13th Dec, 2023 10:30 GMT/BST

Books, Maps & Manuscripts

  Lot 49


Cavendish Bentinck (F.)
An interesting manuscript diary covering the period March 25th to December 31st, 1878, believed to have been written by William George Frederick Cavendish Bentinck (1856-1948), father of the 8th and 9th Dukes of Portland and husband of the socialist suffragette Ruth Cavendish Bentinck. The diary gives a unique insight into the life of a young aristocrat and army officer and includes military training, dinners and London balls, theatre, horse racing (Ascot, York, etc.), fox hunting, royal escort, House of Lords, grouse shooting, visits to country estates and house parties (Sledmere, Nun Appleton, Osterley, etc.) and a Tour of France and Italy which includes a visit to the Paris Exposition:

25th March;
‘After breakfast George and I go to see about his servant and to choose curtains got for my rooms see Georges uniform tried on and arrange about my own for Aldershot Drill at the Regents Park barracks dinner tete a tete with mother and arrange with her about party for May 8th Ball given by Harvey Farquar in Grosvenor Place beautifully done and very pleasant where several young ladies make their 1st appearance.’

May 1st;
'After spending the greater part of last night in trying to find the lodging allotted to me and finally discovering them already occupied I pass the night at a public. At 10 o’clock I go to the School of Instruction find the class consists of 37 yeomanry officers. Call on various military officials get attached to the 1st Dragoon (Royals) and engage a small house behind the barracks on the outskirts of the town. Dine at mess with the Royals play whist win £2.3s. bed about twelve.'

5th June;
'Derby day leave Victoria for Epsom at 12 in company with E.W.D. and Bouverie a showering and unpleasant day travel down very comfortably luncheon on the Royals coach Sefton (price 9 to 1) wins the Derby somewhat easily, Insulaire (1st favourite) 2nd and Sir Joseph from whom much was expected nowhere. Dinner with the B. Dennisons Covent Garden Opera Trovatore Patti & Scaldi excellent ball at Lady Hoggs not very good home 2.30.'

5th September;
'Breakfast at eight hair cut Leave Charing Cross with ?Lambert for Deptford at ten o’clock the master of the ???? yard has a steam launch waiting for us and takes us down the river to where the collision between the Princess Alice and Bywell Castle took place we see innumerable boats dragging for dead bodies and about 7 are recovered whilst we are on the spot on our return to Deptford we stop at Woolwich to view 75 bodies of the unclaimed drowned a ghastly and terrible sight. Luncheon with Grant return to London see Father & Denice dinner at home leave for Paris at 8.25.'

Ink manuscript on paper, ’T.J. & J. Smith’s Large Quarto Manuscript Diary’, three days to the page with single line for Sunday, interleaved with blotting paper, generally legible script but almost devoid of punctuation, original cloth-backed boards (worn, partially detached). A copy of Ruth Cavendish Bentinck’s ‘The Point of Honour: A Correspondence on Aristocracy and Socialism’, 1928, is loosely inserted.

Sold for £800
Estimated at £200 - £400


Auction: Books, Maps & Manuscripts, 13th Dec, 2023

The Books, Maps and Manuscripts sales encompass a broad range of collecting areas from early antiquarian books to modern first editions, which are sold alongside illustrations, private press, manuscripts, maps and atlases, early photographs, autographed letters and historic documents. Held four times a year, the specialist Book sales incorporate both private collections and libraries, and single lots from vendors across the United Kingdom.


Tuesday 12 December 10am-5pm and morning of sale from 8am

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