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Saturday, November 22, 2014

33.e Sir Sidney Medows will to William Heather Norie Medows And

By 1863/4 William Heather Norie has inherited the estate of Evelyn Medows, after the death of the two cousins, in line with Sir Sidney's will.

Under the terms of Evelyn's will, William was required to change  his name to Medows, and he did so under the command from Queen Victoria.


The Queen has been pleased to give and grant unto William Heather Medows,
 (heretofore William Heather Norie,) of Conholt Park, in the parish of Chute, in the county of Wilts, Esquire

Her royal licence and authority that he may, in compliance with a clause contained in the last 
will and testament of Evelyn Philip Medows, of Conholt Park aforesaid, and of Charles Street, Berkeley Square, in the county of Middlesex, Esquire deceased, continue to use the surname of Medows only, and that he may bear the arms of Medows quarterly, in the first quarter, with the arms of Norie, and that the said surname of Medows and the arms of Medows may be taken, used, and borne by his issue such arms being first duly exemplifiec according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the College of Arms, otherwise the said royal licence and permission to be void and of none effect:

And also to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be recorded in Her Majesty's College of Arms

By this time he is over 50 years of age.  Did he retire from practising law to try to untangle the vast legalities involved with the wills and the estates?

Perhaps so.

Did he find out which of his ancestors had direct lineage to the Nisbet's, most probably.

But let's revisit some interesting facts:

1.   Why did his family name their children Augustus?    From the stories of the Hervey lineage it is reasonable to assume that this name was a tradition, and also for those of  Lord Pembroke.

Or was it just that his Scottish ancestors had been named Augustus.

2.   What was the relationship between Evelyn Medows and his grandfather James, and great uncle John?    It can be assumed that both had lent money to Evelyn Medows, who had hoped to inherit from his uncle Evelyn Pierrepont.   

How did these people know each other?  Were they related? or was it the interest in painting?

3.   Following that they may be related, and remembering that some of Evelyn's family came from Allora in Scotland, I worked on that theory.  

                  Grandmother of William Norie was Isobel Hay, from Allora.

Now in those times, marriages were arranged for those of fine standing.  James Norie was one of those who certainly was held in fine esteem in Edinburgh.   He worked on many fine homes and estates, and worked with William Adams a renown builder.

So to answer my question, I believe that Isobel Hay is related via the Hay family.  There are far too many co-incidences, but perhaps some other researcher will be able to reveal the relationship.

Yes they knew each other, Evelyn Medows was the cousin of Lady Erskine, and even if my belief of a relationship is proved incorrect, James Norie worked on the Erskine home!

From the relationships of Evelyn Medows, with his aunts, they would have all been aware of the bigamy trial, after all the ladies were all friends within the same circles.

While I have tried to establish some sort of link with the Hervey's and the prominent use of the name Augustus, I cannot find a connection.  Perhaps there is one, through Elizabeth Hill, William Norie's mother.

From his father's will there are proven links to the Nisbet family.

Alexander Nesbit was a wine merchant, and would have known Jacob Fielding.

So the very last piece of my jigsaw puzzle and trying to establish why our ancestors did not leave us their fortunes, is the marriage of Evelyn Medows to William Norie's aunt, who was 30 years younger.

So inconclusion:

Was it a marriage of convenence, simply a way to allow Evelyn Medows access, eventually to Sir Sidney's estates, so that he could repay the Norie family?

Sounds plausible to me!

William died in 1896 at his home in Deauville France, as the probate record shows.

Deauville  is a commune in the Calvados département in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.

With its race course, harbour, international film festival, marinas, conference centre, villas, Grand Casino and sumptuous hotels, Deauville is regarded as the "queen of the Norman beaches" and one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France. The closest seaside resort, when coming from Paris, the city and the nearby region of the Côte Fleurie (Flowery Coast) has long been home to French high society's seaside houses and is often referred to as the Parisian riviera.

 Since the 19th century, the town of Deauville has been a fashionable holiday resort for the international upper class. Deauville is also a desirable family resort for the wealthy. In France, it is known perhaps above all for its role in Proust's In Search of Lost Time.

First name(s)
William Heather
Last name
Death year
Court Of Probate
Record set
Index to Death Duty Registers 1796-1903
TNA ref
Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Record collection
Wills & probate
Collections from
Great Britain

William left his estate to Rowland Nevitt Bennett esq 41000 pounds

He resided in London and in 1855 applied for a passport to travel abroad.  He was mentioned in the will of Hariott Norie, and received the whole of the estate of William Heather Norrie.

He was a solicitor living with his wife Adelaide, in 67 Northbourne Square Paddington in London.

He would possibly be the son of another Rowland Nevitt Bennett Solicitor, who was married in 1840 to Maryanne Mardell, and his father was Samuel Nevitt Bennett a Surgeon .

John Erskine

John Erskine, 6th earl of Mar,  (born February 1675, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scot.—died May 1732, Aachen [Germany]), Scottish noble who led the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, an unsuccessful attempt to gain the British crown for James Edward, the Old Pretender, son of the deposed Stuart monarch James II. Because Mar shifted his political allegiances frequently, he earned the nickname “Bobbing John.”

Mar inherited his father’s earldom in 1689 and was secretary of state for Scotland and keeper of the signet under Queen Anne (reigned 1702–14). He turned to Jacobitism after he was dismissed from office on the accession of King George I in 1714. In August 1715 he traveled secretly to Scotland and organized an uprising in the Highlands.

He proclaimed James king of Great Britain at Braemar on September 6 and promised that James would restore the traditional constitution of Scotland. Although some 10,000–12,000 men rallied to the pretender’s cause, Mar, who had assumed the role of James’s commander in chief, was defeated by a smaller army under John Campbell, 2nd duke of Argyll, at Sheriffmuir, in Perth county, on November 13.

 Although the pretender arrived in Scotland on December 22, the rebellion soon collapsed. In February 1716 Mar fled to France and then on to Rome with James Edward, who lavished him with titles, including that of duke of Mar (unrecognized in Britain). Despite these considerable attentions, Mar intrigued against James, and by 1725 he was no longer welcome at James’s court in exile.
John Erskine with his mother

Lord John Erskine married as his second wife.Lady Margaret Hay in 1703  She was 16 at the time, and the daughter of  Thomas Hay 7th Earl of Kinnoul and his wife Margaret Drummond.

They had a son Thomas Erskine.

Thomas Erskine, Lord Erskine (1705 – 16 March 1766) was the son of John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. He could not inherit the title of Earl of Mar due to the Writ of Attainder for treason passed against his father in 1716 for his role in the First Jacobite Rebellion (1715).

On 1 October 1741, he married Charlotte Hope, daughter of the 1st Earl of Hopetoun. He died without issue.  

   *And one of the houses James Norie worked on!

Lord John Erskine married firstly Lady Frances Pierrepont daughter of Evelyn Pierrepont, and sister of Mary Whortly Montagu, and William Pierrepont  and aunt of Evelyn Medows.

She was also the cousin of Jemima Montagu

Lady Frances Erskine

Frances and John Erskine had a daughter Lady Frances Erskine, cousin of Evelyn Medows.

The Hay Family

Earl of Kinnoull (sometimes spelled Earl of Kinnoul) is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1633 for George Hay, 1st Viscount of Dupplin. Other associated titles are: Viscount Dupplin (created 1627), Lord Hay of Kinfauns (1627) and Baron Hay of Pedwardine (1711). The former two are in the Peerage of Scotland, while the last is in the Peerage of Great Britain. The title of Viscount Dupplin is the courtesy title for the Earl's eldest son and heir.

The family seat is Dupplin Castle, just outside of Perth, in Scotland.

Clan Hay is a Scottish clan that has played an important part in the history and politics of Scotland. Members of the clan are to be found in most parts of Scotland and in many other parts of the world. 

However, the North East of Scotland, i.e. Aberdeenshire Aberdeenshire (historic), Banffshire, Morayshire and Nairnshire Nairn (boundaries), is the heart of Hay country with other significant concentrations of Hays being found in Perthshire, especially around Perth, in the Scottish Borders, and in Shetland.

Some of the homes that James Norie worked on included:

The Dun Estate was home to the Erskine (later Kennedy-Erskine) family from 1375 until 1980. John Erskine of Dun was a key figure in the Scottish Reformation. The current house was designed by William Adam and was finished in 1730. There is elaborate plasterwork in some of the rooms. The writer and poet Violet Jacob was a member of the Kennedy-Erskine family and was born in the house.

The story of the House of Dun starts some 350 years before it was actually built. In 1375 Sir Robert Erskine from Renfrewshire purchased the Dun estate and he or one of his early descendents built a tower house on a spot about a quarter of a mile west of the current house. This continued to be the Erskine family home until the early years of the 1700s when David Erskine, the 13th Laird of Dun, and a wealthy lawyer, decided he needed something more comfortable and prestigious.

By the 1600s it was increasingly common for Scotland's many noble or landed families to begin to feel that their ancestral castles no longer met their needs or aspirations. They responded in many different ways. In some cases castles evolved outwards into something larger and more comfortable. In other cases the family simply built a grand house and abandoned the old castle, leaving it to become a picturesque garden ornament.

David Erskine took a bolder approach. He pulled down Dun Castle some time before 1723, then turned his attention to the house he wanted to replace it with. 

The story of the design and building of the House of Dun was a protracted one, and involved a number of notable players with, by some counts, no fewer than five different designs being produced. Erskine first commissioned the official Edinburgh City Architect, Alexander MacGill, to find the ideal location within the estate for a new house and produce plans for it.

 He also consulted his kinsman, John Erskine, 23rd Earl of Mar, on the design: a process made no easier by the latter's exile in France following his leading role in the 1715 Jacobite uprising. Later in the process Erskine turned for a fresh design to the notable Scottish architect William Adam, though with continuing input from Mar.

Work finally began on the House of Dun in 1730, based on William Adam's design, which he loosely based on the Chateau d'Issy near Paris. The design of the house continued to evolve as it was built, with additional ornamentation being incorporated at the suggestion of the Earl of Mar. What William Adam though of the continuous changes of mind by his client and interference by the Earl of Mar is unrecorded: perhaps it was simply par for the course when dealing with the sort of wealthy clients he was well used to working for.

The House of Dun took some 13 years to build, with the work on the magnificent plasterwork in the saloon not being completed until 1743. What emerged is widely regarded as the finest medium-sized country house to have been built by William Adam.

At House of Dun situated in Montrose and at Yester House in East Lothian, William Adam worked with the stuccoist Joseph Enzer in the 1720s and 1740s. Although no direct account for the plasterwork at Yester seems to survive, it must have represented a significant amount of money for the marquess of Tweeddale. 

The plasterwork of the salon at Dun is particularly impressive. It shows a bas-relief of Mars above the fireplace of the north-east wall and Neptune on the opposite wall. This elaborate stucco decoration testifies to the Jacobite sympathies of the owner of the place, a cousin of the earl of Mar, a well-known Jacobite, and promotes the hope of restoring the legitimate monarch. 

The war god Mars was represented with his foot resting on a shield bearing the French and Scottish emblems, the lily and the lion. The masks of Bacchus and Apollo, the hunter god and poet, appear on the stucco ceiling and the trophies of arms and armour and festooned urns filled with fish of the overdoors recall peace and plenty. 

Hopetoun Drawing Room
This plasterwork forms part of the stucco decoration carried out by Joseph Enzer at the house and for which he received £216 in 1742.

Hopetoun Manor*
 Family accounts number expensive bills for house painting. The most famous workshop of the eighteenth century was that of James Norie (1684–1757), an Edinburgh house painter specialised in overdoors who supplied paintings for numerous William Adam interiors like Arniston, Hopetoun, Mavisbank or Yester and whose office was very popular in Scotland in the 1730s and 1740s

William Adam and James Norie undertook numerous projects together, and in 1776 William Adams son Robert was involved in the renovation of none other than 11 St James Square the house that Dorothy Nisbet sold to Alexander Nisbet!  

The Nesbit Connection  - Some historical links and stories

Or The Antics of the 18th Century!

Painting of Mary Nesbitt by the artist Joshua Reynolds, 1781. Wallace Collection, London

Mary Nesbit was born Mary Davis, in poverty and of unknown parentage. Her enemies later alleged that she had been born ‘in a wheelbarrow’ in Covent Garden. She was also early on known as Polly Davis.
Her society career began as an artist's model for Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1764. Through this connection she began her career as a courtesan. Simon Luttrell, nicknamed the King of Hell and later first earl of Carhampton, was possibly her original seducer. Her association with Luttrell may be the origin of her later nickname of Hellfire Davies.Through Luttrell she was introduced to Alexander Nesbitt (bap 1730 - d 1772), the youngest of three sons of Thomas Nesbitt, a merchant banker in the City of London.

Mary married Nesbitt, on 25 February 1768, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, with Luttrell as a witness. Nesbitt settled on her for life his house and estate at Upper Norwood in Surrey. The couple also had a residence at 10 Buckingham Street, London.

Alexander Nesbitt suffered a mental collapse and was confined in private lodgings near Blackfriars around 1769, he died in 1772. Mary's enemies, the news sheet Tête-à-tête and the anonymous Junius, attributed his insanity to her disrespectful treatment of him.

Around 1771 Mary became the mistress of the Hon. Augustus John Hervey (1724–1779), a naval officer, and second son of Lord Hervey of Ickworth (1696–1743). Hervey became third earl of Bristol in 1775, and Mary and Augustus lived together, apparently faithfully, at Norwood House. They also had residences at 6 St James's Square, London and at Ickworth House, Suffolk. They were prevented from marrying when the earl's divorce petition was dismissed in 1779.

On Hervey's death in 1779 Mary received the manor of Evedon, other land in Lincolnshire, and £5000 from the sale of about 186 acres (0.75 km2) in Suffolk. She also received a share of the stock and furniture at 6 St James's Square and at Ickworth, valued at £7378 12s. 11d. She continued to live at her own house in Upper Norwood which she enlarged.

Her salon at Norwood, was frequented by men such as George Rose, secretary to the Treasury, and many young aspirants to political office. During the French Revolution she traveled in diplomatic circles on the continent. This may indicate that she had been recruited by prime minister William Pittas a government agent in his covert attempts to restore the French monarchy. She now attracted public praise. On 25 September 1797, the Morning Chronicle acknowledged that "this celebrated woman", despite "the miscellany of her life", had "acquired an elevation ... which she has preserved with dignity", using "her influence with the great in favour of the unfortunate".

She was forced to let Norwood House due to reduced financial circumstances in the early 19th century. Mary then frequently lived abroad, where in 1808 she met Madame Tussaud and bought her a house in Crystal Palace. It is believed from there she took up her world-famous waxwork museum in 1821 at Montreuil-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France and in 1822 in Switzerland.

Nesbitt is believed to have died, aged eighty-two, in Paris, where she was buried on 4 November 1825.

Mary Davis, it is alleged was born in a wheelbarrow in Covent Garden.  She became a working girl, plying her wares on the streets of London.  The older she became, the higher price she commanded, and she became the favourite of many in London High Society.

Her exploits have been revealed in some rather rauncy books, including mention that she had 3 children and a husband.  She appears to have learnt every trick under the sun!

Back to Coventry Square

A copy of pages 104 and 105 of the book "Wits Wenches and Wantons- London`s Low Life: Covent Garden In The Eighteenth Century" by E.J. Burford. This is a very rare copy of Harris`s list for 1764 with a detailed description of Mary (Polly) Davis and her address, during the time she was working at the Bedford Arms Tavern in Covent Garden. 

The Bedford Arms Tavern was situated opposite the Shakespeare`s Head Tavern. A waiter of the Shakespeare`s Head, Sam Derrick, began to publish guide booklets containing the names, addresses and attributes or "specialities" of the most popular prostitutes who were working in the capital under the "pimp- general- of-all England" the notorious Jack Harris.

Although only a handful of these booklets still exist, they are an invaluable source of information for researchers of the poorer members of society in the eighteenth century, of whose location and description would otherwise have been completely unknown.                                            
The view of Bedford Square

Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect.

He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy. King George III appreciated his merits and knighted him in 1769. 

 SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS AND MARY NESBITT: "Like so many of her colleagues throughout the ages, Mary Nesbitt combined street walking with the more restful duties of of artist`s model, and as early as 1754 was found to be in the studios of Sir Joshua Reynolds and others.

 Reynolds painted a number of portraits of her, in one she clutches a dove, the conventional symbol of innocence" -John Coulter, or for his love for her maybe? There is no receipt of payment for a painting he did of Mary in May 1781. The work was presumably done for love.   Another conquest

After her marriage to Alexander in 1754 they lived at 11 St James  Square, London

In 1768, Alexander was living at Norwood in Surrey in a house he had recently built for himself on the common there; it was apparently his sole asset and as such he settled it on Mary for her life.

Alexander Nesbitt`s house at Upper Norwood, new in 1768, was described as "a very indifferent single brick house." It stood in a valley south, and at the west end, of Central Hill, then called Vicar`s Oak Road, which followed the boundary between the parishes of Croydon and Lambeth. 

Most of Croydon parish was within the Archbishop of Canterbury`s manor of Croydon, but it also contained some small freehold estates. The house was near the site of a building which had in 1745 stood beside a gravel pit, and was on freehold land bounded on the south and west by gently rising ground covered with ancient oak woodland, the North Wood, in which the archbishop`s customary tenants still enjoyed rights. The eastern boundary was a feeder of the Thames, the Effra, a small stream which rose in the woods south of the house.

By bribing the commoners of Croydon manor, Nesbitt enclosed more land, probably east of the Effra, in about 1766. He also obtained effective control of another acre, on part of which a house stood, from a neighbour, John Bonneck, by becoming Bonneck`s mortgagee, and immediately extended his house by adding a service wing over Bonneck`s land. He also acquired another acre with a kiln on it, once the property of another constant and included the erection of a necessary house and wooden stabling in the woods.The antagonism of the commoners of Croydon manor, who resented his illegal encroachments, resulted in his being presented at the archbishop`s court in April 1766.

Alexander Nesbitt did not long enjoy his new house and wife. He became insane in about 1769 and from the until his death was confined in private lodgings near Blackfriars Bridge. It is possible that his mental collapse may, as suggested by the author of the Tete-a-Tete portrait, have been caused by the callous behaviour of his wife, who continued her connections in the Demi-monde and apparently lost no opportunity of belittling her dull and stuttering husband.

He died early in 1772 and was buried on 19th February in the Nesbitt vault in the
churchyard of Kilmore, co Cavan. Ireland.

Among her lovers at this time of her life, is none other than Augustus John Hervey Lord of Bristol.
Artnet376 × 470Search by image
portrait of thomas augustus hervey by richard cosway

Does his name sound familiar, yes he is the very same person who had married Elizabeth Chudleigh, the bigamist who married Evelyn Medows's uncle, the very one who dis-inherited Evelyn.

In 1766 Evelyn and Augustus were both involved in the Court Case of bigamy.

Initially, Augustus seemed like a pretty sombre person, having to put up with the likes of Elizabeth while he was overseas fighting battles, and finding her having a multitude of lovers on the side.

But he was no better!  In fact his wild life and his name, is probably something handed through the family from his father, John Hervey.  (see further information below)

Lord John was vice-chamberlain in court of George II, close to Queen Caroline,
he was bisexual, he was the cross-dressing courtier lampooned by 
Alexander Pope in various works from 1732 onwards,including as "Lord Fanny", and as "Sporus" in Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot (also here) (1735), he had long homosexual affair with 1st Earl of Ilchester, died 1743,

Augustus Hervey.

At court Mary Lepell divided the honours for wit and beauty with her friend Edith Bellenden, subsequently the wife of Colonel John Campbell, who became the fourth Duke of Argyll. 

Pope and Gay sang her praises. Pulteney and Chesterfield wrote a joint ballad in her honour to the tune of "Molly Mogg". Voltaire, another of her numerous admirers, addressed a copy of verses to her beginning with the lines:

Hervey, would you know the passion
You have kindled in my breast?

which are the only English verse now extant of his composition.

They were subsequently transcribed and addressed to one Laura Harley, the wife of a London merchant, by one of her lovers, and formed part of the husband's evidence in his proceedings for a divorce (Churton Collins, Essay on Voltaire in England, 1886, pp. 248–9).

 Even Horace Walpole, who became a correspondent of hers later in life, and in 1762 dedicated to her his 'Anecdotes of Painting in England,' always spoke of her with the greatest respect and admiration (see Letters, v. 129). Her good sense and good nature won for her the esteem of the ladies as well as the flatteries of the wits.


Her marriage with John Hervey, afterwards Lord Hervey of Ickworth, was announced to have taken place on 25 October 1720. It must, however, have occurred several months earlier, as in a letter preserved at Ickworth, and dated 20 May 1720, Lord Bristol congratulates her on her marriage, which he calls a secret.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu records, in a letter written to the Countess of Mar, in July 1721, `the ardent affection' shown to her by Mrs. Hervey and her dear spouse'.

In spite of her husband's infidelity she lived with him on very amicable terms, and was an admirable mother to a large family of troublesome children, who inherited those peculiar qualities which gave rise to the well-known saying, ascribed to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu among others, "that this world consisted of men, women, and Herveys".

She appears to have been always a warm partisan of the Stuarts. Though she suffered greatly from severe attacks of the gout, she retained many of the attractions of her youth long after her husband's death.

Chesterfield, in a letter to his son dated 22 October 1750, directed him to "trust, consult, and to apply" to Lady Hervey at Paris. He speaks in the most admiring terms of her good breeding, and says that she knows more than is necessary for any woman, "for she understands Latin perfectly well, though she wisely conceals it".

By her marriage with the 2nd Baron Hervey she had eight children:

  • Lady Mary Hervey, married 31 October 1745 George Fitzgerald, of Turlough
  • Hon. George William Hervey, later 3rd Baron Hervey, later 2nd Earl of Bristol
  • Lady Lepell Hervey (15 April 1723 – 11 May 1780), married 26 February 1742/3 Constantine John Phipps, 1st Baron Mulgrave, and had issue
  • Hon. Augustus John Hervey, later 3rd Earl of Bristol
  • Hon. Frederick Augustus Hervey, later 4th Earl of Bristol (and father of Lady Elizabeth Foster)
  • Gen. Hon. William Hervey (born 13 May 1732), died unmarried
  • Lady Amelia Caroline Nassau Hervey, died unmarried
  • Lady Caroline Hervey, died unmarried

She died on 2 September 1768 aged 68, and was buried at Ickworth, Suffolk. The epitaph on her tombstone was written by Horace Walpole.

Lady Hervey was a lively and intelligent letter-writer. Her letters to the Rev. Edmund Morris, formerly tutor to her sons, written between 1742 and 1768, were published in 1821. Several earlier letters of hers written to the Countess of Suffolk are in the two volumes of Lady Suffolk's `Letters,' 1824.

Two portraits of Lady Hervey are in the possession of the Marquis of Bristol at Ickworth. Another, formerly belonging to the Strawberry Hill collection, painted by Allan Ramsay, was lent by Lord Lifford[which?] to the Exhibition of National Portraits at South Kensington in 1867. An engraving from a miniature, also formerly at Strawberry Hill, is in Walpole's `Letters'.

Lady Mary Montagu who considered herself a great friend said there was three sexes, men, women and Hervey’s.

The Tribuna of the Uffizi (1772–1778) by Johann Zoffany is a painting of the north-east section of the Tribuna room in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The painting is part of the United Kingdom's Royal Collection.

This painting sort of describes the way life in the High Society was in the late 1700's

There was plenty of Hervey’s around during the eighteenth century in England. Felton Hervey was the ninth son of the 1st Earl of Bristol, Equerry to Queen Caroline of Ansbach and Groom of the Bedchamber to William, Duke of Cumberland.

He features in the front row of one of the best known paintings, which now in the Royal Collection alongside Sir Horace Mann Envoy extraordinaire and plenipotentiary to the Duke of Tuscany for 46 years. The painting is called The Tribuna of the Uffizi.

The Tribuna was the  name of a room built in 1585 at the Galleria degli Uffizi, a museum in Florence,  to contain a selection of the most famous, exotic and precious works of art in the Medici collections. Queen Charlotte heard that artist Johan Zoffany (1733-1810) was going to Italy in the summer of 1772. So she commissioned him to paint this part of the famous Florence gallery for her.

John William Norrie and his wife Elizabeth named their son born around the time of the death of and obviously in honour of his business partner Mr Heather.   

William Heather Norie was born in 22nd June 1811 in London and baptised 4 Aug 1811. 
As the eldest son he inherited his father's estates.  His father, being the eldest son, inherited his father Jame's estate.

English law as it was then, existed around marriage bonds, and the lands and wealth were passed to the eldest son in the family, or in the case of no heirs, to the next eldest of the brother, which is how Evelyn inherited from Sir Sidney, but with the provisos, which seemed a part of all the wills of the day.

On 25th May 1811 his aunt Harriot Maria Norie married Evelyn Philip Medows.  He was 74 and she was 30.  A huge age gap!

But why did Evelyn Medows leave all the estate to William? 

William studied at Oxford and matriculated in Law.  He was Barrister at Law in Lincon's Fields in 1837 until around 1842.

NORIE, WILLIAM H. Ref: 1167. Male.
Profession: Barrister at Law.
Undergraduate Studies: Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Postgraduate Studies: Lincoln's Inn, London.
Date of Election: 17/04/1843.
Proposers: John Dewar, 18/2/1843, (ms Proposal NLS Acc 10,000/46). (Billet 3/4/1843).
Resigned/Removed/Election Cancelled/Not Admitted: Removed.

His father died in 1843.  As the eldest son, and a Barrister he obviously knew his way around legal issues.

In his father's will,  there is mention of a inheritance from an Estate of Sir John Nisbet KG a Baron from Scotland and mentions that an agreement had been made on 31st May 1836.

Who was this Sir John Nisbet, and what was his relationship to the family of John Norie? Could this family have links to Elizabeth Hall, or to Isobel Hay? which would then legally pass onto John Norie.

Research revealed that their had been disputes regarding the estate going on for decades.

But one intriguing aspect of this search revealed that one Alexander Nesbit had purchased a house in London from one Dorothy Nesbit.  Were they related?

Alexander Nesbit married and his wife Mary Nesbit is mentioned in court papers, as well as another mentions illegitimate children presuming to be heirs and with a claim on the estate.

What then happened to William Heather Norie between the years 1843, and the next known record.

The document reads as follows, with the autograph additions by Harrison in square brackets: 

'WHITECHAPEL ESTATE, | THE PROPERTY OF | WILLIAM HEATHER MEDOWS, ESQ. | SIR, | I beg to acquaint you that I shall attend at the "Magpie," 12, New Street, Bishopsgate Street, to receive Rents on [Thursday] next, the [8th.] Instant, from Ten till One o'clock, when I have to request you will pay the Rent due by you at [Christmas] last amounting to £ [-. s17./7] | I am, SIR | Your obedient Servant, [G. C. Harrison] | Receiver. |

 222, MARYLEBONE ROAD, N.W. | [5th. Feb.] 18[72 | Mr Valentine]'. The association between Harrison and Medows would appear to derive from the Norie family's nautical connections: in 1852 Harrison was in the Accountant-General's Department in the Admiralty.

 For more information about Medows and his family, see Susanna Fisher's 'The Makers of the Blueback Charts: A History of Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson Ltd' (2001).

I never would have believed what that small piece of information would then reveal.

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield Wikipedia

Dorothy Nesbit was born 1715 and died 1779.  (daughter of William Nisbet and Jean Bennett?)

She came to London and in 1757 she married George Parker the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield as his second wife.  He died in 1764, and she inherited his home in London, in St George's Square.

This George Parker was among other things, an astronomer.  

In 1766, Dorothy sold to Alexander Nesbit and a partner, the property in James Square.

This was Alexander Nesbitt`s residence 11 St. James Square-

On 8 March 1766 the house was sold by the Earl of Macclesfield's widow to Alexander Nesbitt of the City of London, merchant, and Hugh Hammersley of Serjeant's Inn, esquire, under unspecified trusts. On 19–20 June Nesbitt and Hammersley sold it to Joseph Alien of Furnival's Inn, gentleman, evidently in trust for Sir Rowland Winn, the fifth baronet, who had recently succeeded to Nostell Priory 

They sold it shortly afterwards. 

Who was Alexander Nesbit?  and who did he marry?    

He married Mary Davis and this leads to another story, one so complex and involved that I just had to include it here.  As they say all will be revealed.

He was part of the Nesbit brother a firm of successful merchants in London in the 1740's and he himself was a Wine merchant.    (Remember Jacob Fletcher was also a wine merchant)

Brothers Arnold, Albert and Alexander Nesbitt were partners in a firm of merchants based in 1753 at 8, Bishopsgate and from about 1773 at 18, Aldermanbury.

 The three were younger sons of Thomas Nesbitt of Lismore, co Cavan, who died in 1750 apparently having provided only for his eldest son Cosby.

Another son William, entered the army, and the remaining three were apprenticed to their father`s younger brother Albert, a prominent London merchant.

 Albert Nesbitt, an adherent of the Pelhams, was member of parliament for Huntingdon from 1741 to 1747 and for Mitchell in Devon from 1747 to 1753.

 In 1750 Arnold, who had joined his uncle before 1744, and the younger Albert were in his London counting house, and the youngest of the three

 Alexander, then aged 20, was in France, learning about the import of wines to England and Ireland which formed part of the firm`s business.

By the time of the elder Albert`s death in 1753, Arnold and Albert were full partners with him, and Alexander presumably became one soon after.

Arnold, the eldest, became the senior partner, and like his uncle pursued a parliamentary career. He extended the scope of the firm`s business to include the supply under government contract of money and provisions for the troops in the North American colonies, and the import of sugar and rum from the West Indian and Grenadian estates.

It is the youngest Nisbet brother, Alexander, who emerges from the shadows in the footnote to Junius`s letter of 27 November 1771 (Junius being Hugh Boyd, an essayist whose wife was the ward of the brothers Arnold, Albert and Alexander Nesbitt):    (Wife was Frances Morphey)

"The present Lord Irnham (Simon Luttrell, secretary to the Prime Minister), who is now in decline of life, lately cultivated the acquaintance of a younger brother of a family, with which he had lived in some degree of intimacy and friendship.

The young man had not long been the dupe of a most unhappy attachment to a common prostitute.
His friends and relations foresaw the consequences of his connexion, and did everything that depended upon them to save him from ruin.

But he had a friend in Lord Irnham, whose advice rendered all their endeavours ineffectual. this hoary lecher, not contented with the enjoyment of his friend`s mistress, was base enough to take advantage of the passions and folly of a young man, and persuaded him to marry her.

He descended even to perform the office of father to the prostitute. he gave her to his friend, who was on the point of leaving the kingdom, and the next night lay with her himself."

Briefly Simon Lutteral acted as father for Mary Davis at her wedding, as according to her wedding banns her father was "John Doe" and her mother Miss Davis a spinster.

But before she had time to consummate the marriage with Alexander, Lutteral took her as his own!

Such comings and carry on, in this respectful part of history!

The story refers to the circumstances surrounding Alexander`s marriage to Mary Davis in 1754.

It is, as will be shown, accurate in its essentials.

Person Page
Simon Luttrell by Jean Etienne Liotard, 1754 2
The Irish in 18th century London appear to have been a closely-knit community both socially and commercially, and it is unsurprising that Simon Luttrell was on familiar terms with the Nesbitt Brothers.

How familiar is illustrated by the fact that when Arnold Nesbitt bought the manor of Icklesham in Sussex on mortgage in 1760, Luttrell advanced £6,000 of the purchase price.       (must have been a substantial home)

The general disapprobation in which Luttrell, "the king of Hell", was held suggests that there was truth in Junius`s allegations, and it is likely that it was he who introduced Alexander Nesbitt to the London Demi-monde and encouraged his enjoyment of it.

His task was presumably easy, for what is known of Alexander`s character suggests that, even in middle age, as he was in 1768, he was suggestable, naive and easily led. Hester Thrale, Arnold Nesbitt`s sister-in-law, thought him crass and recorded two of the more entertaining instances of his lack of sophistication in society (in her memoirs).

When and where Alexander met Mary or Polly Davis in unknown: possibly it was at one of London`s pleasure gardens such as Ranelegh which she frequented (Or at her workplace as one of the "Covent Garden Ladies" at the Bedford Arms Tavern in Covent Garden).

Of her origins little is known. She was born in 1743, possibly in the Covent Garden area, if the account of her being born "in a wheelbarrow" given in a Tete-a-Tete portrait published in the Town and Country Magazine in 1775 is true.

The same source states that she became a courtesan based at the Bedford Arms Tavern in Covent Garden, and soon afterwards met Alexander Nesbitt.

 She declined to accept the procedure usual in such circumstances and, such was Alexander`s infatuation and susceptibility, she successfully prevailed upon him to marry her.

That it was with the encouragement and collusion of Simon Luttrell is confirmed by the fact that he was a trustee of Mary`s marriage settlement drawn up on 23and 24 February and which took place on 25 February at her parish church of St. Martin in the Fields.

The other trustee and witness was Thomas Wright, a goldsmith and jeweller in business in Duke`s Court.

 At the time Mary was living in Buckingham Street, possibly at no. 10 on the west side where she and Alexander lived after their marriage, when in London, until 1769.

The disapproval of Arnold and Albert Nesbitt is attested by their absence from the arrangements for the marriage and the ceremony itself. That the marriage did not lead to the exclusion of Alexander from the firm of Nesbitt, as the author of the Tete-a-Tete portrait claimed, is proved by the fact that he was still involved in its business in August 1768.

Pedigree of Nesbitt of Lismore


Andrew Nesbitt, of Brenter, Co.Donegal ( presumed to be the son of Thomas Nesbitt,
and grandson of George Nesbit, of Nisbet in Berwickshire, Scotland, who died 1590
assignee from the Earl of Annandale of the estates of Brenter and Malmusock, Co. Donegal
was father of Andrew Nesbitt, who served in the army of Charles I, in Ireland, and died
1692, having married Anne Lindsay ; he left issue five sons, viz :-
1. Thomas, of whom hereafter.
2. Albert, an eminent merchant in London, married, 1729, Elizabeth, daughter of John Gould of Hackney, M.P. for Wareham ;
by her he had one daughter :-
1. Rachel, married to Richard Bard Harcourt, of Pendley, Herts,
and she carried into the Harcourt family the estates of Brenter and Malmusock, purchased by her father Albert Nesbitt from his eldest brother Thomas Nesbitt.
Albert Nesbitt sat in Parliament for the borough of Huntingdon and St.Michael's ; he died 1753.
 3. Robert, married Margaret, younger daughter of Arnold Cosby of Lismore, in 1713 ;Â
he died, leaving no issue, in 1743.

4. William, married Letitia Nesbitt of Tubberdaly in 1724 ; he died about 1756.

5. Alexander, married Mary, daughter of John Gould of Hackney M.P. for Wareham he died without issue.

The eldest son.

THOMAS NESBITT of Brenter and Malmusock, residing at Grangemore, Co. Westmeath, High Sheriff of Cavan 1720, married in 1701 Susan Lyons of Ladistown, by whom he had one son,
Charles Robert, who died unmarried.

 In 1713 he married secondly Jane Cosby, eldest daughter and heiress of Arnold Cosby of Lismore

 By this marriage Thomas Nesbitt came into possession of Lismore and other estates in Cavan. He died in 1750, having had issue by his second marriage ( with seven daughters ) seven sons :
1. Cosby, b 1718  m  Ann Enery.
2. Arnold, a merchant in London, he married Susanna Thrale, 

            He had two illigitimate children Colebrooke Nisbet and Arnold Nesbit.   Left his estate to                  nephew John Nesibt.  He  represented Winchelsea and Cricklade in Parliament.

3. Robert, born in 1719.
4. Albert, a merchant in London, married Miss Matishall.
5. Alexander, a merchant in London, died before 1776.
6. William, born 1732, married Mary Blackwood.
7. Andrew, died young.

With thanks to the researchers and those whose works about the family appear on the web.



JUNE, 1898

Some of the mentions of the long running Will over the Estate

Probably, as earlier editors assumed, Dorothy Nesbitt (d. 1779) m. (1757), as his second wife, George Parker (ca 1697-1764), ad E. of Macclesfield, n.c. cec does not name her parents and describes her as 'spinster.'Nisbet & al. Petition referred to Judges.

Upon reading the Petition of William Nisbet of Dirle ton Esquire, for himself and on Behalf of William Nisbet his only Son, in respect of his Infancy, Walter Nisbet of Craigintinny Esquire, Sir Alexander Nisbet of Dean Baronet, for himself and on Behalf of Henry and John Nisbet his Sons, in respect of their Infancy, and John Nisbet Writer in Edinburgh, Grandson of Sir Patrick Nisbet of Dean, praying Leave to bring in a Bill, for making an Exchange of certain Lands and Estates, in the County of Haddington, belonging to Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton aforesaid Knight, deceased, for other Lands, of the same Extent or Value, belonging to the Petitioner William Nisbet, and for other Purposes therein mentioned.

It is Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be, and is hereby, referred to the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench and Mr Justice Dennison, with the usual Directions, according to the Standing Order.

Nisbet versus Nisbet et al.

Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of William Nisbet of Dirleton Esquire; complaining of several Interlocutory Sentences of the Lords of Session in Scotland, of the Day of July, the Day of November, and the Eighteenth of January last, and the Eighth and Eleventh Days of this Instant Februarymade on the Behalf of Janet Nisbet, Jane Nisbet, and Willielma Nisbet, Daughters of William Nisbet of Dirlcton deceased; David Erskine of Dun One of the Senators of the College of Justice, Sir John Hume of Blackadder, Sir James Campbell of Aberruchill, Collin Campbell Younger of Aberruchill Advocate, John Scot Younger of Ancrum, and James Hume Brother to the said Sir John Hume, their Tutors; and praying, "That the same may be reversed:"
It is Ordered, That the said Janet, Jane, and Willielma Nisbet, and their said Tutors, may have a Copy of the said Appeal; and they are hereby required to put in their Answer or respective Answers thereunto, in Writing, on or before Tuesday the Two and Twentieth Day of March next; and that Service of this Order on the Respondents Agent or Writer in the Court of Session in Scotland be deemed good Service.

Skerret against Nisbet & al.

 Nisbet versus Nisbet & al.

The House being moved, "That a Day may be appointed, for hearing the Cause wherein William Nishet of Dirleton Esquire is Appellant, and Janet, Jane, and Willielma Nisbet, and others, are Respondents:"

Skerret versus Nisbet.

 E. Anglesey & al peremptorily to Answer Phipps's Appeal.

The House was informed, "That Richard Earl of Anglesey and others, Respondents to the Appeal of Constantine Phipps Esquire, had not put in their Answer thereunto, though daly served with the Order of this House for that Purpose"
And thereupon an Affidavit, made by Euseby Stratford of the City of Dublin Gentleman, of the due Service of the said Order, being read.
Ordered, That the Respondents to the said Appeal do peremptorily put in their Answer or respective Answers to the said Appeal, in a Week.

Re Estates of Sir John Nesbit Baron
Nisbet & al. Petition referred to Judges. 1750  House of Lords Journal

Upon reading the Petition of William Nisbet of Dirle ton Esquire, for himself and on Behalf of William Nisbet his only Son, in respect of his Infancy, Walter Nisbet of Craigintinny Esquire,
Sir Alexander Nisbet of Dean Baronet, for himself and on Behalf of Henry and John Nisbet his Sons, in respect of their Infancy, and John Nisbet Writer in Edinburgh, Grandson of Sir Patrick Nisbet of Dean, praying Leave to bring in a Bill, for making an Exchange of certain Lands and Estates, in the County of Haddington, belonging to Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton aforesaid Knight, deceased, for other Lands, of the same Extent or Value, belonging to the Petitioner William Nisbet, and for other Purposes therein mentioned.

It is Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be, and is hereby, referred to the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench and Mr Justice Dennison, with the usual Directions, according to the Standing Order.

E. Anglesey & al peremptorily to Answer Phipps's Appeal.

The House was informed, "That Richard Earl of Anglesey and others, Respondents to the Appeal of Constantine Phipps Esquire, had not put in their Answer thereunto, though daly served with the Order of this House for that Purpose"

And thereupon an Affidavit, made by Euseby Stratford of the City of Dublin Gentleman, of the due Service of the said Order, being read.

 Rt. Hon. Robert Adam Nisbet-Hamilton was the son of Philip Dundas and Margaret Wedderburn. He married Lady Mary Bruce, daughter of General Thomas Bruce11th Earl of Kincardine and Mary Nisbet, on 28 January 1828. He died on 9 June 1877.

Lady Mary Bruce was the daughter of General Thomas Bruce11th Earl of Kincardine and Mary Nisbet

She married Rt. Hon. Robert Adam Nisbet-Hamilton, son of Philip Dundas and Margaret Wedderburn, on 28 January 1828. She died on 21 December 1883.

From 28 January 1828, her married name became Nisbet-Hamilton.  

The Dirleton family ended in an heiress, Mrs. Hamilton Nisbet Ferguson of Raith, previously countess of Elgin, the daughter of William Hamilton Nisbet of Dirleton, the last proprietor in the male line

Mrs. Hamilton Nisbet Ferguson died in 1855, when R. A. Christopher, formerly Dundas, of Bloxholm Hall, Lincolnshire, became possessed of Dirleton, and for the second time changed his name to Hamilton Nisbet.


Mary Hamilton Bruce, Countess of Elgin (née Nisbet; 18 April 1778 – 9 July 1855) was the first wife of British diplomat Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin during his term as Ambassador Extraodinare to the Ottoman Empire and one of the most influential and wealthiest heiresses of the late 18th and early 19th century.

Mary Hamilton Nisbet was born on 18 April 1778 in Dirleton. Her parents were of the landed gentry; William Hamilton Nisbet was a Scottish landowner, one of the few who owned large estates in Scotland. Her mother, also called Mary (née Manners) was a granddaughter of John Manners, 2nd Duke of Rutland. Nisbet grew up on the Archerfield Estate, not far from Edinburgh. From an early age she kept a detailed diary.

During her teens Nisbet's father became a Member of Parliament, and the family traveled to London, where she entered society via her grandmother, Lady Robert Manners. According to biographer Susan Nagel, "she was noted to be very mature for her age and often joined her parents at gatherings traditionally held for grown-ups."

Nesbit met Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, who had only recently become Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in 1798. The pair were distantly related via the Montagus and were considered a good match by both families. They married on 11 March 1799.

 After spending the wedding night at Archerfield the couple travelled to Bruce's home, Broomhall.

Following a short stint in London the couple left England on 3 September 1799 so that Bruce could take up his Ambassadorial position; sailing from Portsmouth on the HMS Phaeton. By this point Nesbit was pregnant but decided to travel with her new husband. During the two-month voyage they visited Lisbon and Gibraltar (as guests of Charles O'Hara), Sicily, Palermo, Messina and Tenodoes before arriving in Constantinople.

It was a difficult time in Constantinople; English people were not well liked or trusted. [clarification needed] The couple moved into the old French embassy (which had recently been vacated) which Nesbit then had decorated and where she hosted lavish  parties. In November, with the permission of the Grand Vizier, she became the first woman to attend a political Ottoman ceremony. Despite being five months pregnant she was required to dress as a man.

Another link back to our Montagu family, Constantinople and smallpox!

The following information may be of help to other people researching the same connections

Sir Henry Nisbet of Craigintinnie, knight, married Isobel Nicolson, daughter of Thomas Nicolson of Cockburnspath, lord advocate. Their children who have been traced are -

(1.) John, who died 24th June 1664, and was buried in Greyfriars churchyard.
(2.) Patrick. (See No. III.)

Sir Henry Nisbet entered into a tack of the teinds of his lands of Restalrig with John lord Balmerinoch on 13th March 1632. He died at his house in Blackfriars wynd, Edinburgh, on 5th January 1667, bequeathing his whole estate to his eldest surviving son, Patrick. He was buried in Greyfriars churchyard.

III. Sir Patrick Nisbet, infeft in the lands of Craigintinnie May 1667; created a baronet 2nd December 1669; exchanged, in 1672, the lands of Craigintinnie for those of Dean, with his cousin Alexander Nisbet of Dean. The lands conveyed are described as twelve oxengates of the town and lands of Restalrig, which had been feued out in three separate portions by Robert Logane of Restalrig. The conveyance is dated 22nd June 1672, and is granted for certain large sums of money paid and other good causes. (See Dean genealogy for further notice of sir Patrick Nisbet and his descendants.)

IV. Alexander Nisbet of Craigintinnie, formerly of Dean. Exchanged in 1672 the lands of Dean for those of Craigintinnie. He married Katherine Porterfield, daughter of Walter Porterfield of Comostoune. They had -
(1.) William Nisbet of Craigintinnie, institute of Dirleton, under the 1687 entail of that estate by sir John Nisbet.
(2.) Captain Alexander.
(3.) Captain Thomas, died a lieutenant-colonel at Bergen-op-Zoom, 14th April 1758, aged 87.

(4.) Jean, married Alexander Gordon of Woodhall. She died March 1763, aged 87.
(5.) Emilia, married the Rev. Mr Hepburn, minister of the gospel.
By disposition dated 3rd and 22nd April 1683, Alexander Nisbet, with consent of his wife, Katherine Porterfield, sold to Henry Nisbet, younger of Dean, four of the twelve oxengates of land which had been conveyed by sir Patrick Nisbet (No. III.) to Alexander Nisbet (No. IV.) by the disposition of 1672. In 1693 Henry Nisbet sold these four oxengates to Andrew Massie, one of the regents of the college of Edinburgh, in liferent, and Andrew Massie, his son, in fee. In 1735 Ann Massie, spouse to William Graham, junior, merchant in Edinburgh, disponed them to William Miller, younger, seed merchant, near the abbey of Holyrood house. In this last conveyance the four oxengates are described as the north-east room of Restalrig, together with the whole links on the north side of the Blackside loan. Confirmation of Alexander Nisbet's estate was granted 19th May 1696. Katherine Porterfield was dead in 1693.

V. William Nisbet of Craigintinnie and Dirleton. (For marriages and children see Dirleton pedigree.) Infeft in the remaining eight oxengates of the lands of Restalrig, described as the south-east and middle rooms of Restalrig, on 24th October 1712. He executed an entail of the estate of Restalrig on 5th September 1722 to David Nisbet, son of his second marriage with Mrs Jean Bennet, daughter of Mr Robert Bennet, dean of the faculty of advocates, whom failing, to Walter Nisbet (see No. VI.), the second son of his first marriage with a niece of dame Jean Morison, the third wife of sir John Nisbet, first of Dirleton, whom failing, to Mrs Christian Nisbet, his eldest daughter, and sir John Scott of Ancrum, her husband. He was succeeded by his son Walter.

VI. Walter Nisbet of Craigintinnie, died at Edinburgh 1st February 1752, and was succeeded by his daughter (and apparently only child) Jean Nisbet.

VII. Jean Nisbet of Craigintinnie made up a title to her father and died in the same year, 1752; succeeded by her cousin John (IX.), son of -

VIII. Dame Christian Nisbet, wife of sir John Scott of Ancrum. They had four sons and one daughter. They were succeeded in the estate of Craigintinnie by their second son John (No. IX.)

IX. John Scott-Nisbet of Craigintinnie, baptised 15th May 1729. Died at Edinburgh 31st December 1764. Married, 21st December 1756, Margaret, daughter of Chambres Lewis, collector of customs, Leith. His wife, Mrs Margaret Scott-Nisbet, died at Portobello 2nd November 1828, aged 88. He was the last Nisbet of Craigintinnie, and in 1762 he sold the lands to William Miller.

By deed of entail dated 29th September 1687, sir John entailed the estate of Dirleton on William Nisbet, eldest lawful son of Alexander Nisbet of Craigintinnie, and a series of substitutes. He died on 9th April 1688. 

Confirmation of his estate was granted to sir William Scott, on behalf of his wife, Jean Nisbet, as the only child of the deceased. In 1693 lady Harden and her husband presented a petition to parliament setting forth the injustice of the entail by the exclusion of the entailer's only child, and praying that it might be set aside. 

The petition was remitted to John, earl of Tweeddale, the chancellor, and sir James Stewart, lord advocate, with power to settle with the parties, or otherwise to report to parliament. No report was made. Lady Harden was served heir of line and taillie to her father 24th June 1697. 

A series of lawsuits went on for many years between lady Harden and the heir of entail regarding the payment of considerable sums of money, in which she or her representatives were upon the whole successful.

II. William Nisbet of Dirleton, served heir to his father, Alexander Nisbet of Craigintinnie, 18th June 1696. Institute of entail under the deed executed by sir John Nisbet above mentioned. He married (1) a niece of dame Jean Morison, the third wife of sir John Nisbet of Dirleton. 

He married (2), on 29th March 1688, Jean, daughter of Mr Robert Bennett, dean of the faculty of advocates; their marriage contract is dated 20th April 1711. She died 29th June 1762. With other children, Mr Nisbet had by the first marriage -

(1.) Jean, born 17th March 1690, married seventh lord Banff, 2nd April 1749.
(2.) Margaret, baptised 10th September 1690.
(3.) William. (See No. III.)
(4.) Christian, married sir John Scott of Ancrum. (See that pedigree.)
(5.) Anne, married sir John Hume of Blackadder. She died at Prestonpans 1st January 1779.
(6.) Katherin, married, in 1722, Colin Campbell, younger of Aberuchil. She died 20th January 1763.

(7.) Janet.
(8.) Magdalen.
By the second marriage -
(9). David, died before 8th June 1728.
(10.) Wilhelmina (described in her obituary notice as the nineteenth child), born 1724. Married, August 1747, David, earl of Leven and Melville. She died 10th May 1798.

Sourced information from the web

Scottish family of painters.

  THE Norie family ran the most successful decorative painting business in Scotland in the eighteenth century. By 1720 it had eclipsed its rivals to emerge as the leading firm of house-painters in the country, a position it retained for at least 50 years.  

The founder of the firm was James Norie senior. He created a business which offered his clients decorative landscape schemes, as well as general house-painting. James Norie and his family were the first Scottish artists to paint landscapes, and several of the most important landscape painters of the eighteenth century served their apprenticeships in the Norie workshops.

For the most part the Nories painted idealised landscapes, in grisaille, often a monochrome sage-green or lilac. The landscapes showed waterfalls and ruins, fishermen and shepherds, and belong to a tradition of European decorative painting, the closest parallels to which can be found in Italian or Italo-Flemish art.

Many can still be seen in the rooms for which they were painted but their effect, even when restored to their original settings can now only be seen in isolation.

As fashion in interior decoration changed, all the subsidiary parts of the Nories' schemes, their graining and marbling, were painted over, leaving only a few important landscape panels still visible. Ironically, the elimination of their context has had the effect of over-emphasising the importance of the surviving paintings, leaving them to be judged as independent works of art.

James Norie was Master Painter to the Board of Ordnance in North Britain, being paid for work at Fort Augustus, Fort William, and Edinburgh Castle b
But, after James's death in 1757, it was his son Robert who succeeded him to the lucrative post.
The Norie family's connection with this important government agency may well have resulted from the strong links it had with the Adam family. William Adam, active with the Nories in the creation of an art school in Edinburgh in 1729, had been appointed Mason to the Board of Ordnance the following year.

For the next 20 years, the two families often worked together, William Adam building and the Nories decorating the same houses. Indeed the list of projects where both were employed -- Arniston, Caroline Park, Haddo, Hopetoun, Mavisbank, and Yester as well as many smaller houses -- reads like a roll-call of many of the most important architectural projects of the century.

The business connection, strongly apparent between James Norie senior and William Adam, weakened after the death of the latter in 1748.

The heyday of the Norie family had been the 1730s and 1740s, when, in town and country houses, the painters had produced a large number of fresh and lively decorative schemes complementing the vigorous architecture and plasterwork of William Adam and his tradesmen.

James Norie the elder (b Knockando, Grampian, 1684; d Edinburgh, 11 June 1757) was the son of an Edinburgh merchant. In 1709 he was admitted freeman of the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh, St Mary’s Chapel; its records suggest that he was ambitious to improve the status of painting in Scotland.

In 1729 he was one of the leading painters involved in establishing St Luke’s Academy, Edinburgh, the first Scottish art institution. His known works are principally decorative landscapes in grisaille, with heraldic and fictive architectural embellishment. 

They are painted directly on to plaster or panelling with great freedom and broad massing of light and shade; though generalized, they include both classical and Scottish scenery and motifs, sometimes in combination. Several such schemes attributable to him and his workshop survive in whole or in part, at Kellie Castle, Fife, and at a number of houses in or near Edinburgh, including Caroline Park, Drylaw House, Prestonfield House, Hopetoun House, Newhailes House and Chessel’s Court.

Among his extant easel paintings are a Self-portrait (Edinburgh, N.P.G.) and two classical landscapes (Edinburgh, N.G.), both signed and dated 1736. A trompe l’oeil still-life (untraced) by him was recorded in the late 19th century.

His son Robert Norie (b after 1711; d Edinburgh, 1766) spent some time in London working with George Lambert in the 1730s.

In 1741 he executed four large canvases for James, 5th Duke of Hamilton (Edinburgh, Pal. Holyroodhouse, Royal Col.); these ambitious but rather stiff paintings of Classical ruins and landscapes comprise his extant work.

He became a freeman painter in Edinburgh in 1742. No known works are attributable to his brothers James the younger (1711–36) and George (d Edinburgh, 1749–50), although the latter is known to have been in business in Edinburgh as a colourman. 

At Robert’s death Alexander Runciman (who, like Jacob More and Alexander Nasmyth, began his career in the tradition established by the Nories) became senior partner of the family firm; it was still trading in 1775 under Helen Norie (possibly a daughter rather than a daughter-in-law of James Norie the elder).

Alexander Runciman (15 August 1736 – 4 October 1785) was a Scottish painter of historical and mythological subjects. He was the elder brother of John Runciman, also a painter.
He was born in Edinburgh. He studied at Foulis's Academy, Glasgow, and from 1750 to 1762 he was apprenticed to the landscape painter Robert Norie, later becoming a partner in the Norie family firm. He also worked as a stage painter for the Edinburgh Theatre.

Thomas Warrender (fl. 1673–1713) produced the Allegorical Still Life (after 1708), of a letter board that seems to be a commentary on the union of 1707, but he made his living as a house decorator, working closely with architects, including William Adam.

He may have trained James Norie (1684–1757), who with his sons James (1711–36) and Robert (d. 1766), painted the houses of the peerage with Scottish landscapes that were pastiches of Italian and Dutch landscapes.

They tutored many artists and have been credited with the inception of the tradition of Scottish landscape painting that would come to fruition from the late eighteenth century.

The painters Allan Ramsay (1713–84), Gavin Hamilton (1723–98), the brothers John (1744–68/9) and Alexander Runciman (1736–85), Jacob More (1740–93) and David Allan (1744–96), mostly began in the tradition of the Nories, but were artists of European significance, spending considerable portions of their careers outside of Scotland.

Henry Raeburn (1756–1823) was the most significant artist of the period to pursue his entire career in Scotland, born in Edinburgh and returning there after a trip to Italy in 1786.

In 1729 there was an attempt to found a school of painting in Edinburgh as the Academy of St. Luke, named after the Renaissance Accademia di San Luca in Rome. Its sponsors were the elder Norie, the poet Allan Ramsay and William Adam.

Its president was George Marshall, a painter of still lives and portraits, and its treasurer was the engraver Richard Cooper. Other members included Cooper's student Robert Strange, the two younger Nories, the portrait painters John Alexander (c. 1690-c. 1733) and Allan Ramsay, son of the poet (1713–84). 

The success of the group was limited by its associations with Jacobitism, with Strange printing bank notes for the rebels. The Foulis Academy was founded in Glasgow in 1754 by the printmaking brothers Robert and Andrew Foulis, and in Edinburgh the Board of Trustees for Fisheries, Manufactures and Improvements in Scotland established the Trustees Drawing Academy in 1760, indicating that art was now part of civic life and not just aristocratic patronage.

When Riddles Court was being restored in the 1960s a set of painted landscape panels dating to the early 1700s was discovered. They were painted by James Norie a Scottish landscape painter. 
Today you can see the painted panels in the Museum of Scotland.
National Galleries Scotland holds 5 of his works

This view of Edinburgh appears to have been painted before the building of the New Town. The viewpoint towards the castle is from the Craigleith quarries in the north-west of the city, from where most of the stone for this astonishing urban development would come. At this time the city prospered and as a result the decorative arts were becoming increasingly important. James Norie senior, who was primarily a house-painter, painted a number of panelled rooms in the city. This picture, painted in a monochromatic colour scheme characteristic of the Norie family, was probably made to be inset in painted wooden panelling above a fireplace.

Taymouth Castle painted in 1733 by James Norie, showing William Adam's improvements to the house and gardens.


 Other examples of James Norie's works.

Classical Landscape with Trees and a Lake (Dated 1736)

This type of painting, known as a 'capriccio' or invention, is characteristic of Norie senior's ideal landscapes. It has all the essential ingredients to make a picturesque scene: lush foliage, a tranquil lake, a distant mountain, a rutted track, classical ruins and figures for human interest. Norie often borrowed motifs from a variety of engraved sources. The classical ruins in this painting come from a view of the Colosseum by the Roman view painter and architect Panini. The dimensions of the painting suggest that it was designed to fit over a doorway or to be inserted into a wall.

Painted 1736

The Norie or Norrie family ran the most successful Scottish painting business in the 18th century, completing many notable decorative interior schemes. James Norie’s trade card from the early 18th century offered colours, oils, varnish, brushes, pencils, etc for painting and japanning (repr. James Holloway, The Norie Family, National Galleries of Scotland, 1994, p.5); one of Norie’s customers was Cosmo George, 3rd Duke of Gordon, whom he supplied with watercolours, brushes, paper, etc in 1736 (National Archives of Scotland, GD44/51/465/2, item 10, 6 March 1736, information from Richard Stephens, August 2010).

Another story much the same, but each one divulges a little more information.

James Norie was followed in business by his son, Robert Norie (d.1766), whose partnership with Alexander Runciman was dissolved in 1766 at his death (Caledonian Mercury 28 April 1766). Robert Norie’s son, also Robert Norrie (1766-1821), by his wife Hellen Mealls, was born in June 1766, after his death.

James Taylor, apprenticed to Robert Norrie in 1755, became a Burgess in Edinburgh in 1768. He may perhaps have entered into partnership with Norrie’s son, the second Robert Norrie, a Burgess from 1786. In any case, Norie & Taylor, painters, feature in Edinburgh directories from 1793 to 1801, and then as Taylor & Norie from 1800.

In 1804 Robert Norie was listed as painter at West Register St and Mrs Taylor as colour shop, head of Carruber’s Close; Norie was again listed as painter at 2 West Register St 1812-15 and West Register St continued to feature as the address for the painting activities of the business.

The partnership between Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Norie as Taylor & Norie, painters and floor cloth manufacturers, was dissolved in March 1814 (London Gazette 19 November 1814). Robert Norie then announced that he had taken his son into partnership (Caledonian Mercury 14 July 1814).

Robert Norrie, painter, died intestate in November 1821. The estate of Robert Norie, house painter in Edinburgh, was valued at almost £198 as reported at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court in May 1822.

The third Robert Norrie was born in June 1790, the son of Robert Norrie, painter, and his wife, Jean Wright. When the business advertised in 1820, it was as Robert Norrie & Son, with a floor cloth warehouse at West Register St and an oil and colour shop at 141 High St (Caledonian Mercury 27 May 1820). The business continued until 1849, and was followed at 30 West Register St by Lawrie & Glover, painters, from 1850.

James Norie and two of his sons, James and Robert, made their names as decorative landscape painters. Some of their works were commissioned as topographical records of specific locations but most of their paintings are imaginative, idealised views. These were strongly influenced by the classical landscapes of Claude Lorraine and Gaspard Dughet. Many were designed as elements in interior decorative schemes, sometimes painted in monochrome rather than full colour

Norie senior, originally from Morayshire, trained in Edinburgh with Thomas Warrender
In 1729, he became a founder member of the Edinburgh Academy of St Luke, the earliest art academy in the city.

Taylor & Norie, head Carruber’s Close and West Register St, Edinburgh 1800-1804, High St and Register St 1805-1810, 141 High St 1811-1814, Robert Norrie & Son, 141 High St by 1816-1845, West Register St 1820, 24 West Register St 1845-1846, 30 West Register St 1848-1849. Painters and colour shops, also floorcloth manufacturers, described as colourmen from 1811.Journal August 1860 p.237

                                      Elevation of N side of street, including part demolished in 1926.Inscribed "Measured August 1940. H.W. M.H. J.L. J.P.R. SC1133254 Copyright RCAHMS

16 Broad St the RCAHMS visited Norrie's House in 1955, prior to its reconstruction in 1958-9. They describe it as partly demolished at the rear and gutted internally; though its facade is one of the best examples of 17th century architecture in Stirling.

The facade is four storeys and an attic in height; the masonry is ashlar. The ground floor, much disfigured, has been used as a shop. Initials carved on the second floor pediments probably represent James Norrie (RCAHMS) Norie (Fleming), a prominent Town Clerk of Stirling, and a date of 1671 probably commemorates the erection of the building.

RCAHMS 1963, visited 1955; J S Fleming 1902

Norie's House is no 16 Broad Street. It is as described. Both spellings, "Norie's" and "Norrie's" are used by various authorities. There is no name plaque.
Visited by OS (JP) 6 December 1973.

William Heather Norie - He becomes the last heir of Evelyn Medow's will.

His father was rather famous, John William Norie a very famous person, with an obvious talent.

OccupationHydrographer, mathematician, publisher

John William Norie (1772 in London – 1843), was a mathematician, hydrographer, chart maker and publisher of nautical books most famous for his Epitome of Practical Navigation (1805) which became a standard work on navigation and went through many editions as did many of Norie's works

Norie began his career working with William Heather, who had in 1765 taken over chart publishers Mount and Page and who ran the Naval Academy and Naval Warehouse in Leadenhall Street from 1795; the Naval Warehouse provided navigational instruments, charts, and books on navigation. 

Norie took over the Naval Warehouse after Heather's retirement and founded the company J.W. Norie and Company in 1813.   After Norie's death the company became Norie and Wilson, then in 1903 Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson.

This post was written by Alyssa Penick, Intern at The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

The Dibner Library for the History of Science and Technology recently acquired a nineteenth-century navigation atlas, The Marine Atlas, or a Seaman’s Complete Pilot for all the Principal Places in the Known World, which was published in London in 1826 by John William Norie.

Currently under restoration, this large folio contains forty copperplate engravings of marine charts and depicts every ocean, sea, and coastline then known. The Dibner’s copy of The Marine Atlas is the seventh edition of the atlas and was bound in New York by Henry Spear in 1856. No other copies of Norie’s Marine Atlas are held by public collections, making this addition to the library particularly exciting.

The publisher, John William Norie (1772-1843), headed a successful printing house in London that specialised in maritime publications. In addition to printing navigational charts and atlases, Norie published numerous reference books that ranged in subject from ship construction to astronomy.

Many of Norie’s publications continued to be revised and reprinted throughout the nineteenth century. The Marine Atlas is not the first of Norie’s works to join the Dibner’s collection. The library also holds an 1822 edition of Norie’s The Shipwright’s Vade-mecum, a technical manual for shipwrights.

To understand the contemporary  importance of Norie’s Marine Atlas for nineteenth-century mariners, one can turn to an essay by celebrated Russian admiral Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern, who discussed his reliance on Norie’s Atlas during his voyage to the South Pacific in 1835.

Kruzenshtern brought the Marine Atlas with him to sea and depended on it to safely explore the Cook Islands. Upon his return to Russia the in 1836, Kruzenshtern wrote an account of his recent voyage in which he praised Norie’s Marine Atlas for its “superior” charts of the Pacific Ocean and commented that Norie’s work was “used by the majority of English and American mariners.”

Though Kruzenshtern later published a revised set of charts of the region that corrected “errors” in Norie’s charts, The Marine Atlas still remained the basis for his own charts.

Kruzenshtern‘s discussion of Norie’s Marine Atlas is a testament to the collaborative nature of exploration and navigation. Despite the bitter naval rivalries among nineteenth-century European powers, mariners and explorers actively relied on one another to share and correct each other’s works.

Through their dynamic exchange of information through print, seaman quickly improved their collective understanding of the maritime world.

Reference    A journey from Edinburgh through parts of North Britain, Volume 2  By Alexander Campbell, an ebook

National Galleries of Scotland, Collections, 'James Norie' <>  

William Heather

William Heather (1764-1812) was and engraver and chart publisher in London. After working at first for the teacher in navigation and publisher John Hamilton Moore Heather set up in business on his own in 1793. He first specialized in publishing charts of British waters. 

Produced nautical charts until his death in 1812, left his successful business to John William Norie. In his will Heather mentions his family, three friends, including Norie, , 'John Stephenson of Islington, engraver' and his shopman.

Stephenson clearly owes Heather money as, in the will, he is let off half his debts and is given two years to pay the rest. William Heather was also one of the two witnesses when Stephenson first married in 1796. 

Stephenson continued to engrave nautical charts for Norie for at least twenty years.
Heather specialized in supplying charts to the merchant trade, operating from the Navigation Warehouse at 157 Leadenhall Street, at 'The Sign of the Little Midshipman', a ship's figurehead suspended outside. The premises were immortalized by Charles Dicken's 1846 novel 'Dombey and Son' as the shop kept by Sol Gils: the 'Little Midshipman' was illustrated in the book

William Heather (or Heyther)
by James Caldwall
line engraving, published 1776
5 3/4 in. x 5 1/8 in. (145 mm x 131 mm) paper size
Given by the daughter of compiler William Fleming MD, Mary Elizabeth Stopford, 1931

Now of interest here, is another great grandfather, Thomas Mudge, on our paternal side,  
Thomas was involved with chronometers and pocket watches.

Thomas Mudge (1715 – 14 November 1794 London) was an English horologist who invented the lever escapement, the greatest single improvement ever applied to pocket watches
 When Mudge qualified as a watchmaker in 1738 he began to be employed by a number of important London retailers. Whilst making a most complicated equation watch for the eminent John Ellicott FRS, Mudge was discovered to be the actual maker of the watch and was subsequently directly commissioned to supply watches for Ferdinand VI of Spain. He is known to have made at least five watches for Ferdinand, including a watch that repeated the minutes as well as the quarters and hours. 

In 1770, due to ill-health Mudge, quit active business and left London to live in Plymouth with his brother Dr John Mudge. From that date Mudge worked on the development of a marine chronometer that would satisfy the rigorous requirements of the Board of Longitude, which had been amended after the earlier work of John Harrison. 

He sent the first of these for trial in 1774, and was awarded 500 guineas for his design. He completed two others in 1779 in the continuing attempt to satisfy the increasingly difficult requirements set by the Board of Longitude. They were tested by the Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne, and declared as being unsatisfactory. 

There followed a controversy in which it was claimed that Maskelyne had not given them a fair trial. A similar controversy had arisen when John Harrison had been denied the full amount of the 1714 prize by the Board of Longitude. Eventually, in 1792, two years before his death, Mudge was awarded £2,500 by a Committee of the House of Commons who decided for Mudge and against the Board of Longitude, then headed by Sir Joseph Banks.

In 1770 George III purchased a large gold watch produced by Mudge, that incorporated his lever escapement. This he presented to his wife, Queen Charlotte, and it still remains in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. In 1776 Mudge was appointed watchmaker to the king.

These two must have crossed paths at some stage, and they are listed in records of the day,

Like John Norie, Thomas was also descended from a talented family.

Norie, John William

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Born in Burr Street, London, on 3 July 1772, John William Norie was a prominent chartmaker and writer on navigation. He started with William Heather at an ...

John William Norie His Family

John William Norie was born in London in 1772, one of eight children of James Norie, a Presbyterian Minister who ran a school in Burr Street London.  His mother was Dorothy May Fletcher.

John married Elizabeth Hill born 1772 and died 1824.  Unfortunately be proven.

John and Elizabeth were married April 1797 in Wolverhampton.  Their children:

Ann Isabella Norie   b   1803   d   1872   m  James Potter

William Heather Norie   b  1811  d  1896

Evalina Harriot Norie    b  1812

Frances Norie                 b  1814

Elizabeth died in 1824 at Barossa Place Islington.   

After her death he remained in London and then returned to his native Edinburgh and died  24 December 1843 at his home in Coates Crescent Edinburgh.

But a talented man such as he was, must have gained the incredible information from somewhere!

Perhaps his family genes would provide an answer.

At this point, mention must be made of the extent of the Norie family.  There are just so many in Scotland, and piecing together the puzzle has taken an inordinate amount of research and time, hopefully will benefit others who might one day face the same challenges.

His father was James Norie from Knockando, Moray in Scotland, born 1737 and died in London in 1793.  

 His mother was Dorothy Mary Fletcher born 22nd Sep 1737 married 10 Mar 1771 and she died 1793 in London.

They had 

John William Norie                           1772    1843
Evelyn Thomas Francis Norie  Commander in the RN   b   1774    d   1858 m Isabella Anderson
James Norie                                      1775
Henry Augusta Norie                        1776  -  1779      
Isabella Susanna Norie                     1778                  Did not marry and returned to Edinburgh
Harriot Maria Norie                          1780   -  1861    m  Evelyn Philip Medows (Foot Guards)  and 2                                                                                                                        others
George Fletcher Norie                      1782  -  1792
Ann Augusta Norie                           1784      1856     m  William Greeman
Charlotte Mary Norie                        1786                   Did not marry returned to Edinburgh
Margaret Norie                                  1790                    m  John Anderson

One thing about the Scottish families, they have a habit of naming their children after the parents, the paternal grandparents, and then the maternal grandparents.  The second name is usually the surname of the grandparent.

Understanding this tradition helps when determining just who is who, especially when researching family history.

The ANCESTRAL Scottish Onomastic Child-naming Pattern

The 1st son was named for his father’s father.
The 2nd son was named for his mother’s father.
The 3rd son was named for his father’s father’s father
The 4th son was named for his mother’s mother’s father
The 5th son was named for his father’s mother’s father.
The 6th son was named for his mother’s father’s father.
The 7th through 10th sons were named for their father’s 4 great-grandfathers.
The 11th through 14th sons were named for their mother’s 4 great-grandfathers.

The 1st daughter was named for her mother’s mother.
The 2nd daughter was named for her father’s mother.
The 3rd daughter was named for her mother’s father’s mother
The 4th daughter was named for her father’s father’s mother
The 5th daughter was named for her mother’s mother’s mother
The 6th daughter was named for her father’s mother’s mother
The 7th through 10th daughters were named for their mother’s 4 great-grandmothers
The 11th through 14th daughters were named for their father’s 4 great-grandmothers

Pattern 2 - Ancestors Surnames as Middle Names

Another naming custom in Scotland, which appeared in the early to middle 19th century, is to use family surnames as a middle name, thus preserving surnames for another generation. This can include all family connections from blood lines to married in lines. There appears to be a pattern here too.  Although the following naming practice was not an invariant tradition, it may give a clue about the name of grandparents whose names are so elusive in genealogical research. 

So based on this theory their should be an Evelyn Thomas or Evelyn Augusta somewhere in this family!   Or was the inclusion of Evelyn a constant reminder of a person?

Their son Evelyn Thomas Frances Norie continued the tradition of including the name of his children with the Evelyn and Augusta

Dorothy Mary Fletcher was the daughter of Jacob Fletcher b 1730 who married Susanna Hall 1752.
He also had a son Samuel and he was a London wine merchant.

James Norie was the son of James Norie 1711- 1736 and Isobel Hay 1717 -  1776
James and Isobel lived in Edinburgh and he ran a very successful painting business.

James and Isobel had 

Elizabeth Norie
James Norie        1737    1793   m    Dorothy Fletcher
Hugh Norie         1738
John Norie          1739     1791   m   Catherine Robertson
George Norie      1740                m   Jane Knox

James the brother of John also wrote to his family advising them that he had recently had some bad news about a debt which he was owed.  Just about the same time as Evelyn Medows and Elizabeth Chudleigh Court Case.

18th century portrait of Elizabeth Chudleigh

Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston ( 8 Mar 1721 – 26 August 1788), sometimes called Countess of Bristol, was the daughter of Colonel Thomas Chudleigh (died 1726), and was appointed maid of honour to Augusta, Princess of Wales, in 1743, probably through the good offices of her friend, William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath.


Elizabeth Chudleigh was born on 8 Mar 1721. Her father was lieutenant governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, but he died while she was still a small child.

Being an attractive woman, Chudleigh did not lack admirers, among whom were James Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton, and Augustus Hervey, later 3rd Earl of Bristol, but at that time a younger grandson of the first Earl. On 4 August 1744 she was privately married to Hervey at Lainston House, a private country house with its own parish church (St Peter's, now a ruin), near Winchester. The wedding was held at night to preserve the secrecy. Both husband and wife lacked the financial support they needed, and their union was kept secret to enable Chudleigh to retain her post at court, while Hervey, who was a naval officer, rejoined his ship, returning to England towards the close of 1746.

The marriage proved to be an unhappy one, and for years the pair did not to live together. Having married in secret, their marriage did not seem to need to be dissolved. Chudleigh cut a prominent figure in London society, and in 1765 in Berlin she was honoured by the attentions of Frederick the Great. She later became the mistress of Evelyn Pierrepont, 2nd Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull. However, when it appeared likely that Hervey would succeed his brother as Earl of Bristol, Chudleigh took steps to establish proof of her marriage to him by forging an entry in the parish register at Lainston, unbeknownst to him.

Charges of bigamy

Hervey wanted to end their marriage by divorce, but Chudleigh wanted to avoid any public acknowledgment of their marriage. She therefore initiated a suit of jactitation against him, which required him to cease claiming marriage to her unless proved. When Hervey proved incapable of proving the relationship and Chudleigh swore she was unmarried, the consistory court in February 1769 pronounced her a spinster, free to marry. Within a month, she married Kingston and became Elizabeth Pierrepont, Duchess of Kingston-upon-Hull. He built for her a grand townhouse called Chudleigh House (later called Kingston House) on Knightsbridge in the City of Westminster, London. He died four years later, leaving her all his property on condition that she remained a widow. She travelled abroad. Visiting Rome, she was received with the honour due a duchess by Pope Clement XIV.

In March 1775, her first husband's brother died and Hervey became Earl of Bristol. Chudleigh's marriage to Hervey was a legitimate one, despite her denials, and she was therefore legally Countess of Bristol.
The Duchess was forced to return to England when her late husband's nephew, Evelyn Medows (d. 1826), brought a charge of bigamy against her in hopes of establishing a legal rationale for challenging Kingston's will. She attempted unsuccessfully to have the charge set aside in December 1775 by reason of the previous judgment in her favour. She was tried as a peer in Westminster Hall in 1776 and found guilty by 116 peers without dissent. Retaining her fortune, she hurriedly left England to avoid further proceedings on the part of the Medows family.

Later life and legacy

Elizabeth Chudleigh at a 1749 masked ball

She lived for a time in Calais, where she befriended Stefano Zannowich, and then, in 1777, finding she would be accepted by the Russian court, the two had a boat built and made a spectacular entrance sailing into Kronstadt, the port of Saint Petersburg. In the Governorate of Estonia she bought 3 properties Toila, Orro, and Fockenhoff, which she consolidated into an estate she named "Chudleigh". She planned to create a model English estate, imported spaniels and pointers and a collection of plants. She lived there for a short time in a clifftop house with a view of the Baltic Sea.

Hervey eventually gained legal recognition in 1777 that his marriage to Chudleigh was legitimate, but he did not pursue divorce proceedings, probably because of his involvement with the suit of jactitation. Chudleigh continued to style herself Duchess of Kingston, resided in her Paris mansion in Montmartre, Rome, and elsewhere, and died at her estate at St. Assise near Paris on 26 August 1788, still legally Countess of Bristol.

The Duchess was said to be a coarse and licentious woman, and was ridiculed as Kitty Crocodile by the comedian Samuel Foote in a play A Trip to Calais, which, however, he was not allowed to produce. She is reputed to have been the original of William Makepeace Thackeray's characters Beatrice and Baroness Bernstein.


I hope this person is still researching!

I am researching the life and ancestry of John NORIE (circa 1739 -
1789), a painter, who advertised his "arrival" in Aberdeen in the
'Aberdeen Journal' of 19 February 1770. By 1774 he had entered into
partnership with James Wales, a painter in Banff, and at some time had
taken a leading part in "... theatricals got up in Aberdeen on behalf of
the poor".

John married in 1777 to Catherine Robertson, the daughter of weaver John
Robertson, and had two children, James and Isobel Violet. The family
moved to London at the instigation of his brother James, who was running
a successful school in Wapping, but the venture failed and they returned
to Aberdeen in 1784. 

Following an unfortunate financial arrangement with friend he became "embarrassed" and fled to Edinburgh where he died aged about 50.

My present problem is trying to identify John's parentage. He is
believed to have been born in or near Knockando in Morayshire but the
relevant Kirk Session Books were destroyed in a fire at Archiestown on
17 April 1783. Does anyone on the list known of ANY records of Aberdeen
which may contain information about him and his affairs in the city?


So finally the end of the inheritance trail of our 8th cousin. 

It has been such an interesting story, and the Medows family lineage includes a rather special lady

Not to be outdone, the Hervey family also share someone not quite so special, the first husband

 And finally, through the Boscowan tree, with its links to the Churchill family, and the Spencer family, and direct ancestor of Sir Sidney Medows another special lady 

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