Royal Hospital, Dublin
September 28, 1857.

MS location unknown. This fragment printed in Romanes, Appreciation 84-5.

[To Elizabeth Barnett]

The place we are in is a sight in itself – an old house of the Knight Hospitallers, which the great Ormond converted into an Irish Chelsea, making the Commander of the Forces the Master.1 It is built round a quadrangle, with a cloister, a chapel, and great hall, all in Louis XIV. style . . . this house occupying one side, with the hall and chapel, the house of the Chaplain, and some of the staff, and the old pensioners. . . .It is very military church-going . . .sitting in a hideous gallery looking down on them [the Lancers]. The pensioners are chiefly R[oman]. C[atholic]., so that there is a very small show of them at church. . . .It was a beautiful scene in the great oaken hall, with Lord Seaton’s grand figure walking up and down . . .all that he ever was in activity, and alertness, and memory.

The Church matters are wonderfully lax, as might be expected, the Irish Church hardly professing to believe in the Church. . . .Kneeling appears to be unknown. I have seen no provision for it except in the gallery here and in a beautiful church built by Mr.Sidney Herbert, to which we went yesterday afternoon. 2

Lord Seaton was so kind as to give us . . . a field-day in Phoenix Park. Only think of being regaled with four regiments of infantry, three of cavalry, and a proportion of artillery, and on a sunshiny day of Irish winds, with the beauteous park for the scene and the Wicklow Hills as background. . . . We had no visible enemy, but we suffered a repulse in spite of a brilliant charge of the Lancers and Scots Greys, but it was all to get us home to luncheon.

1CMY and her cousin Anne Yonge had gone to Ireland to attend the wedding of their cousin the Hon. Jane Colborne. They were staying at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, founded as a refuge for old soldiers, in imitation of Chelsea Royal Hospital, by James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond (1610–1688), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
2Sidney Herbert (1810-1861), later 1st Lord Herbert of Lea, owned estates near Dublin and built several churches there.
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/3108/to-elizabeth-barnett-7

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