TRIALS OF THE KING OF HAMPSHIRE


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Number: 93
Page 14 of 93

TRIALS OF THE KING OF HAMPSHIRE

ELIZABETH FOYSTER    Book Number: 84430    Product format: Hardback

Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England. Was he mad or bad? The 3rd Earl of Portsmouth, John Charles Wallop, was a wealthy aristocrat, who for the first 50 years of his life mixed with the great of society. On his second marriage his chief witness was Lord Byron, and at balls he danced with Jane Austen. In 1797 he was presented to King George III. His speech and behaviour grew unpredictable and eccentric, and by the age of 55 the grand Wallop family decided to have him declared insane in 1823. We are invited into Freemasons' Hall for the most extraordinary and controversial insanity trial ever, of abductions, sodomy, blackmail and violence. It seems that the 3rd Earl was a weak man; at school he would cry or run away if anyone even held up a fist in fun. His intelligence was well-below par, yet he could add figures and accounts. When he married Grace Norton, his first wife, it was as though roles were reversed although they attended the King's 63rd birthday ball. In 1803 he was accused of attempting sodomy. She was older than him, too, too old to conceive. He was totally ignorant about sex, believing it to involve the use of a lancet and the drawing blood from an arm. His new wife, Mary Ann Hanson, cuckolded him from the start. Such was his innocence that he told friends how Dr Alder was so clever that he caused Mary Ann to become pregnant after just one visit. The 3rd Earl took to hiding in bushes, surprising ladies passing by, asking them to sing, or to draw blood from his arm using a lancet. Eventually family members caused him to stand trial before a Commission of Lunacy. 330pp. Colour and b/w illus, family trees.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £2.75


Additional product information

ISBN 9781780749600
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9 10 11 12 13 - 14 - 15 16 17 18
Number: 93
Page 14 of 93