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To Lady Beverley, by hand | Morning, Thursday 22nd September 1678

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She remembered the Beverleys very fondly. Despite her approaching Lady Mary without an introduction, on the basis of Her Majesty's request, the Lady had been entirely unplussed and accomodating. That she appeared to be of an age with Eleanor added to the debutante's sense of comfort with the pair. Lord Beverley seemed slightly older but had been equally kind, assuring Eleanor that, in their respective duties to Her Majesty and the Duke of Cumberland, they were accustomed to being approached. Why, the two had seemed the epitome of the proper young, courtly couple.


To Mary Saint-Leger, Lady Beverley,

Does Eleanor Bayning, daughter of Viscount Bayning,

Lady Mary, I wish to convey my heartfelt apologies for not being able to follow up our conversation regarding Her Majesty's request that I attend on her with my embroidery. I have most regrettably been indisposed these last few days. It was a delight to meet your good self and your gentle husband, and I would venture to hope that we might be able to renew our acquaintance, and to arrange to honour Her Majesty's most kind request.

Yours Faithfully

Eleanor Bayning

The letter was written on white rag paper, a dried sweet violet pressed into the corner. It was accompanied by a small parcel wrapped in tissue, which proved to contain a pair of silk kerchiefs, one sized for a lady and one for a man, embroidered upon their edges with tiny, delicate vervain flowers in pink and purple, for sensibility and sensitivity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Eleanor 

Your regrets are shared that the turbulence of the other morning did not suit the topic of gentle conversation, but I am pleased that you thought to write with thought to repairs.  And such a beautiful pair of handkerchiefs, exquisite workmanship that I can only guess is your own?  Thank you for such a thoughtful gift.

You must be attending the Yacht Race come Friday.  I shall be attending her Majesty in her stall, but no doubt shall be grateful for the chance of a stroll along the river banks, so I shall look out for you.  

God Bless you and yours


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