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Sunday, November 16, 2014

33.a.b.a.b. Mary Wortley Montagu her son Edward and her daughter Mary

Notwithstanding his parents’ parsimony, he succeeded in making a fine show in the world. A letter from Thomas Bowlby, dated January 19, 1751, reads: “Tomorrow I dined with Wortley Montague, who is merveillement (sic) débarqué; he has robbed Paris of everything that is rare or elegant. He went to Martin’s (where they make the varnish’d boxes) and bought the whole ship, which cost him 600 Louis dors; his diamond buckles cost him 1000 Louis.

In shore he is computed to walk 2,500 l. His wigs surprise every one, they are made of wire; literally and truly there is no hair in them.” This report is confirmed by the vivacious Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, on February 9: “Our greatest miracle is Lady Mary Wortley’s son, whose adventures have made so much noise: his parts are not proportionate, but his expense is incredible. His father scarce allows him anything: yet he plays, dresses, diamonds himself, even to distinct shoe-buckles for a frock, and has more snuff-boxes than would suffice a Chinese idol with a hundred noses. But the most curious part of his dress, which he has brought from Paris, is an iron wig; you would literally not know it from hair — I believe it is on this account that the Royal Society have just chosen him of their body.”

Having now won honor in the realms of war and politics and learning, young Wortley sought the sweet consolations of love. He was transfixed by a shaft from the quiver of the diminutive Miss Ashe, the “Pollard  Ashe,” as Walpole called her for her littleness. “I am afraid the eldest Miss Naylor is much dejected at the infidelity of our cousin Wortley, who is greatly enamoured of little Miss Ashe,” wrote Elizabeth Montagu.

 “All collectors of natural curiosities love something of every species. Mr. Wortley has had a passion for all sorts and sizes of women. Miss Ashe is a sort of middle species between a woman and a fairy, and by her rarity worthy to be added even to so large a collection of amours.” This Miss Ashe was commonly supposed to be the daughter of the Princess Amelia, daughter of George II, and Admiral Rodney. Mrs. Piozzi was however doubtful of the fathering. “I should think Rodney scarce old enough to have been her feather. Her mother people spoke of as with certainty.”

 Miss Ashe was a lass of spirit, as you may learn from an account of her frolics in Walpole. She was persuaded by her handsome gallant, no doubt at a great cost in varnished boxes and shoe-buckles, and together they set off for a honeymoon in Paris. Wortley, a stickler for morality, insisted on a marriage, and the ceremony was duly performed in Keith’s Chapel, Mayfair, in 1751. “Wortley, you know has been a perfect Gil Blas, and, for one of his last adventures, is thought to have added the famous Miss Ashe to the number of his wives,” says Walpole.

 Twelve years later the matter got into the courts, in what manner is not clear, but we find our hero writing from Leghorn: “I was extremely shocked, and indeed more surprised, at the verdict in favour of Miss Ashe. . . . I did not mind any particulars, as she knew I was married; and I never thought it could be necessary to prove it, since it was only done that there might be something to say to the Father in case of a surprize.

Perhaps the action had to do with a voiding of the marriage, for the bride later settled down and wed a Mr. Falconer, R. N According to Mr. Wortley senior’s will, made in 1755, his son was to have six hundred a year. The reversion to this he promptly sold, yet he was soon again in money troubles.

In 1760 he was hiding in England, his whereabouts a secret even to his lawyers.

Opportunely enough, his father died on January 1,  1760, leaving, says Walpole, an estate of one million three hundred and fifty thousand pounds. The son received an annuity of 1000 l, to become 2000 l on the death of Lady Mary.

He was further empowered to make a settlement on any women he might legitimately marry of 800 l a year, and to any son of such marriage a considerable estate in the West Riding of Yorkshire was devised. Lady Mary accused her son of entering a false caveat to the will; but the circumstances are too obscure to warrant examination.

Now at last with money in his pocket our Mr. Wortley Montagu could release his spirit, so long compressed in splenetic English airs. He made his preparations for a scientific journey into the East. Dr. Doran has preserved an optician’s bill, dated 30 December 1761. It includes 49 reading glasses, 32 telescopes, and 145 pairs of spectacles. The total bill came to 188 l 7 s 6 d. Mr. Wortley Montagu was not a person to do things by halves.

If all his preparations were on this scale, he must have been hard pressed for money. Indeed, we have proof of his necessities, for he was obliged to forge his mother’s name. This attempt upon her honor and her property wounded her to the quick; she wrote on 16th March 1762: ‘You have shortened your Father’s days, and will perhaps have the glory to break your mother’s heart.”

In February 1776 the news came to him that his first wife, the original Mrs. Montagu, the laundress, was dead. This word, so long awaited, promptly stirred our wanderer to action. He closed his house in Venice, and set his household in motion toward England. Passage was engaged for Marseilles, and measures taken to appease his creditors in England. Bethinking himself of the clause in his father’s will settling a large estate on any son of his name, in default of which it would revert to the second son of Lord Bute, he had a friend insert the following advertisement in the Public Advertiser for 16th April 1776.

Several ladies fulfilling the requirements applied, and one was chosen as the most eligible object. She was eagerly and impatiently awaiting the intended bridegroom when he was arrested on his journey by the hand of Death. 

He died in Padua, on 29th April, 1776, from the effects of an inflammation caused by a partridge bone wounding his throat. He lies buried in the cloister of the Hermitants at Padua, with an inscription to his memory in the wall beside, describing him truly as “ubique civis.” He died devoutly professing the Mahometan faith, for although he was in many ways unorthodox, and would never consent to be circumcised, he felt no doubt that Mahoud promised him the Paradise most to his liking.

Perhaps, as he died, his thought returned to the words he had once spoken to Dr. Moore, and with them upon his lips he could go bravely into the land beyond: “Your Heaven is the most tiresome and comfortless place in the universe; and not one Turk among a thousand would go to the Christian heaven, if he had it in his choice . . . The Mussulman believe that . . . women are creatures of a subordinate species, . . . by no means worthy of accompanying believers to Paradise, where females of a nature far superior to women wait with impatience to receive all pious Mussulmen into their arms . . . ”

Edward Wortley Montagu (15 May 1713 – 29 April 1776) was an English author and traveller.

He was the son of Edward Wortley Montagu, MP and of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whose talent and eccentricity he seems to have inherited.

He twice ran away from Westminster School, and the second time made his way as far as Porto. He was then sent to travel with a tutor in the West Indies, and afterwards with a keeper to the Netherlands. He made, however, a serious study of Arabic at Leiden (1741), and returned twenty years later to prosecute his studies. His father made him a meagre allowance, and he was heavily encumbered with debt.

He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Huntingdonshire in 1747, and was one of the secretaries at the conference of Aix-la-Chapelle that closed the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1751 he was involved in a disreputable gaming quarrel in Paris; arrested for cheating a Jew at cards and then robbing him when he refused to pay;and was imprisoned for eleven days in the Châtelet.

He was cleared after the first court hearing before the decision was overturned by the Parlement of Paris and he was ordered to pay a fine of 300 livres. He continued to sit in parliament, and wrote Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republics ... (1759).

His father left him an annuity of £1000, the bulk of the property going to Lady Bute, the author's sister,
He set out for extended travel in the East, and George Romney describes him as living in the Turkish manner at Venice. He had great gifts as a linguist, and was an excellent talker. His family thought him mad, and his mother left him a single guinea in her will, but her annuity devolved on him at her death. He died at Padua in Italy. 

He led a colourful life and he received the estates of his cousin, James Montagu the son of Charles Montagu and his first wife.

Lady Bute was born in 1718, the only daughter of Sir Edward Wortley Montagu and Lady Mary Pierrepont, the daughter of the Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull.

On 24 August 1736 she married John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who became Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1762. The couple had five sons and six daughters,
1.     Lady Mary Stuart (c. 1741 – 5 April 1824), married James Lowther, later
                         created Earl of Lonsdale, on 7 September 1761
2.     John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart (30 June 1744 – 16 November 1814), politician who
           succeeded as 4th Earl of Bute and was later created Marquess of Bute
3.     Lady Anne Stuart (born c. 1745), married Hugh Percy, Lord Warkworth, later the
           2nd Duke of Northumberland, on 2 July 1764
4.     The Hon. James Archibald Stuart (19 September 1747 – 1 March 1818), politician  
         and author
5.     Lady Jane Stuart (c. 1748 – 28 February 1828), married George Macartney, later  
          created Earl Macartney, on 1 February 1768.
6.     The Hon. Frederick Stuart (1751–1802), politician
7.     The Hon. Charles Stuart (January 1753 – 25 May 1801), soldier and politician
8.     The Hon. William Stuart (March 1755 – 6 March 1822), Anglican prelate who    
                       served as Archbishop of Armagh
9.     Lady Caroline Stuart (before 1763 – 20 January 1813), married The Hon. John  
                  Dawson, later the 1st Earl of Portarlington, on 1 January 1778.
10. Lady Louisa Stuart (12 August 1757 – 4 August 1851), writer who died unmarried

In 1761, she was created Baroness Mount Stuart, of Wortley in the county of York, with a remainder to her male heirs by her husband.

Lady Bute died on 6 November 1794 in Isleworth, Middlesex.

Her eldest son, John, succeeded to her title.

Her daughter Lady Louisa Stuart

By the time she was ten, Stuart had begun to follow in the footsteps of her writer grandmother. She had begun a French novel and had also started planning a Roman play. She felt threatened by her brothers, who teased her about her learning.

With her mother, the young Lady Louisa Stuart attended the balls, routs and soirées of London society, but she also followed the literature of the day and corresponded with friends. She had great powers of observation from an early age, and a manuscript notebook survives in which she describes her circle.
Fanny Burney often met Lady Bute and her daughter Lady Louisa and described Lady Bute as "forbidding to strangers", but entertaining and lively among friends.
Burney writes of mother and daughter on one occasion:
... both in such high spirits themselves that they kept up all the conversation between them, with a vivacity, an acuteness, an archness, and an observation on men and manners so clear and sagacious.
In 1770, at the age of thirteen, Lady Louisa fell in love with her second cousin, William Medows (1738–1813), the son of Philip Medows of Nottinghamshire, Deputy Ranger of Richmond Park, and of Lady Frances Pierrepont, who like Louisa's mother was a granddaughter of Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull.

 Medows was then a forty-one-year-old lieutenant-colonel of the 5th Regiment of Foot, and Lord Bute considered him unsuitable and put a stop to it.

Lady Louisa was bitterly disappointed. She wrote of Medows:
He seems to have that independent spirit which fortune cannot depress or exalt. He is really a character unlike anything but himself, au reste, the most agreeable man I ever met with, and one of the most humorous.

Lady Louisa Stuart's family home at Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, as it was in her day

Louisa Stuart does not seem to have fallen in love again, but she had at least two other pursuers. Her next was Henry Dundas (1742–1811), member of parliament for Midlothian and Lord Advocate of Scotland, later created Viscount Melville.

 Dundas was a gallant and good-looking man who had been married but was legally separated from his wife. His devotion worried the Bute family, but it turned out to be brief and merely amused Lady Louisa. Her last serious suitor was John Charles Villiers (1757–1838).

He was the second son of Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon, and for a time overwhelmed Stuart with his admiration. Her parents encouraged the match, and she was tempted, but she finally decided that a "love match without any love is but a bad business"

As a result, she never married. In 1791, Villiers married his cousin Maria Eleanor Forbes, a daughter of Admiral John Forbes, and in old age he inherited the family's titles and estates from his older brother Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon (1753–1824), who never married.

When the Earl of Strafford (1722–1791) was widowed in 1785, society gossip quickly linked his name with Stuart's, leading Lady Diana Beauclerk to remark "So Lady Louisa Stuart is going to marry her great-grandfather, is she?"

 However, Stuart looked on Strafford merely as an elderly uncle, and not as a suitor, and he for his part did nothing to promote such an alliance.

Stuart later became a close friend of the novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), a friendship that lasted from the 1790s until Scott's death in 1832. Scott regularly sent Stuart his work for her opinion, describing her as the best critic of his acquaintance.

Mary Stuart, Countess of Bute, 1st Baroness Mount Stuart (19 January 1718 – 6 November 1794) was the wife of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain between 1762 and 1763.

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC (25 May 1713 – 10 March 1792), styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain (1762–1763) under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics.

 He was the first Prime Minister from Scotland following the Acts of Union in 1707.
A close relative of the Clan Campbell (his mother was a daughter of the 1st Duke of Argyll), Bute succeeded to the Earldom of Bute (named after the Isle of Bute) upon the death of his father, James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute, in 1723. 

He was brought up thereafter by his maternal uncles, the 2nd Duke of Argyll and Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, 1st and only Earl of Ilay, Viscount and Earl of Hay. 

Bute studied at Eton College (1720–1728) and the University of Leiden, Netherlands (1728–1732), where he graduated with a degree in civil and public law. On 24 August 1736, he married Mary Wortley Montagu (daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), bringing the large Wortley estates to his family.

 In 1737, due to the influence of his uncles, he was elected a Scottish representative peer, but he was not very active in the Lords and was not reelected in 1741. For the next several years he retired to his estates in Scotland to manage his affairs and indulge his interest in botany.

During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Bute moved to Westminster, London, and two years later met Prince Frederick, the Prince of Wales there, soon becoming a close associate of the Prince. 

Upon the Prince's death in 1751, the education of his son, Prince George, the new Prince of Wales, became a priority and in 1755 Bute was appointed as his tutor. Bute arranged for the Prince and his brother Prince Edward to follow a course of lectures on natural philosophy by the itinerant lecturer Stephen Demainbray.

This led to an increased interest in natural philosophy on the part of the young prince and was one in a series of events that led to the establishment of the George III Collection of natural philosophical instruments. Furthermore, following the death of the Prince Frederick, Bute became close to his widow, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the Dowager Princess of Wales.

 It was rumoured that the couple were having an affair, and indeed soon after John Horne (an associate of the Prince of Wales) published a scandalous pamphlet alluding to a liaison between Bute and the Princess. Rumours of this  affair were almost certainly untrue, as Bute was by all indications happily married, and he held sincere religious beliefs against adultery. In 1780 Bute was elected as the first President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He later became the Ranger of Richmond Park and established gardens there, the same place that Philip Medows was ranger.

Princess Amelia is remembered for adding the two white wings to the main lodge, which remain to this day. The Prime Minister, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, became ranger after the Princess's death, and lived at the Lodge from 1761 until his death in 1792.

It was during this tenure that the name White Lodge first appeared, in the journal of Lady Mary Coke. According to her journal, Lady Mary went to Richmond Park hoping to catch a glimpse of "their Majestys" (George III and Queen Charlotte), who did "always stay at White Lodge on a Sunday".

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