Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lady Anne Lumley: A Lady with Little Detail

Lady Anne Lumley was the third daughter born to Richard, the first earl of Scarborough, and his wife Francis, daughter of Sir Henry Jones of Aston in Oxford. Lady Anne was born into an established family with court connections, which helped her brother, John, become a Groom of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales from 1729 to 1737, and herself gain the appointment of Lady of the Bedchamber to Princess Anne in 1728. The Lumleys resided in the Lumley Castle near the city of Durham and it is likely Anne spent the majority of her childhood there. 

18th century engraving of Lumley Castle

Little is known of Anne’s life besides brief mentions of her time as a Lady of the Bedchamber. She married Frederick Frankland on 15 February 1738, to which she brought a fortune of
£9,000. After vacating her post as Lady of the Bedchamber due to her marriage, the position became highly contested. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu lists Lady Anne Montagu, Lady Charlotte Rich, Lady Betty Herbert, and Lady Bateman as those vying for the open post. What one can gleam from this information is that the position of Lady of the Bedchamber was a highly sought after post due to the required intimacy with the royal family member. Evidently, once a woman married she was often expected to leave such a position in order to properly run her own household. Many other woman who held positions in the royal court, such as Lady Mary Bellenden, often followed this path. Nevertheless, some women, such as Lady Bell Finch, chose to remain in their positions as long as possible.
Lady Anne’s marriage did not last long and must have been unhappy from the very beginning. There is record for a deed of separation dated for July of that same year. Even Lady Mary viewed Lady Anne’s impending nuptials with “great gravity” (Montagu, 220). In a letter to Lady Pomfret, Lady Mary confesses that the frequent ridiculous actions of the English “have a certain air of formality that that hinders them from being risible, at the same time that they are absurd (Ibid). Lady Anne’s marriage was included in the category of such actions. Lady Anne is also mentioned by Mrs. Pendarves in a letter to Mary Granville as one of the seven women, including the three princesses, who held up the train of Queen Caroline upon her coronation.
Lady Anne would not remarry and died on 17 February 1739/1740 without children.


Delany, Mary. The autobiography and correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. by Lady Llanover. London: Richard Bentley, 1861.
Milner, Edith. Records of the Lumleys of Lumley Castle. London: George Bell, 1904.
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley. The letters and works of lady Mary Wortley Montagu. ed. by Lord Wharncliffe. London: Samuel Bentley, 1837.
Salmon, Nathanael and Thomas Salmon. A Short View of the Families of the Present English Nobility. London: William Owen, 1751.

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