Isabella Ingram-Seymour-Conway, Marchioness of Hertford

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Lady Hertford, as painted by John Hoppner, ca. 1800.

Isabella Anne Seymour-Conway, Marchioness of Hertford (1759 – 12 April 1834) was an English courtier and a mistress of King George IV when he was Prince of Wales. She was a daughter of Charles Ingram, 9th Viscount of Irvine, and married Francis Ingram-Seymour-Conway, 2nd Marquess of Hertford, in 1776, at age sixteen.

Tall, handsome, and elegant,[1] she soon caught the attention of the Prince of Wales. His attentions were not welcomed by her husband, who took her to Ireland to keep her from the Prince. However, this only increased his passion for Lady Hertford, and she became George's mistress in 1807. As a result, the Prince was a regular guest at Hertford House, Hertford's London residence, and Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. A Tory herself, she was influential in turning the Prince toward the Tories, and used her London residence as the headquarters for Tory sympathizers.[2]

The Marchioness's predecessor as the Prince Regent's mistress had been Maria Fitzherbert, a Roman Catholic.[3] Other Catholics disapproved of the Marchioness's influence over the prince, referring to "the fatal witchery of an unworthy secret influence" that they felt had turned him against the idea of Catholic emancipation. George Canning, speaking for the party in power, made use of these comments to say that, if Lady Hertford was really responsible for the prince's political decisions, she was "Britain's guardian angel".[4]

On the death of her mother in 1807, she inherited Temple Newsam in West Yorkshire, where the Prince of Wales had paid her a visit.[5] She and her husband added the name of Ingram to their surname due to the fortune they inherited from her family.

Lady Hertford's relationship with the Prince, now Prince Regent, ended in 1819, when he turned his attentions to Elizabeth Conyngham, Marchioness Conyngham. According to Greville’s diary for 9 June 1820:[6]

"Somebody asked Lady Hertford if she had been aware of the King’s admiration for Lady Conyngham, and 'whether he had ever talked to her about Lady C. She replied that 'intimately as she had known the King, and openly as he had always talked to her upon every subject, he had never ventured to speak to her upon that of his mistresses'."

Lady Hertford died in 1834.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Georgian Index - Mistresses of the Prince". georgianindex.net.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-12-18. Retrieved 2007-06-03. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ William Henry Wilkins (1905). Mrs. Fitzherbert and George IV. Longmans, Green and Company. p. 104.
  4. ^ William Wallace (1831). The History of the Life and Reign of George IV.: In 3 Volumes. Longman. p. 199.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2009-07-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Charles C. F. Greville, A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, volume I (London, Longmans Green & Co, 1874), at page 29

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