The Scottish State Coach circa 1830
Country Mouse was in town last weekend and Town Mouse, cousin and junior by twenty years, agreed to be a tourist, too. I have long wanted to visit the Royal Mews and now I have.
What writer of Regency fiction isn’t interested in carriages? I took the opportunity offered of sitting in a mock-up carriage and concluded I’d be ill if I had to travel in one. Maybe by the time the Scottish State Coach was built, springs were improved.
So, what thoughts does the picture prompt? Without a doubt, the vehicles displayed brought home to me the weight of everything connected with horse-drawn travel. Weight that meant everything done had to be done in teams – look at the size of that rear wheel.
The royal carriages have extra large windows so the occupants can be seen but in their heyday, windows would be smaller and equipped with blinds making the opportunity for all those abductions of heiresses greater. The height of the carriage floor from the ground is considerable and that made me understand how easily a woman in flowing skirts could be disadvantaged.
In happier book scenes, the compact nature of the carriage lends itself to gossip and closeness – siblings off to a summer ball together; older ladies off to a card party or the post nuptial trip being made by a young and nervous bride.
What temptation does a carriage offer you?