Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Fitzwilliam - Contents

Mary Fitzwilliam

Mary Fitzwilliam.
Portrait c.1748 by William Hoare. Wilton House.
From entry for William Hoare in [Dictionary of pastellists].

Mary Fitzwilliam,
bapt 8 Sept 1707, London.
Descendant of Edward III.
She grew up at Mount Merrion House, Co.Dublin (built 1711).
Her family moved to England around 1726-27.

Maid of honour at Court:
Mary became a maid of honour before 1727 to Caroline, Princess of Wales, and then Queen.
She is not to be confused with the other Lady Pembroke who attended the same Queen Caroline, Mary Howe.
Caroline succ as Queen in June 1727.
Letters of this period show Mary moved in the same circles as the 9th Earl for years before their marriage.
Mary is described as a maid of honour to the Queen in a [Letter of 18 May 1728] from Lord Chesterfield to Henrietta Howard (a Woman of the Bedchamber to the Queen). Lord Chesterfield writes from The Hague where he is enjoying life: "I pity you who are forced to endure the tumultuous pleasures of London. I considered you particularly last Tuesday, suffering the heat and disorders of the masquerade, supported by the Duchess of Richmond of one side, and Miss Fitzwilliam of the other, all three weary and wanting to be gone".
[Letter of Lord Chesterfield, 13 Aug 1728] says flippantly after the death of the wife of the 57 year old Duke of Kent: "I take it for granted the match between His Grace and Miss Fitzwilliam is as good as concluded by this time."
Lady Hervey seems to have a better idea of Mary's suitors. [Letter from Lady Hervey, 31 Aug 1728] says: "Pray tell Miss Fitzwilliam "Mr. Egham" is something better for the Spa, and that I suppose when he returns she will be the better for it too."
Mary is described as a maid of honour to the Queen in [Letter of 10 July 1731].
[Letter of 31 Aug 1731] refers to some Lord sending Miss Fitzwilliam a present.

She mar 1stly, 28th Aug 1733 to Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke [born 1688] and had issue.
He was age 45. She was age 25.
He was descendant of Fitzwilliam of England.
They lived at Wilton House.
Henry died 9 Jan 1750.

She mar 2ndly, 4th Sept 1751 [her age 44] to North Ludlow Bernard [or Barnard, think NOT Ludlow North Bernard].
[PP, vol.1, family tree] says he was born 1684, and so was age 67 at marriage.
His rank is uncertain. Some sources have him as Captain of the Horse Guards. But [PP, vol.1, p.28] has him as Major. Some sources have him as Major of the Dragoon Guards. Then [PP, vol.1, family tree] has him as Colonel.
She made him sell his commission on marriage.

He was a commoner, and the marriage was disapproved of by many, and just found amusing by others.
[Letter by Richard Rigby, 10 Sept 1751] says that Lady Townshend quips that she has "already engaged her Captain" in the event of her husband's death, "lest they should be all picked up".
[Letter by Horace Walpole, 14 Oct 1751] says: "she was a favourite" [at court] "but has disgraced herself by marrying a Captain Barnard". He says that the King, George II, recently said in her hearing that "I can't bear when women of quality marry one don't know whom!"
[Letter by Lady Vere, 1752] jokingly says that "Lady Betty" [Elizabeth Germain, a widow age 72] "thinks herself in danger of being Barnarded by a son of Lord Chesterfield" [Philip Stanhope, age 19]. She says that young Stanhope "is going to Paris again, if Lady Betty does not make him sell his commission" (a reference to Mary Fitzwilliam's marriage).

Mary lived to see the elopement of her son the 10th Earl of Pembroke in 1762, and the birth of her illegitimate grandchild Augustus Reebkomp in Nov 1762.
Her will dated 17 Jan 1766. She calls her husband "Thomas Bernard".
North Ludlow Bernard died 1766, age 82 yrs.
At death Mary is living parish of St George Hanover Square, London.

Mary dies, 1769:
Mary died before her long-lived mother.
She died 13 Feb 1769, age 61 yrs.
[Complete Peerage] says she died in "Privy Gardens", which would be Pembroke House, London, town house of her son the 10th Earl.
She was bur Wilton parish church with 9th Earl.
Her will proved 11 March 1769, Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Baptism of Mary Fitzwilliam in Hampstead parish register (Church of England), London, 8 Sept 1707.
It notes that her father is still a Catholic.
From p.545 of vol.2 (1795) of The environs of London by Daniel Lysons.

The main block of Mount Merrion House, Co.Dublin (built 1711, now demolished).
Photo published in [Irish Country Houses]. Picture credit Rolf Loeber.
Used here with permission of Rolf Loeber.

Herman Moll's map of Dublin, 1714.
NAI is wrong to say this is John Speed, 1610.

Mary Fitzwilliam was single at Court for some years, and others enjoyed speculating on who she would be matched with.
[Letter of 31 Aug 1728] by Lady Hervey refers to one of Mary's suitors.
"Mr. Egham" is a pseudonym.

Explanation of [Letter of 10 July 1731] by Lady Hervey:
She describes the maids of honour to the Queen in allegory as like volumes in a library.
The fourth volume, "The Lady's Guide, or the Whole Art of Dress", is thought to refer to the unmarried Mary Fitzwilliam.
It is fascinating that in the 1760s Kitty Hunter would have affairs and illegitimate sons with both Lady Hervey's son and Mary Fitzwilliam's son.

"Cornet North Ludlow Bernard", 2nd husband of Mary Fitzwilliam.
By Johann Zoffany.
From and and (who do hand-painted reproductions).

Portraits of Mary Fitzwilliam




Sources yet to be consulted


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