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Dorothea Gregory

(b. 4 Jun 1754, Aberdeen, Scotland – d. 7 Jul 1830, Edinburgh, Scotland )

Gender: F

Dorothea Gregory (1754-1830) was the eldest daughter of Dr John Gregory (Aberdeen, 3rd June 1724 – Edinburgh, 9th February 1773) and Elizabeth Forbes (c.1728- Aberdeen, 3rd October1761). Dr Gregory was Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society; they had three sons and three daughters. Elizabeth Montagu was the cousin of Elizabeth Forbes, and Dr Gregory enjoyed a long friendship with the Montagus, who stood as godparents to her younger sister. Dorothea was left motherless at the age of seven, and when she was seventeen her father was pleased to accept Montagu’s offer to take her as her companion, a role she fulfilled for ten years.

Montagu was extremely fond of Dorothea and became very dependent on her as a secretary, companion and fearless driver of her one-horse whiskey carriage. She took Dorothea on an extended visit to Paris in 1776 with her nephew Matthew Montagu and Elizabeth Carter’s nephew Montagu Pennington. Elizabeth Montagu developed a plan that Dorothea should marry Matthew (who was eight years her junior), and both of them would continue to live with her and remain under her control.

However, Dorothea had other ideas. In October 1782, on a visit to her family in Edinburgh, she became engaged to Revd. Archibald Alison (Edinburgh, 13th November 1757 – Edinburgh, 17th May 1839), a Scottish curate and writer with close connections to prominent Scottish intellectuals such as Dugald Stewart (1753–1828) and the physician Matthew Baillie (1761–1823).. Montagu was furious, and persuaded her to delay their marriage until Alison had obtained some preferment within the church, whilst making no attempt to assist him in doing so. She also insisted that Dorothea return to live with her in April 1783, which she did until the death of her sister-in-law gave her a reason to return to Edinburgh a year later.

William Pulteney (formerly William Johnstone) offered Alison a living, and when it proved impossible to carry out this intention, gave him £150 and a £150 annuity until he could get him some preferment. Dorothea married Archibald Alison on 19th June 1784 at a house owned by Pulteney in Sudborough, where he became curate. It was not until 1790 that Pulteney gave Alison the perpetual curacy of Kenley in Shropshire, followed by other appointments, which made him financially independent. In Alison published a book entitled Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste which was well-received, reprinted several times, and earned him a modest income and literary reputation.

The family returned to Edinburgh in 1800 when Alison was appointed as a minister of the Scottish Episcopalian Church in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. They had six children, and while their second daughter was given the middle name Montagu in honour of her former patron, their eldest daughter was named Henriette Laura after William Pulteney’s daughter, and their eldest son was named William Pulteney Alison; he became a well-known physician in Edinburgh, while his brother Archibald Alison became a lawyer and a historian, and ultimately a baronet.

Dorothea died at their home in Edinburgh in 1830, at the age of 74.

Also known as:

  • Dorothea Gregory (née  Alison)

Authorities

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Mentioned in 63 letters

Title EMCO ID
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 3
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 5
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 9
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 14
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 23
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1785
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1791
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1792
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1795
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1796
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1797
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1798
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1800
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1802
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1803
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1804
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1809
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1814
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1815
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1817
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1818
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1820
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1824
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1827
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 1828
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1829
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1830
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1833
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1834
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1836
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1837
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1841
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1842
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1844
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1845
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1847
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1848
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1855
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1880
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1883
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1900
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1902
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1909
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2124
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2127
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2128
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2129
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2134
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2165
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2167
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2168
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2169
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2170
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2171
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2183
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2184
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2188
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2189
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2190
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2193
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2200
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2201

Recipient of 4 letters