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Honoria Fleming's wedding, 1836

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Hampshire Advertiser

MISS FLEMING’S MARRIAGE.- Stoneham on Thursday, the l4th of January, 1836, was the scene of great festivity, in honour of the marriage of Miss Fleming, eldest daughter of our county Member, John Fleming, Esq. to James Ferrier Armstrong, Esq. of Castle Iver, King's County, Ireland. A distinguished party of friends accompanied the bride and bridegroom, in seven carriages, to the beautiful church at North Stoneham. The road from the entrance to the churchyard to the door of the sacred edifice was lined on each side by the tenantry, all respectably dressed, and wearing the cherished emblem of the Conservatives - the ivy and oak, and white favours . As the bride, leaning on her father's arm, led the way, followed by the bridesmaids and the rest of the party, between the rows of delighted tenantry, the effect was peculiarly pleasing. The path was covered in matting, and above that red druggett, as was also the pavement in the church. Carpets were also laid down over a considerable portion of the centre aisle.

Most of our readers have visited North Stoneham Church, and we need not, therefore, describe this fine relic of the olden time. On the present occasion, the sun shone brightly, sun poured a flood of light through the richly-painted windows upon the ancestral monuments of the Fleming family. The bride was dressed in a beautiful white figured satin pelisse, richly trimmed en tablier with Brussels lace and bouquets of orange flowers; her bonnet was composed of White satin, with a bouquet of white roses and orange flowers, with a superb Brussels lace veil; there were six brides maids, all similarly attired in silk pelisses and satin bonnets. - The bride groom appeared in truth the pattern of a man, tall, young, and handsome. The church was crowded with the tenantry, who, with the children of the school supported by Mr. Fleming, appeared in holiday attire on the joyful occasion. The ceremony (by special licence) was performed by the Rev. Frederick Beadon. On its conclusion, the bridal party returned to South Stoneham House, to dejeune a la fourchette; the whole of the costly family plate was here displayed, and the arrangements of the table were faultless; the party principally consisted of the relations, near connections, and principal tenants of the distinguished owner of the mansion. The happy pair soon afterwards departed for London in a travelling carriage. This carriage was one of Jones’s stylish under-spring post chariots, presenting a perfect model of the chaste and elegant combined; the exterior was richly painted in the Hanoverian green, tastefully relieved, and the interior superbly, yet most delicately fitted with light watered silk, decorated and finished with every accommodation that convenience and luxury may require. The roof was a novel, but magnificent display of ingenuity and superior taste, drawn to folds in the centre, with a gold finish. Such a vehicle, drawn by four handsome greys, could not fail to have a most imposing effect.

In the meantime preparations had been going on for the gratification and enjoyment of the peasantry. A large barn was fitted up with tables and benches, and the village band occupied a temporary orchestra. Though an ox had not been roasted whole, as at first intended, an abundant supply of roasted and boiled beef and mutton, and true English plum pudding and ale was enjoyed by men, women, and children, to the number of about 600. The founder of the feast arrived among them at one o’clock, and after cheering had subsided, the most energetic eating we have ever witnessed commenced; the health and happiness of the bridge and bridegroom was most vehemently drunk, as was also the health of Mr Fleming, with nine times nine. In the evening, followed dancing, which, though the toes of the dancers were neither very light or fantastic, was kept up with right good-will until an affray, which unfortunately occurred, deprived the fair damsels who had hoped had tripped through the merry dance for many an hour, of their amusement. A rumour of the intended festivity had gone abroad in Southampton, and it was erroneously supposed that the feast was open to all. The mobility of Southampton flocked to the barn therefore, and with some exceptions, were prevented from entering, by the door keepers. The crowd outside eventually became clamorous for a share of the good cheer within, and to divert their attention, a couple of barrels of ale were broached in an adjoining field. After drinking this, however, the crowd demanded more, and having been denied, expressed their determination to take it by force. The Stoneham people resisted, and a great melee took place; several heads were broken on all sides, and a considerable time elapsed before order was restored. – Last evening a ball to the Household and Farmers’ families was given at South Stoneham House, to the enlivening music of Turtle’s band.

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