Welsh Journals

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YOUNG MR. AND MRS. HALL. 1823-30 (PLATES XIII. 1-2) IMMEDIATELY after the ceremonies attendant upon Benjamin Hall's1 coming of age were carried to a triumphant conclusion,2 preparations for his marriage to Augusta Waddington3 proceeded apace, but the day before the wedding, Benjamin's grandfather, Dr. Hall,4 came to Llanover, and gave a most inconvenient and unwelcome display of inconsiderate obstinacy. Mrs. Waddington5 had made all arrangements for the wedding to take place in Llanover church at 11 a.m. the following day, but Dr. Hall declared it must take place at 10 a.m. No amount of argument, upbraiding, raillery or pleading could move him, although it meant that poor Mrs Hawkins,6 the bridegroom's mother, could not be informed in time. Fortunately, Benjamin's sister, Charlotte, Augusta's cousins, Bernard Port8 and Frederick Waddington,9 and Lady Greenlylo and her cousin, Louisa Lowe,11 were already staying at Llanover. Frederick Waddington volunteered to go on to Llanarth 12 to tell the Misses Jones, 13 as the two girls were to be Augusta's bridesmaids, and they had to rest content with this. Augusta, joyously in love, was in the highest spirits, and determined that everyone should be as gay as possible at her wedding. In the evening the Caerphilly harpist14 played in the hall for the company to dance, the set being completed by the maid-servants, and two women from Abercarn,15 one of whom could not speak a word of English. They had been so kind to Mr. Waddington's tenants when they went to Benjamin's coming of age celebrations that they had been especially invited to the wedding in return. Although the music and dancing were not kept up late, everyone retired to bed feeling in the best of spirits, even Mrs. Waddington, who dreaded losing her daughter's beloved company. On the wedding morning, everyone was up and had finished breakfast before nine, and was ready when Dr. Hall and Mr. Powell, Vicar of Abergavenny,16 arrived. Dr. Hall was all impatience to begin, without even waiting for the bridesmaids, saying that as the bride and bridegroom were there, and he was ready to unite them 'there was no occasion to wait for bridesmaids or men'. Fortunately, the Misses Jones and their brother arrived only a moment later, and to their joy, Mrs. Hawkins arrived as the last carriage drove through the gate, and joined the procession but the other invited guests, arriving at the appointed time, missed the ceremony! Augusta, her blue eyes radiant with happiness, looked her loveliest with a beautiful white silk hat and feathers framing her golden curls. A lace veil and a figured white silk pelisse over a white satin petticoat,