Biography of Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford 1717-1797

Paternal Family Tree: Walpole

Evelyn's Diary. 05 Aug 1665. Horace Walpole (afterward Earl of Orford), in his Catalogue of Engravers, gives us the following admirably drawn character: "If Mr. Evelyn (age 44) had not been an artist himself, as I think I can prove he was, I should yet have found it difficult to deny myself the pleasure of allotting him a place among the arts he loved, promoted, patronized; and it would be but justice to inscribe his name with due panegyric in these records, as I have once or twice taken the liberty to criticise him. But they are trifling blemishes compared with his amiable virtues and beneficence; and it may be remarked that the worst I have said of him is, that he knew more than he always communicated. It is no unwelcome satire to say, that a man's intelligence and philosophy is inexhaustible. I mean not to write his biography, but I must observe, that his life, which was extended to eighty-six years, was a course of inquiry, study, curiosity, instruction, and benevolence. The works of the Creator, and the minute labors of the creature, were all objects of his pursuit. He unfolded the perfection of the one, and assisted the imperfection of the other. He adored from examination; was a courtier that flattered only by informing his Prince, and by pointing out what was worthy of him to countenance; and really was the neighbor of the Gospel, for there was no man that might not have been the better for him. Whoever peruses a list of his works will subscribe to my assertion. He was one of the first promoters of the Royal Society; a patron of the ingenious and the indigent; and peculiarly serviceable to the lettered world; for, besides his writings and discoveries, he obtained the Arundelian Marbles for the University of Oxford, and the Arundelian Library for the Royal Society. Nor is it the least part of his praise, that he who proposed to Mr. Boyle the erection of a Philosophical College for retired and speculative persons, had the honesty to write in defense of active life against Sir George Mackenzie's 'Essay on Solitude.' He knew that retirement, in his own hands, was industry and benefit to mankind; but in those of others, laziness and inutility"..

In 1700 [his father] Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford (age 23) and [his mother] Catherine Shorter (age 18) were married. She brought dowry of £20,000.

On 24 Sep 1717 Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford was born to Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford (age 41) and Catherine Shorter (age 35). Louisa Stuart wrote to her grandmother Mary Wortley-Montagu née Pierrepont (age 28) of rumours that his biological father was Carr Hervey (age 26) with whom his mother was known to be on romantic terms. The fifth child Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford was born some eleven years after this elder siblings who were born 1701-1706.

On 20 Aug 1737 [his mother] Catherine Shorter (age 55) died.

On 03 Mar 1738 [his father] Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford (age 61) and [his step-mother] Maria Skerritt (age 36) were married. They had been companions for many years before they married. She bringing £30,000 to the marriage. She appears to have died three months later as a consequence of a miscarriage. The difference in their ages was 25 years.

On 06 Feb 1742 [his father] Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford (age 65) was created 1st Earl Orford.

On 29 Jun 1743 Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 25) wrote to Horace Mann 1st Baronet (age 36):

[Charles Fitzroy 2nd Duke Grafton (age 59)] ... is so unhappy in his heir apparent (age 25), that he checks his hand in almost everything he undertakes. Last week he heard a new exploit of his barbarity. A tenant of Lord Euston (age 27) in Northamptonshire brought him his rent, and the Lord said it wanted three and sixpence: the tenant begged he would examine the account, that it would prove exact - however, to content him, he would willingly pay him the three and sixpence. Lord E (age 27). flew into a rage and vowed he would write to the Duke (age 59) to have him turned out of a little place he has in the post office of thirty pounds a year. The poor man, who has six children, and knew nothing of my Lord's being on no terms of power with his father (age 59), went home and shot himself.

In Aug 1743 Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 25) wrote to Horace Mann 1st Baronet (age 36):

[George Fitzroy Earl Euston (age 27)] ... forced himself to the Duke of Grafton's (age 59) house ... threw himself at his feet, professed great remorse for his past conduct, and promised an entire reformation for the time to come. But the Duke (age 59) told him he had tried him too often to be deceived any more and that God was his witness that no man ever loved his son more tenderly, and seen him lost with greater pain, but that was over now; that he attempted in vain to move the bowels of a father who had long since looked upon himself to have no son.

On 18 Mar 1745 [his father] Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford (age 68) died. His son [his brother] Robert Walpole 2nd Earl Orford (age 44) succeeded 2nd Earl Orford. Margaret Rolle Countess Orford (age 36) by marriage Countess Orford.

On 24 Oct 1745 Archbishop Thomas Herring (age 52) in a speech at York Castle [Map] during the Jacobite Rebellion said:

"these Commotions in the North are but Part of a Great Plan concerted for our Ruin-They have begun under the Countenance, and will be supported by the Forces of France and Spain, our old and inveterate, (and late Experience calls upon me to add, our savage and blood-thirsty) Enemies-A Circumstance that should fire the Indignation of every honest Englishman. If these Designs should succeed, and Popery and Arbitrary Power come in upon us, under the Influence and Direction of these two Tyrannical and Corrupted Courts, I leave you to reflect, what would become of every Thing that is valuable to us! We are now bless'd with the mild Administration of a Just and Protestant King, who is of so strict an Adherence to the Laws of our Country, that not an Instance can be pointed out, during his whole reign, wherein he made the least Attempt upon the Liberty, or Property, or Religion, of a single Person. But if the Ambition and Pride of France and Spain, is to dictate to us, we must submit to a Man to govern us under their hated and accursed Influence, who brings his Religion from Rome, and Rules and Maxims of his Government from Paris and Madrid.".

Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 28) said this speech "had as much true spirit, honesty and bravery in it as ever was penned by an historian for an ancient hero".

1752. Arthur Devis (age 39). Portrait of Joshua Vanneck 1st Baronet (age 50) and Family. Sitters believed to be left to right: Joshua Vanneck 1st Baronet (age 50), Mrs. de la Mont (likely his sister), Henry Uthoff (Anna Maria's husband), Gerard (age 8) (son), Gertrude (daughter, with telescope), Joshua (age 6) (son, on ground), Margaret (age 9) (youngest daughter, on ground), Anna Mara (age 18), Elizabeth (age 20) (eldest daughter), and Thomas Walpole (age 24) (Elizabeth's husband and cousin of Horace Walpole (age 34)).

In Jun 1760 Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 42) commented on Cecil Bisshop's (age 59) "endless hoard of beautiful daughters".

On 07 Jun 1760 at a ball Horace Walpole (age 42) wrote to the Earl of Strafford (age 38) ... that there appeared a new Miss Bishop (age 19) from Sir Cecil's (age 59) endless hoard of beautiful daughters, who is still prettier than her sisters.

Letters of Horace Walpole. To STRAFFORD (age 49), Sunday 25 August 1771

Paris, August 25, 1771.

I HAVE passed my biennial six weeks here, my dear Lord, and am preparing to return as soon as the weather will allow me. It is some comfort to the patriot-virtue, envy, to find this climate worse than our own. There were four very hot days at the end of last month, which you know with us northern people compose a summer: it has rained half this, and for these three days there has been a deluge, a storm, and extreme cold. Yet these folks shiver in silk, and sit with their windows open till suppertime.-Indeed, firing is very dear, and nabobs very scarce. Economy and retrenchment are the words in fashion, and are founded in a little more than caprice. I have heard no instance of luxury but in Mademoiselle Guimard1, a favourite dancer, who is building a palace:2 round the salle a manger there are windows that open upon hothouses, that are to produce flowers all winter.-That is worthy of . There is a finer dancer whom Mr H[obart]3 is to transplant to London; a Mademoiselle Heinel4 or Ingle, a Fleming. She is tall, perfectly made, very handsome, and has a set of attitudes copied from the classics. She moves as gracefully slow as Pygmalion's statue5 when it was coming to life, and moves her leg round as imperceptibly as if she was dancing in the zodiac.-But she is not Virgo.

They make no more of breaking parliaments here than an English mob does of breaking windows. It is pity people are so ill-sorted. If this king and ours could cross over and figure in, Louis X V would dissolve our Parliament if Polly Jones6 did but say a word to him. They have got into such a habit of it here, that you would think a parliament was a polypus: they cut it in two, and by next morning half of it becomes a whole assembly. This has literally been the case at Besancon7. Lord and Lady Barrymore8, who are in the highest favour at Compiegne9, will be able to carry over the receipt10.

Everybody feels in their own way. My grief is to see the ruinous condition of the palaces and pictures. I was yesterday at the Louvre. Le Brun's11 noble gallery, where the battles of Alexander are, and of which he designed the ceiling, and even the shutters, bolts and locks, is in a worse condition than the old gallery at Somerset House12. It rains in upon the pictures13, though there are stores of much more valuable pieces than those of Le Brun. Heaps of glorious works by Raphael and all the great masters are piled up and equally neglected at Versailles. Their care is not less destructive in private houses. The Duke of Orléans's (age 46)14 pictures and the Prince of Monaco's's have been cleaned, and varnished so thick that you may see your face in them; and some of them have been transported from board to cloth, bit by bit, and the seams filled up with colour; so that in ten years they will not be worth sixpence. It makes me as peevish as if I was posterity! I hope your Lordship's works will last longer than these of Louis XIV. The glories of his siecle hasten fast to their end, and little will remain but those of his authors.

I am, my dear Lord,

Your most faithful humble servant,

HOR. WALPOLE (age 53)

Note 1. Marie-Madeleine Guimard (1743-1816), m. (1787) Jean-Etienne Despreaux (MAN N vii. 322-3, n. 16).

Note 2. The 'Temple de Terpsychore' in the Rue de la Chausee d'Antin, designed by Ledoux, sold by lottery in 1786 (MAN N vii. 323, n. 18).

Note 3. George Hobart (1731-1804), 3d E. of Buckinghamshire (age 39), 1793. For some of his difficulties in management of the operas, see MAN N vii. 271.

Note 4. Anne-Frederique Heinel (1753-1808), born in Bayreuth; made her debut at Stuttgart, 1767, and at Paris, 1768; in London for the opera season 1771-2, 1772-3, 1774, 1776; m. (1792) Gaetano Appolino Baldassare Vestris, the famous dancer (OSSORY i. 66, n. 15).

Note 5. Galatea.

Note 6. Former mistress of Henry, D. of Cumberland (H. Bleackley, Ladies Fair and Frail, 1925, p. 152).

Note 7. The parliament of Besancon was suppressed, 5 Aug., and then reconstituted (MAN N vii. 320, n. 1). Fourteen of the old members reappeared in the new parliament (Mercure historique, 1771, clxxi. 374).

Note 8. Richard Barry (1745-73), 6th E. of Barrymore (age 26), 1751, m. (1767) Lady Emily Stanhope (1749-80) (age 22).

Note 9. During the summer the Court often removed to Louis XV's chateau at Compiegne, about 45 miles N E of Paris.

Note 10. Perhaps a reference to the financial grants which the officers of the new parliament received. One of the old members was promoted to be first president, with 12,000 livres' salary and 3,000 livres' allowance for lodging (Mercure historique, loc. cit.).

Note 11. Charles Le Brun (1619-90).

Note 12.. The old Somerset House [Map], not yet replaced by Chambers's new structure. 'It was so far neglected as to be permitted to fall to ruin in some of the back parts' (Encyclopedia of London, ed. W . Kent, 1937, p. 587, citing Noorthouck's History of London, 1773). The Royal Academy's schools of design were moved there in 1771 (Kent, loc. cit.). HW's old friend Mrs Grosvenor had been housekeeper there (GRA Y i. 220, n. 17).

Note 13. 24 Aug.: 'Saw the great gallery of Le Brun with battles of Alexander, all the ornaments, ceiling, shutters, and even locks and bolts designed by Le Brun, but so abominably neglected that it rained in' ('Paris Journals,' D U DEFFAN D V. 339)

Note 14. Louis-Philippe de Bourbon (1725-85) (age 46), Duc d'Orléans, 1752.

Note 15. Honore-Camille-Leonor Goyon-de-Matignon de Grimaldi (1720-95), P. of Monaco.

Before 15 Jun 1778 Cecil Bisshopp 6th Baronet (age 77) owned a house at 11 Berkeley Square, Mayfair which was subsequently bought from his heirs by Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 60) in 1779.

On 05 Dec 1791 George Walpole 3rd Earl Orford (age 61) died. His uncle Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 74) succeeded 4th Earl Orford, 17th Baron Clinton. His second cousin twice removed Robert Trefusis 17th Baron Clinton (age 27) succeeded 17th Baron Clinton.

On 02 Mar 1797 Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford (age 79) died unmarried. Earl Orford extinct.

Adeline Horsey Recollections. After 1842 Lady Waldegrave (age 20) resided at Strawberry Hill with her third husband, and she was very fond of the place and its associations with Horace Walpole.

The Strawberry Hill estate and the Walpole Collection had been sold in 1842, but Lady Waldegrave was always trying to obtain any objects from it which came into the sale-rooms from time to time, in order that she might restore them to their old home.

She was a very handsome Jewess, with a perfectly fascinating manner, and she was a great favourite in Society owing to her infinite tact, which made her say and do exactly the right thing at the right moment.

She possessed a keen sense of humour, and one evening when she was at the Dublin theatre with Mr. Chichester Fortescue (age 18) a wag in the gallery who recognised her called out, "Arrah, my Lady, and which of the four husbands did ye like the best?" Without a moment's hesitation Lady Waldegrave (age 20) stood up and, turning in the direction of the speaker, called out with delightful sang-froid, "Why, the Irish one, of course". Loud applause greeted this rejoinder, and she was very popular in Dublin afterwards.

Adeline Horsey Recollections. The wicked Countess and her lover lived at Clieveden [Map] - "the bower of wanton Shrewsbury and of love" - and her spirit is supposed to haunt the beautiful riverside retreat, but I am thankful to say she has never appeared in the old home of her innocent girlhood. Her portrait by Sir Peter Lely hangs in the White Hall at Deene, and is a fine example of the artist's well-known very décolleté style of "robes loosely flowing, hair as free", with the usual mise en scène of a beauty of Charles II's time. The third Earl of Cardigan was Master of the Buckhounds to Queen Anne; he married a daughter of the Earl of Ailesbury, and their fourth son inherited the Ailesbury title and estates. Lord Cardigan's eldest son married the heiress of the Duke of Montagu in 1766 [Note. Married on 07 Jul 1730. He was created Duke in 1766]. He was a friend of Horace Walpole, the influence of whose pseudo-Gothic tastes may still be seen in the south front of Deene [Map], built at this time, and which now incorporates the great ball-room built for me by my dear husband.

Royal Ancestors of Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford 1717-1797

Kings Wessex: Great x 21 Grand Son of King Edmund "Ironside" I of England

Kings Gwynedd: Great x 18 Grand Son of Owain "Great" King Gwynedd

Kings Seisyllwg: Great x 24 Grand Son of Hywel "Dda aka Good" King Seisyllwg King Deheubarth

Kings Powys: Great x 19 Grand Son of Maredudd ap Bleddyn King Powys

Kings England: Great x 12 Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Kings Scotland: Great x 16 Grand Son of William "Lion" I King Scotland

Kings Franks: Great x 17 Grand Son of Louis VII King Franks

Kings France: Great x 14 Grand Son of Philip "Bold" III King France

Ancestors of Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford 1717-1797

Great x 3 Grandfather: Calybut Walpole of Houghton

Great x 2 Grandfather: Robert Walpole

Great x 1 Grandfather: Edward Walpole of Houghton

Great x 4 Grandfather: Edward Barkham

Great x 3 Grandfather: Edward Barkham

Great x 4 Grandmother: Elizabeth Rolfe

Great x 2 Grandmother: Susan Barkham

Great x 4 Grandfather: John Crouch

Great x 3 Grandmother: Jane Crouch

GrandFather: Colonel Robert Walpole

Great x 2 Grandfather: Robert Crane 1st Baronet

Great x 1 Grandmother: Susan Crane

Great x 4 Grandfather: William Alington

Great x 3 Grandfather: Giles Alington

Great x 2 Grandmother: Susan Alinton

Father: Robert Walpole 1st Earl Orford

Horace Walpole 4th Earl Orford 12 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 1 Grandfather: John Shorter

GrandFather: John Short of Bybrook

Mother: Catherine Shorter 11 x Great Grand Daughter of King Edward III of England

Great x 4 Grandfather: Morgan Philipps

Great x 3 Grandfather: John Philipps 1st Baronet

Great x 4 Grandmother: Elizabeth Fletcher

Great x 2 Grandfather: Richard Philipps 2nd Baronet 8 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 4 Grandfather: John Perrot 6 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 3 Grandmother: Anne Elizabeth Perrot Lady Philips 7 x Great Grand Daughter of King Edward III of England

Great x 4 Grandmother: Jane Prust

Great x 1 Grandfather: Erasmus Philipps 3rd Baronet 9 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

GrandMother: Elizabeth Philipps 10 x Great Grand Daughter of King Edward III of England

Great x 4 Grandfather: Edward Darcy 6 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 3 Grandfather: Robert Darcy 7 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 2 Grandfather: Edward Darcy 8 x Great Grand Son of King Edward III of England

Great x 1 Grandmother: Catherine Darcy Lady Philips 9 x Great Grand Daughter of King Edward III of England