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Birthday Celebrations for Courtenay Honywood

Wednesday 5th March 1856
Festivities on Sir Courtenay Honywood attaining his majority [21st Birthday]:- Sir Courtenay Honywood, Bart., came of age on
Wednesday last, when there were great rejoicings at the family mansion. The pleasing event was ushered in by a grand ball,
given to the members of the family, including those of Berkshire and Essex, and the neighbouring gentry, on Tuesday evening,
at Evington Place.
There was a numerous and happy assembly, and Sir Brook Bridges, in his usual felicitous manner, proposed at the supper the health
of the young baronet. On Wednesday the tenantry assembled at the mansion, and presented the following congratulatory address
to their respected landlord:-

TO SIR COURTENAY HONYWOOD OF EVINGTON PLACE
IN THE COUNTY OF KENT, BARONET.

We the undersigned tenants of the Evington Estate (some of whom have been occupiers and connected with it for upwards of half a century), most respectfully desire this day to offer you our sincere congratulations on attaining your majority, and entering into possession of your patrimonial property; and we ardently hope that, by the blessing of the Almighty, your life may be preserved for many years to exercise that kind influence over us and benevolence towards the surrounding poor, which have ever characterised the family whose name you bear.

While hailing with joy the auspicious event, which we have this day met to commemorate, we cannot forget that you have recently united yourself to a Lady of whose kind and amiable qualities report speaks so highly; and we pray that you may both be spared many years to witness a thriving and industrious tenantry fully appreciating a liberal landlord, and a contented poor sensible of the blessings resulting from your residence amongst them; and God grant, that in the fulness of time you may hand down a name associated for many years in this county with all that is kind and liberal.
That every earthly blessing may attend you and Lady Honywood is the prayer of your attached tenantry.


The address was read by Edward Hughes Esq. of Smeeth Hill, who has been a tenant on the estate since the year 1789. Sir Courtenay made a saitable reply, in which he
expressed the pleasure he should derive from a reciprocation of such a friendly feeling as ought ever to exist between landlord and tenant. He then introduced them
to Lady Honywood.
The tenantry afterwards dined with their landlord and his friends. A bountiful and sumptious supply was prepared; and on the removal of the cloth there was a free
interchange of sentiment and speech, which will long be cherished in the recollection of those present. A ball followed at which the tenantry and their families were
present; and the festivities which were of a most exhilarating and happy character were kept up till a late hour.
On Thursday the smaller tenants and cottagers dined together. Previous to meeting round the festive board, they indulged in foot-ball and a variety of other games
in the park. On Friday the children of the poor and the dependents on the estate were regaled. There were 90 children gathered together, who partook of dinner at
one o'clock; after which they were indulged in many innocent gambols till four o'clock, when they were all treated with tea.
Everything was on a most liberal scale, and the countenances of all present were beaming in which they had been thought of.
The arrangements were under the direction of the Dowager Lady Honywood.

The mansion of this family was formerly at Sene, in the parish of Newington near Hythe, which is still the property of the present baronet, and two members of the
family successively represented Hythe in the reign of Elizabeth. Evington became the family residence in the reign of King James the first; and when Sir Thomas Honywood,
Knight, died, he was buried at Elmsted. Sir John Honywood, Knight, was high sheriff of this county for three successive years in the reign of King Charles the 1st;
and his son Sir Edward Honywood, Knight, was created a Baronet in 1660, from whom descends the present baronet, the only son of the late Sir John Edward Honywood who
married Miss Hallett, one of the daughters of the late Rev. Charles Hughes Hallett of Higham, in this county (the present Dowager Lady Honywood).
The young baronet is the great grandson of the Sir John Honywood, who was returned to represent this city in Parliament with Mr. Gipps in the year 1790, and in the
year 1796 again contested the city with Mr. Gipps, against Messrs Baker and Sawbridge, when the latter were returned, but afterwards unseated on petition.