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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 438
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330 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. to the remains of his grandfather's fortune, through the death of his aunt, Miss Henrietta Hay, who died at Dantzic about the year 1835. The last Portrait in the group will-be easily recognised as the late EARL OF EGLINTON, of whom we have already given a memoir. At the period referred to by the Print, he was Colonel of the West Lowland Fencibles. The regiment wore the Highland uniform ; to which garb his lordship was extremely partial. He had served abroad in a Highland corps ; and while residing at his paternal estate of Coilsfield, not the least important personage among his retainers was the family piper, whose martial strains were poured forth on all occasions prescribed by feudal or baronial usage. The Colonel was a stern and brave soldier. It is told that,, on his return from the American war, he was much annoyed by the interrogatories of his mother, whose maternal fondness could never be satisfied wieh the narration of the toils and perils to which he had been exposed. More than usually teased on. one occasion, he goodhumouredly replied-" 'Deed, mother, to tell the truth, the greatest difficulty and annoyance I experienced, was when, in endeavouring to clear a fence, I happened to leap into a close column of very long nettles/"-no enviable situation for a man with a kilt. The ladies attired in military uniform, and whose figures are most prominent in the Promenade, were the two eldest daughters of the late Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, Bart., and nieces of the celebrated Jane Duchess of Gordon, and the almost equally well-known Lady Wallace. The MISSES MAXWELL were much admired in the fashionable world, of which they were distinguished ornaments. At that period, when every citizen was a soldier, and everything military the rage, it was the fashion for the female relatives of the noblemen and gentlemen, who bore commissions in the regulars, fencibles, and volunteers, to assume the uniforms of the respective corps to which their fathers, husbands, and brothers belonged. The two young ladies are accordingly in the uniform of the West Lowland Fencibles, of which their father, Sir William Maxwell, was Lieutenant-Colonel. One of the sisters was married to William Murray, Esq. of Polmaise, Vice-Lieutenant of the county of Stirling, and Lieutenant- Colonel Commandant of the Stirlingshire Yeomanry Cavalry; and the other to James Dupre, Esq. of Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire. Of the other figures in the Print, the artist not having left even a record of their names, no authentic information can be procured. That they are all likenesses, and were well known at the time, there can be little doubt. The costumes of the ladies convey a pretty accurate idea of the fashions prevailing at the period.
Volume 9 Page 439
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