Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Little Peek Into The New Ruperra Book

The Staircase at Ruperra Castle (c1920s)

As the date for the launch of Pat Moseley's book 'Serving Under Ruperra' gets ever closer I thought it might be a nice time to post an extract. It is an interesting look at the upheaval caused at Ruperra whenever the Morgans decided to stay. The quotations come from a maid who worked at the castle and who, according to Pat, only went to work there because she was in love with the gardener! The Lord Tredegar referred to is Courtenay Morgan (1867-1934) 3rd Baron, 1st Viscount Tredegar.

" Then suddenly there would be a rush - ‘His Lordship is coming tomorrow with a little party.’ Then all the dust sheets would come off all through the place. The grates were enormous with great big stands, which had to be done with emery paper - that was the most horrible job ever! All the figures in the grates and the armour on each little landing had to be kept without a speck of dust on them, even in the cracks.

When Lord Tredegar had been shooting, pheasants would be hung up in the kitchen until they stank. The place used to be stinking of pheasants. How the cooks managed, I’ll never know. I had to help with the feathering and I used to cry because the maggots would be climbing up over my hands.

There was a staff dining room, the servants’ hall, very big with a huge table down the middle. When there was any big do the staff would come from Tredegar House and you sat in order of status. Of course I was at the bottom end of the table, wasn’t I! When Lord Tredegar came he brought a butler, 2 footmen and about 20 staff with him. Perhaps he’d only stay one night and there’d be all this upheaval! When he wasn’t in residence we were only four so we used the butler’s pantry for our meals. Of course we had to clear out of there when the butler from Tredegar House came. He took over then with the kitchen maids and scullery maids and you had to be on your best behaviour. We were the underdogs. We were ‘the Ruperra’ we weren’t ‘the Tredegar House.’ You had to shut your mouth and do as you were told. And believe it or not, if one of the Tredegar housemaids wanted something from their bedroom I was told to go up and get it. I was of the same status but it made no difference. They wanted to show their authority. One time after being sent all the way up those stairs two or three times for something trivial, I said ‘If you want it from upstairs, fetch it yourself!’ I was reported to Miss Watts and severely told off. By this time I didn’t care because my gardener and I had finished anyway!’


Tim said...

It looks an interesting book.

Just one point, I thought that Godfrey Morgan of Balaclava fame was the first viscount Tredegar, yet you say it is Courtney Morgan.

Paul Busby said...

I thought somebody might pick up on that.

Tis a thorny old issue that often puzzles people. The simple truth is that a viscountcy can only pass from father to son.

So, when Godfrey, 1st Viscount Tredegar died unmarried in 1913. The Tredegar viscountcy became extinct. Godfrey's nephew, Courtenay Morgan succeeded to the estates and the title of 3rd Baron Tredegar.

It was in 1926 that a new viscountcy was created for Courtenay, so he became 1st Viscount Tredegar (of the second creation).

I hope you are still with me!

The Lords Tredegar are as follows:

Charles Morgan Robinson Morgan (d 1875), 1st Baron Tredegar

Godfrey Charles Morgan (d 1913), 2nd Baron, 1st Viscount Tredegar

Courtenay Charles Evan Morgan (d 1934) 3rd Baron, 1st Viscount Tredegar (of the second creation)

Evan Frederic Morgan (d 1949) 4th Baron, 2nd Viscount Tredegar (Evan died unmarried, so again the Tredegar viscountcy became extinct, Evan being succeeded by his uncle)

Frederic George Morgan (d 1954) 5th Baron Tredegar

(Frederic Charles) John Morgan (d 1962) 6th Baron Tredegar

Hope that helps!

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