Talk:Maria Fitzherbert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


In a recent history of Brighton (David Arscott, 'Brighton, a Very Peculiar History', Salariya Book Co. Brighton, 2009) we find the following on page 66 (I quote) " ... it is only in recent years that the amazing truth has emerged - that Prinny and Maria had seven children who lived with her in the village of Litlington at the foot of the Downs, 29km (18 miles) away, and passed themselves off as the Payne family." Can there be any possible truth in this? Is the author joking?

                                    Roy Fuller, Angers, France

Grave of Mrs. Fitzherbert's son in George S.A.?[edit]

There is a secret grave in a clearing about a hundred yards inside the forest near George in South Africa. I have visited it. There were no signposts to it and no one talked about it. We were told about it by a long time resident and were guided to it in 1960 and told it was the grave of of the son of a roman catholic woman married to the heir to the throne of England. They said when the illegal marriage became known to the royal family the woman was pensioned off to S.A. with her child. I always assumed the woman was Mrs. Fitzherbert. Why is there no mention of this part of Mrs. Fitzherbert's life in the article? Was I incorrectly informed? Has any one else heard about, or this visited, this grave? Deirdre Breton, Toronto, Canada```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

There appears to be a problem with the claim that Maria Fitzherbert was the mother of Charles William Molyneux, 1st Earl of Sefton. The Wiki link takes us to a page for him, but he was apparently born in 1748, before Maria's own birthdate. I hadn't heard that Maria and George IV had had a son together. Could this be an error? (talk) 19:04, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wootton Hall[edit]

The owners of Wootton Hall, Wootton Wawen, Solihull, Warwickshire, UK in the 1980's claimed that Mrs Fitzherbert once lived there. The Hall was the seat of a branch of the Smythe family, but distant from Mrs Fitzherbert's, and no biography of Mrs Fitzherbert mentions it. The claim is principally based on the owner's wife psychically detecting her presence via occasional allegedly paranormal perfume smells, and sightings of a 'Grey Lady'. Unfortunately this erroneous assertion has made it into several subsequent topographical and historical accounts and is in danger of being uncritically quoted as fact. (talk) 08:44, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

An "Unknown Priest"?[edit]

Why is it written here that the wedding to George IV was performed by an "unknown priest," when the clergyman is identified by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as "one of the prince's chaplains in ordinary, the Revd Robert Burt"?

I will make this change, if no one objects. Chillowack (talk) 17:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Infobox listing of George as a spouse[edit]

Why is the non-marriage ceremony - the kind performed on-stage by actors as an everyday event - used to add him to the infobox as a spouse? Surely it is factually wrong and if not removed at least it must be noted to be by a mock-ceremony. Eddaido (talk) 22:26, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

The status of marriages contracted in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772 is a difficult one, which many people clearly do not understand. They were illegal, but that does not mean that they were void. The crime of bigamy means that you marry twice, which would be impossible if the second marriage were not a marriage. Those members of the royal family who married without royal permission were breaking the law, but it does not mean that they were not married. For purposes of the succession to the throne the offspring of such unions were debarred, nor could they inherit titles, but that does not mean that they were illegitimate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

"No descendant of the body of his late Majesty King George the Second, male or female, (other than the issue of princesses who have married, or may hereafter marry into foreign families,) shall be capable of contracting matrimony without the previous consent of his Majesty, his heirs or successors, signified under the great seal, and declared in council (which consent, to preserve the memory thereof, is hereby directed to be set out in the licence and register of marriage, and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council); and that every marriage, or matrimonial contract, of any such descendant, without such consent first had and obtained, shall be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever." Opera hat (talk) 00:27, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The problem of marriages contracted in breach of the Royal Marriages Act was resolved recently when it was found that any any constraint on the right to marry was in breach of human rights. However, even in the 18th Century, it was still blindingly obvious that parliament could not really void a marriage contracted by two consenting, unmarried parties, in the presence of a clergyman, which was then followed by consummation and cohabitation. There was still a strong tradition of natural law: and the convention that marriages are made in bed, not in the parson's logbook. There is also the question of where such a marriage was illegal: in England certainly, but what about Scotland, Jersey, Canada, Hanover, France, Holland? Not apparently in the Pope's dominions or any Catholic country. We do know that such a ceremony was taken sufficiently seriously for Charles James Fox to have to deny it in parliament (and for another minister to be outraged when he discovered that his own denial was untrue). If it was just a meaningless pantomime this would not be necesssary.

On the other hand, I detect a difference of approach between the treatment of Mrs Fitzherbert and the irregular marriages of the Duke of Sussex whose first union, to Lady Augusta Murray, was annulled by the prerogative court. Here is the rub: for it to be annulled, it needed to have existed in the first place. The Wikipedia article, dealing with his son, states: "His parents' otherwise legitimate marriages were in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772. Therefore, Augustus d'Este was illegitimate for purposes of British law."

The Duke's second wife could not be styled Duchess of Sussex: but she was made Duchess of Inverness by Queen Victoria in 1840. This is a very strange way of censuring an alleged fornication. It would seem that the Royal family has preserved an institution of second class marriage, recently revived for Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, which is not too far removed from the German institution of morganatic marriage.

George IV's was never annulled. When he in turn became the sovereign, he was in a position to veto any proceedings against his marriage. None took place during his father's lifetime, because he kept the matter secret. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:38, 29 June 2012 (UTC)