Lady Diana Spencer (Viscountess Bolingbroke)

Female 1734 - 1808  (74 years)

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  • Name Lady Diana Spencer (Viscountess Bolingbroke) 
    Title Lady 
    Born 1734 
    Gender Female 
    Died 1808 
    Person ID I505  King of Scots
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2009 

    Father Charles Spencer (3rd Earl of Marlborough),   b. 22 Nov 1706,   d. 20 Oct 1758  (Age 51 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Trevor,   b. Unknown 
    Family ID F204  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Frederick St John (2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, 3rd Viscount St John),   b. 21 Dec 1732,   d. 05 May 1787  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 08 Sep 1757 
    Divorced 1768 
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2009 
    Family ID F208  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Topham Beauclerk,   b. 22 Dec 1739,   d. 11 Mar 1780, Bloomsbury, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Married 12 Mar 1768 
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2009 
    Family ID F209  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Diana Spencer
    Diana Spencer
    Personal Collection

  • Notes 
    • Mrs Diana Beauclerk (ne Lady Diana Spencer; other married name Diana St John, Viscountess Bolingbroke) (1734?1808) was an English noblewoman and artist.

      She was the daughter of the Honourable Elizabeth Trevor (d. 1761) and Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough (1706?1758). Her siblings were George, Charles, and Elizabeth. She was raised at Langley Park, Buckinghamshire, where she was introduced to art at an early age. Joshua Reynolds, an artist, was a family friend.

      She married Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke (1734?1787) in 1757, and from 1762?1768 was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Charlotte. Her marriage was unhappy and Bolingbroke was notoriously unfaithful. In February of 1768 he petitioned for divorce on grounds of adultery. The petition required an act of parliament, which was passed the next month. Within two days she married Topham Beauclerk of Old Windsor. They had four children: Anne (born around 1764, and did not survive infancy), twins Elisabeth (20 August 1766 - 25 March 1793) and Mary Day Beauclerk (20 August 1766 - 23 July 1851), and Charles George Beauclerk (20 January 1774 - 25 December 1846).

      Their circle of friends included Samuel Johnson, Georgiana Cavendish ? who maintained a glittering salon ? Edward Gibbon, David Garrick, Charles Fox, James Boswell and Edmund Burke.

      Beauclerk illustrated a number of literary productions, including Horace Walpole's tragedy The Mysterious Mother, the English translation of Gottfried August Brger's Leonora (1796) and The Fables of John Dryden (1797). After 1785 she was one of a circle of women, along with Emma Crewe and Elizabeth Templetown (1747-1823), whose designs for Josiah Wedgwood were made into bas-reliefs on jasper ornaments.

      Her husband died in 1780 and, due to restricted finances, she began to lead a more retired life. She died in 1808 and was buried in Richmond.

      In the mid-1990s a portrait of her hung in Kenwood House, on Hamstead Heath in London, with the caption: "Lady Diana Spencer, known chiefly for the unhappiness of her first marriage."

      Surtees, Virginia. 'Beauclerk , Lady Diana (1734?1808).' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 8 May 2007

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