Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 20 October 1788

Transcribed by G. Lamb, for the HRGS.

 

On Thursday last, Miss B--b--a M----r, went off with one of her father's grooms, from their country residence for Dover, on their way to France.  She is a most beautiful young lady about seventeen, and when of age will enjoy an estate of four thousand a year, left her by her aunt, the late Dowager G----.  Her mother's maid, (who is sister to the groom) was a principal agent in this business, and had got a suit of boy's clothes made up for Miss, in which she was equipped for her love expedition.  The greatest precaution was taken to avoid a pursuit, and as the mansion lies a good way from any village, the groom contrived the night before the morning of his departure, to secrete all the bridles and saddles, and to give the horses he left a home a strong dose of physic each, so that if the bridles were found, the cattle should not be able to proceed far.  At about four in the morning Miss being habited, sallied forth, and was conveyed on horseback as far as Foot's Cray, where a post-chaise being hired, the flew towards Dover.  The daemon of envy, however, in the form of one of the footmen, who had a similar design on his master's daughter, having suspected the groom, he kept a close watch and discovered the flight as soon as it was effected.  Orders for pursuit were instantly issued, but there was neither saddle nor bridle to be found for a long time, and when found, the horses were incapable of doing duty, and thought to be poisoned.  Some however were procured from a neighbouring Peer, and our lovers so closely pursued, (for the man at Foot's Cray knew the lady) that they were overtaken at Sittingbourne, and Miss snatched from the arms of her lover, just as he was handing her into a chaise where they had changed horses.  She was immediately conveyed home, where she is now closely confined, and her lover gone God knows where....