A serendipitous purchase
Some time ago, while browsing in a bookshop waiting for the ferry to take me to Coll in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, a paperback caught my eye.
I was en route to visit the grave on an ancestor, Lt Col Lachlan Maclean (1756-1816) who ended his life as Resident Governor of the Tower of London. One of his descendants married an Aubrey.
Once settled on board, I dipped into my newly purchased book, Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus.
To my astonishment, on page 98, I found this reference to one of Lachlan Maclean’s daughters. ‘A real beauty, was Miss Maclean…. She made a perfect hubbub… And they cried her up a wonder. …’
Then came the next shock: On page 136 she wrote: ‘Mr and Mrs Henry Harcourt Wynne Aubrey, (living in Brussels) under the same dilapidated circumstances. She, such a pretty woman, beautiful indeed, a great deal handsomer than her sister Mrs Munro.’ Both were daughters of a ‘managing manoeuvring mother’.
Henry and Barbara are two of the key characters in Sons & Spouses, described by somebody who knew them personally. My grateful thanks go to Elizabeth Grant.