Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And Even More about Lord Dunmore's Carriage

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Susan reports:

Alas, Blogger went into picture-overload, and I must split up these carriage images from the TNHG trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Here are the last handful of Lord Dunmore's carriage.

I mentioned previously that the carriage sits high above the ground.  To give you perspective on this, I asked Coachman Susan to stand beside the door – that would make for quite a jump up or down!  

Fortunately, a footman is always at hand to unfold these little built-in steps to the pavement.  They fold and unfold quickly, with a satisfying clatter, not unlike a Jacob's Ladder toy.  I imagine that it was probably a nice, showy move for a footman to make, unfolding them before His Lordship stepped out.

This carriage was one of the perks of being a royal governor, much like a limo and driver would be to an ambassador today.  To show exactly how grand Lord Dunmore was, here's his full title: His Excellency the Right Honourable John Earl of Dunmore, His Majesty's lieutenant and governour general of the colony and dominion of Virginia, and vice admiral of the same.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Grazie, Susan! You may have mentioned this, so , forgive, pls, but is this a reproduction? And seeing this 'grandeur,' one can understand why the 'lower classes' started getting a little peeved at their 'betters' when they didn't get their slices of the pie, ya know? There's a line from an old, horrid movie that describes what this carriage and things like it must have looked like to the Colonial lower classes: What a vulgar display of wealth; where can I get one? But it looks like an awful lot of fun and I'm now obsessed with visiting CW.

Becca said...

What fabulous pictures! thank you so much for sharing. But I agree with Sherrie Holmes that these steps look a little rickety. What did they feel like to you?

Vanessa Kelly said...

TNHG, I am eternally grateful to you! My current WIP has the heroine trying to fling open the carriage door and jump out. That now won't be happening anytime soon!

But think of all the possibilities of having the heroine NOT be able to get out of the carriage!

These are great pictures - I love seeing how those cute little steps actually work.

amy kennedy said...

I was in CW about 37 years ago, but I was not the boss of me, and so did not go on any carriage rides.

But now I think I could spend my entire time in CW in a carriage.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Very easy to become obsessed with Williamsburg, Michelle, esp. if you have the NHG tendencies: oh, please, please, one more demonstration, dance class, carriage ride, plllleasse!

It's tempting to look at the Royal Governor's gaudy ride and think Aha! There's incentive enough for rebellion! But in Virginia, much of the impetus for the revolution comes from the wealthy planter/gentry class, and their carriages are every bit as elegant. They're represented in the CW collection, too -- I just focussed on Lord Dunmore's carriage to simplify things so Blogger wouldn't completely blow up. But I do have more pictures....oh, do I have pictures!

And yes, this is a modern replica, built in Europe by a company that specializes in line-for-line reproductions.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Becca, yes, in fact those little steps don't exactly inspire confidence. I'm sure they're sturdy enough, with all the tourists climbing up and down all day, but they don't FEEL substantial, and give one queasy premonitions of toppling face first into the street.

Vanessa, I'm glad we saved you (and your heroine) from a terrible plight of inaccuracy. *g* Writing historical settings can be such a mine-field....!

Amy, I'm not sure you'd want to spend your entire time at CW in a carriage -- because as purty as they are, they are definitely NOT comfortable. The 15 minute tour is just about right. *g*

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