Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My wife's ancestors - Hunter - Contents


Susannah Maria Cibber.
Portrait by Thomas Hudson, c.1749.
From here.

William Sloper,
merchant, of Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire,
mar Rebecca Abbott,
appointed Deputy Paymaster General 1714 under Walpole (who was then Paymaster of the Forces), Sloper held this post 1714-20,
purchased West Woodhay, Berkshire, 1714 (West Woodhay House was built 1635, just NW of West Woodhay village, see map and satellite image),
MP for Great Bedwyn 1715-22,
he was a long-serving, active and prominent Whig MP,
he was an old friend of Robert Hunter, Governor of New York 1710-19, Sloper traded with New York, and from 1720 he and Hunter worked together in the treasury and customs, their children would marry in 1727,
MP for Camelford 1722-27,
MP for Great Bedwyn 1729-41,
MP for Whitchurch 1742-43,
had issue:

  1. William Sloper, born 28 Apr 1709.
    He was educ Trinity College, Cambridge.
    He mar 1727 to Catherine Orby Hunter [born 28 Aug 1712, descendant of Edward III].
    They separated sometime between 1734 and 1737.
    They had issue:

    1. General Robert Sloper, born 8 May 1729 [mother age 16],
      of West Woodhay House, Berkshire,
      must be after grandfather Robert Hunter,
      ancestor of "Orby Sloper" family.

    William had a long, notorious and public relationship with the singer and actress Mrs. Susannah Cibber [born Susannah Maria Arne, 14 Feb 1714].
    Susannah was sister of the composer Thomas Arne (who set "Rule, Britannia!" to music 1740).
    Susannah had married 1734 to the actor, playwright and author, Theophilus Cibber. They lived London.
    Cibber was reportedly abusive and a profligate spender. They took a wealthy lodger (Sloper) to bring in more money.
    Susannah's relationship with Sloper started sometime between 1734 and 1737. For a time they apparently had a menage a trois. One account states that Cibber forced his wife to sleep with Sloper. Cibber certainly seemed to have consented at least, and Sloper paid for the rent and full maintenance for all three.
    Then Cibber, apparently looking for more money, sued Sloper in a lawsuit in 1738, accusing his wife and Sloper of adultery, and looking for damages.
    The defence was that Cibber had consented: "He takes his money, lets him maintain his family, resigns his wife to him, and then comes to court for justice, for reparation in damages".
    Sloper was successful. And worse for Cibber, the relationship between Susannah and Sloper developed, and she finally left Cibber for him.
    Susannah left England, went to Dublin, where she was in 1741.
    She later returned to London. She continued to sing and act.
    William and Susannah apparently lived together until her death in 1766.
    They had illegitimate issue together in the 1740s.
    He was MP for Great Bedwyn 1747-56.
    Susannah died 30 Jan 1766, age 51 yrs, bur Westminster Abbey.
    William died 2 Aug 1789, West Woodhay, age 80 yrs.
    Will proved 14 Nov 1789.

    Catherine's will dated 16 Apr 1796.
    She died 16 Oct 1797, West Woodhay, age 85 yrs.
    Will proved 21 Apr 1798.

West Woodhay House, Berkshire.
Gardens and rear of house to W. Front of house and lake to E.
Click to toggle map/satellite view. Click to zoom in/out. Drag to move.
From Google Maps.

West Woodhay House, 2007.
See full size. From here. Used with permission.

West Woodhay House, 2007.
See full size. From here. Used with permission.

West Woodhay House, 2007.
See full size. From Pam Martin. Used with permission.

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