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Posts Tagged ‘Sir James Lamb 1st Baronet’

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.

Mary Anne Burges
6 December 1763 – 10 August 1813

Mary Anne Burges was born in Edinburgh in 1763 to George and Anne Burges. Her father had distinguished himself at the Battle of Culloden by capturing the standard of Charles Edward Stewart and was later deputy paymaster in Gibraltar; Her mother, Anne Whichnour Somerville, was the daughter of James Somerville, 13th Lord Somerville.

Burges was a gifted linguist speaking five to seven European languages. Her particular interests were geology and botany. Her group of friends included Anne Elliot, Jean-André Deluc and the diarist Elizabeth Simcoe. She is said to have been a major contributor to Deluc’s last book and she sketched her friend Elizabeth Simcoe, as well as illustrating her own botanical descriptions.

She is known for anonymously publishing a sequel to John Bunyan’s best seller, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Her book was called The Progress of the Pilgrim Good-Intent, in Jacobinical Times. The hero of the narrative is “Good-Intent” and according to the book’s introduction he is the great, great grandson of John Bunyan’s hero, “Christian”. The book went through seven editions in English, two in Ireland and three in America by 1802. This established Burges as a professional and independent woman. She died in 1813 at her house in Ashfield in 1813.

An introduction by her elder brother, Sir James Lamb, 1st Baronet, to a later edition of her book revealed the identity of the book’s author. In 1814 the book was reissued with John Bowdler for another edition.

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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.

Sir James Bland Lamb 1st Baronet
8 June 1752 – 13 October 1824

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James Bland Lamb

Sir James Lamb 1st Baronet was born James Burges and known as Sir James Burges and born at Gibraltar. He was the only son of George Burges and Anne Whichnour Somerville. His mother was the daughter of James Somerville, 13th Lord Somerville. His father had distinguished himself at the Battle of Culloden by capturing the standard of Charles Edward Stewart and was later deputy paymaster in Gibraltar.

He went to Westminster School and then entered University College, Oxford in 1770 before studying law at Lincoln’s Inn in 1773.

Burges first served in Parliament as Member of Parliament for Helston from 1787 to 1790). He then served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1789 and 1795 before becoming a Baronet and Knight Marshal of his majesty’s household (1795) where he played an important role in the coronation of George IV.

Burges was an ambitious and productive writer. He was well established; being a friend of William Cumberland and John Graves Simcoe; and a patron of Thomas Dermody. He was connected by marriage to Lord Byron. He wrote music for Ode to the Passions by William Collins and wrote the prologue to Vortigern and Rowena (1796).

He exchanged poetry with royalty and wrote long poems. The Birth and Triumph of Love was published in 1796 and the 16,000 line poem was very poorly received. It was quoted as a project that was known for its lack of success. Despite the ignominy Burges still had a prestige and funds available where he could indulge his literary interests. He wrote an introduction for William Henry Ireland Shakespearian forgery and Thomas Dermody stole money from him. Burges continued to publish poetry and he had a play in Drury Lane. Despite being championed by Lord Byron, no other plays followed.

He wrote an introduction to a later edition of the Pilgrim’s Progress sequel, Progress of the Pilgrim Good-Intent in Jacobinical Times. In this introduction he revealed that the true author of the work was his gifted sister Mary Ann Burges.

Lamb married three times; his first marriage to Elizabeth Noel, second daughter of Edward Noel, 1st Viscount Wentworth in 1777 produced no children. His second marriage to Anne, third daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Montolieu, Baron of St. Hypolite produced the following children.

  • Charles Montolieu (1785–1864), 2nd Baronet.
  • Wentworth-Noel (b. 30 December 1792), an ensign in the Coldstream Guards, he was killed at the 1812 Siege of Burgos during the Peninsular War.
  • Somerville-Waldemar (b. 7 March 1794), an ensign in the 1st Foot Guards, lost a leg at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In 1821 he married Mademoiselle Melanie-Marianne Meray, daughter of Capt. Meray, of the French Army.
  • Clara-Maria (d. 4 February 1821).
  • Emilia-Charlotte, who married Major-General Sir Hugh Halkett on 25 May 1810.
  • Caroline-Eliza-Anne (d. 20 November l863).
  • Sophia-Anne (d.11 October 1858), who married Warburton Davies on 21 December 1821.
  • Julia-Octavia (d. 28 October 1826).

In 1812, Lamb married for the third time to Lady Margaret Fordyce, widow of Alexander Fordyce and daughter of James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres. The couple had no children.

  • Heroic epistle from Serjeant Bradshaw to John Dunning. 1780.
  • Considerations on the law of insolvency. 1783.
  • A letter to the Earl of Effingham. 1783.
  • Address to the country gentlemen of England. 1789.
  • Letters on the Spanish aggression at Nootka. 1790.
  • Narrative of the negotiation between France and Spain in 1790. 1790.
  • Alfred’s letters: a review of the political state of Europe. 1792.
  • The birth and triumph of love. 1796.
  • Richard the first: a poem in eighteen books. 2 vols, 1801.
  • The exodiad [with Richard Cumberland]. 1807, 1808.
  • Riches, or the wife and brother: a play. 1810.
  • Songs, duets, etc. in Tricks upon travellers, a comic opera. 1810.
  • Dramas. 2 vols, 1817.
  • The dragon knight: a poem in twelve cantos. 1818.
  • Reasons in favour of a new translation of the holy scriptures. 1819.
  • An inquiry into the procrastination attributed to the House of Lords. 1824.
  • Selections from the letters and correspondence, ed. Hutton. 1885.

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