Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Amelia Long (Lady Farnborough) Bromley Hill House

As I have now completed the folio of Edward Dunn's funeral accounts from 1830-1839 for online publication as a transcript for Kent Online Parish Clerks later this year I reflected on not only the the two largest funerals that Edward organised in nearly a decade but also the extraordinary achievement of Amelia Long wife of the First Baron Farnborough. The Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript is numbered 77 in the Account book by Edward Dunn.
Amelia Hume was the daughter of Sir Abraham Hume an amateur artist and friend of Joshua Reynolds. He also collected art and when Amelia showed skill she became a pupil in the 1790's of  Thomas Girtin and Francis Eridge.
In 1793 Amelia married Charles Long who at the time was member of Parliament for Rye in Sussex but later represented Midhurst Wendover and Haslemere. He was a friend of William Pitt since their Cambridge days and his political career can be found in Charles Long Wikipedia entry.
In 1801 the couple who were childless in their marriage purchased the estate of Bromley Hill House which was to be their country home until their deaths. A local history of the estate and house is found Ravensbourne Valley History.
Amelia began to design and landscape the wooded valley utilising the springs that formed tributaries to the River Ravensbourne. She also painted several scens of the Bromley Hill grounds most notably of the view to London which included the distant dome of Saint Pauls. The auction of one work is found here.
Amelia's talent and resourcefulness are quite remarkable. Her husband was to serve in major offices of State and to be a member of the Privy Council and to be awarded the order of the Bath by George IV. He furthered the cause of the art and was a powerful influence in the establishment of the National Gallery and purchase of the Elgin Marbles. Charles was awarded a Baronetcy and became first Baron Farnborough.
The death of Amelia on 15 January 1837 meant that Edward Dunn was engaged to make the funeral arrangements. Edward's father's surviving dedicated accounts of funerals date from 1803 until his son Edward takes over in 1830 the year of Edward Senior's death. Edward had between 1830 and Amelia's death arranged many funerals for nobility and was accustomed to burials far away from Bromley.
Amelia and Charles who died in 1838 had expressed a wish to be buried in Wormley Hertfordshire and Edward Dunn mentions in both accounts Wormleybury Manor as the point of arrival of the funeral procession. The Right Honourable Lord Farnborough commissions Edward to make Amelia's funeral arrangements and incidentally pays the cost of £270-4s-0d. Amelia died on 15 January 1837 aged 66 years. The funeral account includes "a stout elm shell stuffed with best wool lined and trimmed with rich white satin inside a stout lead coffin and stout oak outside coffin with rich crimson silk velvet finished with 3 rows of best brass nails" and what Edward Dunn describes as "superb massive brass handles coronets and ornament and a brass engraved plate with arms and supporters Coronet and inscription".
The departure from Bromley Hill House was witnessed by 42 household servants ( Edward Dunn had fitted them with crepe bands) and a hearse pulled by 6 horses and three coaches and four horses were to accompany the coffin through Lewisham and London to Wormleybury Manor in Hertfordshire. In all 28 men from Bromley were employed to travel to the funeral. Arrangements for tolling bells at Bromley and Lewisham were paid for. Two Feathermen were included. They were to both equip the horses coaches and hearse with feathers and in part to carry a board with feathers in front of the hearse. The hearse itself was not only dressed in best black feathers velvets and hammercloths (which covered the coachman's seat and had smaller coronets and crests) but also had "rich side pieces with arms supporters crest motto and large coronet with smaller for hammercloths and tail piece" The coffin beneath a state Velvet pall had a lid of black feathers and a crimson silk velvet cushion with Baron Farnborough's coronet. The coaches had 2 dressed porters with truncheons and the 10 coach pages had staffs and wands.
Edward Dunn had previously travelled to Wormley and there had "two one and a half yard Achievements with supporters mantle crest and pedestal Bath ribbon coronet in black and gold frames" arranged. He had used 18 yards of "super black cloth for fixing to the pulpit Curates Desk Clerks desk and communion table and a rich majesty escutcheon"  The account implies burial at Wormley church but there is no item for a vault or tomb or work commissioned by Edward Dunn.
The widower Charles Long died 18 January 1838 aged 80 years and Edward Dunn is commissioned by the Executors for the estate to undertake arrangements at a cost of £427-1s-6d using a hearse and six horses and five coaches and fours employing 31 men as bearers porters pages  7 coachmen and 2 feathermen. The company appear to spend the night at Waltham Cross before the onward journey on funeral day. This arrangement of a funeral resting overnight is described in more detail in another account of longer distance travel in which Edward describes arrangments for a room for the night for the coffin and Attendants; requiring paid bearers to remove the coffin from the hearse and return it the following morning. Edward is experienced in such funerals in Suffolk Essex Kent and Sussex as well as many burials in London and Middlesex and had assisted his father in several others long distance funerals.
During this period there are other undertakers in the Bromley area but Edward Dunn accounts for a large proportion of burials in Bromley.