[Emily Héloïse MacDonnell] [Charles Bossevain]

Letter from Emily and Charles Boissevain to Emily's father Hercules MacDonnell, shortly after their wedding.

Sunday, 30 June [1867] by Cowes, Isle of Wight

My dear father,

I sent you a telegram last thursday to tell you that I was married. Emily's uncle, the Dean of Cashel [John Cotter MacDonnell] came the day before with his wife, as well as Ernest Corbière, who was my "best man". At half past ten in the morning three grand carriages with bay horses and a postillon on the off horse, dressed in red, arrived before the door of Alexandria Villa. I slept these few nights before the marriage in Woolston Inn, according to English fashion. One of the carriages came to fetch me with my best man, Ernest Corbière, and we drove in great state to Woolston church. There I had to wait at the church door till the bridesmaids arrived, who were all dressed in white and who looked lovely. A great many of Emily's friends filled the church, when, while I was waiting before the altar, the bride arrived at last. Mr. MacDonnell was prevented on the last by business to be present, so the bride was given away by her brother-in-law, Willy Henn. The service was short and impressive and very soon over. We signed both our names in the vestry and then drove away, Em this time going with me in my carriage. Then we arrived at Alexandria Villa where we were received by some little children dressed in white. When all the friends were together, a sort of luncheon or wedding breakfast began.

The bride's cake, the nicest part of which we brought over to Holland, was cut by the bride and by the best man, whose duties consist in doing this, in taking the hat of the bridegroom when he is kneeling, and in proposing the health from my father-in-law. (Accept my fondest wishes for the happiness of yourself and of the bridesmaids). Just when we went to the table I got the enclosed telegram and Emmy, tho' myself being absent, let the assurance of my affection be present in my place. Successively three or four telegrams from Holland arrived while we were sitting at the breakfast table, which of course caused much mirth and looked very nice.

At 6 o'clock we drove to Southampton and went by steamer to Ryde in the Isle of Wight. The next day we went to Ventnor. Yesterday we were at Freshwater and the Needles, and today we arrived here. We go in half an hour by steamer back to Southampton and intend to remain till Wednesday at Woolston.

Wednesday night we go to Havre and from there to Paris, where my friend Corbière, who went there last Friday, got us rooms in the Hotel de Castelle, on the corner of the Rue Richelieu and the Boulevard des Italiens. The Isle of Wight has certainly the most lovely and admirably picturesque scenery possible. The magnificent range of cliffs and rocks, blue sea and dazzling white chalk near the Needles and Munbay, where we saw the grandest sunset yesterday evening, is by far the most beautiful and romantic spot I saw in the whole isle. We have the most exquisite weather: I have not seen one cloud since I left Holland. It is rather warm, but then we enjoy the most refreshing sea breezes and daily take a dip into the ocean.

Well, I have no more time to write any longer, as we have to start for the steamer. We are as happy as possible and hope to let you hear from us and Paris. Give our best love to all the friends of us near you. We send you ever so many thanks for your kind, nice letter on our wedding day. We had 17 letters from Holland from John and Nella, Jacob, Hester, Kruseman, etc. etc.

Goodbye now, dear Papa, we hope that you may have as nice and pleasant weather as we have.

Charles and Emily