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The Birtwhistles of Craven and Galloway

 

 

 

 

 

It may have been the final resolution of the Birtwhistle vs Vardill case which prompted Anna and Agnes to move to Reading, and to travel extensively. The address on Anna’s letters was never more specific than Reading, but the mention of a nervous Mary Russell Mitford visiting at night time in 1841 suggests their residence was close to the author’s cottage at Three Mile Cross. Our friend at 3 mile X [ Mary Russell Mitford] is in better spirits and has some thoughts of visiting her relative Bertram Osbalditon Mitford at his Northumbrian Castle. Ben [her servant] and the old pong [her horse]  often bring her to our evening fire but she still fears to prolong her visits beyond the twilight unless the moon shines. Even the pong shows a painful memory, and starts aside when he reaches the place where she was attacked. However, she will probably remain at her cottage bower till spring.

 

A letter of 1842 reported that Miss Mitford had sent the first violets of the year to Anna, and another, of 1843,  that she had sent her servant  with the news that  Mary’s  father had died. 

 

Anna and Agnes travelled extensively between 1843 and 1848. A letter from the Wicklow Hills with a sketch by Agnes show them in Ireland in Feb 1843, and this was followed by a 10 month tour of France and Italy, which included visits to Milan, Parma, Florence, Rome, Naples and Turin. They were again in France in 1845 and 1847, and in Dunkeld on New Years Eve 1848. The last item from Anna in the Flaxman collection was a Valentine to Maria Denman dated 14th Feb  1849. Anna had mentioned in 1832 having  of “treasury of Valentines of 1812”  and, since the Valentine of 1849 was signed with  an insignia based on her maiden initials, AV,  which she frequently used for  her contributions to the Attic Chest, it would seem that the Valentine of 1849 was a  re-dated Valentine from her “treasury”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 35 Anna’s Valentine to Maria Denman in 1849

 

 

 

 

 

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