Archive for the ‘Arlington Court’ Category

Travelling in style

May 1, 2012

Interior of the Antrobus travelling chariot at the National Trust Carriage Museum at Arlington Court ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

I just spotted this image of the sumptuous and smart upholstery of an early-nineteenth-century travelling chariot in the collection of the Carriage Museum at Arlington Court.

The early-nineteenth-century Antrobus travelling chariot. ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

It is thought to have been used by Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus (1793-1861) a scion of an old Cheshire gentry family who  attended the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15 as a junior secretary under Lord Castlereagh. The carriage includes a special compartment for the young diplomat’s dress sword. It also still has its original imperials, the light wooden cases covered in leather to be placed on the roof. On long journeys such as the Vienna assignment the carriage would have been pulled by pairs or teams of post horses hired at inns along the way.

The sword case. ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

Antrobus was subsequently sent on diplomatic postings to Washington, Turin and Naples. He also had a career as Member of Parliament, in which he seems to have taken a reactionary stance, voting against the various reform bills in the early 1830s (his career is summarised on the History of Parliament website).

Door handle on the travelling chariot including the Antrobus armorial unicorn. ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

A photograph of Antrobus in later life – sporting a Regency-style collar which must by then have been slightly old-fashioned – can be seen on the British Library Images website.

The Antrobus family crest on the carriage door. ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

The travelling chariot was donated to the Arlington Carriage Museum in 1974 by Colonel Antrobus. More information about the carriages at Arlington can be found in the National Trust Carriage Museum online guide.