Caricatures of visitors to Vauxhall Royal Gardens
The bottom right figure is the scientific man mentioned above
Secondly, the author writes
as if present on some of the balloon flights. After the flight on 25th
June he notes that the balloonists were “invited by Mr Roche to Sir William
Ellis’s and sat down to supper with 11 or 12 invited nobility at one of the
most splendid mansions in England – the residence of Lucien Buonaparte [Napoleon's brother] during
his stay in England – Denham Court.”
Likewise on 17th July the note
says that “Marshall Soult came on the ground to the Balloon start and seemed to
be well pleased. Descended 3 miles beyond Kelvedon… were left by our companions
de voyage who appropriated our Post Chaise and were obliged to accept an
invitation to sleep at the hall the seat of Lord Western who entertained us in
the most hospitable manner possible.” Clearly the person who wrote this must have been more than just a junior member of staff.
The occupants of the balloon on this
occasion are listed in An essay on aerial
navigation, pointing out modes of directing balloons, by Joseph MacSweeny
(1844) as “Messrs. Green, Power, Carnegie, Tennyson, Hughes, Gye and Parbury”.
The only identifying mark in the book is that the image of R. Banford is initialled ‘F.G. Aug 27th 1839’. As the account book was donated to the London Museum by a member of the Gye family, the finger of suspicion points to either Frederick Gye himself or, perhaps more likely, his son, Frederick.