Cynthia Spencer, Countess Spencer
Portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1917
|Spouse(s)||Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer|
Lady Anne Spencer
Edward Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
|Noble family||Hamilton (by birth)
Spencer-Churchill (by marriage)
|Father||James Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn|
|Mother||Lady Rosalind Bingham|
|Born||16 August 1897|
|Died||4 December 1972
Althorp, Northamptonshire, England
Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Spencer, Countess Spencer, DCVO, OBE (born Lady Cynthia Hamilton; 16 August 1897 – 4 December 1972) was a British peeress and the paternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Life and family
She was the daughter of James Hamilton, Marquess of Hamilton, later 3rd Duke of Abercorn (30 November 1869 – 12 September 1953) and Lady Rosalind Cecilia Caroline Bingham (26 February 1869 – 18 January 1958). Her maternal grandparents were Charles Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan and Lady Cecilia Catherine Gordon-Lennox, a daughter of Charles Gordon-Lennox, 5th Duke of Richmond and Lady Caroline Paget.
They had two children:
- Lady Anne Spencer (born 4 August 1920) who married Christopher Balwin Hughes Wake-Walker, a Captain in the Royal Navy.
- Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer (24 January 1924 – 29 March 1992).
She was the grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Lady Spencer died at the Spencers' ancestral home, Althorp of a brain tumour, aged 75. She was little known outside court and local circles until, twenty years after her death, Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales "believes that her grandmother looks after her in the spirit world."
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
- 16 August 1897 - 26 February 1919: Lady Cynthia Hamilton
- 26 February 1919 - 26 September 1922: Lady Althorp
- 26 September 1922 - 4 December 1972: Lady Spencer
- 1943 - 4 December 1972: Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
- 1953 - 4 December 1972: Dame of the Royal Victorian Order (DCVO)
Notes and sources
- Williamson, D. The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; Vol. 20 (#6) pp. 192–199, and Vol. 20 (#8) pp. 281–282
- Mosley, C. (ed.) Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th edition (Burke's Peerage, Crans, Switzerland, 1999) vol. 2, p. 2673
- The Times (London), Wednesday, 6 December 1972; p. 32, col. A
- Andrew Morton, Diana: Her True Story (BCA, 1992) p. 24
- 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: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), vol. XIII, p. 39.
- Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd., 1999), vol. I p. 6 and vol. 2 p. 2673
- C. F. J. Hankinson, editor, Debretts Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, 147th year (London: Odhams Press, 1949), p. 1007.