THANKS AGAIN to Michael S., god-son of Lady Mercy Marter (1904-1968), for sharing the following stories about Mercy and her mother, “Daisy” Greville, Countess of Warwick.
Quite some time after she had decided that her child-bearing days were over, Daisy [Countess of Warwick] was informed during a routine doctor’s visit that she was pregnant. “Mercy!” she exclaimed. I think [this story is] true, but even if it’s a fiction, it’s a good one.
I don’t exactly recall my age, but my family had rented “The Golf House” in Stansted one summer, and Basil Dean [Mercy’s first husband] and Mercy were staying with us. I hated Basil on sight and turned the garden hose on him and everybody.
Several years later I was allowed to stay up for dinner at Easton Lodge, and was very bored. Daisy, who had arrived with the usual cloud of dogs sitting on her train, was in deep conversation with senior politicians, when I piped up with “Don’t talk so much Aunt Daisy and finish up your beer.” Daisy smiled and said “It’s not beer, darling, just water in a brown glass.” My Mother hustled me away and up to bed.
A few days later, I was in a kind of round two-story building that was an extension of Easton when Aunt Daisy appeared on the upper level and started coming down the stairs, dog-cloud surrounded. She said, “I’m a bit slow, darling, because of my phlebitis,” which I heard as flea-bitis and said “I’m not surprised, with all those dogs.” Daisy laughed a lot and ordered tea for the two of us.
I was about ten when a white bull-terrier called Podge appeared in our Earl’s Court Square maisonette. She had the habit of carrying sizable flints around and dropping them so you could throw them for her. Dick Marter [Mercy’s third husband], monocle and all, was under his car when Podge dropped a sizable flint on him and broke one of his teeth. Dick told my mother that if she didn’t remove Podge permanently, he would kill her. (Podge, not my mother!).
THANKS ALSO to Clifford, owner of the painting offered at auction at Morgan o’Driscoll, 1 Nov 2021. The painting had been erroneously attributed to the Annie of this web site, but the correct artist has been identified as one Annie I. L. M. Robinson, a Belfast hotelier and evident watercolour artist. (Research by Alastair Swinnerton.)
No other works by this Annie I. L. M. Robinson have been identified, but if anyone reading this has an open ArtPrice account it might be worth looking her name up. Contact me at email@example.com if anything is discovered.
Clifford visited the location identified – Blackhead Lighthouse, County Antrim – and took the photo below, showing the scene virtually unchanged.