Elizabeth Hays Lanfear in Crabb Robinson's Diary and Reminiscences

1809 Reminiscences: And I soon renewed my old acquaintce habits ^and^ of visiting my old acquaintance I went to Mrs Barbauld whom I had to console with, on account of her husband having drowned himself ^in a fit of insanity^ – His death was a relief to her – At Islington was my friend Miss Hayes who had also lost a brother in law Mr Lanfere by an act of suicide, the consequence of commercial embarrassment –

September 5 1812: The forenoon at Chambers & at Manning’s Chambers to whom I wrote a letter about [blank space]. At 4 Mord Andrews drove me in a gig to Geo. Wedd’s with whom I dined: his bride looked exceedingly well and Harriet Wedd her Sister very pretty. Miss Hill, the other bride maid a very agreeable girl. There were besides Mr Hill a nephew of Miss Hayes & Mr Lanfere the son in law of Miss H. I was not much pleased with either; H. is a coarse man in language & manners but is good humoured, in person resembling both Sam: Kent & Kingsbury though fatter than either. L. has more stuff in him; he has travelled And Miss H. speaks of him very highly for his exemplary conduct to his Mother in law in very trying Situations; but he is forward & makes pretensions beyond what he is entitled to. It was a day of effort. I resolved to amuse myself & others And I believe I succeeded. Andrews drove me & his Sister home late.

1820: May Thursday 25th. My brother came to town chiefly to attend the Unitarian Society today – he left me after breakfast – I was at home great part of the morning, studying a case Bromley had sent me and again lounging at Sotheby’s sale – Bought a capital Rousseau 38 vols for £7.10.0. I dined with Mr Hays. My friend Mrs H: was not there, the weather kept her away. Instead was Mrs. Lanfear and her boy – he is a fine interesting lad who I should judge by his aunt’s account of him and from his interesting face and conversation will prove an extraordinary man. His mother did not please me – She is a radical and offensively violent in the expression offer opinions – A vulgar declaimer, adopting all the commonplace notions – so that the very words were familiar to me – There is an unfeminine severity in her manner as well as a character of her opinions themselves not suited to the fair sex so that she gave me no pleasure – but she is a strong minded clever woman I have no doubt.

1824: November 7th. After breakfasting at Hundleby’s a very pleasant walk to Greenwich and afterwards to Benecke’s – Found Miss H: in great affliction about her sister Lanfare who has a cancer and it threatens her with an early death – Probably it is of a more malignant nature than my poor sister’s – At least the surgeons hold a much more serious language about it.

1825: Saturday January 1st. A morning of calls. Manning and Jardine not at home. On Miss Hays at Mr Hills of Canonbury – Her sister is still alive but in a deplorable state.

1825: February 6th. … Found Miss Hays in deep affliction at the death of her niece Mrs Francis, and the dying condition of her sister Mrs Lanfere – rather a melancholy visit. (10th a.m.) I had a more agreeable visit to the Beneckes to whom I read some of poor Hamond’s papers They interested B: who is a most enlightened as well as zealous Christian. He seems to unite heat and light in the greatest possible degree – his religion is free from all bigotry as from all intolerance.