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April 16, 2014


Georgiana Frederica, Marchioness of Worcester, lithograph of Lawrence portrait, c. 1814

Because the duchy of Beaufort still thrives, one can assume the original Lawrence portrait is hidden from view in one of the family’s residences. 

Georgiana Frederica Fitzroy (3 October 1792 – 11 May 1821) was the niece of the Duke of Wellington by his sister, Anne, and Henry Fitzroy, son of the 1st Baron Southampton. On 25 July 1814 in her step-father’s house in Upper Brook Street, Georgiana married Henry Somerset, the Marquis of Worcester, an officer in the fashionable 10th Hussars an eldest son of the 6th Duke of Beaufort.

Those familiar with Harriette Wilson’s life will remember Worcester as the careless young lad who got quite entangled with that fine courtesan and nearly married her before his outraged father stepped in, bribed Harriette out of the idea (not very sincerely, since she ended up suing him for not providing the annuity agreed upon), and had Henry shipped off as an ADC to Wellington in the Peninsula. What a tangled web the beau monde weave

Lady Shelley commented in Volume I of her Diary

Georgiana Fitzroy’s marriage was announced. It was to take place on the following Monday, when the Duke was to give her away. I hope that it will turn out well, but I have my doubts! Lord Worcester is only twenty-one, and very wild. 

From La Belle Assemblée for August, 1814: 


By the time of their marriage, Henry was a Major in the 37th Foot and for all intents and purposes living a considerably more staid life than before he became one of Wellington’s ‘boys.’ 

Georgiana bore Henry two daughters in 1816 and 1817. In May 1821, she suddenly became sick at a Carlton House ball and died later that evening at Apsley House. Marianne Spencer-Stanhope (author of the 1827 satirical novel Almack’s) wrote to her brother John on 12 May 1821:

Lady Worcester was not expected to live thro’ last night. She was at the Birthday & at the ball, danced a great deal, felt unwell, and was fool enough to take a shower bath before she went to bed. She was seized with inflammation in her bowels & in great danger immediately. 


Lady Worcester’s sufferings were most extreme, her complaint a twisting of the guts. She died sensible but screaming. On one side of the bed sat Lady E. Vernon, on the other, Lady Jersey, also screaming with grief. The Duke of Wellington had to drag them by force out of the room. There were eighty people standing round when she died. 

— The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope, by A. M. W. Stirling, Vol. 1 (1913), 355-356. 

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