Two versions of the Same Wedding

Rosemary Bennett

Below are two versions of the same event – the marriage of Mr Ludlow to Miss Peacock that was reported in the local papers on Saturday, 18 January, 1879. No prizes for correctly guessing the Hertfordshire Mercury’s report!.



A large number of persons assembled at Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo, on Wednesday forenoon, to witness the marriage ceremony between Mr George Ludlow, J. P., formerly and for many years the esteemed Steward of Christ’s Hospital and Miss Sarah Agnes Peacock, formerly Girl’s Mistress at the same institution. The marriage ceremony was fixed to take place at 11 o’clock and a few minutes before the hour the bridegroom drove up to the church, being shortly followed by the bride, who was escorted by her brother-in-law Mr Henry Tebbitt, and accompanied by her sister Miss A. H. Peacock, and Miss Annie E. White as bridesmaids. The marriage was celebrated by license by the Rev. G. R. Thornton, Rector of the parish. After the marriage ceremony, and on leaving the church, quantities of rice were scattered upon the bride and bridegroom in the orthodox fashion as emblematic of plenty and good luck. The bride wore a handsome dress of rich slate-coloured silk, trimmed with satin of the same colour, bonnet of satin in the same shade, and white silk shawlette and white gloves.



On Wednesday last the marriage of Mr. G. Ludlow, J. P. and an ex-steward of Christ’s Hospital School, Hertford with Miss Peacock, of Bengeo formerly matron of the same establishment, was solemnised at Bengeo Parish Church. There was a large concourse of spectators, Mr Ludlow being much respected. Above a 100 persons went from Hertford the day before, hearing the wedding was to take place on Tuesday; but as the late Mr E. D. Rayment1 would have said , ‘they were disappinted’. The next day they went in much larger numbers and found the church was closed – locked until 11 o’clock – and Mr Ludlow himself had to wait at the church door before he could enter. This was a mistake; it only made the crush worse when the doors were open, and then other mistakes were palpable. There are pews, doors and locks in the church, and the doors were locked. This was another mistake, for over the doors and effected an entrance into the pews. The nave was densely crowded. The bride came a few minutes after 11 attended by three bridesmaids, two of them being her sisters, and one Miss White, of North Crescent. The bride was dressed in a slate coloured silk, with bonnet to match, and a white crepe shawl with deep fringe. Her sisters had, one a blue silk dress with a black and white shawl; the other a brown silk dress with bonnet to match. Miss White had a slate coloured silk, rather lighter than the bride’s and bonnet to match. The bridal party ranged themselves around the altar, and the ceremony began, the Rev. R. Thornton being the officiating priest. A tall gentleman gave the bride away, and there was some difficulty and delay in finding the ring at the required time; meanwhile the people in the church were not so quiet as they might have been; they talked and laughed, and stood in need of serious reproof quite as much as did the wedding party in “The Vicar of Wakefield”, for their ill-timed levity. However the ceremony ended, and the parties went to sign the register in the vestry. This seemed to take a long while, but the sightseers wouldn’t go. They would see the departure of the newly married-couple. At length Mr and Mrs Ludlow emerged from the vestry: the lady dropped her pocket handkerchief in passing out, and her husband forgot his hat, and Mr Thornton ran after him with it, and just managed to place it in the carriage as it was being driven off. These instances of forgetfulness are, however, incidental to such interesting occasions. On their way t o the church gates the couple were greeted with a shower of rice. They went to the bride’s residence to breakfast – and in the afternoon came to Hertford, the weather being too cold to admit of a further wedding tour at this time of the year. The wedding excited an unusual degree of interest and excitement in Hertford.

This page was added on 20/12/2021.

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