Henrietta Paulet, Duchess of Bolton

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The Duchess of Bolton
Henrietta Crofts, Duchess of Bolton.jpg
Henrietta Paulet (née Crofts), Duchess of Bolton, by and published by John Smith, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt. Mezzotint, 1703 (c. 1700) NPG D11555.
Henrietta Crofts

Died27 February 1730
Resting place Basing House
Children Lord Nassau Powlett
Relatives Charles II of England (paternal grandfather)
Jane Myddelton (maternal aunt)

Henrietta Paulet, Duchess of Bolton ( née Crofts; c.1682 – 27 February 1730), was the third wife of Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton.

The elder daughter of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, by his mistress Eleanor Needham, [1] Henrietta took the surname of "Crofts" that had been assumed by her father when he was in the care of the Crofts baronets. Her mother's sister, Jane Myddelton, was one of the celebrated Windsor Beauties. [2]

Henrietta married the Duke of Bolton in Dublin in about 1697, [3] some years after the death of his second wife, Frances. She was around twenty years his junior, and he was known in society as ‘a most lewd, vicious man, a great dissembler and a very hard drinker’. [3] They had one son:

From 1714 to 1717, the duchess was a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Princess of Wales, Caroline of Ansbach. [4]

Following the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, Henrietta interceded, unsuccessfully, with King George I on behalf of her friend Anna Radclyffe, Countess of Derwentwater, whose husband, James, the 3rd Earl, was condemned to death for his role in the rebellion. [5]

She was one of the aristocratic female signatories to Thomas Coram's petition to establish the Foundling Hospital, which was presented to King George II in 1735. She signed the petition on 25 April 1729, and Gillian Wagner suggests that the Bolton family members may have signed as a result of their 'personal experience of illegitimacy in the[ir] family'. [6] Wagner also suggests that the Dowager Duchess signed with the encouragement of her step-daughter-in-law Anne, who had signed Coram's petition three days earlier, on 22 April 1729. [6] [7]

Her portrait, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, is held by the Art Gallery of South Australia; [8] the Royal Collection has a mezzotint copy and a watercolour miniature. [9] [10]

Henrietta died in 1730, leaving no will, and was buried on 10 March of that year at Basing. [3] Henrietta Street in Dublin may have been named after her (it intersects with Bolton Street, named after her husband), although some think it is named after Henrietta FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton. [11]

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  1. Burke, Bernard (1914). Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. London: Burke's Peerage Limited. p. 320.
  2. Lee, Sidney, ed. (1894). "Myddelton, Jane"  . Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. 1 2 3 G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, p. 212.
  4. "Household of Queen Caroline 1727-37". Institute of Historical Research. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. Daniel Szechi (2006). 1715: The Great Jacobite Rebellion. Yale University Press. pp. 245–. ISBN   0-300-11100-2.
  6. 1 2 Wagner, Gillian (2004). Thomas Coram, Gent., 1668-1751. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press. p. 87. ISBN   1843830574. OCLC   53361054.
  7. Profile Archived 17 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine , foundlingmuseum.org.uk. Accessed 19 December 2022.
  8. Kneller, Sir Godfrey. "Lady Henrietta Crofts, Duchess of Bolton". Art Gallery of South Australia. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  9. "Henrietta Paulet, Duchess of Bolton; 3rd wife of 2nd Duke". Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  10. "Henrietta Crofts, Duchess of Bolton (1683-1730) c.1700". The Royal Collection. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. "RSAI - Excursions and Outings - King's Inns and Henrietta Street". Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Archived from the original on 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2009.