Sharon asked me to find out more about Mary’s sister’s dance card, which was from a place called Greenbanks and dated September 19th 1847. There were a few names on the card including Mr. P. Rathbone and Mr. Shelley.
With the Rathbone link I found out that Greenbank’s is a house in Liverpool that was owned by another notorious family the Rathbones, who are still known today for their philanthropist ideas. Originally Greenbanks was their summer home but eventually it became their permanent address and was prominent for parties and functions and people would attend to ‘be seen’ and promote some philanthopic opinion or scheme.
The first son always seemed to be called William (of course!) and it would have been William Rathbone V’s residence when Caroline attended a dance there. Interestingly William was married to Elizabeth Greg of Styal (daughter of Samuel and Hannah Lightbody) in 1812 so perhaps the Hope family had close links with the Greg’s for a long time. It is said that ‘He and his wife entertained lavishly at Greenbanks’.
William V’s son is Philip Henry Rathbone (1828-1895) who could well be the ‘Mr. P. Rathbone’ mentioned on the card. As for the occasion it seems like the Rathbones enjoyed entertaining and didn’t really need one! However Philip Henry’s brother William VI married Lucretia Gair in 1847 although I can’t find an exact date. Caroline might have been invited. I expect this is why Mary kept it, it must have been an exciting event in the family to attend such a renowned family’s party.
Today Greenbanks is part of the University of Liverpool, I think it might even be used as halls of residence! I’m going to email the university to see if they can tell me any more and if I can track down Mr. Shelley.