Keith, Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess, 1764-1857

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Epithet: née Thrale; wife of Admiral G K Elphinstone, Viscount Keith

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000980.0x0002ab

Viscountess Keith was born Hester Maria Thrale, the daughter of Henry Thrale (1728-1781) and Hester Lynch Thrale (1741-1821) of London. The famous lexicographer and poet Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was a frequent guest at their home from 1765 onward, and became friendly with young Hester, whom he affectionately called Queeney. In 1808, at the age of 43, Queeney wed the retired Admiral George Keith Elphinstone, Baron Keith (1746-1823), a native of Scotland who had become wealthy through the accumulation of naval prize money. A daughter, Georgina Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone (1809-1892), was born to Lady Keith the following year. Lord Keith resumed active naval service from 1812 to 1815. In 1814, he was created Viscount Keith. After 1815, the Keiths resided primarily in Scotland.

From the description of Hester Maria Elphinstone Keith papers, 1780-1910 (inclusive), 1780-1821 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612836392

Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith (1764-1857) was born Hester Maria Thrale, the daughter of Henry Thrale (1728-1781) and Hester Lynch Thrale (1741-1821) of London. The famous lexicographer and poet Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was a frequent guest at their home from 1765 onward, and became friendly with young Hester, whom he affectionately called Queeney. Johnson cut off communications with Mrs. Thrale after she remarried to Gabriele Mario Piozzi in June 1784, but he remained friendly with Queeney until his death a few months later.

Queeney had three sisters who survived to adulthood: Susanna Arabella Thrale (1770-1858), Sophia Thrale Hoare (1771-1824), and Cecilia Thrale Mostyn (1777-1857). The four sisters had a troubled relationship with their mother after her marriage to Piozzi. Shortly after the wedding in 1784, Mr. and Mrs. Piozzi left the sisters in England and embarked on a tour of continental Europe that lasted more than two years. They were received frostily upon their return to England, and Queeney had no communications with her mother between July 1787 and March 1793, when they began a tenuous reconciliation. Various disagreements over the disposition of Henry Thrale's estate continued to simmer for many years.

In 1808, at the age of 43, Queeney wed the retired Admiral George Keith Elphinstone, Baron Keith (1746-1823), who had become wealthy through the accumulation of naval prize money. Lord Keith had a daughter, Margaret Mercer Elphinstone (1788-1867), by a previous marriage. A daughter, Georgina Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone (1809-1892), was born to Lady Keith the following year.

Lord Keith resumed active naval service from 1812 to 1814, and again in 1815. In 1814, he was created Viscount Keith. After 1815, Lord and Lady Keith had a quiet retirement. They constructed a castle at Tulliallan in Scotland, where they spent most of their time after 1818.

In 1817, Lady Keith's stepdaughter Margaret married Auguste Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut de La Billarderie (1785-1870), a Frenchman who had served as aide-de-camp to Napoleon. This was a bitter disappointment to Lord Keith, who had spent much of his professional life at war with Napoleon.

Lord Keith died in 1823. As a widow, Lady Keith resided at Tulliallan and London. Her daughter Georgina Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers Osborne (1809-1892) married twice, but had no children.

From the guide to the Hester Maria Elphinstone Keith papers, 1780-1910 (inclusive), 1780-1821 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn BARRETT COLLECTION. Vol. IX (ff. 350). Letters to Frances d'Arblay from other correspondents, alphabetically arranged; 1772-1835.Frances d' Arblay, née Burney; novelist: Letters to: 1772-1835.includes:ff. 1-11b Ann Agnew, wife of T Agnew: Letters t..., 1772-1835 British Library
referencedIn Hester Maria Elphinstone, née Thrale; wife of Admiral G K Elphinstone, Viscount Keith: Marriage settlement: 1808.Admiral George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount Keith: Marriage settlement: 1808. British Library
referencedIn Samuel Johnson letters, 1731-1784. Houghton Library
creatorOf Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741-1821. Hester Lynch Piozzi manuscripts, 1765-1820. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn B, Vol. XI. 1815-1818.includes:f. 1 Frances d' Arblay, née Burney; novelist: Correspondence with her brother, James: circ. 1796-1815.f. 1 Rear-Admiral James Burney: Correspondence with his sister, Frances d'Arblay: circ. 1796-1815.f. 2 Frances..., 1815-1818 British Library
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Loch, James, 1780-1855. Letters, 1825-1851 and n.d. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Thrale family. Papers, 1708-1844 (inclusive), 1780-1819 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Arblay, Alexandre Jean Baptiste Piochard, comte d', 1754-1818. Recueil de lettres copiees pour servir un jour a l'instruction autant qu'a l'agrement de notre cher Alex qui trouvera a chaque page mille et mille nouvelles raisons d'aimer et cherir et admirer His Fond Mother. / A.P. d'Arblay, [ca. 1800]. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Papers, 1708-1844 (inclusive), 1780-1819 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Keith, Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess, 1764-1857. Hester Maria Elphinstone Keith papers, 1780-1910 (inclusive), 1780-1821 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Cator, John, 1728-1806. The estate and effects of Henry Thrale Esq., deceased : manuscript, 1781-1801. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson (Houghton Library). Psalmos de David : manuscript, ca. 1800. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. Samuel Johnson letters, 1731-1784. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Hester Maria Elphinstone, née Thrale; wife of Admiral G K Elphinstone, Viscount Keith: Marriage settlement: 1808.Admiral George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount Keith: Marriage settlement: 1808. British Library
creatorOf Hester Maria Elphinstone Keith papers, 1780-1910 (inclusive), 1780-1821 (bulk). Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Adam, W. G., fl. 1815 person
associatedWith Arblay, Alexandre Jean Baptiste Piochard, comte d', 1754-1818. person
correspondedWith Brown, Thomas Pearce, fl. 1818 person
associatedWith Burney, Fanny, 1752-1840. person
associatedWith Cator, John, 1728-1806. person
associatedWith Cecilia Thrale Mostyn, 1777-1857 person
associatedWith Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson (Houghton Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Elphinstone, George Keith, 1746-1823. person
correspondedWith Elphinstone, Mary, 1741-1825 person
correspondedWith Fellowes, O. Butler, fl. 1909 person
correspondedWith Flahaut, Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, Comtesse de, 1788-1867 person
associatedWith Gabriele Mario Piozzi person
correspondedWith George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount Keith person
correspondedWith Georgiana Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers Osborne person
associatedWith Georgina Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers Osborne, 1809-1892 person
associatedWith Grantham, John. person
correspondedWith Gray, Elizabeth Caroline Johnstone, 1800-1887 person
associatedWith Great Britain. Royal Navy corporateBody
correspondedWith Henry Charles Keith Petty-FitzMaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne person
associatedWith Henry Charles Keith Petty-FitzMaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne, 1845-1927 person
associatedWith Henry Thrale person
associatedWith Henry Thrale, 1728-1781 person
associatedWith Hester Lynch Piozzi's person
correspondedWith Hester Lynch Thrale person
associatedWith Hester Lynch Thrale's person
correspondedWith Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith person
associatedWith Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith, 1764-1857 person
associatedWith Hester Maria Thrale person
correspondedWith Hoare, Henry Merrik. person
associatedWith John Gillon, 1748-1809 person
associatedWith John Meredith Mostyn person
associatedWith John Salusbury Mostyn person
associatedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. person
correspondedWith Keith, George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount person
correspondedWith Keith, George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount, 1746-1823 person
associatedWith Lansdowne, Henry Charles Keith Petty-FitzMaurice, Marquess of, 1845-1927. person
associatedWith Loch, James, 1780-1855. person
associatedWith Maria Ann Pope, 1775-1803 person
correspondedWith Mostyn, Cecilia Thrale, 1777-1857 person
associatedWith Napoleon I person
associatedWith Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. person
correspondedWith Osborne, Georgiana Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers person
associatedWith Osborne, Georgiana Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers, 1809-1892. person
correspondedWith Osborne, Georgina Augusta Henrietta Elphinstone Villiers, 1809-1892 person
associatedWith Piozzi, Hester Lynch, 1741-1821. person
correspondedWith Pope, Elizabeth, ca. 1740-1797 person
associatedWith Salusbury family family
associatedWith Salusbury, John Salusbury Piozzi, Sir, 1793-1858 person
associatedWith Samuel Johnson person
associatedWith Samuel Johnson's person
associatedWith Smith, Samuel. person
associatedWith Sophia Thrale Hoare person
associatedWith Sophia Thrale Hoare, 1771-1824 person
associatedWith Staines, Thomas person
associatedWith Susanna Arabella Thrale person
associatedWith Susanna Arabella Thrale, 1770-1858 person
associatedWith Thomas Windle, d. 1818 person
associatedWith Thrale family. family
associatedWith Thrale family. family
associatedWith Thrale, Henry, 1728-1781. person
correspondedWith Thrale, Susanna Arabella, 1770-1858 person
correspondedWith Windle, Thomas, d. 1818 person
correspondedWith Wright, W., fl. 1880 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wales
Scotland
Italy
Subject
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815--Naval operations, British
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1764-09-17

Death 1857-03-31

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