People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Since the Eighteenth Century
visit she went to Lady Donegal's house, and played whist with her hostess, Lord Ellen-borough and Lord Erskine. " I don't know," she commented upon the game, " which of the four played worst." The great charm of the place to her was the informality that permitted her to stroll upon the Common at any hour of the day, without hat or gloves, without ob­servation or remark. She was frequently at " The Wells," and in her diary it is recorded that she was there in August 1811, on which occasion she found there Lydia White, and the rival wits, John William Ward and Henry Luttrell. Returning in the same month of the following year, she was there when the news of the victory of Salamanca arrived. The Marquis of Buckingham, who was the first to receive the intelligence, sent a copy of the despatch to each Library on the Parade, where everybody saw them. " In the evening (of August 17) there was a general illumina­tion," Miss Berry recorded in her journal. " The Pantiles were decorated very prettily with branches of ash mixed with flowers and laurels. I had often heard of the beauty of an illumination at Tunbridge, but it very much surpassed my expectations. The effect S2                                                                           275
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