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Posts Tagged ‘Caroline Lamb’

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.

John William Ponsonby 4th Earl of Bessborough
531 August 1781 – 16 May 1847

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John William Ponsonby

John Ponsonby 4th Earl of Bessborough was the eldest son of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough, and Lady Henrietta Frances, daughter of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer. Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby and William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley, were his younger brothers, while Lady Caroline Lamb was his younger sister. Ponsonby’s mother was Lord Granville’s lover prior to his marriage to Lady Harriet Cavendish, the Countess of Bessborough’s niece. Lord Granville fathered two illegitimate children through her: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart. Lord Bessborough was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford.

He was First Commissioner of Woods and Forests under Lord Grey (1831–1834) and served under Lord Melbourne in that office (1835-1841), briefly as Home Secretary (1834), and as Lord Privy Seal (1835–1839). Later, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under Lord John Russell from 1846 until his death on 16 May 1847. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1831 and in 1834, ten years before he succeeded his father, he was created Baron Duncannon, of Bessborough in the County of Kilkenny. He was Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny from November 1838 until his death.

His political career was hampered by a noted stammer, which made him a very reluctant public speaker: as Lord Duncannon he was unkindly nicknamed “Dumbcannon”. In private on the other hand he was a valued colleague, due largely to his ability to keep his head in a crisis. He was one of the so-called Committee of Four who drafted the Reform Act 1832.

John Ponsonby married Lady Maria Fane, daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, and Sarah Anne Child, on 16 November 1805 at Berkeley Square, London. They had eight sons and three daughters. The youngest daughter, Emily Charlotte Mary, remained unmarried but she wrote a number of novels which were published without attribution. The Countess of Bessborough died in March 1834, aged 46. Lord Bessborough survived her by thirteen years and died in May 1847, aged 65. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, John, and subsequently by his younger sons Frederick and Walter. Bessborough Gardens in London is named after Lord Bessborough.

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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.

Elizabeth Lamb Viscountess Melbourne nee Milbanke
15 October 1751 – 6 April 1818

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Elizabeth Lamb

Elizabeth Lamb Viscountess Melbourne was baptised on 15 October 1751 in the village of Croft-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, the daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke, 5th Baronet and his wife Elizabeth (née Hedworth). Elizabeth’s brother was Sir Ralph Noel, 6th Baronet; the family resided at Halnaby Hall, Yorkshire. Her father was a politician, and her maternal grandfather was John Hedworth, Member of Parliament for County Durham. Elizabeth was privately educated and learned French and poetry composition. Her mother died in 1767. Two years later, Elizabeth met Sir Peniston Lamb, 2nd Baronet; they married in London on 1 April 1769. The couple lived at Melbourne House in Piccadilly and Elizabeth quickly became a well-known figure in London Whig society. She was apparently unaffected by her husband’s infidelity early in their marriage with actress and courtesan Sophia Baddeley, just as he came to tolerate her numerous love affairs. Peniston was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Lord Melbourne, Baron of Kilmore, in 1770 and Viscount Melbourne in 1781. As well as Melbourne House, the family had country residences at Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire.

From the start of her marriage, Lady Melbourne cultivated friendships that helped her position in society, and her husband’s career. These relationships were frequently with men, some of whom became lovers. She was noted for discretion in her affairs: she famously remarked that no man was safe with another’s secrets and no woman with her own. Unlike her daughter-in-law, Lady Caroline Lamb, she had a clear understanding of what society will condone and what it will not condone. If not an intellectual she was highly intelligent; it has been said that within the rather narrow limits of her experience, her knowledge of life was remarkable.

She was a devoted mother, and worked tirelessly to advance the careers of all her children, especially William. Lord David Cecil remarked that few children have had a better mother, although her reputation for immorality caused them some distress: George once came to blows with a friend who said “your mother is a whore”. William, though admitting that his mother’s private life was not blameless, called her “the most sagacious woman he ever knew” and remarked that ” she kept me straight as long as she lived”.

After the marriage in 1774 of Lady Georgiana Spencer to William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire Lady Melbourne became the close friend and personal advisor of the Duchess. Until this point, Lady Melbourne had enjoyed unrivalled success as a political hostess and quickly recognised that the young duchess, with a higher rank and better connections, would be a more valuable friend than rival. The two women were painted, alongside their friend, sculptor Anne Damer, by Daniel Gardner as the Three Witches in his 1775 painting Witches Round the Cauldron. Lady Melbourne featured as the character of Lady Besford in The Duchess’ novel The Sylph. By contrast she disliked the Duchess’ sister Lady Bessborough, a dislike she later extended to Henrietta’s daughter Caroline; true to her practical nature, this dislike in no way interfered with her support for her son William’s marriage to Caroline, a social step up for the Lamb family, who were still considered newcomers to polite society.

By the late 1770s, Lady Melbourne was romantically involved with George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont. There was a rumour that the Earl had bought her from a previous lover, Lord Coleraine, for £1,000. Egremont remained unmarried, probably due to Lady Melbourne’s influence. It is believed that he was the father of Lady Melbourne’s children William, Emily and possibly Frederick.

In 1782, Lady Melbourne became acquainted with George, Prince of Wales while visiting her son Peniston twice a week at Eton College. The relationship proved to be of benefit to Lord Melbourne who was made Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Prince George at Carlton House. Lady Melbourne’s fourth son George (b. 1784) was widely believed to have been fathered by the prince, who acted as the boy’s godfather.

Later in life, Lady Melbourne formed a friendship with poet Lord Byron. She became his confidante during his affair with her daughter-in-law (Lady Caroline Lamb, who had married William in 1805). Although she approved of her son’s marriage on social grounds, Lady Melbourne disliked Caroline intensely and their relationship was always bad. By contrast she liked Byron, and blamed him neither for having the affair with Caroline, or for ending it. Byron later married Lady Melbourne’s niece Anne Isabella Milbanke.

Lord Melbourne was made a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Melbourne of Melbourne in 1815. Lady Melbourne died on 6 April 1818 at Melbourne House of rheumatism: her slow and painful death distressed her loved ones greatly. It was entirely in character that on her deathbed she urged her daughter Emily to be faithful, not to her husband, Lord Cowper but to her lover, Lord Palmerston ( Emily and Palmerston eventually married after Cowper’s death). She was survived by her husband who died in 1828.

Lady Melbourne had six children that survived childhood; infant twins died in 1788. Of the remaining six, only the eldest, Peniston, was certainly fathered by Lord Melbourne. Their youngest daughter Harriet died of consumption in 180 at the age of 14; the young Peniston succumbed to the same illness in 1805, at 4.

  • Hon. Peniston Lamb (1770–1805)
  • William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779–1848)
  • Frederick Lamb, 3rd Viscount Melbourne (1782–185)
  • Hon. George Lamb (1784–184)
  • Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper (1787–1869)
  • Harriet Lamb (1789–180)

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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.

Scrope Berdmre Davies
1782-May 23 1852

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Davies was a member of the Dandy Set. His father was the Reverend Richard Davies and he had five brothers and four sisters. His mother was the daughter of another Reverend. Davies was elected to king’s scholarship at Eton College, which made Scrope the man he was to become. Scrope became a wit, a dandy, and a scholar. He also became a gambler, a drunkard and a spendthrift, and led to his ruination.

Scrope started Eton in 1794 and went on to King’s College, Cambridge in 1802. At college he met Byron and became fast friends with the man. Byron used Davies to borrow money and as a guarantor of his loans. Davies now was a great gambler, in 1815 he thought to have had a fortune of £22,000, Byron mooched off the man. A trunk that was uncovered in 1976 disclosed that Davies kept meticulous notes about his situation as well as his gambling strategies.

He was an enthusiast of pugilism (boxing) and he was a good shot, as well as a jester. Davies also took up with many of the loves that Byron discarded including Caroline Lamb, Lady Oxford and Lady Webster. He took up residence in Cambridge and London, his life scheduled around the racing season and the gambling tables. A member of Watiers, he also could be found at Brooks, the Union Club and the Cocoa Tree.

Such a good friend to Byron, he brought back several of the manuscripts for John Murray after visiting his friend. In 1819, the rich dandy started to take a financial turn for the worse. He went into exile in January of 1820 and died in Paris in 1852.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew Charles Arbuthnot
William Upcott William Huskisson Dominic Serres
Sir George Barlow

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
Harriet Fane Arbuthnot
Richard Harding Evans
Joseph Antonio Emidy
John Ireland
William Gifford
John Wolcot
Richard Porson
Eva Marie Veigel
‘Gentleman’ John Jackson
Edward Gibbon
William Mason
Thomas Warton
Adam Walker
John Opie
William Cowper
Richard Cumberland
Richard Cosway
Jacob Phillipp Hackert
Sir George Warren
John Thomas Serres
Wellington (the Military man)
Horatio Nelson
Cuthbert Collingwood
Thomas Troubridge
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
Howe
Viscount Hood
Thomas Hope
Charles Greville
Colin Mccaulay
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Napoleon Bonaparte
Packenham
Admiral Israel Pellew
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Thomas Gainsborough
Gillray
Sir Joshua Reynolds
George Stubbs
Joseph Priestley
William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke of St. Albans
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland
Horace Walpole
John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
Thomas Coutts
Rowlandson
William Blake
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Mary Shelley
Ann Radcliffe
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Hester Thrale
William Windham
Madame de Stael
James Boswell
Edward Eliot
George Combe
Sir Harry Smith
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke

The Dandy Club
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint

Patronesses of Almacks
Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
Mrs. Drummond Burrell
Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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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.

Gerogiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
June 7 1757 to March 30 1806

I am sure many of we students of the Regency Era have encountered Georgiana before. My first encounter was hearing her described as rather racy over in Devonshire House in one of the many Heyer novels about the period. And though there was no date portrayed there, it was not until these last years where I have encountered more about whom Georgiana truly was that I learned she died so early in the period, even before Prinny became Regent.

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Georgiana was a great-great-grandaunt of Diana, Princess of Wales. She was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Spencer and the Great-Great-Grandaugther of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, so she is also in the chain that is related to Winston Churchill. Her niece was Lady Caroline Lamb. One should get the sense that Georgiana was rather well connected.

As we can see from her pictures she was worthy of being a celebrated beauty. She formed a large salon of literry and political figures. Her and her husbands family were Whigs and thus against the power of King George III and supporters of men such as Charles James Fox with whom she may have had an affair. She had an affair with Charles Grey, later Prime Minister and they had a child, Eliza Courtney who is an ancestor of Sarah, Duchess of York or as many call her, Fergie!

To say racy about these affairs and the arrangement with her husband is something that the Anglican Church should have a hard time accepting. She introduced her best friend, Lady Elizabeth Foster to her husband the Duke and the three lived together for 25 years. The Duke marrying Lady Elizabeth after Georgiana died.

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Aside from her many affairs, she is also known for her love of fashion, certainly someone who would have sat in the front row of the runway if they had designer shows in her time. She also was fond of gambling and owed a great deal of money when she died. She kept the amounts of her debts secret from the Duke and after her death, when he learned of them, he said, “Is that all?”

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Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley
John Keats Jane Austen
Charles James Fox Lady Caroline Lamb

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Cassandra Austen
William Wilberforce
Thomas Clarkson
Hannah More
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Edmund Kean
John Phillip Kemble
John Burgoyne
Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
Moore
Nelson
Howe
St. Vincent
Packenham
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Gillray
Reynolds
Rowlandson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Mary Shelley
Ann Radcliffe
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Charles Arbuthnot
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint
Scrope Davies
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Edward Pellew
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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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.

Lady Caroline Lamb
November 13 1785 to January 25 1828

With a very promiscuous mother, who sent her to live in the racy Devonshire household, under Georgiana her aunt, it was hardly a wonder that Caroline was destine to turn out as she did. Her mother had two bastards, one who became the Duchess of Leeds.

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She was a delicate creature, but the mother of William Lamb thought that she should be her sons wife and took measures to bring them together. More than an alliance was made as the future prime minister and Caroline formed a love match. They had two children, a daughter who died the day of her birth and an autistic son. Unlike most families of the Ton at the time, they cared for the boy who died in childhood. This did not help with Caroline’s constitution.

That in 1812 at the age of 26 she took up with Lord Byron in a very well publicized affair now colored almost the rest of her life. Byron was as racy as the household she had grown up in, and though she was said to be devoted to Lamb before she was with Byron, after she met the Poet her love for Lamb was sundered, only to be restored on her death bed when he came back from his post in Ireland to be at her side. Even afar Byron had broken the relationship off, and Lamb had taken her to Ireland, Byron and Caroline corresponded regularly, showing which way her heart lay.

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That Byron did not take her back up, when she returned to society in 1813 caused a stir as she and Byron used their literary talents to snipe at each other. She wrote “Remember Me!” and he composed his poem, “Remember thee!” in response. Such literary barrages were the stuff of the next few years.

She is now considered to be the first celebrity stalker, ensuring that she was at locales Byron was going to frequent. Her cousin by 1816 said she was so possessed by the notion of Byron that she would not visit Caroline but once a year because of it. Though in 1816 Byron left England so he could indulge in his lifestyle without hinderance, never to return.

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While using the power of the press to get at Byron, Caroline had success as a literary personage. Her writings may have been the first thinly disguised tell all successes. Glenarvon was a financial success. In all she published four novels and had works that played on Byron’s Don Juan.

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But in the end, this was madness. In 1825 she had asked Lamb for a separation, but as she succumbed into her end, the abuse of alcohol and laudanum not helping, Lamb came back to be by her side. She died on January 25th 1828, the age of 42.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley
John Keats Jane Austen
Charles James Fox

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Cassandra Austen
William Wilberforce
Thomas Clarkson
Hannah More
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Edmund Kean
John Phillip Kemble
John Burgoyne
Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
Moore
Nelson
Howe
St. Vincent
Packenham
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Gillray
Reynolds
Rowlandson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Mary Shelley
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Charles Arbuthnot
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint
Scrope Davies
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Edward Pellew
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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Regency History

Often in my research I keep needing to find who was leading the government and do this through every book. I thought that having the list handy would be good, and then turning it into a research webpage even better. Here is the list. After I post a few more Timeline years and write some more, I will work on the web page with notes about each PM.

The next PM I am doing is William Lamb, and I am hosting a page devoted to him and then all our period PMs at Regency Assembly Press. That page is here.

Prime Ministers of England

William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 04/02/1783
12/19/1783
Whig
William Pitt the Younger 12/19/1783
03/14/1801
Tory
Henry Addington 1st Viscount Sidmouth, “The Doctor” 03/14/1801
05/10/1804
Tory
William Pitt the Younger 05/10/1804
01/23/1806
Tory
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville 02/11/1806
03/31/1807
Whig
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 03/31/1807
10/04/1809
Tory*
Spencer Perceval 10/04/1809
05/11/1812
Tory
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool 06/08/1812
04/09/1827
Tory
George Canning 04/10/1827
08/08/1827
Tory
Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich 08/31/1827
01/21/1828
Tory
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 01/22/1828
11/16/1830
Tory
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey 11/22/1830
07/16/1834
Whig
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 07/16/1834
11/14/1834
Whig
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 11/14/1834
12/10/1834
Tory
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet
12/10/1834
04/18/1835
Conservative
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne 04/18/1835
08/30/1841
Whig
Tory* (Tory government, PM a Whig)

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

Born 03/15/1779 London

Died 11/24/1848 Brocket, Herts

Major Acts:

Dissenters’ Marriage Bill 1836 – legalized civil marriage outside of the Church of England

Cuckolded by Byron

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Viscount Melbourne had two lives – the first as the cuckolded husband in one of the most scandalous affairs of the nineteenth century, and the second as senior statesman and mentor to Queen Victoria.

Born William Lamb, in 1805 he succeeded his elder brother as heir to his father’s title. Now known as Lord Melbourne, he married Lady Caroline Ponsonby. It was a marriage which was to cause him no small amount of grief.

He first came to general notice for reasons he would rather have avoided, when his wife had a public affair with poet Lord Byron. The resulting scandal was the talk of Britain in 1812.

In 1806 he was elected to the Commons as the Whig MP for Leominster, where he served 1806-1812 and 1816-1829, before joining the House of Lords on his father’s death

He was Secretary for Ireland 1827-28, and Home Secretary 1830-34, during which time he cracked down severely on agricultural unrest.

On Grey’s resignation in 1834, King William IV appointed Melbourne as the Prime Minister who would be the ‘least bad choice’, and he remained in office for seven years, except for five months following November 1834 when Peel was in charge.

Without any strong political convictions, he held together a difficult and divided Cabinet, and sustained support in the House of Commons through an alliance of Whigs, Radicals and Irish MPs.

He was not a reformer, although the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 did ensure that the growing middle class secured control of local government.

Efficient PM

But he was efficient in keeping order, raising taxes and conducting foreign policy.

Melbourne also had a close relationship to the monarch. He was Queen Victoria’s first prime minister, and she trusted him greatly. Their close relationship was founded in his responsibility for tutoring her in the world of politics and instructing her in her role, but ran much deeper than this suggests.

Victoria came to regard Melbourne as a mentor and personal friend and he was given a private apartment at Windsor Castle.

Later in his premiership, Melbourne’s support in Parliament declined, and in 1840 it grew difficult to hold the Cabinet together.

His unpopular and scandal-hit term ended in August 1841, when he resigned after a series of parliamentary defeats.

Lady Caroline Ponsonby- Lamb was not a typical politician’s wife.

The daughter of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough, and the granddaughter of the 1st Earl Spencer, she was born in 1785.

Lady Caroline married Lord Melbourne, in 1805. After two miscarriages, she gave birth to their only child, George Augustus Frederick, in 1807.

He was epileptic and mentally handicapped and had to be cared for almost constantly. Lady Caroline was devoted to him.

In 1812, Caroline read Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and declared:

“If he was as ugly as Aesop, I must know him.” On meeting Byron that summer, she famously noted in her diary that he was “mad, bad and dangerous to know”.

They began an affair which lasted until 1813, but even after it finished Lady Caroline’s obsession with the poet continued. She published a novel, Glenarvon , in 1816 containing obvious portraits of herself, her husband, Byron and many others.

Embarrassed and disgraced, Melbourne decided to part from his wife, though the formal separation did not occur until 1825.

Lady Caroline died in 1828, aged 42, her death hastened by drink and drugs.

Lord Melbourne, not yet prime minister, was by her bedside.

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“It is impossible that anybody can feel the being out of Parliament more keenly for me than I feel it for myself. It is actually cutting my throat. It is depriving me of the great object of my life.”

First Ministry

07/16/1834                        11/14/1834

OFFICE
NAME
TERM
First Lord of the Treasury

Leader of the House of Lords
The Viscount Melbourne
July–November 1834
Lord Chancellor
The Lord Brougham
July–November 1834
Lord President of the Council
The Marquess of Lansdowne
July–November 1834
Lord Privy Seal
Earl of Mulgrave
July–November 1834
Home Secretary
Viscount Duncannon
July–November 1834
Foreign Secretary
The Viscount Palmerston
July–November 1834
Secretary of State for War & the Colonies
Thomas Spring Rice
July–November 1834
First Lord of the Admiralty
The Lord Auckland
July–November 1834
Chancellor of the Exchequer
July–November 1834
Leader of the House of Commons
Viscount Althorp
July–November 1834
President of the Board of Trade
July–November 1834
Treasurer of the Navy
Charles Poulett Thomson
July–November 1834
President of the Board of Control
Charles Grant
July–November 1834
Master of the Mint
James Abercromby
July–November 1834
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests
Sir John Hobhouse, Bt
July–November 1834
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Lord Holland
July–November 1834
Paymaster of the Forces
Lord John Russell
July–November 1834
Secretary at War
Edward Ellice
July–November 1834

Second Ministry

April 1835 – August 1839

OFFICE
NAME
TERM
First Lord of the Treasury
The Viscount Melbourne
April 1835–August 1839
Lord Chancellor
In Commission
April 1835–January 1836
The Lord Cottenham
January 1836–August 1839
Lord President of the Council
The Marquess of Lansdowne
April 1835–August 1839
Lord Privy Seal
Viscount Duncannon
April 1835–August 1839
Home Secretary
The Lord John Russell
April 1835–August 1839
Foreign Secretary
The Viscount Palmerston
April 1835–August 1839
Secretary of State for War & the Colonies
The Lord Glenelg
April 1835–February 1839
The Marquess of Normanby
February–August 1839
First Lord of the Admiralty
The Lord Auckland
April–September 1835
The Earl of Minto
September 1835–August 1839
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Thomas Spring Rice
April 1835–August 1839
President of the Board of Trade
Charles Poulett Thomson
April 1835–August 1839
President of the Board of Control
Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Bt
April 1835–August 1839
Secretary at War
Viscount Howick
April 1835–August 1839
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests
Viscount Duncannon
April 1835–August 1839
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Lord Holland
April 1835–August 1839

Viscount Duncannon served concurrently as Lord Privy Seal and First Commissioner of Woods and Forests.

August 1839 – September 1841

OFFICE
NAME
TERM
First Lord of the Treasury

Leader of the House of Lords
The Viscount Melbourne
August 1839–September 1841
Lord Chancellor
The Lord Cottenham
August 1839–September 1841
Lord President of the Council
The Marquess of Lansdowne
August 1839–September 1841
Lord Privy Seal
Viscount Duncannon
August 1839–January 1840
The Lord Clarendon
January 1840–September 1841
Home Secretary
The Marquess of Normanby
August 1839–September 1841
Foreign Secretary
The Viscount Palmerston
August 1839–September 1841
Secretary of State for War & the Colonies

Leader of the House of Commons
The Lord John Russell
August 1839–September 1841
First Lord of the Admiralty
The Earl of Minto
August 1839–September 1841
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sir Francis Thornhill Baring
August 1839–September 1841
President of the Board of Trade
Henry Labouchere
August 1839–September 1841
President of the Board of Control
Sir John Cam Hobhouse
August 1839–September 1841
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests
Viscount Duncannon
August 1839–September 1841
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Lord Holland
August 1839–October 1840
The Lord Clarendon
October 1840–June 1841
Sir George Grey, Bt
June–September 1841
Secretary at War
Thomas Babington Macaulay
August 1839–September 1841
Chief Secretary for Ireland
Lord Morpeth
August 1839–September 1841

The Third Ministry was during the time of Victoria.

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Family

Apparently Lamb had a dark side once all the brouhaha with his wife was done. He had married Caronline Ponsonby who stated she did not like Byron’s poetry and then spent her life in an open affair with Lord Byron. A man who had been a friend of Lamb’s when they were at University together.

They had a premature daughter and one son, George Augustus Frederick, born on 11 August 1807, who possibly had severe autism. Until Byron, they had a happy life. Caroline died in 1828, after Byron had died, and had also married Caroline’s cousin, who later separated from him.

Aside from the rumors that circulated about Byron at such time, later in life rumors circulated against the widower Lamb. Rumors suggesting that he may have engaged in spanking of high-born ladies, but whipping of those from the streets.

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The Writing Life

My current writing project, a Fantasy, the third part of my trilogy on the son of Duke. It is the third in what I started when I left college. I finished the second part about 2 years ago, and so now I will wrap it up and reedit it all. It is tentatively titles, Crown in Jeopardy, the third book in the Born to Grace tale.

It opens with our hero setting up a trap for the enemies.

Chapter 2: Cynwal’s Folly (Continues)

Would Arthur Argent have coordinated attacks from Gwynedd, and from Andover without having Cynwal also part of the plot. No. Cynwal was part of Arthur’s conspiracy. It was not Hyfaidd who had instigated it all. Arthur Argent may have done so, but the Clanrex was part of the plot. Now he was going to pay. Caradoc administered high justice and he had decided on the sentence for Cynwal’s hand in the plot. One that had led to the death of King Richard.

Someone was going to see to it that Cynwal did not leave the field that day. That he was killed in battle. If Caradoc had wanted to ensure that the tale was spread around, he would have put a bounty on the man’s head. Caradoc knew that Cynwal had placed one of a thousand gold on his head. Enough money to keep any man in comfort forever.

Even the Earl of West Hills could live well on a thousand gold, though perhaps not as an Earl was supposed to. “Ah, there.” Cynwal and his closest troops were clear of the caltrops and holes on the battlefield and trying to regroup. They could sense the thousands that were spreading out from the camp. And that many were going after him. “Jamus, there! We attack there.”

Jamus looked back to Caradoc and nodded showing that he heard. He didn’t even shake his head which the man would have if he had no intention of taking Caradoc towards the source.

The men of Northmarch had an advantage knowing that they had turned this attack upon them into an ambush against the attackers. That hiding thousands in the camp had allowed them to spring forth with a host, perhaps not as a great as those that attacked, but nearly so. So many soldiers, and so many archers, that when the attackers were mired in the battlegrounds, they did not notice how many losses they were taking, while the defenders barely took one. The enemy had thought they would have charged and been against the Northmarchers quickly. Surely more than 1000 had fallen to the caltrops, or their horses turned lame in the attack, or the arrows piercing into them.

And very few of Northmarch had been wounded. Caradoc raised his sword and shouted “MacLaughlin!” The battle cry.

Again taken up by hundreds and then thousands. Arrows loosed over his head claimed another hundred or two hundred of the enemy. And Cynwal turned and saw Caradoc then. He had nowhere near the sic hundred horsemen who had charged some few minutes before. Much less, but enough that he had men that would fight and kill. That was the thing that surely gave the Clanrex confidence. He thought he had enough men to kill Caradoc. If his men were caught in a trap and suffering great losses, then he was determined to cause many deaths among the enemy as well. An enemy who had continually hurt the men of Powys.

“I would not want to be you, Cynwal, if you do not attack us.” Caradoc said to himself. The man would lose his hold over the clans, he was sure. And then if he did attack, was he as good a fighter as men said about him. Caradoc had fought duels to reduce the bloodshed. He had fought leaders before. He had killed Hyfaidd, the son of Cynwal. That should make the father wish to seek vengeance. Caradoc was right there. He waved his shield and sword at Cynwal who was looking at him.

What Caradoc wanted to force was Cynwal charging against him and the men he had with him. But Caradoc had no need to personally fight the Clanrex. Caradoc knew he was a decent fighter. And perhaps one of the best in his command. But there were other men as good, or better than he. They could fight Cynwal instead. Or, Iain could shoot at him from the wall. Caradoc had told the man who was considered one of the best archers in all of the clan, that it would not hurt his honor if the Clanrex approached within five feet of him and then Caradoc saw an arrow embedded in his head.

Iain chuckled. Well the men of Cynwal seemed to be rallying to him and beginning to form up. Forty, fifty of them. “I hope you are pleased,” Jamus shouted. “You got there attention and they are going to come this way. You do realize that there are more men then we have in this lane, and with those on foot, we shall be outnumbered here.”

Caradoc heard all of that. Jamus had a way of shouting that he could hear such things. Alain, who was now laughing as he held his shield to clout those who came to close said, “Well done.” The man would use a mace against any enemies that he truly had to hit, but the shield had the arms of Valens upon them, as did his surcoat over his armor. All knew his function. Caradoc was sure that some who stood against the Vater were glad to face a priest of the war god for he would try to disarm before trying to kill. If his opponents treated him the same, then those fighting Alain might survive the day with their lives.

Jamus was in the second rank of horsemen that were pushing against the enemy. Caradoc and Alain were in the third Rank. And behind came many more warriors. Caradoc felt it more than he saw it but the men in front of him from Northmarch were expanding their frontage. Then Jamus shouted back, “Hold Caradoc. Let us create a barrier!”

He knew that Jamus was serious. And he also had the Vater of Valens to help him. Jamus was sure to tell Clarisse, too, if Caradoc was too aggressive at that moment. He could shout his challenge, for the men still were doing so. Instead he hefted his sword and positioned his shield to be defensive. More of the men behind him would have to come forward and strengthen the line, and Cynwal was most likely going to arrive before that.

Looking to the far left, that was what was important. Cynwal was focused on hate. A chance that Caradoc had hoped to exploit. Avram led a large group of men along the lane that was farthest that way. Behind them, Frederick led another contingent. Those two, if they broke free, which had been the plan, might flank the enemy and cause such havoc that very few would be able to rout. If the day went against the men of Powys.

And since the enemy had only expected twelve hundred and found that they were fighting nearly five times that many warriors. He knew that they were already upset and disappointed.

A man broke through the lines in front of him and was doing his best to get at Caradoc. Not Cynwal, but large enough that he was probably one of Cynwal’s bodyguard. A man who probably had been instructed to kill Caradoc just as he had told so many to do their best to kill Cynwal.

Caradoc was at a standstill, and the enemy had a little momentum to his charge. Caradoc braced himself and raised his shield. He was in time to deflect the blow that was aimed at him. But then he had trained to be able to do that for countless hours. Years.

Combat though, was when his life was most at risk. This time as all the other times he had been involved in a fight. And the times that he was involved were increasing in frequency. He did not always leave a fight whole either. By directing battles and not participating in them as a fighter he had a better chance of not bleeding during the fight.

By not being the recipient of an enemies blows, he might not end up bruised. And maybe even his feet wouldn’t get so hot. That was more and more bothersome. That his feet were so damn hot. It made him angered.

A second blow was deflected by his shield. Vater Alain was not going to help get rid of the attacker, for he was trying to be a man defending, and not attacking. The men of Powys worshipped Valens too.

Caradoc saw no help for it, and stood quickly, pushing against the stirrups. Rising he deflected a third blow even as he brought his own sword twisting to slash under the man’s shield he faced. That let his sword slash upwards on the other side of the shield and he knew he hit the man’s shield arm, though the angle did not allow any cutting except perhaps against the strap.

Recovering his sword, he tried to pull hard against any constraint. His sword was very sharp, and if it found a think leather tie, it might cut it. With his sword free he quickly hit it against the man’s shield, and it did seem to move a little. The man once more tried to strike and Caradoc moved his shield in between them. He was there for every strike. And the man had another that he wanted to send Caradoc’s way. Not that Caradoc knew he was very fast, or absurdly fast but the man seemed slow. He was very tall, but he was slow.

And so Caradoc struck again trying to get over the shield but the big man had a big shield. Caradoc’s sword glanced off the top of the rim of the large shield. And the man’s shield shook again. More than it should have. Caradoc must have damaged the ties, he thought. Once more under, and there the enemy had a weakness.

Once more under and pull hard to cut the leather ties and any other armor he could reach. He also had to place his shield between the enemies blade and his head once more. The man should have learned to very his attack. It was too predictable.

Though the enemy losing his shield to the ground was sure to force a change in his routine. As the shield fell away, Caradoc did not want to give him much time. He slashed out again and struck against a now exposed shoulder. He struck hard and though he did not cut into the bone, the man had armor there, he did bruise that shoulder badly. The next strike Caradoc aimed for the helmet. Let him ring a bit.

A solid hit on the man and his head. Time for another. These could be very painful if they kept up. More to do with all that metal on your head being pushed about and how your neck held up. Caradoc would have to be lucky to have his sword cut through the helmet, which was pretty thick steel. But there were places of weakness in the head area. The eye slits, for instance.The neck was always thinly protected, even if there was chainmail there. It had to do with the articulation. If you wanted to see anywhere but straight ahead, you would want to move your helmet about, just as you could do with your head without a helmet. So the neck area was not solid steel.

It took good arm control to move the tip of the blade to where you wanted it to go. But then man squires, especially the sons of the great lords, learned how to do that long before they were considered for advancement to knighthood. Caradoc had mastered it years ago.

Fighting the man, though, also kept others of Powys from engaging him, and should one of those others happen to be Cynwal, then it would be too dramatic for him and the rest of the army. An army that should have had one person kill the Clanrex by then. A thousand gold pieces Cynwal would give to any who killed him. Maybe that was why the warrior still had not retreated. He had no shield and his head must have hurt terribly by then.

“Retreat man. Do you want me to kill you!” Caradoc shouted at the man. Striking once more on the man’s head.

Their steeds were well trained, for they allowed the two men to face each other without too much jostling about. “Never! Swine!”

“Do you not think I shall kill you?”

“Hyfaidd was my friend!” The fool said. That decided it for Caradoc. Hyfaidd was the worst of any type of lord.

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