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Elizabeth Vesey

(b. 1715, County Kilkenny, Ireland – d. 1791, Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea, London )

Gender: F

Elizabeth Vesey (1715-1791) was the daughter of Sir Thomas Vesey, 1st Baronet Vesey (c1668-1730) and Mary Muschamp. Her father was ordained as a priest in the Church of Ireland in 1700, and was Bishop of Ossory from 1714-1730. In 1731, at the age of 16, she married William Handcock; he died in 1741. In 1746 she married her cousin Agmondesham Vesey. They had no children. Elizabeth Vesey was, along with Elizabeth Montagu and Frances Boscawen, one of the key Bluestocking hostesses. She was known for her attempts to create an air of informality at her salons, and was said to have exhorted her guests to “come in your blue stockings” rather than in evening dress. Fanny Burney recalled Lord Harcourt saying that “Mrs Vesey is vastly agreeable, bur her fear of ceremony is really troublesome; for her eagerness to break a circle, is such, that she insists upon everybody’s sitting with their backs one to another; that is, the chairs are drawn into little parties of three together, in a confused manner, all over the room.” [Diary & Letters of Madame D’Arblay, (London, Henry Colburn, 1842), Vol 1, p.184] Vesey’s friends referred to her as “the Sylph”, for her absent-minded and impractical nature. She was looked after by her companion Mrs Handcock, the sister of her first husband. She was often anxious and in need of reassurance; following the death of her husband and his cruel refusal to provide for her financially, she suffered a mental collapse (it was said she wept every day for the rest of her life) and this was transformed in her final years into severe dementia.

Also known as:

  • Elizabeth Vesey

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Mentioned in 44 letters

Title EMCO ID
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Hester Thrale Piozzi 8
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1144
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1785
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1845
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 1862
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 1872
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Hamilton 1876
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2132
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Robinson 2133
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to James Beattie 2198
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3090
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3098
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3104
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3108
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3109
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3110
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3111
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3268
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3270
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3271
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3357
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3364
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3396
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3398
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3400
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3401
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3402
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3404
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3405
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3406
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3408
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3409
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3537
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3538
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3539
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3540
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3541
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3542
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3543
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3544
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3547
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3548
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3549
Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter 3550

Recipient of 266 letters

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