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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 2d.

2 October 1864

Tuesday 4th

4 October 1864
3 October 1864
Monday 3d.

Lord Cranworth is now seventy four years old, though he does not look or move like it. He has passed through all the grades of the legal course until he attained the highest which he held for several years until the breakdown of the last Whig cabinet. He gives me the impression of mildness and purity of character, but not of extraordinary ability. Lord Cranworth is a pleasing unassuming woman who impresses me as having a large share of reserved force, and much cultivation of which she makes no display. Lady Fanny Bailly is one of the sisters of the late Lord Elgin, and of the Wife of Dean Stanley. Her husband who is now in Scotland, is in the Diplomatic service at one of the minor courts of Germany. Miss Carr is an old single lady, who has seen something of the world, has lived in Ceylon, and now contorts himself with the labor of petting a minute terrier dog of advanced age. This is our interior, which I relish much better than the formalities of usual country visits. After looking over an old folio history of their part of Kent, in order to get some notion of the lay of the land, I sallied out on a walk. The sky was bright as in America, with a high, cool wind from the east. Found my way over Keston common to Hayes, in order to visit the place where Lord Chatham lived and his great son was born. The house stands almost opposite to the church, in a very flat position and with an entrance door almost on a level with the grand. It has nothing to distinguish it from the many country houses one meets all about. Yet the mere fact that Chatham passed many days of joy and sorrow, of elation and of suffering in this scene stirs the imagination more than if it were a Prince’s Palace. He is one of a few very great men in England’s political history. An orator and Statesman combined, as nobody else has been, excepting his son. I do not include Lord Bolingbroke who was in fact a failure. Here Chatham planted two, but he had not the advantage of elevation to produce effects as his son had. Got home to luncheon.124 Lady Cranworth proposed an expedition to Lord Lydney’s at Frognell, but I declined to join it, as I preferred to accept Lord C’s invitation to see his farm. He took me to see his farm houses and cottages for his men. The latter he has scarcely finished. They are better than the Speaker’s, because larger upstairs. But they are not so spacious as the dwellings of our laboring people in the Country. The cows are Durham or Alderney. The pigs Berkshire and very good. But his main stay is the sheep, which are rather a burden in consequence of the drought and loss of the turnip crop. The buildings were not new nor particularly good. The crops were evidently short, as we could see by the stacks. This state of things with us would be ruinous. Here the relief is in the moderation of the winter season, which furnishes more or less of food out of doors. The ladies went to Frognell and Mrs Adams was interested in the curious details of the old place. At dinner today, were the Archbishop of Canterbury and his eldest daughter. Mr and Mrs Lublock, of the Banking house of that name, but he better known as a man of science, and a Mr Norman. These are all neighbors. After dinner, Miss Lengley and her father sang several English duets in a simple and agreeable manner.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA64d277