Posts Tagged ‘Four-in-Hand Club’

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 John Lade
September 5 1762-October 18 1831


Sir John Lade

Sir John was the posthumous child of the first Baronet. His mother was a sister of Henry Thrale, the Brewer and husband of Hester Thrale. Sir John inherited a vast fortune which was also from brewing. While being raised, Samuel Johnson was consulted regularly but found Sir John lacking in intellect. “Endeavour, Madam, to procure him knowledge; for really ignorance to a rich man is like fat to a sick sheep, it only serves to call the rooks about him.” is the advice that was given to the boys mother, Lady Lade.

Lade inherited control of his fortune when he turned 21 and Johnson wrote the poem:

“Long-expected one-and-twenty
Ling’ring year, at length is flown
Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty
Great Sir John, are now your own.
Loosen’d from the minor’s tether,
Free to mortgage or to sell.

Wild as wind, and light as feather
Bid the sons of thrift farewell…..
Lavish of your grandsire’s guineas
Show the spirit of an heir.

Sir John now lost large amounts of money at gambling and the races. He also became a remarkable judge of horseflesh. He discovered and owned Medley which was the most important horse of the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Lade dressed in riding clothes at all times. He was nicknamed ‘Jehu’ and considered the finest driver as the time as well. A founding member of the Four-In-Hand Club. He even is credited with the simple know (for his cravat) He drove a team of six greys, unless with the Prince Regent and then they had a team of six matched bays.

HIs betting was famous. A thousand guineas or one. His phrase of when he paid his debts, “Black Monday” is now accepted in the common vernacular as day when fortunes are lost.


Lady Letitia Lade

He met a woman named Letitia Derby who worked the brothels of Drury Lane. She was the mistress of Sixteen String Jack Rann, a highwayman. After he was hanged, she became the mistress of the Duke of York. But she and Lade had much in common with their abilities and love of horses. They were married in 1787. Lade was also friendly with Rann for they both liked the races, and Rann had been a coachman for Hester Thrale’s sister.

Letitia was a favorite of George IV. Her use of profanity was well documented and it became common to say he swears like Lady Lade. Johnson though so many years before had proven correct for Lade lost all his fortune and even ended up for sometime in debtor’s prison. Prinny though did right by his friend and gave the man a pension of three hundred pounds a year (which was raised to four hundred and then five hundred a year.) Eventually they faded from court. Letitia died in 1825, and Sir John retired to live om his stud farm, dependent still on the generosity of George and his successors.

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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 Sefton William Philip Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton
September 18 1772-November 20 1838


The Earl of Sefton is the first on the left

The only son of the 1st Earl of Sefton and a grandson of the Earl of Harrington, in 1792 he married Maria Craven, daughter of the 6th Baron Craven. She, Lady Molyneux was a patroness of Almack’s. His mother was one of the founding patronesses. They had ten children, four sons, six daughters. He became the Earl in 1795.

He was educated at Eton and Oxford. He was MP for Droitwich between 1816-1831 (The Earl of Sefton was an Irish peerage.) He was created Baron Sefton of Croxteth in 1831 and this was a Peerage of the United Kingdom and now he entered the House of Lords.

Sefton was a member of the Prince Regent’s set. He was a gambler and sportsman. He was the third Master of the Quorn (1800-1805) a famous hunt. He founded the Waterloo Cup for coursing at Altcar. Sefton leased the land at Aintree to the Waterloo Hotel which established the Aintree Racecourse, home of the Grand National Steeplechase.

In his set, he was known as Lord Dashalong and was a founder of the Four-in-Hand club which races their carriages through the streets of London. Another member was Lord Worcester, later the sixth Duke of Beaufort. Sefton was also the half-uncle of Maria Fitzherbert, the wife of the Prince Regent and it was Sefton and his countess who sponsored Maria in London society.

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