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Northampton Mercury, 31st January 1863, transcribed by Kay Collins
A Grand Ball at The Hall

A Grand Ball was given at Rushden Hall, the seat of F. U. Sartoris, Esq., on Thursday night last. The hall is a fine old Elizabethan mansion, with all the agremens of rambling apartments and bay windows, and ample fireplaces and picturesque and comfortable irregularities, but it has no room which could be conveniently converted for the nonce into a ball-room. A temporary structure was therefore erected on the north-eastern terrace, directly adjoining the house, the external wall of which formed one side. The capacious room thus improvised was fitted up with peculiar elegance and taste under the superintendence of Mr. West, of the Drapery, Northampton. The walls and ceiling were covered with white drapery, and the former festooned with large and gracefully-disposed festoons of white figured muslin over couleur de rose. These festoons were bordered with real ivy leaves, and looped with artificial roses, dahlias, and hollyhocks. A deep border of ivy leaves ran round the walls next the floor, and a fuller one of laurel leaves next the ceiling. The deep rich greens of the laurel were relieved at intervals by artificial flowers—chiefly hollyhocks and roses. Between the festoons were disposed mirrors with a range of wax lights before each, which they reflected with great brilliancy. The room was further lighted by an elegant chandelier of wax-lights suspended from the centre of the ceiling. The effect of the ensemble was particularly elegant and graceful, and harmonized most felicitously with the costumes of the ladies. The artificial flowers were formed of paper, and were remarkable for their singular beauty and truth to nature; some of them being not distinguishable from the real flower even upon close inspection. The supper and refreshment rooms, and nooks on the stairs and in the passages to the ball-room were similarly decorated with these beautiful rivals of the garden and greenhouse. Dancing commenced about half past ten o’clock, and was kept up till five o’clock yesterday morning. Among the company were—The Duke and Duchess of Manchester and party, Lady St. John and party, the Earl of Sandwich, Honourable Oliver Montague, the Honourable Mrs. Isted and party, the Sherriff and Mrs. Smyth, Mr. and Mrs. Mackworth Dolben and Miss M. Dolben, Mr. Ward Hunt, M.P., Mrs. Hogge, the Misses Magniac, Mr. A. May and party, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell and party, Mr. Repton, M.P., Miss Paul, the Misses Mackworth, Mr. and Mrs. Orlebar and party, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Orelbar, Rev. J. Roughton and the Misses Roughton, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Percy and party, Rev. Digby Newbold, Rev. G. Boodle and Mrs. Boodle, Mr. and Mrs. Hopkinson and party, Mr. John Young, Mrs. and Miss Porter, Rev. W. Porter, Rev. G. Thornton and party, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and party, the Misses Tillard, Mr. Alfred Sartoris, Rev. G. Bowlby and Mrs. Bowlby, Mr. F. Pratt, Miss Pratt, Miss Sartoris, Mr. and Mrs. John Sargeant, Captain Baynes, Mr. and Mrs. Stockdale, Captain and Mrs. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Beauford, Mr. and Mrs. Dalton, Mr. and Mrs. Hawkin, Captain Haynes, &c.

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