St Luke’s Chris gets invitation to ball – a century too late

Chris Quinlan, retail area manager at St Lukes Hospice, with the invitation.
Chris Quinlan, retail area manager at St Lukes Hospice, with the invitation.
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You are cordially invited to join the Duke and Duchess of Portland as they celebrate the coming of age of their son Lord Titchfield…

But you will need a time machine to get there.

Invite discovered in house clearance

Invite discovered in house clearance

For the Tenants’ Ball at the Duke’s Welbeck Abbey home in Nottinghamshire was actually held on April 15, 1914, just a few months before the outbreak of the Great War.

The formal invitation card, addressed to a Mr and Mrs JH Jackson, was discovered during a routine house clearance by Chris Quinlan, retail area manager at St Luke’s Hospice in Whirlow, Sheffield.

“We perform house clearances throughout the city, with many items going straight to our chain of St Luke’s charity shops,” said Chris.

“As part of the clearance process, we go through every item and piece of paperwork and that is how we came across the invitation, which is a fascinating glimpse at a world that is long gone.

“We do know that in the period before and just after the Great War, the Duke and Duchess of Portland made Welbeck a fashionable destination and along with the invitation we also found some photographs of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, during a 1923 visit.

“What the link is between the house we were clearing and Welbeck we really don’t know at this stage but if anybody could tell us we’d be very interested to hear more.

“We don’t think the invitation is worth very much but as a small piece of social history, it would be nice to see it returned to the estate.”