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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FEP/6/4
Former ReferenceD3311/14/2
TitleTravel diary of Eleanor Anne Porden, on journey in France
Date3 Sep 1816-11 Oct 1816
DescriptionContinuation of September 3rd 1816
Describes the Catacombs. On leaving they went to the church of the Val de Grace, then the Hopital des Enfants Trouve close by, much amused by the ‘’sight of so many lines, of neat clean cradles’’. They then went to the larger establishment in the Grande Rue de Faubourg St Antoine , where they saw the children employed. Lastly they visited the Church of St Pane and St Louis, close to the College Royale de Charlemagne.
Wednesday September 4th
Received a visit from the Elliotts then went to see the king at Mass but were too late. They dined with Miss Appleton where she was staying – Madame de Vaude’s, 20 Place Vendome. The hotel had belonged to Louis Buonaparte, King of Holland.
Thursday September 5th
Shopped in the morning, the Elliotts dined with them and helped to receive M. Blondel, one of the Garde du Corps du Roi who they had met at the Catacombs. Mr Jones occupied them with prints of Paris.
Friday September 6th
The Elliotts accompanied them to Les Invalides, where they saw the Chambre des Departes. They viewed paintings by David and Le Gros amongst others. After dinner they went to the theatre called L’Ambigu Comique where they saw a piece called the Two Statues and another called Margaret of Stafford.
Saturday September 7th
Went to visit models of the Alps in the Palais Royale with Miss Thomson, Mr and Miss Matthews. They also visited the Palais de Justice and the La Sainte Chapelle. EP comments on the conversation of French Society and Madame Vetard. EP comments on the expense of fabrics compared to home, mentioning Mrs Gresy, Mr Wilde and Dr Thomson. She also writes of an incident involving her father and Mr and Mrs Pictet.
Sunday September 8th
They went again to the Tuileries, guided by M. Blondel to see the Royal Mass. The king was accompanied by the Dukes of Angouleme and Berri, the Count D’Artois, Marshalls and the Duchess of Berri who bowed to EP’s party.
Monday September 9th
Walked with Mr Elliott through the Rue St. Denis, visiting St Omer, the Cour Batave which she describes. They walked to the Palais de L’Archeque, the Palais de Justice and Saint Chapelle. After tea they went with Mr & Miss Matthews, Mr Jones and Mr Thornberry to the Café des Italiens where they were joined by Mr Elliott. They were joined at their hotel by Mr Edward Elliott. He had made an engagement for himself and his brother to meet General Millot, who commanded the cuirassiers at Waterloo, for the following day.
Tuesday September 10th
They stayed at home during the day and went in the evening to the Theatre Port St Martin. EP mentions a french actress who is not inferior to Miss Kelly.
Wednesday September 11th
They spent the evening with Mrs Pictet and said goodbye to Mrs Matthews and Mr Jones who were leaving Paris the next day.
Thursday September 12th
They started for Versailes with Miss Appleton and the Elliotts. They visited the manufactory showrooms at Sevres first. EP describes parts of Versailles, the entrance, palace and gardens. They spent the evening at the Café des Italiens where she is amused by a man in Turkish dress, from Morocco, who had all sorts of amulets to sell. He is ‘’a very clever fellow, very well known, and that he speaks a great many languages.’’
Friday September 13th
They breakfasted at the Hotel de Londres with Mr and Mrs Thornberry. The Elliotts joined them to take a letter from Mr Justin Vuiliamy to Mr Denon. Henry Elliott acted as interpreter. Mr Denon showed them through his magnificent apartments decorated in the Egyptian style. EP describes the specimens that he has. Her father discusses the construction of Egyptian buildings with M. Denon. He asks him about the difference between M. Denon’s and Mr Pocock’s measurements. From there they went to the Jardin du Roi. The museum was closed but Mr Elliott produced his letter from the Prefect of Paris introducing him as secretary to Milord the Viscount Palmerston, secretary at war. As soon as this was shown they were admitted. In the evening they went to Mr Wilde’s where they met Mr Richard Plaskett.
Saturday September 14th
Visited Montmartre where they admired the views across Paris. In the evening they went to the French Opera with Miss Appleton where they saw Romeo and Giulietta. Madame Sessi and Signora Pasta performed.
Sunday September 15th
Went with Miss Appleton, M. Du Bey and M. Sayer jun. to the Champs de Mars to see horse racing. They then visited the fountains of St Cloud with which EP was disappointed. They walked about the park amongst the crowds. ‘’The throng was so great that Miss Appleton was in perfect terror’’.
Monday September 16th
In the evening they went with the Thomsons and Mr Blakeway to the theatre. ‘’The first coach got to the Theatre Francois with only a moderate quantity of abuse, but we had a pole driven thro’ our pannells" and were force to walk’’. Talma and Madame du Chesnois performed Hamlet. Being late EP’s party could not find seats and so watched from the wings.
Tuesday September 17th
Went out with Mr Wilde. Mr Pictet called and Mr Elliott took his leave.
Wednesday September 18th
They paid a second visit to M. Denon with the Miss Thomsons and saw a great deal not seen previously. This included a bust of Buonaparte by Canova, prints of Sir Joseph Banks and Mr Fox from Phillips portraits. M. Denon talked of a visit he received from Sir Thomas Lawrence. Afterwards they went to the mint hoping to see the collection of minerals , but not able to, then to the Ecole de Medicine. From there they went to the Sorbonne to see David’s pictures of the battle of the Sabines and of Leonidas which EP makes comment on. They walked round Notre Dame, called on Mrs Gresy and in the evening visited the Pictets and met Mrs Monot, Mrs Lafer and her son, and Daphne. EP describes the funeral cortege of an young woman on the opposite page.
Thursday September 19th
Miss Appleton and Miss Oliver called. In the evening they went to Mr Pictet’s where they met a gentleman just arrived from England who said he had often met them at Mt Hardwicks.
Friday September 20th
Went with Miss Appleton, Mr & Mrs Yarrow and Miss Harriet Thomson to the cemetary fo Pere la Chaise. On the opposite pages EP has copied the inscriptions of various tombstones. ‘’The wall on one side of the cemetary is still pierced with holes, made by the french to fire through at the Battle of Paris.’’ She describes the tomb of Parmentier and mentions that nearby are the tombs of Ney and La Bedoyere, the wife of Kellerman and daughter of the Duke of Feltre. In the evening they went to tea at Mr Gresy’s with Miss Appleton.
Saturday September 21st
In the evening they went to a ball at the Place Vendome with Mr & Mrs Yarrow, Miss Louisa Thomson and Miss Appleton. EP was upset that the musicians knew nothing of English dances and they were ‘’so ill danced’’. ‘’It was the more mortifying as the French danced their own dances exceedingly well.’’
Sunday September 23rd (incorrectly dated – should be 22nd)
Went with Mr & Mrs Pictet, and child, Mrs Sayer and child, to St Denis which EP describes. They then went to Ecouen by coach, eating lunch in the gardens of the Viscountess Pybus. They met her family and were told that they were to have had Colonel Thornton of Thornville Royal to dinner. M. Dubey joined the party. Later EP went to Mrs Pictet’s to avoid an engagement at Miss Williams’s but Mr Coates would not take her father without her.
Monday September 23rd
Visited by Miss Appleton, Mr Coates, Mr Wilde, Mr Gresy and then went to Saint Eustache. In the evening they drank tea in Mrs Yarrow’s room.
Tuesday September 24th
Went sight hunting with Miss Appleton. They peeped into St Roch, walked round Palais Royal which made them again too late to see the minerals at the mint, then dropped back to the Institute to see the architectural models. They drove to the Rocher de Cancale and then went to the Conservatoire des Arts but were too late to be admitted. They went back to Notre Dame and saw the spot where Buonaparte was crowned by the Pope and the alter which replaced the one destroyed in the revolution when Notre Dame was converted into wine vaults. EP mentions how many artefacts had been preserved at the Musee du Monumens during the revolution. They returned home to dinner and in the evening had a subscription dance at Mr Caerney’s apartments.
Wednesday September 25th
Inserted between the pages a loose piece of paper – Sept 16th. A list of items and costs.
EP bathed for the first time in her life and ‘’was surprised at the force of so small a quantity of water.’’ They then went with Miss Appleton to the Pantheon, to St Etienne du Mont. They then went to the Luxembourg. They studied the St Sulpice and dined in the Palais Royal at the ‘trois freres Provencaux’.
Thursday September 26th
Went first to call on Mrs Gresy. They ordered a coach to the Hotel de Villle and stopped on the way in Rue St Antoine to view a church belonging to french protestants. They then visited the church of St Paul and St Louis and St Germain des Pres. Their last visit was to a tower in the middle of La Halle.
Friday September 27th
Called on Mrs Pictet and Mrs Wilde. Dined at the Boulevards at Riches then in the evening went to the theatre with Miss Appleton and Mr & Mrs Wilde. They saw Salma performing who they preferred to Madame Du Chesnois.
Saturday September 28th
Miss Appleton called and they spent the evening with Madame Sayers.
Sunday September 29th
They visited the Pictets in the evening and met Mr Butts.
Monday September 30th
Shopped with Mrs Pictet and Mrs Sayer and then met Mr Green at the Institute where they were introduced to Monsieur Cuvier. They were invited in to attend a meeting (Séance). Sir Charles Blagden afterwards told EP that he believed it was the first time a lady had been admitted. During the meeting the loss of members including Mendoza. M. Cuvier read a paper (memoire) on a species of cuttle fish. EP also mentions that a memoire by M. Bonpland which was too long to be read and a M. Brongniart read a geological account. They heard several anecdotes from Sir Charles Blagden who was attending the meeting as a member. These included how Mr Cavendish had left him a large fortune as an acknowledgement for his agreeing to take part in an experiment as a young man which required him to be shut up in an oven to find out the heat a human body would bear. Sir Charles resided at Arcueil with Berthollet. EP’s father mentioned her book the Veils which Sir Charles had seen at Sir Joseph Banks and then offered to sent it to him and begged that if he thought it worthy he could present it to the Institute. EP also saw M. Havy(?) and Laplace. They spent the evening with Mr Wilde where they met a clergyman Mr Sullivan, the Count and Countess de Noay.
Tuesday October 1st
They visited Sir Charles Blagden to leave Eleanor’s book, visiting Mr Wilde on their return home.
Wednesday October 2nd
They spent the morning at Miss Appleton’s, took their leave of Mrs Wilde and made ‘many little arrangements for their departure. Sir Charles Blagden called whilst they were out. They spent the evening at Mr Pictet’s.
On the opposite page – Eleanor mentions the how the price of bread had been raised, there would be none in Paris after twelve and that the English were accused as having caused this ‘’because they wanted to bring about a revolution’’.
Thursday October 3rd
They spent the morning packing, had calls from Mrs Pictet and Mademoiselle Serenville and called on Mrs Sayer. Miss Appleton was with them in the evening.
Friday October 4th
They said goodbye to their friends at Mrs Buff’s and mounted the cabriolet. Mr & Mrs Pictet and Bella came to see them off. During the journey EP describes the state of the crops in the fields. They passed Nanteuil. EP describes the landscape and the ‘’peculiar manner in which the shaft horse is harnessed having almost all the weight of the carriage pressing on his neck, they go with ease up hill and creep with pain and difficulty down a gentle declivity.’’ ‘’I could not help thinking as I looked at our carriage and its tackle that France had nothing gentlemanly about it.’’ They arrived at Villers Coterets at seven where they stayed overnight.
Saturday October 5th
They left on their first stage to Verte Feuille and arrived at Soissons where they visited the cathedral and the ruined monastery of St Jean.
Sunday October 6th
They walked the ramparts of the town and learned of the breach made by the Russian cavalry. Continuing on the route to Braine sur Vesle they passed the village of Vausan and visited the ruined church at Braine. They reached Rheims at five and where they met Miss Appleton. They stayed at the Hotel Bourbon.
Monday October 7th
They visited Rheims cathedral and breakfasted with Miss Appleton in the room where the Duke of Wellington slept. They moved to her hotel then went to call on M. and Madame Ruinard de Brimont and delivered a letter for Mr Pictet. Madame Ruinard spoke of the destruction of St Nicaise and it’s trembling tower. It was from the ruins of this church that Mr Underwood brought two specimens of gothic carving which he gave to EP’s father. Mrs Ruinard gave them an account of St Remy and its shrine. They walked from the public walks to the church of St Remy.
Tuesday October 8th
They called again on Madame Ruinard and then walked again to the promenade, then on to St Nicaise and St Remy.
Wednesday October 9th
They left the hotel as the bill was ‘’so extravagant’’ and went up to the Ruinards who sent their servant Antoine to speak about it and got it reduced. They set out on their return to Soissons and arrived at five, staying at the Lion Rouge with Miss Appleton. A picture of snuffers at Soissons is drawn on the opposite page.
Thursday October 10th
They left Soissons and proceeded through Compiegne to Mont Didier. EP writes of the state of the road which was cut up by the artillery train of some of the armies. At Compiegne they viewed the palace where the Duchess of Angouleme had left two days before. They stayed in Mont Didier at the Grenadier Francois where EP describes the accommodation and difficulties in detail.
Friday October 11th
They visit the town and both churches. They found near the choir in one some dirt ‘’and found that not even the interiors of the churches, are safe walking in France.’’ In the morning they had been visited by an English lady wanting news of England. Her husband was in Plymouth and she had heard rumours of disturbances. EP describes the fog on their journey.
Extent1 volume
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive CreatorEleanor Anne Porden, later Eleanor Franklin (1795-1825)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
TermTravel abroad

Show related Persons records.

Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Thomson; Thomas (1775-1853); physician
Appleton; Elizabeth (c1790-1849)
Elliott; Henry (1786-1873); civil servant
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