Alice Pitt-Rivers' family, the Stanleys, were famously articulate. Some of this articulacy remains today in two edited sets of letters, one of the Stanley family by Nancy Mitford and the second by Bertrand and P. Russell of his mother (Alice's sister). The following transcriptions give a flavour of the sort of comments made by the Stanleys about the Pitt-Riverses, or as they were for most of these letters, the Foxes.

The ladies of Alderley, ed. Nancy Mitford.


p. 197-8

(287) Alderley March 18th [Lady Stanley to Lady Eddisbury [ie Maria Josepha to Henrietta Maria]

Johnny is going on very well - he looks as you say bloodless & the slightest emotion brings a beautiful colour to his cheeks which is a sign of weakness. This afternoon, a beautiful day,, he was with Louisa in her garden very good and well amused, Spring in the country is quite a novelty to him & his observation is quite awake - he was so surprised at the quantity of daffodills everywhere, but the subject of the greatest surprise to him was the very cruel behaviour of Louisa's cock which got down the poor hens & pecked them so. He took upon himself to be the hen's champion tho' Louisa told him the cock had a right to correct his wives if they did not behave well.

The Episcopals came last night - Uncle looked worn with his Chester business - 3 days not going out of the house must have been trying as well as looking over, & settling about all the goods, several of which were labelled for more than one person.

How is Alice's health? Johnny told us that when she did not go [p. 198] out as much as Blanche some people said she had the scarlet fever & others a disappointment.

You will be a lucky mother if you do keep clear from all shoals - the mischief is indeed soon done and it is so difficult to push off from the breakers in time, but the greatest difficulty is for the eyes of parents to be sufficiently open. I have always a fear of a certain Johnny C. nothing would make me if, I was you, comfortable but knowing he had some engagementor love. To a romantick girl such as Blanche he must be a dangerous acquaintance & there is a certain song book, prepared for illustrations, which haunts my recollection.

I hope Henry will walk safely thro' Sardinia but is it not rather a lawless country? Affecly your M.J.S.


p. 234

(359) [Lady Stanley to Lady Eddisbury] Alderley May 2nd

I am just returned from Macclesd. [Macclesfield] where the bells were ringing very merrily for the addition to the country's family. [footnote: HRH the Duke of Connaught]

Poor Blanche, the life you lead is murder - I am so tired of seeing your name in the newspaper lists, knowing how many hot crowded rooms you haunt. It is well you hold out so stoutly as you do. I do wish Alice had a good husband of some kind or other - she would be so well with a child every year I have no doubt.

Moomie [nurse] goes on, I think, getting weaker, and that animal Nightingale [doctor] told her yesterday she might slip off suddenly if anything hurried her, intending, I believe, only to induce her to be calm. There might have been some use in telling us so, & wishing that people should be very gentle with her.

We had frost last night alas! for our cherry blossom.

Yours affecly M.J.S.

p. 244-5

(383) Henrietta Maria, now Lady Stanley on death of father in law, to husband Lord Stanley

Winnington Nov. 7th 1850.

My dearest love

This is the first letter I address you by your name & I must wish you all happiness & honour in bearing it.

Surely if it was not for the last time I see Wing: it would be enough to give one the utmost melancholy. It is in a more deplorable condition than ever. Alice is looking wretchedly ill, she lies on a sofa without opening her mouth. ...

NB There are no direct mentions of Pitt-Rivers that I could spot in the book, it is useful for background on the Stanleys and their attitudes

The Stanleys of Alderley ed. Nancy Mitford

The Stanleys of Alderley : their letters between the years 1851-1865

Page xvi

'Alice, the eldest daughter, was the mother of a large family of Fox-Pitt-Rivers. One of the less attractive traits in Henrietta Maria's [her mother] character is the favouritism she exhibits between her children, and of them all she liked Alice the least and treated her accordingly. Henry [Alice's eldest brother] was always her champion, and did what he could to help on her love affair with Major Fox to its favourable conclusion; Alice repayed his kindness by being the first member of the family to receive Fabia.' [Henry's unacceptable wife]



'Maria Josepha Lady Stanley [grandmother of Alice] to Lady Stanley [mother of Alice]

Holmwood May 8th


Thanks for your nice long letter, long for London, of Friday - I could make several observations on parts which might not entirely please you -

I do not rejoice in Blanche [sister of Alice] surrounded by clever men [footnote: she was so surrounded, however, all her life] - it is setting up for a character which seldom ends well for matrimony - for I think I know the sort of clever men you mean. I hope Maude [sister] will continue to be amused & satisfied with what falls her in her way, & then she will not be bored - which of course brings poor Alice to ones thoughts - does anything amuse her? Was she ever very amusable?

[p. 6] I hope I may come soontalk - but in London it is very difficult to carry on a conversation on any interesting matter for any time & I am afraid what you would have to say is more interesting in one way than pleasing - not exactly what one would wish.

I have made no observation on William's [Lady Stanley's nurse] return - I am very sorry for the two young ones who will be again stuffed with bread & butter in bed and I don't think she will make a good housekeeper. Adieu Yrs. affecly


p. 11

Letter dated 3 August, Alice, Blanche and Kate [sisters] all gone riding with Lord Airlie who later married Blanche.

p. 11-12

First letter that mentions Pitt-Rivers

[Lady Stanley [mother] to Lord Stanley [her husband, Alice's father]]

(12) Alderley Aug 4th Monday night.

My dearest love,

It is all settled, & I do hope it will be for our darling's happiness [Blanche] - I never saw more deep feeling than on his part, & tho' Blanche is very nervous yet she is glad it is settled. During their ride he asked her if she would care for a dog, if he gave her one, & when she came home she went upstairs to rest. I saw at dinner he was very nervous & that he was most anxious to speak. I had given her a red carnation (like those I used to give you) to give him, at first she said she would not, but she came down with the heath in her hair he had got for her & waited on the [p. 12] stair case to give him the flower - he never spoke but looked very pale. After dinner he rushed after her, & she went with him to sit on two chairs under the brown beech, & then we all walked out, they turned up the Fernhill & we walked all about the boys's walk. When we came home I saw him alone & he came and took my arm & walked me away in the dark, & he could not speak so I was obliged to begin, & then he told me he had spoken to her & that "she had no great objection," that he loved her very much - had done so for two years - that he had been very unhappy the last week because he thought she never would like him. I said then why would you go to Goodwood - he said he was obliged to do so. After some talk I left him to go to Blanche, & found her on her knees in her room, very nervous, but much happier, & then she told me how it all happened, that they went off walking & he never spoke all the time till she grew so faint & cold she said she must sit down. He then said he hoped she would not be angry but he must speak - she covered her face with her hands & he went on & said he was neither as good nor as clever as she was, but that he loved her very much, & spoke in such agony & told her she frightened him, & then she answered that she would try to make him happy, but she said her voice sounded cold & different to his. She then asked him if he cld. give up the thing he liked best for her, meaning racing, & he said he would, & she asked him if he had ever loved Lady Rachel at which he laughed & said never. She also asked him if he had ever liked anyone & he said he had been in love with Martia Fox, & she was kind enough to say that she did not mind that as she was dead, & was very good - & after such talk she went upstairs. Oh she asked him if he would like [p. 13] you & me as she did, & if he already liked you very much, all of which he promised. She told him she was ill-tempered & he said he knew she had faults but they were not bad ones, he had said to me he had not watched her for so long without seeing how she shut her lips, & changed colour, & how quick she was, but his temper is perfect. So after a time she came down & spoilt some of my works, and Maude played on the piano forte, & the young Major and Alice laughed at each other's jokes, & then Blanche went to bed & then our young earl walked up & down the room until I thought I should have gone mad.

She told me tonight she was afraid when she met him something dreadful would happen, meaning he would kiss her which he has not yet ventured to do & that he called her Blanche, all of which she will get used to. I think her conscience smote her for the rude way she spoke when he remarked on Bacon's essays, a book she is very fond of, that it was a deep book; she said "Oh yes, one you would not care to look into" and he answered "You seem to think I cannot understand any book, & yet I know that one well" in a very quiet tone.

Pray write a very warm letter to Blanche, for she holds much to congratulations and likes to be told she will be happy. Now do come soon I do long for you my own darling.


p. 56-7

(73) [Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley] Dover St. Friday 17 Sept.

I am dreadfully uneasy again no letter I am sure something must have happened. I am quite ill with distress.

I have just got a latter [sic - either mistranscribed or printer error or spelling mistake in original] from Alice she is very much agitated & perplexed by Lady C. Fox's [P-R's mother] message; "He will have 1000 easily & eventually 1500". Alice says "I wish to do what is right but I want yr. counsel surely that wd. be enough do you not think Papa wd. give me as much as he has given Blanche - I am not covetous nor do I care for anything great & he has no expensive habits. I never knew what Papa thought. I am so cold I cannot write -"

[p.57] Write to her soon - I think you will consent.

I am so nervous I cannot sit still what shall I do if I do not hear.

Yrs affec. H.M.S.

p. 57

(74) [Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley] Glen Quoich Sept 20/52

My dearest love,

I have just got your letters of 15th and 16th & am surprised you have not yet received one from me. I did not write for 3 days at Black Mount as I was uncertain whether you had come to Scotland or gone to London & I waited to hear from you but got no letter whilst I was there. I wrote as soon as I came here & have written every time that a post has gone.

As to not having mentioned who was at the Black Mount I did not do so because I did not write for the reasons before mentioned. Pray be reasonable & do not always discovering mare's nests ... Yours affec. S. No time about Alice now.


(75) [Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley] Dover St.. 22nd

I have just got your letters from Glen Quoich. I met Lord Palmerston yesterday in the street who said they had heard of you from Lady Jocelyn & Madame Valeski sent me a message to the effect that you were well amused [p. 58] at the Black Mount. How kind the world is to me, for fear I should be in ignorance.

I am very sorry you do not take Alice's affair more kindly, I am sure now it will break her heart if you refuse. Blanche says she is so very anxious and nervous. All I know is that Lady Caroline says her son will have 1000 now & 1500 at her death. They were hurt at the short way they were refused. I feel very low about Alice, it will be very dreadful for her.

Yr. affec. H.M.S.

p. 59

(78) [Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley] Keir Sept 26th

Alice is in very good spirits & seems to amuse herself greatly with the young Major. I have said nothing positively as yet except I must hear more positive particulars before I can definitely consent. If Major Fox has 25000 besides his commission it is probably not a case to refuse ones consent, i.e., supposing they both are really earnestly & sincerely in low & know their own minds, which by this time they ought to do.

The Duchess of Montrose asked me to go to her which I have declined & all things considered I think you ought to be quite satisfied & content & not give yourself such needless trouble over your absurd fancies about your unfortunate bête noir.

p. 59-60

Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(79) Holmwood Oct 1st

Dearest Hen,

You may imagine how very happy your letter has made me today - I am sure you must have been longing to [p. 60] tell me from the first dawn of the renewed affair & I fully understand you did not wish to say a word until you knew what Edward would say. We shall all rejoice equally that constancy has been rewarded & if he has no turn for expensive pleasures (we know she is very much disposed to be careful) why perhaps she will feel herself nearly as rich as the Countess. They will not, I suppose, have the expense of an outfit of any kind but live with Lady Caroline?

I cannot agree with your there is anything of a bungle in the business; rudely as he had been repulsed once, violently displeased as you were that he should have written to her, I think he could not venture to risk a second refusal before he tried to ascertain whether she was unchanged & whether there was a chance his renewed offer, not much increased in amount, would be listened to. [footnote: Major Fox's brother had just died which had improved his prospects. He first proposed in 1849. [This might imply that bits she had edited out of 1849 letters refer to this, I could find no ref in the Ladies of Alderley book to it]]

I am glad you have heard from Henry, it is a great pity he cannot take any interest in the political affairs he must be acquainted with. I see the Sultan is dying - perhaps as he is a Turk Henry may feel some interest in him. He will bring a pack of dogs I think whenever he returns.

Your affec. M.J.S.


Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(80) Holmwood Oct 7th/52

It is very unaccountable. If Mrs Ridley or Mrs Gascoigne was commissioned to feel the way whether an overture would be met & that the answer, as I suppose it was, was favourable, there ought not to have been a minute's delay in writing - either Mother or Son - & [p. 61] the great interest I have felt in this business will evaporate if there is any longer delay. I am sure there must be some misunderstanding somewhere, just like a novel. There can be no doubt what you have to do - nothing.

p. 61

Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(81) Holmwood Oct 18/52

I have come to the conclusion that poor Alice has some very well meaning but injudicious & officious friends who were not, as I supposed, commissioned to sound her feelings. I think Edwd. & you must be very much annoyed & it looks very awkward altogether. How does the poor child bear the suspense or account for it - of course she will make every excuse she can for him.


Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(82) Holmwood Oct 26th

I can hardly believe my book that it is more than a week since I wrote & such dear letters to thank you for - but I have as much inclination to find fault as to thank you - for not taking off the embargo of secrecy from my pen & tongue, before the event was announced so publicly as at the Harvest Home. I wish I had deserved to expect another letter soon, for I want to know more of the general move. Shall you see the funeral [footnote: Duke of Wellington] & from where?

Is it not vexacious that at such a period in the affairs of Turkey Henry should take, or seem to take no interest in them - one would expect a letter every mail full of the on dits, if there are such things in Constantinople.

Much love to Alice, I will not persecute her with another letter which she might think it necessary to answer.


Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(83) Holmwood Oct. 31

It seems to me you & Edward are both, more or less, demented. Both in supposing the engagement could be a secret when published to all Alderley - E. in imitating Lord Westminster & thinking of the few shillings difference between the trains & in regard to Maud's fare. I think it is a great pity she should not see this national pageant such as never can happen again. Perhaps Edward may think better of it.


Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(84) Dover Street Nov 6th

My own darling

You were so amiable in your transient visit that you quite gladdened my heart. All seems to me bright when your face shines. I might certainly avoid distressing you sometimes & I will try. Amuse yourself well & come back happy.

Major Fox declares you asked him & Alice "Have you been out," by which he tried to persuade me you meant had they been out together but I was obdurate. ... Yrs. affec. H.M.S.

p. 67

Maria Josepha Lady Stanley to Lady Stanley

(92) Holmwood Dec. 8th

Dearest Hen,

I think the arrangement [footnote: Alice's marriage settlement] fair & reasonable. I think there never were settlements carried through without both sides thinking matters were not pleasantly conducted by the other so it is all selon les règles if it is so in this case. You do not say why it is now fixed the wedding will be at Alderley - all is so dark at Babraham that I feel to have no wish about the matter - I fear it would be impossible not to carry a heavy heart with me at the time proposed wherever it took place. Rianette's letter of Thursday went astray & I could not know whether dear Fred [Adeane] was alive or dead, her last acc/ had been so bad - but Maud does not seem to be worse tho' I hardly expect she will live to the end of Janry. It seems as if the tragedy of that family is only beginning & one does not know what to fear next.

Either way, I could not join a joyful meeting tho' I shall be glad to hear of it. Yrs. affecly M.J. Stanley

p. 67-8

Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(93) Dover Street Dec. 10th

My dearest love,

You will see by the enclosed note from Lady Caroline Fox that the marriage is put off indefinitely. I saw Lady C. yesterday & she was not cordial but said she wd. communicate when she thought the marriage cld. be. [p. 68]

You see also she does not wish them to live with her - this Fox says is not the case but their statements rarely coincide. He has not dined here since you went. Alice has just gone to dine with Lady C. - they are odious people.

Yrs. affec. H.M.S.


Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(94) Alderley Dec. 13th

Such wretched black rainy weather I never saw, & the house is so cold. Blanche bore the journey well - I hope she will get stronger while she is here.

Nothing can be more touchy than Fox & he complains of the silliest things - such as you never having said you were glad to see him. We are to hear in a few days when the time can be fixed - I shall not put myself to any inconvenience. ...


p. 71

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(99) Alderley Jan 2nd 1853

My dear Lady Stanley,

I hope you will get this letter with mine and Edward's & all your grandchildren from this home's most hearty wishes for a continuance of your health & strength for many years, & the endurance of those powers of heart & mind with which you bind us all together.

We have had a letter from Lady Caroline saying she will be ready after this month for the marriage. She wishes it to be in London. I know nothing more. Major Fox comes here tomorrow, I am glad it is when the house is full.

p. 71-2

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(100) Holmwood Jan 6/ 53

Dear Hen,

My thanks for yours of the 2nd were not half warm enough & now another letter, as kind, requires many more. I must tell you that the snow drops came so fresh, they opened like newly gathered flowers & you may be sure were very acceptable, from the dear Hetherly.

[p. 72] I thought Aunt K. [footnote: Kitty Stanley, wife of Bishop of Norwich] looking well, much better than she was, but poor Catherine is quite an object, so altered & Aunt must be very uneasy about her I am sure.

I hope you have been kind to poor Reynard which I have reason to say because you know you have written spitefully about him once or twice & I was so afraid he might not have come at all as you said he must offer himself. Love to all.

M.J. Stanley

p. 72

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(101) Holmwood Jan. 10th

You must be very glad that the day is fixed - is it really true that no one is married in Lent - however I do not believe Puseyites only object to that I have heard of the nonsense before, with different shades of belief.

Very shabby not to have a breakfast but it is, after all, quite as well for everyone to go away from the Church door & saves a deal of trouble.

p. 73

An aside by Mitford in parenthesis as below

[Alice Stanley was married on February 3rd to Major Fox at St George's, Hanover Square.]

p. 74

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(105) Holmwood May 15th

Very glad to hear Alice's bad looks accounted for - as they are poor, cubs will come thick & fast - don't tell Mr Reynard pray, as he don't understand a joke.

You have never mentioned Thackeray - if it had not been for Aunt I should not have known of his apparition [footnote: at Lady Stanley's ball] on the 2nd May - will he give the public any acc/ of his [American] tour?

p. 82-3

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(118) Alderley Nov 20th

My dear Lady Stanley,

Poor Alice was confined yesterday morg. in the barracks at Hythe - she is doing well but the child was born dead. Neither nurse nor Lady Caroline was with her & she has no servants, only the barrack master's daughter to do for her. The nurse arrived during the day. I am very sorry for her, it will be wretchedly uncomfortable.

[p. 83] We have heard from Johnny, a most amusing letter.

I must tell you again how beautiful the houses are looking, could you do with a [name illegible] it is so beautiful, a purple flower.

Baby Blanche is very well indeed & cuts new teeth every day.

Yours affc. H.M.S.

p. 83

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(119) Rockend. Nov 21st

I was very sorry to hear of poor Alice's confinement & loss of her baby & helpless state (as it must have been) without a nurse. I shall be very glad to hear more & I hope she will not suffer from the silly obstinacy which kept her in such quarters at such a time without the necessary preparations.

If we do not take an active part now in the affairs of Europe we may as well turn Quakers at once. Or shall we let the Turks & Russians fight it out between themselves?

As Edward was on a shooting party it was not so likely you would be invited; & as to the Grange, I wonder you care to go there at all. It always seems to me, from what I pick up, it is a very bad style of house & a very disagreeable mistress of it tho' she is so clever.

p. 85 A letter from Edward Parry the explorer and Lord Stanley's brother in law refers to Alice's stillborn child as a 'mishap'.

p. 86

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(124) The Grange Nov 2th / 53

My dearest love,

I came here last night & in the same train came Sydney, and Ld. and Ly. Canning & Norman Macdonald.. The Bessboroughs & Bruces are expected here as well as Granville and Clanricarde.

I called at the Ordinance Office on my way here & saw Ld. Raglan, who took note of my request for more rooms for Alice - he said he would immediately enquire about it, so I hope something may be done for her.

Lady Ashburton seems very well, but fat & large, she has been at the sea side.


p. 92

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(132) Alderley April 12th

My dear Lady Stanley,

I thought you wd. dose Algernon he looked in a terrible plight. Tell him an invite to the Prince of Wales came just after he was gone, they are all invited, it is a childs ball at the Palace on the 1st May 8 1/2.

How fortunate you are only to read the Times, the Daily News croaks so I feel as if we shd. arrive too late & that the Russians will be at Constantinople very soon - I see a report of Fox in the Mg. Chron:, Lady C. Fox will go to Brighton & Alice will pay visits, he says she does not mind moving she feels so unsettled. Poor Alice, she is very very low.

p. 94

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(138) Alderley July 28th

My Dear Lady Stanley

Alice and Blanche have both been out in the dear old black chair with Owen drawing them, it brought back so much.

The place is looking so very beautiful it makes me long very much for the old familiar faces & if it were possible I should so very much have enjoyed having you all here It comes over one quite strongly on returning to a place where we have passed a quarter of a century together. Blanche was in extasies over the beauty, &, perverseness of human nature ! says she has no pond at Cortachy, only running waters ever in haste, no repose, & that a pond with a water lily is the type of repose. Poor Alice was much upset when she came, she had not been here since her wedding day.

Yr. affec. dau. H.M.S.


Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(151) Cortachy Castle Sept 6th

Alice says Fox writes about her joining him [at Malta] for the winter & that the expedition to the Crimea seemed as vague as ever.

I do not think Blanche is nearly as amiable in her own house as her husband.

Poor Johnny writes low, particularly about the want of the key. I left a key sealed if you wd. give him leave to have it. Pray think of it, he would be so very grateful for it & he says the want of it on Barrack duty will be dreadful.

Ld. Strathmore is here, very tedious - your party does not sound lively at the Bear's. [footnote: Mr Ellice]

p. 104

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(157) Victoria Hotel,

St Leonard's Oct 5th

Dearest Hen,

... All this without a word of what occupies all our thoughts, and has done since Sunday when the startling news [footnote: of a British victory [at] ... Alma] was announced from the pulpit - injudiciously I think, it threw several into an agony of tears & we heard that in one church there had been quite a scene from a lady fainting - well might anyone, not of the strongest nerves, be thrilled by such ideas as would present themselves to the mind. Poor Alice - how anxiously the days must pass before we know all particulars & one thinks that the Guards must have been foremost in the attack. I had a few hurried lines from Alice having heard the news after she had begun her letter so you may suppose how nervously she ended it. She has just heard from Aug: upon his landing. With loves,

Yrs. affecly M.J. Stanley

p. 104

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(158) St Leonard's Oct 9th

It has been an intensely anxious week, at the end it is a great comfort to find Fox safe & he is the only one for whom we are nearly interested, but there are several for whose families we feel much, & it is only like a reprieve to read of those who are wounded only.

p. 105

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(159) Alderley Oct 10

My gun that you sent by railway has not yet arrived & I wish you had not sent it by itself. Inquire where it went & when it ought to be here.

Fox is in luck as he will have I shld. think to do the duty of Percy Herbert again which will be a good thing for him & now he is safe he will have all the credit & renown of having the brunt of the battle to bear.

p. 109-110

Johnny Stanley to Lady Stanley

(166) Guards Club Nov 9th

My dear Mama,

I suppose you heard Fox was come, I saw him yesterday I hardly knew him again he is quite sallow & had a beard - he looks rather seedy.

Col. Ridley goes out tonight he has only had 2 days warning he has been unable to settle anything - goes overland post haste, his things, servant, horses everything has to follow think how inconvenient he takes nothing but a carpet bag.

[p. 110] Why do you ask that question - it cannot help pushing me up the ladder if those above me are shot. [Name illegible] is come back, every one of his teeth is knocked out, some went right down his throat,, a square inch of his tongue is also gone. You cannot understand what he says.

p. 110

Johnny Stanley to Lady Stanley

(167) November 11th

I called on the Foxes but Augustus and Alice were out. Lady Caroline says she would not undertake Alice again for worlds.

I wish you would write to Aunt Margaret to say something to her about Robin [Hamilton] She without knowing it, does him very great harm. I have heard 2 or 3 people remark they thought a great deal of fuss made of him unnecessarily, he has been plucky but nothing in particular everyone did just as well as him- then printing those letters was bad taste it was even mentioned at the club. I was so sorry as I know it would annoy him very much to think his letters were misinterpreted. I know what I should feel in that case. Then she has got hold of a cock & bull story of his being left in charge at Balaclava with 300 men & another boy & she tells everyone. This is rather strong.


p. 131

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(196) April 5th 1855

Johnny arrived last night & after he had had his tea & mutton chop made himself smart & set off for Chesham Place, where he found everybody gone to bed, but he knocked up the whole house, alarmed Ly. Caroline Fox who thought the Russians had arrived & woke Alice & Fox in their first sleep, who told him to go about his business.

He seemed very well when I saw him & went off this morning for an inspection & thinks he is very hardly used at Stormont's going out before him. I don't think, however, he can manage to go with this detachment & must wait for the next.

p. 138

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(206) Holmwood June 15th

Dearest Hen,

I trust a guardian angel will watch over dear Johnny in all the military dangers he must encounter.

I had been rather repenting that Harry [Adeane] had left the Army, but now, that four of his companions of the 62nd are taken away can I be otherwise than thankful that he took the step he did, he would almost certainly have fallen in this affair. There are several well known names I see.

I hope Alice will do well & have a living child. [footnote: Alice had gone out to join her husband in Malta]

p. 148

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(226) Holmwood, Nov 13/ 55

It was peculiarly agreeable to receive Lady Caroline's kind letter & to hear such a good account of Alice - so expeditious, doing so well & giving me my first great grandson &, according to Alice's desire, the Godson of my old age.

p. 150

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(229) Alderley, Nov 20th

Alice wishes me to tell you they have settled to name the baby Alexander St George & that she is sure you will think the names ridiculous (so do i). Alexander not after the Emperor but Col. Gordon & Aug: wished it - St George is after the new ranges at Malta which were finished at the time of his birth but at which Fox has not yet practised. I think both names too absurd when she said something about it before I thought it was a joke.


p. 161

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(250) Alderley Sept 24th

My dear Lady Stanley,

I have this morg: had a note from Augustus announcing Alice's safe confinement of a boy in a shorter time than the last event which only took 61 minutes. I must say that, except for rejoicing in her being well, a child 6 weeks before the baby is a year old is rather to be lamented.

I do not know what to think of the Smith affair - if Isabel [Adeane] likes him when she knows more of him it would be a good match for her. She is full young but many do marry at 18 ... Yrs affec. H.M.S.

p. 162

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(251) Eastbourne Sept 26th

I have also heard from Alethea Adeane & am astonished. I have always heard of him as the dullest of the dull - will she like or love him. I am not one who thinks worldly advantages & plenty of money is the chief thing needful, although it does make up for deficiency in blood, & such a name - & even Harry, who is his friend, always described him as so dull & caring about nothing.

Two babies in a nursery under a year old is really too much happiness for the most ardent baby fancier. So they mean to call him St. George, a very silly name & his schoolfellows will plague him about the dragon. [footnote: The first Fox child was only called Alexander and St George was reserved for the second]


p. 177-8

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(273) London Aug 5/57

Alice arrived in Town last night at 10 o'clock. She was looking very well, the children looked lean & pale, but I daresay they will soon pick up when they get to Alderley.

[p. 178] The steamer they came in was crowded with women & children from India & making the worst of everything.

There is not a great deal of business for Parliament but the Divorce Bill will occupy a day or so & altogether I see no hope of getting Parliament prorogued before the 20th.

p. 178

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(274) London Aug 10/57

I thought you would find the Fox children miserable looking & the eldest seems to be lugged about everywhere & to be always with Alice.

Fox seems of a discontented & querulous nature & expect some high post will immediately be offered to him & if not that he is ill used. I cannot see why he shld. not go back to his duty in the Regt., like many other officers who had higher Staff offices than he has had & who did not consider it a hardship to do Regimental duty.

Gladstone & his friends are trying to defeat the Divorce bill by delay but Palmerston will sit till Sept. rather than not finish it.

I have had no letter from Canning & hardly know what he expects about Johnny.

p. 178

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(274) London Aug 21/57

If Fox wishes me to send his papers in I will do it but the natural and independant course, & the one best calculated to answer his purpose is for him to do it himself. This eternal dependance on others & belief in influence doing everything creates half the mischief that is attributed to it.

p. 180

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(279) Glenisla Forest, 2nd Sept.

... Has Alice returned yet from Penrhyn & what does the discontented Field Marshal intend to do with himself? In the meantime I shld. prefer he does not go out shooting every day as I wish to keep some partridges for the use of the house.

p. 182

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(282) Invermark,

Brechin. Sept 20/ 57

... I am afraid what you say about Alice is true she is a fool & I think you had better speak to her about her conduct. I should not wonder if Fox took an appointment that would give him peace. ...

p. 187

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(290) London Nov 13/ 57

... I saw Alice this morning & told her she might remain in Dover St. for the present & as I breakfast alone & am not molested I don't mind their being in the house providing it don't last long.

Charles Gore told me he had heard my daughter was to be married to Sir H. Rawlinson. Have you any such scheme on foot?

p. 189

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(295) London Nov 21st

I think Alice had much better take a furnished house at Brighton for her confinement. She seems to me however helpless, stupid & unable to decide.

The Siamese crawled all over the floor at Windsor when they had their audience of the Queen ...

p. 196

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(304) Dec 10/ 57

If you wish to know where I dine & with whom I go to the Play I may set your mind at rest by informing you that I have dined the last 5 days with Granville & have gone twice to the Play with him.

Last night Granville & I, who had intended to have been at Ld. Abingdon's, dined at Bruton St. where, to my great surprise, I found Mary [Stanley] who had been invited to a small select Popish party in the expectation of our being absent. They had got nothing but fish & Lady Acton.

Mary I believe is a great help to the Papists in establishing their institutions, & in catching weak & stray Protestants, & if she goes on prosperously she may yet obtain canonization.

If Alice's house is much longer delayed she will pup in the street.


p. 197 [Note from Mitford that Alice Fox gave birth to a third son on January 9th]

p. 227 letter from Lord Stanley to his wife from Rushmore [this obviously predates P-R 's obtaining estate so there must be connection between Stanleys and Lord Rivers, mentions made of sickly family which is, of course, why P-R inherited unexpectedly]

p. 233

Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(353) Alderley Dec 28/ 58

.... Alice has a shocking cold & follows her husband's advice in doing nothing for it. Algernon's cold is better but he looks shabby.

Yr. affec. dau H.M.S.



Lady Stanley to Maria Josepha

(368) Dover Street March 28/ 59

... I am going to see Alice who has had some threatening of miscarriage.

Your affecate dau H.M.S.

p. 262

Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(394) Tatton Aug 30/ 59

Kate has sent over the letters as one announces Alice's safe confinement of a girl, only 2 hours illness & doing very well, I am glad she has a girl.

Last night we had a charade of Silvia's composition which consisted of an intrigue between married people carried on in a dialogue which for coarseness & vulgarity beat anything I ever heard. ....

facing page 286 New [to us] photograph of P-R [scanned]


p. 304

Lord Stanley to Lady Stanley

(463) Dover St Jan 11/ 61

Just a note from Lady Dillon to say Alice had been confined of a girl both doing quite well.

p. 307-8

Johnny Stanley to Lady Stanley

(471) G. Genls Camp Jan 30th/ 61

My dear Mamma,

I am glad to hear Fox has had justice done him at last. [footnote: He had had some trouble with the War Office since leaving Malta] Many officers I have met who were at Malta under him have told me how ably and cleverly he managed the men. I often think he has not been enough appreciated amongst us also, tho' Henry has always liked him better than Airlie - give Airlie my love.

Of course I am civil to all natives who are respectable but I cannot associate with them as you do in England, [p. 308] the customs & manners of the country are against that. ...


p. 334

Maria Josepha to Lady Stanley

(518) Holmwood April 4th

... What dear children Blanchy and Clemmy are, & how different educated to poor Alice's children. ...


p. 359

Lady Stanley to Lord Stanley

(566) Sept 9th

I have heard that Alice is again in the usual state, it was no surprise. But the great piece of news if you have not heard it is Lord Granville's marriage to Castalia Campbell ...

At the back is a [rather odd] genealogy, taking the family forward towards more recent times as well ...

The Amberley Papers, edited B. & P. Russell

Volume 1

p. 57 (NB this is not listed in index under Fox)

From Kate Stanley [Katharine or Katherine Louisa Russell née Stanley (1842-1874) to her brother [Edward] Lyulph Stanley (1839-1925), dated 7 March 1859

"... The Foxes and Airlies dined here in the evening & we all went to Albert Smith's China it is very amusing indeed though very vulgar & he really tells one nothing about China that one did not know before, there was a capital political song in which Palmerston was pantaloon knocked over. Blanche did not like it at all & was quite irritated. Airlie & Augustus split almost with laughter ...

[Albert Richard Smith (1816-1860), humorist author, entertainer and moutaineer. Known for his entertaining lecturds about his travels in the 1850s, in July 1858 he travelled to Hong Kong, 'On his return he published To China and Back (1859) [wikipedia entry]. According to his DNB entry, 'Smith gave another series of lectures, on China, between 22 December 1858 and 19 May 1860'.]

p. 121

From Kate Stanley to her brother Lyulph, dated 14 February 1861

'... Are the principles (like Mill's) which you say are in Plate in his Republic or his Dialogues? I have the Republic here & I could read it if it was of any use. Augustus is very full of Plato just now & likes it so much, also of a book on education by Bray which he gave me to read & I did so it is rather on the phrenology system & makes outh that we are all born with certain faculties only in the brain & that it is useless to expect anything if it is not in the skull. I never knew anyone put his ideas & principles so little into practice as Augustus for he was cross last night as could be, why all of a sudden I don't know, for he has dined here since we came to London but yesterday he let Alice go alone to the Post Office & then fetched her away just before dinner not choosing to stay though we all pressed him very much.'

Volume 2


Extract from Kate's journal 23 June 1869

'... In the aft. [afternoon] I walked with Augustus up to Tern Hill & saw Margaret Toft.'


From Kate Amberley (née Stanley) to her mother, dated 30 August 1869

'Augustus has been here for 2 days on his way from Exeter. He was very angry at Alice going to Alderley [her parents' home, in Cheshire] at once to meet her, but as Alice was not allowed to stay a day more at Penrhos [Alice's uncle's house in Anglesey] & was going to Alderley anyhow, and got no letter fr. Augustus, she went. She says she [Fabia, Alice's eldest brother's new wife] is not pretty, [p. 280] smaller than Alice, but nice figure, speaks no English and bad French, and is a lady by birth, education, and manners; seems to have nice feelings -- and is devoted to Henry [Henry was Alice's brother] ... Alice says she is quite respectable.

p. 280

Extract from Kate's journal Tuesday 31 August 1869

'Augustus and I rode to Whey bury; [Bowden thinks this is Uleybury] I held his horse while he walked over the field & found some flints which proved it to be a British camp, at all events pre-Roman. We also went inside a tumulus which had been opened near there; we had to crawl in on our stomachs, there were several stone chambers inside. We went home through Woodchester Park & got home [Rodborough near Stroud] at 3. Augustus left at 4 for London where he was to meet Alice who had come from Alderley; Alice had gone there from Penrhos as previously settled to the announcement of Henry's marriage did not like to change then & had no time to wait for Augustus's [illegible] about it. He was very angry at her having been, as he does not think it respectable & thinks it bad for his daughters -- I appeased him a little. Alice writes a very pleasing account of Fabia but she speaks only Spanish & bad French so one cannot get much out of her.'

Kate Amberley died on 28 June 1874, three days before Lane Fox's loan displays were presented to members of the Anthropological Institute after opening.


Mitford, N. 1938. The Ladies of Alderley: being the letters between Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley of Alderley and her daughter-in-law, Henrietta Maria Stanley during the years 1841-1850, London: Chapman and Hall.

Mitford, N. 1939. The Stanleys of Alderley: Their letters between the years 1851-1865, London: H. Hamilton.

Russell, B. and P. [eds.] 1937. The Amberley papers : the letters and diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley. [2 vols] London: Hogarth Press

Transcribed by AP, this page created December 2011.

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