Catalogue Finding NumberSH:7/ML/E/1/0059
Office record is held atCalderdale, West Yorkshire Archive Service
TitleDiary page
Description[Diary Transcription]
132
1817
December
L
would consent to stay with them on no other condition, and it was at last so settled. Miss M- [Marsh]
called for me in a great hurry at 1/2 after 3. M- [Mariana] and I were sitting together in Mrs B-’s [Belcombe] lodging room -
I just finishing a letter to my Aunt Anne today I would return by Thursday’s or Friday’s mail
next week - M- [Mariana] was very unwell, and, as they were going to have a dinner party and she would be
left alone, wished exceeding that I could have stayed with her - Miss M- [Marsh] would make me do so,
and took my excuses to the D-’s [Duffin] - M- [Mariana] and I being left a little to ourselves, had some cozy chitchat -
She was very fidgetty and poorly in the evening and was just going to bed (about 9) when it occurred to
her to ask me, if I had heard Miss Jane Preston’s abominable scandal - I said yes! She
then expressed vexation at my not having told her; but, on my explaining the whys
and wherefores, seemed satisfied - She asked me where I had heard it - I said at Lady
Vavasour’s - She (M- [Mariana]) then pressed me to repeat the whole as she had only a general idea
of it - This I refused, saying, I really thought I was not the proper person to tell her;
but that, tho’ I declined doing it myself, I had no objection to further her knowing it by
naming the persons to whom J. P. [Jane Preston] had addressed the conversation, and it was to them she ought
to apply for further information - M- [Mariana] said she knew Mrs Bury was 1 of them - I said yes!
Mrs Bury, her husband, and Lady V- [Vavasour] - M- [Mariana] repeated to me what she had been told viz.
that C- L- [Charles Lawton] was a very bad character, that he had broken his late wife’s heart, and she (M- [Mariana])
and he had made up matters in his late wife’s life time - I owned the information was
correct, and asked her authority - but, as she had given her honour not to disclose it, I,
of course, pressed the matter no further - She asked me to advise her what to do - I said I
would not advise her, but I would tell her what I myself should do under like circumstances -
But 1st, said I, consider whether you would choose to resent the thing - if not, make no inquiries;
for, if you know it, I think you must feel yourself bound to resent it - She
determined to make J. P. [Jane Preston] smart a little, and I proceeded to say, were I in her place I should send
for Mrs Bury, as soon as her rubber was over (she was playing whist in the drawing room,
having joined the evening party) say I understood she was present when J. P. [Jane Preston] said so and so, and that I should
feel myself very much obliged, if she would have the goodness to tell me whether what I had
heard was correct - M- [Mariana] approved this plan - I proposed consulting Lou - In the meantime,
Nantz came to us - We briefly told her what we had been talking of, and asked her to go and
send Lou - Dr B- [Belcombe] then coming in to ask how she did, I left the room - Lou and I
went upstairs into M- [Mariana]’s and Lou’s room, and Lou was quite of my opinion - we soon went down to
M- [Mariana] who had told the whole thing to her father, and he, too, was for having Mrs Bury sent for -
At last (1/2 after 10) Mrs Bury came, and she and M- [Mariana] and I were left to ourselves - M- [Mariana] opened the
subject as was agreed - Mrs B- [Bury] seemed very sorry for herself - said she would gladly do anything to

133
1817
December
oblige M- [Mariana] or any of the family, but begged to have till tomorrow to consider of it - This, of course,
could not be refused, and, after a few mutual civilities, Mrs B- [Bury] took her leave - M- [Mariana] and I sat talking
till 11, both approving Mrs B-’s [Bury] caution, but as I was to walk home with them, M- [Mariana] trusted
to my persuading them to come forward, tell the whole, and vouch for it - Tho’ a wettish, drizly,
snowy, disagreeable night, Mr and Mrs B- [Bury] very civilly went out of their way from their own lodgings
near the bottom of Micklegate, and set me to Miss M-’s [Marsh] door - It wanted but 10 minutes to 12 by
the Hansoms’ clock (always 10 minutes too soon) and Miss M- [Marsh] was asleep in bed - Expressed
my sorrow at disturbing her and told the cause of my being so late - She was glad at
what had passed, and hoped J. P. [Jane Preston] would be made to smart - Finish soft morning and afternoon, bad evening.
I think from the light in which I represented the thing as we walked home, the Burys will
come forward, and tell J. P. [Jane Preston]’s conversation such as it was -

Saturday 13
8 25/60
12 3/4
Found the D-’s [Duffin] had had a turkey etc. for me yesterday, and that it was hardly right for me not to
have dined there - Breakfasted at the D-’s [Duffin] - Called on, and sat 3/4 hour with, Lady Mary
Stapleton - Went from thence to the Belcombes - Found M- [Mariana] had just had a very civil note from
Mrs Bury, to say she would call in the course of the morning, and would give any explanation
M- [Mariana] desired; as she had considered the matter over, and she and Mrs B- [Bury] thought they ought not to
refuse answering any questions M- [Mariana] might put to them about this affair - I had hardly read the note before
Mr and Mrs B- [Bury] arrived - M- [Mariana] (sitting in her mother’s sitting room on account of her face) sent me
into the drawing room to them - They said they had just been at Lady V-’s [Vavasour], and that to their astonishment
she had positively declared she would have nothing to say in the business, and that it should rest wholly
with them, observing that no court could compel her to repeat a private conversation § that she
would throw herself upon the protection of the lord judge, and ask him, if she was compelled to
repeat a private conversation etc., etc., and such like nonsense - I said this was a circumstance
for which I was sure M- [Mariana] was quite unprepared, and I would go and ask her what she wished to
be done - we sent for Dr B- [Belcombe] and left him to advise the Burys whether to tell M- [Mariana]
the whole story or not - Dr B- [Belcombe] heard it all, and begged M- [Mariana] might be told - On this M- [Mariana]
and I, and soon after Mrs Belcombe, went into the drawing room, and heard from Mrs Bury, confirmed
by her husband, the following conversation (the whole of what is within inverted commas, is copied
verbatim from a paper written the moment after the Burys went) „Saturday 13 December 1817, 10 minutes
‘past 3 p.m. (J. P. [Jane Preston]) Well! Mrs Belcombe will be happy tonight she will have all her
‘children about her - I hear the Lawtons are coming - Mrs Bury did not know the L-s [Lawton] - did not
‘at that moment remember the name. (J. P. [Jane Preston]) Mr L- [Lawton] has an idiot brother who sits at the bottom of the
‘table, and to whom the property belongs - £6000, a year, and, indeed, we all know how it is spent -
‘Only think of Miss Mariana Belcombe, who had a good home of her own, marrying such

§ Her ladyship had repeated this private conversation; for she was
the one who told it to Mr Darvall, let alone Miss M- [Marsh] and me, and to
how many more I cannot say -
DateDec 1817
Extent1 page
LevelPiece
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