Lord & Lady Raglan, John Lorraine Baldwin & The Duke Of Wellington - My Amazing Find

Favourite Finds


Welcome to this week's scorching hot instalment of 'Blog Post Monday'!  I hope you're all keeping cool!

I visited Sheffield this week and while digging through the fabulous pieces at one of the antique shops I stumbled across an incredible piece of history.  In fact, the more I've researched it, the more it has blown my mind.  The links and connections between the people involved are absolutely staggering.  So staggering in fact that I just had to dedicate this week's blog post to it.

So, as always, get that kettle on and get your history books out as we take a look at the fascinating web of significant historical events and figures connected to this marvellous find...


Image:  my exciting find


This piece is (I think) an embossed leather pen nib wipe.  Now, these were used to wipe the rim of your pen nib after dipping it in ink with the aim of avoiding getting any of the ink on your fingers.  The gilded embossing is of real quality, a representation of the significant figure it came from.  To the front of the piece you'll see a miniature painting (pictured below) of who I believe to be Field Marshall FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan.


Image:  my exciting find


Now, the 1st Baron Raglan lived an incredible life and was involved in some of the most significant events in British history.  He served in the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo, where he unfortunately lost his right arm.  He had a close relationship with the Duke of Wellington and essentially became his right hand man and confidant.


Image:  Field Marshall FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan


He became commander of the British troops sent to the Crimea in 1854, with his primary objective being to defend Constantinople, and he was also ordered to besiege the Russian Port of Sevastopol.  After an early success at the Battle of Alma, a failure to deliver orders with sufficient clarity caused the fateful 'Charge of the Light Brigade' at the Battle of Balaclava.  Despite further success at the Battle of Inkerman, a poorly coordinated allied assault on Sevastopol in June 1855 was a complete failure.

Raglan died later on 18th June 1855, after suffering from dysentery and depression, just eight days after the date on my nib wipe.


Image:  my exciting find


On 6 August 1814 Raglan married Lady Emily Harriet Wellesley-Pole, who was the niece of the Duke of Wellington.  Lady Emily subsequently became our Lady Raglan (pictured below), who, you'll see from the beautifully gilded embossing to the rear of our item, is who this gift was from.


Image:  Lady Emily Harriet Wellesley-Pole (Lady Raglan)


But who was 'J.L. Baldwin', the recipient of this gift from Lady Raglan...?  Well, I'm still getting to the bottom of this, however, research points to a 'John Lorraine Baldwin'.

John Lorraine Baldwin was a prominent English cricket enthusiast who was a co-founder of the 'I Zingari' nomadic cricket club.  He was born near Halifax, Yorkshire, and studied at Oxford University where he developed interests in cricket and dramatics.


Image:  John Lorraine Baldwin


He was a sports and games rules enthusiast, and one of the founders of 'I Zingari' on 4 July 1845. 

'I Zingari' are English and Australian amateur cricket clubs and is the oldest and perhaps the most famous of the 'wandering' cricket clubs (without a home ground), and is well known for its historically aristocratic membership and its colours of black, red and gold, symbolising the motto "Out of darkness, through fire, into light".


Image:  the 'I Zingari' team 


Baldwin was also the writer of the first standardised rules for badminton in 1868 and editor of "The Laws of Short Whist" of 1864. 

He was Warden of Tintern Abbey in 1873 and died at his home, St Anne's House in Tintern.  A 'grand tomb' commemorates Baldwin in the churchyard of St Michaels, Tintern (pictured below).


Image:  St Michaels Church, Tintern


But, here's where my confusion set in...  Research online suggests that Baldwin died in 1896, however, the St Michaels church in Tintern (where Baldwin is buried, remember) state that he died in 1855...


Image:  Baldwin's grave at St Michaels Church courtesy of Madeleine Gray

In Madeleine Gray's blog post (where the photo above came from) she states that the grave to the right of Baldwin's belonged to his wife, Elizabeth.  She continued that, "...apparently they didn’t really live together.  As warden of Tintern Abbey he lived at St Anne’s, the house which used to be the abbey gatehouse chapel, but she lived elsewhere..."

I've emailed St Michaels Church in Tintern to see if they can shed any light on the situation and establish whether or not these John Lorraine Baldwin's are the same person.  I'm still awaiting a response.


Image:  my exciting find


But what was the connection between the Raglan's and Baldwin...?  And what is the significance of the date on the back of the gift...?

Well, first of all, I've discovered that Lord FitzRoy Somerset (Our Lord Raglan) was given the title of 'Baron Raglan', of Raglan in the County of Monmouth, on 20 October 1852.  Baldwin's residence was in Monmouth too, so, perhaps both being of a certain standing, they socialised in the same circles...

I also discovered that Lord Raglan had a love for cricket, just like Baldwin did.  In fact, it's my understanding that Raglan provided cricket grounds for soldiers recreation, something that I'm sure Baldwin, with his connections within the world of cricket, would have been able to assist him with...


Image:  my exciting find


We may never know for sure who J.L. Baldwin was or what relationship they had with Lord and Lady Raglan, or for that matter, what they had done to deserve a personal gift from them.  However, there does seem to be plenty of clues to suggest that it may well have been our John Lorraine Baldwin.  I will continue my research and update you all should I find something substantive.

In the meantime, you'll be pleased to hear that this wonderful piece of history is currently available to buy HERE

  Image:  my exciting find 


Anyway, that's it for this week folks!  I hope you've enjoyed this fascinating look into the world of Lord and Lady Raglan, I certainly have!  As always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.



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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




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  • Jo on

    Loraine Baldwin, one r! Is your man and his funeral was a great affair with florists brought down from London and royalty attending. Email for more details. I can check the inscriptions and dates as I live nearby.

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