A Ball at the Hall

Lady Eleanor was most excited. Her father, the Duke, had earlier in the year agreed to her suggestion of hosting a celebratory ball on New Year’s Eve. And now the time was almost upon them. Being only ten years old, Lady Eleanor would not be formally taking part in the evening’s events but she would greatly enjoy the whole occasion nonetheless, watching from the wings under the care of her governess, Miss Browne.

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Gracedieu Hall c.1760

With just a day to go, food and drink was being stockpiled at Gracedieu Hall, extra serving staff had been arranged, and the stable block was being made ready for all the expected guests and dignitaries. Amongst those expected would be Lord Welby and his eligible young daughters from Ragdale Hall in the Wolds; also corpulent Sir John Garendon, Lady Garendon and his dashing young son (an Ensign in the Swithland Fusiliers); from the northern reaches of the Duchy was the inscrutable Lord Castledine and party; and not forgetting the dependable old soldier General Sir Henry De Soar, 6th Baronet of Mountsorrel.

Of greatest interest to young Lady Eleanor was the news that a party from the Marquisate of Bosworth, ever-dependable ally of the Duchy in times of war, would be attending. The Marquis himself was due to attend with a considerable entourage.

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Lady Eleanor Gracedieu

To Lady Eleanor’s disdain, dull and haughty Lord Ulverscroft would also be there with a detachment of his newly raised regiment, the Charnwood Grenadiers. The newly recruited Grenadiers were nearly fully equipped with their new uniform and much was expected of it. A rumour had reached her ear that the Marquis of Bosworth was to grant a special honour upon the new regiment. As servants scurried about making ready the guest’s rooms around the Hall, she idly wondered what it might be…

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Men of the 1st (Charnwood Grenadiers) Regiment, on parade earlier today as part of the preparations for the Duke’s New Year celebrations.

More pictures of the first batch of Charnwood Grenadiers to follow in another post…

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