Biographies & Memoirs

NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS

ARB Andrew Robinson Bowes 

ARS Andrew Robinson Stoney 

BBP Baker Baker Papers 

BL British Library 

BM Bowes Museum 

CWAC City of Westminster Archives Centre 

DCRO Durham County Record Office 

DCRO SEA Durham County Record Office, Strathmore Estate Archives 

DUL Durham University Library 

GL Guildhall Library 

HL Huntington Library, San Marino, California 

HMC Historical Manuscripts Commission 

LMA London Metropolitan Archives 

MEB Mary Eleanor Bowes 

NA National Archives 

NT National Trust 

ODNB Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 

RA Royal Archives 

RS Royal Society 

SPG Strathmore Papers, Glamis 

SPWB St Paul’s Walden Bury

MONEY

Making comparisons between the purchasing power of money in the eighteenth century and today is far from straightforward. However, since money is obviously a significant factor in this story, some comparisons are clearly helpful. Where I have given comparative figures these have been made using the Bank of England inflation calculator: www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/inflation/calculator/index1.htm

All dates are given according to the new calendar. All descriptions of weather are from the meteorological reports published monthly in the Gentleman’s Magazine or other contemporary accounts.

CHAPTER 1: AN AFFAIR OF HONOUR

Information on the Adelphi Tavern is from Allan, passim; London County Council, vol. 18, pp. 99-100. Originally 18 Adam Street, the Adelphi Tavern adjoined the new headquarters of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, now the Royal Society of Arts. In 1957, the RSA absorbed the tavern building. The original first-floor dining room and ground-floor coffee room can still be viewed. Background information on duelling is from Millingen; Melville and Hargreaves; anon, The British Code of Duel (1824); Baldick; and Landale.

1 Details describing the duel and quotes about it are from the statements by J. Hull, John Scott, Caesar Hawkins and Jessé Foot in The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 24 January 1777, and from anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 9 unless otherwise specified. Hull’s first name is given as John, and his post as clerk, in The Royal Kalendar, 1776, p. 121.

2 Boswell, p. 484.

3 Sir Henry Bate Dudley (he adopted the name Dudley from an uncle who left him a large legacy in 1780 and was made a baronet by George IV when Prince of Wales in 1812) was editor of the Morning Post from 1775 to 1780. The Morning Post merged with the Daily Telegraph in 1937. Fyvie, pp. 79-104; Hindle; Aspinall; Barker; all passim.

4 Walpole to Lady Ossory, 13 November 1776, in Lewis, W. S., vol. 32, pp. 331-2.

5 Boswell, p. 1,295.

6 Foot, p. 5.

7 A report of the duel and events leading up to it, agreed between Bate and Stoney, was published in the London Chronicle, 18-21 January 1777. Details were given in shorter form in the Morning Chronicle, 15 January 1777, as well as in other newspapers. The subsequent details describing the duel and its causes are taken from the London Chronicle report.

8 Morning Post, 10 December, 23 December and 24 December 1776, and 11 January 1777.

9 Foot, p. 45.

10 Donellan would elope with and marry the young heiress Theodosia Boughton later in 1777. In 1780 he was accused of poisoning her twenty-year-old brother, Sir Theodosius, whose fortune went to his sister if he died before the age of twenty-one. An inquest pointed to Donellan’s guilt, despite objections on scientific grounds by the surgeon John Hunter, and Donellan was hanged for murder in March 1781. Moore, pp. 288-291; ODNB, vol. 16, pp. 521-2.

11 Information on Wogdon is from Atkinson, pp. 33-48.

12 Foot, pp. 27-8; anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 5.

13 Testimony of MEB in copy of evidence for House of Lords appeal 1796: SPG, volume C.

14 Foot, p. 28.

15 Annual Register, 1760, vol. 3, p. 131.

16 Foot, p. 13.

17 Testimony of MEB. . . 1796: SPG, volume C.

18 Fyvie, pp. 118-119.

19 Parish register, St James’s Church, Piccadilly, 17 January 1777, CWAC. Stoney had obtained a licence to marry at short notice from the Bishop of London: Bishop of London’s marriage allegations, GL MSS 10091/138.

CHAPTER 2: DOWNRIGHT GIRLISHNESS

Information in this chapter on the ancestry of the Bowes family is from Wills, and Durham County Council, passim. Biographical details on George Bowes can be found in Wills, and ODNB, vol. 6, pp. 931-4. Background on the history of the north-east England coal industry is from Flinn and Stoker; and Atkinson, both passim. For information on the Gibside estate, now NT, see Wills and Garnett, and Wills, both passim. My thanks to Tony Walton, former NT property manager of Gibside, for kind help and advice during my visit 23 October 2006. The contents of Gibside Hall at the time are from two sources: Inventory of the household goods, etc, at Gibside, 29 Oct 1761: SPG, box 185, bundle 5; and an inventory of the contents of Gibside, listing furniture, linen, plate, china, art and books bequeathed by George Bowes to MEB produced in 1779 in answer to a case in Chancery begun in 1777 by Thomas Lyon on behalf of MEB’s five children by Lord Strathmore: NA Chancery Records, C12/1057/31 (schedule). A list of paintings purchased by George Bowes is preserved as DCRO SEA D/St/E5/2/18.

1 William Blakiston Bowes to Lady Elizabeth Bowes, 20 March 1718: BL Add. MSS 40747 ff. 164-5.

2 MEB describes her father and her childhood in Bowes, p. 49.

3 Miss Verney’s poems: SPG, vol. 338.

4 Letters regarding the marriage of George Bowes and Eleanor Verney: SPG, Bowes-Lyon Letter Books, vol. 39, ff. 71-153

5 Marriage settlement of George Bowes and Eleanor Verney, 29 and 30 September 1724: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/5/22.

6 Halsband (1956), p. 123; Perry, p. 504.

7 Chester, vol. 9, p. 312; Sykes, vol. 1, p. 141.

8 George Bowes to Henry Vane, 9 March 1743, cited in Durham County Council, p. 7.

9 Marriage settlement of George Bowes and Mary Gilbert, 10 June 1743: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/5/32. Mary Gilbert’s date of birth is unknown but her age is given as sixty when she died in January 1781 on the inscription in the mausoleum at Gibside, suggesting that she was born in 1720 or 1721.

10 ‘March 28 Mary Eleanor Daughter of George Esqr. and Mary Bows [sic], Born Feb 24th’: Parish register St George’s Church, Hanover Square, baptisms 1749, CWAC.

11 Mrs Bowes’s Cash Books, 16 March 1749: DCRO SEA D/St/E15/5/98. The household accounts date from 1744 to 1760; all details of family purchases are from this source.

12 Captain William FitzThomas to George Bowes, 3 March 1749, and Fra. [Francis] Oneal [sic] to George Bowes, 4 June 1749: BL Add. MSS 40748 ff. 103- 4 and 105.

13 Hester Chapone, cited in Hill, Bridget, p. 74.

14 Will of George Bowes, 7 February 1749 [old style, ie 1750], proved 12 December 1761, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, York University.

15 Mrs Bowes’s Cash Books, 29 August 1750 and 22 May 1751: DCRO SEA D/St/E15/5/98. Cash book of Gibside receipts and expenditure, 1748-54, 11 August 1750: DCRO SEA D/St/E5/5/7.

16 Brand, vol. 1, pp. 434-5.

17 Lancelot [Capability] Brown to George Bowes, 22 October 1750: DCRO SEA D/St/C/3/11. More information on the column can be found in Wills, pp. 43-7, and Hudson, pp. 2,460-1. Estate accounts list various stages of the work in Cash book of Gibside receipts and expenditure, 1748-1754: DCRO SEA D/St/E5/5/7.

18 Climenson, vol. 2, pp. 36-7.

19 Angerstein, pp. 273-4.

20 George Bowes’s memo books 1754-6: SPG, box 186, bundle 3.

21 George (1976), p. 399. Figures quoted from the London Bills of Mortality show that 63 per cent of babies born in London between 1750 and 1769 died before the age of five.

22 Foot, p. 14.

23 Bowes, pp. 49-50. Subsequent quotes are from the same pages.

24 Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London, to Elizabeth Montagu, 1 September 1760, in Climenson, vol. 2, p. 198; Myers, p. 246.

25 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to Lady Bute, 28 January 1753, in Halsband (1965), vol. 3, pp. 20-4.

26 Hill, Bridget, p. 44.

27 de Salignac, pp. 2, 3 and 14.

28 SPG, box 243.

29 Mrs Bowes’s Cash Books: DCRO SEA D/St/E15/5/100. Andreas Planta was paid his ‘entrance money’ on 29 January 1757; a pair of stays was bought on the servants’ account for his daughter Elizabeth Planta on 10 March 1757.

30 Gibside Cash Book 1758-60, quarrying for the chapel, 5 January 1760, digging the foundations, 19 July 1760: DCRO SEA D/St/E5/5/9. The chapel and Gibside estate are described in Paine.

31 Sykes, vol. 1, p. 229.

32 Annual Register, 1760, vol. 3, p. 131, London Magazine, 1760, vol. 29, p. 556, and Sykes, vol. 1, p. 229, all put MEB’s inheritance at £600,000. Barlow, vol. 2, p. 464, puts her inheritance at £1,040,000. Other, later, sources also value her inheritance at £1,040,000, for example, Vincent, p. 702 and anon, The Monthly Chronicle, vol. 1, p. 196.

33 Will of George Bowes, York University.

34 Bowes, p. 52. Parish rates books, St James’s Church, Piccadilly, CWAC. Mrs Bowes paid rates at no. 40 from 1763 to 1767.

35 Clark, vol. 3, p. 61.

36 Bowes, p. 53.

37 MEB to Elizabeth Montagu, Saturday 29 March [1760]: HL MO 623.

38 Blunt, vol. 1, p. 65-6.

39 Lord Lyttelton to Elizabeth Montagu, 11 October 1760 in Climenson, vol. 2, p. 203.

40 Grosley, vol. 1, pp. 22, 34, 35 and 44-5.

41 Ilchester and Stavordale, vol. 1, p. 188.

42 Bowes, p. 54.

43 For information on the history of marriage (and divorce) see Stone (1977) and (1995); and Habakkuk.

44 London County Council, vol. 39, p. 3.

45 Sir William Temple in Popular Discontents, 1680, cited in Habakkuk, p. 144.

46 Savile, p. 25.

47 Astell, p. 12.

48 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to Philippa Mundy, April 1712, in Halsband (1965), vol. 1, p. 122.

49 George (1976), p. 305.

50 Foreman, p. 74.

51 Papendiek, vol. 1, p. 9; Sarah Scott to Elizabeth Montagu, March 1762, in Doran, p. 110; Papendiek, vol. 1, p. 75.

52 Bowes, pp. 54-5.

53 Ilchester, vol. 1, pp. 202-3.

54 ODNB, vol. 20, pp. 609-22.

55 Blunt, vol. 1, pp. 65-6.

56 John Stuart, First Marquess of Bute (1744-1814), ODNB, vol. 53, pp. 182-3; Ilchester, vol. 1, p. 180.

57 Bowes, p. 65.

58 Walpole to Horace Mann, 13 November 1766, in Lewis, vol. 22, p. 465.

59 Hare, vol. 2, p. 172. Hare was the great-grandson of Lady Anne Simpson, sister to the ninth earl.

60 Osborn, pp. 132-3; Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 3, p. 925.

61 Colman and Garrick, p. 42.

62 Account of Miss Bowes’s wedding clothes on her marriage with the Earl of Strathmore: BM Archives. Marriage settlement on intended marriage of Mary Eleanor Bowes and John, Earl of Strathmore, 6 and 7 October 1766: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/5/43. Parish register, marriages, St George’s Church, Hanover Square, 1760-8, 24 February 1767, CWAC.

CHAPTER 3: A WORTHY LITTLE WOMAN

The main source for the Stoney family’s history is Stoney, The Annals, which is based on private family papers, including the family bible which bears the date of ARS’s birth, and also transcribes the diaries of George Stoney (ARS’s father) for 1765 and 1781. Information on family life is taken from these diaries and letters unless otherwise stated.

1 Sykes, vol. 1, p. 191.

2 Extract of William Newton’s will: DCRO D/X540/1; Newton v Stoney, Chancery bill 14 April 1773: NA Chancery Records C12/1626/23.

3 Baptism 11 November 1747 of ‘Hannah daur. of Wm Newton Burnopfield’, baptism register, St Margaret’s Church, Tanfield, DCRO.

4 Foot, p. 7, citing a letter from ‘a mother in Bath to her daughter in London’.

5 Army Commission Book 1763-7, NA WO 25/30. Stoney enlisted on 28 November 1764.

6 ODNB, vol. 2, pp. 427-8.

7 John Scott to George Stoney, 13 February 1746, in Stoney, p. 9.

8 Thomas Johnston to Lieutenant Robert Johnston, 20 April 1765, in Stoney, p. 16.

9 Thomas Johnston to Lieutenant Robert Johnston, 20 April 1765, in Stoney, p. 16. Details of the movements of the King’s Own Regiment and other background information are from Cowper, vol. 1, pp. 190-225.

10 Colonel Andrew Robinson to George Stoney, 17 September 1765, in Stoney, p. 17.

11 Lieutenant Colonel George Maddison to Colonel Robert Brudenell, June 1766, in Stoney, p. 17.

12 General Bigoe Armstrong to George Stoney, 12 July 1766, in Stoney, pp. 17-18.

13 Elizabeth Montagu to Sarah Scott, n.d. [1758], in Climenson, vol. 2, p. 138. Sophia Curzon (née Noel) to Mary Noel, 28 September 1779, in Elwin, p. 145. General information on eighteenth-century Newcastle can be found in Brand; Ellis; and Middlebrook, all passim.

14 Newcastle Chronicle and Newcastle Journal, 1767-8, passim.

15 Elizabeth Montagu to Lord Lyttelton, n.d. [October] 1760, in Climenson, vol. 2, pp. 205, 207-8.

16 Stoney, p. 19.

17 Foot, pp. 5-6.

18 Extract of William Newton’s will: DCRO D/X540/1.

19 ARS to George Stoney, 23 April 1768, in Stoney, p. 19.

20 Anon, The Irish Register. The phenomenon is discussed in Habakkuk, pp. 203-4.

21 The letters, all reproduced in The Annals, are ARS to George Stoney, 23 April 1768, 19 June 1768, 2 August 1768 and 10 September 1768, in Stoney, p. 19-22.

22 Newcastle Chronicle, 12 November 1768; Newcastle Journal, 5-12 November 1768; Newcastle Courant, 12 November 1768.

23 ARS to George Stoney, 7 November 1768, in Stoney, p. 19. The letter is dated 7 November - perhaps the date it was posted - although it was written on his wedding day, which was 5 November.

24 Dating from at least the fourteenth century, the house and estate of Cole Pike Hill were acquired by the Newton family in the early eighteenth century. The original hall was extended in 1854 and the house is now divided into three homes.

25 The horse-whipping incident must have happened in 1769 since this is when the regiment was stationed in Perth. ‘Answers for Mr Stoney Esq, Ensign in the 4th regiment of foot, to a complaint preferred agt. him by John Smith his servant’, n.d., SPG, Bowes Papers, vol. 41. Stoney was promoted to lieutenant on 22 December 1769 (private communication, Peter Donnelly, curator of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster). He exchanged places with a Lieutenant Rooke in the 30th Regiment at some point after April 1770. S. Hodgson to ARS, 9 April 1770: SPG, Bowes Papers, vol. 41.

26 Letters addressed to Stoney in Ireland, George Forbes, 27 October 1769 and S. Hodgson, 9 April 1770: DCRO SEA D/St/C1/13/1; SPG, Bowes Papers, vol. 41.

27 Accounts of Rowland Stephenson’s receipts and expenditure for Cole Pike Hill and Twizedale estates, 1767-9: DCRO SEA D/St/E8/18.

28 Robert Morrow to ARS, 17 March 1772: SPG, Bowes Papers, vol. 41. Morrow succeeded Stephenson when he died in 1770.

29 Eight letters to ARS asking for payment of bills 1769 to 1775: DCRO SEA D/St/C1/13/1.

30 SPG, vol. 33, p. 128.

31 Foot, pp. 6-8.

32 Foreman, p. 97.

33 Robert Johnston to ARS, 19 August 1771: SPG, Bowes Papers, vol. 41.

34 Will of Hannah Stoney: DUL, 1776/523/1.

35 Newton v Stoney, 14 April 1773: NA Chancery records C12/1626/23. No outcome is recorded. The trees were advertised for sale in the Newcastle Chronicle, 13, 20 and 27 March 1773.

36 ARS to George Stoney, 21 June 1775, in Stoney, pp. 28-9.

37 Bill for ARS, 20 July 1775: DCRO SEA D/St/C1/13/1.

38 Newcastle Journal, 16 March 1776. The burial register reads: ‘14 Mar 1776 Hannah wife of Andrew Robinson Stoney Esq., Coltpighill’, burial register, St Margaret’s Church, Tanfield, DCRO.

CHAPTER 4: MY IMPRUDENCIES

Mary’s first marriage and various flirtations are described in her Confessions. For background information on the study of botany in the eighteenth century see Shteir; Desmond (1995); Lemmon, all passim.

1 Newcastle Chronicle, 4 April 1767.

2 Young, vol. 4, p. 584.

3 MEB said she had been ill before leaving Hertfordshire. The poet Thomas Gray had written that MEB was ‘with child, and not very well, as I hear’ in June. Bowes, p. 66; Gray to Brown, 2 June 1767, in Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 3, p. 961.

4 Bowes, p. 65-6.

5 Bowes, p. 8.

6 Annual Register, 1767, p. 81. The bill was given royal assent on 3 April.

7 Lord Chesterfield to the Duke of Newcastle, 20 June 1766, in Dobrée, vol. 6, p. 2,744.

8 Details on the Strathmore family history are from Cokayne, vol. 12, pp. 395- 403; Surtees, Robert, vol. 4, p. 109; Slade, passim; Innes-Smith, passim.

9 Minutes of curators 1753-61: SPG, box 102.

10 Venn, vol. 1, p. 342; James was admitted in February 1756 and Thomas in 1758. Lord Strathmore’s bills for his time at Cambridge are in SPG, box 144, bundle 4.

11 William Mason to Thomas Gray, 1 March 1755 and Gray to Thomas Wharton, 9 March 1755, Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 1, pp. 419 and 421.

12 The official history of Pembroke College argues that Tuthill was sacked for absenteeism, when the record plainly shows that he was absent having been suspected or found guilty of ‘great enormities’. The latest biography of Gray takes the view that the poet was probably homosexual and that Tuthill was probably sacked for homosexual acts. Attwater, p. 97; Mack, pp. 33-5, 490-1. My thanks to Alexander Huber, editor of the Thomas Gray Archive www.thomasgray.org at the University of Oxford for advice.

13 Gray to Wharton, 17 February 1757, Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 2, p. 495.

14 Gray to Wharton, 23 January 1760, Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 2, p. 660.

15 Lord Strathmore to the Dowager Countess, 2 February 1760: SPG, box 144, bundle 4; Lord Strathmore to George Bowes, 27 January 1760: SPG, box 187, bundle 3. 16 Thomas Pitt and Lord Strathmore, ‘Observations in a Tour to Portugal & Spain 1760 by John Earl of Strathmore & Tho. Pitt Esqr.’: BL Add. MSS 5845. Although the two authors are named, it is clear from the journal that Pitt was the writer.

17 Lord Strathmore to Thomas Lyon, n.d. [March 1760]: SPG, box 254, bundle 4.

18 SPG, box 145, bundle 1. Lord Strathmore’s time in Italy is also detailed in Ingamells, p. 907. For general information on the grand tour to Italy see Black (1992).

19 Lord Strathmore to William Henry, Marquess of Titchfield, 10 February 1761, in Turberville, vol. 2, p. 37.

20 Mann to Walpole, 15 August 1761, in Lewis, vol. 21, p. 524. The later comments are HM to HW, 10 April 1762, vol. 22, pp. 22-3 and 28 May 1763, p. 145. Details of the Sanvitale family can be found in Litta.

21 Walpole to Mann, 30 June 1763, in Lewis, vol. 21, p. 152. By ‘Celadonian’ Walpole was referring to the character Celadon in the play ‘L’Astrée’ by the seventeenth-century French novelist Honoré D’Urfe, which was fashionable at the time.

22 Foot, p. 13.

23 Lord Strathmore to Thomas Lyon, 6 June 1766: SPG, box 199, bundle 2.

24 Foot, p. 27; Lord Chesterfield to his son, 13 February 1767, in Dobrée, vol. 6, pp. 2,795-6.

25 SPG, box 150, bundle 7.

26 Lord Chesterfield to his son, 13 February 1767, in Dobrée, vol. 6, pp. 2,795-6.

27 Draft marriage settlement MEB and Lord Strathmore, September 1766: SPG, box 102, bundle 2. 28 Blackstone, vol. 1, p. 430; vol. 2, p. 433. It would be 1870 before married women were allowed separate use of their earnings and 1882 before they were entitled to acquire, keep and sell property in their own right. The novelists’ quotes given below are from Wollstonecraft, p. 118 and Dickens (2004, first published 1838), p. 402.

29 Gray to Wharton, c. 30 September 1765, Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 2, pp. 887-95.

30 Thomas Lyttelton to Elizabeth Montagu, in Climenson, vol. 2, p. 168.

31 Bowes, p. 67. Thomas Lyon was MP for Aberdeen Burghs from 1766 to 1778. Details of his parliamentary career can be found in Namier and Brooke, vol. 3, pp. 73-4.

32 Accounts for masonry, carpentry and painting 1767-8: SPG, box 150, bundle 7; improvements by James Abercrombie 1767-8: SPG, box 148, bundle 4.

33 Lord Strathmore’s medical bill with Dr William Farqeson, 1772-4: SPG, box 145, bundle 4.

34 Gray to Mason, 9 August 1767, and 11 September 1767, in Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 3, p. 973 and pp. 976-7.

35 Mary Bowes to Thomas Colpitts, 21 April 1768: SPG vol. C; Parish register St George’s Church, Hanover Square, baptisms, CWAC, 19 May 1768, ‘Maria Jane, born 21 April’. Bells were rung at Gibside a week after the birth, suggesting the news had just arrived from London.

36 Mary Bowes to Thomas Colpitts, 13 May 1768: SPG, volume C; Parish register St George’s Church, Hanover Square, CWAC, baptisms, 11 May 1769, ‘John, born 13 April’; Mrs E. Rickaby to anon [William Leaton] 12, 13 April and 26 September 1769: DCRO SEA D/St/C2/3/59.

37 Gray to Brown, 22 May 1770, in Toynbee and Whibley, vol. 3, p. 1,135.

38 Bowes, p. 67. The children’s baptisms are recorded as follows: Parish register St George’s Church, Hanover Square, CWAC, baptisms, 2 July 1770, ‘Anna Maria, born 3 June’; 16 December 1771, ‘George, born 17 November’; 31 May 1773, ‘Thomas, born 3 May’.

39 Foreman, pp. 48 and 265; Lewis, Judith Schneid, p. 42.

40 Home, vol. 3, p. 30. The comment is recorded by Lady Mary Coke in her journal in 1769.

41 Lord Strathmore to MEB, n. d. [1776]: BM Archives.

42 Bowes, p. 5. Her alleged preference for cats and dogs is from Testimony Revd Henry Stephens: NA divorce appeal to Delegates, DEL 2/12/. The cartoon is Gillray, ‘The Injured COUNT..S’ [1786 or c. May 1788]. See George, vol. 6, no. 7013, pp. 335-6.

43 Foreman, p. 122; the Rambler’s Magazine, 1783, p. 318.

44 Bowes, p. 5.

45 Foreman, p. 122.

46 SPG, box 83, bundle 3; box 68, bundle 8.

47 Lord Strathmore to MEB, n. d. [1776]: BM Archives.

48 Bowes, pp. 53-4.

49 MEB, The Siege of Jerusalem (London, 1774). The play is stated in the published text to have been written in 1769 but a letter from Elizabeth Planta to MEB in May 1771 refers to her having just finished her ‘literary work’ and a subsequent letter in June offers criticisms on the play. Elizabeth Planta to MEB, 30 May and 15 June 1771: RA, Geo/Planta 6. The letter regarding the post of governess to the princesses is Elizabeth Planta to MEB, 14 July 1771: RA, Geo/Planta 6.

50 Bowes, p. 90. Background on James Lee is from Willson.

51 Bowes, p. 96. For information on John Hunter see Moore (2005). Solander is mentioned in Bowes, p. 36.

52 Lomas; Graeme, pp. 616-36; Ewing and MacCallum, passim; Mudie and Walker, passim; obituary of James Graham, aged 23, Scots Magazine 1779, p. 110.

53 Bowes, pp. 8, 69-76, 9-11.

54 Bowes, pp. 68. Family accounts show that Mary stayed in Edinburgh for two weeks from 7 August 1774: Glamis accounts 1774-5, SPG, box 146, bundle 1.

55 Walpole to Conway, 27 November 1774, in Lewis, vol. 39, p. 220; Mary Bowes to anon [?Peter Proctor, Glamis Castle], 9 August 1775: SPG, box 142, bundle 4.

56 James Menzies to Lord Strathmore, 24 December 1775, cited in Slade, pp. 62- 3; Peter Nicol to Thomas Lyon, 14 November 1775: DCRO SEA D/St/C1/7/2.

57 Information on Gray is from Sherwen; Letter books of George Gray senior, 1760-1779: BL India Office, MSS EUR c 439 and D691. His baptism is recorded in Christenings in Calcutta 1737, George Gray baptised 1 September: BL India Office, microfilm N/1/1-3, f. 202. Background on Gray’s argument with Clive can be found in Bence-Jones, pp. 226-9 and 273; and Khan, pp. 69-98.

58 Gray to Brigadier-General John Carnac, 13 November 1761: BL India Office, Sutton Court Collection, papers of Brigadier-General John Carnac, MSS EUR/F128/35. Gray has been mistakenly credited as the author of an anonymous poem, A Turkish Tale, said to be dedicated to Mary and published in 1770. The poem was actually written by George Grey, the father-in-law of the first Earl Grey. A handwritten note inside the text credits the poem to ‘George Grey Esquire of Southwick’.

59 Bowes, pp. 15-22.

60 Apothecaries’ accounts 1774-8: SPG, box 202, bundle 6.

61 William Farqeson to James Menzies, 4 April 1776: SPG, box 83, bundle 6.

CHAPTER 5: A BLACK INKY KIND OF MEDICINE

Most of the events in this chapter are drawn from Foot and Bowes, unless otherwise indicated. Background on women and property rights is from Habakkuk, p. 83. Details of the sale at Glamis in June 1776 are from SPG, box 188, bundle 3 and the ninth earl’s debts in SPG, box 83, bundle 6. Details of the sale at Gibside in November 1776 are from SPG, box 142, bundle 8. For information on the history of abortion see Bullough; Shorter; Riddle, all passim.

1 Lord Strathmore to MEB, n. d. [1776], BM Archives.

2 Elizabeth Planta [on behalf of MEB] to anon [James Menzies], 6 April 1776: SPG, box 83, bundle 6.

3 Unknown artist, ‘Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore’, c. 1776, Glamis Castle. Doubts exist as to whether this is really Mary since it was only attributed to her relatively recently. However, there is a marked similarity between this portrait and that by John Downman drawn in 1781.

4 Gay, p. 64; Home, vol. 1, preface, p. lxxii.

5 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, p. 5 in Anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches. According to figures from Joseph Massie, estimating annual incomes in 1759, the top twenty families enjoyed £13,470 pa. Cited in Hay and Rogers, p. 20.

6 Thomas Lyon to anon [James Menzies], 29 April 1776: SPG, box 83, bundle 6.

7 Testimony of Ann Eliza Stephens [née Planta], 23 February 1788: NA DEL 2/12.

8 The letters from Thomas Lyon to anon [James Menzies], are 29 April, 21 April and 19 April 1776: SPG, box 83, bundle 6. The letter from Elizabeth Planta [on behalf of MEB] to James Menzies, is 19 May 1776: SPG, box 83, bundle 6.

9 Legal bill, Joshua Peele, 1776: SPG, box 142, bundle 9; Letters of administration appointing Thomas Lyon administrator for Lord Strathmore’s estate, 23 July 1776: SPG, box 101, bundle 5.

10 Stone (1993), pp. 139-61; the story of Elizabeth Foster is described in Foreman, p. 100 and Chapman, p. 28. The case of Elizabeth Vassall, who married Sir Godfrey Webster but in 1796 eloped with and later married Lord Holland, is cited in Lewis, Judith Schneid, pp. 43-5.

11 Earl of Strathmore v Bowes, 1777, Chancery case: NA C12/1057/31. This case, pursued by Thomas Lyon on behalf of the tenth earl and his siblings, referred to the guardianship document dated 14 October 1774.

12 Lady Maria Bowes to Mary Lyon, 25 May 1776: SPG, box 202, bundle 10.

13 Bowes, p. 22. Details of her affair with Gray and abortions are all from the Confessions.

14 Pottle, p. 227. The advertisement is cited in Stone (1977), p. 266.

15 Anon, Trials for Adultery , vol. 3, pp. 3-6.

16 Hicks, p. 176. Mary’s description of her abortions is from her Confessions, Bowes, p. 89.

17 Bowes, pp. 88-9.

18 Foote, pp. 17-18 and 37.

19 Bowes, pp. 79-80 and 36; bond between MEB and Joshua Peele, 22 April 1776: DCRO SEA D/St/D1/14/31.

20 Bowes, p. 27.

21 The hon. Mrs Boscawen to Mrs Delany 1776 [c. June/July], cited in Llanover, vol. 2, p. 237; Foot, p. 16.

22 Bowes, pp. 92-3.

23 Bowes, pp. 11-12. Graham’s death is recorded in Scots Magazine 1779, obituary of James Graham, 31 January 1779, p. 110.

24 Journal Book Copy, RS, vol. 28, 1774-77, pp. 368-72; 388-91; 393-6. Masson’s account was read at three meetings of the RS, in February 1776, in the form of a letter to the president, Dr John Pringle.

25 Journal Book Copy, RS, vol. 28, 1774-77, p. 444. Background on Penneck (1728-1803) and Planta (1744-1827) can be found in ODNB, vol. 43, pp. 573-4 and vol. 44, pp. 519-21. 26 O’Brian, pp. 100 and 130; Beaglehole, pp. 140, 232-3. Information on his brother, Captain Magra, is from Millan, p. 70.

27 There were at least five Planta daughters: Frederica (c. 1751-1778) and Margaret, who were both governesses to the royal family; Elizabeth Planta (later Mrs Parish), the second eldest daughter, who worked for MEB and must have married John Parish between 1776 and 1778; Ann Eliza Planta (c. 1757, still alive 1807, later Eliza Stephens), who replaced her sister as governess to MEB in July 1776; Ursula Barbara Planta, who was left money in Mrs Bowes’s will; the latter may have become Mrs Minnicks, who emigrated to America, or this could have been a sixth sister.

28 Foot, pp. 11-12.

29 Bowes, p. 6.

30 Details of Stoney’s life at this point are from Foot, p. 9.

31 Massingberd, pp. 178-81.

32 Anon [Anne Massingberd] to ARS, 1 November 1776: SPG, volume C.

33 Documents relating to an appeal by ARS to the House of Lords against a Chancery decision: SPG, volume C. Anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 2. Individuals could not be declared bankrupt unless they traded in some manner.

34 Anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 10.

35 David Walson [tailor] to ARS, 20 July 1775: DCRO SEA D/St/C1/13/1.

36 Bowes, p. 29.

37 ARB to MEB, 24 July [1776]: SPG, volume C.

38 Anon [Anne Massingberd] to ARS, 1 November 1776: SPG, volume C.

39 Testimony of Ann Eliza Stephens (née Planta), 23 February 1788: NADEL 2/12; Bowes, p. 7. The legal case is cited in Hill, Bridget, p. 140.

40 Foot, p. 18.

41 Thackeray, p. 143.

42 Anon [Anne Massingberd] to ARS, 1 November 1776: SPG, volume C.

43 Rate book, Chelsea, 1775-80, Kensington Library, 13 March 1777; Foot, p. 13. Most references to Stanley House state that MEB bought the property from Mary Southwell in 1777. However, the rate book for March 1777 shows that MEB had paid the previous three months’ rates ie since December 1776. This agrees with Foot’s assertion that she owned the house prior to her marriage with ARS. For information about Stanley House see London County Council, vol. 4, pp. 43-4; Faulkner, vol. 1, pp. 55-60. Stanley House was sold, reputedly to a Russian millionaire, in 2004 (personal communication, Hampton estate agents, May 2007).

44 No definite date for the marriage has been found but Eliza would later say she was married in November 1776. Anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 29.

45 Thomas Mahon, Bowes’s valet, would testify to seeing Bowes emerge from Eliza’s bedroom at Gibside at 5 one morning in early 1777. Anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 29.

46 Anonymous letter [MEB and Eliza Planta to Revd Henry Stephens], n.d. [December 1776], submitted by ARS in evidence in divorce case: LMA, DL/c/561/4. The letter refers to Eliza being then nineteen. Bowes, p. 26.

47 Anonymous letter [MEB and Eliza Planta to Revd Henry Stephens], n.d. [December 1776], submitted by ARS in evidence in divorce case: LMA, DL/c/561/4. This comment would later be produced as evidence that Hunter had helped her attempt an abortion. Evidence of John Hunter, anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, pp. 96-103.

48 Foot, pp. 22-4.

49 Vickers, p. 59.

CHAPTER 6: BOWES AND FREEDOM

Events leading up to MEB’s marriage with ARB and immediately after are related in Foot, pp. 45-9 and ‘Lady Strathmore’s Narrative from the time of her Marriage ’till she left Mr Stoney’: SPG, vol. 332. The latter, which is the first of two volumes handwritten by MEB describing events in her life, is undated but was completed by MEB c. 1795. It is hereafter referred to as Narrative.

1 Morning Post, 12 December 1776. The other letters appeared as follows: Monitus, 24 December 1776; Hamlet, 3 January 1777; Monitus, 7 January 1777.

2 Narrative, p. 1. She explains her decision to marry ARB on p. 6. His application for a marriage licence can be found as Marriage allegation, Andrew Robinson Stoney, 16 January 1777: GL Ms 10091/138.

3 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, p. 8 in anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches.

4 Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 24 January 1777.

5 Evidence of Jessé Foot, anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches, pp. 90-2; Foot, pp. 12 and 8.

6 Narrative, p. 12; Bate’s comment is from Fyvie, p. 91.

7 Fortescue, vol. 5, p. 471 and vol. 6, p. 7. In 1782 George III refused to pay a final pension to ‘that worthless man’ who by that point vocally supported the Prince of Wales.

8 ‘A Baite for the Devil’, 1779, cited in George, vol. 5, no. 5550, p. 332.

9 Sheridan; Rhodes, pp. 40-5, 71-2. Foot reveals that Bate had met Garrick shortly after the duel: Foot, pp. 39-40.

10 Evidence of Thomas Mahon, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, pp. 9-10.

11 Newcastle Journal, 31 May 1788.

12 Narrative, p. 4. She describes Bate’s letter in MEB, ‘An Account of the Inns when I was carried off and a comparison between Major Semple and Mr Stoney’: SPG, vol. 333, p. 128.

13 William Scott to Henry Scott, postmarked 20 March [1777] in Surtees, William, p. 48; Foot, p. 53. Foot describes the revived argument with Bate as happening during the summer but this letter shows it took place earlier. The quote from Bate is from Foot, p. 57. The description of ARB as a ‘coward’ is from Foot, p. 9.

14 Arnold, pp. 63-70. Arnold argues that MEB conspired with Stoney to stage the duel in order to provide an excuse for marrying him rather than Gray but that Bate was an innocent party in the ensuing encounter. However, there is no direct evidence for her role, later trials found that the conspiracy was all Stoney’s and various reports point to Bate’s guilt.

15 Narrative, pp. 2-3.

16 Evidence of George Walker, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 6.

17 Narrative, p. 9; Evidence of George Walker, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 6; Narrative, pp. 10-11.

18 MEB to George Stoney [n.d.] in Stoney, pp. 34-5.

19 Narrative, pp. 92-3.

20 Mary Bowes to MEB, 12 April 1777: BL Add. MSS 40748.

21 Foot, p. 50.

22 Narrative, p. 10.

23 Evidence Ann Mahon, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 12. The maid married Thomas Mahon soon after Mary’s marriage. Her husband’s statement is from Evidence Thomas Mahon, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 10.

24 Narrative, pp. 17-18.

25 George Selwyn MP to Lord Carlisle, February 1777, HMC Carlisle, p. 319.

26 Anon [James Perry], ‘The Torpedo, a poem to the electrical eel’ (London, 1777), p. 6.

27 Anon, ‘The Diabo-Lady’ (London, 1777), pp. 8-9.

28 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, p. 6 in The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches.

29 Trust document, signed George Walker and Joshua Peele, 9 and 10 January 1777: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/4/22. 30 Bowes, pp. 29-30.

31 Evidence George Walker, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 7.

32 Background on the 1777 by-election can be found in Namier and Brooke, vol. 2, pp. 106-8 and 350-1; Knox (1985). Stoney was granted royal licence to change his name to Bowes on 11 February 1777. Gentleman’s Magazine 47 (1777), p. 93.

33 ARB to Mayor of Newcastle et al, 17 February 1777, in Stoney, p. 37; Isaac Stoney to Thomas Bowes, 8 February 1777, in Stoney, pp. 35-6.

34 Handbill, ‘Bowes and Freedom!’: SPG, box 78, bundle 13; Newcastle Chronicle , 5 March 1777: BM Album. 35 Foreman, p. 147.

36 Newcastle Chronicle, 8 March 1777: BM Album.

37 Copy of letter or note by Edward Montagu, 1777: BM Archives.

38 Evidence Francis Bennett, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, pp. 17- 18. The pamphlets are Handbill, ‘Bowes and Freedom!’: SPG, box 78, bundle 13; ‘A New Song on the Countess of Strathmore’s Birth-day’, n.d. [1777]: SPG, volume C; and Handbill, ‘To the Worthy Freeman in Newcastle’, n.d. [1777]: BM Album.

39 Lady Maria Bowes to Mary Lyon, 7 April 1777: SPG, box 202, bundle 10.

40 Copy of letter or note by Edward Montagu, 1777: BM Archives.

41 ARB to Thomas Bell, 19 May 1777: SPG, Bowes Papers vol. 41. Bowes reported the figure at a public meeting: Newcastle Courant, 27 May 1780.

42 Testimony Ann Eliza Stephens (née Planta), 23 February 1788: NA DEL 2/12.

43 Testament Thomas Mahon, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 29.

44 ARB to Henry Stephens, Good Friday [28 March 1777] and MEB to Henry Stephens, 28 March 1777, submitted as evidence by ARB: NA DEL 2/12.

45 Anon [ARB to Gibson Gorst] n.d. [1777]: SPG, volume C.

46 Evidence Henry Stephens and Ann Eliza Stephens, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, pp. 27 and 29.

47 George Walker to Mary Morgan, 31 March 1788: SPG, box 69, bundle 6.

48 Bowes, pp. 12-13.

49 Deed of revocation 1 May 1777, signed by ARB and MEB, witnessed by John Scott, John Hunter and William Gibson: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/4/23; Evidence of John Hunter, anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 26; MEB [to Farrer and Lacey] n.d.: SPG, box 185, bundle 2. The Bowes fortune was still held in trust, so that no land, property or heirlooms could be sold off and the estate kept intact for future generations, but all profits and income accrued to the life tenant (originally MEB, now ARB) for their lifetime.

50 Narrative, p. 19.

51 Sherwen.

52 Anon [ARB to Gibson Gorst] n.d. [1777]: SPG, volume C.

53 Hicks, p. 173; Hill, G. B., vol. 2, p. 247. The Duchess of Grafton’s delivery is described in Stone (1993), pp. 139-56. William Hunter’s anecdote is given in Wadd, p. 283. The Bristol incident is from Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 29 March 1755, cited in Hill, Bridget, p. 35.

54 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, p. 10 in anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches; Foot, p. 51.

55 Biographical details of Elizabeth Craven, née Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, later the Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach-Bayreuth, are from Craven, passim; and ODNB, vol. 18, pp. 94-5. Background on Craven Cottage is from Fe‘ret, vol. 3, pp. 90-3. The Fulham parish rate book shows rates were first paid on the house in 1779 by Lady Craven. Lady Mary Coke said in 1781 it had been built ‘two or three years’ earlier. Craven Cottage burnt down in 1888 and the grounds of Fulham Football Club, known as Craven Cottage, were later built on the site. The description by Mary Coke is cited in Lewis, vol. 41, p. 404n.

56 Evidence John Hunter, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches, p. 96.

57 ARB to George Stoney, 14 November 1777, in Stoney, p. 37.

58 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, p. 10 in anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., first heard in the Arches.

59 The parish register states ‘baptized 25 Nov 1777 St Mary’s Church Whickham, Mary daughter of Andrew Robinson Bowes Esq & Maria Countess Dowager of Strathmore his wife born Nov 16 privately baptized 25th’. Parish register Whickham Church, DCRO; Gentleman’s Magazine 47 (1777), p. 555; Annual Register 1777, p. 218.

60 Pinchbeck and Hewitt, vol. 2, pp. 582-9.

61 Francis Bennett to MEB, 21 May 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 2.

62 A Supplement to the Court of Adultery (1778) and A New Song (1779): DUL BBP Box 71, 239 and 248.

63 Evidence Isabella Filliberti (née Fenton), Consistory Court of London deposition book 1783-90: LMA DL/C/282.

64 Earl of Strathmore v Bowes b. r. [15 June 1777]: NA C12/1057/31.

65 Anne Massingberd to MEB, 30 May 1777; and AM to ARB, 16 July 1777: SPG, volume C. The letter from Scarborough is Judith Noel to Mary Noel (her aunt), 26 August 1777, in Elwin, p. 68. Anne Massingberd married William Maxwell by licence, 6 December 1777, at Ormsby parish church. Marriage register, parish of Ormsby, cited in Massingberd, p. 369. 66 Narrative, pp. 21-3.

67 Narrative, p. 18.

CHAPTER 7: LOATHSOME WEEDS

The main secondary source for Paterson and his travels in the Cape is Forbes’s and Rourke’s book. As well as providing plentiful biographical information, this transcribes the manuscript account of his journeys from his notebook which was discovered in London in 1956. Forbes and Rourke cite the baptism in Kinnettles parish church of ‘William Son of David Paterson Gardener in Bridgetoun’ on 22 August 1755. Other biographical information on Paterson can be found in Gunn and Codd, pp. 273-5 and Desmond (1994), p. 539.

1 Log book Houghton: BL India Office, L/MAR/B/438N. The ship left Plymouth on 9 February 1777 and arrived in False Bay for Cape Town on 15 May.

2 Paterson to William Forsyth, 24 May 1777, in Forbes and Rourke, p. 33. Sadly Paterson’s letters to Forsyth are currently missing from Kew Library.

3 Lemmon, p. 64.

4 Paterson (1790), p. 3. This tribute only appears in the second edition of the book. It is entirely omitted from the first edition published in 1789. All information and quotes are from the first edition, 1789, unless specified.

5 Forbes and Rourke, p. 20.

6 Spencer, pp. 108-9.

7 Paterson, p. 9. This plant was later named Erica patersonia in Paterson’s honour. Forbes and Rourke, p. 66n.

8 Only two paintings bear Paterson’s signature and these are from his later visit to India. For discussion of the possible candidates see Forbes and Rourke, p. 38n.

9 The name Gordon’s Bay has been transferred to the former Vishoek Bay while Paterson’s Bay was later renamed Plettenberg Bay. Forbes and Rourke, p. 63n.

10 Paterson, pp. 29 and 35.

11 MEB, ‘Copies and Extracts’: SPG, box 243, f. 1; Foot’s verdict is Foot, p. 10.

12 Bowes, p. 5. Succeeding quotes are all from Bowes, pp. 12, 89-90 and 46-7.

13 Narrative, p. 16.

14 Narrative, pp. 25-6.

15 John Scott to Henry Scott, 1 May 1778, in Surtees, William, p. 75.

16 Testimonies of Margaret Garret and Ann Bell in anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, pp. 13 and 17.

17 Bacon, vol. 1, p. 285; Blackstone, vol. 1, p. 432. For background on the history of domestic violence see Foyster (2005); and Doggett. Doggett has pointed out that there appears to be no legal case in which Justice Buller made this remark. However, the three cartoons produced by Gillray depicting him as ‘Judge Thumb’ in 1782 make it plain that he did make such a comment, possibly out of court.

18 Judith Noel to Mary Noel (her aunt), 28 June 1778, in Elwin, p. 68.

19 Berry, pp. 120-40. The assembly rooms opened in 1776; ARB is listed in the book of subscribers.

20 Narrative, pp. 33-4.

21 Testimony MEB, 16 December 1784 [in pursuit of Chancery case to regain custody of her children], submitted by ARB in divorce appeal to Delegates: NA, DEL 2/12.

22 Personal accounts of children 1778-9: SPG, box 97, bundle 11.

23 Testimony MEB, 16 December 1784.

24 ARB to anon [William Davis], cited in Foot, p. 63.

25 Evidence Revd Samuel Markham, Consistory Court of London deposition book 1783-90: LMA, DL/C/282.

26 MEB, ‘Copies and Extracts’: SPG, box 243, f. 3. ARB’s abuse of his sister is described here and in Narrative, pp. 26-7.

27 Foot, p. 65. Foot cites a letter from ARB to anon [William Davis], sent on 10 May 1779; the dashes are Foot’s. Stanley House was sold to Lewis or Louis Lochee, who is listed in the Chelsea rates book from March 1780. Rates book, Chelsea, 1775-80, Kensington Library, March 1780.

28 Longrigg, pp. 69-99.

29 Newcastle Chronicle, 26 July 1777.

30 Foot, p. 66. Bowes later stated that he had paid £750 for the horse but was forced to relinquish her in 1798 at which point she had ‘not a single tooth in her head’ and was expected to die within weeks. Newcastle Advertiser, 8 December 1798. Icelander won £50 at Hexham, £50 at Durham, 100 guineas at Nottingham and £100 at Morpeth. Weatherby, p. 165.

31 Foot, p. 67. The explanation for the term ‘stoney-broke’ is widely reported in Irish and north-east England circles although I have been unable to ascertain an original source for the link and it may be apocryphal. See, for example, Gaelport.comhttp://tinyurl.com/58m88l; Newcastle City Council/West Newcastle; http://tinyurl.com/5h7u58; Sunniside and District Local History Society; http://tinyurl.com/59cvjs.

32 Robinson, pp. 171-7.

33 Narrative, p. 105.

34 Narrative, pp. 54-8. For more detail on the letters see Moore (2007).

35 M. Armstrong to ARB, 8 October [c. 1780]: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

36 For information on the sheriff’s role see Gladwin.

37 Wills (1995), p. 78; Day book of Gibside estate receipts and expenditure, 24 May 1776 to 9 July 1782, for October 1780: DCRO SEA D/St/E5/5/22. This volume is the last of the Gibside household accounts to have survived from Bowes’s period of ownership. Jessé Foot’s quote is from Foot, pp. 81-2.

38 Wills (1995), p. 78.

39 Thunberg, pp. 69 and 94.

40 Paterson, p. 39; Forbes and Rourke, p. 43. The following quotes in this section are from Paterson, pp. 110-2, 113, 124 and 124-7. The plant Paterson describes as of the Pentandria Monogynia class was Pachypodium namaquanum, see Forbes and Rourke, p. 162n.

41 Lindsay, p. 52.

42 Hickey, pp. 223-7. The later details are from pp. 267-8 and 290-3.

43 James Lind to Joseph Banks, 23 October 1779, in Dawson, p. 542.

44 MEB to Thomas Joplin, 9 January 1781 and 27 August (probably 1782): SPG, box 186, bundle 6.

45 My thanks for advice on the cabinet to Claire Jones, former keeper of furniture at the Bowes Museum. So far no records regarding the design or purchase of the cabinet have been found and its maker has not been identified. It is not known when Mary commissioned the cabinet, conceivably before she married Bowes. The cabinet was sold after the death of John Bowes, Mary’s grandson, and only bought back by the museum in 1961.

46 Mary Bowes to John Bowes, October 1854: BM Archives. Some dried plants kept in an album thought to have belonged to MEB may have been the original specimens from the cabinet. Album of Botanical Specimens believed to have been collected by MEB, BM Archives.

47 Aiton, vol. 2, pp. 191 and 412; and vol. 3, pp. 498-9. Several plants were claimed as new species by botanists reading Paterson’s narrative and studying the accompanying plates; only a handful, including Monsonia patersonii and Erica patersonii, were named after him: Forbes and Rourke, p. 38. The ‘giant cudweed’ is described in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (1795), plate 300. Today it is known as the strawberry everlasting or Syncarpha eximia. My thanks to Peter Goldblatt and John Manning for botanical advice on the Cape.

48 Moore (2005), pp. 292-3 and 348; Dobson, pp. 124-8; London Evening Post, 7 June 1788.

49 Le Vaillant, vol. 1, pp. 32-3.

50 Karsten, pp. 283-310.

51 Forbes and Rourke, p. 28.

52 Forbes and Rourke, p. 43. Masson’s account of his earlier travels was published only as an article in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1776. Paterson’s original manuscript was discovered in 1956 in Swedenborg House, London, and is now preserved in the Brenthurst Library, Johannesburg. The document, a leather-covered notebook, is believed to have been written between 1780 and 1785, since it refers to Gordon as colonel, a rank he only assumed in 1780. Possibly Paterson wrote the document, which forms the basis for his published narrative, on his return journey from the Cape. See Duckworth, pp. 191-7. The Brenthurst Library also possesses Paterson’s three albums of more than 300 watercolours.

53 William Paterson to William Forsyth, 21 December 1783, sent from India, cited in The Cottage Gardener vols 8-9 (1852), pp. 364-5.

54 Brown, Robert, pp. 303-4.

55 Gentleman’s Magazine 98 (1828), II, p. 7.

CHAPTER 8: IMPROPER LIBERTIES

Background information on the 1780 general election in Newcastle and Bowes’s term as MP is from Namier and Brooke, vol. 2, pp. 106-8 and 350-1; Dickinson; and Knox (1992), as well as various contemporary newspapers. The result is recorded in the Poll Book, Newcastle Election (Newcastle, 1780). Details of the refreshments Bowes ordered can be gleaned from the Day book of Gibside estate receipts and expenditure, 24 May 1776 to 9 July 1782, 29 November 1780: DCRO SEA D/St/E5/5/22.

1 General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, 9 February 1780.

2 Foot, p. 70.

3 Newcastle Courant, 5 April 1780. The Courant supported the government.

4 Foot, p. 71.

5 Narrative, pp. 91-2.

6 Newcastle Chronicle, 2 September 1780. The attack, originally in the Courant, was cited in the Chronicle by Bowes’s team.

7 Newspaper cutting, n. d. [c. 1811], BM Album.

8 Namier and Brooke, vol. 2, p. 350.

9 Judith Noel to Mary Noel, 23 September 1780, in Elwin, p. 169.

10 Details of Mary Stoney’s escape are from Narrative, p. 27; ARB to Thomas Johnston, 3 July 1781 and MEB to George Stoney, 8 December 1780 in Stoney, pp. 39-43; Mary Lawrenson (née Stoney) to MEB, March [no day] 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

11 George Stoney’s diary, 8 March 1781, in Stoney, p. 45.

12 Mary Lawrenson (née Stoney) to MEB, March [no day] 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

13 Narrative, p. 60.

14 Copy of Mary Bowes’s will, 6 April 1777: SPG, deed box 12.

15 It would be more than forty years before George and Mary Bowes were finally interred together in the mausoleum of the Gibside chapel.

16 Mary Lawrenson (née Stoney) to MEB, March [no day] 1785 and same to same, n. d.: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

17 Testimony MEB, 16 December 1784 [in pursuit of Chancery case to regain custody of her children], submitted by ARB in divorce appeal to Delegates: NA, DEL 2/12. All the letters quoted are from this document.

18 Biographical information on John Downman can be found in Munro; and Williamson (1907). The nine sketches of the Bowes family are preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum, numbers 1867, 1868a, b, c and d, 1869a, b, c and d. All the portraits are dated 1781 with the exception of that of young Mary which Downman has dated 1786, plainly erroneously since the sketch obviously shows a much younger child.

19 Narrative, pp. 63-6; depositions of Ann Davis and Sarah Frederick, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282. The 17,000-acre estate of Wemmergill Moor, near Lunedale in County Durham, was sold in 2006 by the current Earl of Strathmore. For historical background on grouse-hunting see Carlisle; for a contemporary account see Thornton, especially pp. 149-52. Beating or driving grouse was only introduced in about 1800. My thanks for advice to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

20 Foot, pp. 82 and 72.

21 William’s birth is given as 8 May in some sources. However, the Newcastle Chronicle of 16 March 1782 reported that he had been born the previous week which tallies with a handwritten note giving his date of birth as 8 March 1782, in SPG, volume C.

22 John Burton, An Essay towards a Complete New System of Midwifery, 1751, cited in Hill, Bridget, p. 106.

23 Narrative, p. 67. The following exploits are from Narrative, pp. 32-3, 44, 68- 70, and Foot, p. 85.

24 Deposition of Ann Parkes, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

25 Bowes to Lord Shelburne, 19 February 1783, cited in Namier and Brooke, vol. 2, p. 107. ARB’s comment is from Foot, p. 78.

26 Narrative, p. 70.

27 Judith Noel to Mary Noel (her aunt), 29 July 1783, in Elwin, p. 216.

28 Sarah Angus, sister to the Gibside gardener Thomas Joplin, referred in 1782 to Bowes refusing to pay the ‘work people’. Thomas Joplin described Bowes sacking Robert Stephenson and the Gibside groom. Sarah Angus to Thomas Joplin, 7 August 1782; Thomas Joplin to Silas [Angus?] 13 August 1782: DCRO SEA D/St/C2/3/122. Estate accounts for Gibside were not kept or have been destroyed after July 1782.

29 Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282. Dorothy’s parents signed their name Stephenson.

30 Bowes rented 48 Grosvenor Square from a Mrs Wyndham from 1783 to 1785. Parish rates books, St James’s Church, Piccadilly, CWAC, 1783-5; Dasent, p. 101.

31 Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

32 George Stoney to William Gibson, 18 September 1783, in Stoney, p. 51.

33 Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282; anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, p. 21.

34 Narrative, pp. 67, 31, 104-5 and 15.

35 Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

36 Deposition of Susanna Church, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

37 MEB to Thomas Joplin, 27 August [n. y. probably 1782]; 10 September 1782; 19 October 1782: SPG, box 186, bundle 6. The new gardener’s evidence is given in Testimony of Robert Thompson, NA divorce appeal to Delegates: DEL 2/12. Thompson said Bowes gave him his instructions in summer 1783.

38 Foot, pp. 85-6.

39 Taylor, vol. 1, p. 5; Moore (2005), pp. 199-200.

40 Evidence of Jessé Foot, anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, pp. 90-2.

41 Narrative, pp. 76-8, 72-5 and 83-4; Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

42 Deposition of Elizabeth Waite, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282; anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, pp. 1-8. Her letter is recorded in Narrative, p. 79.

43 Newcastle Chronicle, 17 April 1784.

44 Newcastle Chronicle, 24 April 1784.

45 Namier and Brooke, vol. 2, p. 107.

46 Narrative, pp. 48-50; Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

47 Narrative, p. 61.

CHAPTER 9: AN ARTFUL INTRIGUING WOMAN

Mary Morgan related her employment history in court. Deposition of Mary Morgan, anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, p. 56. It seems that Morgan had a daughter who was aged about ten when she entered service with Mary Eleanor although no mention of her is made in letters or other documents. She was buried in the same grave as her mother, at Priory Church, Christchurch. Although Mary wrote that Morgan arrived on 17 or 18 May, Morgan herself said she began work on 18 May. Chancery suit ARB v MEB, 1 June 1786: NA, C12/608/15.

1 Narrative, p. 85.

2 Testimony MEB, 16 December 1784 [in pursuit of Chancery case to regain custody of her children], submitted by ARB in divorce appeal to Delegates: NA, DEL 2/12. The letters quoted, contained in the testimony, are from Thomas Lyon to MEB, 5 May 1784 and MEB to TL, 10 May 1784. The lack of punctuation is typical of court clerical transcribing, not Mary’s normal impeccably grammatical style.

3 Augustus Hare, vol. 1, p. 25.

4 Deposition of Mary Reynett, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

5 Transcript of letter Mary Bowes to MEB, 12 May 1784: BM Archives. This letter was erroneously ascribed by Arnold to Maria Jane who had, of course, already left the school by then. The writing style and a reference to not yet being able to dance at balls make clear this could not have been Maria Jane. See also an unpublished tract by Charles Hardy, ‘Mary Bowes 1777-1855’, BM Archives, 1974.

6 Foot, p. 88-94. Foot describes the kidnap and subsequent stay in France in detail, no doubt briefed by William Davis.

7 NA, Chancery Orders and Decrees, C33/461/part 1, p. 365. The guardians presented their bill on 27 May 1784 according to the Orders and Decrees book. James Menzies having died, only Thomas Lyon and David Erskine remained as guardians. The original petition appears not to have survived.

8 For general information on Paris and France in the eighteenth century see Black (2003). The contemporary accounts cited are Bessborough, p. 18 and Reichel, pp. 265-75. For background on France in the approach to the revolution of 1789 see Price, pp. 57-87; Doyle, passim; Schama (2004), passim. 9 Sterne, pp. 32 and 149n.

10 Thomas Gray to Thomas Ashton, 21 April 1739, in Toynbee (1915), vol. 1, p. 213.

11 Cole, pp. 40 and 51; Andrews, p. 12.

12 Simpson, Helen, p. 109. Mercier’s writings on Paris were first published in 12 volumes between 1782-8.

13 Narrative, pp. 75 and 87.

14 Deposition of Mary Morgan, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282; anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, pp. 39-68.

15 Cole, p. 55.

16 Foot, pp. 96-111. All letters subsequently quoted from ARB to Davis are from these pages.

17 For information on John Scott, Lord Eldon, see Surtees, William; Twiss; and Melikan. Arnold states that it was William Scott, who took on the Chancery case but it was obviously John, who made his career in Chancery. Information on John Lee can be found in Schama (2005), pp. 157-60 and 166-7; and ODNB, vol. 33, pp. 82-3.

18 NA, Chancery Orders and Decrees, C33/461/part 1, p. 365.

19 ARB to William Davis, 13 June 1784, in Foot, p. 97.

20 Narrative, pp. 86, 92, 98 and 94.

21 Narrative, pp. 87-89; Deposition of Mary Morgan, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282; anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches, pp. 39-68.

22 Deposition of Lady Anna Maria Bowes, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

23 MEB to ARB, 3 February 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

24 Mary Lawrenson (née Stoney) to MEB, March [no day] 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

25 Foot, pp. 101 and 110. The outcome is recorded in NA, Chancery Orders and Decrees, C33/461, part 2, p. 562. The case was heard on 3 August 1784.

26 Narrative, p. 99. The succeeding episodes are from Narrative, pp. 101-2 and 95-7.

27 Foot, p. 107.

28 Deposition of William Davis, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

29 Deposition of Dorothy Stevenson (sic), LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

30 Narrative, pp. 103-4; Depositions of Mary Morgan, Ann Parkes and Lady Anna Maria Bowes, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

31 Depositions of Susannah Sunderland, Richard Thompson and Dorothy Stevenson [sic], LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282. Bowes himself would suggest Sunderland ran a brothel in the interrogatories, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/180.

32 Narrative, pp. 106-16; Testimony of MEB, 16 December 1784, originally produced for Chancery case, Lord Strathmore and others v ARB and MEB, c. 1784, produced by ARB in Delegates case, 9 April 1788: NA DEL 2/12.

33 Todd, pp. 286-7; Wollstonecraft, pp. 147-8. Interestingly, the novel tells the story of an educated woman who is deprived of her daughter and confined to an asylum by her licentious husband.

34 My thanks for advice to Peter Homan, Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

35 Venn, vol. 1, p. 342. John was admitted on 9 November 1784; Testimony of MEB, 16 December 1784, originally produced for Chancery case. Accounts 1782- 5: SPG, box 146, bundle 3.

36 Testimony of MEB, 16 December 1784, originally produced for Chancery case.

37 Narrative, pp. 90-1.

38 Stone (1995), pp. 167-8; Foyster (2002).

39 Narrative, pp. 120 and 89-90.

40 Deposition of Mary Morgan, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

41 Foot, p. 112.

42 Answer MEB, 15 March 1787, ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15.

43 Answer ARB, 3 July 1786, MEB v ARB: NA Chancery C12/605/34.

44 Narrative, pp. 127-8; answer of Mary Morgan, 17 March 1787, ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15. Morgan describes the arrangements for the escape in this testimony. Charles Shuter was not Morgan’s cousin, as suggested by Arnold, but the brother-in-law of her friend Miss Charles.

CHAPTER 10: VILE TEMPTATIONS

The main sources for Mary’s escape are Foot, pp. 114-6 ; answer of Mary Morgan, 17 March 1787, ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15; affidavit Susanna Church, divorce appeal to Delegates: NA DEL 2/12; and Depositions of Mary Reynett and Anna Maria Bowes, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282. Background information on the history of the English legal system is from Baker.

1 Narrative, pp. 48, 50, 129-30 and 133.

2 Copy of letter MEB to ARB, 3 February 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1. The copy was made by MEB herself.

3 HW to Lady Ossory, 5 February 1785, in Lewis, W. S., vol. 33, pp. 459-60.

4 Handwritten copy of Articles of the Peace exhibited by MEB against ARB, 7 February 1785: SPG, Bowes Paper, vol. 41; Gentleman’s Magazine, 55 (1785), p. 152. Another handwritten copy of the articles exists in SPG, volume C which has a poem, presumably by Mary, on the reverse. It reads: ‘Our poets oft have satire tried,/To stop the hideous female rore,/But Bowes his keener pen apply’d,/And woman for a while gave o’er,/Thus may their tongues for ever bleed,/And pens be ne’er employ’d in vain,/Bowes then may glory in the Deed,/And try the experiment again.’

5 Morning Chronicle, 8 and 24 February 1785.

6 Narrative, p. 7.

7 Foot, p. 117.

8 Affidavit Dorothy Stephenson, divorce appeal to Delegates: NA DEL 2/12. Dorothy said she left on 25 February 1785.

9 ARB to Charles Harborne and James Seton [MEB’s attorneys], 11 February 1785, cited in Answer MEB, ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15; ARB to same, 16 February 1785, copy: SPG, box 185, bundle 2.

10 Answer MEB in ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15; Foot, p. 119.

11 Bill ARB in ARB v MEB: NA Chancery C12/608/15. The bill says Stephens was ‘late under treasurer’ of the Middlesex Hospital, now in the East Indies, in December 1786.

12 Dickens (1991, first pub. 1852-3), p. 53.

13 For information on the history of divorce in England see Phillips (1988) and (1991); Stone (1995); and Baker, pp. 490-8.

14 Hay and Rogers, p. 53.

15 Stone (1995), pp. 153-5. Eldon and Kenyon subsequently attempted to abolish private separation deeds.

16 Stone (1995), p. 213; Lord Abergavenny against Richard Lyddel for criminal conversation with Lady Abergavenny, in anon, A New Collection of Trials for Adultery, vol. 1, case 7, p.12.

17 Anon, A New Collection of Trials for Adultery, vol. 2, p. iii.

18 According to Stone, cases seeking separation which reached the Court of Arches (the appeal court for southern England) rose between 1780 and 1810, while matrimonial litigation at the London Consistory Court, the biggest of the preliminary courts, doubled between 1750 and 1820. Stone provides a breakdown of plaintiffs to the LCC by gender between 1670 and 1857. Stone (1995), pp. 40, 43 and 428.

19 Stone (1995), pp. 309-11.

20 Phillips (1988) p. 65.

21 Campbell, vol. 7, pp. 153-5.

22 Dickens (1938, first pub. 1849-50), p. 320.

23 Foot, p. 120. Mary’s libel was lodged on 4 May 1785 and is given in LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/180. The depositions are collected as LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

24 MEB to Thomas Johnston, 27 April 1785, in Stoney, appendix to p. 55.

25 Foot, p. 119. Foot meant in financial terms.

26 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 15 June 1785: SPG, volume C.

27 Mary Lawrenson (née Stoney) to MEB, March 1785, George Stoney to MEB, 31 March 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1; George Stoney to General Armstrong, 6 April 1785, cited in Stoney, p. 56.

28 Thomas Lyon to MEB, 27 May 1785: SPG, box 201, bundle 3; TL to MEB, 27 July 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 4.

29 Elizabeth Parish to Thomas Lyon, 4 May 1785: SPG, box 146, bundle 6; same to same, 3 November 1785: SPG, box 99, bundle 2.

30 Foot, p. 119. William Lyon describes himself as a distant relation in anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, p. 32-3.

31 Foot, p. 120; Jessé Foot to MEB, 24 May 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1; Jessé Foot to MEB, 24 May 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 1; deposition of Jessé Foot, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

32 John Hunter to MEB, 18 September 1785: DCRO SEA St/C1/9/5. The feud between Foot and Hunter may have been at least partly motivated by their opposing loyalties in the Bowes divorce case. The following year, 1786, when Hunter published his long-awaited treatise on venereal disease, Foot responded with a virulent counter-attack. While Hunter characteristically dismissed the diatribe with the aside that ‘every animal has its Lice’, Foot would have the last laugh: penning a poisonous biography of the revered surgeon the moment he was safely dead. See Moore (2005), pp. 199-201 and ODNB, vol. 20, pp. 245-6. Depositions of John Hunter and Richard Thompson, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

33 The Times, 27 April and 9 May 1785. The Stephensons’ story is told in Statement by Mary Stephenson, n.d. [1785/6]: SPG, box 185, bundle 2. Dorothy’s statement of her ordeal is given in Affidavit Dorothy Stephenson, 3 May 1785, for divorce appeal to Delegates: NA DEL 2/12.

34 Francis Bennett to MEB, 31 May 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 2.

35 Depositions of Dorothy Stephenson, LCC divorce case: LMA DL/C/282.

36 Robert Thompson to MEB, 16 March 1785 and 3 April 1785: SPG, box 69, bundle 6 and bundle 4.

37 Letters Francis Bennett to MEB, 12 March to 19 July 1785: SPG, box 185, bundle 2.

38 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 31 May 1785: SPG, volume C. Colpitts’s father and grandfather had worked as agents to the Bowes family.

39 MEB, handbill, 24 December 1785: BBP DUL box 71, 248.

40 William Stephenson to Mary Stephenson, 3 February 1786: SPG, box 185, bundle 3.

41 Various letters Ann and George Arthur to MEB, 7 March to 21 October 1785 and undated: SPG, box 185, bundle 2. 42 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 2 August 1785: SPG, volume C.

43 MEB, handbill, 24 December 1785: BBP DUL box 71, 248. MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 7 January [the letter is dated 1785 but was definitely 1786]: SPG, volume C.

44 James Farrer and Thomas Lacey are listed in Browne’s General Law-List for 1780-2 at 8 Bread Street Hill and noted as specialising in the King’s Bench. Farrer does not appear in other biographical directories of lawyers and little more information can be found about him beyond his copious correspondence with MEB. His brother Henry Farrer was born in Yorkshire c. 1745. I am grateful for the help of Christopher Jessel of Farrer & Co, the law firm still based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, for ascertaining that Mary’s attorney was not the James Farrer who worked there contemporaneously.

45 Mary Morgan to Thomas Colpitts, 19 January 1786: SPG, volume C. The succeeding quotes are from MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 14 February 1786: SPG, volume C, and James Farrer to Thomas Lacey, 9 December 1786: SPG, box 185, bundle 2.

46 Testimony Francis Bennett, 29 July 1788, divorce appeal to Delegates: NA DEL 2/12; Robert Thompson to MEB, 14 December 1785: SPG, box 81, bundle 5.

47 Countess of Strathmore v Bowes, in Brown, William, vol. 2, pp. 345-50.

48 Transcript letter ARB to Mr Langstaff, 2 March 1786 and Thomas Colpitts to James Farrer, 2 February 1786: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

49 John Hall to MEB, 26 April 1786 and James Smith to MEB, 2 May 1786: SPG, box 69, bundles 4 and 7; English Chronicle, 6 May 1786, BM Album. 50 The Times, 19 May 1786.

CHAPTER 11: SAY YOUR PRAYERS

Background on Gillray and the Strathmore prints is from Gatrell, pp. 258-74 and 331-44. Also see McCreery, pp. 173-4 and 195-6, and George, vol. 6, nos. 7011, 7013 and 7083. All sources agree that at least the first two prints were probably commissioned by Bowes. The three prints are ‘LADY TERMAGANT FLAYBUM going to give her STEP SON a taste of her DESERT after Dinner, a Scene performed every day near Grosvenor Square, to the annoyance of the neighbourhood’, 1786; ‘The Injured COUNT..S’, (undated but most probably 1786); ‘The MISER’S Feast’, 1786. There seems no apparent reason for Morgan’s wasp-waist other than that Gillray was experimenting with such figures at the time. My thanks to Vic Gatrell for advice. The third print was labelled ‘Lady Strathmore’ by Edward Hawkins, keeper of antiquities at the British Museum from 1826 to 1867, according to Gatrell, p. 340 and 645n. The connection is still unclear, however. The anecdote about the tenth earl appeared in The Ton Gazette, 1777, copy in BBP DUL box 71, 248.

1 MEB bill in MEB v ARB, 3 June 1786: NA C12/605/34. Bowes replied on 3 July with a scurrilous attack on Mary, claiming he had cut the trees because they were old. The felled trees were advertised on 3 June 1786, with a counter advertisement from MEB, in the Newcastle Courant. The injunction was granted sometime in July.

2 Thomas Colpitts to James Farrer, 14 July 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 4.

3 Robert Thompson to MEB, 24 July 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 6. Several authors report Bowes visiting Scandinavia on a tour with Sir Henry Liddell and Matthew Consett at this time. This trip took place between 24 May and 12 August 1786. But as these tenants’ letters show Bowes was very much at large in County Durham during those months. The ‘Mr Bowes’ who accompanied Liddell and Consett was probably Thomas Bowes of Durham, listed as a subscriber to the book describing the expedition. See Consett. The tenants’ letters mentioned below are Robert Thompson to MEB , 24 March 1786; Hannah Dixon to MEB , 17 July 1786; William and Mary Stephenson to MEB , 23 May 1786 and same to Farrer, 26 July 1786: all SPG, box 69, bundle 4. Various eviction notices are mentioned including three in a letter from John Glover to Farrer, 27 April 1786: SPG , box 69, bundle 5, as well as others referred to below.

4 Thompson to MEB, 16 July 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 4.

5 MEB to Colpitts, 16 July 1786: SPG, volume C.

6 MEB to Colpitts, 16 July 1786: SPG, volume C.

7 Farrington, p. 261; Captain Farrer’s divorce bill, Journal of the House of Lords, 36 George III, vol. XL (1796), p. 654. Farrer had served a seven-year apprenticeship at sea and worked up the ranks before being given command of the True Briton in 1782. The divorce was granted in April 1796. Mary’s letter referring to him is MEB to Colpitts, 16 July 1786: SPG, volume C.

8 Miniature of MEB, watercolour on ivory, by J. C. Dillman Engleheart, c. 1800, in the BM. The list of works kept by J. C. Dillman Engleheart shows that he painted MEB’s portrait ‘for my Aunt W’ on 9 August 1800 and it is believed this was copied from an earlier portrait by his uncle George Engleheart, which is since lost. Mary had died a few months prior to the nephew’s portrait. Williamson (1902), p. 130; BM catalogue details, record no. 1509.

9 MEB to Colpitts, 22 October 1786: SPG, volume C. The ensuing details are described in Affidavit Mary Morgan, n. d.: SPG, box 69, bundle 5; MEB to Colpitts, 16 August 1786; Morgan to Colpitts, 26 October 1786: SPG, volume C; and Morgan to Colpitts, 26 October and 2 November 1786: SPG, volume C. The two coaches followed Mary’s on 22 October 1786.

10 MEB to Colpitts, 7 November 1786: SPG, volume C; Morgan to Colpitts, 7 November 1786: SPG, volume C.

11 Details of the abduction are described in many sources. The principal ones I have referred to are Lady Strathmore’s Narrative, vol. 2, Narrative of my journey from Streatlam Castle to the Highlands etc. and my return to Bread Street Hill, hereafter called Narrative, vol. 2.; Information filed for the King’s Bench, Hilary term 1787, in the case of abduction on 10 Nov 1787 against ARB and others: SPG, box 186, bundle 1; affidavit of Henry Farrer and Mary Morgan for habeas corpus against ARB , 11 November 1786: NA KB/1/25/1, Michaelmas bundle 1. The ironmonger is variously named Edward Foster and Forster, but the former is given in street directories. The shop was at 253 Oxford Street, close to Oxford Circus. Lowndes’s London Directory for the year 1787, p. 56; Kent’s Directory for the year 1794.

12 Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG, box 186, bundle 1. Details of Bowes’s plans also emerged at the later court case.

13 MEBto Morgan, 10 November 1786: DCRO SEA D/St/C2/11/21.

14 Durham County Council, pp. 18-23; Tipping; Sale catalogues, Streatlam Castle, 1922 and 1927: BM Archives.

15 Events during 11 and 12 November at Streatlam Castle are described in Narrative, vol. 2, pp. 175-88.

16 Horace Walpole to Lady Ossory, 1 December 1786, in Lewis, W. S., vol. 33, pp. 536-40; Duchess of Brunswick to the Duchess of Argyll, 26 December 1786: B L add. MSS 29577.

17 London Evening Post, 11 November 1786: B M Album; The Times, 16 November 1786; Gentleman’s Magazine 56 (1786), p. 991; Madras Courier, 6 December 1787, cutting in a scrapbook of news cuttings compiled by MEB, entitled ‘Paragraphs Etc Pro and Con Concerning Myself & Family’, in the possession of the Bowes Lyon family at St Paul’s Walden Bury, hereafter called SPWB Album.

18 Affidavit Henry Farrer and Mary Morgan for habeas corpus against ARB , 11 November 1786: N A KB/1/25/1, Michaelmas bundle 1. Background on policing is from Hay and Snyder, passim. In 1856 it became compulsory for every county in England and Wales to have a police force.

19 English Chronicle, 14 November 1786, BM Album.

20 London Evening Post, 11 November 1786, BM Album; handbill, 11 November, SPWB Album.

21 Zachary Hubbersty to ‘Lacey and Farrer’, 13 November 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 5.

22 Robert Thompson to Morgan, 19 December 1786: SPG , box 69, bundle 6.

23 English Chronicle, 21 November 1786, BM Album; London Chronicle, 28-30 November 1786.

24 Rambler’s Magazine, 1786, p. 444; letter, anon to anon: BM Archives; Lady Darlington to her son, 16 November, 1786: B M Archives.

25 Margaret Liddell to Thomas Colpitts, 13 November 1786: SPG, volume C.

26 Edward Whatmore to Frederick Gibson, 13 November 1786: SPG, box 69, bundle 5.

27 Affidavit Thomas Ridgeway, 13 November: NA KB/1/25/1, Michaelmas bundle 1.

28 News cutting, no title or date: BBP DUL box 71, 243; Gentleman’s Magazine 56 (1786), p. 991.

29 Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG , box 186, bundle 1.

30 Letter, anon to anon: BM Archives.

31 Details of Mary’s ordeal from 12 to 20 November differ slightly in dates and locations according to various sources. My main source has been Narrative, vol. 2. Details can also be found in Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG, box 186, bundle 1. The autumn season of 1786 (September, October, November) was not only the coldest of the eighteenth century but also since records first began in 1659 according to the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature Handset, http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/. My thanks to Barry Gromett of the Met Office. Background information on the Pennines is from Smith, On Foot in the Pennines, pp. 111-12; Marsh, passim; Defoe, vol. 3, pp. 75-6. Access is now restricted in the area Mary crossed since large parts are private grouse moors or artillery ranges.

32 Ridgeway’s and Captain Farrer’s search efforts are described in Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG, box 186, bundle 1; Thomas Colpitts junior to James Farrer, 18 November 1786: SPG, volume C.

33 Letter, anon to anon, B M Archives.

34 Margaret Liddell to Thomas Colpitts, 19 November 1786: SPG, volume C.

35 Several copies of reward posters with different dates and text survive in SPG, volume C and the SPWB Album. Mrs Liddell refers to a poster in her letter of 19 November.

36 Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG, box 186, bundle 1.

37 Details of the rescue are contained in Narrative, vol. 2; affidavit of Gabriel Thornton, 5 December 1786: N A KB/1/25/1, Michaelmas bundle 2.

38 Thomas Lacey to Thomas Colpitts, 21 November 1786 and Mary Morgan to Thomas Colpitts, 23 November 1786: SPG, volume C.

39 English Chronicle, 25 November 1786, BM Album; Public Advertiser, 24 November 1786, SPWB Album. Several poems and leaflets are preserved in the SPWB Album with titles such as: ‘A True and Particular Account, of the Many Hardships, and Surprizing Escape, of the Countess of Strathmore Who was rescued from Mr Bowes, by a great Number of Country People in a Field, near Darlington, in the County of Durham’.

CHAPTER 12: THE TAMING OF BAD WIVES

Details of ARB ’s court appearance are contained in the newspaper articles mentioned as well as numerous others contained in the SPWB Album and BM Album. The scene is pictured in James Gillray, ‘Andrew Robinson Bowes Esqr. as he appeared in the Court of Kings Bench. . .’, (London, 1786). See Gatrell, pp. 340-2; McCreery, pp. 174-7; George, vol. 6, no. 7012. His journey to court and time in jail is described in Foot, pp. 138-9.

1 The Times, 29 November 1786; Gentleman’s Magazine 56 (1786), p. 1081; Morning Chronicle, 29 November 1786.

2 Foss, vol. 1, pp. 137-8; ODNB , vol. 8, pp. 617-9. Although Buller was heavily backed by Lord Mansfield, eventually Lord Kenyon was appointed Mansfield’s successor in 1788.

3 Sureties of between £500 and £1,000 were commonplace for such cases; even Earl Ferrers had been allowed bail totalling £10,000. See Doggett, p. 13. Foot, p. 139; cutting [no title], 29 November 1786, BBP DUL, box 71, 248.

4 Morning Chronicle, 29 November 1786; Newcastle Journal, 9 December 1786.

5 Anon, ‘The Irishman in Limbo, or, Stony Batter’s Lamentation for the loss of his Liberty’, n. d., BBP DUL, box 71, 248; Anon, ‘Who Cries Andrew now?’, (London, 12 May 1788), BBP DUL, box 71, 248; Martin Brown, ‘Paddy’s Progress, or the Rise and Fall of Captain S-y’ (Durham, 1808): DCRO SEA D/St/C1/13/16. An earlier version of the latter ballad, published 23 July 1788, is preserved in the SPWB Album.

6 Testimony John Beaumont, apothecary, Information filed for the King’s Bench: SPG, box 186, bundle 1; anon, The Trial of ARB. . . for a Conspiracy , p. 31.

7 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 28 December 1786: MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 8 January 1787; MEB to Thomas Colpitts junior, 13 December 1786: SPG, volume C.

8 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 28 December 1786: SPG, volume C.

9 Cokayne, vol. 12, pp. 400-1. Lord Strathmore enrolled as a cornet on 15 November 1786. Mary collected news cuttings on his career in the SPWB Album which she began in 1786.

10 Elizabeth Parish to Thomas Lyon [no day] May 1786: SPG, box 99, bundle 2.

11 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 8 January 1787: SPG, volume C.

12 Affidavit ARB, 21 November 1786, George III v ARB, King’s Bench trial: NA KB/1/25/1.

13 A handwritten note by MEB in the SPWB Album in November 1786 states: ‘Mr Bowes bought a share in the Universal Register on purpose to have an opportunity of vilifying my Character in it, & all my Friends as much as he chose.’

14 The World, 4 January 1787, SPWBAlbum; The Times, 16 January 1787.

15 Anon, Allegations against the Countess of Strathmore, in anon, The Trial of Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq; first heard in the Arches. The allegations, the customary term for the respondent’s reply, were reproduced in several formats at various times before the end of the century.

16 George Walker to anon [Mary Morgan?], 3 February 1787: SPG, box 185, bundle 1.

17 Affidavits Francis Bennett, 29 July 1788, Robert Thompson, 5 February 1787 and James Smith, 27 March 1788, divorce appeal to Delegates: NADEL2/12.

18 Narrative, vol. 2, p. 133; Mary Morgan to Thomas Colpitts, 26 January 1787: SPG, volume C.

19 James Farrer to Thomas Lacey, 9 December 1786: SPG , box 185, bundle 2.

20 Newcastle Journal, 27 January 1787, B M Album.

21 The Times, 24 January 1787. Extract from the Rover’s Magazine, 1 February 1787, BBP DUL, box 71, 241.

22 George Stoney to General Robinson, 17 February 1787, and George Stoney’s will, in Stoney, pp. 59-61.

23 ARB to Duke of Norfolk, 2 March 1787: Arundel Castle Howard Letters 1760-1816, vol. 1, section IV.

24 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 14 March 1787 and Mary Morgan to Colpitts, 1 April 1787: SPG, volume C. Although Mary thought Bowes had procured bail by 14 March, it was the end of March before the bail was agreed.

25 Affidavit Susannah Church, 25 June 1787, cited in divorce appeal to Delegates: NA DEL 2/12. Since she could not read, it is feasible she had signed the affidavit without understanding its contents.

26 Interrogatories on behalf of MEB to be asked of Revd Henry Stephens, divorce appeal to Delegates: NADEL 2/12.

27 The Times, 8 May 1787.

28 Bowes’s appeal to the High Court of Delegates was lodged on 16 May 1787: NA DEL 2/12.

29 The Times, 28 May 1787.

30 George III v ARB, King’s Bench trial: NA KB/1/25/1. The details of the case were published in various newspapers and several pamphlets. The quotations are taken from anon, The Trial of ARB. . . for a Conspiracy .

31 Foss, vol. 1, pp. 235-40; Simpson, A. W., p. 167; ODNB, vol. 18, pp. 567-77. According to Simpson, writing in 1984, Erskine is still regarded by many as ‘the greatest advocate ever practising in England’. James Mingay is described in Anon, Sketches of the Characters, pp. 63-4; ODNB, vol. 38, pp. 357-8.

32 The sentencing was described in anon, The Trial of ARB. . . for a Conspiracy. Gowland’s and Shields’s evidence is from Affidavits Mary Gowland and Matthew Shields, George III v ARB : NA KB/1/25/3.

33 Morning Post, 13 October 1788, SPWB Album.

34 Thomas Colpitts junior to Mary Morgan, 16 October 1787: SPG, box 185, bundle 3; James Smith to MM, 20 February 1788: DCRO SEA D/St/C2/11/22.

35 MEB to Thomas Colpitts, 17 December 1787: SPG, volume C.

36 Several sources, including Arnold, pp. 146-7, state that Anna was living with her mother in Fludyer Street when she eloped. She was actually living with Mrs Parish at that address as documented by rate books, letters from Mrs Parish and newspaper reports. Parish rates books, St Margaret’s Church, CWAC, 1786 re Fludyer Street; various letters Elizabeth Parish to Thomas Lyon: SPG, box 99, bundle 2; London Evening Post, 29 January 1788 and Newcastle Journal, 2 February 1788: BM Album. The eventual marriage settlement is cited in Invoice signed J. Ord, paying first instalment of marriage settlement of July 1789 to Henry James Jessop, 29 December 1789: SPG , box 99, bundle 3.

37 Full details of the hearing in the Court of Common Pleas are published in anon, A full and accurate report of the trial, which went to three editions in 1788.

38 Gentleman’s Magazine, 58 (1788), p. 459.

39 Doggett, p. 101.

40 William Watson to Frances Bennett, 24 June 1788: SPG , box 185, bundle 1.

41 Farrer.

42 The Times, 16 and 22 December, 1788; Rowe, p. 61.

43 Duncan, passim; Stone (1995), p. 183; Reports of the Commissioners of the Ecclesiastical Courts of England and Wales 1831-2 (1832). According to Stone there were eleven appeals in the thirty years in the mid-eighteenth century while the commissioners’ report states there were ninety-five in the first thirty years of the nineteenth century.

44 NA DEL 2/12.

45 Gentleman’s Magazine 59 (1789), p. 267.

46 The World, 7 March 1789: SPWB Album.

47 MEB, An Epitaph, Lady Strathmore’s Miscells. Verses & Prose: SPG, vol. 335. Foot says MEB sent the poem to ARB in prison after the divorce victory. Foot, p. 147.

CHAPTER 13: OUT OF THE WORLD

Background details on Newington and Southwark are taken from London County Council, vol. 25, pp. 2-19 and 81-3. MEB’s correspondence with Eliza is in Ann (Eliza) Stephens (née Planta) to MEB, 31 October, 20 and 31 December 1789, 3 January and 13 February 1790: SPG, box 185, bundle 3.

1 SPWB Album.

2 Affidavits ARB 30 January 1790 and MEB , 3 February 1790: NA DEL2/12.

3 Schedule of excommunication, 5 February 1790: NADEL 2/12.

4 Mary Morgan [on behalf of MEB ] to anon [?Lacey], 7 March 1790: SPG , box 185, bundle 3.

5 Mary Bowes to MEB, 5 March 1790, copy: BM Archives.

6 Mary Morgan [on behalf of MEB] to anon [?Lacey], 7 March 1790: SPG , box 185, bundle 3.

7 The habeas corpus writ is mentioned in Mary Morgan’s letter of 7 March 1790, ibid, and referred to in the title of a document at DCRO, ‘Brief for Lady Strathmore on a Habeas Corpus to produce the body of Mary Bowes’, her daughter, at the suit of Andrew Robinson Bowes, 1790’, which is among a number of documents currently closed at the family’s request: DCRO SEA D/St/L1/2/16. It must therefore have been served on either 6 or 7 March. However, there appears to be no trace of the writ in King’s Bench records at the NA. No record of the decision in Chancery can be found at N A either but agreement must have been reached by the time of the deed of revocation, which granted allowances for William and Mary, signed on 25 September 1790.

8 MEB to James Farrer, 25 April 1790: SPG,box 185, bundle 3.

9 Deed of revocation and appointment, 25 September 1790: DCRO SEA D/St/D13/4/32.

10 Stone (1993), pp. 35-7. Details on Shelley are from ODNB, vol. 50, p. 206. General information on child custody is from Pinchbeck and Hewitt, vol. 2, p. 370; Stone (1995), p. 173. The remark by Mary Wollstonecraft to Gilbert Imlay, 1 January 1794, is cited in Hill, Bridget, p. 103.

11 Hare, vol. 2, p. 172; Mrs Bland to Miss Heber, 16 February 1793, cited in Arnold, p. 159.

12 English Chronicle, 19 May 1789: BMAlbum.

13 Wills (1995), p. 82. The Gibside household accounts were resumed in 1791.

14 Askham, passim; Swinburne, vol. 2, pp. 86-90; Wheatley, vol. 5, pp. 201-2. Swinburne’s comments are in Henry Swinburne to Sir T. Gascoigne, March 1791, in Wheatley, vol. 5, pp. 86-90. The earl’s activities were reported in The Bon Ton Magazine, 1 (1791), p. 400. The Isaac Cruikshank cartoon was ‘A Strath Spey or New Highland Reel as Danced at Seaton D-l’ (London, 29 December), described in George, vol. 6, 1784-92, no. 7741. Although no year is mentioned on the cartoon, George dates it to 1790 but the sequence of events suggests that it was a year later.

15 Gazetteer, August and December 1791; Star, 24 January 1792: SPWBAlbum.

16 Venn, vol. 1, pp. 342-3. George was admitted on 9 May 1791 and Thomas on 13 December 1792.

17 MEB,‘Tomy son Bowes on his coming of age’, Miscellaneous poems of Lady Strathmore’s written since 1792: SPG, vol. 336.

18 SPWB Album.

19 Farrington, p. 261; Captain Farrer’s divorce bill, Journal of the House of Lords, 36 George III, vol. XL (1796), pp. 654 and 709. Captain Farrer died on board the True Briton on 21 May 1800 and was buried at sea. Log book Hindostan: BL India Office, L/MAR/B/267C.

20 The portrait hangs still in the hall of the house at St Paul’s Walden Bury.

21 Foot, pp. 142-56.

22 The Star, 1 April 1793: SPWB Album.

23 Letter MEB, 14 April 1793, in the True Briton and Hampshire Chronicle, 18 April 1793: SPWB Album.

24 Garlick and MacIntyre, vol. 1, p. 176. MEBreferred to Mrs Ogilvy in a note in Miscellaneous poems of Lady Strathmore’s written since 1792: SPG, vol. 336.

25 Morning Post, 25 December 1792.

26 Reading Mercury,15 July 1793: SPWB Album.

27 Dale. All quotes during Mary’s time at Stourfield are from this booklet unless otherwise stated. Richard Dale was born in the year MEB arrived at Stourfield. His text was first published in Notes and Queries in 1876. Stourfield House later became a care home and has since been demolished although its front steps and portico remain, now serving a block of flats, with a blue plaque affixed. The area is now the Southbourne suburb of Bournemouth.

28 Dale, pp. 5-6. My thanks to Dr Donald Stevens, archivist of Priory Church Christchurch, for checking the inscription.

29 House of Lords report, 1796: SPG, volume C; Countess of Strathmore v Bowes in Brown, William, vol. 2, pp. 345-50.

30 MEB to James Farrer, 18 and 20 December 1796: SPG,box 185, bundle 3.

31 News cutting, no title, July 1798: SPWBAlbum.

32 Funeral fee book 1783-1811, Westminster Abbey, p. 157; Chester, vol. 10, pp. 463-4; Will of MEB, NA, prob/11/1374; Obituary, Gentleman’s Magazine 70 (1800), p. 488; note in Chester, vol. 10, pp. 463-4.

33 Will of ARB : NA , prob/11/1514.

34 Cokayne, vol. 12, p. 400.

35 Mosley, vol. 3, pp. 3,281-4.

36 Hare, vol. 2, p. 181.

37 Hardy (1970); Wills, pp. 89-92.

38 Thomas married three times and died in 1846. He had an only child, Thomas, by his first wife, who died in 1834 so that his grandson, also Thomas, became the twelfth earl. Cokayne, vol. 12, p. 401.

39 Thackeray stayed at Streatlam Castle in June and July 1841 and after hearing Mary Eleanor’s story wrote to his publisher: ‘I have in my trip to the country found materials (rather a character) for a story, that I’m sure must be amusing. . .’ He began writing The Luck of Barry Lyndon in October 1843 and it was serialised in Fraser’s Magazine throughout 1844. After a pirated version was published in the US as a book in 1852 it was first published in book form in the UK in Thackeray’s Miscellanies: Prose and Verse in 1856 when it was renamed The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon Esq. of the Kingdom of Ireland. About two-thirds of the book relates imagined events before the marriage. Ray, pp. 271, 339 and 346.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!