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Frances Thynne, Duchess of Somerset

(b. May 10, 1699, Longleat House, Wiltshire – d. July 7, 1754, Percy Lodge, Iver, Buckinghamshire )

Gender: F

Frances Thynne (1699-1754) was born at Longleat House; her father was heir to Viscount Weymouth, but predeceased his father in 1708. She received a thorough education in history, languages and literature. In 1715 she married Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford, and she was known for most of her married life as the Countess of Hertford. In 1748 he succeeded to the title of 7th Duke of Somerset. They had two children.In 1723 to 1737 she was Lady of the Bedchamber to the Princess of Wales, later Queen Caroline of Ansbach, wife of George II. She wrote poetry, and in 1725 allowed some of her verse to be printed anonymously in a collection entitled A New Miscellany. She was a close friend of Elizabeth Singer Rowe, the poet and religious Dissenter, and also corresponded with the Methodist leader Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntington. Her only son died in 1744, followed in 1750 by her husband; she then retired from public life, but continued to compose religious verses until her death at the age of fifty-five. Her correspondence with Henrietta, Countess of Pomfret, from 1738-41, was published in 1806. Four of her letters to Elizabeth Carter are printed in Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, (ed. Montagu Pennington, London, Rivington, 1807, pp 34-8).

Also known as:

  • Duchess of Somerset
  • Frances Thynne

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.