Florence Bligh, Countess of Darnley

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Florence Bligh, née Morphy

Florence Rose Bligh (née Morphy), Countess of Darnley, DBE (c. 1860 – 30 August 1944) was the wife of Ivo Bligh, 8th Earl of Darnley. They were married in St. Mary's Church, Sunbury, with the reception held at Rupertswood, near Melbourne, Australia on 9 February 1884.[1][2]

She was born in Victoria, daughter of John Stephen Morphy, sometime police magistrate at Beechworth, and met Ivo Bligh at Rupertswood when he captained the English cricket team that visited Australia in 1882-83.[1] According to one report, she was the leader of the Melbourne ladies who presented Bligh with "a tiny silver urn, containing what they termed 'the ashes of Australian cricket.'"[3] (There is reason to believe, from that description and other records, that more than one "Ashes urn" came into being over time, the one she gave to the MCC after her husband's death in 1927[4] being of terracotta, not apparently silvered.)

Lady Florence was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919.




  • Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th Earl of Darnley (11 October 1886 – 29 May 1955)
  • Lt.-Col. Hon. Noel Gervase Bligh (14 November 1888 – 1984)
  • Lady Dorothy Violet Bligh (8 February 1893 – 16 January 1976)


  1. ^ a b Summary of Events The Illustrated Australian News, 20 February 1884, (foot of column 2) at Trove
  2. ^ A Fashionable Marriage Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil, 12 March 1884, p. 42, at Trove
  3. ^ Cricket Hobart Mercury, 4 June 1908, p.8, at Trove
  4. ^ Christopher Martin-Jenkins, The Complete Who's Who of Test Cricketers, Rigby, Adelaide, 1983, p. 21.

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