skip to content
home / edition / people/ Mrs Handcock

Mrs Handcock

(b. Unknown, Ireland – d. 1789, Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea, London )

Gender: F

Mrs Handcock was Elizabeth Vesey’s sister-in-law, the sister of her first husband William Handcock. William Handcock had three sisters – Susanna, Dorothy and Abigail – but it has not yet been possible to identify which one she was. She never married and had little money of her own, and acted as Elizabeth Vesey’s companion (and in practice her guardian) until her death. When Vesey’s husband Agmondesham Vesey died in 1785 and left his wife nothing in his will, the two women had only the lease on a house in Clarges Street and a combined income estimated by Elizabeth Carter at £900 a year, but they were also supported by her husband’s heir, Major George Vesey, who provided them with a carriage (Carter to Montagu 22nd September 1785). Handcock nursed Vesey throughout her long illness and decline into dementia following the death of her husband; in 1788 the two women were taken in by Vesey’s cousin Lord Cremorne and his wife Lady Cremorne. Handcock died in January 1789, followed by Vesey in early 1791. [Betty Rizzo, Companions without Vows, University of Georgia Press, 1994, pp. 218-239]

Also known as:

  • Mrs Handcock

Mentioned in 12 letters

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.

Browser support: The website works best using the Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers on the PC, and only Chrome and Firefox on the Mac.