Notes: Florella Sophia Angelo Tremamondo

From Etoniana NO. 29, November, 1921.PP.461?462.

The Dame Sophia Angelo herein also remembered was that Florella Sophia Angelo Tremamondo, whose early friendship with the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, secured for her a Dameship at Eton while she was still scarcely 18 years of age, a position which she enjoyed for over 70 years. It was a fashion in those days, a fashion which lingered well into Victorian times, for intimate friends to correspond with each other in long resounding heroics. For the copy of such an epistle from Sophia Angelo herself I have to thank the owner of the original MS., and as, apart from its feminine frivolities, it contains matter of such real interest, I am permitted to use it for publication in ‘ N. & Q. ‘

Mr. Swynnerton is probably not quite correct in stating that Miss Angelo, held a “dameship” for over seventy years, but it is likely that she kept a boarding house for nearly fifty years. By Miss B?rbl?ck and Dr. K?t? are meant Miss Bearblock, a dame, and Dr. Keate, headmaster.


Eton, November 22nd. 1818.

My sweetest of Friends so the poor Queen is dead
I cried for so long that my eyes are quite red
Poor thing! but no matter she’s gone to her rest
And at length I must think how I’m to be drest
For my dear only think court mourning I’ve none
Not a gown so what in the world’s to be done
You know that when last I went shopping with you
I bought nothing but green pink orange and blue.
Blue suits my complexion I like to be gay
I wear pink in July and green does for May
By the Bye that last shawl made such an effect
First awestruck Miss L ???????? asked how to direct
To the shop whence it came, with an envying glance
And W?gn?r was sure that I’d got it from France
But now for the mourning for without it to go
I would not for millions it never would do
How Miss B?rbi?ck would wink Mrs R?g?n fret
Mrs G?d?11 herself would fly off in a pet
Why e’en the Miss T?ck?rs have both got their black
And I shall be first in my duty to lack
Who keep the best house, and have the best knowledge
Of Parties and dress throughout the whole college
Whom the Regent admires that I should be seen
Out of mourning when all else are in’t for the Queen
So hunt all the shops, run all over the Town
For the smartest and costliest ready made gown
But mind above all it’s short waisted and full
With a fringe of Black Roses and border of Tulle
And send me a corset my shoulders to brace
Of sarsnet or silk trimmed with Brussels point lace
A crape Bonnet and Feathers black gloves and a fan
French ebony or if you like it Japan
I’m writing my love in a terrible hurry
For I’ve been since we met in such a sad flurry
So bilious, so nervous, so restless at night
So full of the vapours the headache and fright
Ever since we have had that late terrible riot
I wish that the Boys would but remain quiet
Then eight were expelled think how shocking my dear
I declare that it cost me full many a tear
Then poor dear Dr K-t- I was so alarmed
His nice little figure they might have so harmed
What with their hooting and petting and thrusting
Then they threw about eggs how very disgusting!
But not here end my griefs I’m left quite alone
For Coleridge and Evans my fav’rites are gone
Such elegant figures, such charming young men
I never shall look on their equals again,
However of late my examining eye
Has fixed upon one their loss to supply
And that one is Townsend such douceur such grace
So slender a waist and so smiling a face
His figure delights me, he must be my beau
In short I will have him to breakfast just so
My niece is now with me, a nice little thing
I think I must take her to Town in the spring
The men are all dying, but nothing done yet
I fear too she’s grown a little coquette
Her contour is perfect, she’s just seventeen
With the prettiest ancle you ever have seen
She’ll be vastly admired I clearly foresee
Besides too they say she’s very like me
Adieu mon amie, love to all friends in town
As you value my life, remember the gown
As well as the gloves, fan, feathers and bonnet
And try for my Album to pick up a sonnet
But hark! there is company waiting below
I can’t wait a moment ? Yours M.ANGELO

From Eton: a Dame’s Chronicle Byron, Nora. London, William Kimber. pp. 13?14

The Dames must really have grown out of the old landladies who, as the school increased, started boarding houses for the large number of boys who were coming from a distance. Some of them are still remembered, such as the Misses Angelo, who were the daughters of a fencing master and gave their name to a House, and, were, presumably, a great improvement on some of the wicked old women who kept the boys short of food and warmth and charged them highly for it. . . .