Posts Tagged ‘Richard Arden 3rd Baron Alvanley’

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.

William Arden 2nd Baron Alvanley
8 January 1789 – 16 November 1849


William Arden

William Arden 2nd Baron Alvanley was the son of Richard Arden, 1st Baron Alvanley and Anne Wilbraham-Bootle. Initially pursuing a career as an officer in the British Army, purchased an ensigncy in the Coldstream Guards. He was promoted to captain in March 1809. He later transferred to the 50th (Queen’s Own) Regiment of Foot, and exchanged to the half-pay of the 100th Regiment of Foot on 1 September 1812. Due to his subsequent debts, he was forced to dispose of his half-pay on 10 June 1826. He later served in the Forest Troop, King’s Regiment of Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry, as a cornet, but resigned on 17 January 1840.

Lord Alvanley was a prominent Regency buck and member of the Prince Regent’s circle, and was friends with Beau Brummell. He was popular in society and regarded as wittiest man of his day. He, Brummell, Henry Mildmay, and Henry Pierrepoint were considered the prime movers of Watier’s club, dubbed “the Dandy Club” by Lord Byron. They were also the four hosts of the July 1813 masquerade ball at which the Prince Regent greeted Alvanley and Pierrepoint, but then “cut” Brummell and Mildmay by snubbing them, staring them in the face but not speaking to them. Brummell then said to Alvanley, “Alvanley, who’s your fat friend?”. The Prince Regent was not amused; this incident was the final and most public sign that Brummell was no longer favored by “Prinny”.

Alvanley continued to support Brummell, sending money to his friend during Brummell’s exile in France. In 1835, Alvanley fought a duel with Morgan O’Connell. According to a near contemporary report, “[Alvanley] went through the business with the most perfect sang froid, but on his way to the field he whimsically intimated a singular alarm. Having descended a hollow, ‘My Lord’, said he to his second, ‘you get me down well enough, but’, alluding to his full size, ‘should I fall, I do not know how the devil you will ever get me up again.'”

He had an extremely lavish lifestyle, funded by income generated by the estates that his father had bought. His prominent position in society also allowed him to float a line of credit. However, his debts became untenable and eventually his family estates had to be sold to pay them off. Underbank Hall in Stockport was sold by auction in 1823, most of the Bredbury estate was sold in lots in 1825, the Arden Hall mansion in 1833. He eventually resigned his membership of White’s. The death of George IV in 1830 saw Alvanley’s society position deteriorate, which was furthered hampered by his limited income. He occasionally contributed to debates in the House of Lords. He did not marry and had no children. On his death, the title went to his only brother, the Hon. Colonel Richard Arden.

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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.

Richard Arden 3rd Baron Alvanley
8 December 1792 – 24 June 1857

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Pepper Arden, 3rd Baron Alvanley was a British Army officer and peer.

He was the son of Richard Pepper Arden, 1st Baron Alvanley and Anne Dorothea (née Wilbraham-Bootle). As a young man, he was one of a circle of friends surrounding William Wilberforce.

On 19 March 1811, he purchased a cornetcy in the 15th Hussars. Promoted lieutenant on 3 October 1811, he served with the regiment in the Peninsular War from February 1813 to April 1814. Arden fought at the battles of Morales, Vittoria, Orthez and Toulouse and received the service medal for the latter three.

Arden was gazetted a captain in the 2nd Garrison Battalion on 26 April 1815, being unable to afford a captaincy in a cavalry regiment. Placed on half-pay, he later exchanged into the 32nd Regiment of Foot on 8 July 1819. He purchased a commission as major in the 84th Regiment of Foot on 4 October 1822, and an unattached lieutenant-colonelcy on 30 October 1823. On 1 June 1829, he exchanged from half-pay into the Coldstream Guards as a Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel. However, he sold out and retired from the army on 4 June 1829.

He married Lady Arabella Vane, youngest daughter of the 1st Duke of Cleveland, on 24 April 1831. On 16 November 1849 he succeeded to the title of Lord Alvanley on the death of his brother William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley. With no son to inherit the title, the Barony of Alvanley became extinct when he died.

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