The antique desks of Teddesley Hall have long since vanished, but one of its diaries has survived, offering a fascinating glimpse into life at one of England’s lost country houses – and of the Victorian politician who lived there.
Edward John Littleton (1791 – 1863) was a prolific British politician who was born Edward Walhouse. He changed his name to Littleton in 1812, in order to inherit the estates of his great uncle, the Baronet Sir Edward Littleton. Although the baronetcy was extinguished on his death, his great nephew took over his parliamentary seat and later became the 1st Baron (Lord) Hatherton.
Edward Littleton had a long political career, much of which he recounted in his personal diaries. Many of these have been published, with a number of volumes stored in the open bookcases of the William Salt Library, Stafford. Of immense value to local historians, a scant few have remained in private hands – including one covering the period Tuesday 15th April to Tuesday 22nd July 1856. This volume has now come up for auction, with an estimate of £700 to £1,000.
Littleton received his peerage in 1835, shortly after being re-elected for Staffordshire South, also receiving a seat in the House of Lords. Within his diary pages are glimpses of a life that was a social whirlwind, with banquets at Teddesley Hall, evenings at the Brookes Club and meetings with the likes of Princess Feodora, half-sister to Queen Victoria.
People interested in antiques in Lancashire may want to write their memoirs using Victorian mahogany pedestal desks with real ‘peer of the realm’ appeal.
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