Travel Diary: Miss Mary Visits Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon

June 4 Tuesday

Drove to Warwick and went through the castle.  We saw a great many curious weapons that were very old, a good many paintings by Rubens, some by Vankyde [sic] and one the “Assumption of the Virgin” by Rubens.  I sat in an old chair which Queen Anne and Queen Elizabeth sat in.  We saw their tables, one of petrified [] snails and such things and two of mosaics, one of which belonged to Marie Antoinette.  They were very finely inlaid and very handsome.  The great hall was burned but rebuilt just as it was.  It looked as I suppose halls of the time of the knights looked and had armour around it and a wooden horse with a rider on him all covered with armour.  In the same room is an old bowl of metal, it contained [] about 12 gals.  The guide said that when the present earl came of age it was filled three times with presents.


Image by the Detroit Publishing Co., 1905. Views of England, in the Photochrom Print Collection, Library of Congress.

The buildings are built around an inner court with a moat around it, which is all overgrown and no water in it.  In one corner of the court is Guy’s Tower which is 150 or 120 feet high and on the other corner Caesar’s tower.  The other end and side are rivers.  Opposite where the living part is there is a gate into the garden and we went in and saw the Warwick Vase which was found in a lake near Tivola [sic].


Warwick Vase, originally excavated from Tivoli, rebuilt and now in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow

There is a very pretty view from here.  Then some of us went up in Guy’s Tower there are 133 steps that wind round and round but when you get to the top there is a beautiful view of the surrounding country.  On one side lies Warwick and farther distance Lemington [sic].  On the other castle and the lovely country with the river Avon rising through it.  It was a view well worth remembering.  The entrance is between two stone walls all ivy and shaded by trees and [] the castle the lawn is at the sides [].  It is very pretty.

Then we drove to Kenilworth a lovely drive through the country.  Saw the castle and the room that Amy Robart occupied.  It is very lovely at the castle it is so picturesque with the ivy all over the walls.  Then we came back to the hotel and had lunch and John and Uncle Sam took the train for London.  Before we went to Warwick Castle we went to St. Mary’s Church and Beauchamp Chapel.  In the chapel are the tombs of Lord Leister [sic] of Scott’s novel Kenilworth and his wife.  She is showed a little above him to show that she inherits the title and has her coat of arms above his.  There were some other tombs of the Leister family there too.

After lunch at the hotel we drove to Stratford on Avon.  We had a beautiful drive with some very pretty views on the way.  First we went to the old church where Shakespeare is buried and over his grave is bust of him in color.  Then we drove to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and I sat on the old settle where Shakespeare courted her.  We then went upstairs and saw an old [] bedstead which belonged to the Hathaway family.  Then we went to the house where Shakespeare was born and saw the room he was born in.  After which we went through the Shakespeare Memorial Hall with the library, picture gallery and theater, where on the anniversary of his birth they have one of the [] actors or actresses act one of his plays.  Outside of the hall is a monument to Shakespeare with four of the characters of his plays, one on each side of the statue of himself.  There is a lovely view of the old church and the river Avon from the hall.  Before we went to his birth place we had a drink of water from a very pretty monument presented to his memory.  Then we walked to the Red House Inn and saw the chair in which Washington Irving sat and the church he wrote about.  We then drove back to Lemington.

Travel Diary: Miss Mary Visits Eaton Hall

June 3 Monday

Went this morning to Eaton Hall (the duke of Westminster’s place) and on the way drove through some very quaint old streets and saw God’s Providence House as when the plague was in the city it was in every house but this one, so the people put up an inscription reading “God’s Providence is my inheritance.”  It was a very queer old house and we also saw the Bishop’s Palace which is an old and small house.

god's providence house

God’s Providence House, c. 1862. Photographer: Francis Bedford.   Image courtesy of

The drive from the entrance gate of Eaton Hall to the house is three miles and is looked lovely it was so fresh and green.  There is a small village around on the duke’s ground where his tenants and servants live.  The house is very large and we went through a little of it.  First we went through a chapel which was very nice and then looked into a pretty grotto and then through some passages and into an entrance room which was large.  Then went into the state dining room which is very large (as all the rooms are) and very grand.  There are three oil paintings by Ruben in the house that we saw.  One in the dining room of a fight between dogs and [] two in a passage near the library, one of which is “The Adoration of the Magi” [Note: The heirs of the 2nd Duke sold the painting in 1959 to help pay off death duties, and the buyer then donated the painting to King’s College.  It is now displayed at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge] and the other of “Fathers of the Church.”  We then went through some beautiful rooms some of which, there was some pieces of Goglin tabestry [sic] in.  The library is one of the grandest and most beautiful room.  There are great book cases filled with handsome books around the room and a very handsome carved mantelpiece.  There is also a table made of Labrador spar which is very changeable and when you walk around it you see all the colors of the rainbow and it is very lovely.


Duke of Westminster’s Eaton Hall, c. 1880. This is the version designed by Alfred Waterhouse. Photograph by Francis Bedford.

We then drove to the garden and saw greenhouses.  One of them is very pretty.  You look through a long arbor all covered with vine, some of which were orange tree trained up to vines and japonica.  There are a great many deer in the place and we saw some of the young ones.  They looked very pretty.  There are some pretty views on the [] of the mountains and river.

We then drove back to the hotel where we had lunch and on the way saw the priory of St. Johns Church which is very old.  Then we took the train to Lemington [sic] and as we passed through Shrewsbury the ruins of an old castle built by one of vassals of William the Conqueror.  The ride was very lovely and some pretty views.  We are stopping at the Manor House Hotel.  After we had dinner here we took a slow walk about the town and saw a few of its stores and Christ Church.

Miss Mary Crosses the Atlantic and Goes to Chester

Transcript of Mary C. Andrews’ travel diary, May 26 – June 2, 1889.  She left New York on May 25 and landed in Liverpool on June 1-2.  It seemed to have been an uneventful crossing, though I do wish she had described shipboard life!  Although sorely tempted, I have resisted the urge to correct her punctuation and spelling.

May 26 Sunday

It is smooth today but this afternoon it rained.

May 27 Monday

It is lovely and smooth today and I received a letter and a very pretty pad of paper from Mary.  Saw steamer of other Line.

May 28 Tuesday

We are in a fog this morning and the fog whistle blows about every five minutes.  The sun is shining and it is pleasant and smooth altho it is so foggy.  One of the officials said that we met some fishing boats last night or this morning.  I should think it was very far out for them to go.  The fog has gone now — I saw a steamer.

May 29 Wednesday

This morning met Umbria and we signalled to her.  This evening we saw a steamer and she signalled with color lights.  It looked very pretty.


RMS Umbria, sister ship of RMS Etruria

30 Thursday

We saw steamer [ ] of Spain of National line very close to —

31 Friday

On board boat.  Rocks a good deal.  Finished our letters for Queenstown.

1 June Saturday

Got to Queenstown about nine oclock [sic] and saw passengers land.  Coast of Ireland looked lovely as far as we could see it for it rained very hard until evening.  It was very rough in the channel and some said it was the roughest weather they had ever seen in the channel unless it was in winter and they did not know as they had ever seen it so rough.

June 2 Sunday

Got to Liverpool late last night or early this morning and landed about eight oclock.  We had to be taken off in a small boat and there was a perfect jam of people.  It rained hard this morning — We took the ferry boat across the channel to Birkenhead (a suburb of Liverpool) and went to an old fashioned hotel with a nice lawn on the side of it.  When we went to the door they asked Papa who we were and Papa said we were travelers and then they asked where we were from, Papa said America.  It seemed that there is a law that they shall entertain no one within three miles of the hotel on Sunday.  We had a very nice dinner and then took the train for Chester.

We had a lovely ride to this place (Chester) and are going to cathedral this evening.  We attended part of the service at the Cathedral, which was built [ ] in the twelfth century.  It is very old looking and impressive.  When the choir sung it sounded very sweet.  Then we took a walk on the walls and saw the Phoenix tower and an old canal with very queer long boat on it.  We saw the [ ] tower also.  The remains of a Roman bath are a very little way from the walls and we could see them.  They were nothing but some old stones set upright in the ground, very close together.  We took a train way over Grovenor [sic] Bridge, past Eaton Hall into Wales.  It is very pretty on the road.  We are stopping at the Grovenor [sic] Hotel.  The name of the hotel at Birkenhead is the Woodside.

A Travel Diary

This little treasure came in a donation box containing many obsolete veterinary medicine texts:


The leather-bound diary measures just 6″ x 3.5″ x 0.75″ and is in pretty decent shape given its age.  Mary C. Andrews wrote mainly in pencil, and though her handwriting is that typical spidery one of the era, it is mostly legible.  I am not sure why she wrote “State Insane Asylum” as the address under her name . . . .  I hope it was a joke of some sort.

historic image buffalo state hospital

The above is a historic photograph of the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane  (courtesy of  The hospital is now called the Richardson-Olmsted Complex in honor of the architect Henry Hobson Richardson (of Richardsonian Romanesque fame) and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  The hospital opened in 1880 as a state-of-the-art inpatient treatment center for psychiatric patients, with the last patients leaving in the mid-1970s.


HABS photograph of H. H. Richardson Complex from 1965, courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, NY,15-BUF,9-1

Miss Mary started her trip in May 1889 with her Mama and Papa, and she wrote about a “little of England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Amsterdam.”  And the adventure begins:

May 25 1889 Saturday

Sailed on the “Etruria” this afternoon.  Had a lovely sail down the bay and “The Farny (?)” (Mr. Fisk’s boat) saluted us.  It is very smooth and pleasant.


RMS Etruria

I wonder if the Mr. Fisk she referred to was James Fisk, the speculator who along with Jay Gould tried to corner the gold market in 1869.  After a decidedly colorful — if short — life, he was murdered by his ex-mistress’ lover in 1872.  He was only 36 years old. James Fisk owned many things, including steamboats, so I suppose some boats of his still were still in commission in 1889.


James Fisk, 1835 – 1872

I have no idea whether Miss Mary travelled first or second class, but I hope she had the trip of her life!