Autograph Journal of Johanna Maria Barrow, daughter of Sir John Barrow of Ulverston, describing her courtship by the soldier and artist Captain Robert Batty.

Johanna Maria Batty (1800-1886), wife of the English army officer and artist Lieut-Col. Robert Batty (1789-1848), and daughter of Sir John Barrow (1764-1848)
Publication details: 
[Darley Dale and Dovedale, Derbyshire.] 31 July to 1821 and succeeding days.
SKU: 13661

9pp., 12mo. In makeshift unbound pamphlet, made up of six bifoliums pinned together. In good condition, on aged and lightly-worn paper. While short, the account is vivid, its first-person account of a whirlwind Regency romance evoking the inevitable comparison with Jane Austen. Written with the long s, the journal begins: 'On Monday July 31st. 1821 Captain Batty arrived at Darley - I had heard much of him, and looked at him as at a sight - thought him uncommonly clever and agreeable, - but rather conceited - this I fancied, because I know he had so much cause to be so; he planned sending up a Balloon which I helped him to cut out on Monday and Tuesday Evening - on Thursday we went out to Home. I walked with him about the grounds he took care of my Parasol, offered to make a drawing for me, and begged that I would draw in his book - I remember feeling sorry that he returned in Mr. W. Russell's carriage, and wishing he would have exchanged with one of our party'. On the Saturday she helps Batty again with his balloon: 'Mrs. Watts Russell said jokingly, he was in love with me. I perceived a difference, he was more serious, and said two or three things which I did not know how to take.' The couple play chess together, and Batty attends church with the family, following which 'Mrs. W[illiam]. R[ussell]. told me that little Bessy had told him "I did not like him at all - he was so conceited," and added - "the best of it is, he is in love with you" - I quite disclaimed this & asked what a man was worth who could not take care of his heart for one week? Miss W. said, "And why should he take care of it."'After some flirting (singing at the piano, going for rides) she is 'left alone with him some little time. The gentlemen were shooting with pistols, Mrs W. R. called through the window, they are fighting a duel for you - he said instantly "I must have a hand in that" - this was the first open speech he had made - I took no notice of it'. Matters proceed a little further, and then on 'Thursday - This was the day that decided our inclinations - we went to Dovedale - I rode behind with him part of the way there - walked with him and rode home again with him. He was so kind to me wrapped me up in his cloak and said so many sweet things that my heart was completely won - all that night was perfect happiness. Friday he was still more affectionate to me'. A short while afterwards 'Mrs. W. R. found fault with my conduct during the day [...] Mrs. W. R. was angry with me again - I then flew to him he took my part very kindly - when my letter came he brought it up to my bedroom door. Afterwards I went down and he read to me Papa's letter to Mrs. W. R. I returned to my room and he brought me up the ring which I had given him back - put it on my finger - and kissed me - we took a long and happy walk together. Wednesday He sat in the Library drawing all the morning - all the afternoon we sat under a Tree. This day he went to see the letter he had written to his Father, I gave him the withered rose which had so endeared Dovedale to me. Thursday I gave him the Purse I had worked for him - he left in my charge the order of St. Anne of Russia & the Waterloo Medal'. As the account draws to a close matters do not look encouraging: 'Wednesday - Still worse from home - received orders to return his medals - or at best to give them in charge to Mrrs. W. Russell [...] Mrs. W. Russell wrote to Papa - received a discouraging letter from home - returned Captn. B. letters &c with an order that he should come down'. On 14 September 1821, at St. Alkmund, Derby, Derbyshire, Johanna Maria, eldest daughter of Sir John Barrow (1764-1848), of Ulverston, secretary of the Admiralty, and his wife the South African botanical artist Anna Maria Trüter (1777-1857)]; they had children and she survived him.