Posts Tagged ‘Dorothea Jordan’

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 Mary Fox
19 December 1798 – 13 July 1864


Mary Fox

Lady Mary Fox was born in Bushy House as the fourth child and second daughter of the then Prince William, Duke of Clarence, and his companion Dorothea Jordan. She was “a fine looking, brown girl with a pleasant countenance and manners”. In 1820, her younger sister Elizabeth was courted by Charles Richard Fox, the eldest but illegitimate son of Lord and Lady Holland. His parents did not consent to the match, but four years later approved of his relationship with Mary.

The couple married on 19 June 1824 in St George’s, Hanover Square, London. Lady Holland worried that she might be “a sickly subject” and wished that the “roturier blood of the mother might have mitigated the royal constitutions”. Her mother-in-law wrote on 31 August that her son, “though fond of her, he only considers her as an auxiliary to his medals and other possessions, not as a principal”, but concluded that “it will all do well; as she is very winning, and very firm, and sincerely fond of him.” The pair established their household in Little Holland House by 1827. They moved to Canada in September 1829 when Charles resumed active army service.

Mary Fox received from her father the second part of the Anthony Roll, which had been in the possession of the royal family since the reign of King Henry VIII of England, though she was probably not interested in the history of the Royal Navy. The death of her uncle, King George IV, in 1830 led to her father’s accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom and Hanover. The new king was anxious to see his daughter return home and had her husband transferred. He granted her the rank of a marquess’ daughter on 24 May 1831.

King William IV died in January 1837 and Lady Mary’s cousin, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, ascended the throne. Later that year, Lady Mary published a utopian feminist Gothic fiction narrative titled An Account of an Expedition to the Interior of New Holland. Lady Mary’s treatise is the most representative example of the portrayal of New Holland (Australia) as a mysterious and “unreal” place. In January 1857, Sir Frederic Madden, custodian of the manuscripts at the British Museum, learned that Lady Mary wished to sell the roll she was given by her father in order to raise funds for building a church “or something of that kind”.

For a large part of her later life, Lady Mary served as housekeeper at Windsor Castle. She died childless on 13 July 1864. She is buried with her husband at Kensal Green Cemetery.

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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.

Lord Admiral Frederick Gordon-Hallyburton
5 February 1770 – 22 December 1815

Lord Admiral Frederick Gordon-Hallyburton was a Scottish naval officer and Member of Parliament.

He was born the Honourable John Frederick Gordon, third son of George Gordon, 5th Earl of Aboyne by his wife Catherine Anne, daughter of Sir Charles Cope, 2nd Baronet. On 28 May 1836 his father succeeded as 9th Marquess of Huntly. He reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy on 4 August 1836.

On 24 August 1836 Gordon was married to Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine, widow since 6 April 1831 of the Hon. John Kennedy Erskine of Dun, second son of Archibald Kennedy, 1st Marquess of Ailsa. She was born Augusta FitzClarence, the fourth daughter of King William IV by the actress Dorothea Jordan, and had been raised to the rank of a Marquess’s daughter on 24 May 1831.


Lady Augusta

By this marriage he gained three step-children:

  • William Henry Kennedy Erskine (1 July 1828 – 5 September 1870), who inherited the House of Dun in Forfarshire and served as a captain in the 17th Lancers. He married Catherine Jones on 18 November 1862 and had issue, including the writer Violet Jacob.
  • Wilhelmina Kennedy Erskine (26 June 1830 – 9 October 1906), who married William George FitzClarence, 2nd Earl of Munster on 17 April 1855 and had issue.
  • Augusta Millicent Anne Mary Kennedy Erskine (11 May 1831 – 11 February 1895), who married James Hay Wemyss on 17 April 1855 and had issue.

They had no children of their own. Gordon was made a Knight Grand Cross in the civil division of the Royal Guelphic Order on 22 August 1836 and a Lord of the Bedchamber to the King on 26 October that year.

In the general election of 1841 Gordon was elected to Parliament for Forfarshire, succeeding his uncle Lord Douglas Gordon-Hallyburton. He also inherited his uncle’s estates, and assumed the additional surname of Hallyburton in 1843. He was made a Deputy Lieutenant for Forfarshire on 5 June 1847 and re-elected for the county in the general election of that year. He remained in Parliament until the 1852 election, when he was replaced by Lauderdale Maule.

Gordon-Hallyburton was promoted to Rear-Admiral on the Reserve Half Pay List on 12 May 1857, and promoted in the same list to Vice-Admiral on 4 November 1863 and full Admiral on 8 April 1868.

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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.

General Charles Richard Fox
6 November 1796 – 13 April 1873


Charles Richard Fox

General Charles Richard Fox was born at Brompton, the illegitimate son of Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, through a liaison with Lady Webster, whom Lord Holland would later marry.

After some service in the Royal Navy, Fox entered the Grenadiers, and was known in later life as a collector of Greek coins. His collection was bought for the royal museum of Berlin when he died in 1873. He married in St. George’s, Hanover Square, London, on 19 June 1824 Lady Mary FitzClarence, a daughter of William IV by his mistress Dorothea Jordan. The couple had no issue.

Fox was a politician. He represented the Whig interest and sat for Calne 1831-32, then Tavistock 1832-35. He briefly represented Stroud in 1835, but resigned that seat so Lord John Russell could contest it. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for the east London constituency of Tower Hamlets in 1841 and served until 1847.

Fox was Surveyor-General of the Ordnance in 1841 and 1846-52. He was promoted Major-General on 9 November 1846, Lieutenant-General on 20 June 1854, and General on 6 March 1863.

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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 Frederick Cooke
17 April 1756 – 26 September 1812


George Frederick Cooke

George Frederick Cooke claimed to have been born in Westminster, it seems likely that he was the illegitimate child of a British soldier in Dublin. He was raised in Berwick-upon-Tweed, where in 1764 he was apprenticed to a printer. However, early exposure to strolling players made an impact. By the end of the decade he had gotten himself released from his apprenticeship and become an expert.

He made his first appearance on the stage in Brentford at the age of twenty as Dumont in Nicholas Rowe’s Jane Shore. His first London appearance was at the Haymarket Theatre in 1778; he played in benefit performances of Thomas Otway’s The Orphan, Charles Johnson’s The Country Lasses, and David Garrick and George Colman’s The Clandestine Marriage. Almost immediately, however, he returned to the country, and he spent the next decade and more touring, from Hull to Liverpool. He first performed with Sarah Siddons in York in 1786; by that time he had earned a substantial provincial reputation. In 1794 in Dublin, as Othello, he first attained high rank in a national capital; by 1800, London critics had dubbed him the Dublin Roscius. His unusually long provincial apprenticeship in many ways served him well. After an initial concentration on romantic leads, particularly in comedy, he gradually found his metier playing rakes and villains. As a regional star, he performed with Siddons, Dorothy Jordan and other London celebrities; he had over 300 roles in his repertoire.

At the same time, he developed a drinking problem, and a reputation for unreliability inevitably followed. A binge drinker, Cooke would abandon his duties for weeks at a time, often spending whatever money he had in the process. Shortly after his first triumph in Dublin, he disappeared from the stage for over a year. At some point in 1795, he had enlisted in the British Army, in a regiment due for deployment to the Caribbean. He was extricated from the military by the efforts of theatre owners in Manchester and Portsmouth, and he returned to Dublin in 1796.

In 1801, he appeared at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden as Richard III; this role would become his most famous. That year he also played Shylock (The Merchant of Venice), Iago (Othello), Macbeth, Kitely (Ben Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour), and Giles Overreach, and became the rival of Kemble, with whom, however, and with Mrs. Siddons, he acted from 1803. In 1802 he added roles in Edward Moore’s The Gamester and Charles Macklin’s Man of the World.

After Kemble and Siddons came to Covent Garden in 1803, the rivalry between the two actors unfolded on one stage instead of two. Fittingly, they debuted in Richard III, though Kemble played the title role and Cooke Richmond. Shortly later they acted in John Home’s Douglas: Cooke played Glenalvon to Kemble’s Old Norval, and Siddons was Lady Randolph. Washington Irving records seeing the group in Othello (Cooke was Iago, and Charles Kemble was Cassio); he called the performance delightful.

For the next decade, Cooke was an erratic star in London. Already a confirmed alcoholic when he arrived, he grew steadily less reliable as his career progressed. Already in 1801, he was unable to perform because he was drunk; such failures became more frequent in later years. In 1807, after failing to appear for his summer season in Manchester, he was jailed in Westmorland for several months. In the last years of the decade, he managed to curb his excesses to some extent; he was, for instance, frequently on stage during the Old Price riots.

However, he was unhappy with his treatment by the London press, and he was easily persuaded to travel to the United States in 1810. American audiences received him enthusiastically. He premiered as Richard III in New York on 11 November. Escorted by William Dunlap, he remained sober and performed in Boston, where he played opposite English tragedienne Mary Ann Duff, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Providence. Thomas Sully painted him as Richard; the result is generally considered Sully’s best painting of a human figure. He earned 20,000 dollars for his efforts, but the windfall reaped by the theater-owners (more than $250,000) left him feeling bitter and exploited. By 1812, he had accepted an invitation to return to Covent Garden. The outbreak of the War of 1812 stranded him in New York. He died of cirrhosis at the Mechanics’ Hall in Manhattan on 26 September.

A monument to his memory was erected in St. Paul’s chapel (on Fulton Street) by Edmund Kean during his first American tour in 1821. Barry Cornwall claimed that Kean brought Cooke’s big toe back to England, where his disgusted wife subsequently threw it away. Other biographers claim Kean stole a finger rather than a toe, and a relatively unreliable American writer claims that after Cooke’s skull was used as the skull of Yorick in a performance of Hamlet, members of a private New York club (including Daniel Webster and Henry Wheaton) subjected the skull to phrenological examination.
Cooke’s personal life was, unsurprisingly, markedly chaotic. Even apart from his binges, he was profligate and generous with his money, so that he rarely enjoyed a prolonged period of security. He married late. In September 1808 in Edinburgh he married Sarah Lamb. She accompanied him to London for the 1808 season, but in February 1809 Sarah returned to her family in Newark-on-Trent and was not associated with the actor thereafter. In New York, he married Violet Mary Behn, the daughter of a coffee-house owner. He left at his death $2000, all that remained of a lifetime as a famous actor.

Cooke may be called the first fully romantic actor in England. He drew on the style of Garrick and Macklin, both of whom he saw in his youth; he expanded on their naturalness and informality of style. That Kean idolized him is perhaps sufficient to suggest his style; there are also the contrasts that period critics saw between his style and that of the refined, dignified Kemble.

Cooke was about 5’10”, with a commanding stage presence and a long, aquiline nose. His stage presence was generally described as commanding, although many observers noted that his voice tended to become hoarse in the later acts of challenging plays. He was, like Garrick, a restless, physically dynamic performer; critics also noted his skill in using his eyes to convey complex thoughts or emotions, and his ability to project stage-whispers even in a large venue.

Little record of response to his early romantic roles exists; however, his technique in his mature tragic roles is abundantly recorded. He was at his best in roles of suave or energetic villainy or hypocrisy. In comedy, his Macsarcasm (from Macklin’s Love à la Mode) and Shylock were considered unsurpassable. In tragedy, in addition to Richard, he was a notable Iago. Though King Lear was not one of his signature roles, his interpretation of Lear’s madness influenced that of Kean and other actors.

Yet his performance in roles that required refinement or restraint was almost universally disparaged—perhaps inevitably, given the looming shadow of Kemble. His Hamlet was a failure. As Macbeth, he was said to manage nothing better than “low cunning.” Henry Crabb Robinson reports that Cooke failed in Kotzebue’s The Stranger; Robinson expressed a common opinion when he concludes that however compelling a presence, Cooke was too coarse for the greatest tragic roles. Leigh Hunt agreed, arguing that Cooke reduced all of his characters to their lowest motives. Of Cooke’s famous style of declamation (like Macklin, he delivered soliloquies as if thinking aloud), Hunt complained that it merely turned Shakespeare’s poetry into indignant prose.

As Richard III, Cooke offered an interpretation that both differed from and excelled Kemble’s rather staid performance. In such melodramatic scenes as the murder of Henry VI, Cooke excelled in conveying Richard’s horrid glee (as, indeed, had Kemble); unlike Kemble, however, Cooke was also able to convey a sense of Richard’s disgust with himself. This aspect of Richard was most notable in his discussion of his hunchback and in his response to Norfolk’s doggerel in 5.2. Where Kemble had simply brushed the bad news aside, Cooke pondered the verse carefully before rejecting it without force. The effect was to deepen Richard’s characterization, providing him with a gradually increasing awareness of his own villainy. Cooke’s Richard was, then, something more than the fairy-tale ogre described by Charles Lamb.

On the whole, though, the limits of Cooke’s talent are indicated by the probably apocryphal story related by Macready and others. Wishing to impress well-born visitors with his mimetic talent, Cooke made a number of faces meant to represent various emotions. One of his looks stumped the visitors. They guessed rage, anger, and revenge before Cooke, exasperated, told them it was meant to be love.

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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 Rebecca Edwin


Elizabeth Rebecca Edwin

Elizabeth Rebecca Edwin was the daughter of actor William Talbot Richards (d. 1813), who at the time of her birth in Dublin had been engaged with her mother at the Crow Street Theatre. Her mother’s name and fate is unknown here, for when Edwin was around eight her father married in London, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Edmonds.

At Crow Street Theatre, when eight years old, she appeared in Prince Arthur and other juvenile characters, including a part written specially for her by O’Keefe in his lost and forgotten farce, The Female Club. She also, for her benefit, played Priscilla Tomboy in The Romp, an abridged version of Bickerstaffe’s Love in the City. She left the stage for a time to be educated. After playing in the country she appeared at Covent Garden Theatre 13 November 1789, as Miss Richards from Margate, in The Citizen of Murphy.

The following year she joined at Hull the company of Tate Wilkinson, playing with great success in comedy. In the line of parts taken by Mrs. Jordan, Wilkinson declares her the ‘very best’ he has seen, surpassing her predecessor in youth and grace. ‘Her face,’ he says, ‘is more than pretty, it is handsome and strong featured, not unlike Bellamy’s; her person is rather short, but take her altogether she is a nice little woman’. She married John Edwin the younger and she joined with her husband the mixed company of actors and amateurs assembled by the Earl of Barrymore at Wargrave. She appeared with her husband at the Haymarket Theatre, 20 June 1792, as Lucy in ‘An Old Man taught Wisdom.’ Subsequently she passed to the private theatre in Fishamble Street, Dublin, opened by Lord Westmeath and Frederick Jones.

In October 1794 she had rejoined Tate Wilkinson, appearing in Doncaster with her husband. With him she visited Cheltenham, and 14 October 1797, still in his company, made, as Mrs. Edwin from Dublin, her first appearance in Bath, playing Amanthis and Roxalana. Here, in Bristol, or in Southampton, where she became a special favourite, she took the leading characters in comedy and farce. In 1805, while in Dublin, she lost her husband to suicide. At the recommendation of T. Sheridan she was engaged for Drury Lane. Before she reached the theatre, however, it was burnt down, and on 14 October 1809, as Widow Cheerly in The Soldier’s Daughter, she appeared with the Drury Lane company at the Lyceum. The chief characters in comedy were at once assigned her, and 3 February 1810 she was the original Lady Traffic in Riches, or the Wife and Brother, extracted by Sir James Bland Burgess from Massinger’s City Madam.

At Drury Lane she remained for some years. She was selected to recite, 3 July 1815, the verses of the manager Arnold in commemoration of Waterloo. She then returned to Dublin, to Crow Street Theatre, and, engaged by Robert William Elliston, appeared, 16 November 1818, at the Olympic Theatre, speaking an opening address by Moncrieff. The following year she accompanied her manager to Drury Lane. Mrs. Edwin was also seen at the Haymarket, Adelphi, Surrey, and other West End theatres, and played at Scarborough, Weymouth, Cheltenham, etc. At a comparatively early age she retired from the stage with a competency. This was greatly diminished by the dishonesty of a stockbroker, whom she entrusted with money for the purchase of an annuity, and who absconded to America with between eight and nine thousand pounds. This compelled her to return again to the boards.

On 13 March 1821 she played at Drury Lane the Duenna in Sheridan’s comic opera, this being announced as her first appearance in a character of that description. With rare candour she owned herself too old for the part in which she was accustomed to appear. She appeared at Drury Lane the following season. For very many years she lived in retirement, and, all out forgotten, died at her lodgings in Chelsea 3 August 1854. She had the reputation of delivering an address or epilogue with especial grace and fervour.

She was below the middle height, fair, and with expressive features. Careful in money matters, she barely escaped the charge of parsimoniousness. Portraits of her by Samuel De Wilde as Eliza in Riches and Albina Mandeville in The Will are in the Mathews collection at the Garrick Club.

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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.

Stephen Kemble
April 21 1758 to June 5 1822

Another of the many children of Roger Kemble who took up acting.

As his father before him, Stephen became a theater manager. The Theatre Royal, Newcastle from 1791 to 1806. He brought his famous family members from London and other notables to act upon its stage. With his sister Sarah Siddons staring, it made acing in the provinces respectable. His success in Newcastle and elevating the citizenry there in their appreciation of the arts, allowed him to also manage theaters in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Chester, Lancaster, Sheffield, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, Alnwick and circuit theaters for Durham, North Shields, Sunderland, South Shields, Stockton, and Scarborough. Also Northallerton, Morpeth, Broadway, Whitehaven, Paislie, Northampton, Birmingham, Dumfries, Portsmouth and Dundee.

In his role as manager he supported many leading actors careers, including family members like his nephew Henry, his brother Charles, his wife Elizabeth Satchell. And also such greats as Edmund Kean, John Phillip Kemble, Sarah Siddons, and Dorothea Jordan.


Stephen was also an actor and he was famous for playing Falstaff, the most famous comic role in the English Canon. After playing the role at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, it was noted with regret that he was so busy in the country that he could not continue to grace the London stage. After his death he was noted as the greatest performer of Falstaff. He played other roles as well, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, but with his brother John Phillip or Edmund Kean about, it would be hard to win greater acclaim. The way he chose to portray his characterizations were to address injustice.


As a member of the theater community, he also was a playwright. His The Northern Inn was also know as The Northern Lass, or, Days of Good Queen Bess, The Good Times of Queen Bess. He also had a collection of his writings published. Ods, Lyrical Ballads and Poems

He wrote of the Battle of Trafalgar, the death of Nelson, the death of Burns, and he became an abolitionist as well supporting the Slave Trade Act of 1807. He published a play called Flodden Field, which was performed to applause.


He retied to Durham in 1806 and lived their until his death in 1822. He made friends with a dwarf, Jozef Boruwlaski, and they are buried beside each other in Durham Cathedral. He had last performed just a two weeks before his death. When he died, the heyday of Durham theatre also ended.

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

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:

Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
George Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith
Horatio Nelson
Cuthbert Collingwood
Thomas Troubridge
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville

Zachary Macaulay

General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Sir William Hamilton
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Joshua Reynolds
Horace Walpole
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
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Scrope Davies
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
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
Edward Pellew
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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The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.

The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page

There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.

Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.

Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.

Amongst other royalty and notables will be:

        Maria Fitzherbert

        Lord Byron



        Lady Caroline Lamb

        Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

        Charles James Fox

        William Wilberforce

        Thomas Clarkson

        Hannah More

        Richard Brinsley Sheridan

        Edmund Kean

        John Phillip Kemble

        John Burgoyne

        Harriet Mellon

        Mary Robinson

        Wellington (the Military man)



        St. Vincent


        General Banastre Tarleton

        Henry Paget

        Stapleton Cotton

        Thomas Picton






        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

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III

George IV

William IV

Lady Hester Stanhope

Princess Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

Princess Caroline

Queen Adelaide

Today, the next personality of our period, Dorothea Jordan, mistress of William IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.

Dorothea Jordan

November 21st 1761 to July 5th 1816

This is my favorite of the mistresses of the sons of George III, for with ten children, this was a true marriage between successful people. Dorothea Bland was the daughter of a stagehand and an actress, theater people, and when thirteen, her father left her mother and four other siblings for another actress.


Dorothea thus went into the family business and became famous, known to have the most beautiful legs on stage of the day. There was no Mister Jordan, as the other ladies of the royals were married prior to catching a Prince. She did have an affair with the manager of the Theater Royal, Cork, Richard Daly and had a daughter when she was twenty, named Frances.


Then in England, she had an affair with an army Lieutenant named Charles Doyne. He proposed but she went to work for the theater company operated by Tate Wilkinson. This is when she took the name Mrs. Jordan. After Wilkinson, she had an affair with George Inchbald. She would have married Inchbald, but he did not ask. In 1786, she began an affair with Sir Richard Ford, who promised to marry her. They had three children together. When she realized that Ford was never going to wed her, she traded up to William.

She began her affair with William in 1791 and moved in with him at Bushy House.


They raised their ten children there for the next twenty years. Sounds like a marriage to me. While married she contented to act, and also made public appearances with the Duke. William had been rather sexually active in his youth but once with Mrs. Jordan he was dedicated to her, and then when he married Adelaide, he transferred his affections to his new wife. As an actress during this period she became a favorite of the public which included Jane and Cassandra Austen.

After twenty years Dorothea and William separated, William having to enter the Matrimonial Marathon and William gave her a yearly stipend. William and Dorothea’s eldest son George was made the 1st Earl of Munster, so that family can trace their roots to Dorothea.

Dorothea raised the girls and he took custody of his sons. For his dignity, he asked that she not return to the stage to continue to receive her stipend. When one of her son-in-laws came into debt and needed funds, she did return to the stage to raise the necessary monies. William then cut her off and took back care of their daughters.

Now broke, she fled to France in 1815 and died a year later in poverty. Her descendants include many of the famous. One is David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as of this posting.

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