Posts Tagged ‘Peter Burrell 1st Baron Gwydyr’

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.

Josceline Percy (Royal Navy Officer)
29 January 1784 – 19 October 1856

Josceline Percy was the fourth son of Algernon Percy, second Baron Lovaine of Alnwick and his wife Isabella Susannah Burrell.

Through his father he was the grandson of Hugh Percy, first duke of Northumberland, and through his mother the grandson of Peter Burrell of Beckenham, Kent. His maternal uncle was Peter, first Baron Gwydyr, and Henry Percy and William Henry Percy were his younger brothers.

Born with a twin brother Hugh, Percy’s first naval service began in February 1797, on Lord Hugh Seymour’s flagship HMS Sans Pareil. Next he served on HMS Amphion from 1801 to 1803 in the Mediterranean and – whilst in that theatre of war – transferred (with Nelson and Hardy) into HMS Victory. From there he was made HMS Medusa’s acting lieutenant (under Captain John Gore, who was later knighted) in August 1803, and his assistance in her capture of Spanish treasure ships on 5 October 1804 led to that commission being confirmed the following 30 April.

He moved to HMS Diadem sometime before 1806, for he was in that ship that year with Sir Home Riggs Popham during Cape Town’s capture and was promoted from it to his first independent command came on 13 January 1806, over the brig HMS Espoir. To reach that ship he was posted to the Dutch ship Bato, then thought to be in Simon’s Bay, but – finding the Bato destroyed and that the Espoir had already sailed back to England – he had no choice but to return to the Diadem. The French 46-gun frigate Volontaire arrived in Table Bay on 4 March (not knowing the British had captured the Cape), and was seized, commissioned into the Royal Navy, and put under Percy’s command, with orders to reach St Helena and head a convoy then returning to England. He also received confirmation of his two promotions of 1806, which were given the dates of 22 January and 25 September 1806 respectively. On arrival in England, he became the Tory Member of Parliament for Beer Alston, Devon (a ‘pocket borough’ of his father’s), a role he held until 1820.

He assisted at the occupation of Madeira by Sir Samuel Hood in 1807 (commanding the 22 gun HMS Comus). To meet the terms of the convention of Cintra, requiring all defeated French forces to be returned to France, he transported the French general Junot from Portugal to La Rochelle in 1808, during his captaincy of the 36 gun HMS Nymphe. He commanded the frigate HMS Hotspur along the coast of France (and later at Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires) from November 1810 to the end of 1815, when he sailed back to England.

Made a Companion of the Bath on 26 September 1831, on 23 November 1841 he was promoted to rear-admiral, acting as the Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope (November 1841-spring 1846) and Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness (June 1851-June 1854), having been promoted to vice admiral on 29 April 1851. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, The Nore in 1851.

On 9 December 1820, he married Sophia Elizabeth Walhouse (died 13 December 1875), daughter of Moreton Walhouse of Hatherton, Staffordshire, and sister of Lord Hatherton. One son and three daughters were born of the marriage. The only son Alan (1825–1845) died young; of the daughters

  • Sophia Louisa Percy (24 December 1821 Hatherton – 7 November 1908), author of Links with the Past married 7 July 1846 Col. Charles Bagot.
  • Emily Percy (12 September 1826 – 17 December 1919) married 17 July 1852, Gen. Sir Charles Lawrence d’Aguilar, G.C.B.
  • Charlotte Alice Percy (17 July 1831 – 26 May 1916) who in 1858 married her first cousin Edward Percy Thompson.

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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.

Priscilla Bertie 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby
16 February 1761 – 29 December 1828


Priscilla Bertie

Priscilla Bertie 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby was a daughter of the 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. On 23 February 1779, she married Sir Peter Burrell (later 1st Baron Gwydyr) and they later had two children. Through her grandmother Mary Wynn, Priscilla Bertie was a descendant of the Welsh princely house of Aberffraw.

On 8 July 1779, her brother, the 4th Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, died of scarlet fever at the age of 22 and his dukedom passed to his uncle, but his barony of Willoughby de Eresby, as well as the office of Lord Great Chamberlain, went into abeyance amongst Priscilla and her sister Georgiana Charlotte, the Countess of Cholmondeley. On 17 March 1780, however, the abeyance of the barony was terminated in Priscilla’s favour as the eldest sibling. The office of Lord Great Chamberlain remains divided.

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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.

Douglas Hamilton 8th Duke of Hamilton and 5th Duke of Brandon
24 July 1756 – 2 August 1799


Douglas Hamilton

Douglas Hamilton 8th Duke of Hamilton and 5th Duke of Brandon was born at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the son of the 6th Duke of Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth Gunning. He attended Eton from 1763 to 1767 and on the death of his brother in 1769, he succeeded to the title of Duke of Hamilton. He also inherited his mother’s title of Baron Hamilton of Hameldon when she died in 1790.

Between 1772 and 1776, he lived in Europe with Dr. John Moore and his son the future Sir John Moore, hero of Corunna. On his return, aged 21, he married the beautiful Elizabeth Anne Burrell (b 20 April 1757), fourth daughter of Peter Burrell, in London on 5 April 1778. The new Duchess was a sister of the future 1st Baron Gwydyr, the Countess of Beverley, and the future Duchess of Northumberland. Hamilton’s mother disapproved of the match, possibly because she had hoped for a better match for her handsome son. The Duchess of Argyll was of the opinion that ‘the daughter of a private gentleman, however accomplished, was not qualified to be allied to her’ even though she herself had been a mere Miss Gunning and Irish at that. The couple are portrayed in an affectionate pose, but they had no children in 16 years of marriage.

The Duke gradually sank into dissipation. In 1794, the couple eventually divorced, by Act of Parliament after 16 years of marriage. The Duchess initiated the divorce on grounds of his adultery with an actress Mrs Esten since 1793, but also previous adultery with an unnamed lady (Frances Twysden, wife of the Earl of Eglinton and sister of the Countess of Jersey) since 1787. Lord Eglinton had divorced his wife 6 February 1788 on grounds of her adultery with the Duke, after she had borne a child, possibly Lady Susannah Montgomerie (1788-1805) supposed to be the Duke’s. Thus, the Duchess could have used the Eglinton divorce to support her own case.

However, she did not, and used a later dalliance with a virtually unknown actress. The 1794 divorce is thus a curious one, and apparently one agreed on beforehand, according to Lawrence Stone in his book Alienated Affections: Divorce and Separation in Scotland 1684-1830. The Duke did not defend, and the Duchess obtained her divorce since she had left her husband a year earlier.

Curiously, neither party remarried after the divorce. The Duke died without remarrying, even though he apparently fathered an illegitimate daughter by his mistress the actress Harriet Pye Bennett (at the time called Mrs. Esten), in 1796. He is also credited with another child, born circa 1788, with Lady Eglinton.

The Duchess remarried one year after his death, to the 1st Marquess of Exeter (d 1804) as his 3rd wife. She had no children, and died 17 January 1837 .

Hamilton died in 1799, aged 43 at Hamilton Palace and was buried in the family mausoleum at Hamilton, Scotland. Without legitimate issue, his ducal title passed to his uncle, Archibald and his barony passed to his half-brother, George. The Duke however left the contents of Hamilton Palace to his illegitimate daughter by Mrs Esten, Anne Douglas-Hamilton, later Lady Rossmore (born c. 1796 – died 1844 without issue). The new Duke was forced to buy them back.

The Duke is also noted for being an early patron of the future Sir John Moore, hero of Corunna, whose parliamentary and military career was sponsored by the Hamiltons from 1779. The dance “Hamilton House” is also said to be named for the 8th Duke and his duchess, with the changes of partner echoing the infidelities of both. Finally, the Duke was the first Duke of Hamilton to be seated in Parliament as Duke of Brandon (a title in the Peerage of Great Britain that entitled him to a seat in the House of Lords, not as a Scottish Representative Peer).

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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.

Peter Burrell 1st Baron Gwydyr
16 June 1754 – 29 June 1820

Peter Burrell 1st Baron Gwydyr featured in English politics at the end of the 18th century but he was best known for his involvement in cricket, particularly his part in the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787. Burrell has been called the third most influential member of the White Conduit Club and of the early MCC, after George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea and Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. He was educated at Eton College and St John’s College, Cambridge.

The son of Peter Burrell, he was a well known political figure and, apart from a couple of years in the early 1780s, was an MP from 1776 to 1796. The highlight of his career was his role as Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain, jure uxoris, in the famous trial of Warren Hastings. Hastings had been the first Governor-General of India from 1773 to 1786 but in 1787 he was impeached and subsequently tried for corruption; but was acquitted in 1795.

The playing career of Sir Peter Burrell extends to just 9 known first-class matches from 1785 to 1790. He played for Kent in a couple of matches although he was a Londoner by birth and his family seat was in Sussex. He was a very useful batsman as indicated by his highest innings of 97 playing for White Conduit Club v Gentlemen of Kent at White Conduit Fields on Thursday, 30 June and Friday, 1 July 1785.

In 1779 he married Priscilla Bertie, 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby; they had two children.

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