannah talking by the fire. It is most interesting and touch
ing being thus together, I have enjoyed it.

When I got to Norwich I found Sam and Betsy were going, most
interesting to meet, he got a nice coach and we had a privileged
journey together.

Did you get Powell's letter? How very kind and generous,
what can exceed the spirit of our brothers, what a mercy it is to
live in such a circle.... Betsy is just saying she never feels such
spiritual unity with any as with her own brothers and sisters. We
are indeed doubly united in the flesh and in the spirit - a family
I believe, for heaven - what a mercy !

On December 2, 1838, the Johnston family sailed from Dundee,
and after a thirty hours passage reached Cromer, and drove up to
Northrepps, but fearing a too sudden surprise, stopped by the pond,
Mr Johnston ran in by the back way and found the party all reading
and in a few moments the father and Chenda came tearing out and
amidst acclamations of all kinds, the party were got into the draw-

The following month of January, 1839, a baby, Fowell Buxton

Johnston was born, this being the first birth on record in the old
house. In August of the same year another family event,but of an
opposite character, took place, for while the "Cottage ladies" were
staying at Clifton, "a letter summons arrived at Northrepps from
Dr Ashe at 2 o'clock in the morning", telling of Miss S.M.Buxton's
illness. It was quickly settled Mr Buxton and Mrs Johnston
should start "We prepared quickly and were off by 4. On our way
we heard in the road from a passenger in the down "Telegraph^ the
tidings that all was over, that my precious Aunt was indeed gone!
Her remains were brought back to her beloved home. "The funeral
day was so lovely - Cousin Anna in the room they used to sleep in

8 P. B. Johnston was christened at Northrepps Church 6 May.
Two elder grandchildren T.P. and S.G.Buxton having been christened
there on the 3rd of the previous February.

The Norwich Coach.

with the bed taken down, about 12 o'clock all assembled in the
drawing-room. Anna wheeled in, her countenance bespeaking im-
mense effort, she was however, perfectly calm and went up to the
coffin, and kept her arm steadily on it the whole time. Can you
not fancy the room, the sun shining brightly in? Uncle Forster
spoke very sweetly, afterwards Anna in the most impressive, solemn
and affecting manner bearing on the coffin: I think she began
something in these words "0 Lord, now that my partner's lips are
closed, enable me to implore Thy blessing on all those she so dear-
ly loved."

Outside the greenness was dazzling in the brilliant sun, the
lawn gay with dahlias and scarlet geraniums, the fern-hil1 so gay
and various - everything in Nature in perfection.- The Cavalcade
stopped by the gate, by the pond in which were the old sheldrakes.
Between the pond and cottage stood a multitude, composed of her
school children - boys and girls - the former in black pinafores,
the latter in black frocks, and their teachers; and fishermen
without number.

At last the hearse appeared and we all fell in behind the
children, forming a line up each side, singing hymns as we travers-
ed that beautiful sloping field and down the lane.

The tiny church was crowded, the old chancel ruins with the
grand sea through the broken arches, and the perfect rest and quiet
of the place were striking.

Anna-Gurney (in Rome) ttr-tfaiiBah Bux^ten— (at Northrepps).

(killing lambe in Rome ).


My dearest Sister,

Your letter is very interesting, tho' the Interests sel
now too large for me to take in. I am growing so little minded

But I have one fact to tell you, Garofoline writes thai
the reform in lamb-slaying is effected in Rome. The Powers hai
willed, and the order is gone forth, the practice I recommendedJ
introduced and the refractory butchers have been fined. In fa<
the stir we made has answered fully.

Is not the Pope a capital old gentleman^ I love hi«J
holiness, and next I love the Englishman who could risk throwing
ridicule on himself, and not I trust in his cause, for the sake
satisfying my_ conscience.

You shall have Garofoline's letter, but I send it firs
Mr Forster. Pray tell Mrs Samuel Gurney, for she was our Lead
in the cause of humanity to animals, and I know^Sarah and Chenda
will be very glad they are already killing kids "kind? and after
Easter about 4,000 lambs per week will be despatched quite in th
way of a pleasure. Garofoline says it was Fowell's representat
to the Pope that did it.

The vault was open and dearest Harry's coffin before our eyes

Cousin Anna sat at the head of the vault between it and the church

Spinks and Stephen leaning on the back of her chair, looking as if
their hearts would break, and all the maids behind them.

When the service was ended there was a moment's pause, while
Uncle Cunningham mounted a grave and gave us a very striking ad-
dress, without his gown. He beautifully described her character
her spirituality, her hopefulness, her charity and close faithful-
ness to all around her.

J% Stf,' Sow* >j tU /Mr wu*- ti fit^x -<f l*c< jcC^tO t*. AW ly fffb i ^ £*. Tpft
Imf p in »he Autumn the IIal3^yar^y and Anna Gurney went 4ro

RniseY there to spend the Winter, during which time Mr Buxton be-
came extremely ill and wrote home of his cousin as "My glass of
champagne. I send for her when I want to be brightened up, and
she never fails." Sm t^u^t Lt4tz. i

In July 1840 Mr Buxton was made a Baronet, for his services
in th« great anti-slavery .cause.

Sir T.F.Buxton had always been extremely fond of dogs and
horses, notably "Abraham" and "John Bull", and of taking his wife
for a drive, and it is said he was in the habit of saying to her,
■Bustle, bustle, Mrs Noah, for the Ark is'at the dttor."

8 The coachman and manservant.

ft The funeral sermon preached at Overstrand, September 1st by
Rev. Samuel Carr, was privately printed, it alludes to the Cottage
footman having been drowned in bathing only a few days before.

He was a great sportsman and in 1836, sent his game-keeper,
old Larry Banvill, to Sweden, to bring over Capercaillies to his
friend the Marquis of Breadalbane's seat at Taymouth Castle, which
was the means of re-introducing that bird to Scotland after its ex-
termination for nearly a hundred years. As early as about 1823
Sir T.F.Buxton had some Caparcaillies at Cromer Hall and its neigh-
bourhood, but they never flourished and shortly died out.

Though such a keen shot and constantly shooting, he never had
the Northrepps preserves, which were reserved for its owner, his
pleasure must therefore have been great in a new purchase of the
beautiful neighbouring Runton Hills in 1840.

Mrs Cunningham writes in August of that year:-
"After lunch we all assembled to take an excursion together to

see Fowell's new estate at Runton ...... great was his delight in

showing us his possession and much did we enjoy ourselves. Dear
Lady Buxton climbing up and down the hills with activity and plea-
sure, Priscilla Johnston and little Andrew as gay as possible, and


the sweet young trio, Chenda, Anna and Bessy, the ornaments of the
scene, radiant with delight.

Sir T. P, Buxton took great pleasure in planting his estate
with fine plantations/ and it is said on the authority of the late

8 R. Buxton, A. Gurney of Earlham and E. Gurney of Upton.

ft These plantations are mentioned as an example, in an i^ssay,
which gained the gold medal of the Royal Agricultural Society in

Edmund Buxton that he replanted the wood by Northrepps Hall, which
entirely blew down about .^mna dfrte-. IVQo

Probably these local interests made the Buxtons feel more es-
tablished, and it would seem that while sojourning in Rome, the
Hall was a good deal enlarged by some addition over the kitchen
wing, and a lengthening of the two rooms looking West.,8 and an
important enlargement of the drawing-room with a South window. <°
On this new gable was planted a whiteBanksia rose, which still ex-
ists though showing some signs of great age: flower-beds edged
with high box were also made out of the old herb-garden, and the
old stables and out-buildings towards the South of the house, pull-
ed down,^ a new stable being built after the model of that at the

Hill House, the foundation brick of which was laid by Sir Fowell,
tradition says in 1840.

Doubtless these additions made it more possible to receive
guests, we accordingly hear that, that August, Joseph John Gurney,
just returned from America, his daughter Anna, and sisters Eliza-
beth Fry and Richenda Cunningham, all came; and Priscilla Johnston
to the Cottage, from which she writes August 27.

"The family and neighbourhood are in commotion this morning,

8 Most likely the fine old Myrtle bush was then planted against
the new piece of wall.

ft The horse pond long grassed over, and the stable yard entrance
gate still remains.

9 IbuxU. UufcK U. tU V* ^ tUi q& \?u,r

about the public Meeting which they had fixed to have in the draw-
ing-room and hall; but we hear hundreds are coming and expect to
have to adjourn under the silver fir (on the lawn). All the wis-
dom has gone to settle it......We dined last evening at the Hall,

a busy evening, like thousands before; over Uncle Joseph's West
India (sketch) books."

Of this Meeting Mrs Upcher writes:-
"J.J.Gurney preached from "The perfect law of liberty", it was
between a sermon and a speech. The testimony that he gave of t.ie
conduct of the emancipated in the West Indies was indeed delightful

Mrs Fry is always an increasing wonder to me, surely she is
the first wonder of her age."

We find this religious gathering was followed by a social one,
for Priscilla Johnston writes;-

"We had such a bright evening over the Essays! they were most
capital - it was really remarkably bright - a great party, nearly
forty in the evening, and all the servants.

Mrs Fry's Essay, doubtless composed for this gathering, was
written in the night.

Autumn, 1840.

"If you wish to be treated with good cheer, unbounded hospi-
tality, true liberality, constant kindness, sympathy in your af-
flictions, good nursing in your illnesses, and to see in your land-
lord the strong man, % he Christian, the philanthropist, combined with

the simplicity of the child, and in your landlady the adorning of
the beautiful ornaments that decorate the female character,grace
being so poured forth, that in meekness of wisdom she fills the
place of wife, mother, sister, friend and hostess, go to the house
of Sir T.F. and Lady Buxton at Northrepps Hall, and do not leave
it without your prayers being raised that through the fulness and
freeness of a Saviour's love, they may long live to be blessed,end
prove a blessing to their children's children and to all around
them, and the world at large, particularly in bondage and afflic-

Mrs Fry's diary records:-

"I was brought into Aery near and tender love and unity in
my Norfolk visit, not only with dearest Joseph, but also with my
sisters Catherine, Chenda, and Hannah, and dearest Fowell, and
Francis and some of my nephews and nieces, and Anna Gurney, at
Northrepps Cottage. Indeed it was like days that are passed,
when a large party of us took a beautiful drive and walk on a fine
bright day by the sea, over the fine heathy land upon the little
(Runton) hills. Surely the sun shone on us in every way - and the
next day at Northrepps Hall we had a glorious Meeting; numbers of
the gentry came to my brother Buxton's, and the truth flowed from
Joseph's lips in honesty and prayer.

The anointing I believe, was also poured forth upon me in sim-
ilar services, only very concentrated in the ministry."



from the "Life of Richard Owen",/

his Grandson,

the Rev. Richard Owen.

(Vol. 1. p. 201)

October, 1842 - Norwich.

"I made a day's delightful excursion to Cromer, to visit an

old maiden lady (Anna Gurney), who has been deprived of the

power of using her legs from early life, and wheels herself about

in a kind of velocipede chair. She is a most cheerful person,

as you may well imagine when I tell you that she has saved some

men's lives during wrecks on the coast near her cottage. I w s

told that on stormy nights, when vessels are in danger, she has

wheeled herself through the pelting rain or snow to the seaside,

and animated the fishermen and others by her example and rewards

to exertions, which otherwise they would have shrunk from, but

$ Afterwards Sir Richard.


without which the wrecked seamen must have perished.

Her attractions to me were a fine collection of the bones from
the cliffs and shingle, which she and a cousin, now dead, occupied
themselves in collecting, and which is now the most instructive
one in Norfolk."

T. F. E. to Anna Gurney.

Northrepps, March 1843.

..........I have sent living Capercailzie to nobles and Princes;

but I have reserved for you, whom I value above all the nobles and
Princes upon earth, a Capercailzie fit for your table thi3 day.

..........If I could utter what I feel, I should say some strong

things about your labours for me and my objects. They have
been more useful and more cheering than you can imagine.

8 These three large flower beds on the lawn were done away 189&1

"Heard the cuckoo for the first time when spending the Sunday

at Northrepps Hall. It was a valuable day but not a bright one,

the heat was oppressive, as T.P.B., Chenda and I walked to Church.

I love to preserve the annual privilege of a Sunday spent with

these much valued friends."

Mrs Johnston again writes:-

"Northrepps, The bow-room, September 13, 184^

Before breakfast - the lawn and flowers glittering in the dew
the early sunshine in the first freshness between the'trees.
I have been long sitting by my open window, drinking in the beauty j
of Nature, and dwelling on the still greater loveliness of the
world of grace, the promises, the blessing, the hopes of it, read-
ing in Micah, and endeavouring to bring all my concerns in some or]
der before God.

We arrived here on Saturday, meeting a delicious welcome.
The next day was Sunday; the morning I spent at home with my dear-
est parents; we read in Philippians, my father said he had been
thinking in the night of that verse, "The Lord is at hand", "Be
careful for nothing", he joined the two in a way I felt striking.
I am struck by finding how much his mind is alive to the doctrine

We have to record another visitor, Mrs Upcher,on 24th April,

of our Lord's coming, how he continually observes it in Scripture
and dwells upon it. His prayer as usual was memorable. Noth-
ing could be more touching than his petitions for me and my chil-
dren. We then walked in their lovely new garden, how delightful
are the pleasures and ornaments now permitted them after their life
of labour, and Often of sorrow ! Northrepps as usual is outward-
ly and inwardly fascinating to me, love and unity, liberty and in-
dependence, seem here to reign with Native charm, ease and abun-
dance. In the afternoon we all assembled in Northrepps Church,
where Edward Hoare preached such a sermon on Romans 2: 18 and four
following verses. His reading of yus text was a sermon in itself

The same month we have another account from more visitors,
from the journal of the gifted Caroline Fox of Penjerrick. 8

September, 24, 1843.
"Cur first visit to Northrepps Hall, a droll, irregular, uncon-
ventional looking place, which must have had some share in shaping

the character of its inhabitants........ a wild horseback party of

eleven with Sir Fowell Buxton at our head, scampering over every-
thing in the tremendous rain, which only increased the animation of
our i-wrty. Then dined with the Buxton* - Sir Fowell is capital
now and then, but not at all to be depended on as a man of society,
- most pleasant intercourse with the family individually and col-

8 Kemoirs of old Friends. Vol. 2.p.17.

8 The Hon. Mrs Upcher's Memoirs.

lectively, but there is little of steady conversation to record,
Sir Fowell has never recovered his old tone of joyous mental energy
since the failure of the Niger expedition, and looked sometimes
very sadly.

He was most kind and affectionate to us and we greatly valued
being with them; during the night a storm told most seriously on
the little fishing boats, and there was sad loss of life. In his
prayer the next morning this affliction wts most beautifully named,
and the suffering and sorrowing fervently petitioned for.

Lady Fuxton gave us each a prayer book thinking it probable
that (as Friends), no one else would have done so. He likes to
tell absurd stories about her, in the face of her emphatic protest-
ations and he enjoys being impertinently treated himself. His
frolics with his grandchildren are charming."

On September 25 was given a dinner party, apparently to meet
the Foxes; the Upchers, Mr Pym, "one of the first gentlemen" of
Bedfordshire, deputation of the Bible Society and Rev. C. Eyre of
Bury, also interested in the society, the annual Meeting of which
at Cromer, "was exceedingly well attended." 8

The next month the Rev. Samuel Crowther, a liberated slave,
from Sierra Leone, then just ordained, was staying with the Buxtons

Sir Fowell liked to spend his mornings in his study or with

his gun, and after dinner someone read aloud to him from the pass-
ing literature of the day. Reading filled up every leisure hour,
"Well what shall we read?" was the first question upon his entering
the drawing-room, and he paid the closest attention, being always
able to repeat the words that terminated the passage read on the
previous evening. He had great taste for biography and poetry,
perhaps still more for works of humour.

He annually made himself complete master of the proceedings of
the Bible Society, he once wrote "I am ready to confess, tu»t t^ere
is no cause not even emancipation itself, to which I would more
readily give a helping hand, than to the Bible Society."

The hard and incessant work of Sir Powell's busy life was be-
ginning to tell on him, and one reads of many references to it, his
daughter chronicles in her diary:-

"The other day I met my father, in London, going for a long
round, so knocked up, and unequal to it, that I dared not let him
go alone so I went with him in a cab, a most characteristic round -
about his will, to his doctor, then to Dr Lushington, his hatter,
two or three gun-makers, a horse-dealer, etc. He was restless
to give me a present, and at last relieved himself by buying me a
ten-guinea boa, a charming print and caps for my boys."

He himself writes:-

I do not think my motto and I square well together now-a-days
8 "Do it with thy might."

On Mrs. Johnston's observing of her Mother's ([sidy Buxton's) Portrait, that "it looted
as if she had yained tlie other side of Sorrow."

"Tho other side of Sorrow !"—oh ! would that we were there,—

Where the rising of the morrow is far away from care ;

Where the halcyon wing of Hope hath floated to its neat ;

"Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest!"

"The other side of Sorrow !"—ami hath that gentle face,
Which seems from Heav'n to borrow its mildness and its grace,—
Hath it yet attained the blessing, the joy no tongue can tell,
Of "waking with that likeness" which the Holy love so well I

" The other side of Sorrow!"—oh! hath the form of clay
From life to death, from death to Heav'n, already passed away ?
Hath it sought and found the lov'd one, who the same bright path hath trod,
And mingled with his sainted soul, now "hid with Christ in God?"

" The other side of Sorrow !"—oh ! ye», by her 'tis won,
Tho' her form i- still amongst us to love ami gaze upon ;
She hath realized on Earth all of Hcav'n that Faith can give,
And for us alone she lingers here, that we in her may live.

In her, in Christ, and Christ with us, and all with him who's gone,
The Husband ami the Father, the lov'd, the sainted one !
Oh ! he indeed hath sought and gaiu'd, what we now seek in prayer,—
That "other side of Sorrow !"—oh ! would that we were there.

F. M. W.

Copy of Anna Gurney's pencil note

March 11, 1845.

I do dearest sister, desire with prayer and supplic
that you may be granted peace this night. It does pass our
derstanding that any peace should be attainable but the highe
peace. The Peace of God is. to be had, and may that Peace k
even your sorrowing heart in reliance on Christ our loving

Your most aff.

A. G.

I have no 'might nor energy' nor pluck, nor anything of that sort,
and this kind of listlessness reaches even to my two pet pursuits,
Negroes and partridges,- In short I feel myself changed in almost

This change his friends saw only too plainly, but mercifully
the fading o' the noble life was but of short duration, and he was
called hence February 19, 1845.

"He diedBin perfect peace about 10 o'clock at night, we all
and Anna Gurney having been round his bed for hours, an unspeakably
solemn and blessed evening. From 6 o'clock there was perfect
stillness and none could say when the last soft breath was drawn
and he slept in Jesus.

Fancy the scene! My Mother and Chenda, Edward and Charles
on the fire side of the bed, Fowell and Rachel^and Anna Gurney at
the foot, Andrew lying by him on the window side, and I, kneeling
next to him! We have had much prayer, my Mother is hardly ever
from it.

Sir Fowell was buried "with great simplicity", but with a long
train of true mourners, in the family vault at Overstrand.

Shortly after a subscription, headed by £50 from H.R.H.Prince
Albert, was started to place a full-length statue of Sir Fowell,by

8 Sir T.F.Buxton died in the family room over the drawing-room.
/They had only been married a fortnight.

Untold was the loss to the widowed Lady Buxton, who character-
istically wrote:-

"I feel driven much to lay hold on Christ, being in spirit much
severed from what was my support, though I am truly thankful for
the sweet and lovely helps I have. Chenda is bright loving and
effective, Charles exceedingly attentive and affectionate to me and
agreeable in our party; he came up and read with me after dinner,
and we enjoyed the Bible together. Dearest Cousin Anna came to
take our family reading: this proved almost too much for us."

In April Elizabeth Fry paid a ten days visit to her bereaved
sister, the last as it proved, she being called home in the follow-
ing October. The dowager Lady Euxton clung to her dear remaining
relations and we read of Mrs Upcher dining there on October 31st
and meeting Sir Edward and Lady Buxton, Mr and Mrs Joseph John Gur-
ney, Mr and Mrs John Henry Gurney and Mr and Mrs Edmund Buxton.

The next month, November, Lady Buxton received her old friends
Baron and Baroness de Bunsen, who wrote:- H

H Memoir of Baroness de Bunsen.

Thrupp, in Westminster Abbey, where it was placed next to that of
his old friend William Wilberforce. The freed slaves also erect-
ed a bust of him in St George's Church at Sierra Leone.

21st November.

"On the tenth we set out on a peregrination round the county
of Norfolk, first to Earlham Hall .... from thence we went on to
Northrepps, the dwelling of Lady Buxton, who has lost her precious
sister, Mrs Fry, and admirable husband within this year, and is an
edifying pattern of a Christian mourner: all her sympathies alive
none blunted by self-compression, but living in recollection of
those who are gone before. With her we found a large party, her
two sons with their wives, and Mr and Mrs Gurney Hoare who generall
live at Hampstead.

Near Lady Buxton lives Anna Gurney, a really admirable and won
derful person, the sister of Hudson, who exemplifies the talents
and various gifts of this remarkable family under circumstances of
great hardship, having been paralized at ten months old, and having
never known what is meant by health or freedom from suffering:
still her animated and placid countenance shows not a trace of the
struggle against pain, and besides her continued and active exer-
tion, for the welfare of the poor and distressed, she has had the
commanding freedom of spirit to cultivate a remarkable linguistical
talent and astonished the Baron by the sort of questions she was
enabled to put to him, and by the knowledge she had acquired of the
philosophy of language. As she was eager to ask him about his
Egyptian work we left them, and had a delightful walk to the top of
an eminence whence I enjoyed a splendid view of the sea, all blue

with waves crested white, and a quantity of vessels glittering in
the sun.

Lady Buxton writes,

January 23rd. 1846.

"Here I am in my room again, Rachel at the window, Prissy
(Johnston) begging to play the music, Esther fidgetting after them
and the letters. I have felt desolate certainly this morning,
but after a time felt it right to stir up and go to the Cottage to
read some papers to Mrs Opie, and paid a most interesting visit."

During this or the previous winter, the storms had made
greet inroads at Cromer, and Mrs Opie wrote:-

"I am very sorry for that dear West Cliff. There used to be,
I am sure, a field before one could get to S. Hoare's field, where
I used to gather the blue bugloss, and deck myself out in it."

A year after, Lady Buxton lost her brother Joseph John Gurney
- another link with the past - she writes, "the over-turnings ofthe
last days! they have been overwhelming .... such an unlooked-for
return of our own sorrow .... but a sure and certain hope sustains.

August 6, 1847.
To Sir Edward Buxton, on standing for South Essex.
"My most dear Edward,

What can we say to the overwhelming interest and crisis.
My strongest sensation, I think, is of deep thankfulness; there
you are truly the worthy son of a worthy sire. I do deeply thank

God and acknowledge that his mantle has fallen upon you: that you
are a successor to his excellence, that you do enter public life as
the soldier and servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in that cha-
racter and in His service you will be prospered.

August 10.

The news of the certainty reached me yesterday at five."
Mrs Upcher's diary mentions,

6th July 1847.

"Dined at Northrepps, only myself, dear Lady Buxton, and Mrs
Carr. Twenty-five years since we first met (the Buxtons).
We walked to the Cottage, and found Anna Gurney resting with the
Hebrew Bible."

6 October, 1848.

Another birth took place in the old house, and Anna Cecilia
Buxton appeared in the ante-room! and was in due time christened
in Northrepps Church.

The three following, are extracts frou<Anna Gurney's letters

to her brother Hudson. The Cottage, 15th May, 1849

"The trees are burst forth, but the brake hill still shows

quite a contrast in color and the white rabbits sitting manifest

at the mouths of their burrows amongst the brown withered stalks,

where they are a great amusement to me. I have a Noah's Ark set

of creatures and coops in the grass!
*(um. Tu*. *fu**tl fyc H^Cxy y»w, / 4. at*tJL/f *vz y i^t ytc; A^Zr- &Y<y

U ** c 4y *ty v i^c- ^ «r 6«sr- 16 ljr»<S *-<J 2-6_

9th August, 1849.
"Greville Chester found and opened two burrows on Roughton
Heath the other day, and found in both cracked vessels of bones and
ashes, in one four jet beads and a large round stone such as we
sometimes pick up on the beach, a very efficient weapon from a Bri-
tish sling."

13th May, 1850.
"Charles Buxton has brought a most strikingly pleasing wife
(Emily Holland) into our Northrepps circle and Mrs Opie stays on
that she may dine with them at the Hall .... Charles says our vege-
tation is a full fortnight backward*."

• 16th July, 1850.

"My dearest Charles and Emily,

I did intend to write to you before I left London to tel] you
of our all reading with greatest interest and appreciation your
Review (upon West African Sfawe^ Trade). I was most glad to find
it take with our whole party as so able a paper. Cousin Anna ex-
claimed "admirable" to my pleasure. To me it is affectingly

Your Mother.
Northrepps, 15th October, 1851.
"this is my birthday, sixty-eight\ The day I was twenty I
remember we assembler, a very lsrge party to a pic-nic in Sheringham
Woods - now how changed - I alone at the head of another party of

children and grandchildren, at another pic-nic on the cliff at
the place I had not been to since I was there with my dearest hus-
band - a lovely sight it was to-day, above the bright blue sea.
Edward and Powell with their guns, dogs, and keepers, Catherine, ••
Sarah, Chenda, the boys' tutor and six children all congregating
for a luncheon under a sheltered hedge."

The year 1852 opened with fresh sorrow to Lady Buxton, in the
declining health of her belovca sister-like-child Mrs Johnston who
died in June, leaving a lerge party of little children.

To one of them is written the following:-

Northrepps, September 14, 1853,
"I wish you could see Uncle Charles now, dragging the charming
Bertram about the drawing-room in our little basket cart, the sweet
child holding out his hand, with such a laughing face.

We have had a good many visitors; yesterday a party of four-
teen, and a valuable reading and prayer before we dispersed.

Aunt Forster is at the Cottage, and there is to be a large
riding party to-day, I suppose nearly twenty."

I believe it was in the following year, that Lady Buxton find-
ing the large party of grandchildren ever increasing, and enjoying
to congregate them round her, had an upper story put on the out-
buildings and joining the Hall, thus forming a North wing, which
was always called after her third son "the Charles wing".

We have a charming description of the old place from Richenda

8 Long since blown down.

July 10, 1855.

"Returned home, found the place in great beauty, the flowers
in rich abundance, and happily the season is so late this year,that
we have missed but few.

The honeysuckle on the wall is still in flower and the white
banksia rose on the gable.

The annuals are overflowing their beds, and the brilliant
sight of the escolschia ,clarkia, scarlet geranium, poppies, lych-
nis, was splendid in the bright sunshine.

The scarlet Lory flew down to his stand opposite the drawing-
room window the moment we arrived. A pair of cockatoos are sit-
ting on their two eggs in the box against the (dining-room) chimney
Whenever the hen bird leaves her nest, her mate takes her place.

Our hay is going on, so we sent for the school children to
play in it, and an express to Cromer for plenty of strawberries andj
cream: this was spread on the lawn, and as usual quickly attracted
the parrots, both Amazons, and both Lories were in the acacia, 8
two cockatoos on the grass stealing bread and butter from the chil-
dren, many others talking and screaming around.

July 28.

"It was pretty to see the little'pirls reading their story on
the terrace, the two tame cockatoos pecking among their feet.

The bed of damask roses is very beautiful now.

I sat some time under the (horse) chestnut tree,much amused
by watching five cockatoos, who were full of gambols in the beech
trees - apparently the beech mast must be ripening. -

July 3ist.

Two new parrots have been added to 'our flock to-day, a green
Australian paraquet from Colne House on a visit, and a female Ama-
zon parrot, which was Aunt Forster's, I have put both out of doors
in their cages, where they were presently found by their respective
friends - the former by the long, and the latter by the Liverpool

10-th November.

Mrs Upcher writes, "to Northrepps Hall, to sympathize with dear
Lady Buxton on the engagement of Chenda to Captain Hamond" (of the -
Reg', who had taken many journeys, one being to Greece, whence he
had brought a wild Cyclamen bulb, which still flourishes in the
Northrepps drawing-room garden !) "which she had announced to me
this day, showed me too, the appearance left by the fire on Tuesday"

This referred to the only fire which happily has taken place
in the old Hall, and was caused by a beam catching fire under the
fireplace in the bow room. Fortunately Canon and Mrs Herbert
Jones were sleeping in the room, and were able to put it out, be-
fore it had caused much damage.

H On the Lawn, grassed over about 1873. The roses still ex-
ist in the kitchen garden.


To Catherine, Lady Buxton, on the Continent.

Northrepps, Friday, Feb. 8th, 1856.

My dearest Aunt,

We are all just come up from Colne House, and feel an extreme-
ly quiet small party, as you can imagine.

I must first tell you that dearest Grahdmama (Lady Buxton),
seems so well, and she was most particularly my admiration yesterr
day, looking rather pale but so bright and realy seeming to en-
joy the party, and the whole thing, particularly in the evening.

The party at Colne House was so very successful, you really
would have been quite gratified and pleased I am sure, everything
was so very nice, Mrs Walker (the cook), most capital, though poor
thing, the evening we arrived she was poorly with the preparations,
and I did not wonder; but she met us with the list of our different
rooms, and as kind and attentive as possible, and besides giving us
a most beautiful dinner on Wednesday, she made several of the best
dishes for the luncheon yesterday.

Miss Kirkbride came with us from Norwich on Tuesday, and there
too, we met Fowell, which was very pleasant for we wanted him so


extremely to be at Colne ^ouse that first evening and. meet -'r
Musters and his sister. Papa was there too that night, but
after that we were left to our own devices, and "Powell was such
a very nice master, and did everything so very nicely and plea-
santly and Mrs Walker was so fond of him, and of pleasing him, it
was quite entertaining.

You know what was the party I daresay - Mr and Miss Musters,
two Miss Hamonds, Miss Kirkbride and all of us and Miss Prescott.

On Wednesday evening we had a very pleasant dance in the
drawing-room which, minus its carpet made a most glorious place
for it.

I wonder if it was sunny and bright with you yesterday. Here
it was most dull and sadly rainy, but in spite of it,it was a most
delightful wedding altogether. I was astonished at Aunt Chenda,
instead of being low and nervous, she was brighter than I think
I ever saw her. I will just tell you the history of the day.
After breakfast all of us(girls) at Colne House arranged flowers
and made a bouquet for Aunt with some flowers from Norwich and
were all of us dressed and off by 20 minutes to 11, the four
bridesmaids in your carriage. Our dress was white silk and
tarletan, and grey cloaks very much the colour of the bride's
dress. I think they looked very suitable and pretty, with cher-
ry-coloured ribbons to brighten us up. Before going to the
Church we all came here. Capt. HamOnd looked most comfortable
and satisfied, and he went off with his two nephevfs.


™ Ml

We all stopped at the North door of the Church, and there were
beautiful green arches and decorations, and the Church was crowd-
ed, with such noisy people. I am sorry to say it was quite a dis-
turbance. We bridesmaids stayed by the door to walk up the
aisle after the bride. She very soon came, and as we walked to
the altar the organ began to play. The service was very inter-
asting and dear Aunt was quite composed. - Darling Grandmama feel-
ing it very much but looking so sweet.

When we came back here there was dear Cousin Anna in the draw-
ing-room, and till luncheon we all chatted and admired the presents
in the study, Aunt showing them and as cheerful as possible. The
luncheon was beautiful and then after a little rest, she came down
ready to go, and only just at the very last she wcis a little over-
come, but looked thankful to lean back in the carriage and drive of
and we all departed to-change our things, and walk on the beach in
the rain and came back to a most pleasant evening, Dearest Grand-
mama enjoying it as much as any of us.

We four have been in the nurseries at Colne Mouse, and it has
made me think so of the darling little girls. How you must be
rejoicing in them.

I must not go on, but with dear lovC to all»

Your most loving niece,

Effie Johnston.

Chenda Hamond's Wedding.

H. B. to E. N. and C. Buxton.

Feb. 9, 1856.

Well my darlings so the wedding is over and my precious companion
gone from me. I seem to have a peculiar apprehension of her
value to me. It does come most vividly before me....

The Church was full and crowded and going up the whole length
of it gave a fine opportunity of seeing her.

I wore Edward's gown and a white shawl. Charles and Emily
Fowell and I came back together and found Cousin Anna with the
bride and bridegroom in the drawing-room.


/ /2<it e>fa^ shtstusrr*t^er<


was married at Northrepps Church to Captain Philip Hamond, who had
takes Inaay voyages, and not long before this had been, in Greece,
from whence he had brought a wild cyclamen bulb, which still flou-
rishes in the old garden !

On Shrove Tuesday, 1856, another fire took place in the parish
burning down in Church Street, a farm house, and public house, and
adjoining the latter, a reading room which J. H. Gurney had erected
- one of the very earliest village reading rooms built.
To him Lady Buxton writes:-
"How very mortifying is the destruction of this capital reading
room and all its complete furnishings, I did much admire the good
and generous work, so well and liberally done, nothing wanting to
make it a most tempting resort, and this it has been to large par-

The loss was, however, soon replaced by J. H. Gurney, who soon
rebuilt it, and it is still in constant use.

Lady Buxton was now again called to bear fresh losses. In
February, 1857, her valued friend, the Honourable Mrs Upcher died,
and on 10th June, Miss Anna Gurney died of bronchitis while on a
visit to her brother at Keswick. /Sir)Edward N. Buxton had been
falling into delicate health, and he died in -irtety 1858, and wonder-
ful to relate, his sister Mrs^Richenda Hamond, died four days after

in the bow room at Northrepps, she had always been in delicate


health, but no immediate anxiety had been felt.

IThis was the second time that Lady Buxton had had two children
buried at the same funeral, she having lost four in 1820, two of
whom were buried together at Hendon.

"The double funeral^was inexpressibly touching", the processio
from Northrepps coming down the lane to fall in with the one from


Cromer, "the two coffins abreast, each followed its own chief mour


ers" to the ruins at Overstrand Church, and "there was a wonderful
calm and serenity whilst Herbert Jones read the service and Uncle
Cunningham gave an address."

The Baroness de Bunsen writes:-
"Death could not easier have found two souls riper for heaven,
none wore truly and simply convinced of the love of God in Christ

The poor bereaved Mother, wrote to her brother Dan:-
"Last night I lay awake counting up the deaths touching me
since 1845, (13 years), the number was quite overcoming. "In
deaths oft', I may say, my husband, three children, nine brothers
and sisters, Anna Backhouse, Anna Gurney, and others near to me in
one way, though not to be compared with these 1

But to pass On. We had a fine lesson yesterday of the un-
certainty of life in such an escape from accident. Catherine
came up for us, and persuaded me to drive in her open carriage.
Elizabeth Patteson, little Caroline, Henry Edmund with us inside,
and Francis on the box. As we went through the avenue lane to-


wards Cromer, the powerful horse began to kick and got his leg over
the pole, and with it there he galloped off and for some way, when
he extracated himself, kicking the other horse, therefore both,
equally frightened, dashed on furiously, Buscall using every effort
in his power to check them, trusting that as we came to the gate,
(a very strong one), they would stop. But no, instead of that,
they both gave a tremendous leap and leaped over it, the carriage
crushing the gate to shivers, but getting safely through. You
may suppose what we felt, and the extreme fear of rushing to the
next gate, and down the hill. In great mercy it was put into
Buscall's mind to turn into the ploughed part of the field through
which we were passing, and up the ascent, which baffled them, and
they stopped and were safe. We did thank God for our marvellous
preservation. It was terrible danger we were in. Had we not
gone clean through the gate, what would have become of us t We
sat very quietly, and were not terrified as the case called for.
Francis on the box, and we inside, were all kept in stillness.

September, 1860.
We are still in a good current of engagements. There are
cricket and riding going on daily, nearly.

"It is a comfort that I can bear the tumult of grandchildren,
I had six in my room for an hour, I think (some at least as long),
before breakfast. I go into the nurseries at seven o'clock, I
began with Charlie (Hamond), by myself first before seven, and then

they troop in as they are dressed, for play and coffee."
"^v November, 15, 1861.

"I am this day left without either child or grandchild, having
been full of them in succession since the latter part of July, to
my great comfort. Fowell and Rachel's large party of eighteen
are now cleared off, and my married grandchildren - Andrew and Char
lotte Johnston and their little girl - with the bride and bride-
groom, Gurney and Louisa - all went off this morning."

After the death of Mr Andrew Johnston, 24th August, 1862,his
three unmarried daughters, Sarah Maria, Priscilla and Isabel, went
to live with their grandmother at Northrepps.

September 15th, 1864.
"I must 3end you a line on my birthday8- eighty-one -
Surely goodness and mercy have followed me since I was born at
Bramerton, 1783! To-day I go to a pic-nic with children, but far
more grandchildren: with these I am encompassed, but do not mind
the numbers for myself: I rather feel the immense work for the
servants, often more than sixty to feed in the day.
I like having Daniel Wilson as a minister."

This was shortly before the Rev. Daniel Wilson married Miss
S. If, Johnston.

8 Lady Buxton a few years after discovered from her register
that the real date was October 15, not September.

September 3, 1866.

To R. H. J. Gurney.

"I am flattered by anyone coming to see our birds, but one of
the young cockatoos has flown off into the trees, and the other
will probably do the same. We have made them quite a sight when
we could have them pulled out of the nest, and brought down to be
examined; the one 3till in the comfortable hole is not so strong
a bird as the other.

Here I was interrupted and yesterday cousin Joseph Hoare and
Gurney Buxton came after church in the afternoon and would have the
ladder and Gurney pulled him out of the nest. I thought him ra-
ther thin, and that it would be better to remove him, so this morn-
ing he is in our large cage in the garden under the Ivy and the
Mother is shut up with him. I am only sorry we did not move them
both before the other flew.

I have had a visit from General Windham; he has two boys of
fourteen and twelve, who are always talking of going to Africa, so
he told them they had better try how they liked sleeping out, and
advised them to go and spend a night on the light-house hills, un-
der the bushes, and so these boys did, one very wet night and came
home in the morning, very cold and dripping wet; then they talked
of long walks, so he said they should walk to Aylsham and back on
Sunday after church and return again by dinner time, and this these
two boys accomplished - twenty-one miles in five hours and a half.

Cca_ ioU^-/3<H-«-j On August 27, 1868,

the Dowager Lady Buxton received a large party of the British As-
sociation, and after tea a paper was read to them by Mr Charles
Buxton on the parrots which had so long been kept there, in a half
wild state, of which there were at one time nearly fifty, African,
Amazonian and Carolina parents, Rosella and Bengal Parroquets,
four specJes of cockatoos and two of Lories. They did not seem
to mind cold, snow, or frost, so long as they were well fed, but
some kinds would shelter in the parrot shed. Many of them nested
in old boxes or holes in the trees and sometimes vain efforts were
made to utilize the chimneys. The most striking young birds were
hybrids between the common white and rose-colored Lead-Beater cock-
atoo .

A cat made her lodging in one of the nest boxes and brought
up a family of kittens in it, and two of the grey parrots who had
not been industrious enough to lay eggs, were seized with the idea
that these kittens were their children, and kept up a constant war-
fare with the old cat, and whenever she left the box, one of them
used to get in and sit on the kittens.

I must add another parrot story written by Lady Buxton a year

26 May,1869.

"Louis brought three rare parroquet cockatoos (from Australia),
which are kept in the conservatory (at Colne House). One day C.

Them on chairs and stools of various heights, the grandchildren
grouped around her, and beginning at the youngest, each in turn r&
peated a portion of Scripture, or a hymn - such a sweet party of
young life.

The four younger daughters of Catherine, Lady Buxton, dress-
ed in pretty white frocks, and blue sashes, Rachel with long flow-
ing golden hair, Eva bright in look and voice, Laura so gentle and
sweet and Catherine reserved, shy and retiring."

heard a great noise and chattering amongst them, and went to see
what it was about, when she heard the talk answered from the tree,
and another of the same birds was in it, come to see its friends.
They contrived to bring it down by placing the three in their cage
under the tree and another cage by it, into which it went and was
caught. It is mo3t unaccountable how it found out these friends
in Cromer and where it came from, no one can tell. C. advertized
in the papers, but has heard nothing."

The following delightful description was written by Miss Clowes
of a Sunday at Colne House:-

"On the ottoman seat, sat the Dowager, so diminished in size,
delicate, refined, in a rich black silk dress, with a shawl of a
thin material, bordered with white, very feeble, but animated,
summoning all to come close by her, her hand clasped in that of her
dfiar son Powell, he 30 gentle, loving and cordial with her.

In September, 1869,
Lady Buxton's granddaughter, Isabel Johnston married Dr Walker at
Northrepps Church, thus leaving her with but one of that party,
Priscilla, who was a constant and devoted companion.

Northrepps,May 20th. 1870.
"We have been sitting these last two days under the (horse)
chestnut tree, a delicious covering over our heads, with the full
broad leaves, the blossoms falling upon us; one little bird sit-
ting on the swinging bough, and birds in and out of the old acacia
tree, after a nest or young^ reading the tales in the newspapers.
How most fearfully dreadful is the (Franco-German) war ! the paper
I must hear, everyone is occupied by them.


I have had a very pleasant visit from Uncle Dan. He was
very well and enjoyed the lively life, with my many visitors.

January, 1871.

We have had a very pleasant visit from my statesman nephew,
William Edmund Forster, and his wife and adopted daughter.

Northrepps, May, 1871.

Here I am once more. Priscilla and I stopped to spend Sun-
day at Earlham; and we drove from Earlham (some twenty-two miles)
before luncheon, I had my own carriage. Eva and Rachel (Buxton)
met me at home.

I have handsome new carpets in my drawing-room and dining-room
8 Her last remaining brother.

How unreasonable in my eighty-eighth year ! "

Lady Buxton's youngest son Charles had been in failing health
for some time, and died at Lochearn Head, August 10, thus leaving
her with only one surviving child of the original eleven she had
had, it was an immense blow.

"The precious grandmother looks so small and white, but so love
ly in her calm acquiescence."

But the strain was too great at her great age and though she
continued to drive out and call at Colne House door, or on a few
old lady residents in Cromer, the sands of time were fast sinking.

Her daughter-in-law, Lady Buxton writes:-
"I must refer to Tuesday afternoon, (March 19, 1872).
I was sorry to see a crowd of girls in the Bow window making bunch-
es of violets, but she said, "How sweet the girls look and their
flowers, turn me to see them better," smiling most sweetly at them.

Wednesday opened in great weakness, but she came down (carried
of course). I came after luncheon and found her looking very low
She said "able to save", I finished the text, after that she re-
vived and saw any that came in as usual. We had a little reading
together, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with
thee" and she liked these words:-

"I take thee at Thy word, I came to Thee,

For though I see Thee not, Thou seest me,
Weary and miserable, cn Thy breast,

I cast me down, and find the promised rest."

Then, so like herself, "Now I should like some of our book"-
The Life of the Duchess of Orleans."

I wondered at her interest and deep sympathy in the accident
and death of the Duke, and later on in the story of the Revolution
of 1848, when the Duchess comes forward "How entirely unwise of
her." "How pleasant that Catherine is coming to dinner (I had
gone home to Cromer to dress) She said, "I must go up now to be
ready", quite expecting to dine with them, I believe.

The sink after that was rapid, and she wished for bed at seven
It was a very sinking state, with oppression, but not so severely
choking and tired so often, and at last she wished to be raised
more, and perhaps that effort was the cause, she seemed to drop
into a nap, Priscilia and Sarah Maria on either side, Uncle -Forster
and Aunt Rachel and I by her.

I held her dear hand till it grew cold. She had been quite

herself till those last minutes."

From A.C.B. to S.E.E

(Anna to Eva Buxton, then in Rome.)

March 28, 1872.

"We all met yesterday at Northrepps, at 10,30, and many others
.... The dear coffin was in the study, covered with quantities of
camelias and other white flowers from Knighton and High Leigh.
Mr Patteson gave us a very nice reading in the drawing-room from
John 14, and then we gradually got into our carriages (there were

We were very long before we were really off, quite down to
the middle of the lane, before we went slowly on without stopping.
Mr Patteson and Daniel Wilson read the service.

It was so interesting and curious to see the coffins in the
vault, though I did not know at the time whose they were. There
was hardly room in the ruins for everybody, the^ vault and the en-
trance to it took up so much room, they had moved the stone from
Aunt Johnston's. Janet took a lovely wreath of flowers which
she laid on the stone.

We all went back to Northrepps to luncheon, and soon after
some of us went back to the churchyard to look into the vault again
and it was more a reality then to see her new fresh coffin of wood
lying by the old black ones, the nails rusty and the black cloth
pealing off.

There were four others, our grandfather's in the middle, hers
on the right, Harry's, which was the first in the vault, on the
left above Harry's on a stone slab, Aunt Sarah Maria's, and above
grandfather's, Cousin Anna's. We laid the wreath and other flow-
ers on her coffin, and then left.

Northrepps Hall had descended to John Henry Gurney the younger
from his maternal grandfather, and who, after a minority of some
years, had not long been in possession, when the death of the Dow-
ager Lady Buxton took place, 1872.

It was then considered desirable that he, his father and only

tt Uc

brother should reside there, which they commenced Midsummer, 1873.

No alteration except a veranda was then made, but the house
had a thorough painting up; it was furnished with relics from John
Henry GurneyJsenior's many homes, Earlham, Catton, St James's
Square, supplemented by much from Thickthorn. Of the original
Gurney furniture belonging to Northrepps, time had left but li
the chip-p of which were some fine old chairs, now covered with
leather, a round mirror, and the old high eight day clock of f iipj

The party had not been settled many months, when they lost
their dear and greatly valued old nurse, Susan Dewing, who had been
in the"* family since the birth of the elder son.

In 1876, October 25, John Henry Gurney Junr. married his cou-
sin Margaret Ji%t Gurney, and moved away to the "Hill House".

It was a great event when the G.E.Railway was opened to Cromer
in March 1877, thus ending the coaching days. The railway had
gradually been brought nearer, and had been opened to North Walsham
some two years before. As a preliminary the navvies mapped the
line out by digging away the soil for some depth, and then left it

for some months. When the Summer came, millions of field poppies
appeared, and the scarlet ribbon stretching for miles was most re-
markable and lovely. At last came the time when the line was
finished and I well remember the first train of three heavy engines
and their tenders trying the rails and bridges bit by bit, to the
great astonishment of villagers and cattle!

As time wore on, Mr Gurney made several minor alterations in
the house, as doors, windows, and a new pantry, and later, (1881),
the porch was built, and still later, the important ten feet of
upstairs passage, that joined the two parts of the house together,
which previously had only been connected by the ante-room.

Mr Gurney was exceedingly fond of birds, as became one of the

greatest scientific authorities on that subject, though there were

few branches of Natural History he was not thoroughly au fait at,

and he was member of nearly all the leading societies. Outside

his study window was kept a tripod, with various food for the small

birds, and in his study a box of corn for the many peacocks, fowls
and pigeons who would rush from all parts at the well-known sound
of his opening window. He kept many rare eagles and owls in avi-
aries, but being fond of the garden, the parrots and cockatoos
which were very destructive in it, were not replaced as they gred-
ually died down, though some grey parrots lingered till about 1880.

8 John Henry Gurney kept the rare black-shouldered peafowls, and
white minorahs, from about 1845.

John Henry Gurney was tall and always wore a black coat, and
high hat, black in Winter and grey in Summer, His head was ex-
tremely sensitive to the heat of the sun, and he invariably carried
and constantly used, a large umbrella, and his eyes were protected
by large^ glasses. He liked a daily walk to the Hill.^but other- 1
wise, did not latterly, go out a great deal, though taking the
greatest interest in all village matters, such as the building of
Broadgates alms-houses, by his younger son in the Autumn of 1878.
We hear of the garden in September 1879, when he writes:-

"The new South window, (altered to a French window), in the
drawing-room is complete, and is, I think, an excellent improvement J
The garden is bright, with a good show of China asters, and the
Gladioli finer than I have, I think, ever seen them here. The
myrtle on the wall is in full blossom and the Virginian creeper
beginning to turn, which is the only tint of Autumn I observe."

"I took your two little dogs for a walk in the garden before
church, and there to my great pie jure found one of tl*e tiger lilies
(tigridia pavonia), which I have so long wished for, so cut it and
left it at the Hill; I greatly admired it, and it reminded me of tl:
Earlham garden when I was a child."

The garden was by degrees a great deal altered and the vege-
tables which formerly grew behind the box beds in the drawing-room
garden, were banished, and gave place to grass and flowers.

Out in the wood, beyond the lawn, numerous masses of wild

called "Eva" Buxton at Cromer Church, and for the next nine years,
they spent from four to six months annually at their Bri


nine years,
•ighton house

and the rest at Northrepps, sure of the ever bright welcome of John
Henry Gurney, who delighted to extend it to the grandchildren, two
of whom, Christopher and Richenda, were born there, in the old

family room, 6 September, 1884, and 1 May, 1888.

8 The original bulbs of the long line of small daffodils were
brought by R.H.J.Gurney in 1873, from a hedgerow near Berry Pomeroy
in Devon. The rare wild yellow tulip is very abundant, but hard-
ly ever flowers.

ft A myrtle sprig from the wedding bouquet, was struck and plant-
ed on the West wall in the garden, and became in due time, a fine

flowers, snowdrops, daffodils, primroses, etc., had long existed,
but it is worthy of note, that the narcissus and garden tulips groi
ing in the grass not far from the well, though now perfectly wild,
grow in lines and angles showing they once bordered some ancient
paths. ftrkUy ^t+Ar ■ C*vf* *f«

The wall between the court and garden formerly had enormous
masses of ancient Ivy on it, but a heavy fall of snow in the end
of 1886 brought the whole down, burying for three days, one of the
peacocks, which however, was none the worse. The wall was re-
planted with fancy Ivy and fuschias from Colne House, the original
stock having been brought many years before by Captain Hamond from
Tierra del Fuego

25 August, 1881.
The second son, Richard, married Evelyn, or as she was usually,

The grandfather's delicate health caused him to live a quiet
life, but he loved to show kindness and hospitality to all his
neighbours, whom he would often gather together in large dinner

pijt. ir*<Wl -A-ttX 9*-*£**

parties, held with great old-fashioned completeness, but which his

amiable manner and beaming smile prevented from being too formal

or stiff; his friends also came to the Cottage flower-shows; to


the one held in 1887, came the Black Bishop Crowther, forty-four
years after his first visit to the old place.

The old peoples' dinner at Christmas time was another great
institution; but the most noticeable village party was that on Ju-
bilee Day (21 June,1887), when the whole population of the parish,
save some half dozen, assembled at the further entrance gate, and
formed a long procession headed by old Mary Wright, of over a hun-
dred - in a donkey cart, followed by the infirm and children, in

(HJ Iff*!" rf -4t't'LilfC-v Of

Bath-chairs and perambulators of school-children singing, and the
rest of the guests, who soon assembled at the long tables laid in
coach house and stable yard, on which was a roasted ox, that had
been cooked in many portions at the fires of the principal inhab-
itants. *

A beautiful Autumn of peace, after a stormy life, was merci-
fully granted to the dear grandfather, and he was, by the same lov-
ing Hand, spared a long Winter of illness, for his failing days

H He last stayed at Northrepps, July, 1882.

tu A^t\^Zx tvfirmer - (r L~*. c+.t**J tt* j*^U*~* <T* f-rj>6^

were but few.

Curiously enough, a young cousin, the Rev. J.J.Gurney, was
taken seriously ill at the same time, and one of his very last let-
ters was to the wife, so soon to become a widow, as follows:-

"Northrepps Hall, 8 April, 1890.

My dear Julia,

I have been grieved to hear this afternoon, of your dear hus-
band's illness, and I venture to send a line just to tell you how
very sincerely I sympathize with you in your anxiety. Whatever
may be the issue of the illness, you have the blessed knowledge
that he is one of the Good Shepherd's own true sheep, and that no
tempest of affliction can sweep him out of the Shepherd's hand,
which sometimes seems to be shrouded in darkness, but it is there,
the hand of the omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving shepherd, and
in that hand the sheep is safe for time and for eternity.

I would venture to suggest this thought for your comfort, in
the time of trial, and with much sympathy,

I am, Yours affectionately,

J. H. Gurney."

A few more days of hourly increasing weakness, and Sunday
dawned - April 20, 1890. In the bow-room, the two sons and their
wives, watched by his bed-side, the window wide open and all nature
seemingly full of resurrection joy, the trees bursting into leaf,
and the woodpecker uttering its loud call, as the last soft breath

was drawn in perfect peace.

The following Thursday, 24th, the family and household, a
large assembly;gathered in the drawing-room r^und his flower-co-
vered coffin, and after a solemn little service, conducted by Canon
Ripley, the funeral proceeded to Northrepps Church, where were
waiting some thousand people in true mourning.

It is remarkable that the old Dachshund, "Count", followed
under the hearse, and would go into the family pew, which he also
did the next Sunday, the only times the faithful old dog was ever
known to go to church, or even to attempt it.

The owner, John Henry Gurney the younger, preferred to live
only at Keswick, it therefore was arranged that his brother, Rich- •
arc! H. J. Gurney, should take a lease of the old place for twenty-
one years, and continue to live there, but it needed many improve-
ments to bring it into accordance with modern ideas of health, ac-
cordingly a South window was made in the old dining-room, which was
turned into the library, a new dining-room also with a South win-
dow, and a beautiful school-room over it, were built on the site
of the old fives court, and a sunk terrace with steps, was con-
structed along the East side, to counteract the dampness, and mod-
ern drainage laid down; the roofing of the original Elizabethan
portion having long been pervious to rain and snow, was removed,
and none too soon, the beams being so extremely decayed, that in
three places they gave way into the rooms below.

In the roof was discovered a small, but good piece of ancient
carving, doubtless once used in the drawing-room panelling.

At the entracne of the court were built the Lion gates and
lodge, and the garden r.as even more cared for, and flowers extend-
ed into the kitchen garden. The aviaries of eagles were kept up
and many strange birds and beasts added, forming quite a small

In 1891, some of the ancient white cattle from Blickling Hall,
began to be kept in the paddocks, which were extendedby the throwin
down of fences. Solitary trees were also planted, but the beau-
tiful sheltering Long wood was almost entirely laid low in the tre-
mendous gale of March, 1895, as was also Neal's Plantation, besides
many hundreds of other trees on the estate, probably not less than
five thousand in all.

Many and various friends continued to come to the old house -

the most honored being the dear grandmother, and one of the last

was Sir William Flower, of the South Kensington Museum, who had

not been since 1864, when he came to disinter a whale buried by

J.H.Gumey's orders at the foot of Tolls Hill.

I cannot refrain irom noting that Anna Gurney chronicles that


in November, 1829, a whale was killed at Runton, and a stake of it
eaten at Northrepps Hall!

A-.d now, my tale is told, and it remains but to picture the
present inhabitants of the old home.

• J895

The father - most thankful that increasingly good health is
sent, with ever-increasing duties and responsibilities - the mother
- as of yore "bright in look and voice"- the two school boys,
Qwintin, "the "farmer" with ever beaming face, the tender-hearted
Christopher, ever wondering out problems - Rachel, the second mo-
ther of the family ! Richenda, with the enquiring mind, and sweet
refined happy Gladys, nearly four years old ! with fair skin and

golden curls, so like what the others have been before they gradu-


al3y darkened into the brown hair of older children.

My story of a hundred years ends with October, 1895, and I
must close these glimpses of the old inhabitants, all varied in
talents and duties, but surely all animated with but one motto:-

"Gloria in excelsis."

Peafowls have been kept in our grounds
as long as I remember, and we have learned
by experience the art of keeping l>oth them
and the many gay beds of (lowers and
bright borders. It is true that the latter
are much protected by a certain ancient
red-brick wall which bounds that portion
of the garden mostly devoted to the
flowers, while the peafowl are carefully
fed only on the other side of it, and
which side they happily are content to
consider as head-quarters ; but as they arc
the most roving of creatures, they invariably
make a circuit of the whole place once,
and in the long summer hours twice, in
the course of the day : their great natural
inquisitiveness directly discovers a new
plant or some fresh alteration, however

Our great success in keeping peafowl
and flowers lies in the fact, that we let
i them examine the new object, and even
peck it, after which they will soon pass on
to continue their tour of inspection ; but
if anyone is ■ unwise enough to frighten
them off, they are there again as soon as
the person is gone, and are sure to vent
their displeasure on the luckless plant,
which is immediately plucked to pieces,
apparently from a determined idea of ex-
pressing their rights, or the same instinct
that makes an Arab destroy some ancient
monument which is being examined by an
European saTant.

I grant, however, that it is much more
difficult, when they discover a bare place
in some warm spot, anil elect to bathe in
the dust. If they do this, it is well to
walk in a leisurely manner in that direction
to keep them moving, but care must lw
taken that the birds do not suppose that
lit is they which are being interfered with.

Ours nend a great deal of their time
in a wood beyond their feeding-place, and
very beautiful it is to see the party, which
usually numbers a dozen or more, walking
about under the trees or running races in
the green paths, the bright plumage of
the cocks looking lovely as they constantly
change in the light and shade as the sun-
light flickers through the thick branches.


Peafowls have very marked characters, and
are not only intensely inquisitive but sadly
jealous, easily taking offence with each other,
or waging war on the other denizens of the
poultry yard.

I well remember a certain feud which
continued many years between an ancient pea-
cock and whole generations of turkeys; the
former spent hours and days worrying the
latter, till one summer day the tables were
turned. He had been at his usual pastime,
and had so aggravated a certain old turkey hen
that she became perfectly stupefied, and at
last both stood stdl, being nearly worn out,
when the turkey's large brood of poults with
a happy inspiration, suddenly all jumped on
the peacock's long tail, which insult was so
unlooked for and surprising that he quickly
retreated, entirely vanquished.

It is well known how proud a peacock is of
his gorgeous train, and only lately did wc hear
of the extreme vexation a long broken feather
caused to its owner, and very ludicrous was
the description of the bird's repeated attempts
to pluck it out, trample on it, or in any way
get rid of so obnoxious a plume.

The peafowls become much attached to
their own perches, and it is curious to note,
considering their Indian ancestry, that they
prefer the most exposed position on the trees.
One of our young cocks sleeps some sixty feet
up, on a fine fir, and it is a beautiful sight to see
him sail down from his high roost for his
breakfast, which is often very late, as he is
often fashionably late in beginning the day.

Beside keeping some of the ordinary kind
of peafowl, we have had several generations

of the pure white, very pretty in their way,
and particularly graceful-looking, but not to
compare to the splendid colouring of the

well-known common sort, or that rare varie
called the Hlack-shouldered, in which t
male is richer in colouring than the ordins
peacock, and has the wing covering a glos
deep blue-green, instead of the usual freckl
brown-white ; on the other hand the femal
have much less colour, being a pale grey, wi
dark grey tips to the wings and tails.

These "Black-shouldered" peafowls are
great interest to naturalists, appearing su<
denly as they do in some flocks, and yet brcei
ing perfectly true, with, I believe, no variatu
at all, and arc therefore thought by many
be a separate species, and are dignified und
the title of Pavo Cristatus primas, or Pai
Nigripensis; but the strange fact remaii
that they are not known in a wild state, bat
is quite possible their relations may yet h
discovered in the little known lands north <

Oar flock seem rather subject to asthma an
rheumatism. One white peahen lost the as
of both feet, but careful nursing over th
kitchen fire soon got one right, but the othe
being very helpless, had to he put in a card
board boot, or rather a clog till strengtl
came again.

These birds much dislike confinement, anr
appear to suffer from it, yet it seems absolute);
needful to coop the hens when they have chicks,
otherwise the majority of young ones are sure
to succumb to the incessant long tours of
inspection their parents delight in; not that
we can complain of them as short-lived when
the perils of youth arc passed, as we have had
Sirr^o. ytn-2o jrcr^x t


ICANNOT honestly say that the attempt to acclimatise these birds—that is
to say, to establish them as an addition to our English fauna-r-has in that
respect been attended by success. It is true that they have several times
made nests, and on five of these occasions the young have been brought to
maturity ; and " but for those vile guns " the birds wouldflourish extremely ; |
for illness and death from natural causes would seem to be almost unknown
among them. But unhappily they share in many of the characteristics of
human nature, and in this one above all, that they do not know when they
are well off, and every now and then they are seized with a desire to see the
world, and take flights to a distance, twelve or fifteen miles perhaps, .and
sometimes much more, and then they are almost sure to fall a prey to some
gamekeeper or lad who is keepingcrows, and whois astonished by seeing these
brilliant apparitions among the trees. As regards their breeding, a pair of
cockatoos led the way by most unsuccessfully attempting to make a nest in
one of the chimneys, but before it was half finished it gave way, and the
nest and cockatoos fell to the bottom. It being summer-time, they were only
discovered after spending a day and a night among the soot, and when they
were brought out, looked more like two dwarf chimney sweeps than
rational beings. They persevered, how.jver, and made another nest in one
of the boxes that had been hung against the gables of the house in hopes of
such an event. They laid two eggs, but though the hen cockatoo sat mostpcr-
severingly till September, it was all in vain—the eggs were addled. After-
wards, a pair of green parrots, a cock of the Amazonian and a hen of the
Honduras breed, made a nest in one of the boxes, and brought up a young
one, but when he was nearly fledged one of the cockatoos thought it right
to murder him. The year after, the same pair brought up two children, and
it was really a beautiful sight to see the family party flying about, always
together, and living on the most loving terms; but the mother and her
eldest son both unhappily were shot. Afterwards one of the common white
cockatoos and the hen Leadbeater (a very large rose-coloured cockatoo) dug
out their own nest in the rotten branch of an acacia tree, laid two eggs, and
brought up the young birds. These hybrids are very handsome, but do not
resemble either of the parents, having very beautiful crests of a red-orange
colour. Otherwise they are perfectly white. The parent birds were so
pleased with the success of this experiment that last year they repeated it,
and brought up three young ones, thus making up a flock of seven with the
two firstborns. Unluckily one of them was shot at in the winter, and came
home severely wounded, after which the other birds would not permit him to
associate with them, and he always lived in a bush near the house, quite
apart from the rest. One day I moved him into the garden, upon which
some of the other cockatoos (not, however, his own relations) fell upon him
the moment my back was turned, and killed him—one of those traits of
character which, as I said just now, these birds, and in fact, most wild
animals, share with human nature being their general dislike of cripples.
Another of them was also injured, so I took him away to Surrey, where, in
spite of his broken wing and broken leg, an old cockatoo befriended him,
and treats him as her own son. This year we hoped that the same pair
would have nested again, but unluckily a pair of grey parrols anticipated
them in the possession of the hollow branch, and having made a nest in it,
brought up two young grey parrots, which were afflicted with most awful
.' m pc,rs. The party o\ four now fly almost alwaj•= together, and are a great
c:rna*"ent to the placet The maternal instinct of another pair of grey
parrots took a very absurd form this year. A cat made her lodgings in one
of the nest boxes, and brought up her kittens in it, and two of the grey
parrots, who had not been industrious enough to lay eggs and have^a family
of their own, were seized with th» »v--» ----

represented by Mr. Gould, in his book of Humming-birds, with the head
and tail curvet', inwards, and the wings extended. Two or three rose-
coloured cockat /os follow, and hang about on the tripod, but do not venture
to take their pi.ces on the edge of the basket while their fiercer brethren
arc at work. But presently one of the huge white cockatoos with yellow
crests comes swinging heavily down over the lawn, putting all the lesser
ones to flight in a moment; but they soon gather round again, and a lory,
resplendent in red and green, darts through the air, and lights on the top of
the tripod, his burnished hues contrasting well with the pure white of the
cockatoo below, and the group is completed by a Cornish chough, whose
glossy blue-black plumage, and orange beak and legs, are not the least
striking of the costumes. He always at once engages in a fierce strife with
his rivals, and his long beak gives him the advantage over them." I can'
assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that a spectacle of this sort, which I have
witnessed hundreds of times, is one of exquisite beauty, especially in a
sparkling winter's morning, with the snow on the ground, when the colours
of the birds seem peculiarly gorgeous. Nor do they appear to be injured by
the cold. The grey parrots have the sense to get into a house that was built for
shelter to them, but none of the others can ever be persuaded to enter it, and
live in the woods the whole year .through. But even the winter before last,
when the thermometer in my neighbourhood fell six degrees below zero,
though one cockatoo unaccountably disappeared, all the rest appeared to be
as full of life and spirits as possible. In fact, so long as birds are well-fed,
and are in good health, I do not believe that cold is fatal to them. Their
migration depends altogether on food, and not on the fear of .cold. Even the
delicate little long-tailed titmouse, and the still more delicate little golden-
crested wren, and numbers of other seemingly tender birds, remain with us
the whole winter through without appearing to suffer. The fact is that
birds have such a wonderful great coat, such a dense mass of down below
their feathers, and have also, if I am not mistaken, such a supply of
caloric, much beyond that of other animals, that cold rarely kills them,
though I do not mean to say that they like it. It certainly, however, is
curious that these African parrots, Bengal paroquets, and lories from the
Philippine Islands have never appeared to suffer from our frost and snow.
I may observe that the gardener declares that the grey parrots foresee a
storm, and often take refuge in th'eir glass house before it comes. Nothing
can be more striking than the contrast between the plumage of the parrots
when they first come, and its appearance after they have been flying about
for a few weeks, when it acquires a gloss and glitter like that of burnished
metal. Variety of food is not less essential to them than abundance, and
they also require exercise. Some of them, who cannot fly, or who prefer
moping at home, always look woe*egone, and are gloomy and irritable,
while the industrious Pollies, who fly about and help to earn their own
livelihood, are cheerful, contented, and kindly. It is curious how clearly
they have the idea of property and possession. An old parrot, who always
sits in the ivy on an old wall, is just as indignant if any other parrot seeks
to share in his part in it as my cook would be if some of you insisted on
taking up your residence in my kitchen. Generally, however, they pay the
utmost respect to each other's prescriptive rights. We usually have got our
parrots from Mr. Jamrach, a Jew, who has a shop near Wapping, and who
buys all kinds of animals from the ships that come into the docks. His
shop is a queer place, and well worth a visit. One day when I was there, he
had in his little back yard a crocodile, 12 feet long, and another, a baby
crocodile, about j& inches long. . This one I bought and kept alive for some
time, but though a young lady made him a most comfortable flannel waist-

of their own, were seized WiiThVIdeVS'h^.'tUSgS H'™0'3 family
I They kept up a constant warfare with th^i?!!!! k.!"e™re the.r children.

th the old cat: and whenever si

box one ot them used to get in and sit with the kitten . they were con-
stantly in close attendance, even when the mother cat wa\ at home. When
t the cockatoos I have sp«Vn of had their nest in the a:ac'a tree, it was very
' ridiculous to see the extr.1 vagant interest taken in the matter by the others
of the same species. . They used to sit most of the tttf on the branches
just above the nest, and whenever the parent bird flew out, she was attended
by .1 troop of the others, screaming horrible acclamation* in her honour.
1 here is an immense deal of originality about this "face of bird. They have
none of the common-place humdrum mediocrity of ordinary birds. Their
curiosity is unbounded, and they evidently look on man and his doings with
the keenest interest, mingled with surprise, and with perhaps just a
sniipcon of contempt. There is, moreover, strongly marked individual
character among them. No two of them behave exactly in the same
manner. I think the large white cockatoo with the broad white crest is the
most intelligent of the lot. I had one of them whom I wished to keep
chained to a perch, but though a first-rate London locksmith tried every-
thing his ingenuity could suggest, the cockatoo beat him utterly. Without
breaking it, he contrived to open the ring, or other contrivance for holding
him, with his beak, though one or two of ijjtfm must, one should have
thought, have required great study to uniA.rstand. The experiment of
acclimatising parrots has been tried on a somewhat large scale. We have
had African, Amazonian, and Carolina parrots, Rosella paroquets, large
Bengal paroquets, four species of cockatoos, and two of lories. The last
two are magnificent birds, with their scarlet bodies, and very long wings and
tails of rich metallic green. Curiously enough, however, they are far less
seen than any of the others, as they almost always sit buried in the thickest
foliage, and they have none of the sensibility and intellectual excitement of
the cockatoos or parrots. In fact, however, all these birds vanish completely
out of sight during the greater part of the day. Many of them, indeed, live
in the woods at a distance from the house, but even t^ose who have selected
the trees in the garden for their residence would not easily be discovered.
You would have supposed that at any rate the white Cockatoos would have
been visible anywhere ; but the inclination of all animals is to slip out of the
sight of man, and with the shadows of the trees upon them an unpractised
eye would rarely discover them. At one time there were nearly fifty at
Northrepps Hall, but lately we have had great losses, so many have flown
away and been shot. In the morning and evening they come to feed upon
hemp-seed, and bread and milk, which is hung in a basket from a tripod by
the drawing-room window; and then, I can assure you, the groups of them
are sometimes most beautiful. I will read a memorandum which I put down
one day, a couple of years ago, of the scene I was watching, and which
recurred morning after morning as I sat reading in my study at my house in
Surrey :—" The parrots' breakfast having been put in the basket, a pair of
white cockatoos, who had been anxiously watching the proceedings from the
tree above, swooped down and set instantly to work. A Bengal paroquet,
with long green wings, presently comes skimming up, and flutters for a few
minutes almost perpendicularly in the air, exactly in the attitude so often

maue mm a most comtortable flannel waist-
old for him. Then there were sundry bears,
othe' animals; while all .the. rooms »*•<■

• muse iihcn were ^jiven J lip 10 -oiras—mostly 01 tne parrot kind ; and me

screaming and shrieking is terrific. Every now and then there is a perfecT

avalanche of the little green paroquets from Australia ; and on one occasion
Mr. Jamrach had 3,000 of them in his bed-rooms. Parrots that can talk
fetch a high price, so we rarely buy them, as we don't want pets. Moreover,
they are apt to lose their power of .talking when they are out in the woods ;
but sometimes they learn to imitate other sounds. At my house in Surrey
the jackdaws build in boxes placed for them in the gables, and a grey
parrot who flies about has learnt to copy them exactly ; while one of the
cockatoos can imitate the clucking of a hen so cleverly that no one would
conceive that it was not the fowl herself. One cockatoo, who had been a
pet and lived near a farm-yard, astounded his fellow-travellers, on his way
down to Northrepps, by suddenly bursting out with an admirable imitation
of the dying screams of a pig. A large Amazonian parrot, who has been at
Northrepps Hall for twenty years, used to be a first-rate talker. Amongst
other phrases he used to'mutter to himself, " I have no wife, but I take care
of my mother." He it was who originated the plan of turning the parrots
out; for having escaped from his cage, he remained in the oak and beech
trees for nearly three months, and only came back when the winter set in,
but looking so magnificent that the idea suggested itself of trying the effect
of liberty on other parrots as well. After lie returned, he amused us very
.much by walking up and down on the sill of the dining-room window,
repeating the phrases of anxious entreaty that had been addressed to him
by the maid-servants to induce him to come in, exactly imitating their
different voices as well as words. On one occasion he nearly frightened a
poor woman out of her wits by suddenly plumping down on the top of her
head as she was walking along the road. On two or three occasions
strangers, when approaching the house, have been perfectly astounded by
hearing what they took for the voices of invisible human beings issuing from
the trees over their heads. One of the young cockatoos that was born in
the acacia trees disappeared last spring, but returned the other day in a
beggarly and ruinous condition, having evidently been nearly starved, but
soon recovered his good looks. It is curious what could have become of him,
and how he found his way back after so long an absence. The same thing has
occurred with others. One of the large cockatoos deserted my place in
Surrey for several months, and was continually seen associating with a flock
of rooks some miles away, but at length returned. On one occasion a flock
of our parrots flew to a place named Brooke, full twenty-five miles away,
and eleven of them were shot by a gamekeeper, who naturally thought he
had secured a wonderful prize. Afterwards five cockatoos were shot
together in the same way. It is curious what friendships arise between
birds, some of which belong to different species. A paroquet and a green
parrot were perfectly inseparable ; and so too,,,"! my house in Surrey, I had
at one time a flock of eleven gtey parroL b ut ten of them having got
killed, the survivor associated himself with j0rne cockatoos, and for the last
few years has invariably flown about in their cuinpany. One Carolina parrot
was frost-bitten in the hard winter of 1860, and lost both her legs. She
looked a deplorable object ever after, but a magnificent parrot took pity on

coat.^he found our cli
lions, monkeys, ract