'silhouette, shade, lady sarah lennox, c.1800, georgian era

Lady Sarah Lennox

Lady Sarah Lennox (14 February 1745 August 1826) Lady Sarah Lennox was the most notorious of the famous Lennox Sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond. 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 at 13. 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. Next Queen of Great Britain? When she was presented at court again at 15, George III was taken with her, and her family developed an ambition that she would be the next queen. Largely for this reason, the young king was discouraged from selecting her as a wife. 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, who feared losing his royal influence to Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, Lady Sarah's brother-in-law. Lord Bute prevailed, and Lady Sarah was asked by King George III to be one of the ten bridesmaids at his wedding to Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Lady Sarah confided to a friend, "Luckily for me, I did not love him, and only liked him".
Lady Sarah refused a proposal of marriage from James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll before she married Charles Bunbury, eldest son of Reverend Sir William Bunbury, 5th Baronet, on 2 June 1762 at Holland House Chapel, Kensington, London. Her new husband, who was known to love horse racing and thought to be a great fop, succeeded his father as sixth Baronet in 1763. Within a short time, their marriage was on the rocks, and Sarah's conduct (including adultery and gambling) earned her a bad reputation. She left her husband in February 1769, after the birth of her daughter Louisa Bunbury, and eloped with her cousin and Louisa's biological father Lord William Gordon, the second son of the Duke of Gordon. Bunbury's divorce on the grounds of adultery was finally granted by Parliament on 14 May 1776. Eventually she found happiness with an impoverished army officer, The Hon. George Napier. They were married on 27 August 1781, and had eight children.

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