Elizabeth Lyon, Countess of Strathmore

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For other people named Elizabeth Stanhope, see Elizabeth Stanhope (disambiguation).
Lady Elizabeth Stanhope
Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Elizabeth Stanhope.jpg
Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Stanhope in mezzotint c.1680-84, published by Alexander Browne after Sir Peter Lely
Spouse(s) John Lyon, 4th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne

Issue

John Lyon, 5th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Charles Lyon, 6th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
James Lyon, 7th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Thomas Lyon, 8th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
3 additional sons, 3 daughters
Father Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield (paternity is disputed)
Mother Lady Elizabeth Butler
Born May 1663
Died 24 April 1723 (aged 59)

Elizabeth Lyon (née Stanhope), Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (May 1663- 24 April 1723), was an English noblewoman and the wife of Scottish peer John Lyon, 4th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Born to Lady Elizabeth Butler and Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield, her paternity was in doubt. It is possible that her actual father was James, Duke of York, who would in 1685 ascend the throne as King James II of England.

She was the subject of three portraits in mezzotint published by Alexander Browne after Sir Peter Lely. These are displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, in London.

Family[edit]

Lady Elizabeth was born in May 1663 at Bretby, Derbyshire, England, the daughter of Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield and Lady Elizabeth Butler, eldest daughter of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde. Her paternity was in doubt as despite her putative father's own licentious conduct, having been the lover of the notorious Barbara Villiers, mistress of King Charles II of England,[1] he believed that Elizabeth was not his daughter. Prior to her birth, Samuel Pepys alleged that Elizabeth's mother, tired of her husband's neglect of her in his pursuit of Barbara Villiers, had had affairs with both James Hamilton and James, Duke of York, who would later rule as King James II of England. In fact, she was caught in flagrante with the latter. It is possible, although it cannot be firmly established, that Elizabeth was in fact an illegitimate child of the Duke of York. Historian Antonia Fraser describes Elizabeth's mother as having been one of his mistresses.[2]

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, the father of York's wife, Anne Hyde, stood as Elizabeth's godfather at her baptism. Lady Elizabeth never knew her mother, as she died when Elizabeth was two years of age. Chesterfield subsequently married Elizabeth Dormer, by whom he had two sons.[citation needed]

Marriage and issue[edit]

John Lyon, 5th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Lady Elizabeth's eldest surviving son and a Jacobite, was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir

On 21 September 1691, Elizabeth married Scottish nobleman John Lyon, son of Patrick Lyon, 3rd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. In May 1695, almost four years after their marriage, he succeeded his father as the 4th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne; and from that time onwards, she was styled Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Together they had 10 children:[3]

Death[edit]

Elizabeth died on 24 April 1723 at Castle Lyon in Scotland. She was not quite 60 years old.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Antonia Fraser, King Charles II, p. 209
  2. ^ Fraser, p. 320
  3. ^ http://www.thePeerage.com
  • www.thePeerage.com
  • Antonia Fraser, King Charles II, Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd., London, 1979