Thursday, June 6, 2019

Lady Worsley's Lovers----

Seymour Fleming
British aristocrat.

Daughter of: John Fleming, 1st Baronet & Jane Woleman, granddaughter of Duke of Somerset.
Richard Worsley
7th Baronet of Appuldurcombe
Wife of
2. John Lewis Cuchet mar 1805.

Lady Worsley's personal & family background.
". . . Seymour Dorothy Fleming was the fourth of five children of Irish career soldier, Sir John Fleming and his wife, Jane Colman, granddaughter of the Duke of Somerset. Seymour was the surname of the Somerset dynasty and she was named to reflect the familial connection. By the time she was twelve, she had lost her father, brother and two sisters, and found herself heiress, along with her elder sister Jane, to her father's fortune. Her mother remarried to the wealthy MP Edward Lascelles, whose family had made a fortune through sugar and slavery in Barbados, and she spent her teenage years in his household. By the time, she was of marriageable age, she was personally entitled to a massive 52,000 pounds, a figure inflated to 70,000 pounds in the gossip columns that monitored the doings of the British aristocracy. . . ." (Women's History Network

The Lady's roll of theoretical lovers.
"By April of 1782, the list of individuals alleging to have passed an illicit evening in the embrace of this 'Messalina of the Modern Age' had swelled beyond any credible proportion. Idle gossip, fanciful boasting and rakish innuendo added a full range of names to her roll of theoretical lovers. Grub Street satirists made of the opportunity to attach the names of figures from other notorious debacles to this most recent scandal. The quill behind the anonymous publication, Sir Richard Easy, created a tableau of farcical bed-hopping, which paired Seymour with Lord William Gordon (mistaken in the pamphlet for his brother, the instigator of the eponymous Gordon Riots), Sir Charles Bunbury (the husband of Lord Gordon's mistress, Lady Sarah Bunbury) as well as the MP, Satanist and necrophile, George Selwyn and his regular sidekick, Charles 'Chace' Price. Whether these names, and others like them, were included in the official tally of Lady Worsley's lovers can only be guessed."  (Lady Worseley's Whims: 143)

A log of the sum total of Lady Worsley's paramours.
"From this tangle of acknowledged lovers, whispered names, rumours, conjecture, satirical suggestions and dubious sexual boasts, a log purporting to contain the sum total of Lady Worsley's paramours was created. No one, however, could agree on the actual number. The author of Sir Richard Easy exaggerated the scandal by citing the existence of 'a lost of about three score gallants'. Walpole wrote with barely contained relist to Horace Mann on the 25th of February that 'she summoned thirty-four young men of the first quality' but later revised this to twenty-seven. He had probably got his information from the newspapers; the Morning Herald had been asserting that 'no less than twenty-eight were subpoenaed at her own express command'. After the initial excitement of the February trial had flickered out, numbers were readjusted downward. Finical Whimsy suggested a more reasonable fifteen while the cartoonist James Gillray's lampoon, A Peep into Lady's !!!!y's Seraglio depicted her with eleven supposedly identifiable admirers." (The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce)

List of notable and unknown gentlemen who intrigued with Lady W.
" . . . Among the publications that appeared filled with stories of Lady Worsley's adventures, The Memoirs of Sir Finical Whimsy and His Lady seems quite convincingly to be built on insider knowledge. Its astute and anonymous author makes use of precise biographical and chronological detail that cross-references consistently with other sources. The work's pages contain the names of numerous gentlemen, both notable and unknown, who were understood to have intrigued with Sir Richard's wife. Ranking highly among those who have been the subject of tea table animadversion among the ton' was the Earl of Egremont. . . Equally conceivable is the suggestion that Seymour was intimately acquainted with other officers of her husband's corps beyond Edward Rushworth and Maurice George Bisset. The fabulously wealthy Captain John Fleming was cited, as was Captain Simeon Stuart, the son of the regiment's former commander and a man regarded as 'a distinguished favourite among the ladies'. The list continued. The author added to it the name of George Pitt, later the 2nd Baron Rivers. Pitt, who eventually was forced to sell his ancestral seat, Stratfield Saye to satisfy his gambling debts, was a neighbour of Worsley's as well as a companion of Wyndham's. . . A misadventure with Lady Worsley was to become only one sin in a lifetime of errors. . . .. Alongside George Pitt appeared the name of Francis North, a military commander and son of the Prince Minister, Lord North. . . " . . . A handful of other, more elaborately disguised identities are fleetingly presented, as as that of Captain E-----, with whom Worsley was rumoured to have arranged a wife-swap during an evening under the stars at Coxheath. Mention of an 'Honourable Mr-----, son of Lord -----' is also introduced behind a veil of riddles. He was believed to have 'commenced acquaintance with her ladyship in town' and after running through his 'fortune before succeeding to it' then had 'the singular good luck to be elected for a member of a constituency at the last general election'. The more unlikely liaison, the greater the author's pretences of discretion, leaving curious readers to scratch their heads at the remaining jumble of indecipherable individuals mentioned only by initials." (The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce)

"Aside from Bisset, there is compelling evidence to suggest that Seymour had affairs with five additional men: Wyndham, Rushworth, Cholmondeley, Deerhurst and Graham. The possibility will always remain that there were more, but in keeping with the intriguer's code of secrecy, it is probable that some of her paramours preferred to take their stories to their graves rather than tell them to a hack. . . ." (The Lady in Red)

George was not the first lover of allegedly 27 lovers: ". . . George had not been Seymour's first lover. In what was an almost unheard of defence, five of Seymour's previous lovers testified of their relationships on George's behalf, noting that Richard was often complicit through not questioning what his wife was doing. Her doctor also testified that he had treated her for a sexually transmitted disease. The press, in turn, heightened this scandal linking her with a total of 27 men, often basing their claims on little more than relative proximity." (Women History Network)

Lady Worsley's lovers;
Sir Charles Bunbury
1) Charles Bunbury6th Baronet (1740-1821)
British aristocrat & politician

Son of: Sir William Bunbury, 5th Baronet & Eleanor Graham.

Husband ofLady Sarah Lennox.

2) Charles Price.

3) Charles William Wyndham (1760-1828)

"Although Lord Deerhurst's attractions had been enough to entice Lady Worsley to abandon her husband, it was not the first time that she had been tempted by another man. Her entry into the arena (The Scandalous Lady W)

4) Edward Rushworth
Hon. Francis North
4th Earl of Guildford
British peer, army officer & playwright

"Alongside George Pitt appeared the name of Francis North, a military commander and son of the Prime Minister, Lord North.  The author of Sir Finical Whimsy writes little about this affair, beyond a remark that it amounted to 'nothing exceeding the common adventures of gallantry'.before adding glibly that Sir Richard Worsley had been foolish enough to 'thin himself highly honoured by the connection'." (Lady Worsley's Whim: 144)
George William
7th Earl of Coventry
Cowcumbers Studio: Shannon D 
British peer & member of Parliament.

"The first of these names, that of George William Coventry, Viscount Deerhurst, was cried through the hall of justice. Worsley would not have found the defence's decision to summon him surprising. As the Viscount was the scheming facilitator of his wife's elopement, Sir Richard would have come to revile him nearly as much as he did his former companion, Bisset. There was, however, nothing triumphant about Deerhurst's manner as he was guided to his place in the witness box. . . ." (Lady Worsley's Whim: 123)

" . . . The gentleman announced himself as George William Coventry, Viscount Deerhurst.  He cut a grim figure standing in the entryway of the Commission. Deerhurst had once been a very handsome beau, a fast-living member of the fashionable set, but about a year earlier he had suffered terribly.

". . . (I)t was not until his stay at Appuldurcombe that an attraction developed between the Viscount and Lady Worsley. Deerhurst claimed that his host was not only aware of his wife's allure but had encouraged his guest to make sexual overtures to her. . .  With an invitation to pursue his friend's wife, Deerhurst's affair with Seymour soon took fire directly beneath the gaze of a permissive husband. . . . " (The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce)

7) George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont
" . . . Ranking highly among those who 'have been the subject of tea table animadverison among the ton' was the Earl of Egremont. A prodigious philanderer and the brother of Charles Wyndham, the suggestion that the Earl might be included 'among that number who have possessed an exclusive share of [Lady Worsley's] partiality' would not be entirely unlikely. The Worsleys moved in Egremont's circle and are known to have visited his estate at Petworth in the early summer of 1778, while the South Hampshire Militia was temporarily encamped on his grounds. . . ." (Lady Worsley's Whim: 143)

8) Maurice George Bisset (1757-1821)

British military officer
Lover in 1781.

Natural offspring:
a. Jane Seymour Worsley (1781-?)

Fashionable society regarded him as a complete unknown.
"Beyond the basic details of his life, very little is known about the young man who stepped into the realm of inherited wealth while his brothers were left to find their feet in the church and the military. What few images there are of Maurice George Bisset are caricatures which portray him as being quite tall and of a slight build. In some, his nose appears to be long and sharp, while his small eyes are etched with dark brows. If a brief note in the Morning Post is to be believed, Bisset was not the most conventionally attractive of men. He 'owes but little to nature for exterior graces,' the author wrote; however, he was persuasively charming and 'possesses in a great degree the art of captivating by address'. With the exception of this statement, no one, not even his neighbour John Wilkes who befriended him in his later years, passes any remark about his character. When his name first entered into common conversation by way of the events in which he would feature, fashionable society regarded him as a complete unknown." (The Scandalous Lady W)

" . . . It was during the election season, at events such as these that Seymour was drawn to the company of her new, Maurice George Bisset.

"In November 1781, Lady Worsley eloped with Captain George Bissett, a friend of her husbands, leaving her 4 month old baby behind. This act of defiance prompted Sir Richard to bring a criminal conversation case (adultery, with one of his officers) for £20,000 against Bissett. Lady Worsley made the courageous decision to support Bissett, publicly humiliating herself and her position in society." (The Life of Lady Worsley)

"In 1782, a scandal involving the wife of the Governor of the Isle of Wight and a local militia captain caused a sensation in London Society. . .  The court case centred round Lady Worsley, the wife of Sir Richard Worsley, the Governor of the Isle of Wight.  She had spent the night in a hotel with George Maurice Bisset, a captain in the Isle of Wight militia.  But his defence had claimed that Worsley had encouraged this liaison and was a willing accomplice. Lady Worsley was an attractive woman, who had a reputation for flirtatious behaviour and was known in fashionable society as somewhat loose with her affections. . . ." (Isle of Wight History Centre)

"In November 1781, Seymour eloped with George Maurice Bissett, a Captain in the South Hampshire Militia, next door neighbour and close friend of the family. Richard [her husband] was furious. . . (E)loping with a lover opened up the couple's marriage to public scrutiny, ruining Seymour's reputation as a respectable woman, and shaming Richard, by challenging his presentation as a strong patriarch with control over his household. . . ." (Women's History Network)

". . . She was seen constantly in the company of a neighbouring landowner named Maurice George Bisset.  Seymour became pregnant by Bisset, but Sir Richard, far from stopping the relationship, seemed determined to encourage it.  He invited Bisset to share a house with him and his wife when he went on manoeuvres with the militia at Maidstone and then Lewes."  (Spectator)

9) George Pitt2nd Baron Rivers (1751-1828)

" . . . The author added to it the name of George Pitt, later the 2nd Baron Rivers. Pitt, who eventually was forced to sell his ancestral seat, Stratfield Saye to satisfy hos gambling debts, was a neighbour of Worsley's as well as a companion of Wyndham's. By 1784 his behaviour had become so reprehensible that his father publicly admonished him in a pamphlet entitled A Letter to a Young Noble Man on a Variety of Subjects. Lord Rivers was still brushing the much off the family crest left by the humiliating divorce of his daughter, Penelope Ligonier, when his son had begun to run wild. A misadventure with Lady Worsley was to become only on sin in a lifetime of errors." (Lady Worsley's Whim: 143)

" . . . Allegedly much addicted to field sports and women, George Pitt was the only son of 1st Lord Rivers.  George represented Dorset in Parliament in 1774. He travelled in Italy and his portrait bust is loosely based on the famous bust of Caracalla in the Capitoline.  In 1817 the unmarried Pitt, as 2nd Lord Rivers, sold his Hampshire estate Stratfield Saye to the nation for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington." (When the word was ruled from Dorset in The Dorset Magazine)

10) George Selwyn (1719-1791)

11) James Graham3rd Duke of Montrose (1755-1836)
Scottish aristocrat & statesman.

12) Captain John Fleming.

13) Joseph BologneChevalier de Saint-Georges.
Champion fencer, virtuoso violinist and symphony orchestra conductor:

14) Captain Simeon Stuart.

15) Lord William Gordon.