Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Family come Visiting

1st Aprill 1743
Spent Mr Bingley 6d He blooded me nothing

(even for free I don't fancy that treatment!)

My Sisters Dorothy & Mary Tye Come to London & Lodged at the House I doe
3rd Spent with Sisters at Home 6d
4th Mutton 6d
5th Spent 6d
6th Spent 6d Sister Ann Tye come this day
7th went with Sisters to See the Dutchess of Buckingham Lye in Stait & was Buried this day & was drawn in a State Bed. She Lay in waxwork on the Coffin with all her Coronation Close on and all her Jewells & a woman Kneeled at the Head and another at her feet their was a great many mourning Coaches be Sides Number of noblemens Coaches in the Procesion which was the greater buring thats been seen for many years and spent at a Coffee House 18d

Now this was a really great event. Catherine, Duchess of Buckingham(that's her, painted by Rubens above), was an illegitimate daughter of James II and she never let anyone forget her royal blood, especially not at her funeral. Both Walpole and Pope made waspish comments about her pride and the extravagance of her funeral. The Wax figure survived to be photographed.

It is said that she supervised the dressing of the figure herself. Proud and extravagant she may have been, but poor Catherine buried all her four children. That is the funeral effigy of one of them in the picture. She and two of her sons were buried in Westminster Abbey.

This description is the longest I've found so far in Thomas's book of any event. He must have been mightily impressed.

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