For Journey 8 ,1856 August 4 –10, click here.

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1855 October- Paris

I with my little wife, and James Boyd (1) started by night mail for London, we staid there next day, seeing some sights, and started by steamer at night for Boulogne, we had a quiet passage, and were supportably sick, we landed about noon and went to the “Grand Pavilion” a large and good Hotel where we found George and Fanny Smytton and Emily Grey,(2) we heard G.S. preach in the afternoon, dined at table d’hote sat next to Sir De Lacey Evans/weens?, and his common looking old wife , spent the evening with Fanny, next morning we took a carriage and went to see the Camp, there had been large drafts from it to the Crimea, there were about 8 thousand men there, all very young, scarcely a beard among them; the huts and streets were kept very neat and clean.

About noon we started by train, passing through a country much wasted by water and brushwood, no good wood.  We got to Paris late, expecting we had rooms taken at Hotel Windsor, but found theyed not take us, the parties having staid longer than they intended, we with many others, tried several places without finding rest, at last at Hotel de Londres, Rue St Hyouthe/Hyosm? St Honore, we got a large room on the 1st floor and two other which did very well, we had breakfast in the Table d’Hote room, were out all day and dined out, we spent a 10 days week very pleasantly seeing the Exhibition frequently, which

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was well worth great attention, but is too extensive to describe here, we found Edward Bullen who was a capital shew man, on one day we went by train to Verseilles, saw the Great and Little Trianons the wood walks etc, on returning to the town through the Palace yard we met a great cavalcade, the Emperor, Empress, Staff etc, out side the gates of the Palace Yard he reviewed seven thousand cavalry(3) very fine troops, the Civil Guards were his escort, fine men all gentlemen, mounted on valuable English horses; we clambered onto the low wall on which was an iron railing but the soldiers pulled us down, only Elizabeth who is allowed to do what others are not hung onto the railing like a spread eagle and saw well, the old Prince Jerome was there, the Duke and Duchess de Brabant, she a little dumpy woman, after the review the Royal party made a tour of the grounds passing all the fountains in full play, the “grand eau” which in the bright calm sunshine was very pretty and fresh looking, we ran across the grass through the trees, to meet the Royals again and again at a fresh turn, little notice was taken

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of the Emperor except by the English.  The Emperess knew Elizabeth by her round hat, and nodded and smiled to her several times, when they alighted to enter the Palace, sentries were placed to keep the crowd back; But Elizabeth ran up to the door, The Emperor waved the sentries back and let her stay so she saw all the party enter, close to them, we returned by train.

We dined at Restorons? in Palais Royal or at Phillips at the Bastille.

As Elizabeth had never been in Paris before I liveried her and James Boyd through all the Churches, Gardens, Hotel de Ville etc, Hotel des Invalides, drove through the Bois de Boulogne, which are much decorated with water, planting, drives ??? etc. We met the Emperor and Empress driving with carriage horses jingling with bells, and with their tails tied up, saw Pere la Chaise, which is not well kept, growing rank with weeds, St Cloud, one day we went early by rail to Fontainbleau where we get a carriage and drive far

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into the forest, which is the largest now in Europe, in one part there are rocks and chasms and wild glens, wild and savage very pretty, we hunted a snake and killed him, for which the boy guide would get head money from the Grand Veneur, in an other part, the Valley of the Sun, wild and wooded is very pretty.  Some of the very old oaks are tall fine trees, most of these seem to have been cut down many years since, and beech is the chief wood now which is of little value or use, we returned, and saw the Palace which is as large as a town, stiff gardens, and water etc.  The town is neat and clean, we dined at a very comfortable hotel, and returned to Paris by rail, we heard mass on Sunday at St Roch.

We left Paris by rail following the Sein a pleasant ride to Rouen, this town is very ancient, and stands prettily the turn? house is old, and the place of Jeanne of Ark and the houses in the streets are narrow, the Churches are much finer than in Paris, St Antoine one of the finest in the north of Europe, the Church on the hill is rich in flags and

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stands beautifully overlooking the town and the river, we left that night to Dieppe, took ship, very stormy all very ill, get into Newhaven in the morning nearly dead, that night the Dover pier was blown away and many of the ???? steamers driven back to the opposite coast, we had breakfast, went to Brighton, a shew place; then to London, to Mr Napier’s ??? house, next day to the Christal Palace, a fine place but empty, grounds extensive, and laid out with waterworks, walks, hills, water and recepts?. half breeds between elephants and lizards etc. went to the play, on Sunday went to Windsor, and spent the day pleasantly Elizabeth with her friend Mrs Charles ??, and I about the Park and farm with the General, returned to London, and we then came home

Oct 30. 1855




James Boyd could be a relative of his wife Elizabeth Boyd Neil.


Fanny Grey the writer’s sister married the Rev. George Smytton MD of the Bombay Medical Board, he was rector of Hawksworth in Nottinghamshire from 1850 to 1859.


See page 37-38 of “The 6 brides of Dilston “ “ In 1853 Emily, then 17 years old, was taken by her brother George and his wife on a visit to France. In 1851 Napoleon Bonaparte had been re-elected President as a result of a military coup and in 1852 he was proclaimed Emperor Napoleon the Third.  During their stay in Paris the Grey party happened to be at Versailles when the Emperor held a review of the troops. He rode up the broadwalk of the magnificent gardens, flanked by the bodyguard of gentlemen in colourful uniforms. Emily had the temerity to step forward and touch his stirrup as he passed saying” long Live the Emperor:” Napoleon smiled and slightly raised his general’s hat. On a later occasion Emily saw the Empress Eugenie being drive in an open carriage, accompanied by prince Jerome Bonaparte, president of the Senate. The Empress was then at the height of her popularity. Emily rated her the most beautiful woman she had ever seen”


George Annett Grey's Diaries

Journey 7: 1855 October 30 Pages 211-215 France

London, Boulogne, Paris, Dieppe, Newhaven, Dover, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Windsor, London.