Search this blog

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Lady Jersey in miniature

I was recently contacted by Jayne Parkes who had inherited a wonderful historical booklet from her mother and wanted to know whether I could tell her anything about it. Jayne has very kindly agreed to let me share her booklet with you.

A souvenir booklet

The booklet is labelled ‘Souvenir’ and contains a miniature of a lady and a lock of hair.

Miniature of Lady Jersey in souvenir booklet  © Jayne Parkes
Miniature of Lady Jersey in souvenir booklet
© Jayne Parkes
Lock of hair of Lady Jersey in souvenir booklet  © Jayne Parkes
Lock of hair of Lady Jersey in souvenir booklet
© Jayne Parkes
This would be interesting enough in itself, but in addition, the booklet includes the following note:


As far as I have been able to make out, the text reads:
“Pocket book with miniature & lock of hair of Sarah (nee Fane) Countess of Jersey given by her to my mother Louisa Mrs Hope (afterwards Viscountess Beresford)
Signed A J B Beresford Hope May 6 1883
Nb the almanack (?) lines/here (?) date 1817
Lady Sarah Sophia Fane daughter of John 10th Earl of Westmorland born March 4, 1785, married May 23 1804 George 5th Earl of Jersey, died Jan 26 1867”
Lady Jersey

Let us first consider the subject of the miniature. Sarah Child Villiers, Countess of Jersey (1785-1867), was one of the leading figures of Regency society. You can read more about her in a previous post on this blog. I am not sure what the line ending ‘date 1817’ says, but the details below it concern the birth, marriage and death of Lady Jersey and this information tallies with other sources.

But is the miniature really of Lady Jersey? Below is a close up of the miniature compared with a portrait of Lady Jersey that appeared in The Illustrated Belle Assemblée for 1844 on the left and a print of her on display at Osterley Park on the right. I think that the similarity is very good.
 
Left: Lady Jersey from The Illustrated Belle Assemblée (1844)  Centre: Miniature shown above © Jayne Parkes  Right: Lady Jersey from a print on display at Osterley Park
Left: Lady Jersey from The Illustrated Belle Assemblée (1844)
Centre: Miniature shown above © Jayne Parkes
Right: Lady Jersey from a print on display at Osterley Park
Viscountess Beresford

The miniature was given to Louisa, Viscountess Beresford. In 1837, The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic printed a portrait of the Viscountess together with a brief history of who she was and, very usefully, a list of her children by her first marriage.

Louisa Beresford, Viscountess Beresford  from The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic (1837)
Louisa Beresford, Viscountess Beresford
from The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic (1837)
Louisa Beresford was the youngest daughter of William Beresford, 1st Lord Decies and Archbishop of Tuam, and his wife Elizabeth Fitzgibbon. William Beresford was the brother of George de la Poer Beresford, 1st Marquess of Waterford.

Louisa married Thomas Hope of Deepdene, Surrey, on 16 April 1806. Thomas Hope was a merchant banker, art collector and author. His most famous publication was Anastasius (1819) — a racy novel which rivalled the popularity of Byron’s work and was said to have made Byron weep because he had not written it!

Deepdene, Surrey, the seat of Thomas Hope,  from Select Illustrations of the County of Surrey by GF Prosser (1828)
Deepdene, Surrey, the seat of Thomas Hope,
from Select Illustrations of the County of Surrey by GF Prosser (1828)
Louisa and Thomas had three sons: Henry Thomas Hope; Adrian John Hope and Alexander James Beresford Hope. Thomas Hope died on 2 February 1831 leaving his wealth and art collections to his eldest son Henry.

William Carr Beresford

Viscount Beresford engraved by P Lightfoot  from picture by G Bradley inLife of Field-Marshal His Grace   the Duke of Wellington by WH Maxwell (1840)
Viscount Beresford engraved by P Lightfoot
from picture by G Bradley inLife of Field-Marshal His Grace 
the Duke of Wellington by WH Maxwell (1840)
On 29 November 1832, Louisa married her first cousin William Carr Beresford, the illegitimate son of her uncle, the Marquess of Waterford. William was a General in the British Army, Colonel of the 16th Regiment of Foot and Governor of Jersey and had held the rank of Field Marshal in the Portuguese Army. He served in the Peninsular Wars under the Duke of Wellington and held the chief command in the Battle of Albuera, for which he was honoured with the title of Baron Beresford of Albuera on 17 May 1814. He was given the title of Viscount Beresford on 28 March 1823.

William and Louisa had no children and on his death in 1854, William's estates passed to Louisa’s youngest son, Alexander, who took the additional name Beresford from this time. It is Alexander’s signature—AJB Beresford Hope—that is on the note shown above.

The painter

Signature on miniature of Lady Jersey in souvenir booklet  © Jayne Parkes
Close-up of signature on miniature of Lady Jersey
in souvenir booklet © Jayne Parkes
The last thing I investigated was the painter of the miniature. The painting is signed Dun. Nicholas-François Dun (1764-1832) (1) was a French painter who worked mostly in Naples in Italy. You can see another miniature by him in the Gibbes Museum of Art online collection here. As you will see, the signature is virtually identical.

I have not been able to find out anything else about this painter, but there are some other paintings by Dun here and here.

Note
(1) Sometimes Dun’s name is spelt Nicolas without the ‘h’.

Sources used include:
Courthope, William, editor, Debrett's Complete Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1838)
Court Magazine and Monthly Critic (1837)

Anastasius — The Novel Which Made Byron Weep! on The Regency Redingote

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. :) I do love a bit of a mystery to solve.

      Delete
  2. In enlarging the image, I believe the line in questions states " the almanack leaves here date 1817". Pages were often called "leaves." Is the book an almanac? An almanac could be a general interest book about a pastime as well as the book of maps we think of today. What a lovely gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for our comment. I am not sure what else is in the booklet. I will have to go back to the owner and ask.

      Delete