Saturday, 25 April 2015

"What a lark we had...!"; Dudley Wilmot Carleton, 4th Lord Dorchester (1822-1897), Kensal Green Cemetery



DEATH OF LORD DORCHESTER
The death occurred on Tuesday from pleurodynia, after a few days illness, of Lord Dorchester, at his residence in Berkeley-square, London.  Dudley Wilmot Carleton, fourth Baron Dorchester, in the peerage of Great Britain, was the eldest son of the late Rev. the Hon. of Richard Carleton (who was the youngest son of the first baron), by the daughter and co-heir of Mr. Eusebius Horton, of Catton Hall, Derbyshire. He was born in 1822, and entered the Coldstream Guards in 184L He served with his regiment in Canada. and in the Crimean campaign from September, 1854, to October, 1855, being present at the battles of  Balaclava and Inkerman, and the siege and fall of Sevastopol, for which services he obtained the medal with three clasps, the 5th Class of the Medjidie, and the Turkish medal. He commanded or the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards from 1866 until he retired from the Army in 1868. He married, in 1854, the Hon. Charlotte Hobhouse, the daughter of the First Baron Broughton (extinct), and in 1875 he succeeded his cousin in the title.  Lord Dorchester left no son, and the peerage is now extinct.

Liverpool Mercury Thursday 2 December 1897

Lord Dorchester photographed in 1861
Dudley Wilmot Carleton, the fourth Lord Dorchester, was the son-in-law of John Cam Hobhouse, the "dogged, faithful Hobhouse" who was Lord Byron's closest friend.  Carleton and his wife Charlotte are buried in Hobhouse's vault in Kensal Green and share his memorial. Lord Dorchester was a professional soldier and as a young man had that robust sense of fun that makes the English upper classes such a sore trial to their social inferiors. In 1843 the billiard hall keeper Horatio Smith brought the now 21 year old toff to court for an incident which had taken place two years earlier when the then 19 year old soldier had trashed Smith's Windsor billiard rooms and also given him a good thrashing simply because he refused to let them set up a table for French hazard. Carleton's defence counsel was Serjeant Charles Carpenter Bompas who had served Charles Dickens as the model for Serjeant Buzfuz in "Pickwick Papers." The story is from The Era of 5 February 1843:

ASCOT HEATH GAMING: SMITH V. CARLETON.
The plaintiff in this case, Horatio Smith, who was described as an ivory turner, but who, it appeared, kept billiard-rooms at Windsor, brought the action, in the Court of Common Pleas, against Dudley Wilmot Carleton, Esq., formerly an officer in the 60th Rifles, but now in the Coldstream Guards, to recover compensation in damages for a violent assault committed on the 8th of June, 1841 (one of the Ascot race days), at Windsor. The damages were laid at £500. Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, with whom was Mr. T. V. Lee, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Sergeant Bompas, with Mr. Carrow, for the defendant. It appeared from the learned counsel for the plaintiff and the witnesses, among whom were a brother of the plaintiff, (who stated he had been a barman, not a potboy, but now for amusement travelled to various races, &c., having no connection with any gambling booths), a rather dingy-looking, not very prepossessing person, having a crooked nose, and a sort of raven croak, a resident of Windsor, some police-constables and others, that about half-past twelve on the night in question the defendant, with about thirty others, several officers of the Life Guards and other regiments stationed at Windsor, were then mostly intoxicated, and wished to have a bank made for French hazard, which being objected to, they tore the cloths of and destroyed the billiard and roulette tables, and also the cues and maces. They smashed the lamps, looking-glasses, and windows, and tore the window curtains. The plaintiff endeavouring to quell the disturbance was struck by defendant with a knobbed stick, knocked down and struck several times afterwards, and then dragged into the road several yards. The following day defendant said, "What a lark we had last night. Are there any more windows to break? for we shall come and give you another turn tonight to finish the job for you." The plaintiff had bumps on his head, and was otherwise bruised. Mr. Sergeant Bompas addressed the jury at some length in mitigation of damages. The learned Judge summed up, and the jury after half an hours deliberation, returned a verdict for plaintiff, damages £10. The trial lasted nearly five hours, and the court was much crowded throughout.

Charlotte, Lady Dorchester, taken in 1860