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Anne Pitt

(b. Oct. 27, 1712, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England – d. Feb. 9, 1781, Burnham, Buckinghamshire )

Gender: F

Anne Pitt, née Pitt, courtier and correspondent, was born in Salisbury in 1712, to Robert Pitt (c.1680-1727) and Harriet Villiers (d.1736), the younger sister of William Pitt, first earl of Chatham (1708-1778), Anne is best known as a correspondent of both her brother and Horace Walpole, and for her position as a courtier, first as Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737) from 1732 to 1737; then keeper of the Privy Purse to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1719-1772) from 1751 to 1772, where she also acted as the young princess of Wales' mentor and superintendent of education. Despite her skills as a conversationalist being celebrated by both Horace Walpole and Edmund Burke, Pitt lost favour at court over accusations that she was trying to manipulate Princess Augusta in the early 1770s, and in 1774 went into self-imposed exile in Pisa, where she succumbed to an unidentified mental illness. After her return to England in 1778, she lived for three more years confined as an invalid, and died on the 2nd of February 1781, her last known address being Burnham in Buckinghamshire. Her correspondence with Elizabeth Montagu lasted from 1759 to 1761, whilst she was still in favour with the Princess of Wales' court, and primarily consists of court news and discussions of polite society. According to Deborah Heller, Montagu's social interaction with Pitt lasted until her departure to Italy in 1774, but their relationship was strained, due to Montagu's perception that the highly witty and affected letters which Pitt wrote lacked sincerity.

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  • Anne Pitt


Electronic Enlightenment DOIexternal link

Mentioned in 25 letters

Recipient of 1 letters

Showing transcribed and un-transcribed letters | show transcribed only

Title Sent Received EMCO ID
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Anne Pitt 0/0/1760 1089

Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.

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