The Marquess of Waterford
Another very well-known titled person whom my people knew, drank every hard and at times treated his popular and charming wife in a shocking manner. One evening she was beautifully dressed to attend a large reception, to which they had been invited. While they were driving along to their friend’s residence, her husband spied a chimney sweep going by. He called to his coachman to stop and then, jumping out, he accosted the sweeper, gave him some money, and told him to get into the carriage beside his wife while he got up beside the driver. When they arrived at the mansion where the reception was being held, the flunkey, on opening the carriage door, found the wife in a dead faint. How the poor chimney sweep managed to keep her from being more blackened with soot than she was, I do not know, and whatever happened to him was never divulged.
When her friends heard of this drunken prank, they got together and laid drastic plans to punish her husband. So, one night when he was going out to his club to have a good time, I suppose, the butler announced that the carriage was at the door. When he got outside, two men grabbed him, bandaged his eyes, bound his arms, hustled him into the car, and started off at full gallop. He could not get the bandage off his eyes because his hands were bound behind. his back, but he knew he was travelling at a terrific speed. He shouted with all his might, but no one seemed to hear him.
After what seemed like hours, with the carriage going at great speed, he fell asleep with exhaustion. When he awoke, everything was still except that heavy rain seemed to be falling. After great efforts, he managed to tear his hands loose and get the wrappings off his eyes, when, to his horror, he realized that he was locked in a hearse. When he looked out, after breaking open the glass section, he thought he was going out of his mind upon seeing that he was in the midst of vaults and headstones. The horses had been removed, and there was not a living soul in sight. His watch had stopped at midnight, so there was nothing he could do but wait until morning while he walked up and down in the rain. I sincerely hope this was a lesson to him, for he certainly deserved it!
Editor’s note: This wasn’t lord Waterford’s only prank!
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Written by Elizabeth La Hiff Lambert
Published here 09 Sep 2022 and originally published 1979
Page 0099 of Athenry History
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