for writers and readers….

It’s all Fur and Feathers for Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper

Mrs Finnegan, working class ORACLE and guide to the GENTRY, is ONLY able to sharpen her Quill and write these CHRONICLES when not OCCUPIED with her duties as Housekeeper at The Regency Town House Brunswick Square.

WHAT TO DO about my moody moping wife Mary?
After the recent death of her canary she speaks as if the very sunshine of her life has set forever.

She reveals to me ALL the passing emotions of her heart. She cherishes grief. Long dead chirping birds flit through the magic-lantern of her fertile imagination.

My receipt for banishing melancholy is to take a good hard gallop on horseback or smoke a pipe, anything is better than to make sorrow a welcome companion. 

You seem a sensible sort. What say you?

Frustrated Farmer Frederick from Freshfield

Mrs Finnegan Replies

I suspect your wife doesn’t reveal all her passing emotions. Many are HIDDEN deep within her bosom. My proof?
Why dear sir, you are still alive, are you not?
Mary must have smothered the desire to smite you with a SAUCEPAN at some points in your marriage – probably ONCE a month.

The real question is why has the passing of a small bird caused SUCH anquish?
Perhaps it is BECAUSE there is so little warmth and affection in her life and she has to DEAL with a blind, BLUSTERING bully of a bed mate who is insensitive to his wife’s tears.

Sir, all you have to DO is look in the mirror for the heart of the problem.


Brutus is still missing.

Another advert appeared in the Brighton Gazette.

Stolen from Brunswick Square, a newfoundland dog answering to Brutus. Return him immediately to the Rev Edward Everard at St Andrew’s Church in Waterloo Street to claim your reward of ONE guinea. No questions will be asked.

Mrs Hankey became interested at this point as she had HIGH hopes of securing a SUITABLE SUITOR for Miss Martha through the Reverend Everard’s connections. It is well known ALL the nobility attend his church.

The Mistress, not wanting to APPEAR backward in the local dog rescue goings-on, offered five shillings for ANY news pertaining to the dog’s whereabouts.

She even made a point of consulting Master Talbot on the subject who said she was BEING remarkably generous. He offered to be a go-between if any LOWLY person comes forward to claim the reward. Apparently the Reverend is providing the same service if the gentry are INVOLVED.

Master Peregrine composed a poem.

O magnificent animal of the Newfoundland kind
to your present residence we are blind
Although a relativity new neighbour
in our eyes you found favour
Cupid drew his bow and with his arrows did shoot us
With the result all Brunswick Square loves dear old Brutus!

There are seven more stanzas and The Brighton Gazette somehow found room to print all of them.

Brutus is still missing

MRS FINNEGAN is a regular feature created and written by Bridget Whelan and a host of volunteers at The Regency Town House, readers and subscribers. This week a big thank you to PAUL COUCHMAN

Would you like every episode of Mrs Finnegan’s adventures delivered to your mail box?
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6 comments on “It’s all Fur and Feathers for Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper

  1. Sarah Waldock
    October 2, 2022

    I fear that Mr Peregrine must be a progenitor of ‘The Great McGonagall’ whose epic about the Tay Bridge Disaster is one of the greatest works of illiterature in the English tongue [if Scots idiom can be counted as in the English tongue.]

  2. Glen Available
    October 2, 2022

    I remember also feeling like the ‘sunshine of my life had set forever’ (such poetic words!) when my yellow-feathered canary named LEMON passed onto that great aviary in the sky (or garden!) several years back.

    In my case, there were feelings of guilt to deal with as well since I had failed to keep him adequately warmed one bitterly cold winter’s night. He had succumbed by next morning.

    Following such an incident, I too took Ms Finnegan’s advice and took a long hard look at myself in the mirror, pledging to educate myself more fully in pet care from that point. These days I have a puppy – which naturally is a whole other level of care. My heart goes out to Brutus.

    • bridget whelan
      October 7, 2022

      Poor Lemon. Still, if your lungs and legs are able for long walks, and you can tolerate frequent washing by an eager tongue, a puppy solves most problems…

  3. beth
    October 2, 2022

    I love the monthly close call with being smote with a saucepan )

    • bridget whelan
      October 7, 2022

      The saucepan is a danger that many husbands labour under without fully being aware of it.

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This entry was posted on October 2, 2022 by in Mrs Finnegen ADVICE from the 1830 and tagged , , .


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