Posts Tagged ‘William Bellenden-Ker 4th Duke of Roxburghe’

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.

John Ker 3rd Duke of Roxburghe
23 April 1740 – 1804


John Ker

John Ker 3rd Duke of Roxburghe was born in Hanover Square, London, on 23 April 1740, Ker succeeded his father to become the 3rd Duke of Roxburghe in 1755. During his Grand Tour in 1761 he fell in love with Christina Sophia Albertina, oldest daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. This would have been a perfect match of social equals. Shortly afterwards a younger sister, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, became engaged to King George III. It was considered bad etiquette for an elder sister to marry someone of lower rank than a younger sister. For whatever reason, both John Ker and Christina separated and remained single for the rest of their lives. If George III recognised the sacrifice that Ker had made, it was rewarded with a high position at court. He was Lord of the Bedchamber from 1767, was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1768. In 1796 he was appointed Groom of the Stole and made a Privy Counsellor. He was appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1801.

While in Italy, Ker saw a first edition of Boccaccio’s Decameron, often called the Valdarfers edition. This was a fabled book, which many said did not exist. He paid 100 guineas for it and showed it to his friends in London to huge acclaim. For the next 40 years he collected ancient and curious books, particularly editions of Shakespeare’s works and other works which merely mentioned Shakespeare. At his death in 1804 there were 10,000 items. Most were books, but there were also pamphlets and broadside ballad sheets. His library was auctioned in 1812, leading to the formation of the Roxburghe Club. His collection of ballads were later published as the Roxburghe Ballads.

He died unmarried and childless, and the titles Earl Ker and Baron Ker, which had been created for his father in 1722 in the Peerage of Great Britain, became extinct. His cousin William Bellenden, 7th Lord Bellenden succeeded to the dukedom and all of its other subsidiary titles.

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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.

Louisa Manners Tollemache 7th Countess Dysart
2 July 1745 – 22 September 1840


Louisa Manners Tollemache

Louisa Manners Tollemache 7th Countess Dysart was one of the daughters of Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart, the second of three to survive to adulthood. She and her elder sister, Jane, were educated at Mrs Holt’s School for Girls in South Audley Street, Mayfair.

The Countess married John Manners in 1765, the couple having eloped to Scotland from Ham House and Manners having thrown the key to the garden door back over the wall to prevent her from returning. At her father’s request the marriage was repeated at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

The couple lived most of their lives at Ham House, spending some time at the other Tollemache family seat at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk.
They had ten children:

  • William Tollemache, Lord Huntingtower
  • Hon. John Manners Tollemache of Portman Square, co. Middlesex, was authorised by royal licence, dated 6 April 1821, to take the surname of Tollemache instead of Manners, and bear the arms of Tollemache. Married, Mary, daughter of Captain Benjamin Bechinoe, R.N., and widow of William, fourth Duke of Roxburghe.
  • Hon. Charles Manners-Tollemache, of Market Overton, co. Rutland, and Harrington, co. Northampton; was authorised by royal licence, dated 6 April 1821, to take the surname of Tollemache. Married, first, Frances, only daughter of William Hay, of Newhall, and niece of George, seventh Marquess of Tweeddale; Second Gertrude Florinda, daughter of General William Gardiner (brother of Luke, Viscount Mountjoy), and widow of Charles John Clarke;
  • George, died an infant.
  • Elizabeth Louisa, died an infant.
  • Sophia, died an infant.
  • Catherine Sophia; married Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 4th Baronet M.P.
  • Maria Caroline, married James, Viscount Macduff, afterwards fourth Earl Fife, in the Peerage of Ireland, K.T.
  • Louisa Grace, married Aubrey Beauclerk, 6th Duke of St Albans
  • Laura, married, John William Henry Dalrymple, afterwards seventh Earl of Stair.

A portrait of Louisa by Sir Joshua Reynolds was engraved by V. Green, and another by Hoppner, as a peasant, has also been engraved. Hoppner’s portrait was sold at Messrs. Robinson and Fisher’s rooms for 14,050 guineas on 27 June 1901. This portrait originally belonged to Louisa’s daughter, Lady Laura Tollemache, from whom it passed to Louisa’s granddaughter, Maria, Marchioness of Ailesbury, and finally came into the possession of the latter’s daughter-in-law, the Lady Charles Bruce, by whose executors it was sold. Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Lady Louisa was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1794. Louisa was a notable patron of John Constable, entertaining him at Helmingham, Ham House and London residences at Pall Mall and in Picadilly. Constable’s letters make several references to Lady Dysart and he was evidently at ease with the family. Louisa employed his brother, Golding Constable, as gamekeeper at Helingham. Constable painted copies of Reynolds’ and Hoppner’s works, including a portrait of Louisa dated 1823. Others to derive works from Hoppner, Lawrence and Reynolds portraits of Louisa include Henry Bone, Charles Knight and Richard Smythe.

The death of John Manners 23 September 1792, when Louisa was aged forty-seven, bought the 30,000 acres (12,000 ha) of the Manners’ Buckminster estate into the Tollemache family. She succeeded her brother Wilbraham in the earldom of Dysart and barony of Huntingtower 9 March 1821, aged seventy-five, and on 13 March 1821 she, together with her only unmarried daughter, Laura, was authorised by royal licence to take and bear the surname and arms of Tollemache instead of Manners.

Increasing blind in her old age, Louisa died at Ham House, Surrey, 22 September 1840, aged 95, and was buried at Helmingham 8 October following. Not only did she survive her husband by more than half her lifetime, she outlived all of her children except her son, Charles. Her will was proved February 1841. She was succeeded by grandson, Lionel Tollemache, 8th Earl of Dysart, son of William, Lord Huntingtower.

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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.

William Bellenden-Ker 4th Duke of Roxburghe
20 October 1728 – 22 October 1805


William Bellenden-Ker
One of the seated gentlemen

        William Bellenden-Ker 4th Duke of Roxburghe was baptised on 20 October 1728 at Ashton under Hill, Gloucestershire, England. He was born on 20 October 1728. He was the son of William Bellenden and Jacomina Farmer.

He married Mary Bechinoe, daughter of Captain Benjamin Bechinoe and Susanna Smith, on 29 June 1789. He died on 22 October 1805 at age 77, without surviving issue.

He succeeded to the title of 7th Lord Bellenden of Broughton, in Midlothian [S., 1661] on 13 October 1797. He succeeded to the title of 4th Duke of Roxburghe on 19 March 1804.

On his death, the Lordship of Bellenden of Broughton became dormant.

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