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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charles Ingoldsby Burroughs-Paulet 13th Marquess of Winchester
27 January 1764 – 29 November 1843

Charles Ingoldsby Burroughs-Paulet 13th Marquess of Winchester was the eldest son of the 12th Marquess of Winchester and was educated at Eton and Clare College, Cambridge. After graduating, he served with the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards as an ensign from 1784–86, then sat in the Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Truro from 1792–96. He returned to the military in 1796 as a Lt.-Col. in the North Hampshire Militia and became Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1798. He also married Anne Andrews (daughter of John Andrews of Shotley Hall, near Shotley Bridge) on 31 July 1800 and they had seven children:

  • John Paulet, 14th Marquess of Winchester (1801–1887)
  • Lord Charles Paulet (1802–1870), a religious minister, married Caroline Ramsden firstly; remarried to Joan Granville
  • Lord George Paulet (1803–1879), an admiral, married Georgina Wood
  • Lord William Paulet (1804–1893), a field marshal, died unmarried
  • Lord Frederick Paulet (1810–1871), a soldier and equerry to the Duchess of Cambridge, died unmarried
  • Lady Annabella (d. 1855), married Rear-Admiral William Ramsden
  • Lady Cecilia (d. 1890), married Sir Charles des Voeux, 2nd Baronet

In 1812, Lord Winchester became Groom of the Stole to George III and continued as such under George IV and up until the death of William IV in 1837. When Queen Victoria came to the throne that year, the office was abolished. He was thus the last Groom of the Stole to the Sovereign — Prince Albert continued to have a Groom of the Stole, as did the Prince of Wales until the complete abolition of the office in 1901. On 8 August 1839, he added the name of Burroughs to his own, when he inherited the property of Dame Sarah Salusbury (née Burroughs), under the terms of her will. Lord Winchester died in 1843 and his titles passed to his eldest son, John.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck
3 October 1780 – 28 April 1826

Lieutenant-Colonel Lord William Charles Augustus Cavendish-Bentinck was the third son of British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portlandand Lady Dorothy, daughter of Prime Minister William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, and Lord William Bentinck were his elder brothers.

Bentinck was returned to Parliament for Ashburton in 1806, a seat he held until 1812. He served under the Earl of Liverpool as Treasurer of the Household between 1812 and 1826.

Bentinck married, firstly, Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour (baptized Elliott), daughter of the courtesan Mrs Grace Elliott on 21 September 1808; she was said to be a daughter of the Prince of Wales or of the 4th Earl of Cholmondeley, both men claiming her paternity. They had one daughter, who was raised after Georgiana’s death by Lord Cholmondeley, according to the entry on Grace Elliott. The marriage enabled Bentinck to become Treasurer of the Household in 1812, a position he held till death, despite his involvement in a notorious divorce suit and his subsequent remarriage.

In 1815 he eloped with his mistress, Lady Abdy, daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, and Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, and wife of Bentinck’s friend Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet. Lady Anne was divorced by her husband, and she and Bentinck were married on 16 July 1816. They had four children:

  • Anne Cavendish-Bentinck (d. 7 June 1888)
  • Emily Cavendish-Bentinck (d. 6 June 1850), married Henry Hopwood.
  • Reverend Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (1817–1865). He was a great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Lieutenant-General Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck (10 May 1819 – 11 December 1877). He married first Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed. They were parents of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland. He married secondly Augusta Browne and they had a daughter, Lady Ottoline Morrell.

Anne and Lord Charles became lovers at some point during her first marriage. They eloped on 5 September 1815, following which Abdy brought a suit for criminal conversation (crim.con. in Regency parlance) for 30,000 pounds but won only 7,000 pounds in damages. (These damages were never paid by the impecunious Bentinck). During the discussion of the divorce bill, the customary provision against remarriage was struck out in the House of Lords. Lady Abdy (or rather, her husband Sir William Abdy) was granted a divorce on 25 June 1816. Anne and Lord William were married on 23 July 1816, enabling their first child (which she was expecting) to be born legitimate three weeks later.

Bentinck died on 28 April 1826 at age 45. His wife survived him by almost 50 years and died in March 1875.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Erskine 1st Baron Erskine
10 January 1750 – 17 November 1823

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Thomas Erskine

Thomas Erskine 1st Baron Erskine was the third and youngest surviving son of Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan, and was born in a tenement at the head of South Grays Close on the High Street in Edinburgh. His older brothers were David (Lord Cardross and later the 11th Earl of Buchan) and Henry (later Lord Advocate of Scotland). His mother, Agnes Steuart, was the daughter of a solicitor general for Scotland and undertook much of her children’s education as the family, though noble, were not rich. The family moved to St Andrews, where they could live more cheaply, and Erskine attended the grammar school there. The family’s money having been spent on the education of his older brothers, Erskine, aged fourteen, reluctantly abandoned his formal education for the time being and went to sea as a midshipman. His family meanwhile moved to Bath to become members of the Methodist community headed by Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. One of Erskine’s sisters, Anne Agnes, was to become treasurer of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon’s charities.

Erskine went to sea as a midshipman in the Tartar, under captain Sir David Lindsay, who was a nephew of Lord Mansfield and a friend of the Erskine family. The Tartar set sail for the Caribbean, where Erskine was to spend the next four years, rising to the rank of acting lieutenant. When Erskine was eighteen he resigned from the Navy. His ship had been paid off, there were no commissions available, and he didn’t want to return to sea as a midshipman after having been an acting lieutenant. The 10th Earl of Buchan had recently died, and Erskine now had just enough money to buy a commission in the army, becoming an ensign in the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot. He was stationed first at Berwick and then on Jersey. On 29 March 1770 Erskine married Frances Moore at Gretna Green, against the wishes of her father, Daniel Moore who was member of parliament for Great Marlowe. Frances was the granddaughter of John Moore, who had been attorney general of Pennsylvania. Erskine’s regiment was then posted to Minorca, and Frances went with him. Before meeting Frances, Erskine had written about the qualities he was looking for in a bride: “Let then my ornament be far from the tinsel glare, let it be fair yet modest, let it rather delight than dazzle, rather shine like the mild beams of the morning than the blaze of the noon. I seek in my fair one a winning female softness both in person and mind”. Erskine appears to have found these qualities in Frances: she is described on her memorial in Hampstead Church as “the most faithful and affectionate of women”. The couple had four sons and four daughters.

While he was stationed in Jersey and Minorca, Erskine had on occasion preached sermons to his men, prompting one biographer to say that “a taste for oratory that ultimately would lead on to his true career originated in those soldier sermons”.

He also demonstrated his future skills as an advocate in a pamphlet entitled “Observations on the Prevailing Abuses in the British Army Arising from the Corruption of Civil Government with a Proposal toward Obtaining an Addition to Their Pay“.

Whilst on leave in London in 1772, the charming and well-connected young officer was able to mix in literary circles and met Dr Johnson. James Boswell, in his Life of Johnson, recalled meeting “a young officer in the regimentals of the Scots royal, who talked with a vivacity, fluency and precision so uncommon, that he attracted particular attention. He proved to be the Honorable Thomas Erskine, youngest brother to the Earl of Buchan, who has since risen into such brilliant reputation at the Bar in Westminster-hall”. Although Erskine was appointed a lieutenant in April 1773, he decided to leave the army and, with the encouragement of his family and Lord Mansfield, study for the Bar.

Erskine was admitted as a student of Lincoln’s Inn on 26 April 1775. He discovered that the period of study required before being called to the Bar could be reduced from five years to three for holders of a degree from Oxford or Cambridge universities. He therefore on 13 January 1776 entered himself as a gentleman commoner on the books of Trinity College, Cambridge where, as the son of an earl, he was entitled to gain a degree without sitting any examinations. He did however win the English declamation prize for an oration on the “glorious revolution” of 1688. At the same time, he was a pupil in the chambers of first Francis Buller and then George Wood. These were years of poverty for Erskine and his growing family: he installed Frances and the children in cheap lodgings in Kentish Town and survived on a gift of £300 from a relative, and the sale of his army commission. Jeremy Bentham, who knew Erskine at this time, described him as “so shabbily dressed as to be quite remarkable”.

In the summer of 1778 Erskine was awarded a degree and was called to the Bar on 3 July. While many newly qualified barristers, especially those without contacts to put briefs their way, took years to establish themselves, Erskine’s success was immediate and brilliant. His first case, that of Thomas Baillie, came to him by chance. The case involved the Greenwich Hospital for Seamen, of which Captain Baillie was lieutenant-governor. Baillie had uncovered abuses in the management of the hospital and, having failed to interest the directors and governors of the hospital or the lords of the Admiralty, he published a pamphlet and was then sued by the agents of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich who was first lord of the Admiralty and had been placing his agents in positions of authority in the hospital. Hearing of a newly qualified barrister who had himself been a seaman and was sympathetic to his cause, Baillie appointed Erskine to his team although he already had four counsel. Erskine was the most junior, but it was his brilliant speech that won the case and exonerated Baillie. Despite a warning from the judge, Erskine attacked Lord Sandwich calling him “the dark mover behind the scene of iniquity”. After his success in the Baillie case, Erskine had no shortage of work and a few months later was retained by Admiral Augustus Keppel in his court martial at Portsmouth. Keppel was acquitted and gave Erskine £1,000 in gratitude. For the first time in his life Erskine was financially secure.

In 1781 Erskine had his first opportunity to address a jury when he defended Lord George Gordon who had been charged with high treason for instigating the anti-Catholic riots of 1780. Erskine’s defence not only achieved Gordon’s acquittal but also dealt a blow to the English legal doctrine of constructive treason. The case established Erskine as the country’s most successful barrister. By 1783, when he received a patent of precedence, he had earnt enough to pay off all his debts and accumulate £8–9,000. He could afford a country house, Evergreen Villa, in Hampstead as well as a house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

In 1783, when the Fox-North Coalition came into power, Erskine entered parliament as Whig member for Portsmouth. Erskine’s friend Charles James Fox had been eager to have such a brilliant lawyer join the ranks of Whig members, but Erskine’s speeches failed to make the impact in parliament that they did in court. Erskine lost his seat the following year in the general election, becoming one of “Fox’s martyrs” when Pitt’s party made large gains, although he would regain the seat in 1790.

The loss of his parliamentary seat enabled Erskine to concentrate on his legal practice. In 1786, when he was thirty-six years old and had been practising at the Bar for only eight years, he was able to write: “I continue highly successful in my profession, being now, I may say, as high as I can go at the Bar. The rest depends on politics, which at present are adverse.” Amongst his notable cases in 1780s was his successful defence of William Davies Shipley, dean of St Asaph (and son of Jonathan Shipley) who was tried in 1784 at Shrewsbury for seditious libel for publishing Principles of Government, in a Dialogue between a Gentleman and a Farmer, a tract by his brother-in-law Sir William Jones advancing radical views on the relationship between subjects and the state. Erskine’s defence anticipated the Libel Act 1792, which laid down the principle that it is for the jury (who previously had only decided the question of publication) and not the judge to decide whether or not a publication is a libel.

In 1789 he was counsel for John Stockdale, a bookseller, who was charged with seditious libel in publishing John Logan’s pamphlet in support of Warren Hastings, whose impeachment was then proceeding. Erskine’s speech, which resulted in the Stockdale’s acquittal, argued that a defendant should not be convicted if his composition, taken as a whole, did not go beyond a free and fair discussion, even if selected passages might be libellous. Henry Brougham considered this to be one of Erskine’s finest speeches: “It is justly regarded, by all English lawyers, as a consummate specimen of the art of addressing a jury”.

Three years later he would, against the advice of his friends, take on the defence of Thomas Paine who had been charged with seditious libel after the publication of the second part of his Rights of Man. Paine was tried in his absence; he was in France. Erskine argued for the right of a people to criticise, reform and change its government; he made the point that a free press produces security in the government. But in this case his arguments failed to convince the special jury, who returned a verdict of guilty without even retiring.

Erskine’s speech is also remembered for a passage on the duty of barristers to take on even unpopular cases:

“I will for ever, at all hazards, assert the dignity, independence, and integrity of the English Bar, without which impartial justice, the most valuable part of the English constitution, can have no existence. From the moment that any advocate can be permitted to say that he will or will not stand between the Crown and the subject arraigned in the court where he daily sits to practise, from that moment the liberties of England are at an end.”

Erskine’s decision to defend Paine cost him his position as attorney-general (legal advisor) to the Prince of Wales, to which he had been appointed in 1786.

In 1794 William Pitt’s government, fearful of a revolution, decided to take action against people who were campaigning for parliamentary reform. Habeas corpus was suspended and twelve members of radical societies were imprisoned and charged with a variety of offences amounting to high treason. Erskine and Vicary Gibbs were assigned as counsel to seven of them. They were not paid for their services, as it was considered unprofessional to take fees for defending people charged with high treason. The treason trials began on 28 October before Lord Chief Justice Eyre at the Old Bailey with the trial of Thomas Hardy, a shoemaker and secretary of the London Corresponding Society. After eight days of evidence and speeches, including Erskine’s seven-hour speech on the final day, and several hours deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Erskine was hailed as a hero by the crowds outside who unharnessed his horses (which he never saw again ) and pulled his carriage through the streets. Although it was usual in cases where several people were jointly charged with high treason to discharge the rest if the first was acquitted, the government persisted with the trials of John Horne Tooke and John Thelwall. They too, defended by Erskine and Vicary Gibbs, were acquitted and it was only then that the prosecution was halted. A disappointed government had to scrap a further 800 warrants of arrest.

Notable amongst the later cases of Erskine’s career was that of James Hadfield, a former soldier who had fired a shot at the king in Drury Lane Theatre. The shot missed and Hadfield was charged with treason. Erskine called a large number of witnesses who testified to Hadfield’s sometimes bizarre behaviour, a surgeon who testified to the nature of the head injuries that Hadfield had sustained in battle, and a doctor, Alexander Crichton, who gave evidence that Hadfield was insane. Erskine argued that, although Hadfield could appear rational, he was in the grip of a delusion and could not control his actions. He summed up: “I must convince you, not only that the unhappy prisoner was a lunatic, within my own definition of lunacy, but that the act in question was the immediate unqualified offspring of the disease”. The judge, Lord Kenyon, was convinced by Erskine’s evidence and argument and stopped the trial, acquitted Hadfield and ordered him to be detained. The trial led to two acts of parliament: the Criminal Lunatics Act 1800 which provided for the detention of people who were acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity, and the Treason Act 1800.

In 1806 Erskine was offered the Lord Chancellorship in the Ministry of All the Talents formed by Lord Grenville and Charles Fox on the death of William Pitt. Fox’s original plan had been to offer Erskine the chief judgeship of the Common Pleas or the King’s Bench when one of the holders was elevated to Lord Chancellor. But both Lord Ellenborough, chief justice of the King’s Bench and Sir James Mansfield, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, declined the chancellorship. Erskine was therefore appointed although he had no experience in Chancery. He was created a peer to become Lord Chancellor. The Prince of Wales, who had inherited the Duchy of Cornwall, chose Erskine’s title, Baron Erskine of Restormel Castle, while the motto, “trial by jury” was Erskine’s own. Frances Erskine did not live to enjoy the title of Lady Erskine; she died a few weeks before her husband took the seals of office.

Although Erskine lacked experience in equity, only one of the judgements he made during his brief tenure as Lord Chancellor was appealed against and that, concerning Peter Thellusson’s will, was upheld. His handling of the impeachment of Lord Melville was generally admired. Along with Lords Grenville, Spencer and Ellenborough, Erskine was commissioned by the king to enquire into the morals of his daughter-in-law Caroline of Brunswick in what became known as the “delicate investigation”.

Erskine was Lord Chancellor for only fourteen months, having to give up the seals of office when the ministry of all the talents resigned over a disagreement with the king concerning the question of Catholic Emancipation. The king gave Erskine a week to finish pending cases, and Erskine took advantage of this to appoint one of his sons-in-law, Edward Morris, as master of Chancery.

As ex-chancellor, Erskine was not permitted to return to the Bar. He was awarded a pension of £4000 a year and remained a member of the House of Lords. He was only 57 when the ministry of all the talents fell, and hoped that he might return to office when the Prince of Wales became regent. In the event, however, the regent retained the ministry of Spencer Perceval and the Whigs would not be in power again until 1830, seven years after Erskine’s death. Erskine largely retired from public life, rarely speaking in the House of Lords. In 1818 he married for the second time. His bride was a former apprentice bonnet-maker, Sarah Buck, with whom he had already had two children. The couple travelled to Gretna Green for the marriage, with an angry adult son in hot pursuit. It was a tempestuous relationship, and the marriage ended in separation a few years later. In spite of his generous pension and the enormous sums he had earnt at the Bar, Erskine experienced financial difficulties in his later years, having to sell his villa in Hampstead and move to a house in Pimlico. He also bought an estate in Sussex, but his agricultural efforts were not a great success. He wrote a political romance, Armata, which ran to several editions.

Causes which Erskine took up in his retirement were animal rights, Greek independence, and the defence of Queen Caroline. He had always been an animal lover; amongst his favourite animals were a Newfoundland dog called Toss who used to accompany him to chambers, a macaw, a goose and two leeches. He introduced a bill in the House of Lords for the prevention of cruelty to animals, arguing that humanity’s dominion over them was given by God as a moral trust. It was the first time he had proposed a change in the law. The bill was accepted in the Lords but opposed in the Commons; William Windham arguing that a law against cruelty to animals was incompatible with fox-hunting and horse racing. Eventually the bill was introduced in the Commons and passed as statute 3 Geo 4 c71. When Caroline was being prosecuted for divorce Erskine spoke against the Bill of Pains and Penalties and, when the government dropped the bill, expressed his approval: “My Lords, I am an old man, and my life, whether it has been for good or evil, has been passed under the sacred rule of Law. In this moment I feel my strength renovated by that rule being restored”. He was invited to a public dinner in Edinburgh in February 1820, and made his first trip to Scotland since he had left it on the Tartar over fifty years before.

In 1823 Erskine set out by sea on another visit to Scotland with one of his sons, hoping to see his brother the Earl of Buchan. But he became ill with a chest infection on the journey and was put ashore at Scarborough. He managed to travel to the home of his brother Henry’s widow in Almondell in West Lothian, where they were joined by the earl. He died at Almondell on 17 November 1823 and was buried in the family burial-place at Uphall in Linlithgowshire. His widow survived him by over thirty years. She, as reports in the Times revealed, was reduced to poverty and had to rely on a small charitable allowance to survive. Even these meagre payments were withheld by Erskine’s executors when she tried to prevent them sending her son Hampden away to school, and she had to appeal to the lord mayor of London. She died in 1856.

Erskine’s first marriage produced four sons and four daughters:

  • David Montagu Erskine (1776–1855) was a member of parliament and diplomat;
  • Henry David (1786–1859) was Dean of Ripon;
  • Thomas (1788–1864) became a judge of the Court of Common Pleas;
  • Esmé Steuart (1789–1817) fought at the Battle of Waterloo where he lost an arm (his widow Eliza married Admiral James Norton, who also lost an arm in action).
  • Frances (d. 1859) married Samuel Holland, Precentor of Chichester and Rector of Poynings, Sussex (a grandson of Frances and Samuel was Thomas Erskine Holland the jurist);
  • Elizabeth (d, 1800) married her cousin Captain (later Sir) David Erskine, the illegitimate son of the 11th Earl of Buchan;
  • Mary (d. 1804) married lawyer Edward Morris.

With his second wife Erskine had one legitimate son, Hampden (b. 1821) and two children, Agnes and Erskine, born before the marriage.

Erskine’s eldest brother the 11th Earl of Buchan had no legitimate sons and was succeeded by a nephew, the son of Erskine’s brother Henry. When all Henry’s descendants in the direct male line died out in 1960 the seventh Baron Erskine (Donald Cardross Flower Erskine, Erskine’s great-great-greatgrandson) became the sixteenth Earl of Buchan.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Stanier Clarke
1766–4 October 1834

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James Stanier Clarke

James Stanier Clarke was the eldest son of Edward Clarke and Anne Grenfield, and brother of Edward Daniel Clarke, he was born on 17 December 1766 at Mahon, Minorca where his father was at the time chaplain to the governor. He was educated at Uckfield School and then at Tonbridge School under Vicesimus Knox. Matriculating at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1784, he did not complete a first degree.

Having taken holy orders, Clarke was in 1790 appointed to the rectory of Preston, Sussex. About the beginning of 1791 he was living in Sussex with his mother, taking in the refugee Anthony Charles Cazenove for half a year. In 1792 he was living at Eartham with William Hayley; Thomas Alphonso Hayley made a bust of him.

Clarke in February 1795 entered the Royal Navy as a chaplain; and served, 1796-9, on board the HMS Impetueux in the Channel fleet, under the command of captain John Willett Payne, by whom he was introduced to George, Prince of Wales. It was the end of his service afloat, after George appointed him his domestic chaplain and librarian.

In 1806, Clarke took the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at Cambridge, and in 1816 the further degree of Legum Doctor (LLD) was conferred on him per literas regias. George had him made historiographer to the king on the death of Louis Dutens in 1812. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society.

From 1815 for a short period Clarke was in contact with Jane Austen about her novel-writing: they were introduced by Austen’s friend the surgeon Charles Thomas Haden. Having shown Austen round the library at Carlton House in November, and arranged that George should have Emma dedicated to him, Clarke also made suggestions in correspondence for Austen’s future writing. These she mocked in the satirical manuscript Plan of a Novel, according to Hints from Various Quarters, not published in her lifetime.

Clarke was installed canon of Windsor, 19 May 1821; and was Deputy Clerk of the Closet to the king. The canonry came about by compromise between George IV (as George had become) and Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool the Prime Minister, in a clash over preferment for Charles Sumner. Under a deal struck, Sumner took on Clarke’s royal appointments.

Clarke died on 4 October 1834.

In 1798, Clarke published a volume of Sermons preached in the Western Squadron during its services off Brest, on board HM ship Impetueux (1798; 2nd edit. 1801). With John McArthur, a purser in the navy and secretary to Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood at Toulon, he started the Naval Chronicle, a monthly magazine of naval history and biography, which ran for twenty years. In 1803 he published the first volume of The Progress of Maritime Discovery, which was not continued. He issued in 1805 Naufragia, or Historical Memoirs of Shipwrecks (3 vols.). Its subtitle “of the Providential Deliverance of Vessels” reflects its traditional content, harking back to James Janeway.

In 1809, with McArthur, Clarke published his major work, the Life of Lord Nelson (2 vols.; 2nd edit. 1840). It mixed official and private letters, and made questionable use of its sources. Robert Southey criticised it destructively in the Quarterly Review, a culmination of his literary feud with Clarke that led also to Southey writing his own Nelson biography.

In 1816, Clarke published a Life of King James II, from the Stuart MSS. in Carlton House (2 vols.). The work contains portions of the king’s autobiography, the original of which is now lost; in the Dictionary of National Biography it was considered to be the work of Lewis Innes, where Clarke attributed it to his brother Thomas Innes. A modern scholarly view is that the work was written in two parts by different Jacobite courtiers, the first part (to 1677) being by John Caryll, the second by William Dicconson. David Nairne assisted Caryll.

Clarke also edited William Falconer’s The Shipwreck, with life of the author and notes (1804), which ran to several editions, and Lord Clarendon’s Essays (1815, 2 vols.).

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Royal Academy of Music
1822-

Royal Academy of Music was founded in 1822 and is Britain’s oldest degree-granting music school. It received a Royal Charter in 1830. It is a registered charity under English law.

The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas Bochsa. The Academy was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV in 1830

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Samuel Prout
17 September 1783 – 10 February 1852

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Samuel Prout

Samuel Prout was born at Plymouth, the fourth of fourteen children born to Samuel Prout Senior, a naval outfitter in the dockyard city, and Mary Cater. Attending Plymouth Grammar School he came under the influence of Headmaster Dr. John Bidlake who encouraged the young Prout and Benjamin Robert Haydon in their artistic apprenticeship. They spent whole summer days drawing the quiet cottages, rustic bridges and romantic watermills of the beautiful valleys of Devon. With John Britton, he made a journey through Cornwall to try his hand in furnishing sketches for Britton’s Beauties of England. In 1803 he moved to London, where he stayed until 1812. Marrying Elizabeth Gillespie in 1810, they had four children; Rebecca Elizabeth (b. 1813), Elizabeth Delsey (b. 1817), Isabella Anne (b. 1820), and Samuel Gllespie (b. 1822).

In London, Prout saw new possibilities, and endeavoured to correct and improve his style by studying the works of the rising school of landscape. To earn a living, he painted marine pieces for Palser the printseller, took students, and published drawing books for learners. He was one of the first to use lithography.

It was not however until about 1818 that Prout discovered his niche. Happening time to make his first visit to the Continent, and to study the quaint streets and market-places of continental cities, he suddenly found himself in a new and enchanting province of art. His eye caught the picturesque features of the architecture, and his hand recorded them with skill. The composition of his drawings was exquisitely natural; their colour exhibited “the truest and happiest association in sun and shade”; the picturesque remnants of ancient architecture were rendered with the happiest breadth and largeness, with the heartiest perception and enjoyment of their time-worn ruggedness; and the solemnity of great cathedrals was brought out with striking effect.

He established his reputation with these street scenes, and gained praise from his erstwhile student John Ruskin. Until Prout, says Ruskin, excessive and clumsy artificiality characterized the picturesque: what ruins early artists drew “looked as if broken down on purpose; what weeds they put on seemed put on for ornament”. To Prout, therefore, goes credit for the creation of the essential characteristics lacking in earlier art, in particular “that feeling which results from the influence, among the noble lines of architecture, of the rent and the rust, the fissure, the lichen, and the weed, and from the writings upon the pages of ancient walls of the confused hieroglyphics of human history”. Prout, in other words, does not unfeelingly depict signs of age and decay chiefly for the sake of interesting textures, but rather employs these textures and other characteristics of the picturesque to create deeply felt impressions of age nobly endured. Whilst often compared, neither Turner nor Prout were vulgar artists, and while Turner concentrated upon the infinite beauties of nature, Prout, more interested by the cityscape.

Prout was appointed the coveted title of ‘Painter in Water-Colours in Ordinary’ to King George IV in 1829, and afterwards to Queen Victoria.

At the time of his death there was hardly a place in France, Germany, Italy (especially Venice) or the Netherlands where his face had not been seen searching for antique gables and sculptured pieces of stone. He died after a stroke at his home, 5 De Crespigny Terrace, Denmark Hill, London and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery.

A large quantity of his original sketchbooks, lithographs, account books, letters and family materials are held at the North Devon Athenaeum, Barnstaple, Devon. The collection was sold at auction in 2010, and much was acquired by Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, adding to its existing holdings of his work.
Samuel Gillespie Prout followed in his father’s footsteps by also painting watercolours. Another member of the family, John Skinner Prout made a career for himself painting and writing books in Tasmania.

Writing:

  • Picturesque Delineations in the Counties of Devon and Cornwall T. Palser, London 1812.
  • Prout’s Village Scenery T. Palser, London 1813.
  • Rudiments of Landscape in Progressive Studies (R. Ackermann London, 1813)
  • Picturesque Studies of Cottages R. Ackermann 1816
  • Sketches of the Thames Estuary T Palser London 1817
  • Marine Sketches Rowney & Forster, London 1820.
  • Picturesque Buildings in Normandy Rodwell and Martin, London 1821.
  • Views in the North of England R. Ackermann 1821.
  • Studies from Nature Rodwell & Martin London 1823
  • Illustrations of the Rhine J. Dickinson 1824.
  • Views in Germany J. Dickinson 1826.
  • Interior and Exteriors Ackermann & Co 1834
  • Hints on Light and ShadowAckermann & Co 1838
  • Prout’s Microcosm Tilt & Bogue, London 1841.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Somerset Lowry-Corry 2nd Earl Belmore
11 July 1774 – 18 April 1841

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Somerset Lowry-Corry 2nd Earl Belmore

Somerset Lowry-Corry 2nd Earl Belmore was the only surviving son of Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore, and his first wife Lady Margaret Butler. In 1798, he was elected to the Irish House of Commons for Tyrone and represented the constituency until the Act of Union in 1801. Thereafter he was returned to the British House of Commons for County Tyrone, a seat he held until 1802, when he succeeded his father as earl.

In 1819 Lord Belmore was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Tyrone and elected as a Representative Peer for Ireland. He served as Governor of Jamaica from 1828 to 1832 and was also a colonel in the Tyrone Militia.

He inherited from his father the magnificent house at Castle Coole in County Fermanagh, along with considerable debts. Nonetheless he furnished the house and its classical interiors designed by James Wyatt in an exuberant Regency fashion between 1802 and 1825. Elaborate curtains and pelmets, pier glasses, “Grecian” couches and a magnificent state bed designed to accommodate King George IV on his state visit to Ireland in 1821 (although the king did not make it as far as Castle Coole, much to the disappointment of the earl) were all supplied by the Dublin upholsterer John Preston at a total cost of around £35,000. Lord Belmore also commissioned Sir Richard Morrison to build a new stable block in 1817.

Lord Belmore bought the captured James Madison and had her converted from schooner to brig rig. He also renamed her Osprey, of Killybegs in Donegal, armed her with fourteen 9-pounder carronades, and arranged for her to have a letter of marque.

Around 1817, Lord Belmore used Osprey for a family cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean. Her captain was Lord Belmore’s brother, Captain Armar Lowry-Corry, RN. The party included Belmore’s wife, the Countess Juliana, their two sons, their lapdog Rosa, the family doctor, Dr. Robert Richardson, M.D. (Edinburgh), and the vicar, Mr. Holt. They visited Malta, Sicily, Italy, the Ionian Islands, Greece, Rome, and Alexandria. They also sailed up the Nile as far as Luxor in three local boats.

Lord Belmore apparently had two hobbies in Egypt. One was collecting antiquities. To that end he sponsored some of Giovanni Battista Belzoni’s excavations in Egypt with the result that tomb KV30, in the Valley of the Kings, is known as Lord Belmore’s tomb. These excavations were the source of some of Lord Belmore’s collection of Egyptian antiquities, such as the sarcophagus that is now in the British Museum.

Lord Belmore’s other hobby was carving his name on Egyptian antiquities. In his desire to commemorate his travels, Belmore carved his name into a stone at the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Ramesseum (the mortuary temple of Ramses II), and on the side of the Temple of Dendur, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Corry also carved his name on a pillar of the temple of Medinet Habu at Luxor. After Egypt, the family traveled to Palestine and visited Jerusalem.

In 1819 when the family was done with their cruise, Belmore sold Osprey to the King of Naples and the family returned home.

On 20 October 1800 Somerset married his cousin Lady Juliana Butler (20 September 1783 –22 July 1861), second daughter of Henry Butler, 2nd Earl of Carrick by his wife Sarah Taylor, second daughter and co-heiress of Edward Taylor, of Askeaton, County Limerick, and had issue:

Lord Belmore died at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire on 18 April 1841 aged sixty-six and was succeeded by his eldest son.

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