A Secret Romance

With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, we investigated the archives for tales of romance and were not disappointed. We began our search with Althorp for a house that has stood inhabited for 500 years must have witnessed untold secrets.

Imagine the scene – it is December, a few days before Christmas in the year 1755.  John Spencer, the heir to the estate is dancing with his bride to be under the candlelight at a ball to celebrate his coming of age.

Althorp under a winter blanket of snow

As the music plays, they slip away unnoticed to the Oak Bedroom upstairs, where in the presence of close family John is married to Georgiana Poyntz.

Georgiana later said of the ceremony “we both behaved very well, spoke distinctly and loudly, but I trembled so much I could hardly stand.”

Thus began a marriage that was manifestly happy.

The Famed Oak Bedroom at Althorp. The bed is an oak half tester dating from c1846. The ‘S’s on the curtains and bed were embroidered in the 17th century by Lady Dorothy Sidney 1st Countess of Sunderland and her ladies.

Lady Margaret Georgiana Poyntz (1737−1814), who became Countess Spencer

Gainsborough's portrait of John, First Earl Spencer

Click this link to view a spectacular chest on stand after the original which currently resides in the Oak Bedroom

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