In the Eighteenth Century
Tunbridge Wells at the end of the eighteenth century, certainly Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, " The Queen of the Blue-Stockings," was the visitor in the middle of that century. Year after year from 1745, almost without intermission, she came to take the water, staying from 1752 at the White Stone House on Mount Ephraim. Though she wrote to the Duchess of Newcastle, complaining, " These Houses at Tunbridge have so much the air of Inns, and the whole is such a scrambling life one feels oneself at rest very comfortably when one gets away," yet she was, to judge from the following encomium, very fond indeed of the spa.
Mrs. Montagu to Mrs. Anstey.
" Sandelford, 1749.
". . . Why hesitate a moment about going thither ? The waters are good, the air incomparable, the place agreeable, and you cannot make a better summer's campaign. Rural and polite life are happily associated there; you may have the most retired, or the most public walks, as you are disposed; the variety of persons and characters make Tunbridge an epitome of the world. I am apt to g 2 99