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Earl and Countess of Dudley

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Category: General Interest
Reference No: 7738
Status: Available
Price: £20.00
   Earl and Countess of Dudley   Earl and Countess of Dudley

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Earl of Dudley (1867-1932) and Rachel Gurney, Countess of Dudley (1867-1920)

Glamorous British aristocratic couple.

Rachel Gurney’s banker family fell on hard times following business reverses in 1866 and her cousin, Adeline, Duchess of Bedford (wife of the 10th Duke) eventually took the young girl under her wing.

Marriage to the Second Earl of Dudley a young millionaire mine-owner, landlord of 30,000 acres, two hundred iron and coal mines, two country houses and a palatial residence in London’s Carlton Gardens eventually followed in 1891.  The wedding took place in the presence of Edward, Prince of Wales, who was an intimate friend of the groom’s mother. After the marriage, the Earl, under the influence of his idealistic wife, “surprised his friends by the energy with which he began to attack his public duties” which included the positions of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1902-1905) and Governor-General of Australia (1908-1911).

The Countess was described by the Australian journalist, Ada Holman, as “beautiful as a marble statue … a carved lily”, but although Rachel bore her husband four sons and three daughters, and was painted by John Singer Sargent, the Earl apparently ogled Australian women too much – an activity referred to in the local press as his ‘concupiscent capers’. The couple’s marriage ended in 1912.

Earl Dudley, a handsome man in the Kitchener build, would go on to marry the lovely actress Gertie Millar (1879-1952) twelve years later.

The Countess died in Ireland, in June 1920, from a heart attack while swimming, watched helplessly by her maid on the shore.

This listing consists of two lovely Edwardian sepia Beagles postcards, each signed in black fountain pen ink. In very good condition.