Lady Sarah Lennox

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Lady Sarah Lennox
Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces by Joshua Reynolds..jpg
Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1765
Born 14 February 1745
Died August 1826 (aged 81)
Spouse(s) Sir Charles Bunbury, 6th Baronet
The Hon. George Napier
Children Louisa Bunbury
Sir Charles James Napier
Emily Bunbury, Lady Bunbury
Sir George Thomas Napier
Sir William Francis Patrick Napier
Richard Napier
Henry Edward Napier
Caroline Napier
Cecilia Napier
Parent(s) Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
Sarah Cadogan

Lady Sarah Lennox (14 February 1745 – August 1826) was the most notorious of the famous Lennox sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond.

The Lennox sisters were four eighteenth-century British aristocrats, the daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond (1701–50) by his wife Lady Sarah Cadogan (1705–1751).

Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond English patron of cricket

Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, 2nd Duke of Lennox, 2nd Duke of Aubigny, was a British nobleman, peer, and politician. He was the son of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, an illegitimate son of King Charles II. He held a number of posts in connection with his high office but is best remembered for his patronage of cricket. He has been described as the most important of the sport's early patrons and did much to help its evolution from village cricket to first-class cricket.

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Early life

After the deaths of both her parents when she was only five years old, Lady Sarah was raised by her elder sister Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster, in Ireland. Lady Sarah returned to London and the home of her sister Caroline Fox, Baroness Holland aged thirteen. Having been a favourite of King George II since her childhood, she was invited to appear at court and there caught the eye of George, Prince of Wales (the future King George III), whom she had met as a child. [1]

Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster British duchess

Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster, known before 1747 as Lady Emily Lennox, from 1747 to 1761 as The Countess of Kildare and from 1761 to 1766 as The Marchioness of Kildare, was the second of the famous Lennox sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and his wife Sarah Cadogan.

George II of Great Britain British monarch

George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

When she was presented at court again at the age of fifteen, George III was taken with her. Lady Sarah's family encouraged a relationship between her and George III. [2] Lady Sarah had also developed feelings for Lord Newbattle, grandson of William Kerr, 3rd Marquess of Lothian. Although her family were able to convince her to break with Newbattle, the royal match was scotched by the King's advisors, particularly John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Lady Sarah was asked by King George III to be one of the ten bridesmaids at his wedding to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

William Kerr, 3rd Marquess of Lothian, was a Scottish nobleman, styled Master of Jedburgh from 1692 to 1703 and Lord Jedburgh from 1703 to 1722. He was the son of William Kerr, 2nd Marquess of Lothian and Lady Jean Campbell.

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute 18th-century Prime Minister of Great Britain

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, was a British nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763 under George III. He was arguably the last important favourite in British politics. He was the first Prime Minister from Scotland following the Acts of Union in 1707 and the first Tory to have held the post. He was also elected as the first President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland when it was founded in 1780.

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of King George III. She served as Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland from her wedding in 1761 until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818. She was also the Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, after which she was also queen consort of Hanover.

Family and marriages

Lady Sarah refused a proposal of marriage from James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll before marrying Charles Bunbury, eldest son of Reverend Sir William Bunbury, 5th Baronet, on 2 June 1762 at Holland House Chapel, Kensington, London. He succeeded his father as sixth Baronet in 1764.

James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll Scottish Earl

James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll was a Scottish nobleman and the son of William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock.

Sir Charles Bunbury, 6th Baronet British politician

Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, 6th Baronet was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1761 and 1812. He was the first husband of Lady Sarah Lennox.

Kensington district within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London

Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, West London, England.

Lady Sarah had an affair with Lord William Gordon, the second son of the Duke of Gordon, and gave birth to his illegitimate daughter in 1768. The child was not immediately disclaimed by Sir Charles, and received the name Louisa Bunbury. Nevertheless, Lady Bunbury and Lord William eloped shortly afterwards, in February 1769, taking the infant with them. Lord William soon abandoned her. Sir Charles refused to take her back, and Lady Bunbury returned to her brother's house with her child, while her husband moved Parliament for a divorce on grounds of adultery, citing her elopement. Lady Bunbury resisted the motion, and it was not until 14 May 1776 that the decree of divorce was issued.

Lord William Gordon (1744–1823) was a Scottish nobleman.

Lady Sarah married an army officer, The Hon. George Napier, on 27 August 1781 and had eight children:

George Napier British Army officer

Colonel George Napier, styled "The Honourable", was a British Army officer, most notable for his marriage to Lady Sarah Lennox, and for his sons Charles James Napier, William Francis Patrick Napier and George Thomas Napier, all of whom were noted military officers, collectively referred to as "Wellington’s Colonels". He also served as Comptroller of Army Accounts in Ireland from 1799 until his death in 1804.

In 1999, a 6-part miniseries based on the lives of Sarah Lennox and her sisters aired in the UK. It was called Aristocrats , and Sarah was played by actress Jodhi May.

Related Research Articles

References

  1. "Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces". Art Institute of Chicago.
  2. Napier, Priscilla (1971). The Sword Dance: Lady Sarah Lennox and the Napiers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ancestry