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Archive for August, 2016

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Spedding
28 June 1808,– 9 March 1881

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James Spedding

James Spedding was born in Cumberland, the younger son of a country squire, and was educated at Bury St Edmunds and Trinity College, Cambridge; where he took a second class in the classical tripos, was a Cambridge Apostle, and was junior optime in mathematics in 1831. In 1835 he entered the Colonial Office, but he resigned this post in 1841. In 1842 he was secretary to Lord Ashburton on his American mission, and in 1855 he became secretary to the Civil Service Commission; but from 1841 onwards he was constantly occupied in his researches into Bacon’s life and philosophy. On 1 March 1881 he was knocked down by a cab in London, and on the 9th he died of erysipelas.

Spedding’s major edition of Bacon’s works was begun in 1847 in collaboration with Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon Heath. In 1853 Ellis had to leave the work to Spedding, with the occasional assistance of Heath, who edited most of the legal writings. The Works were published in 1857–1859 in seven volumes, followed by the Life and Letters (1861–1874). Taken together these works contain practically all the material which exists in connection with the subject, collected and weighed with care and impartiality.

In 1853, Delia Bacon approached Spedding with her belief that Francis Bacon was instrumental in the authorship of Shakespeare’s works (see Shakespearean authorship). Spedding’s initial reaction was “speechless astonishment;” but on later occasions he clearly expressed his disfavor of the Baconian hypothesis, and explained some of the common-sense reasons against it. Spedding was the first person to recognize the hand of John Fletcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII—his “Who Wrote Henry VIII?” appeared in 1850; he was also one of the first people to perceive Shakespeare’s hand in the additions to Sir Thomas More.

Spedding humorously emphasized his devotion to Bacon in the title of one of his non-Baconian works, Reviews and Discussions, Literary, Political and Historical, not relating to Bacon (1879).

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A Trolling We Will Go Omnibus:The Latter Years

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities. He is a woodcutter for a small village. It is a living, but it is not necessarily a great living. It does give him strength, muscles.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.

Here are the last two books together as one longer novel.

Trolling, Trolling, Trolling Fly Hides! and We’ll All Go a Trolling.

Available in a variety of formats.

For $5.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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Barnes and Noble for your Nook

Smashwords

Amazon for your Kindle

Trade Paperback

The stories of Humphrey and Gwendolyn. Published separately in: Trolling, Trolling, Trolling Fly Hides! and We’ll All Go a Trolling. These are the tales of how a simple Woodcutter who became a king and an overly educated girl who became his queen helped save the kingdom of Torahn from an ancient evil. Now with the aid of their children and their grandchildren.

Long forgotten is the way to fight the Trolls. Beasts that breed faster than rabbits it seems, and when they decide to migrate to the lands of humans, their seeming invulnerability spell doom for all in the kingdom of Torahn. Not only Torahn but all the human kingdoms that border the great mountains that divide the continent.

The Kingdom of Torahn has settled down to peace, but the many years of war to acheive that peace has seen to changes in the nearby Teantellen Mountains. Always when you think the Trolls have also sought peace, you are fooled for now, forced by Dragons at the highest peaks, the Trolls are marching again.

Now Humphrey is old, too old to lead and must pass these cares to his sons. Will they be as able as he always has been. He can advise, but he does not have the strength he used to have. Nor does Gwendolyn back in the Capital. Here are tales of how leaders we know and are familiar with must learn to trust the next generation to come.

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If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Herbert Croft 5th Baronet
1 November 1751 – 26 April 1816

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Herbert Croft

Sir Herbert Croft 5th Baronet was born at Dunster Park, Berkshire, son of the son of Herbert Croft and Elizabeth Young. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, in March 1771, and was subsequently entered at Lincoln’s Inn. He was called to the bar, but in 1782 returned to Oxford with a view to preparing for holy orders. In 1786 he received the vicarage of Prittlewell, Essex, but he remained at Oxford for some years accumulating materials for a proposed English dictionary. Croft spent years on this project and he also took on preparation work made by Joseph Priestley. However, despite compiling thousands of entries not found in other dictionaries, the project was finally abandoned because of a failure to find sufficient subscribers. He was twice married, and on the day after his second wedding day he was imprisoned at Exeter for debt.

He then retired to Hamburg, and two years later his library was sold. He had succeeded in 1797 to the baronetcy, but not to the estates, of a distant cousin, Sir John Croft, 4th Baronet. He returned to England in 1800, but went abroad once more in 1802. He lived near Amiens at a house owned by Lady Mary Hamilton, the daughter of Alexander Leslie, 5th Earl of Leven. Later he removed to Paris, where he died on 26 April 1816.

In some of his numerous literary enterprises he had the help of Charles Nodier. Croft wrote the Life of Edward Young inserted in Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets.

In 1780 he published Love and Madness, a Story too true, in a series of letters between Parties whose names could perhaps be mentioned were they less known or less lamented. This book, which passed through seven editions, narrates the passion of the soldier-turned-clergyman James Hackman for Martha Ray, mistress of the earl of Sandwich, who was shot by her lover as she was leaving Covent Garden in 1779 (see the Case and Memoirs of the late Rev. Mr James Hackman, 1779).

Love and Madness has permanent interest because Croft inserted, among other miscellaneous matter, information about Thomas Chatterton gained from letters which he obtained from the poet’s sister, Mrs Newton, under false pretences, and used without payment. Robert Southey, when about to publish an edition of Chatterton’s works for the benefit of his family, published (November 1799) details of Croft’s proceedings in the Monthly To this attack Croft wrote a reply addressed to John Nichols in the Gentleman’s Magazine, and afterwards printed separately as Chatterton and Love and Madness … (1800).

This tract evades the main accusation, and contains much abuse of Southey. Croft, however, supplied the material for the exhaustive account of Chatterton in Andrew Kippis’s Biographia Britannica (vol. iv., 1789).

In 1788 he addressed a letter to William Pitt on the subject of a new dictionary. He criticized Samuel Johnson’s efforts, and in 1790 he claimed to have collected 11,000 words used by excellent authorities but omitted by Johnson. Two years later he issued proposals for a revised edition of Johnson’s Dictionary, but subscribers were lacking and his 200 vols. of manuscript remained unused. Croft was a good scholar and linguist, and the author of some curious books in French.

Charles Nodier was working as a secretary to the elderly Croft and his platonic friend, the novelist Lady Mary Hamilton in France. During this time Nodier translated Hamilton’s book Munster Village and helped her write La famille du duc de Popoli or The Duc de Popoli which was published in 1810.

The Love Letters of Mr H. and Miss R. 1775–1779 were edited from Croft’s book by Mr Gilbert Burgess. See also John Nichols’s Illustrations … (1828), v. 202–218.

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An Unofficial Guide to how to win the Scenarios of Soaked

I have been a fan of this series of computer games since early in its release of the very first game. That game was done by one programmer, Chris Sawyer, and it was the first I recall of an internet hit. Websites were put up in dedication to this game where people showed off their creations, based on real amusement parks. These sites were funded by individuals, an expense that was not necessarily as cheap then as it is now. Nor as easy to program then as it might be to build a web page now.

Prima Books released game guides for each iteration of the game, Rollercoaster Tycoon 1, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3) but not for the expansion sets. And unlike the first two works, the third guide was riddle with incorrect solutions. As I played the game that frustrated me. And I took to the forums that Atari, the game publisher hosted to see if I could find a way to solve those scenarios that the Prima Guide had written up in error. Not finding any good advice, I created my own for the scenarios that the “Official” Guide had gotten wrong.

Solutions that if you followed my advice you would win the scenario and move on. But if you followed the “Official” version you would fail and not be able to complete the game. My style and format being different than the folks at Prima, I continued for all the Scenarios that they had gotten right as well, though my solutions cut to the chase and got you to the winner’s circle more quickly, more directly.

My contributions to the “Official” Forum, got me a place as a playtester for both expansions to the game, Soaked and Wild. And for each of these games, I wrote the guides during the play testing phase so all the play testers could solve the scenarios, and then once again after the official release to make changes in the formula in case our aiding to perfect the game had changed matters. For this, Atari and Frontier (the actual programmers of the game) placed me within the game itself.

And for the longest time, these have been free at the “Official” Forums, as well as my own website dedicated to the game. But a short time ago, I noticed that Atari, after one of its bankruptcies had deleted their forums. So now I am releasing the Guide for one and all. I have added new material and it is near 100 pages, just for the first of the three games. It is available for the Kindle at present for $2.99.

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(Click on the picture to purchase)

Not only are all 9 Scenarios covered, but there are sections covering every Cheat Code, Custom Scenery, the famous Small Park Competition, the Advanced Fireworks Editor, the Flying Camera Route Editor which are all the techniques every amusement park designer needs to make a fantastic park in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

Scenarios for Soaked!

1) Captain Blackheart’s Cove

2) Oasis of Fun

3) Lost Atlantis

4) Monster Lake

5) Fountain of Youth

6) World of the Sea

7) Treasure Island

8) Mountain Spring

9) Castaway Getaway

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Ashburnham 3rd Earl of Ashburnham
25 December 1760 – 27 October 1830

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George Ashburnham 3rd Earl of Ashburnham

George Ashburnham 3rd Earl of Ashburnham was the son of the 2nd Earl of Ashburnham and the former Elizabeth Crowley, being styled Viscount St Asaph from birth, and was baptised on 29 January 1761 at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, with King George III, the Duke of Newcastle and the Dowager Princess of Wales as his godparents.

In 1780, Lord St Asaph graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with a Master of Arts degree.

He married, firstly, the Hon. Sophia Thynne (19 December 1763 – 9 April 1791), daughter of the 3rd Viscount Weymouth (later the 1st Marquess of Bath), on 28 August 1784. They had four children:

  • George Ashburnham, Viscount St Asaph (8 October 1785 – 7 June 1813)
  • Lady Elizabeth Sophia Ashburnham (16 September 1786 – 13 March 1879)
  • The Hon. Sophia Ashburnham (29 January 1788 – 17 June 1807)
  • Ensign The Hon. John Ashburnham (3 June 1789 – 1810) (served in the Coldstream Guards in the Napoleonic Wars; drowned whilst returning from Portugal)

He married, secondly, Lady Charlotte Percy (3 June 1776 – 26 November 1862) on 25 July 1795. She was a daughter of the 1st Earl of Beverley, and a sister of George Percy, 5th Duke of Northumberland. They had 13 children:

  • The Hon. William Ashburnham (19 January 1797 – 1797) (died an infant)
  • Bertram Ashburnham, 4th Earl of Ashburnham (23 November 1797 – 22 June 1878)
  • The Hon. Percy Ashburnham (22 November 1799 – 25 January 1881)
  • Lady Charlotte Susan Ashburnham (23 February 1801 – 26 April 1865)
  • Lady Theodosia Julia Ashburnham (27 March 1802 – 22 August 1887)
  • The Hon. Charles Ashburnham (23 March 1803 – 22 December 1848)
  • Lady Georgiana Jemima Ashburnham (11 May 1805 – May 1882) (mother of Algernon Mitford)
  • Lady Jane Henrietta Ashburnham (19 July 1809 – 26 November 1896) (mother of the poet Swinburne)
  • Lady Katherine Frances Ashburnham (31 March 1812 – 6 April 1839)
  • Lady Eleanor Isabel Bridget Ashburnham (28 July 1814 – 6 March 1895)
  • General The Hon. Thomas Ashburnham, CB (1816 – 2 March 1872)
  • Lady Mary Agnes Blanche Ashburnham (23 January 1816 – 22 April 1899)
  • The Hon. Reginald Ashburnham (1819 – 5 March 1830)

Lord St Asaph was summoned to the House of Lords by writ in acceleration as 5th Baron Ashburnham in 1804. He held the office of Trustee of the British Museum between 1810 and 1830. In 1812 he succeeded his father as 3rd Earl of Ashburnham. On his death he was survived by his fourth (but eldest surviving) son, Bertram, Viscount St. Asaph.

His main family home was at Ashburnham Place in Sussex, which belonged to the family from the late 11th century until 1953. The Ashburnham archive is held by the East Sussex Record Office.

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Caution’s Heir

Caution’s Heir is now available at all our internet retailers and also in physical form as well

The Trade Paperback version is now available for purchase here @ $15.99 (but as of this writing, it looks like Amazon has still discounted it 10%)

Caution’s Heir is also available digitally for $4.99 @ the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

The image for the cover is a Cruikshank, A Game of Whist; Tom & Jerry among the ‘Swell Broad Coves.’ Tom and Jerry was a very popular series of stories at the time.

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Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!

The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.

Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.

When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?

Today, the iBookstore is added, HERE
Get for your Kindle, Here
In Trade Paperback, Here
Digitally from Smashwords, Here
For your Sony Kobo, Here
Or for your Nook, Here

From our tale:

Chapter One

St. Oswald’s church was bleak, yet beautiful all in one breath. 13th century arches that soared a tad more than twenty feet above the nave provided a sense of grandeur, permanence and gravitas. These prevailed within, while the turret-topped tower without, once visible for miles around now vied with mature trees to gain the eye of passers-by.

On sunny days stain-glass windows, paid for by a Plantagenet Baron who lived four hundred years before and now only remembered because of this gift, cast charming rainbow beams across the inner sanctum. And on grey overcast days ghostly shadows danced along the aisle.

As per the custom of parish churches the first three pews were set-aside for the gentry. On this day the second pew, behind the seat reserved for the Marquess of Hroek, who hadn’t attended since the passing of his son and heir, was Louisa Booth his niece and her companion Mrs Bottomworth.

Mrs Bottomworth was a stocky matron on the good side of fifty. Barely on the good side of fifty. But one would not say that was an unfortunate thing for she wore her years well and kept her charge free of trouble. Mrs Bottomworth’s charge was an only child, who would still have been in the schoolroom excepting the fact of the death of her mother some years earlier. This had aged the girl quickly, and made her hostess to her father’s household. The Honourable Hector Booth, third son of the previous Marquess, maintained a modest house on his income of 300 pounds. That was quite a nice sum for just the man and one daughter, with but five servants. They lived in a small, two floor house with four rooms. It should be noted that this of course left two bedchambers that were not inhabited by family members. As the Honourable Mr Booth saved his excess pounds for certain small vices that confined themselves with drink and the occasional wager on a horse, these two rooms were seldom opened.

Mrs Bottomworth had thought to make use of one of the empty rooms when she took up her position, but the Honourable Hector Booth advised and instructed her to share his daughter’s room. For the last four years this is what she had done. When two such as these shared a room, it was natural that they would either become best of friends, or resent each other entirely. Happily the former occurred as Louisa was in need of a confidant to fill the void left in her mother’s absence, and Mrs Bottomworth had a similar void as her two daughters had grown and gone on to make their own lives.

The Honourable Mr Booth took little effort in concerning himself with such matters as he was ever about his brother’s house, or ensconced in a comfortable seat at either the local tavern or the Inn. If those locations had felt he was too warm for them, he would make a circuit of what friends and acquaintances he had in the county. The Honourable Mr Booth would spend an hour or two with a neighbour discussing dogs or hunters, neither of which he could afford to keep, though he did borrow a fine mount of his brother to ride to the hunt. The Marquess took little notice, having reduced his view of the world by degrees when first his beloved younger brother who was of an age between the surviving Honourable Mr Booth had perished shortly after the Marquess’ marriage. Their brother had fallen in the tropics of a fever. Then the Marquess had lost his second child, a little girl in her infancy, his wife but a few years after, and most recently his son and heir to the wars with Napoleon.

This caused the Honourable Mr Booth to be heir to Hroek, a situation that had occurred after he had lost his own wife. With that tragedy, Mr Booth had found more time to make friends with all sorts of new bottles, though not to a degree that it was considered remarkable beyond a polite word. Mr Booth was not a drunkard. He was confronting his grief with a sociability that was acceptable in the county.

Louisa, however, was cast further adrift. No father to turn to. No uncle who had been the patriarch of the family her entire life. And certainly now no feminine examples to follow but her companion and governess, Mrs Bottomworth. That Mrs Bottomworth was an excellent choice for the task was more due to acts of the Marquess, still able to think clearly at the time she was employed, than to the Honourable Mr Booth. Mr Booth was amenable to any suggestion of his elder brother for that man controlled his purse, and as Mr Booth was consumed with grief, while the Marquess had adapted to various causes of grief prior to the final straw of his heir’s death, the Marquess of Hroek clearly saw a solution to what was a problem.

Now in her pew, where once as a young girl she had been surrounded by her cousins, parents, uncles and aunt, she sat alone except for her best of friends. Louisa was full of life in her pew, her cheeks a shade of pink that contrasted with auburn hair, which glistened as sunlight that flowed though the coloured panes of glass touched it from beneath her bonnet. Blue eyes shown over a small straight nose, her teeth were straight, though two incisors were ever so slightly bigger than one would attribute to a gallery beauty painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

She was four inches taller than five feet, so rather tall for a young woman, but her genes bred true, and many a girl of the aristocracy was slightly taller than those women who were of humbler origins. Her back was straight and for an observant man, of which there were some few in the county, her figure might be discussed. The wrath though of her uncle the Marquess would not wish to be bourne should it be found out that her form had become a topic amongst the young men. Noteworthy though was that she had a figure that men thought inspiring enough to tempt that wrath, and think on it. A full bosom was high on her chest, below her heart shaped face. She was lean of form, though her hips flared just enough that one could see definition in her torso. Certainly a beauty Sir Thomas’ brushes would wish the honour to meet.

The vicar Mr Spotslet had at one time in his early days in the community, discussed the Sunday sermons with the Marquess. Mr Spotslet had enjoyed long discussions of theology, philosophy, natural history and the holy writ that were then thoughtfully couched in terms to be made accessible by the parish. The lassitude that had overtaken the Marquess had caused those interviews to become shortened and infrequent and as such the sermons suffered, as many were wont to note. There had been dialogues that Mr Spotslet had engaged in with the attendees of his masses. Now he seemed to have lost his way and delivered soliloquies.

This day Mr Spotslet indulged in a speech that talked to the vices of gambling. The local sports, of which the Honourable Mr Booth was an intimate, had raced their best through the village green the previous Wednesday for but a prize of one quid, and this small bet had caused pandemonium when Mrs McCaster had fallen in the street with her washing spread everywhere and trampled by the horses. Not much further along the path, Mr Smith the grocer’s delivery for the vicar himself was dropped by the boy and turned into detritus as that too was stampeded over. A natural choice for a sermon, yet only two of the culprits were in attendance this day. The rest had managed to find reasons to avoid the Mass.

Louisa squirmed a little in her seat the moment she realised that her father had been one of the men that the sermon was speaking of. Was she not the centre of everyone’s gaze at such a time? Her father having refused to attend for some years, and her uncle unable due to his illness. She was the representative of the much reduced family. Not only was it expected that the parish would look to her as the Booth of Hroek, but with her father’s actions called to the attentions of all, it was natural that they look at her again. This time in a light that did not reflect well on her father and she knew that she had no control over that at all.

Mrs Bottomworth, who might have been lightly resting her eyes, Louisa would credit her in such a generous way, came to tensing at the mention of the incident. Louisa did not want to bring her friend to full wakefulness, but Mrs Bottomworth realised what was occurring and the direction that the sermon was taking. Louisa’s companion took her hand and patted it reassuringly.

“Perhaps a social call on Lady Walker?” Mrs Bottomworth suggested as they walked back to the house after services. The house which sat just within the estate boundaries was four hundred feet off the main bridal way that led to Hroek Castle. A small road had been cleared from the gatehouse to the house that Mr Booth now maintained, and this the two women travelled.

Louisa generally appreciated visits such as this as she had gotten older, and certainly several of the adults in the neighbourhood showed a kindly interest in her education and the development of her social manners. “I think I shall go to the castle and read to my uncle.” A task that she had done each day of the last fortnight but one.

“We have not talked, but you and the Marquess had an interview with the doctors.” Mrs Bottomworth had tried to comfort her charge after that, but Louisa had waved her hand and gone to sit quietly under a yew tree that had a grand vista of the park leading to Hroek Castle.

 “Uncle will be most lucky if he should be with us come Michaelmas.”

“That will be a sad day when we lose such a friend.” These were words of comfort. Mrs Bottomworth had been well encouraged in her charge by the Marquess but one could not say that they interacted greatly with one another. The Marquess ensured that his brother heeded the suggestions and advisements of Mrs Bottomworth as the Honourable Mr Booth left to his own devices would have kept his daughter in the nursery and would have forgotten to send a governess to provide her with instruction.

“Indeed, my uncle may not have been one of the great men of England, but he is well regarded in the county.” Often with that statement followed the next, “Warmly remembered is it when the Prince Regent came and stayed for a fortnight of sport and entertainment.” This had been many years before, and certainly before any of the tragedies beset the line of the Booths.

“Yes, I have heard it said with great earnestness. But come let us change your clothes and then we shall go up to the great house. I shall have Mallow fetch the gig so we may proceed all the more expeditiously.”

“That would be good, but we will have to use the dogcart. Father was to take the gig to see Sir Mark today, or so he said at breakfast.” Where Louisa knew he would drink the Baronet’s sherry for a couple hours before thinking to return, unless he was asked to stay for dinner.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charlotte Hood Baroness Bridport 3rd Duchess of Bronte
20 September 1787 – 29 January 1873

Charlotte Hood 3rd Duchess of Bronte was the daughter of William Nelson, 1st Earl Nelson and Sarah Yonge. She died at the age of 85 in Cricket St. Thomas, Somerset, England. She was buried in Cricket St. Thomas, Somerset.

She succeeded to the title of Duchess of Bronté (of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies) on 28 February 1835.

She married Samuel Hood, 2nd Baron Bridport, son of Henry Hood, 2nd Viscount Hood and Jane Wheler, on 3 July 1810. They had seven children:

  • Hon. Mary Sophia Hood (d. 29 January 1888)
  • Hon. Charlotte Hood (d. 21 August 1906)
  • Hon. Jane Sarah Hood (d. 28 April 1907)
  • Hon. Frances Caroline Hood (b. 1813, d. 1 October 1903)
  • General Sir Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport of Cricket St. Thomas (b. 23 December 1814, d. 4 June 1904)
  • Hon. Catherine Louisa Hood (b. c 1818, d. 6 October 1893)
  • Hon. Horatio Nelson Hood (b. 24 April 1826, d. 1832)

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