W. Kinsey diary, 1817.

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  • UPenn Ms. Coll. 919
  • Diary of an Englishman, possibly W. Kinsey of Bognor Regis, England. The first nine pages of the diary are written in pencil with the remainder in ink. The journal begins on 4 July 1817 as Kinsey embarks on his trip from London, England on his way to France. In the first few pages Kinsey mentions he is traveling with a companion named Henry. Kinsey includes detailed descriptions of all his destinations. He describes the streets in large cities and small villages, activities he observes, the people, and relevant historical events or anecdotal stories. Kinsey observes the evening ritual in Paris, as people pour out of their homes crowding every street, some being entertained by jugglers. He visits major museums, cathedrals, large cities, and small villages. Highlights of his travels in France include Rouen, St. Cloud, and Lyon. At the beginning of August, Kinsey enters Switzerland, where he spends a large portion of his journey. Kinsey takes a three-day guided tour from Geneva to Marigny. After this tour Kinsey gives the reader travel advice on guided tours. He describes the valleys, the mountains, lakes, and landscape of Switzerland. In the journal Kinsey has sewn in small cut out engravings of some of the mountain areas in Switzerland. Also sewn in the journal is a folded paper strip of hand drawn, colored coats of arms representing twenty-two cities in Switzerland. By 10 September 1817 Kinsey is touring Germany and talks of the Danube and the Rhine Rivers. He visits Manheim, Cologne, and Münster, among other cities. Throughout his travels Kinsey records the hotels and inns where he stayed and the prices. He writes of the bookshops he goes to and the books and maps he buys on the journey. Kinsey also records when he posts and receives mail. By early October 1817 Kinsey returns to England. The last four leaves of the volume contain a catalog of books he has purchased and the city. A plan for a trip to Holland follows the list. On the second-to-last leaf of the volume is a colored engraving with the words "S. Vulnera Jesu," Kinsey writes: "Given by the Capuchin monk at Staatz."

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    [[Oxford]]. I was shewn also an old painting of [[Charlemagne]] with a model of the Cathedral in his right hand, an olive branch, crossing a sword, & the words "Amore Timore" inscribed upon them. The large painting of the 15. Ambassadors, who assembled at the great council in 1748 has no other merit than relating to that im- -portant epoch. There are separate portraits of the ambassadors, & among them those of [[Ld. Sandwich]], & the Chevalier [[Robinson]]. The picture, by [[Rubens]], of the adoraation of the Shepherds, was in the possession of the French for 25 yrs. [years] & brought back by Blucher [[Blücher]], much [injured?] by the rain, on the right angle. The introduction of Angels into the painting, playing a concert on fiddle, harps, & guitars, not only presents an unworthy idea of the celestial harmony of the angelic choir, but completely destroys the effect of the Picture. From hence I walked to the Bain's [impesiales?], situated nearly in the centre of the town, by far the best, at the foot of the little [ri- -sing?] ground, forming the market-place. The water of this source is [captured?] within a walled cistern. It contains the most water, the most warm & the most sulpherous. The vapours, which exhale from them, if confined for a short time, deposite a great quantity of sulphur, extremely pure, & which is calle the sulpher of the bath in German: (Badschwefel) - . The depth of a bath is about five feet, & all the walls are made of massive stones after the Roman manner. The apartments are arched, & lighted from above with a sort of valve for the vapours to escape thro' [through]. The little cham- -bers contiguous to the baths have couches, & fireplaces. I could scarcely bear to hold my hand, in the steam, over the source. I took a tepid bath & paid 1. F & 1/2 for it -. near the Sudatory was the following inscription on a wall -

    "Thermas Palatinas" "Caroli magni natatione" "antiquitus [famigerditas?]," "post prope mille annos" "Imperator Neapolio" "in memoriam tanti Principis" "restituendas Jussit" "Anno 1817."

    Hence I went to the [[Münster]]. Between 796 & 804, Charle- -magne adorned his native town, erected a magnificent Church to the Virgin, glittering on all sides with silver, & gold. The doors & the grates were in bronze. Marble was brought from [[Rome]] &

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    with a saloon for dancing, & a Belvidere, from whence the promen- -naders may enjoy the fine landscape. The French Engineer in 1814, when measuring the country, took the summit of this hill, for one of their trigonometrical summits. The place has been marked by a pretty pyramid of carved stone, with many in- -scriptions designating the heights &c [etcetera]. Some of the Allied troops threw the Pyramid down at the time of their occupying their town, but the Government has since restored it. The Town of Aix la Cha- -pelle [[Aachen]] possesses about, or more, than 2100 houses & a population of 2600, the greater part of whom are Catholics. Their language ap- -pears to be an abominable Jargon, a compound of wretched ger- -man, flemish,, french & Dutch. The best street in the whole place is that of Compresboth [Couvenstraße?]. The Marketplace is busy, lively & bustling, adorned by a beautiful fountain, & a bronze Statue of [[Charlemagne]] on two pedestals, on either side the fountain are two large black eagles, looking, as well as the king towards the Hotel de Ville, the ancient palace of that Emperor, now decorated by the eagle of [[Prussia]]. The hotel de ville is founded upon the ruins of an ancient Chateau of the Romans, where the Franc Kings built the palace in which [[Charlemagne]] was born. That palace was laid waste, as well as the town, by the Normans in 882. [[Otto the 3rd]] rebuilt it in 993, & the last repairs were made in the 14.th Century, when it became the hotel de Ville. The tower on the left hand appears [older?] than the rest of the building, & probably of Roman construction. The an- -cient form of this magnificent Mansion, & the important reflections that it gives one to in one's mind, makes it an object of peculiar [illegible]. After getting my passport countersigned I mounted up with my loquacious conductor into the grand Saloon. On the staircase was a very ancient painting of the Hotel de Ville, when the palace of Charlemagne, with this inscription upon it,

    "Urbs Aquensis, urbs regalis, regni," "Sedes principalis, prima Requm Curia." and in the

    same painting, on the left portal, at the foot of the stone steps leading up to the Hotel, "Victo Victori veniat victoria, vivat" "Turca perpetuo^ Gloria, cantet Io!" -

    In the entrance hall was a painting, by Vandyke [[van Dyck]], over the door, of Charlemagne, seated on his throne, presenting the act of privilege to the Magistrate of the town. In the grand saloon, at the upper end, I found a fine full length Portrait of the Prussian King by [[W. Hemsby?]] 1815. taken from the Place Louis [illegible], at the preview?] of the Prussian troops. It is very much like the style & coloring of the portrait, pre- -sented last year by the King to the theatre in the University of

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    & thro [through] [[Aldenhoven]] to Aix la Chapelle [[Aachen]]. It is sufficient to ob- serve upon this days' Journey, that I have no other observation to make, but that the greater part of our road was a dull & uninteresting flat & [illegible] country did not improve until we were getting into the beautiful environment of Aix la Chapelle [[Aachen]]. We did not reach the end of our Journey, a distance of 46 [miles?], until 7.p:m. The roads are were everywhere under re- -pair, but as long as the Roulage are permitted to have such narrow follies to their wheels, it is perfectly useless & vain to put the road in good condition, which as they run on a [gravelly?] or sandy soil, cannot remain so more than two or three days after a fall of rain, in consequence of the heavy wagons I have described passing over them continually in great numbers. The view of Aix La Chapelle [[Aachen]], as we approached the town, was delightful, but it was too late in the evening to think of anything else, than engaging apartments at the Post House, the Hotel de Heuken & securing a place in the diligence for [[Liege]] "après Demain - a sept heure precite" - 9.L. & 9. Fl. Aix la Chapellle [[Aachen]] is distant from [[Cologne]] 14 L. [leagues] & Spad [[Spa?]] 7.

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    Exchanged a 1/2 20 bill at [[Cologne]] for 23. map: [?] 16. & 1/2 -

    25th

    At six a:m: I started on my promenade to the summit of the Louisberg [[The Lousberg]], or the Mt. St. Salvator [[Monte San Salvator?]], to the N: [north] of the town & the highest point of the basin, in which the town of Aix la Chapelle [[Aachen]] is situated. It defends the town from the north winds, & presents a most enchanting view of the surrounding country. The Vale is bounded by Hills of a gentle acclivity, which only enrich the landscape without confining the view. The morning was brilliant & from the summit I enjoyed, in high spirit, the superb view of the town, & surrounding country, thickly scattered with villages, & beautiful country houses, especially from the East up to the N:N:W. [north-northwest]. The mountains to the S. [south] elevated them- -selves by degrees, where the country loses much of its amenity, is less fertile, & abounds with woods. These hills connect them- selves with that grand Chain of Mt.s [Mountains] called [[Ardennes]], of the [[Eifel]], & country of MontJoye [[Monschau]]. On the East & North, about a league from the town the ground becomes imperceptibly lower & forms the rich & fertile plains of the Duchy of Juilliers [[Duchy of Jülich]]. The side of the hill has been converted into an English garden & the walks extend from it down to the E. [East] gate under the wallls of the town. There is a pretty hotel more than half way up

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    of gold, in which as percieved the head of many of those 11,000, virgins. The pastor exhibited the sacred relic himself. Putting on part of his vestments, verifing himself repea-tedly, he took off the scalf of one of the silver busts of the virgins, & heaved it with much solemnity the head of the first Bishop of Basle, who must have died of a sabre wound, as the scull was nearly cleft in two by some in-strument; likewise the scull of St. Artinia, of the 13th century, & the bones of the virgins arranged round the room. The niches are filled with busts of the virgins containing the sculls of several "particularized". The bones were arranged in their present order 700 yrs since by some Saint Clematuis. The Hotel de Gille professes a beautiful marbel portal, composed of the two arcades, placed one above another of wh: the higher is of the Roman, & the latter of the Corrinthian order. The intervals are adorned with bas Reliefs. I was unfortunately disappointed in the gratification of my wife to see a German play, as the Theatre was closed this evening. One day later I should have witnessed the representation of Schillen's famous piece the "Robbers". The celebrated Rec-bens was born in the " Inacion d' I back once the residence of Mary de Inedice'. The greater part of the inhabitabilty of Cologne are R.C. The navigation of the Rhine, which had scared entirely under the occupation of the French has recovered it's attractivity. In the evening we crossed over to Deutz, (Tuituim) vis a vis Cologne. The bridge, & the chatteau, built by Constantine were destroyed in the 10th century by the Archbishop Bruno. The view from this little villiage to the left bank, along the whole line of the bustling town of Cologne is particularly interesting. I have had a case of eau de Cologne for 6 Fr. 10. wh: in England would have cost 24: The indeed theduty upon 100 doz of bottle import-ed into England is £80. (Bill at hotel is 15 Fr.) Place indiligence to aisle 24 Fr. Chapelle 11Fr. Cond.2&3 Fr. at four a:m: I entered the Cabnolet of the diligence to proceed on my route to aix La Chapelle by the way of Berghem, Is Julien, a wretched , froamfry place, with extensive for life-cations, out of repair, garnered by Prupicans, Over the Inde,

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    with the addition of others. The Coffin is divided into 3. parts. The lower part, which is the most spacious, contains the bones of the 3. Kings, whose heads are separated from each other in the middle, on the lid of which in "n[?]" letters are written their names of Caspar, Melchior, & Balthasar. Their heads were once adorned with golden crowns, ennriched by Diamonds & rubies, wh. were lost, or broken, in 1794, when the Chapter fled with the greater part of the treasures in the Dome to [Asemberg?] in Westphalia. These magnificant crowns are replaced by gilt metal crowns, simply ornamented with pearls. The heads are turned with the faces downwards & the crowns are consequently placed upon the back parts of their heads. The Skulls have a dark color, & appearance of antiquity; but it is not an article in the Catholic creed to receive them as the real heads of the Maji. In the part above the lid are the bodies of St. Felix & St. Nabor & in the higher part of all the bones of St. Gregory. The heads of the three last were inclosed in busts of [?] which adorned the altar of the Church on fete days. The chest, in the form of the Jewish Arc, was adorned with figured work, in bas relief, representing arches sustained by little columns, with enamel & pearls & 226. gems of Greecian & Roman art. The Chapter returned to Cologne in 1804 with much of the sculptures of the tomb damaged, many of the gems & Cameos lost, or infused by [carnage?] & the enamels spoiled. All however that was possible has been done to restore this chest to its state of primitive grandeur. All the inhabitants of Cologne [vied?] in presenting gold gems, enamel, & precious stones for its reparation & the present condition of it is indeed astonishingly superb. The monuments of some archbishops of [St. George?] of Bavaria, & the remains of Mary of Medici are found before the Chapel. The only other Church we visited, out of the great number, remarkable for their beauty & size, was the Church of the ancient Convent of the "Dames" de Ste. Ursule. It is remarkable for its relation with the legend of Ste Ursule & the 11,000 virgins. Their history is represented by a painting in the choir. The whole Ch. is full of sanctified remains & bones. On the R. side at entering was a chamber, called the Goldene Kammer, or chamber

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