Filed under Regency Women of Character

Regency Women of Character: Women at Waterloo

During a lull in fighting at Waterloo in 1815, British solidiers found the bodies of two women.  “I saw one of them,” wrote Captain Henry Ross-Lewin of the 32nd Regiment of Foot. “She was dressed in a nankeen jacket and trousers, and had been killed by a ball which had passed through her head.”  Other … Continue reading

Regency Women of Character: Sarah Trimmer

Born in 1741, Sarah Trimmer nee Kirby was a writer, philanthropist and reformer whose focus on education and children’s literature helped influence a movement towards equal opportunity education. Predominantly a scholar and journalist, her publishing career spanned from children’s books to instructional textbooks.  Her work on children’s books really brought about a new study of … Continue reading

Regency Women of Character: Mary Linwood

Mary Linwood was born in Birmingham in 1756 and at the age of nine moved with her family to Leicester after her winemaker father went bankrupt.  Her mother started a private boarding school for girls at Belgrave Gate where Mary would later reign as schoolmistress for 50 years. Beyond educating the minds of young ladies, Mary … Continue reading

Regency Women of Character: Dorothea Lieven

“It is a pity Countess Lieven wears skirts”, the Tsar Alexander wrote to his foreign minister Count Nesselrode. “She would have made an excellent diplomat.” Born in 1785 as Dorothea Benckendorff during the time of the French Revolution and subsequent treatises between Russia and England, the Countess married in 1800 Count Christopher Lieven who in … Continue reading

Regency Women of Charater: Lady Jersey

Sarah Sophia Villiers, daughter of the 10th Earl of Westmorland, became Lady Jersey upon marriage to George Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey in 1804. Nicknamed, rather ironically, Silence, Sarah was born in 1785 and lived until 1867.  Her mother was the principal shareholder and heiress as the only child to her father’s banking firm Child … Continue reading

Regency Women of Character: Sarah Siddons

In an age when acting was only just becoming an acceptable profession for women, and against the wishes of her parents, Sarah Siddons rose to acclaim for her captivating portrayal of Lady MacBeth. Sarah “Sally” Kemble was born in Wales in 1755 to an actor father.  After a stumble at Drury Lane, she circuited the … Continue reading

Regency Women of Character: Lady Hester Stanhope

Hostess and later caretaker of her uncle, British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, Lady Hester (March 12, 1776 – June 23, 1839) was not only a notable businesswoman and wit, but also a great adventurer and would-be queen of the desert. The Duchess of Cleveland, Stanhope’s niece, describes her in “The Life and Letters … Continue reading