The following is a guest post from Karen Schillings, a council historian for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. To read part one, click here.
When Willy returned to England in 1881, the impetuous couple continued to correspond, disregarding parental objections. Daisy was given the opportunity to see Willy at Beauchamp Hall in Leamington when her father consented to her first trip to Europe in 1882. Her second voyage overseas in 1884 gave her another prospect to encounter Willy, even though Daisy assured her parents that her trip to Beauchamp Hall was to visit with the Low sisters.
Daisy and Willy strengthened their commitment to each other that summer. Just a few months later, Willy came to Savannah, and the courtship continued. When the couple made know their intention to marry in February of 1886, Andrew Low insisted on a waiting period of a year; otherwise, Willy would forego his inheritance. Willy and Daisy agreed to the arrangement, but then Andrew suddenly died in June. Even though it was customary to have a year of mourning, they decided to get married as soon as possible. Willie Gordon, unwilling to relinquish his daughter totally, requested that Daisy come home to Savannah for six months of each year. The couple agreed, and the date was set for December 21, 1886.
A move to Wellesbourne House
At first, the newlyweds resided in Savannah and occupied the luxurious Low home. However, during the summer of 1887, the couple returned to England. At this time, Willy had two rented homes, one in Leamington, near Beauchamp Hall, and the other near Blair Atholl in Perthshire, Scotland. However, he wanted to own a country home befitting his social position. To that end, he purchased Wellesbourne House in rural Warwickshire in 1889, a 55 acre estate. Having inherited 750,000 pounds from his father’s fortune, Willy could well afford the purchase price, and then he set about making improvements. The estate grew to 20 bedrooms with a stable for 40 horses, a cottage for the gardener, a separate laundry facility, a greenhouse and a garage where the first Wellesbourne automobile was housed. This was a home for entertaining and living the good life. Daisy was excited to have a home of her own, and thoroughly enjoyed selecting the furnishings. From all accounts, Daisy was delighted with Wellesbourne House and relished being the lady of this stately home.
Being a part of the Marlborough set, a group of high society individuals who were close to Edward Albert, the Prince of Wales, meant that Willy and Daisy had many social events on their schedule. Willy became president of the Wellesbourne Cricket Club and was also a member of the Warwickshire Yoemanry, his voluntary cavalry unit. In May of 1895, the Prince of Wales attended a Warwickshire Yeomanry dance. Daisy was flattered to be the only woman in the room of whom the Prince asked to dance. In 1896, Edward actually visited Wellesbourne House with his entourage. Daisy presided over a lovely luncheon for her honored guests.
To read the full post, visit ourwakshire.org.uk, and stay tuned for the third part about Juliette Gordon Low’s her charitable work and artistic endeavours.