Her father was stationed at Rotterdam in 1746.
(Note that when she eloped in 1762,
they eloped to the Low Countries,
perhaps where she had been as a child.)
She grew up at Waverley Abbey House, Surrey (after 1747).
Her mother died pre-1749.
She got a new stepmother in 1749 who was only about 10 years older than her.
How did she meet the Earl of Pembroke?
There is a portrait
of her at
dressed as a boy groom holding a horse.
This has led to her being described as the Earl of Pembroke's "stable girl", but this is NOT true.
She was the daughter of an MP and Lord of the Admiralty, of the family who were lords of the manor of Croyland. She had affairs with two Earls, and still married an officer afterwards. She had her portrait painted many times.
Think she used visit Wilton undercover, possibly using the Wilton Riding School as cover, but she did not work there.
She would have met the Earl of Pembroke socially. Their families knew each other.
The Longleat guide book describes her as "an actress", but this also is surely wrong.
She is described as "a young woman of fashion" in [Letters, 1762].
She had an
affair in 1762 with the married
Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke [born 1734,
descendant of Edward III]
and had issue.
See The elopement of the 10th Earl and Kitty Hunter.
They eloped in Feb 1762. Henry was soon recalled to the Army. Kitty gave birth in Nov 1762.
Henry returned to his wife in March 1763. But he provided for their child.
And he provided Kitty with an allowance from 1763 until 1790. See notes.
finally mar 12 Feb 1770 to Capt. Alured Clarke
[later Field Marshal Sir Alured Clarke,
born 1744]. No issue.
She died 1795.
Engraving 1865 by Robert B. Parkes of an earlier portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
She is holding a mask. The story is that this is an allusion to the masked ball from which she eloped with Pembroke in 1762.
Raymond Crawfurd thinks original portrait is date 1768.
See larger and full size.
This is apparently the picture in a 1908 list of portraits at Ickworth.
From p.229 of [Farrer, 1908].
"H.L." means half-length figure. "M" means medium size.
It was then unlabelled, which is interesting. How do we know it is Kitty? It looks too old to be her.
Close-up of the miniature she is holding, rotated.
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