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In London, Henry and his family drank in all that the city had to offer. They visited Kew Gardens and the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. They attended the theatre, going to see the actor Charles Kean, and his wife, Ellen Tree, in a production of Pizarro at the Princess Theatre in September 1856. They also went to see actress, Emma Waller, in productions of Lady of Lyons and Much Ado about Nothing at the Drury Lane Theatre. They also attended opera productions, and the Christmas pantomimes, and other productions.

They met up with an old friend, Edward Wilson Landor, from Perth, Western Australia, then living in Lewisham, Kent. They also saw the young widow, Countess Mary Ehrensvard, formerly Mary Bell Scott of Hobart, and her young son. Friends from their time in Canada included the Robertsons, John and Sophia, 1   and their daughters, Eliza 2  and Maggie. 3   Dr. William Richardson, also of Tasmania, and his daughter, Fanny, 4  were also members of their social circle. The Drakes also saw a great deal of the Lewis family. Frederick Lewis 5  was in the Paymaster General’s Department, and his son, Henry Clutterbuck Lewis, had been a junior officer in the Commissariat Department with Henry in the Crimean War.

The family also met up with the teachers entrusted with the education of their youngest daughter, Laura Mary, the Misses Rodwell, 6  as well as Signor Adolfo Ferrari, 7  the second husband of the Misses Rodwell’s brother’s widow, Joanna, who was a Professor of Music and Singing. 8

They took advantage of their time in London to consult eminent London medical practitioners, such as James Robinson, “surgeon dentist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert”, and the first dentist to use anaesthetic in Britain. 9

Henry also kept busy meeting with various contacts from the Commissariat and the Treasury, and on 16 October 1856 he attended the Duke of Cambridge’s levee, as well as that of Prince Albert on 26 February 1857. On 29 December 1856, Henry noted that he “began office work”. On 24 February 1857 he wrote a letter to the Times about the actions of the Commissariat during the Crimean War, which was published two days later.

Then, on 6 April 1857, Henry mentioned “Mr. C. Marshall” for the first time in his Journal, saying that, “We went to Mrs. W. Marshall’s 10  in the Evg. Mr. & Mrs. Benthall, 11  Mr. C. Marshall.” This was a significant meeting for the family, as Charles Henry Marshall was to marry Charlotte in September. William and Mary Marshall lived two doors down from the Drakes at 19 Regents Park Terrace. She was Charles Marshall’s cousin.

Later that month Henry, Louisa, Louisa Maria, and Charlotte had their photographs taken. I cannot be sure whether the photos I am attaching here, and which I received from my mother’s late cousin, Nova, are the exact ones they had taken, but it is possible that they were. This is particularly true of Henry’s, as his shows him wearing the medals and honours he was awarded after the Crimean War, namely Companion of the Bath (CB), Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France), Officer of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (Sardinia), Order of Medjedie 4th Class (Turkey), and Campaign Medal with clasps, Alma, Balaklava, and Sevastopol.

William Henry Drake Louisa Purkis (1814-1862), married William Henry Drake (1812-1882)
William Henry Drake (1812-1882) Louisa Drake (née Purkis) (1814-1862)
Louisa Maria Drake Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake
Louisa Maria Drake (1836-1876) Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake (1838-1922)
©Megan Stevens 2018

Charles Marshall now became a more regular visitor at the Drake’s home, as well as attending various events with the family. They went to see Wyld’s Great Globe, and attended an illustrated concert entitled “Crimean Relics” at the St. James Theatre, which was described as follows in the Morning Chronicle:


Under this title, a series of three performances is announced at the St. James’s Theatre for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next. The performance on the first day is for the benefit of the Patriotic Fund; on the second for the Soldiers’ Daughters’ Fund, and on the third for the Nightingale Fund. “Crimean Relics” is intended to be an illustrated concert, in scena and costume, formed of numerous solos and concerted pieces, devoted to descriptions of the more important scenes and events connected with the late war. Mr. F. A. Wilson, by whom the words of the various songs are written, thus describes the object and purpose of the entertainment: –

“The object of my design was to comprise, in rapid sketch, a general review of our late Crimean campaigns, from the earliest scintillations of that patriotic spirit, which fired our whole nation at the first signal of hostilities, and which gradually augmented in proportion as the war progressed, until it attained that enthusiastic intensity which even the advent of peace has yet scarcely been able to extinguish. More particularly still did I seek in these pages to commemorate the warlike energy and loyal devotion which sudden service in the field so gloriously awoke in the breasts of our young army, and to paint in the vivid and impressive colours of verse and music those distinguishing traits of character and feeling which are habitual with the British soldier and sailor when undergoing the dangers and vicissitues [sic] of war; aiming at the same time to delineate many of the most prominent duties and details incidental to a camp, and all with as much faithful adherence as possible to matter of recorded fact and the simple truth of nature. … I was fain to recur to a convenient expedient, familiar with the dramatists of Grecian antiquity, namely, that of supplying the lapse of time, through the expository medium of choral narration; an artifice borrowed by our transcendant Shakspeare [sic], as we find it exemplified in the person of Time in his historical drama of ‘Henry V,’ in which he introduces an expositor in the character of Gower, whose name I have adopted in the present poetical review of the ‘Crimean Campaigns.’ No other nation, perhaps, possesses so rich a treasury of inherent melody as England and her sister realms, &c.; a simple music, then, as Nature inspires it in our own native home, and as it is familiar to hearts and ears in our manly British ranks and forecastles, constitutes the foundation, or rather the spirit, of the various original melodies connected with the present poems, although I have endeavoured to enhance their character by such elevation and largeness of style as will, I hope, render them acceptable to the elegant and no ineffective material for a novel and impressive entertainment.”

The songs are spirited, and their sentiment such as will not fail to command the sympathies of an English audience. The events and incidents of the campaign selected for illustration are interesting; the music is by some eminent composers; the poem and music will be rendered by “the most efficient vocalists and lecturers;” the band and chorus are to be efficient, and the whole entertainment promises to be successful and attractive. 12

Henry, Louisa, and Louisa Maria also attended two of the lectures by William Howard Russell on “his Eastern expedition.”


Yesterday evening, in the presence of an audience as numerous as on Monday, Mr. W. Russell resumed the narrative of his Eastern expedition, beginning at the pause, or, as he calls it, the “settled stillness,” that followed the battle of the Alma, and ending with the affair of Balaklava. As he had now entered completely upon his important topic, there was less of light introductory matter than in the first lecture, and his description of the grave events of which he was a witness left little room for the details of his own personal inconvenience.

An encomium on the magnanimity of the English to their fallen foes was followed by a lamentation that the advantage gained by the victory of the Alma was not more speedily followed up. Mr. Russell would not venture to throw blame on any party, but asserted that future historians would decide through whose fault so brilliant a victory led to no result, and the scattered masses of the Russians were allowed to collect and renew their opposition to the allies. Delay – procrastination had, he said, been the characteristic of the war from the beginning to the end, and was always reappearing in some new form. The departure from the Alma afforded opportunity for a harrowing description of the masses of dead and “acres” of wounded left behind, while something of the ludicrous was mingled with his account of the condition in which a village on the Katcha had been found, after it had been demolished by the Cossacks. Once it might have been compared to some fashionable watering-place in the south of England, now it was a motley mass of ruins and articles of luxury, heaped together in grotesque disorder. A broken grand piano on which an English officer played “God save the Queen,” beneath a picture of the Russian Emperor, into whose mouth some one had irreverently thrust a cabbage stump, was an excellent little Hogarthian episode in the general picture. Unfortunately, fruit was plentiful and accessible as well as upholstery, in this melancholy place, and a re appearance of the cholera in the army was the result of an imprudent participation in the bounties of nature. It was in the neighbourhood of the Katcha that Mr. Russell was himself taken ill, and he touchingly averted to the emotions he experienced when, lying on the ground exhausted, he saw the troops march past him without any one stopping to offer him assistance, till a benevolent drummer proved an honourable exception to the rest. To the common belief that was developes [sic] the finest feelings of our nature he was by no means disposed to give his assent. The first sight of Sebastopol as the army approached the Tchernaya on its way from the Alma was made especially impressive by the countenance of the Tartar who pointed it out, and denoted by his awe-stricken manner that yonder was the stronghold of the Russian oppressor.

The story of the march to Balaklava was enlivened by a variety of amusing anecdotes; but the most important remark was to the effect that the English were “jockeyed” by the French through the whole of the movement, the latter always keeping to the right of the former, and being, therefore, always guarded by the sea and the fleet. Nor was it in this respect only that the French had the advantage. When the landing of the artillery began they were the first, and they always, in fact, “gave time” to their allies. As for the artillery which was used in the siege, Mr. Russell admitted that it was considerable for Woolwich and for a people in which a faction was opposed to the military defences of the country, but that measured by the strength of Sebastopol its deficiency was positively disgraceful. In the siege operations Mr. Russell considered that the English showed their superiority to the French; indeed, the apparently taught the French how to construct magazines proof against the shells of the enemy. The charge of the cavalry at Balaklava was described with singular animation, and the lecturer, conquering a certain nervousness which had from time to time been apparent in the earlier part of his course, followed the movements of the English with all the fluency of enthusiasm, and communicated his own feelings to his hearers. The “Light Brigade,” he contended, was not lost, but would live for ever in the memory of Britons as a noble monument of that high sense of duty that disregards even the first law of nature – self-preservation.

To-morrow (Saturday) Mr. Russell will bring his narrative to a conclusion. 13


On Saturday evening the interesting narrative that has so much occupied the attention of the public was brought to its termination.

The inconveniences endured at Balaklava, the high price charged for the necessaries of life, and the indifferent quality of the articles so dearly purchased were set forth in the early part of this third division of the narrative; the position of Mr. Russell himself, using gunpowder and water for ink, and writing with a quill plucked from the only goose in the camp, forming a ludicrous symbol of the general state of things. The “brilliant little victory” gained by Sir De Lacy Evans over a reconnoitring part of Russians came in as an episode in the story of Balaklava, and the lecturer dwelt on it with the more emphasis as he said that it had never received its due share of honour or reward. The battle of Inkermann was a difficult subject to treat from the fact that it really admitted of no description, being composed, as Mr. Russell remarked, of isolated conflicts, perpetual rallies, and “duels” between individuals. Nevertheless, he pursued these disjointed details with great accuracy, and then, after admitting the greatness of the victory, declared that it afforded no cause for rejoicing, obtained, as it had been, at the cost of so much valuable life. However, not to countenance the Russian version of the tale, according to which the French and English suffered more severely than their enemy, he described a caricature circulated in the country of the Czar as a satire on the false statements of the Russian newspapers. A mob of soldiers presents itself at the celestial gate, representing that it is composed of the Russian soldiers who fell at Inkermann, but is repelled by St. Peter, who regards his applicants as imposters, on the ground that they number several thousands, whereas, according to the newspapers, only a few hundreds were killed. The barbarity exercised by the Russians towards the wounded on the battle-field had the effect of deadening the feelings of humanity naturally inherent in the British soldier, and this moral degeneracy was illustrated by an anecdote, half comic, half horrible, of a dying Russian, who was on the point of being buried alive by some English soldiers, simply because his case was hopeless.

The heavy gales that tormented the little army (now reduced to about 15,000) in the autumn furnished matter for some grotesque description, which soon deepened into a gloomy picture of the pestilence that lasted with all its details of filth and wretchedness till the road from Balaklava was commenced. Occasion was here taken to advert to the horrors of Scutari, and the zeal of “the gentleman who had the administration of the funds confided to a newspaper” for the relief of the sick and wounded received an especial acknowledgment. The despairing listlessness that preceded the final operations, and was checkered by desertion from the army of the allies to that of the Russians, was lamented by Mr. Russell as many similar cases of procrastination had been lamented before. If the French refused to commence the assault earlier, why, he asked, did the English always yield to the refusal? He had, indeed, heard of regrets expressed by the French that they were always kept back from the assault, but on this subject he was a thorough unbeliever. The “affairs” of the Mamelon and the Redan occupied most of the remaining portion of the lecture, and the description of the unfortunate assault of the latter formed, perhaps, the most interesting episode of the whole narrative. Force, accuracy, and vivacity were combined. The “tiger-spring” of the French upon the Malakhoff, which was the concluding achievement of the tale, came as a contrast in every respect to the description of the assault on the Redan. The lecturer was in the midst of one affair, and recorded his immediate impressions. In the second the manner in which a distant occurrence gradually revealed itself to the mind of spectators watching the course of events with painful interest was finely described.

So great has been the success of Mr. Russell’s lectures that they will be repeated at the same rooms (Willis’s) on the afternoons of the 23d and 28th inst. and the 1st of June. The subscribers to the second series may be promised even a greater treat than that presented to the patrons of the first. Although a thorough proficient in descriptive writing, Mr. Russell was a complete novice in the art of lecturing when he mounted his rostrum on Monday last, and his discourse during the past week have been to him an initiation into a new mystery. Hence, while the public has watched with anxiety the progress of events in the Crimea, the friends of Mr. Russell have with scarcely less anxiety watched the progress of the lecturer himself. With infinite delight did this kindly little party perceive that the nervousness and hesitation in delivery which had been noticed on the Monday, and still more on the Thursday, had almost entirely disappeared on Saturday. When he resumes his series on Saturday next he will have passed through a noviciate [sic] during which he has been aided by the counsels of the best practical critics that the world could afford, – men who were acquainted with him personally, and could compare his manner in the lecture-room with his manner in private society; men who had witnessed the same events as himself, and could constantly recall old pleasantries to his memory; men who have been the leading minds in entertainments that have attracted thousands, and who contributed largely from the stores of their experience. It is not too much to say that all the choice spirits whose names could be used as so many pass-words at every institution or assembly connected with literature, art, or amusement, have been as much interested in Mr. Russell’s success as they could have been had their own private advantage depended upon it. 14

In my thesis, Civilians at War (pp. 23-24), I wrote, as follows, about Henry’s religious beliefs:

Drake was a conventionally religious man. Though he attended the Anglican church and was an active member of Masonic lodges, he did not often mention church or religion with great fervour. He also did not have much to say about church services he attended, other than to say he had been to church. 15  He did however, conform to religious expectations of the time, 16  and was a member of the Anglican church – his children were baptised in Perth by Anglican clergyman and Colonial Chaplain, Rev. J. B. Wittenoom. 17

Drake was an ardent Freemason. His involvement included “getting up a new Lodge” in Grahamstown, South Africa, which, Louisa said, was “to be very popular”. 18  He also “acted on behalf of [the] Masonic body” when H.R.H. Prince Alfred laid the foundation stone of Alfred’s Tower of the Grahamstown Cathedral. 19  He was also involved in dedicating a Masonic Hall for the Zetland Lodge. The family oral history claims he was a founding member of the first Masonic Lodge in Perth. 20  This, however, is unsubstantiated. 21  Drake’s membership of the Freemasons probably assisted him in his career, through the patronage of other members – “masonic networking”. 22

18630918 AK JBD 148 18630918 AK JBD 149
©Megan Stevens 2018 (Drake Collection)

The Freemasons claim their Society “is not a religion – neither is it a creed or a sect, nor a substitute for religion”. 23  “The Ancient Landmarks of the Order”, the basic notions of Freemasonry, are as follows: A Mason “must be male, free-born and of mature age”, who “possesses a belief in God, the Supreme Being, the Great Architect of the Universe”, “owes allegiance to the Sovereign and to the Craft”, and “believes in the immortality of the soul”, and that “the Volume of the Sacred Law is an essential and indispensable part of the lodge, to be open in full view when the brethren are at labour”. 24

Drake must have subscribed to these notions to qualify for entry into a Lodge. He was a mature man of free birth. He believed in God, and the soul was immortal. (This is clear from his Journal entry for the day he attended the funeral of Mr. Black’s son. Drake wrote “as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”) 25  His link with the Sovereign (Queen Victoria) was clearly expressed, though he was rather dismissive. He commented he was “much pleased” Louisa had “got a good look at Her Majesty & Prince Albert as well as the Great Nobility”. He added: “It is well worth seeing once, at all events.” 26

Since I wrote that, I have found another interesting insight into Henry Drake’s exploration into religion, which was not of the more conventional Anglican faith I portrayed above. On Sunday, 26 July 1857, Henry noted in his dairy that he had gone “to hear Mr. Spurgeon at the Surrey Gardens.”

SpurgeonSurrey Surrey_Music_Hall
Spurgeon preaching at the Surrey Music Hall c.1858
Surrey Music Hall c.1858

Spurgeon’s preaching was described as follows:

(From the British Quarterly Review.)

SPURGEON is a notability. He filled Exeter-hall with eager listeners for months together. He has since done the same in the great Music-hall of the Surrey-gardens, though spacious enough to receive 9000 persons. Hitherto the prophets have been in the wrong. The feeling does not subside. The crowds gather even more than before. The “common people” are there, as at the first; but with them there are now many who are of a much higher grade. Professional men, senatorial men, ministers of state, and peers of the realm are among Mr. Spurgeon’s auditory. These are facts that cannot be questioned. That there is something very extraordinary in them everyone must feel. How is the matter to be explained? Mr. Spurgeon’s origin and ecclesiastical connexion do not solve the mystery. There was nothing in that to favour a success of this nature. He is not only a Dissenter coming up from among Dissenters, but his sect is one of the straightest of them all. In his antecedents we find no traces of academic fame and promise, no high ecclesiastical patronage. The great ushers of successful conventionality amongs [sic] us made no way for him. He comes direct and openly from what John Foster called the “morass of Anabaptism.” Nevertheless, there he is, – a man – and a very young man, too, who has broken through, or overleaped, all impediment of that sort. In that fact there is not only something remarkable, but something pleasant and hopeful. We must add there is nothing in Mr. Spurgeon’s presence to account for his success. When we picture to our mind the noble and venerable figure of Latimer, we cease to marvel that the quaintness and homeliness of the English and of the illustrations pervading his sermons should have fallen with great effect upon his hearers. That lofty form, that noble brow, those finely-chiselled features, and the play of intelligence and humour ever passing like cloud and sunshine over that countenance, are enough to account for a great deal. Whitfield, too, rose like Saul among his fellows, and seemed born to leadership. The same was true of Edward Irving. But Mr. Spurgeon has literally nothing of this sort to help him. His figure is short, and chubby, and rather awkward than otherwise. For so young a man there seems to be strong tendency in him to grow stout, and should he live another twenty or thirty years, he must take care, or he may be classed among the people who are sometimes described as being nearly as broad as they are long. He knows nothing of the æsthetics of dress; everything of that sort about him is common-place, verging upon the vulgar. His features, too, have a round, homely Saxon cast, such as would lead you to regard him as capable of a rude strength of purpose, or a dogged power of endurance, but as not likely to apprehend purposes of a high and really intellectual complexion. He is a veritable Saxon in the groundwork of his nature, both physical and mental, but he has nearly everything from nature, scarcely anything from the usual processes of self-nature. We must not, therefore, look to culture as giving Mr. Spurgeon his power over men. In metaphysics, theology, in all matters where a trained power of discrimination would become conspicuous, his mind is in a very crude condition. If you submit to his influence, accordingly, it is not because you are sensible to the discipline of his touch, for you feel that you could amend not a little that falls from him. You listen, but it is not because you are charmed by the accuracy of the statements that are made, nor because the illustrations brought to the subject are such as to indicate that the preacher is a man rich in general knowledge. No – the charm must be somewhere else. Mr. Spurgeon’s head is but poorly disciplined, and his knowledge has no pretention to fulness. After saying thus much, we shall, perhaps, be expected to say that there is nothing like original or profound thought in Mr. Spurgeon. He has no mission to lift the veil from undiscovered truth. He never gives forth conceptions that afford the slightest promise of such power. Of this fact every one must be aware. If Mr. Spurgeon has power over cultivated minds – and he certainly has – it is not because he himself is a man of taste, in the conventional meaning of the term. In this respect, indeed, the preacher is said to be improved and improving. But the distance between his manner, and all our long-cherished notions about clerical propriety, and the becoming in the pulpit, must be admitted to be very great. Certainly, if people of taste are found about him, it is not because he is always careful not to offend in that form. Latimer, indeed, dealt much in the home-spun, both in language and in allusion. But the preacher in that case was known to be a scholar, abreast with all the learning and subtle speculation proper to his profession. Edward Irving, too, was a man of high general taste and knowledge, and supposed, on that ground, that he had a special mission to the educated, the literary, and the upper classes. But in the case of Mr. Spurgeon, the worship rendered him seems to bear a strong resemblance to that paid by the ancients to some of the rudest images of their gods – the sculpture was barbarous, all Greek taste might have been shocked by it, only it had its traditions, it was as old as the piety of simpler and better times, and it had some day fallen down from heaven. Much has been said about Mr. Spurgeon’s voice, as though the secret of his power lay in a great measure there. He can preach loud, and to say that, it is thought, is to say a great deal. It is, in fact, to say nothing. The question is not about a man who has voice enough to make 10,000 hear, but about a man who has attraction enough to bring 10,000 people together to listen. Does every man who can speak so as to make a large congregation hear, get a large congregation to hear him? But what we mean to say concerning Mr. Spurgeon’s voice is, that while it is good in some respects, it is far from being the voice we should have expected in so successful a public speaker. It takes a clear, sound bell-like ring along with it, but it has no rich tones either of loftiness or tenderness. In these respects, the voice of Whitfield must have been immeasurably superior. In point of compass and richness the voice of Mr. Spurgeon is not to be mentioned in comparison with that of Mr. James, of Birmingham, or with that of Dr. Raffles; and to compare his power in this way with that of the late agitator, O’Connell, would indeed be to compare small things with great. The voice which fills the Music-hall at the Surrey-gardens so equally, is successful to that extent from its very defects. It is a comparatively level voice. Its great attributes are distinctness and force. Were it to soar at times with the grand, and to descend at times with the pathetic, as the voice of an orator of the highest order would be sure to do, the hearing would not be so uniform as at present. In short, while Mr. Spurgeon has made the pulpit more attractive than any living man, he has done so by means of a voice which can scarcely be called oratorical. The problem of Mr. Spurgeon’s popularity, therefore, is still to be dissolved. Everything in his origin, and in his ecclesiastical connexion, seemed to be opposed to it. His presence could do nothing in his favour – it was, in fact, against him. No one can attribute his success to his culture, or to any unusual grasp of thought, or more than very partially to his voice. What is it, then, that has given him this power? The first secret of his success, we think will be found in his elocution. It is wanting in the qualities above-mentioned. But it is singularly natural. There is not a trace of pulpitism in it. The speaker might be a Chartist leader, addressing a multitude on Kennington Common, so complete is the absence of everything from his tone and manner that might have reminded you of church or chapel. The style of the preacher is for the most part purely colloquial. It is one man talking to another. Even when his enunciations become the most impassioned they are still natural. Rare – very rare – is such an elocution among preachers. Once upon a time, an elder Scotchwoman gave her grandson the newspaper to read, telling him to read it aloud. The only reading aloud the boy had been much in the way of hearing was at the parish kirk, and he began to read in the exact tone in which he had so often heard the minister read. The good lady was shocked at the boy’s profanity, and giving him a box in the ear, exclaimed – “What! dost thou read the newspaper with the Bible twang?” Oh that Bible twang; surely the arch-enemy must have invented it as the thing wherewith to thin off the number of church-goers, or to send those to sleep who go. Would, however, that this mistake between saying a thing and singing it were unknown south of the Tweed. Nonconformists and Episcopalians among us are largely infected by it. The extemporaneous mode of preaching so general among Nonconformists, is much more favourable to a natural manner, than the reading of sermons, so common among Churchmen. Many Nonconformists, however, have much to learn in this respect before they can hope to become agreeable public instructors; and with regard to many of our clergy, from the every-recurring notes with which they begin and close their sentences, one is tempted to think they must have been influenced in this respect by their long familiarity with Latin hexameters. Certainly, we get the same key-note at the beginning of a sentence, the same monotonous level through the middle, be the middle long or short, and the never-failing dactyl and spondee at the end. Is it any marvel if what is perfunctory and artificial in its tones, should be deemed perfunctory and artificial altogether? Mr. Spurgeon’s complete exemption from mannerism of this sort has more to do than many people suspect with the success which has marked his career. The style of the preacher is another element bearing a conspicuous relation to his success. His language is for the most part good idiomatic Saxon. He speaks to the people, not in the language of books, but in their own language. He gives them many a short treatise on divinity, but it is not a treatise for the press, it is simply so much talk about the matter. His diction, and his whole manner of setting forth thought, are more from the market-place than from the cloister. No man or woman can fail to understand him. It is one of themselves gifted enough to teach them. In this there is so much of nature, especially when compared with the dull platitudes and elaborate obscurities with which these good people have been long familiar elsewhere, that the pleasure they feel under this new dispensation of things is surely not difficult to comprehend. * * * We must not forget to state that much should be attributed to the freshness and earnestness of feeling with which the preacher commends his message to the reception of his hearers. Mr. Spurgeon is a believer. His mind is fully made up as to what it is like to believe like a Christian, and to feel and act like a Christian. In his language the case is so and so. It is no otherwise, it can be no otherwise. God is God, let the atheist say what he will. God is never away from his world – he is always in it, and ruling it. Some men may teach otherwise, but such teachings are a lie – a monstrous lie. Those who do battle for God’s truth in God’s world are never alone. They are always surrounded by chariots of fire, and horsemen of fire. The age of miracles has passed, but the age of the supernatural has not passed. The Gospel comes from the supernatural. It is supernatural. It does its appointed work only by the presence of the supernatural. The world is not fatherless, the church is not deserted – never has been, never shall be. The directness, emphasis, and heartiness with which Mr. Spurgeon gives utterance to his belief in such truths stands in edifying contrast with the dull, conventional, make-believe droning to which we have often to listen on such topics. Conviction is parent to conviction – feeling is parent to feeling. As it is with a speaker in these respects, so will it be to a large extent with his auditory. * * * Here comes a man – no Whitfield in voice, in presence, in dignity, or genius, who, nevertheless, as with one stroke of the hand, sweeps away all this sickly sentimentalism – this craven misbelief. 27

It seems possible that Henry Drake had decided to go to hear Spurgeon speak following criticism of what was seen as his “attack” on the Church, regarding baptism:

CHALLENGE TO MR. SPURGEON. – The Rev. W. Vernon, who was, it appears, among Mr. Spurgeon’s hearers on Sunday last, when he indulged, as alleged by Mr. Vernon, in an unprovoked attack upon the Church, and upon her views on baptism, and in some “ill-timed jocularity on immersion or rather non-immersion,” has publicly challenged Mr. Spurgeon to an open discussion on the question of Infant Baptism, together with that of immersion. 28

Early the next month, on the 3rd of August, the Drakes received a letter from their son, John, who was living in Sydney, telling them that he was to be married to Matilda Elizabeth Ormiston later that month. Whether or not the Drakes would have approved of this match is a moot point, but it is interesting to note that Matilda’s grandmother, Elizabeth Susannah Fulloon (née Azire) was a woman who made her own place in the history of the colony of New South Wales. She was the first matron of the Parramatta Female Factory. She, her husband, John, and their five surviving children, had emigrated to New South Wales in 1824, but, unfortunately, John died on the voyage, aged only 43. That meant that Elizabeth was compelled to provide for their children. She was appointed Superintendent of the Female Factory at Parramatta in May 1824. She was complimented on the manner in which she ran the establishment in August 1826. Later that year, she remarried, to Robert Raine, but he was murdered less than two years later, after which Elizabeth advertised that she and her daughter (and mother to Matilda Elizabeth Ormiston), Matilda Ann Fulloon, had established a “Seminary for Young Ladies”. In 1832 Elizabeth married again, this time to William John Speed. Speed had been transported in 1809 for seven years, for bigamy. He died in 1838 at the Benevolent Asylum, “a painful example of the mutability of all human prospects.” Elizabeth died four years later, in 1842. Matilda Ann Fulloon married Robert Charles Ormiston in 1832. They had five children who survived to adulthood, Matilda Elizabeth Ormiston being their second child, and only surviving daughter.

Henry Drake replied to his son, John, on the 10th of August, “about his marriage & authorized him to draw on me a Total of £200.”

Meanwhile, Charles Henry Marshall and the Drake family travelled to Devon at the end of August, so that the Drakes could meet Charles’s family. Henry Drake gave the following details of their holiday in his Journal:

Augt. 26. Took N.B. Debentures to Village & at 9.40 left Paddington by express Lu, C.A.D.D., Laura, Mr. C.M. & I. Col. Mayow got in at Highbridge. Arrived at Starcross Station 3 & at Kenton Cottage 3. Mrs. Furse, Miss L. Marshall, Miss Agnes & Mabel, Master Alfred. Walked in garden. Whist.

He took New Brunswick Debentures to his parent’s house at 27 Park Village East, Regent’s Park.
Paddington: Henry, his wife, Louisa, his daughters, Charlotte Augusta Dring and Laura Mary, and Mr. Charles Marshall left Paddington.
Highbridge: Possibly Col. George Wynell Mayow (1808-1873).
Kenton Cottage: Charles Marshall’s aunt, Elizabeth (Eliza) Furse (neé Marshall) (1773-1858), Charles Marshall’s sister, Louisa Maria Marshall (~1818-1907), Charles Marshall’s nieces, Agnes (1846-1894) and Mabel Louisa (later Guillebaud) (1850-1912), and his nephew, Alfred (1842-1924) – children of Charles’s brother William Marshall (1812-1901) and his wife Rebecca Oliver (1817-1878).

Map of area (adjust to see further down coast)

While staying with Mrs. Furse, it is likely that the Drakes would have seen a smaller version of the large gourd grown in her garden that year:

LARGE GOURD. – We are credibly informed that there is now growing in the garden of Mrs. Elizabeth Furse, of Kenton Cottage, near this city, a gourd or citronelle, measuring 7ft. 9in. in circumference, and weighing two cwt., which our correspondent says he believes is the largest every grown in the West of England; but we cannot vouch for the latter assertion. 29

BROBDIGNAGIAN GOURD. – We have seen a monster gourd at Messrs. Lucombe and Pince’s, which is admirably suggestive of the progressive powers of vegetation. We need not speak of its size, as the weight will give a better idea of that – it weighs 256lbs., and was grown by Mr. Splatt, gardener to Mrs. Furse, Kenton. Gourd growing seems but in its infancy, from rapidity with which a larger and a larger comes paragraphing its way along every week. We fancy that an emigrant landing in some fertile, but desert land, with his wife and children, in the early spring of the year, would only have to sow a few seeds of such a young plant as this gourd before us, to find a house and provender grown for each member of the family by the end of autumn – for one of these gourds scooped out would shelter a child – and only grown them a little larger, and father and mother, and each member of the family, might have its separate tenement. They call this gourd the Citronelle. It ought to be called the emigrant’s friend – if the gardeners will only grow them a little larger. 30

Augt. 27. Kenton Cottage. Mrs. Furse. Lu, C.A.D.D. & I drove to Mamhead (Sir L. Newman) looked at Church. Early dinner & large Evening Party.



Eliza Furse, Louisa Drake, Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake, and Henry visited Sir Lydston Newman (1823-1892). Mamhead House was the seat of the Baronets Newman. Sir Lydston’s elder brother, Sir Robert Lydston Newman, was killed at the battle of Inkerman, in the Crimea, and was probably known to Henry.

Augt. 28. The Misses Collins (3) called. Letter from Louisa. Note from C.G. & Times. Lu wrote Louisa & I to my Mother. We all went by railway to Torquay Regatta. On board the Rev. Mr. Sayer’s Yatch [sic]. Back at Kenton about 8 p.m.

The three Misses Collins were daughters of Charles Marshall’s aunt, Mary Collins (née Marshall) (~1766-1808), wife of Richard Collins (~1750-1847). They were Lucy (1797-1866), Frances (1802-1866), and Marianne (1805-1890).

The letter was from Henry’s daughter, Louisa Maria Drake (later Lathbury) (1836-1876). Was the letter the one she wrote to Charlotte from Overton on the 18th of August, congratulating her younger sister on her engagement to Charles? Louisa Maria, Fanny Richardson, 31  and Fred Pigou had departed from London on the 9th of July, travelling to Manchester, en route to Scotland. Louisa Maria wrote:

My dearest Charlie

I received your note of Monday morng. this afternoon. I was rather astonished by your news, as I had not got your Friday’s letter. I suppose it is at Knockbrex, as it could not arrive there until Monday at half past three. Most sincerely do I congratulate you dear Pop [Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake], & wish you every happiness. When I shall see you again I cannot tell, but it will not be a very long time as Scotland will not be the same place to me now, for I must constantly think of your going to Australia. You know I always said it wd. give me more pleasure to see you married than any thing else, but still now it is so near it makes me sad. I know it is selfish & after all I do rejoice to think you will have a husband I like so much & everybody else thinks so highly of. I wish John [their brother] had chosen some one we all knew. I look forward to seeing you soon, & shall then say all I ought to write now, for I have had such dreadful headaches for the last four days, I cannot see out of my eyes. I have been busy, all day, & had just thrown myself on the bed to rest, for a few moments, as we are invited to a party this Eveng. & I am so done up I half intend to stay behind. I did not wish to let the day pass without answering your note fearing you might think me unkind. I hope Dr. G. [sp?] will send me your note or I shall not get it until next Saturday. Write to me again or ask Mama to do so, & tell me everything about everybody. Fan [Fanny Richarson] is dressing for this eveng. & Mary resting preparatory to doing so. I want to write to Mama if I can find time to scribble her a few lines. I am ashamed of this writing but trust you will excuse it & not show it to any one. Lady Kenmure 32  has gone to a dinner party – the house we are invited to this Eveng. It takes an hour to drive there. We are to have a fine time & a dance at Kenmure Castle this Friday, but I do not now look forward to it as I did before yr. note came, for I think always of yr. going away. … [sp?] all haste &c [sp?].

Believe me ever dear Pop,
Your most affect. sister,
Louisa Drake

The note was from Henry’s father Commissary General John Drake (1782-1867). Louisa. Drake wrote to Louisa Maria and Henry wrote to his mother, Maria Drake (née Story) (1783-1876).

TORQUAY REGATTA. – This fashionable regatta takes place this day (Friday) and is expected to be a very gay affair. The day’s proceedings will terminate with a ball, at which the chief families now sojourning on the south coast are expected to be present. 33

Augt. 29. Drove to Chudleigh Rock Pic Nic.

Chudleigh Rock is a recognised nature park (change map to Satellite and zoom in) and rock climbing area SW of Chudleigh.

Augt. 30. Sunday. Went to Church twice. Revd. Mr. Dames. Walked thro’ Powderham Park, Castle Belvedere.


Rev. Arthur Longworth Dames (1804-1887), Vicar of Kenton.

The Powderham Estate has been the seat of the Courtenay family as Earls of Devon since the late 1300’s. They had longstanding political, business, and social connections with the Marshall and Benthall families.

Thomas Peregrine Courtenay had been a contemporary of Charles’s father, William Marshall (1780-1828), and had become M.P. for Totnes with the assistance of the Marshall, Benthall and Adams families. He played a part in supporting Charles and his siblings after they were orphaned in 1828.

Augt. 31. We all drove thro’ Exmouth. Called on the Misses Collins (3). Alphington to Exeter. Saw the Cathedral; called on Mrs. Sands, Mrs. Stevens, Miss Sands.

Charles Marshall’s great-grandfather, Rev. Charles Hawtrey (1687-1770), is interred in Exeter Cathedral.

Sept. 1. Walked, & after early dinner, sailed to Exmouth & then walked home.

Sept. 2. Drove Kenton to Starcross, rail to Totness. Pic Nic to Buckland & Home Chase.

Sept. 3. Slept last night at Seven Stars Totness. We all went to Dartmouth. Dined at Mr. W. Bentall. Train to Starcross. Rev. Mr. Nason [sic] joined at Teignmouth.

William Benthall (1803-1877) was Charles Marshall’s cousin. Alun and Megan also stayed at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel in 2016.

Sept. 4. After an early dinner, we all went to Dawlish & called on Mrs. Pennell.

Ann Pennell (neé Tozer) (~1799-1869). Louisa Drake had written to her mother-in-law, Maria Drake, from the Crimea about Ann’s son, Charles. He had died from dysentery at Gibraltar on 15 August 1855 aged 19.

Sept. 5. Left Kenton & Starcross at 11.50 a.m. for Exeter & by express thence to London. Lu, C.A.D.D., Laura, C.M. & I dined at the Village at ½ past 7.

Louisa Drake, Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake, Laura Mary Drake, Charles Marshall, and Henry dined at his parent’s house, 27 Park Village East, Regent’s Park.

On 11 September, Louisa Drake “sent invitations for Wedding Breakfast” which was to take place on 23 September, following Charles and Charlotte’s marriage on that day. A week later Henry received a note from his sister, Charlotte Augusta Drake, “about asking the Boys 34  on 23.” Henry’s daughter, Charlotte, went to “the Village” to sort it out. Then followed a few days when all were busy, with “many visitors.” On the 23rd of September, Henry noted in his Journal, “Charlotte Augusta Dring married Charles Henry Marshall at St. Pancras 35  by the Revd. Stephen Hawtrey, 36  assisted by the Revd. H. W. Burrows. 37  A Party of 37 lunched with us after the ceremony & at 3 p.m. the Bride & Bridegroom left for Rugby & a tour. This is the Anniversary (24th) of our Wedding Day 38  & W. Marshall’s Wedding 39  & birthday of John’s daughter.” 40

St. Pancras New Church, Euston Road, London
Wikimedia Commons

There are, unfortunately, no photographs of the wedding, but I do have Charlotte’s wedding veil, which was worn by my mother, Shasta, when she married my father, Danie, in 1949. In an undated newspaper clipping my parents kept, the veil was described as “a family heirloom veil of hand-embroidered Honiton lace”.

Charlotte kept a journal of her honeymoon, which I plan to discuss in more detail when I discuss her life at a future time.

On the 14th of October Henry noted that “Jane Chudleigh left.” This would have been the Jane “Chudley” whom Henry had noted on 28 August 1856 as having joined their household as a servant. 41  It seems to me that Jane probably took leave to go to visit and give her farewells to her family in Cornwall, as she was about to join Charlotte and Charles when they embarked for Queensland.

After Charles and Charlotte returned to London from their honeymoon at the end of October, there was a round of farewells, shared meals, and outings. Henry’s wrote in his Journal:

Nov. 18. Dined with Mr. & Mrs. Chas. Marshall at Drapers Hotel. Mr. & Mrs. W.M., Agnes & Alfred, Mr. Boyd, W.M. of No. 19. We all went to Julien’s [sic] Concert.

Dined with Charles and Charlotte Marshall (now married). Charles’s brother, William Marshall, his wife Rebecca Marshall and their children Agnes and Alfred. Mr. Boyd was either the father or a brother of Charles Marshall’s brother, Thornton’s, late wife Mary Frances Meyrick Boyd (1823-1856). Also William Marshall of 19 Regent’s Park Terrace.

JULLIEN’S CONCERTS. – The magnificent interior of Her Majesty’s Theatre has rarely presented a more brilliant and attractive appearance than on Monday evening, when the annual bal masque with which M. Jullien has generally concluded his winter series of concerts, took place, and displayed a splendour to which even the accustomed patrons of those similar entertainments which he has from time to time given were not habituated. It may be truthfully described as the best that has been yet celebrated under his direction, and the most fastidious could scarcely complain of any want of decorum amongst the visitors. The Ball commenced half-an-hour later, and terminated fully an hour earlier than usual, and very few tickets being granted, a far better class of “ladies” enlivened the promenade with their presence. The centre box of the theatre was occupied by the Siamese Ambassadors, who seemed to enter into the enjoyment of the scene with infinite gusto, and the young Prince of Oude and his suite occupied a box adjoining. The usual stereotyped characters were better sustained than usual, and the costumes were more correct and less dingy than ordinary, whilst, so far as our observation extended, there was an utter absence of that objectionable practical joking that has for so many years marred the pleasure and interfered with the comfort of the peaceably-disposed. The supper, under the direction of M. Epitaux, gave every satisfaction, and sufficiently recruited the energies of the dancers to enable them to prolong their exertions for some hours afterwards. The theatre was very gracefully and prodigally decorated, and the brilliancy of the varied colours of the silken tapestry, and the refreshing effect of the introduction of a vast quantity of flowers and evergreens, gave a magnificent appearance to the gay scene, as viewed from the back of the promenade. M. Jullien and his efficient orchestra worked more zealously than ever to make the musical arrangements unexceptionable, and fully succeeded, for the quadrilles, valses, and polkas succeeded each other with scarcely an interval, and in the selection of the music it was impossible to suggest an improvement. Since then the concerts have been resumed, with the retention of the decorations, and the lovers of classical music have had a Mendelssohn and a Beethoven night assigned to them, in accordance with the promise that was made in the initiative programme.
[“THEATRES, &c.” Era [London, England] 6 Dec. 1857: n.p. British Library Newspapers. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.]

Decr. 7. C.M., C.A.D.M., Capt. M., Mr. & Mrs. W. Marshall, Clapham dined with us.

Charles and Charlotte Marshall, Charles’s brother, Captain Edward Marshall R.N., and William and Rebecca Marshall dined with the Drakes.

Decr. 10. Lu, L.M.D. , Laura, W.M., Charles, Alfred, Capt. M, W.M. & Mrs. W.M. (No. 19) & I dined with Charles & Charlotte at Drapers Hotel Sackville St. being their last day in London before leaving for Australia. E. No. 11 Char St.

Louisa Drake, Louisa Maria Drake, Laura Mary Drake, Charles’s brother, William Marshall, and his sons, Charles William and Alfred, Capt. Edward Marshall, William and Mary Marshall (of 19 Regent’s Park Terrace), and Henry dined with Charles and Charlotte at Drapers Hotel.

On the 11th of December, Henry noted, “Charles & Charlotte left Southampton p. Teviot for Alexandria en route for Australia,” 42  arriving in Sydney, on board the City of Sydney, on 17 February 1858.

Life for the Drakes in London was not to be without its own upheavals. On the 18th of December Henry went to the War Office, to find that he had been “named” for Gibraltar. While they waited for confirmation of this, life went on as normal.

On 30 January 1858, Henry was honoured to be invited to witness the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, to Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia. He didn’t attend the wedding itself, but “Went to H.M. Drawing Room.” The wedding was described as follows (with an interesting description of what Henry probably saw in the Drawing Room):


At an early hour on Monday morning, the note of preparation for the royal marriage was everywhere noticeable in the aristocratic quarters of the town – that is, as far as a dense fog would permit of observation. Belgravia was especially alive; the smoke was ascending from the chimneys at an earlier hour than usual, and the stable-yards were everywhere in a bustle, preparing horses and carriages to bear their several parts in the ceremonies of the day. Nor were the tradesmen’s quarters of the town altogether quiet, for, although many shops were closed, and no lawyers were seen wending their way towards the courts at Westminster – disbarred, to-day, to do honour to the occasion – gas fitters and decorators were busy at work, especially at the West End – Pall Mall, Regent Street, Haymarket, Piccadilly, St. James’s Street, the Strand, and thereabouts – making provision for an illumination at night. As early as nine o’clock, hundreds of well-dressed persons began to assemble, in St. James’s Park, especially in the line of route from Buckingham Palace to St. James’s, along which her Majesty, her family, and the royal guests were to pass to the Chapel Royal. As the morning advanced, the carriages of the nobility, British and foreign, who had places assigned to them in the Chapel Royal, without previously assembling at Buckingham Palace, came rattling along, their magnificent horses and splendid liveries, with their lady occupants – “all so bright and so fair” – exciting the admiration of the spectators. By 12 o’clock, the Mall of the park between Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace, became crowded, as, perhaps, it never was crowded before. A line was kept for the royal cortége, by the Life Guards, and the people, who crowded every other foot of ground along the route, were entertained by the music of the military bands. The crowd was, for the most part, good-humoured and orderly, and consisted of a large proportion of the well-dressed portion of the community. Every place where standing-room could be had was occupied; and the persons who had provided seats in the background must have reaped a rich harvest. Many climbed up the trees, and seated themselves on the branches, at the imminent risk of breaking their necks. A posse of police, under the command of Captain Labalmondière, were employed to preserve order, and to prevent the crowd from pressing forward. At the two principal points – the approaches to Buckingham Palace and the garden gate of St. James’s – the crush was dreadful, and the people, at times, paid no respect to the barriers of rope, or to the entreaties and commands of the police. Several of the more noisy and determined of the delinquents were either taken into custody, or thrust off the ground altogether.

Shortly before twelve o’clock, a herald and a trumpeter, with a few Life Guardsmen, galloped out of the principal gateway at Buckingham Palace, and announced to the assembling the approach of a portion of the royal cortége. They were followed by fourteen royal carriages, the majority of which were occupied by the suite of the bridegroom and his royal relatives. In the last carriage, which was a magnificent state coach, drawn by gorgeously caparisoned horses, sat Prince Frederick William, and his royal father, the Prince of Prussia. The Prince, who smiled and bowed most graciously, received an enthusiastic greeting. After the interval of a few minutes, another party of heralds, pursuivants, and trumpeters, with a body of Life Guardsmen, made their appearance; then came nine royal carriages, containing the great officers of state, the principal members of the royal household, the Prince Consort and the King of the Belgians, the Duchess of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Mary, the Prince of Wales, and the young Princes and Princesses, with the young and beautiful bridesmaids. Then came a magnificent state coach, drawn by cream-coloured horses, containing the observed of all observers – the Queen and the Royal Bride elect; and the enthusiasm of the people found vent in acclamations so hearty as must have assured the Sovereign, that her daughter had the prayers and blessings of the people.


In front of the garden door, a spacious portico, 40 yards long, had been erected, covered in at the sides, and lined with crimson cloth. The old door of the palace had been considerably enlarged. This was the entrance reserved for the Queen and her royal guests. A window on each side had been converted into a door-way, through which the suites entered, so as to meet the Queen at the foot of the staircase. The reception was loyal and enthusiastic. The grand staircase had been re-gilt, as also the balustrades; and the oaken top of the railing had been covered with crimson velvet and silk fringe, which added considerably to the beauty of the general effect, while the sombre tone of the decorations was relieved and contrasted by the colour of the walls and pilasters. The room, which is used as a retiring-room, in the Drawing Room season, on the left on ascending the stairs, was fitted as a boudoir for the Princess Royal, having been entirely re-decorated, cream-colour picked out with gold; and converted into a light and beautiful apartment. The hangings are of the richest crimson damask, and the walls are filled with costly mirrors, so as to considerably increased the apparent size of the chamber. The royal cortége passed to the right though the Throne Room, and what is generally known as Queen’s Anne’s, but more familiarly as the “Crush Room.” At the end of this, a number of seats, rising one above another, as in an amphitheatre, had been erected, on which were seated those among the nobility who had received invitations to witness the procession, including the youth and beauty of our female aristocracy, in full Court dress, looking as joyous as young people always look at a wedding party, and as magnificently radiant as the youthful female aristocracy always manage to make themselves appear. The passage through the Armoury and the Tapestry Room was lined with similar seats, covered with scarlet cloth and trimmed with yellow, court arrangements, as regards attire, being observed in all the apartments, as regards attire, being observed in all the apartments, till the Colour Court was reached. Here the seats secured decidedly the best view of the whole ceremonial, save what took place within the chapel. On the staircase which descends to the passage to the courtyard, a number of mirrors were introduced, which, though detracting somewhat from architectural effect, proved to be most welcome to many of the ladies. The passage at the end of the flight of stairs leads into the courtyard, a portion of which was covered in, and fitted with seats. The building had a substantial and elegant appearance, the stone pillars being converted into marble. In Queen Anne’s room, the first and largest of the state apartments, through which the procession had to move, there were thirteen rows of seats, rising in a theatrical form, on which a most select and aristocratic public, chiefly consisting of young ladies, paid their respects to royalty. Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal was attended by the following ladies, as bridesmaids, all being about her own age: Lady Caroline Villiers, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon; Lady Catherine Hamilton, daughter of the Marquis of Abercorn; Lady Victoria Noel, daughter of the Earl of Gainsborough; Lady Susan Clinton, daughter of the Duke of Newcastle; Lady Cecilia Molyneux, daughter of the Earl of Sefton; Lady Cecilia Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond, Lady Susan Murray, daughter of the Earl of Dunmore; and Lady Emma Stanley, daughter of the Earl of Derby.

The Queen’s dress was of peach colour moire antique, with Honiton lace and peach coloured train of Lyons velvet, the lace flounces being the same as worn by the Queen at her own wedding. The dress is the manufacture of Spitalfields weavers, who are, at the moment, in a very distressed condition. The bridal costume of the Princess Royal was of rich white moire antique, with silver stripes, also of Spitalfields manufacture; the lace dress of exquisite Honiton cuipure, consisting of three flounces, the body being trimmed to match. The veil was of Honiton guipure lace, worn in a style completely novel in this country for bridal costume, and was attached to the head by magnificent Moorish or Spanish pins. The dress and veil were splendidly worked with the rose, shamrock, and thistle. The latter (according to the Court Circular), employed fifty girls for the last twelve months; it was a new style, entirely her Majesty’s suggestion, and the carrying out of the idea has the approbation of the Queen. We may here note, that the example set by the Queen and the Princess Royal, of patronising the looms of the Spitalfields weavers, was followed by many of the nobility and gentry. 43

By March, nothing definite had occurred about Henry’s posting to Gibraltar, and so, on the 13th, he, Louisa, and Laura attended a lecture on eclipses at the Polytechnic, to prepare themselves for the Great Annular Eclipse of the Sun which was to take place on the 15th.


As one of the grandest astronomical phenomena of the century will be presented to us on Monday next, in the great eclipse of the sun, which has been computed to take place on that day, it may perhaps prove interesting to those who have not made themselves acquainted with the remarkable appearances which have been observed on former occasions of the kind, and which are undoubtedly calculated to impress the mind most forcibly with the stupendous grandeur of the universe, if we describe them as succinctly as possible, with a view to prepare the reader for what may be repeated now.

In general, the darkness which follows the total obscuration of the sun’s disc is very considerable though of course it is not absolute. The eclipse of the 17th June, 1433, produced such an impression in England as to cause it to be remembered under the name of the “black hour.” The name of “Black Saturday” has, for the same reason, been given to the eclipse of 1598, and the eclipse of 1652 was known in Scotland as “Mirk Monday.” Dr. Halley describes very forcibly, in a communication to the Royal Society on the eclipses of 1715, the feelings which they inspired. He says, “I forbear to mention the chill and damp which attended the darkness of this eclipse, of which most spectators were sensible, and equally judges, nor shall I trouble you with the concern that appeared in all sorts of animals, birds, beasts, and fishes, upon the extinction of the sun, since ourselves could not behold it without some sense of horror.” In some eclipses bats have been known to fly about as at dusk, and swallows also and cage-birds put their heads under their wings. The colour of the sky on these occasions appears to have been that due to the transition from twilight to night, and stars known to be red have appeared white. It was in the eclipse of 1842 that a livid and painful aspect was imparted to surrounding objects; ad at Montpellier, in particular, these appearances were regarded as appalling. An owl left its retreat in the tower of St. Pierre, bats flew about, swallows disappeared, fowls went to roost, and the cattle stood still in the fields. During the same eclipse, flowers contracted their leaves, and a heavy dew fell at several places, among others at Vienna, Turin and Perpignan. The eclipse of Monday next will not be cum mora, or with duration of darkness, the conditions of which are, in general, that the centre of the moon must pass over that of the sun, and the apparent diameter of the moon be not less than that of the sun; but the foregoing appearances may be to some extent expected.

A few words with reference to dark glasses may also be useful. If tinted glasses be used, it would be well to have them of a few different shades of colour; the darkest to be used at the commencement of the obscuration, and the others as the gradual abstraction of the solar light will admit of less absorbent media being employed. The colour that should be preferred for the purpose is a neutral tint, known to opticians by the name of “London smoke.” Smoked glasses, however, have always been found to answer remarkably well, and a very good screen of this kind may be made as follows: – Take two pieces of smoked glass: turn their smoked sides towards one another, but prevent their coming into contact by inserting strips of thin paper between them at their edges. Lastly, bind their two edges together with the aid of any convenient adhesive substance. 44

On the 17th Henry attended the Queen’s Levee at St James’s Palace.

Plans for their move to Gibraltar were firming up, and on the 24th Henry found out that “Mr. Stanes 45  ordered to Cape & orders for D.C.G. Williams 46  to W.A. & W.H.D. to Gib.” Robert Stanes had served as a temporary clerk in the Crimea with Henry, and would become more involved in the Drakes’ lives in years to come.


Life at 21 Regent’s Park Terrace was drawing to a close, and on the 26th Henry and Louisa “took lodgings 49 Weymouth St. Portland Place.” The next day they packed and sent boxes to be shipped. On the 30th they moved into their new lodgings (their landlady being Mrs. Mason) and “gave over 21 Regents Park Terrace”. On the 5th of April 1858, “at 9 p.m.” Henry “received [his] Orders to take charge at Gibraltar.” On the 12th Henry attended yet another levee, this one being held by the Duke of Cambridge. On the 13th Henry and Louisa “bought Crockery, Glass &c at Defries, No. 147 Houndsditch.” On the 22nd they “sent things away by carrier.” They said their good-byes to their friends and family, and on the 26th, “left London at 11 a.m., at Southampton at 1.20 at Goodrich’s Hotel (J. Barcombe). Walked and shipped our things.” On the 27th, they “embarked on board ‘Tagus‘ Capt. Weekes at 1 p.m. Left Southampton about 2.”

Peninsular and Oriental Company.

The Tagus left again on Tuesday afternoon, with the outward Peninsular mails, a full cargo, 400 sovereigns for Lisbon, and forty passengers, among whom were Commissary-General Drake, Mrs. Drake, and two daughters, Captain Ord, and Lieutenant Roberts, for Gibraltar. 47

More enjoyable times ◄ ● ► Gibraltar


1.  John Robertson (1799-1876) and Sophia (née Dobie) (~1809-1894).
DEATHS. ROBERTSON. – 3rd inst., at Lawford Place, Manningtree, the Hon. John Robertson, of 23, Sussex Square, Hyde Park, formerly of St. John, New Brunswick, in the 78th year of his age. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Ipswich Journal [Ipswich, England] 8 Aug. 1876: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.]
DEATHS. ROBERTSON. – On Tuesday, the 27th inst., at 23, Sussex-square, Hyde-park, Sophia, widow of the late Hon. John Robertson, of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, and younger daughter of the late David Dobie, Esq., of Gartferry, Lanarkshire, N.B., aged eighty-five. No flowers, by request. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Morning Post [London, England] 28 Mar. 1894: [1]. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.]

2.  Eliza Robertson (1840-1929).
DEATHS. ROBERTSON. – On Feb. 1, 1929, at her residence, 29, Kensington-gate, W.6. ELIZA, second daughter of the late HONBLE. JOHN ROBERTSON (Senator of the Dominion of Canada), of St. John, New Brunswick, and 23, Sussex-square, London, W. [“Deaths.” Times [London, England] 4 Feb. 1929: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.]

3.  Margaret Sophia “Maggie” Robertson (1842-1927).
DEATHS. ROBERTSON. – On Dec. 28, 1927, at her residence, 29 Kensington-gate, W.6. MARGARET SOPHIA ROBERTSON, daughter of the late Honble. John Robertson, Senator, of St. John New Brunswick, Canada, and 23, Sussex-square, Hyde Park, London. [“Deaths.” Times [London, England] 29 Dec. 1927: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.]

4.  Fanny Richardson (later Pember) (1837-1925).
MRS. PEMBER. Mrs. Fanny Pember, who died in London on Monday at the age of 87, was the widow of Mr. E. H. Pember, K.C., late of Vicar’s Hill, Lymington. She was the only daughter of Mr. William Richardson, of Sydney, New South Wales, and she was married to Mr. Pember in 1861. Her only surviving son is Mr. F. W. Pember, Warden of All Souls College, Oxford. The funeral will be at Boldre Church to-morrow, at 2.15. [“Mrs. Pember.” Times [London, England] 19 Mar. 1925: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 17 Aug. 2017.]

5.  Frederick Lewis (1807-1866) and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth (née Poulton) (1805-1888).
DEATHS. LEWIS – On the 19th inst., at his residence, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, Frederick Lewis, Esq., late of H.M.’s Paymaster-General’s office, youngest son of the late Rev. Henry Lewis, vicar of Mucking and Broxted, in the county of Essex, aged 59. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc [Portsmouth, England] 29 Aug. 1866: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 3 July 2013.]
DEATHS. On the 12th inst., at Rosslair, Lingards-road, Lewisham, ELLEN, widow of FREDERICK LEWIS, Esq., of Her Majesty’s Paymaster-General’s Office, granddaughter of the late James Payn, Esq., Recorder of Maidenhead, aged 82, deeply and deservedly lamented. Friends will please accept this intimation. [“Deaths.” Times [London, England] 16 Jan. 1888: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.]

6.  Anne Rodwell (~1811-1867) and Charlotte Kirby Rodwell (~1820-1864).
DIED. On the 20th inst., at her residence, No. 5, St. Mark’s-square, Regent’s-park, London, Anne Rodwell, last surviving daughter of the late Henry Rodwell, Esq., of East Harling, in this county. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette [Norwich, England] 27 Apr. 1867: 5. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.]
DIED. On Wednesday last, at No. 5, St. Mark’s-square, Regent’s-park, Charlotte Kirby Rodwell, youngest daughter of the late Henry Rodwell, Esq., of East Harling, in this county. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette [Norwich, England] 1 Oct. 1864: 5. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.]

7.  Adolfo Angelica Gottofordo Ferrari (~1807-1871).
MARRIAGE. On the 31st ult., at Trinity Church, St. Marylebone, Signor Adolfo A. Ferrari, of Norton-street, to Joanna, relict of the late Lionel Rodwell, Esq. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Standard [London, England] 4 Apr. 1849: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.]
DEATHS. FERRARI. – On the 27th inst., at 32, Gloucester-terrace, Adolfo Angelica Gottofordo Ferrari, aged sixty-three. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Morning Post [London, England] 29 Nov. 1870: 7. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.]

8.  Joanna Ferrari (née Thomson, formerly Rodwell) (1820-1872).
DEATHS. FERRARI. – March 27, at Gloucester-terrace, Hyde-park, Joanna, widow of the late A. Ferrari, aged 51. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Daily News [London, England] 30 Mar. 1872: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.]

9.  “James Robinson, Esq., has been appointed surgeon dentist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert.” Morning Post [London, England] 19 July 1849: 6. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 4 Oct. 2015.
MELANCHOLY DEATH. – The medical profession, especially that section practising dental surgery, and indeed the public generally, to whom he was deservedly well known as the founder of the National Dental Hospital, will regret to hear that Mr. James Robinson, the celebrated dentist, expired on Tuesday morning last, at his country residence, Kenton, near Harrow. On Sunday week, about 5 o’clock, while walking in his garden, a branch or shrub attracted his attention, and taking up a knife to cut it off, the instrument slipped and penetrated his thigh. He did not bleed at the moment, but when put to bed he lost a large quantity of blood; and notwithstanding he was immediately visited by and received the unremitting attention of his friends, Messrs. T. Carr Jackson, Harris, and Wotton, who sat up with him, and subsequently Dr. Bridgwater and Mr. Hancock, he never rallied from the severe shock he had received, but quietly expired on the morning of the 4th inst. Mr. Robinson was well known as a most accomplished dentist, and his name is intimately connected with the early history of anæsthetic agents, [PDF] he having been the first to employ them in this country in dentistry. He was the author of one of the best works on dental surgery, and at the time of his death was engaged in the preparation of a much more elaborate work on the same subject, most expensively illustrated. He was also the author of some valuable contributions to the pages of the London Dental Review and American journals; from the latter country he received the honorary degree of Doctor in Dental Surgery. An inquest was held on Saturday, and a verdict of “Accidental Death” returned. [“MELANCHOLY DEATH.-The medical profession,.” Times [London, England] 11 Mar. 1862: 10. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 4 Oct. 2015.]

10.  Mary Marshall (née Benthall) (1823-1907).

11.  I am unsure as to which of Mary Marshall’s brothers this would be, but it is likely that it was Arthur Benthall (1825-1882) and his wife, Alice Margaret Benthall (née Wardale) (1826-1886).

12.  “CRIMEAN RELICS.” Morning Chronicle [London, England] 17 Apr. 1857: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

13.  “Mr. W. Russell’s Lectures.” Times [London, England] 15 May 1857: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

14.  “Mr. W. Russell’s Lectures.” Times [London, England] 18 May 1857: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

15.  Drake’s letters only contain two references to him attending church: William Henry Drake (Piræus) – Louisa Drake (London), (11 Jul 1854); & William Henry Drake (Varna) #2 – Louisa Drake (London), (10 Aug 1854). His Journal mentions 10 visits during the two years he was serving in the Crimea (28 May 1854), (9 Jul 1854), (13 Aug 1854), (27 Aug 1854), (8 Jul 1855), (5 Aug 1855), (12 Aug 1855), (19 Aug 1855), (28 Oct 1855), & (21 Mar 1856).

16.  W. E. Houghton, The Victorian frame of mind 1830-1870, pp. 395-404.

17.  Baptismal certificate of the children (John, Louisa Maria, Charlotte Augusta Dring, Laura Mary, and Emily Caroline Drake) of William Henry and Louisa Drake, dated 7 October 1847, and signed by B. Wittenoom, Colonial Chaplain, Perth. [I have not sighted the original of this document, but have a copy of a transcript made by Lynne Bryer.] For information on Rev. Wittenoom, see R. E. Cranfield, ‘Wittenoom, John Burdett (1788–1855)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 19 November 2015.

18.  Louisa Drake (Grahamstown) – Maria Drake (London), (13 Dec 1860).

19.  William Henry Drake, Journal, (9 Aug 1860).

20.  A.C.F. Jackson (grandson of William Henry Drake), Interview by Megan Stevens, (Hermanus, South Africa, 7 Nov 1992). See also “MEETING OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS IN PERTH.” – at “THE INQUIRER. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 1845.” Inquirer (Perth, WA: 1840-1855) 1 January 1845: 2. Web. 7 Jun 2018.

21.  Drake’s brother-in-law, Francis Lochée, was apparently persuaded by Governor John Hutt “to become the first Freemason initiated in the [Swan River] colony”. The Lodge of St. John was consecrated at Perth on 4 April 1843. Drake was probably also initiated as a Freemason around the same time as Lochée. [Merab Harris Tauman, ‘Lochée, Francis (1811–1893)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed 29 September 2013.]

22.  E. Hobsbawm, The age of capital 1848-1875, (London, 1997), p. 286.

23.  L. G. Gatt, ‘The nature and purpose of Freemasonry’, in K.W. Henderson, The Masonic grand masters of Australia, (Melbourne, 1988), p. 4.

24.  H. Carr, Six hundred years of craft ritual, (London, 1983), quoted in K. Henderson, The Masonic grand masters of Australia, p. 9.

25.  William Henry Drake, Journal, (12 Jul 1854).

26.  William Henry Drake (Balaklava) #33 – Louisa Drake (London) (1 Jan 1855).

27.  “Mr. Spurgeon and the Pulpit.” Chester Chronicle and Cheshire and North Wales General Advertiser[Chester, England] 11 July 1857: 2. British Library Newspapers. Web. 7 Sept. 2017.

28.  “ECCLESIASTICAL AND RELIGIOUS.” John Bull and Britannia [London, England] 20 July 1857: n.p. 19th Century UK Periodicals. Web. 7 Sept. 2017.

29.  “Local Intelligence.” Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, etc [Exeter, England] 3 Oct. 1857: 5. British Library Newspapers. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.

30.  “News.” Western Times [Exeter, England] 31 Oct. 1857: 5. British Library Newspapers. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.

31.  Fanny Richardson (later Pember) (1837-1925). (See also Footnote 4.)

32.  Hon. Louisa Bellamy Gordon, Lady Kenmure (~1797-1886).

33.  “Local Intelligence.” Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, etc [Exeter, England] 29 Aug. 1857: 5. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.

34.  Could these boys have been Henry’s nephews Reginald Drake (1844-1904) and Dennys Drake (1846-1908)?

35.  MARRIAGES. On the 23d inst., at St. Pancras, by the Rev. Stephen Thomas Hawtrey, M.A., Head Mathematical Master, Eton College, assisted by the Rev. William Henry Burrows, B.D., Charles Henry Marshall, Esq., of Glengallan, N.S.W., to Charlotte Augusta D., second daughter of Deputy-Commissary-General Drake, C.B. [“Marriages.”Times [London, England] 25 Sept. 1857: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.]

36.  Rev. Stephen Thomas Hawtrey (~1808-1886), who was Charles’s second cousin.

37.  Rev. Henry William Burrows (1816-1892).

38.  MARRIED. On the 23rd Ultimo, at Perth, by the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, Colonial Chaplain, William Henry DRAKE, Esq., to Miss Louisa PURKIS, eldest daughter of J. Purkis, Esq. [“Family Notices” The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA: 1833-1847) 12 October 1833: 162. Web. 20 Apr 2016.]

39.  Henry’s neighbours and relations, William Marshall (1807-1885) and Mary Marshall (née Benthall) (1823-1907),were married on 23 September 1843. – MARRIAGES. Sept. 23. at St. George’s, Hanover-square, Wm. Marshall, Esq., of Shaftesbury-crescent, Pimlico, to Mary, daughter of William Searle Bentall, Esq., of Totnes. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Western Times [Exeter, England] 7 Oct. 1843: 3. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 4 Jan. 2015.]

40.  Edith Maria Drake, daughter of Henry’s brother, John Minshull Drake, was born on 23 September 1854 – see Drake Bible entry.

41.  Jane Chudleigh (later McIntosh) (1831-1898).

42.  THE MAILS. – SOUTHAMPTON, SATURDAY. – The Royal Mail Company’s steam steam [sic] Teviot, Captain Moir, left this day with the usual Australian mails, 70 passengers a full cargo, specie value 1200l., jewellery 5,000l. The Treviot [sic] is the first ship that takes out a small body of post-office officials (in place of an Admiralty agent), for the purpose of sorting the mail on the forward journey. Mail bags will be made up on board for the principal towns in England, Ireland, and Scotland. [“Multiple News Items.” Standard [London, England] 14 Dec. 1857: 4. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.]

43.  “The Royal Marriage.” Sunday Times [London, England] 31 Jan. 1858: 2[S]. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 Aug. 2013.

44.  “THE APPROACHING SOLAR ECLIPSE.” Reynolds’s Newspaper[London, England] 14 Mar. 1858: n.p. British Library Newspapers. Web. 8 Sept. 2017.

45.  Robert Stanes (~1825-1900).

46.  Charles Williams.

47.  “Lord Palmerston is only … to … his contemporaries.” Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian [Southampton, England] 1 May 1858: 5+. British Library Newspapers. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

©Megan Stevens 2018

One comment

  • I was quite amused at the turn of phrase surrounding the description of Mr Spurgeon. It was as though the writer could not fathom how someone not of the ‘superior class’ could attract such large audiences. “No one can attribute his success to his culture, or to any unusual grasp of thought, or more than very partially to his voice.” Much written in the same vein to arrive at the conclusion, “The first secret of his success, we think will be found in his elocution. It is wanting in the qualities above-mentioned. But it is singularly natural. There is not a trace of pulpitism in it.” The Liddells missed a great opportunity especially as they were all devout Methodists.

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