|Wellingborough News, 26th May 1883, transcribed by Kay Collins
Coming of Age Rejoicings at Podington - Presentation of Plate to Mr. R. R. B. Orlebar
On Whit-Monday and Tuesday great rejoicings took place at Podington, on account of the coming of age of Mr. Richard Rouse Boughton Orlebar, eldest son of Mr. Richard Orlebar, of Hinwick. The barn at the old Manor House, kindly lent for the occasion by the tenant, Mr. Tye, was gaily decorated with evergreens, mottoes, and banners, and thus became transformed into a pretty and comfortable dining-room. Three long tables were arranged from end to end of the barn, and as, through the kindness of Mr. Orlebar, a substantial supper had been provided, the 230 places laid were filled towards 7p.m. by the labourers of the parish and their sons, the gentlemen and farmers in the parish also sitting down with them. The gentlemen and friends present at the supper were Mr. Orlebar and his two sons, his brother-in-law, Mr. A. R. Boughton Knight, Rev. J. Geldart, Mr. B. A. Wontner, Captain Malet, Capt. Robe, Mr. Wyldes, Mr. Stephen, Mr. J. E. Parsons, Mr. Tye, Mr. Wyman, Mr. Davison, Mr. Goosey, Mr. Austin (Knuston), Mr. Richard and Mr. Henry Brown, Mr. Hayes, &c. Directly after supper Mr. Orlebar proposed "The Queen," and "Church and State," the latter toast being coupled with the names of Mr. and Mrs. Geldart.
Mr. Wyldes, as senior tenant on the estate, then presented a beautiful and massive salver to Mr. Rouse Orlebar. He said it gave him great pleasure to present the salver to Mr. Orlebar as a mark of esteem and respect from friends and tenants of Hinwick and Podington. In looking upon it, they hoped he would consider that they all thus expressed their affection for both himself and family. It had been subscribed to by all the parishioners from the highest to the lowest, and many would have given more it they had been allowed to do so.
The salver is a very handsome one, oval in shape, of solid silver, with a shield in the middle, on which is engraved the family crest, above the following insoripton: "To R. R. B. Orlebar, Esq., from friends and tenants at Hinwick. May 20, 1883."
The health of Mr. Rouse Orlebar was then very feelingly proposed by Mr. B. A. Wontner, of Hinwick Hall, who, on rising, said: Ladies and gentlemen, this morning, when I was first made aware that I should have the pleasing duty of proposing the health of Mr. Rouse Orlebar, I was inclined to think that I should be out of place in so doing, because there are many now present, who, of course, have known him far longer than myself. I have, however, since come to view matters in a different light, for although you may have known him longer than I have, you can hardly know him better. For the past 18 months I have passed eight hours daily in the same room with him, and have had every opportunity of studying him. It gives me the greatest pleasure to say that the more I know Mr. Rouse Orlebar, the more heartily I esteem him for the many sterling qualities he possesses, and the longer I know him, the more my feelings of affection for him deepen. He has been educated in the finest school in England, and the training he there received, aided, as it has been, by parental precept and example, has tended to form a truly estimable and manly character.
The toast was received in the most rapturous manner, with three cheers, led by Mr. Wontner, and also with musical honours.
On rising to respond, Mr. Rouse Orlebar said: "Mr. Wontner, ladies and gentleman, I am sure you will believe me when I say that I thank you most heartily for the way in which you have received the toast proposed by my kind friend Mr. Wontner, and also for the very handsome present you have made me. I shall always value it as one of may greatest treasures, and as a remembrance of one of the happiest days in my life. I feel this is a mark of respect more to my family than to myself, who have done nothing to merit such distinction, but I can only say that in future years, no efforts shall be wanting on my part to cement the friend¬ship that already exists between us. I always return to this parish with the feeling that there is no place like home, and few homes like Hinwick. (Prolonged cheering)
After this followed the health of "The Tenantry," by Mr. Boughton Knight; "Mr. and Mrs. Orlebar and family," by Mr. Wyildes; "Mrs. Orlebar, senior, and family," by Mr. Geldart; "Mr. and Mrs. Wontner," by Mr. Orlebar; and lastly "Visitors," by Mr. Rouse Orlebar.
Amongst the visitors who had come from a distance to do honour to the occasion may be mentioned the Misses Rouse Boughton, the Misses Orlebar, Mr. Boughton Knight, Capt. Robe and others, but while thanking them heartily for their kindness, Mr. Rouse Orlebar forebore to specify any by name.
On the following day the women and girls of the parish numbering about 120, sat down to tea in the same barn, and on both nights the farce of "Box and Cox" was admirably performed by Mrs. Orlebar and her two sons, on a pretty stage that had been erected at one end of the barn. Judging from the frequent and hearty bursts of applause, the efforts of the kind entertainers met with entire success. It would take too much space to enumerate the handsome presents made to Mr. R. Orlebar on this occasion (some being in the form of subscriptions to the salver), but all were well chosen with a view to both use and ornament.