A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 3d.

3 October 1864

Wednesday 5th

5 October 1864
4 October 1864
Tuesday 4th

The weather continues very bright but with a high Easterly wind. I sallied out on a new walk. This time I struck into a narrow road which led into one of those lanes or passage ways between private Estates which are peculiar to England. On each side are hedges which some breaking up the fields for the autumn sowing. Following a circuitous course I come out at last upon a road which brought me back upon that portion of Lord Cranworth’s place diametrically opposite to that which I had started from. The peculiar characteristic of this walk is the solitude for miles—and yet we are only a dozen miles from London. After luncheon I joined Lady Cranworths in her party to visit Addington, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is about four miles from Holwood. The Archbishop had expected us at Luncheon, and was exceedingly courteous. He had with him two gentlemen Messr Lennard and Hammond who joined us in an excursion around125 the grounds. The house is spacious but scarcely above the grade of a gentleman’s mansion in the country, of the better class. There is however an extensive and diversified tract of territory attached which is wild and picturesque. One cedar of great age and enormous extent the spreading limbs of which were held up by thirty or more strong props, is perhaps the most remarkable object. It is not the cedar of Lebanon, but is handsomer, as its branches are pendulous and not stiff. The land is far from rich, but it appears to sustain a good deal of oak and beech and birch and evergreen wood. From the elevations a wide reach of view is obtained, prominent in which stands the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. Having passed through a portion of the region, we drove home. Lady Cranworth however let me out at a point called West Wickham, where on a portion of the estate of Mr Lennard are to be seen some very ancient oaktrees. I found my way to them. They stand among other trees, but so wide apart as not to mar their venerable character. The English oak is seldom remarkable for its great height. It seems rather to expend its forces in low lateral branches which it throws out strongly and in order to sustain them expend most of its vital energy in swelling their proportions near the trunk. The consequence is a knotty, gnarled, ponderous stem which after long exposure and damage from violent struggles with the wind takes that massive, irregular and ragged appearance that makes it so picturesque. There was one of these specimens in particular which was quite sublime. In its vigorous state of ruins with a girth of thirty or more feet, I could readily believe that it may have seen all the generations of men of whom we have any knowledge in this island, successively rise, flourish or fade, and pass away. It became dark, before I got out of the wood, and for a time I was dubious about my way home. I however struck out boldly across the lonely heath, and singularly enough made my way back with but me enquiring from the only man I met in two or three miles. At dinner there were Colonel Lennard and his Wife, a daughter of Henry Hallam, Mr Hammond, Mr Mrs and Miss Bonham Carter, and two younger Messr Lublock. The first named is pleasant and easy— He had been in America, and talked of his experience.126

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=DCA64d278