Albinia Hobart

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Albinia Hobart
Albinia Bertie as a young girl, by Thomas Hudson.jpg
Albinia Bertie as a young girl, by Thomas Hudson
Born Albinia Bertie
1738
Died 11 March, 1816
Nocton
Residence Richmond, London
Nationality Kingdom of Great Britain
Known for Extravagance
Title Countess
Spouse(s) George Hobart
Children 7

Albinia Hobart (1737/8–1816) was an 18th-century British celebrity. She was the heiress of her father and she became the Countess of Buckingham in 1793. Her lifestyle and size made her the subject and victim of cartoons by James Gillray.

Life[edit]

Hobart was born Albinia Bertie to Lord Vere Bertie and Lady Anne Casey.[1] Her mother's father was Sir Charles Wray. She married George Hobart and through him became the Countess of Buckinghamshire in 1793. The Buckinghams lived in a house that was based on the Frederick the Great's summer palace, Sanssouci. Here in Richmond, Albinia organised lavish parties which included performances by her and her daughters.[2]

William Pitt the younger and Hobart. Here she is the victim of a 1792 engraving by James Gillray "A sphere, projecting against a plane"

The fashion at the time was for gambling, particularly with the card game Faro. She[3] and other celebrities like Charles James Fox and Georgiana Cavendish were renowned for their indulgent gambling. The Hobarts were known for this extravagance. Despite not having a license she allowed her house to be used for high stake gambling. By this device she managed to lose money and to fall foul of the authorities. She was having fun and losing money and so was her husband. He tried a number of careers with poor results and consoled himself with mistresses. Despite their other interests the couple had four daughters and three sons.[2] Meanwhile the press saw her illegal gambling and indulgent parties as a legitimate target. The commentators at the time could not resist noting the growing size of Albinia and her love of extravagant fashion which was intended more for her daughters.[2] In 1784 she became an icon of the political battle of the election in Westminster. One side had the glamorous Georgiana Cavendish and on the other Hobart, the Countess of Buckingham. The candidate in question was her mother's father Sir Charles Wray.[2]

On her husband's death in 1804, she became the dowager countess of Buckinghamshire. She died on 11 March 1816 again in Nocton where she was buried with her husband.[1]

Family[edit]

She had eight children:


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Matthew Kilburn, ‘Hobart, George, third earl of Buckinghamshire (1731–1804)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 4 June 2017
  2. ^ a b c d Albinia Hobart, Lady (1737/8-1816), ashmolean.org, Retrieved 4 June 2017
  3. ^ Allan Chilvers (September 2010). The Berties of Grimsthorpe Castle. AuthorHouse. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-4520-4327-2.