Posts Tagged ‘William Montagu 5th Duke of Manchester’

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.

George Hay 8th Marquess of Tweeddale
1 February 1787 – 10 October 1876


George Hay 8th Marquess of Tweeddale

George Hay 8th Marquess of Tweeddale was a Scottish soldier and administrator. He served as a staff officer in the Peninsular War under Arthur Wellesley and was with Wellesley at the Second Battle of Porto when they crossed the Douro river and routed Marshal Soult’s French troops in Porto. Hay also saw action at the Battle of Bussaco and at the Battle of Vitoria. He later served in the War of 1812 and commanded the 100th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Chippawa when he was taken prisoner of war. He went on to become Governor of Madras and, at the same time, Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, in which role he restored the discipline of the army, which had been allowed to fall into a relaxed state.

Born the eldest son of George Hay, 7th Marquess of Tweeddale and Lady Hannah Maitland (a daughter of James Maitland, 7th Earl of Lauderdale), Hay was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh and commissioned as an ensign in the 52nd Light Infantry in June 1804. After succeeding to his father’s title as Marquess of Tweeddale in August 1804, he was promoted to lieutenant on 12 October 1804 and, having received his first training under Sir John Moore at Shorncliffe, he served as an aide-de-camp in Sicily in 1806. He transferred to the Grenadier Guards with the rank of lieutenant in the regiment and captain in the Army on 12 May 1807.

Hay served as a staff officer in the Peninsular War under Arthur Wellesley. Hay was with Wellesley at the Second Battle of Porto in May 1809 when they crossed the Douro river in a daylight coup de main and routed Marshal Soult’s French troops in Porto. He was deputy assistant quartermaster general and was wounded at the Battle of Bussaco in September 1810 and, having been promoted to major in the 41st Regiment of Foot, he was assistant quartermaster general at the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813. He was immediately promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Hay also served in the War of 1812 and commanded the 100th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Chippawa in July 1814. As the redcoats of the 1/1st (Royal Scots) Foot and 100th Regiments moved forward, their own artillery had to stop firing in order to avoid hitting them. Meanwhile, the American gunners switched from firing roundshot to firing canister, with lethal consequences for the British infantry. Once the opposing lines had closed to less than 100 yards apart, General Winfield Scott of the United States Army advanced his wings, forming his brigade into a “U” shape which allowed his flanking units to catch the British advancing troops in a heavy crossfire. Hay made an attempt to fight to the death but was taken prisoner of war by the Americans. He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1815. After the War he returned to Scotland and improved his family estate at Yester. From 1818 to 1820 he served as Pro-Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He was elected a representative peer for Scotland in July 1818, appointed Knight of the Thistle in 1820 and became Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian in February 1823. He was also promoted to colonel on 27 May 1825 and to major-general on 10 May 1837. Meanwhile, on his estate, he developed an improved method of making tiles for draining which was patented in October 1839.

In 1842 Hay returned to public service when he was appointed Governor of Madras and also, by special arrangement of the Duke of Wellington, Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army. In that role he restored the discipline of the army, which had been allowed to fall into a relaxed state. Promoted to lieutenant general on 9 November 1846, he retired from active service and returned to his estate in Scotland again in 1848. He was promoted to full general on 20 June 1854 and invited to join a Royal Commission established in July 1858 to inquire into the organization of the army then serving under the East India Company. He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 9 November 1862 and to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 13 March 1867 before being further promoted to field marshal on 29 May 1875.

Hay also served as colonel of the 30th Regiment of Foot, then of the 42nd Regiment of Foot and finally of the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards. A strong man, he once drove the mail coach from London to Haddington without a halt or a rest. He died, following injuries sustained during a fire at his home, at Yester House on 10 October 1876 and was buried in the family burial vault at the Church of St. Cuthbert at Yester in Scotland.

In 1816 he married Lady Susan Montagu, a daughter of the 5th Duke of Manchester: they had six sons and eight daughters:

  • Lady Susan Georgiana Hay (13 Mar 1817 – 6 May 1853), married the 1st Marquess of Dalhousie and had issue
  • Lady Hannah Charlotte Hay (12 Apr 1818 – 10 November 1887), married Simon Watson Taylor and had issue
  • Lady Louisa Jane (29 Jul 1819 – 9 September 1882), married Robert Ramsay and had issue
  • Lady Elizabeth (27 September 1820 – 13 August 1904), married the 2nd Duke of Wellington
  • George, Earl of Gifford (22 April 1822 – 22 December 1862)
  • Lady Millicent (1823–1826), died young
  • Lord Arthur, later Earl of Gifford and later 9th Marquess of Tweeddale (9 November 1824 – 29 December 1878)
  • Lord William Montagu, later 10th Marquess of Tweeddale (27 January 1826 – 25 November 1911)
  • Lord John (23 August 1827 – 4 May 1916)
  • Lady Jane (1830 – 13 December 1920), married Sir Richard Taylor and had issue
  • Lady Julia (1831–1915)
  • Lord Charles Edward (1833–1912)
  • Lord Frederick (1835–1912)
  • Lady Emily (1836 – 4 April 1924), married Sir Robert Peel, 3rd Baronet and had issue

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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.

Jane Gordon Duchess of Gordon
1748 or 1749 – 14 April 1812


Jane Gordon

Jane Gordon Duchess of Gordon was the fourth child of Sir William Maxwell, 3rd Baronet of Monreith, and his wife Magdalene Blair. She was born at Myrton Castle the now ruined castle a short distance from the present seat of the family, Monreith House, which was not built until fifty years later.

Her father has been depicted as a drunk who allowed his family to exist in poverty in Edinburgh while he sold most of his 30,000-acre (12,000 ha) estate to make ends meet. In Edinburgh Jane lived together with her mother and her two sisters in a rented second-floor flat in Hyndford’s Close near Royal Mile. As for the family living in an Edinburgh apartment, that would have been normal at that time. Titled Scottish land owning families often rented apartments in Edinburgh so their girls could receive further education, be launched on Edinburgh Society, and attend the balls. This is exactly what happened when Lady Maxwell moved there in 1760 with her three daughters: Catherine, 13; Jane, 11; and Eglantine, 9, the future Lady Wallace of Craigie.

The Monreith Maxwells would have been considered a respectable family in that era. They were closely related to the Maxwells at Caerlaverock, Earls of Nithsdale who in the 17th Century had been considered one of the most powerful families in Scotland. And their grandmother was the daughter of the 9th Earl of Eglinton, head of the great Ayrshire land owning family and distinguished Member of Parliament.

Jane had a nasty accident as a 14 year-old when playing in the High Street in Edinburgh. She somehow got a finger of her right hand jammed in the wheel of a cart which moved away and tore her finger off. There is at Monreith House a letter written, left handed, by her after the accident explaining how it happened. After this, whenever possible, she wore gloves in which a wooden finger replaced the one missing. One of these wooden fingers is still at Monreith House. In later life she used to explain the loss of the finger by saying it was a coaching accident.

When Jane reached 16, she was so strikingly beautiful that a song was written about her: “Bonnie Jennie of Monreith, the Flower of Galloway”. That was also when she fell in love for the first and probably only time. The object of her affections was a young officer who was probably a Fraser, a relative of Lord Lovat. Soon after they met, he left with his regiment, probably to go to America, and word later reached her that he had died.

On 28 October 1767 Jane married the 24-year-old Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon. The young Duke lived in the Gordon townhouse almost opposite the Maxwells, and he had inherited a considerable fortune and the title at the age of nine.

It was while they were on honeymoon at the Fordyce’s country seat, Ayton in Berwickshire, that she received a note from her former love, the young Fraser, very much alive, asking her to marry him. She is said to have read the note and fainted. However, she kept in touch with the young Fraser.

For the next 20 years, the Duke and Duchess lived at Gordon Castle in Morayshire which Jane’s husband enlarged to be one of the largest homes in Scotland—with a facade 600 feet long and an 84 foot high central tower. Part of the town of Fochabers had to be demolished and rebuilt elsewhere tomake room for the extensions. However, years later most of the enlargements were dismantled again.

At Gordon Castle, Jane organised parties, planted trees, and took a keen interest in farming. She was a great enthusiast for local dancing and fiddle and pipe music. She is credited with establishing the Strathspey as a dance form.

The couple had seven children. Her first son, George, Marquess of Huntly, the later George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon was born in 1770. The Duke also had an illegitimate son at about the same time, also called George, by a Mrs. Christie. Jane used to refer to “my George and the Duke’s George”.

Jane entertained on an increasingly lavish scale, with as many as 100 sitting down to dinner and guests staying for three months in the Castle. And in the 1780s, the Duchess started entertaining in Edinburgh, quickly becoming the leading hostess. Jane was the sole arbitress of fashion in Edinburgh. Horace Walpole called her the “Empress of fashion”. She regularly gave soirée evenings where up and coming artists were asked to entertain. It was in her drawing room that Robert Burns first read his poetry to Edinburgh society, and she became his chief sponsor, purchasing all his early published works.

In 1787 the Duke and the Duchess of Gordon moved to London. They first rented a house on Downing Street from Lord Sheffield, then one in Pall Mall from the Marquess of Buckingham, and finally one in St. James’s Square. And Jane continued her party-giving habit, but with a distinctly Scottish flavour. She made everyone dance Scottish dances. King George III adored her, and she supported the King, so she was allowed to promote her Scottish heritage more than others would have dared. She gave a ball at which she and the Duchess of York dressed in tartan when it was officially banned, and she arranged for the King to inspect troops dressed in tartan in Hyde Park.

It was in the Pall Mall house that she held her greatest parties. Close to Parliament in Westminster, she kept open house for the Tories. Pitt, the Prime Minister, and Dundas, the Lord Advocate were frequent visitors. And it was during this time that she arranged a truce between the King and his eldest son, the Prince Regent, whose had run up enormous debts. She arranged for his debts to be met, and this enabled the construction of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton to be continued.

In 1793, the French Revolutionary Government declared war on Great Britain. At that time the British army was short of recruits, since the military service was not very popular among the young men. As a consequence the Government asked Jane’s husband, the Duke of Gordon, to raise another regiment. The outcome of this was a bet between Jane and the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. Jane bet with the Prince Regent that she could raise more men than he, meaning the Government. Although 45 by then, she was still extremely attractive. Her recruiting technique was, to say the least, unusual. She wore a military uniform and a large black feathered hat (highland bonnet), touring Scotland to organise reels. Anyone who joined the reel joined the army and received the King’s shilling, the recruiting payment, from between the Duchess’ lips by kissing her. This was how the Gordon Highlanders were founded. Her total was 940 men. On 24 June 1794, the newly embodied regiment paraded for the first time at Aberdeen. The regiment existed until 1994.

In 1799, Jane became depressed and ill. Her eldest son, George, the later George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon, had gone off to the wars, and she wrote in a letter to a friend: “Oh where and oh where has my highland laddie gone?” Her second son, Alexander (1785–1808), died at 23, and her husband had moved his mistress, Jane Christie, into Gordon Castle and built a small house on the Spey, called Kinrara, for his estranged wife. Jane lived there for the next six years, continuing her entertaining and partying.

Having enjoyed life as a Duchess, Jane was determined to get her daughters well married, and she set out securing suitable husbands for them. In 1802, after the Peace of Amiens, she took her younger daughter, Georgiana (1781–1853), to Paris with a view to marrying her to the son of the Empress Joséphine, Eugène de Beauharnais. This would not have been popular so soon after hostilities, but nothing came of it. A short time later, Georgiana was reputed to be friendly, if not engaged, to Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, but he died before they could marry. Jane then arranged a meeting with the Duke’s younger brother John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford who had inherited the title and recently been widowed with several children. All went as planned, and he soon married his late brother’s fiancée on 23 June 1803 in London. Georgiana had ten children by the Duke, and she followed in her mother’s partying footsteps, entertaining frequently in her Bedford home, Woburn Abbey. The Duchess of Bedford was a great patroness of the arts, and had a long standing relationship with the painter Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

Jane then turned to finding a husband for Charlotte (1768–1842), the eldest daughter. She plotted to have her marry William Pitt, the Prime Minister, but her plan failed when Pitt’s close friend, Lord Henry Dundas, took an interest in Charlotte. Neither potential husband worked out, and Charlotte later married on 9 September 1789 at Gordon Castle Colonel Charles Lennox, the future 4th Duke of Richmond.

General Cornwallis had returned to England from his disastrous command of the British troops during the American Revolution to be, rather surprisingly, treated as a hero and created a Marquess. Having fought with Jane’s brother at Plessey in India as well as in the American war, he would have been a friend of Jane’s. So his eldest son, Lord Brome, was therefore considered suitable for Louisa (1776–1850), the fourth daughter. Cornwallis refused to approve the marriage, however, citing madness in the Gordon family. The Duchess allayed his fears by swearing that there was “not one drop of Gordon blood” in this particular daughter. The marriage then proceeded on 17 April 1795 in London. History does not relate who Louisa’s natural father was, but it is thought to have been Captain Fraser, her early love from Edinburgh.

Susan (1774–1828), the third daughter, married on 7 October 1793 in Edinburgh to William Montagu, 5th Duke of Manchester, and Madeleine (1772–1847), the second daughter, married firstly on 2 April 1789 in London to Sir Robert Sinclair, 7th Baronet. On 25 November 1805 she married secondly at Kimbolton Castle to Charles Fysche Palmer.

Jane’s own marriage had been more of less an arrangement from the beginning. The return from the dead of her lover during the honeymoon was an inauspicious start. The Duke having an illegitimate son by Jane Christie at the same time as his heir was born was an unfortunate sequence, to be followed by the birth of her illegitimate daughter a few years later. The Duke openly kept his mistress at Gordon Castle while the Duchess seems to have preferred assignations with her lover on the windswept moors.

By 1805, the marriage was officially over, and the couple reached a financial agreement whereby the Duchess would be given a new house, capital payments, and generous annual supplements. The Duke was by then in financial difficulties, however; he acknowledged his liability to the Duchess, but he did not pay all the monies legally due her.

Jane was reduced to living in hotels, and she became increasingly eccentric. She was involved in an acrimonious dispute with her estranged husband over money, and she died in 1812 at Poultney’s Hotel, Piccadilly, London, surrounded by her four daughters and surviving son. Her body was taken north to be buried at the old Celtic Chapel by the banks of the Spey at Kinrara. There her husband carried out her final wish and erected a monument to her on which were recorded the marriages of her children.

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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.

George Montagu 6th Duke of Manchester
9 July 1799 – 18 August 1855


George Montagu

George Montagu 6th Duke of Manchester known as Viscount Mandeville from 1799 to 1843, was a British peer and Tory Member of Parliament.

Manchester was the son of William Montagu, 5th Duke of Manchester. His father, who was Governor of Jamaica, had the newly founded town of Mandeville, Jamaica named after his eldest son, who, as was customary, carried the title of Viscount Mandeville before he succeeded to his father’s title. He was MP for Huntingdonshire 1826–1837.

He married, firstly, Millicent Sparrow (25 January 1798 – Kimbolton Castle, 21 November 1848), daughter of Brig. Gen. Robert Bernard Sparrow of Brampton Park, Huntingdonshire (d. 1805), and wife (married on 14 March 1797) the Hon. Olivia Acheson (d. 12 February 1863), daughter of the 1st Earl of Gosford, on 8 October 1822 at London. They had four children:

  • William Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester (1823–1892)
  • Lord Robert Montagu (1825–1902), married Ellen Cromie and Elizabeth Wade and had issue.
  • Lord Frederick Montagu (5 October 1828 – 29 October 1854), who died unmarried and without issue
  • Lady Olivia Montagu (18 July 1830 – Greystones, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 15 February 1922 and interred at Chillingham on 20 February 1922), married at Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire, 29 January 1850 Charles Bennet, 6th Earl of Tankerville, and had issue.

He married, secondly, Harriet Sydney Dobbs (4 December 1834 – Ore, Sussex, 20 May/30 May 1907), daughter of Conway Richard Dobbs of Castle Dobbs, Antrim, Ireland, and wife, on 29 August 1850 at Kilroot, County Antrim, later remarried without issue on 16 December 1858 to Sir Stevenson Arthur Blackwood, and had two children:

  • Lady Sydney Charlotte Montagu (14 October 1851 – Keithhall, Inverurie, Aberdeen, 21 September 1932), married at St. George, Hanover Square, London, 14 August 1873 Algernon Hawkins Thomond Keith-Falconer, 9th Earl of Kintore
  • Lord George Francis Montagu (18 January 1855 – 12 March 1882), a Lieutenant who died unmarried and without issue

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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 Montagu 5th Duke of Manchester
21 October 1771 – 18 March 1843


William Montagu

(Note picture is copyrighted by Oxford University Press)

William Montagu 5th Duke of Manchester was the eldest surviving son of George Montagu, 4th Duke of Manchester, and Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Baronet. He was educated at Harrow and then served in the British Army, achieving the rank of colonel in 1794.

Manchester was Governor of Jamaica from 1808 to 1827, and prepared the colony for the emancipation of slaves. In 1815 he dealt with the aftermath of the destruction of Port Royal by fire and of the plantations by a hurricane. He showed great administrative ability during the panic which prevailed in the colony following an insurrection of slaves in Barbados, and by his personal influence pacified the Jamaica slaves. The colony gratefully voted him an addition to his personal establishment. In 1816 he risked his popularity with the planters by vigorously supporting a bill for the registry of slaves, in accordance with the recommendation of the imperial government.

In 1820 Manchester was thrown from his carriage and fractured his skull. The assembly voted 500 guineas to the surgeons who attended him. After recuperating in Europe, Manchester returned in 1822, and the last years of his administration were marked by the introduction of measures preparatory to the emancipation of the slaves, which the planters solidly resisted. The Jamaica government was called upon by the Colonial Office to abolish Sunday markets, to forbid the carrying of whips, and to exempt women from flogging. All these reforms were carried out with great difficulty. In 1824 there was a slave insurrection in the west of the island, and a plot was apparently discovered for the massacre of the white inhabitants in the north and east. The assembly rejected a bill allowing slaves to give evidence, but Manchester succeeded in securing a temporary measure to be in operation for five years. In this form, however, the law was vetoed by the home government, but before the imperial decision was known a conviction for murder was obtained by the evidence of slaves given under the temporary law. In the midst of the consequent confusion Manchester finally left Port Royal on 2 July 1827.

Soon after his return to England Manchester was appointed postmaster-general in the duke of Wellington’s ministry. He voted with his leader on Catholic emancipation, but against the Reform Bill in the House of Lords. He also voted for Lord Lyndhurst’s motion to postpone the disfranchisement clauses.

Manchester married Lady Susan, third daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, on 7 October 1793. They had eight children:

  • Lady Jane Montagu (1794–1815).
  • George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester (1799–1855).
  • Lord William Francis Montagu (1800–1842), married Emily, third daughter of James Du Pre.
  • Lady Georgiana Frederica Montagu (1803–1892), married Evan Baillie and had issue.
  • Lady Elizabeth Montagu, married Thomas Steele and had issue, including Thomas Montagu Steele
  • Lady Susan Montagu (c. 1801–1870), married George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale and had issue.
  • Lady Caroline Catherine Montagu (c. 1804–1892), married John Calcraft and had issue.
  • Lady Emily Montagu (1806–1827).

The Duchess of Manchester caused a social scandal when she eloped with one of her footmen. According to The Complete Peerage, “it is mentioned in the Memoirs of a Highland Lady, under date 1812, that ‘the Duchess had left home years before with one of her footmen.’ Lady Jerningham wrote, 6 September 1813: ‘the Duchess of Manchester is finally parted from her husband, her conduct becoming most notoriously bad.’

Having become a social outcast, she died at Eaton, Edinburgh, in August 1828, aged 54. Manchester survived her by fifteen years and died in Rome, Italy, in March 1843, aged 71. He was succeeded in the dukedom by his son, George.

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