Showing posts from November, 2018

Autograph MS letter of Elizabeth Craven to Her Son

The Elizabeth Craven Society has now acquired this original manuscript letter written by Elizabeth Craven in April 1802, from London, to the Comte de Perrégaux, a banker in Paris.

She describes herself devotedly looking after her son Keppel, who has suffered a riding accident. His horse crushed his leg against a tree, and although no bones were broken, he is so severely bruised and grazed that he has been laid up on a sofa for a fortnight.

Actually there was nothing Elizabeth enjoyed doing more than looking after Keppel. Her youngest child, he was now aged 23, and had travelled in Paris for a while after he left Oxford, but she loved him to return home to Brandenburgh House where she could molly-coddle him and warn him of every possible risk to his delicate health. She also loved him to invite his friends to stay and fill the house with high-spirited young people.

There are other surviving letters from Elizabeth Craven to this Parisian banker, who was probably the Margrave's banke…

The Ghost of Coombe Abbey

Coombe Abbey, the Warwickshire stately home owned for centuries by the Craven family, has always had a reputation for being haunted. 

The stories go back to its ancient origins as a Cistercian monastery in the 12th century. One ghost is supposed to be that of the Abbot Geoffrey, a monk who was murdered in the cloisters in 1345. And there have been other spectres reported too, including that of a stable-girl named Matilda who reputedly put a curse on the family. 

Nowadays the house has been converted into a hotel, but the stories linger, and staff and visitors have both told tales of the presence of a "poltergeist" - an invisible ghost who moves, or throws things. So this year, two mediums who call themselves The Shadow Warriors have visited Coombe Abbey to carry out a suitably-timed Hallowe'en investigation.

They claim to have communicated with Matilda, and stranger still, to have photographed a mysterious white-clad figure that looks like a woman, inside a room that was be…