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THE BEAUTIFUL MISS CROKER., Nelson Evening Mail, 5 October 1905
THE BEAUTIFUL MISS CROKER.
ta a iady#f sudfai advanced aae. Much of that 'which- is published here wa« vtolunitd&red to nic Wy L^dy Barrow, or was told me Jljy JUJisf Slautiders, or was in response I*- ftMiestibns.put by Miss Samndvxti : ... - r : . ■;'>-;:.; ;. . ■ • With- great . ki^ness Lady Barrow, '- «n the mornijig p£ my visit, had written with htr; own' hand and had saj?ned ,' the V^rds. ''His Banner oyei* ihe is liovp,*'; jvnichf iftast express2d,her view 'oi her life's experience ; and, on her own initiative, liiatt; also written down her -recollection of -what King William IV. had said to her on one of thij occasions that siie hnd been tafeen to 'meet him. having been introduced, by her foster-father, 3fr Crok■ir, to the third qf tho five sovereigns of Great Britain who have iuled during her lifetime. The words she has written are : . *' ( 'i am so- pleased to" be introduced .to a young^^ Iddy of whom 1 have, heard so nmch.' r The woi'ds of ihe E'ing- to me. Rosamond Barr row, May, 1905." In the course of conversaition I find that tKe King having Stxtd wiiat I have -ciuoted, addSng 1 that she. was the English:, "beauty, kissed her, as was the custom, but afterwards kissed, feor again. Another potentate heariing of this exclaimed : "Ak, tlie first was the idi*rly' kiss. The second was that of the man." • . • Sha wins then (qiuite a young girl, but hiaxi ripened into that loveliness whSch Lawrciire has immortalised for us. Lady Barrow tells me : ''He called me tho English T>eauty|. and in saying that he was so pleased to be introduced to jne, I tipught Hi the finie that it was just as if I — instctaid of he^-had i-jsen the 'Grand Person I .'"' . Then Lndy Barrow aidrds, a little ks9 complh. santly > "TRw Kiug always called me by my pet name 'Nony,' atod. scrutdnisjnc; the words which she had just written, '('why did 'he Say 'of whom I have heard co . much'? Who had been talking about me?*' "Your father," Miss Saiintters suggfests. I:' And then, of course, yonar beauty had Lieen everywhere spoken of/ TWn All- Croker referred to is the Cro^er of political and literary fame, wh'otm tho iea'c-ndary sdhoolir<xy "v^ill know as having beoii so niei-Ciless'ly attacked ibji Macatulay in his ossay upon Boswcll's "Life of Bo Johnson." Mrs Cooker had lost Bef- .chi.d ; and, to: o,ssuage her Riicd, tlie itifan'C daugjhtier^-the sab\ j'ect of this article-^of Mrs Pennell was adopted. Mrs Croker, i€ sjhoiuld me rheufioned, \vias Mrs Pennel's eldbst sis<«r ,
Mr Croker proTned a devoted' fntlver, although soinewhait strict -as compared wi'Hi our latter-day notions upon life training, of children. Ooss was her music master ; antf, allhoun'h' JJady Bnfr<>w has always bteen fond of music, and- is a jzood cxecul'.ant, she explains that lhei>& are musical inslruimenls which she does not loive as mucK as she ough/t, 1-jecaTise Her father would fo'avc hsr practisß every day for tyro or three hours btofore breakfist.
Tho conflict between art anid appetite must have been somewhnt dipfrcssinJg.
(To b« continued.)
AN INTERVIEW WITil THE ONLY SURVIVING SITTER TO SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, (By Arthur Lawrence, in July ('The World and His •Wife.") Lady' Barrow is no win the 9<>th year of her age. At 17 Lady Bbstx«w> |«>3fcn ?|MBss Choker, w^s the sutagect of the loveliest of the portraits painted by Hur. Thomas JJawrence.. Very few people ar» awfere that tSie origiinal oi this charming portrait' is still with us. Lady Barrow has never befoixj granted an "'interview" for publicaition. It has been for me, as for her, a unft^jue Occasion. lam inclined to reigiard my valk with Lady Barfbw as tho "blue riband" of my» interviewing! experience. . Of the loveliness of Miss Crb&er, amd th<i fascina'Cioai of Lawrence's portrait', is sufficiently -clo■cjjuent. I am atile to ffive, aleo, a photograph taken o-f her in the bs.uk attivbde as in the picture, hut ftt ninety. years of cuge, anU an amateur phoi.iogi'aph, taken a few months ago, on her 95th birthday. The motto aad signature, as well as a remark made to <her by King William IV\, were written for rt>e on the day ol my call, May 2nd, 1905. .-,.... I have long' had a print of Lawrence's portrait of Miss Croker ; blut i'u wa» only when a wellknown collector and phoioig-raphier ■ent mo a pho'toglnaph of the picture £of the purpose of another article that I learned from him that the original of tho picture was still 'n the land of the living TWrtoiag to Deceitt, tones fi^ps that Lady Barrow, nee Rosamond > Hestef Elizabeth, 'daughter of i-'he latg William I'emnell, Estj., Con-sul-General iri Brazil, Was born January sth, 1810, and married, in 1832, Sir George Barrow, Bart.,' C.M.G., who diad' m 1576. If can be imagined that, in writitaig to a lady in her 96th year, and a lady, moreover, who, as I > learned: subsequently, Juas eschewed da ly papers, and to whom, in any case, the intervSiewing« innovation would be icijuite unknown, one felt | that the request was but a forlorn 1 hope. The reply to my letter came some Jdays afterwards from her fridnh and confidant, Miss SaruJi F Saunkiters. who has dovottdi herself for thirty years past to tho care of La&y Barrow, saying that itmigiht ibe useless for in© to call,, "but that thte writer would endeavour to get implies from her ladyship to any questions I cared to The fair reajcters oi this article, however, will hardly nerd to- be toH -that there are ■ nianpv letters m \viiicji one may venture to look for a poststrdpfc. In this instance it contained the sugigestion <ttoat n i cared Ito risk a call, Miss launders would 'be pleased to malce an apptfimtiinent. , -. I sent soime questions.; and. when' I did call I was pleasantly surprised at -being promptly ushered untothe presetnoe of Lady Barrow, looking so sweet and benign in her tap of light blue, and dressmgl--gown of darker blue, re:ieved with white lacef My hopes had not gono 'beyoea tfpiriff able to write lfi footnote to Dawrance's picture. It wiaS duo to no off or* cm my own part, *ut solely to the griaciousness of w dear old laay 'andihe landn^of Miss Saunders—V'lMadretta (Little Mother), as Lady . Bamw. likes to call -her-that Lady Barrow's first ana last audience to the newspaper mtatv afforded lu™^ much" TOoi«.-ttWB-toß'-could have exnected. • ... , 7nA I nei-tber intended nor a-tteittpied to put a number of intcrrogatofteS;
THE BEAUTIFUL MISS CROKER., Nelson Evening Mail, 5 October 1905
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