Nineteenth century stereoview of the Houses of Parliament, London.

After two weeks in Belgium, the Manships returned to London, where they spent two weeks exploring the world’s largest “modern” city.  They enjoyed the hospitality of James Smith’s close friends and relatives who lived in London.  Charles Henry Manship wrote about their experiences in a letter home:

     …Well after spending over two weeks on the Continent of Europe we returned to London where we remained about two weeks more.  I think I have already told you much that we saw whilst at Brussels and points we visited there and on the Rhine, so I shall only tell you something more of London.  We were the guests of Old Mr. Smith + Mrs. Dobson from whom we received the very kindest attention Mr. Smith + his family staying with Mr. Thin.  All of these kind friends being much at leisure gave us every attention carrying us to every place of interest in the great, this Enourmous [sic] City of London.  Mr. Thin was [illegible] attentive to me and knowing every place and everything perfectly, was a very great advantage he carried me to the Bank of England + having friends there I was enabled to see the workings of this great depository of the money of most of the world and as a matter of curiosity held within its walls Bank notes in my very own hands to the amount of millions of Gold, but unfortunately for me I had to come away and leave right there where I handled it.  He carried me to the Old Tower of London where I saw the wonders of the past History of England, the costumes and armes [sic] of all the Reigning Kings + Kingdoms from its earliest History down to the present day, all kept in the finest order.  I also saw the little close rooms where the State Prisoners were kept until taken out and had their heads chopped off + saw the Block and axe that was used in the amiable taking off.  Hear [sic] many men and women of Historic fame lost their precious heads.  We were at a great many picture galleries.  With Thousands + Thousands of the finest kinds of paintings + sculpture.  We were at the Crystal Palace one of the most wonderful structures in the world + is a small world within itself as all the novelties and queer things posabil [sic] for this world to produce is seen here, its size I cannot give you but is very large as you will certainly say when I tell you that the orchestra seats 5000 performers very comfortably + has an organ in it equal to a large three story house.  It is made exclusively of Iron + Glass has within it beautiful flower gardens, and even some quite large trees growing.  It has an aquarium of several hundred feet in length with all the strange Sea fish + Sea monsters known.  With Fountains and Every conceivable Splendour [sic] that the imagination can conger up + outside beautiful pick nick parks + grounds and still it does not meet the wants of this Great city and another is now being built even more spacious + grand….