JOHN GAY HAD ONCE predicted that Henrietta would never truly be happy while her husband was alive. Charles Howard had devoted his life to plaguing her, from the moment they exchanged vows at the church of St Benet Paul’s Wharf on 2 March 1706. Although they had been legally separated for the past five years, he had continued to remind her of his presence by periodic demands for money and, more recently, by the legal wranglings over his brother’s will. Nobody – not even Queen Caroline – had the ability to torment her as much as he did, and the fear that he had instilled in her during the miserable years of their violent marriage had never left her.
When a messenger arrived at Lady Suffolk’s apartments in Hampton Court at the end of September 1733 with the news that her husband had died at Bath on the 28th of that month, her relief must have been overwhelming. The cause of his death is not certain. Years of heavy drinking may have finally taken their toll, or it may simply have been the deteriorating health associated with advancing years, for the Earl was then approaching sixty. His passing sparked little comment at court. It was afforded a mention in the obituaries of The Gentleman’s Magazine, as would that of any titled gentleman, but otherwise nobody seemed to notice. Neither Henrietta nor her friends referred to it in their correspondence, although it was no doubt the cause of discreet celebration in her apartments.
Henrietta’s son now succeeded as 10th Earl of Suffolk. The estate that he inherited was riddled with the debts that his father had worsened by high living and protracted legal battles. Henry was a much shrewder man of business, however, and restored it to solvency two years later by marrying Sarah Inwen, the daughter of a wealthy brewer. He thus became the first Earl of Suffolk to live at Audley End without debt since the house had been built, well over a century before. Although Henrietta had by now given up all hope of a reconciliation with her son, she may have felt a little pride in hearing of his newfound wealth and prestige.
Charles Howard’s death had finally rid his widow of her long-held fears and released her from any lingering notion of marital fidelity. She now openly encouraged George Berkeley’s advances. The informality of their correspondence betrays a growing intimacy. The earliest known letter is dated 19 June 1734, and was written almost immediately after George had left London for an excursion to Stowe. Lord Cobham’s exquisite gardens were a magnet for Georgian England’s most fashionable society, and Mr Berkeley was accompanied by a party of friends that included Alexander Pope. Together they followed a somewhat rambling route through Oxfordshire, calling at Rowsham, the seat of General Dormer, a close friend of the poet. Their first stop, however, was at Shotover, home of Augustus Schutz, a former member of the King’s household staff. It seems that this place carried some unpleasant associations for Henrietta from her life with Charles Howard, which she had confided to Berkeley. ‘I am not afraid of calling to your remembrance the distress you suffered when you corresponded most with this place,’ he wrote, ‘since that very suffering was the strongest proof imaginable how little you deserved it.’1
Henrietta had clearly been just as eager to write as George was after his departure from London, for their letters crossed. When she received his letter, she wrote another straight away, assuring him that although his reference to Shotover had evoked some bad memories, ‘I don’t remember that I ever lik’d any of the letters from that Place, better than that I reciev’d last.’2
The playful, teasing tone of their correspondence indicates how intimate they had become. Lady Suffolk chided Berkeley for his ‘ill breeding and forgetfulness’, and told him that if she had little news from Kensington which would amuse him, that was because ‘you are dull and want a tast [lack taste] and not that the place do’s not abondantly supply both the instructive and entertaining’. In another, she mocked the ‘Pride and Arrogancy’ which makes men reason that the ‘Actions of women are too inconsiderable, to draw any consequences from them’.3
Berkeley met such jibes with good grace, and the more Henrietta teased him, the more devoted he professed himself to be. Acceding to her request for detailed descriptions of his travels, he told her that he preferred Rowsham to all the gardens he had visited because ‘there is at the bottom of a Sloping hill in the garden a most delightfull stream which runs from thence directly to Marble Hill, and is no small addition to the beautys of the place’. When he visited Stowe, Henrietta bade him pay his respects to the bust of her distinguished ancestor, John Hampden, which was in the Round Temple. He assured her: ‘I could not fail paying a due regard to Mr Hampdens memory, for I am sure no body can be more sensible of what England owes to him, than I am.’ He added that Lord Cobham was planning to erect a bust of Henrietta nearby, and that if this scheme fell through, he would ‘make the Venus of Medicis serve instead of it’.4
George obviously missed his friend at court a great deal, for he confessed that he could find little joy in the magnificence of Stowe or the beauty of Rowsham as both were so far from London. ‘I can truly pity people who live in the Country,’ he declared, ‘I who can scarcely bear it a fortnight.’ He added that the only source of real pleasure there was the arrival of the post when it brought letters from Lady Suffolk. ‘If you wish to be enchanted and leave Stow, you are very unworthy of being there,’ she scolded him, but her mock disapproval hid a genuine delight in his attentions.5
Henrietta’s close friendship with Mr Berkeley set her even further apart from the established order at court. By now, he was in open opposition to Walpole, having been returned as MP for Hedon, Yorkshire, in the general election of May 1734, on the side of his old friend William Pulteney. The latter’s influence in government was rapidly increasing. As well as the members of his Tory contingent, he had also gathered a host of disaffected Whigs about him, along with a sizeable number of Jacobites. Such was his power that he was beginning to threaten the predominance that Walpole had so long enjoyed.
Berkeley was one of Pulteney’s staunchest supporters, and he became increasingly vocal in his attacks on Walpole’s regime. He even published a ‘Political Memorandum’, in which he accused the ministry of acting against the King’s best interests. He claimed that the Jacobites were not responsible for the ‘present uncertainty of our affairs’, as Walpole had so often asserted, and that this was due to ‘those who are in the management of them rather than to those who are not’.6 This was a bold statement to make at a time of such unease and paranoia within the ministry, with Walpole and his supporters eager to make scapegoats of Jacobite sympathisers. Berkeley had no doubt been egged on by Lord Bolingbroke, who was now in political exile following his defeat by Walpole over the Septennial Act. The two had been friends for some time, and in late summer 1734, he went to join Bolingbroke at Bath. It was on this town that his lover at court now also set her sights.
Lady Suffolk’s relationship with George Berkeley had intensified her desire to leave court. Her position there was, in any case, rapidly becoming untenable. Her barely disguised allegiance with political dissidents had added to her isolation and had also invoked the King’s displeasure. The latter had been all too easy to achieve in recent years. ‘That the King went no more in an evening to Lady Suffolk was whispered about the court by all that belonged to it,’ noted Lord Hervey in his memoirs, ‘and was one of those secrets that everybody knows, and everybody avoids publicly to seem to know.’7
Henrietta had had enough. She had been prepared to tolerate the King’s ‘contempt, neglect, snubs and ill-humour’ as long as her husband had been alive, but now that he was gone and she had the prospect of happiness away from court, she was determined to shake off her onerous duties there. She was, as Horace Walpole shrewdly observed, ‘tired of acting the mistress, while she had in reality all the slights of a wife’.8 On the pretext of ill health, she applied to the Queen for six weeks’ leave in Bath. In truth, she wished to test the water rather than take it, and to find out if the King could do without her for such a long period of time.
Perhaps sensing that a refusal would spark her servant’s resignation, Caroline acceded to the request, and Lady Suffolk made hasty preparations for her departure. She had long desired to go to Bath, having so often heard its many attractions described in letters and conversations. Her friends had urged her to go there when she had fallen ill in the summer of 1728. ‘I can’t but think the Bath might give her blood a new turn,’ declared Pope, and his opinion was echoed by Henrietta’s companion and physician, Dr Arbuthnot.9Although she now cited poor health as the reason for her visit, the restorative qualities of the waters were clearly not the main attraction.
Bath was the most fashionable of all the early Georgian spa towns. It had risen to prominence at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when Queen Anne had honoured it with a visit. Huge crowds had soon followed, among them Richard ‘Beau’ Nash, a professional gamester and adventurer. Through the sheer force of his personality, he had transformed the city into a pinnacle of taste and elegance, and had established strict codes of etiquette. Under his direction, Bath had been rebuilt, with sweeping terraces, elegant promenades, theatres, Assembly Rooms and, of course, the famous Pump Room, into which members of high society crowded to take the waters or exchange gossip. All the new buildings had been crafted from the distinctive local honey-coloured stone, which presented an arresting sight as it glowed in the warm summer sunshine. For all its elegance and diversions, however, the greatest attraction Bath held for Lady Suffolk that summer was the fact that her close friend George Berkeley was among its occupants.
Impatient to reach the city, Henrietta first had to endure a long journey of some two or three days. She set off from Kensington in mid-September, accompanied by Martha (‘Patty’) Blount – it being inappropriate for a single lady to travel alone. Her departure caused a stir at court, for she had not had a holiday throughout her twenty years’ service, and many suspected that she did so now for reasons other than failing health. It was reported in all the newspapers and gossiped about by courtiers and politicians. Berkeley noted to a friend that it had ‘occasion’d as much speculation in the family at Kensington as the removal of two or three Minor Ministers would have done’. He defended the excuse that Henrietta had given by claiming that her ‘damp and unwholesome’ apartments at the palace were aggravating her already fragile constitution – although he could not resist adding that her departure was also intended as a demonstration that she would ‘not be such a slave to the court as she has been’.10
Several of Lady Suffolk’s other friends were at Bath when she arrived, including Lord Chesterfield, who had a house on Pierrepont Street. Bolingbroke and Pope were also on their way there, eager to see their friend ‘in Liberty & Health’. ‘I am following her chariot wheels 3 days through Rocks & Waters, & shall be at her feet on Sunday night,’ the latter wrote on 17 September.11 The Tory contingent was further strengthened by the arrival of Lord Bathurst, the alleged former lover of Lady Suffolk, who Berkeley jokingly referred to as ‘a much younger man than myself and consequently much fitter for her purpose’.12
Upon reaching Bath, Henrietta and her companion Miss Blount were instantly caught up in a glittering whirl of social diversions. New arrivals were traditionally greeted by the pealing of the Abbey bells, followed by a personal welcome from ‘Beau’ Nash, before hastening to meet their acquaintances at the Pump Room, Assembly Rooms or theatre, depending on the time of day.
A typical day in Bath would begin any time between six and nine o’clock in the morning with a trip to one of the city’s five public baths. These were public indeed, for people of the ‘lower sort’ would crowd into the balconies up above to watch the elegant, fashionable, and occasionally ridiculous figures below. On one occasion, the genteel Mrs Buckley had been enjoying a peaceful hour’s bathing when an unfortunate accident had befallen her. The portly Duchess of Norfolk had suddenly plunged into the water and ‘like a great Leviathan, rais’d the waters so high, that Mrs Buckley’s guide was oblig’d to hold her up in her arms to save her from drowning; and carry her out like a child’.13
Bathing was followed immediately by a general assembly at the Pump Room. From there, ladies would either withdraw to their private lodgings for breakfast, or take this repast in company at the assembly rooms. Private concerts or lectures on arts and sciences would sometimes form part of the morning’s entertainment, or services at the Abbey if it was a Sunday. The ladies and gentlemen would then repair to separate coffee houses to read the newspapers or trade scandal until noon.
The afternoon would be taken up with promenading along the city’s various public walks, during which parties would be formed for cards, dancing or other entertainment in the evening. Dinner was usually taken at four o’clock. For members of high society this would comprise a remarkable abundance of rich food, such as game pies, oyster loaves, potted venison, and sweet puddings and tarts. After these excesses, the more godly would retreat to the Abbey for evening prayers, while those left behind would snooze until the evening. Their consciences thus relieved, they would repair to the assembly rooms, theatres or private functions. A lavish ball would be held twice a week on a Tuesday and Friday to complete the social round.
All this was dictated by Nash’s ‘Code of Behaviour’, which provided strict guidelines on every conceivable scenario, from banning the wearing of gowns and caps by gentlemen in the morning when there were ladies present, to shunning anyone found to be whispering ‘lies and scandal’ in public. This latter rule was often flouted, but otherwise polite society bowed to Nash’s superior judgement and behaved impeccably. Even royalty could not escape his watchful gaze. At the end of a ball one evening, Princess Amelia, the King’s second eldest daughter, begged for one more dance, but was curtly informed by the Master of Ceremonies that the music must stop at eleven o’clock, and that nothing would induce him to grant her request, no matter how exalted her status might be.
Although harsh, such strictures transformed Bath into a centre of social excellence and made it a magnet for nobles, aristocrats, men of letters and wit, and every other member of polite society. All the most celebrated figures of Georgian England could be found there at one time or another, from Gay and Pope to foreign dignitaries and members of the royal family. It was a glittering contrast to the dull routines of court life back in London, and Henrietta was at first rather overwhelmed by it. She wrote to her friend Anne Pitt, a Maid of Honour, that she found the celebrated diversions of the place exhausting, and preferred instead to live ‘a much more retired life than is fashionable here’. In this she was joined by George Berkeley, who favoured her company above all the public entertainments on offer. Henrietta proudly confided to her friend that he had told her that ‘the most agreeable hour he passes in the 24 is at my breakfast table’.14
But amidst this tranquil domestic scene, more sinister manoeuvrings were afoot. Bath was a magnet for opponents of the political regime, who used the cover of fashionable assemblies to debate parliamentary affairs and plan insurrections at a safe distance from court. Lady Suffolk was well aware of this. ‘The town is full of incindiarys,’ she wrote to Miss Pitt, ‘but as I am famous for my penetration and observation, I have discovered that, after the waters have past, there issues a sharp humour that can be discharged only at the toung, and into the ear of their next neighbour.’15
Amidst this hotbed of rumour and intrigue lay the means to Lady Suffolk’s escape from court. Whether she deliberately planned it, or whether she made a virtue of an unexpected turn of events is uncertain, but she soon found herself at the centre of a political scandal. It started with Princess Amelia, who was staying in Bath at the same time as Henrietta. The Princess had the dangerous combination of an insatiable appetite for gossip and a strong aversion to her father’s mistress. Suspicious that the latter should be keeping such a low profile in the city, she resolved to discover what company she was mixing with. Much to her delight, she soon found out that Lady Suffolk’s private circle included Walpole’s greatest enemy, Lord Bolingbroke. Together with her friend Lady Burlington, she put it about that the pair were conspiring to turn the King against his chief minister, and that their acquaintance was of an intimate nature. The latter conjecture was entirely false, and the former had barely more credence, given that Henrietta was by now determined to leave court and therefore cared little about enhancing either her own or her friends’ position there.
But the merest hint of insurrection on the part of the King’s mistress was enough to create a scandal, and before long the whole of Bath was agog with it. By the time Lady Suffolk made preparations for her departure, news had already spread to the court, and upon her arrival she was caught up in a political storm. She had either failed to predict this, or was secretly glad about it, for she had given no indication to her circle of friends that she might return to St James’s to find her position in jeopardy. Lord Chesterfield wrote a light-hearted letter shortly after her departure, assuring her that he would visit her at court in a fortnight’s time, where he would regale her with the latest gossip from Bath ‘over a hot roll’.16 The rest of his letter was given over to ‘A Generall History of the Bath, since you left it’, and described the lamentations at the loss of Lady Suffolk and Miss Blount. The lively account of their daily amusements that followed, including flirtations at the Pump Room, tittle-tattle on the promenades, and drunkenness at the card tables, could not have formed a starker contrast to the scene that confronted Henrietta at St James’s.
Henrietta had made sure to arrive in time for the King’s birthday on 30 October, as duty and tradition dictated, but her efforts were rewarded with open hostility. When news had reached George II, via his wife and daughter, that she had been conspiring with Bolingbroke and other political malcontents at Bath, he had flown into a rage. He had always hated the thought that he was being manipulated, and that his mistress – whom he had in any case tired of long ago – should attempt to do so was more than he could bear. He therefore vowed never to speak to her or see her in private again.
He made good his threat. Although greatly indisposed with a bad cold, he made a point of being out at the theatre in Haymarket with the Queen and their children when his mistress arrived back at St James’s. Upon returning to the palace, he did not pay his accustomed visit to her apartments, but instead snubbed her altogether. He continued to do so throughout his birthday celebrations the following day, and this time it was much more obvious because there were crowds of spectators at the receptions held to mark the occasion.
Henrietta was genuinely shocked by the fierceness of the King’s hostility towards her. While she appreciated that it presented the best opportunity she had ever had to escape court, she was anxious not to do so in disgrace. As a member of fashionable society, and a countess to boot, she had her future reputation to consider. She also depended upon the pension that she stood to receive upon her retirement from court. She therefore urgently requested an audience with the Queen so that she might find out – and defend herself against – the allegations that were being whispered about her. Her request was granted, and she hastened to her mistress, ‘with whom she was above an hour and a half alone’.17
The detail of what passed during this extraordinary meeting was later recorded by Lady Suffolk and can still be found among the Hobart family papers. The Queen also gave her side of it to Lord Hervey, who seized upon it as fodder for his memoirs, and there is a high degree of correlation between the two accounts. Henrietta’s objectives were on the one hand to clear her name, and on the other to offer her resignation. But knowing that Caroline had so often refused to release her from service in the past, she had to prepare a very persuasive case. She also had to choose her words extremely carefully. The King’s mistress could hardly complain to his wife that he was treating her less kindly than usual, especially as the affair remained something that could never be referred to directly. Henrietta therefore couched everything in terms of his public, rather than private, hostility.
She began by saying that she could no longer stay in Her Majesty’s family, considering the ‘publick marks the King has given me of his displeasure’. Sensing her rival’s discomfort, and trying to bait her into making a direct reference to the affair, Caroline pretended not to understand Henrietta’s meaning. ‘Child, you dream,’ she replied. ‘Why, I saw the King speak to you.’ Henrietta protested that his words had been nothing but a sharp rebuke, and that he had otherwise ignored her. Enjoying the game, Caroline insisted that he had treated her no differently from any other lady at court, mischievously adding: ‘For God’s sake, consider your character. You leave me because the King will not be more particular to you than to others.’ Pushing home her advantage, she made Henrietta admit that George II had not visited her apartments since her return from Bath, and that this was the real issue.
Nevertheless, Henrietta continued to refer to the King in platonic terms, saying that he had ‘been dearer to me than my own brother’, and expressing sorrow at the loss of his ‘friendship’. But the Queen was having none of it and dismissed the whole matter as little more than a lovers’ tiff, caused by the romantic notions that Lady Suffolk had conceived from reading too many novels. In the face of such provocation, Henrietta grew increasingly agitated and demanded to know exactly what she stood accused of, adding that it must be some ‘horrid crime’ for the King to treat her so severely. The more heated she became, the more calmly the Queen dismissed her foolish notions. ‘Oh fie, you commit a crime! Don’t talk so,’ she chided.
Realising that it was hopeless to push the point any further, even though she could tell by Caroline’s looks ‘that your Majesty knows of what I am accus’d’, Henrietta returned to her main objective and repeated her request to retire from court. The Queen quickly changed tack and argued that if she left court, nobody would want to know her. ‘Child, you do not know how differently, when you are out, people will behave,’ she warned. Henrietta’s response was the cleverest and most perceptive of the entire interview. ‘Some people may show me it was the Courtier and not me that was liked,’ she reasoned. ‘I cannot say that keeping of such acquaintance will be an inducement to keep me at court.’
This particular skirmish clearly lost, the Queen told Henrietta that if she left that day, she would do so without the royal consent. Eventually, however, she suggested a compromise: if, after a week’s reflection, she still wished to leave court, then she could do so. Lady Suffolk agreed to this on condition that, given the King’s obvious aversion to her, she should be excused from her usual duties at court during this time. Caroline was determined to have the last word, however, and insisted that she should attend her as usual, no doubt confident that she could wear down her resistance during that time. She brought the interview to an abrupt close by dismissing Henrietta from her apartments, adding spitefully: ‘Give me your word not to read any romances in that time.’18
Henrietta had, of course, no intention of changing her mind, and instead used this week to try and restore her reputation with the King and, by association, with the rest of polite society. Even though George was still refusing to see her in private, she went to seek him out and found him walking in the gardens at Kensington. Immediately irked by her presence, he would hear none of her pleas and she was forced to retreat.
Having failed to win over her old lover in person, Henrietta resorted to her written skills to defend her conduct and beg him to judge her more fairly. The drafts of two impassioned letters that she sent him are still among her correspondence, although they were suppressed in the published version because they leave little doubt about the intimate nature of her relations with the King. ‘I Ask Sir but what your meanest, your Guiltiest subject can claim,’ she began. ‘A Malefactor cannot suffer till his Accusers prove their charge.’ Referring to the longevity of their ‘attachment’, which she claimed had ‘made the happiness of my life’, she insisted: ‘To prove to you with Duty the most sincere the most tender friendship (pardon this expression) attended with the highest sense of Gratitude for the honour of your Esteem has been my business for 20 years past.’ She ended the letter with an eloquent (if perhaps not altogether sincere) appeal to the King’s affection, assuring him: ‘The years to come must be employ’d in the painfull task to forget you as my friend; but no years can ever make me forget you as my King.’19
This letter, however impassioned, did little to melt George II’s heart, and when his mistress left court a few days later, on 22 November 1734, he showed neither sorrow nor regret. Indeed, if Lord Hervey is to be believed, he was heartily glad to be rid of her. When the Queen told him that she had tried to persuade Henrietta to reconsider, he cried: ‘What the devil did you mean by trying to make an old, dull, deaf, peevish beast stay and plague me when I had so good an opportunity of getting rid of her.’20 Caroline, meanwhile, was careful to show no disappointment at her failure to keep Lady Suffolk at court, and declared herself to be ‘both sorry and glad’. She could not, however, resist one final swipe at her rival. ‘I have always heard a great deal of her good sense from other people,’ she told Lord Hervey, ‘but I never saw her, in any material great occurrence of her life, take a sensible step since I knew her; her going from Court was the silliest thing she could do.’21
Lady Suffolk’s resignation caused a scandal throughout the court, and was soon the talk not just of the city but of fashionable resorts across the country. The Countess of Pembroke observed that it had caused ‘a great deal of discourse’. It was also reported in all the newspapers, from The London Journal and The Gentleman’s Magazine to The Craftsman and The Grub Street Journal. Some railed against the King’s cruelty towards a lady who had ‘undergone twenty years’ slavery to his disagreeable temper and capricious will, after she had sacrificed her time, her quiet, her reputation and her health, to his service and pleasure’. Others said that he had every right to spurn a mistress who had been nothing but trouble, and dedicate himself instead to a wife whom he truly loved.22
Whichever view was favoured, speculation as to what had prompted the split was rife. ‘The number of story’s & contradictory reasons given for Lady Suffolks removing from court wou’d fill more than an ordinary length of one of my Letters,’ wrote Elizabeth Compton to her sister, the Countess of Northampton. Some said that Walpole had ‘worked her out of favour’; others that her conspiracy with Lord Bolingbroke at Bath had caused her downfall; and others still that it was due to ‘the acquaintance she was known to have with many of the opposing party, and the correspondence she was suspected to have with many more of them’. Only a few people outside her immediate circle guessed the truth. ‘My own opinion is that . . . since her Lords death that she was out of danger of falling into his hands I believe she has been desirous to have Liberty & a little more time at her own command,’ Miss Compton shrewdly observed.23
Henrietta’s prediction that her true friends would stand by her was fulfilled. ‘Her integrity and goodness had secured the continuation of respect, and no fallen favourite had ever experienced less neglect,’ observed one.24 They had long been aware of her misery at court, and therefore rejoiced at her escape. ‘I congratulate her removall from a palace to a house of her own,’ wrote the Earl of Peterborough, ‘where I hope she will enjoy ease, quiett, & perfect Liberty.’ The Duchess of Queensberry, meanwhile, declared that her heart was full on hearing the news, and urged her friend to come and stay with her at the earliest opportunity.
Those friends who knew her less well, although proving equally sincere, expressed some anxiety at what they feared must be her very great distress at leaving court. Mary Herbert, one of Henrietta’s former companions in the Queen’s household, told her: ‘I heartily wish you may make your self easie, tho I know it must be a hard strugle.’ Lord Bathurst sent her a letter of condolence, ‘for it is a sad thing, without doubt, to be remov’d from the sunshine of the court to the melancholy Shades of privacy and retirement’. Echoing Henrietta’s own words in her interview with the Queen, he predicted that ‘all ye beau-monde, that used to crowd about your Toiletts, will avoid you, as if you had got ye plague’, but added that it must be a great source of satisfaction to have discovered ‘who were friends to ones person and who to ones fortune, which you could never have found out without this Change’.25
Back at St James’s, there was both celebration and disappointment among the courtiers and politicians. Those who had allied themselves to Lady Suffolk for as long as she was the King’s mistress clung to the faint hope that his cruel treatment of her would prompt an outcry and lead to a change of ministry. Members of the opposing party, meanwhile, rejoiced to see ‘this back door to the King’s ear . . . at last shut up’. Although Walpole was counted among the latter, his satisfaction was tempered by a fear that she would be replaced by a mistress who might hate him as much as Lady Suffolk had done, ‘but hate him more dangerously’.
A common thought united them all, both friend and foe, and that was the necessity of deterring any other would-be mistress from ‘sailing near those rocks on which Lady Suffolk had split’.26