Stanhope, Hester, Lady, 1776-1839

Variant names

Hide Profile

Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope (12 March 1776 – 23 June 1839) was the eldest child of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope. In August 1803, she moved into the home of her uncle, Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, to manage his household and act as his hostess and later secretary. In February 1810, Stanhope left England and travelled to through Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East.

Stanhope came into possession of a medieval Italian manuscript copied from the records of a monastery somewhere in Syria. According to this document, a great treasure was hidden under the ruins of a mosque at the port city of Tel Ashkelon which had been lying in ruins for 600 years. In 1815, on the strength of this map, she travelled to the ruins of Ashkelon; this resulted in the first archaeological excavation in Palestine. While she did not find the hoard of three million gold coins reportedly buried there, the excavators unearthed a 2.1-metre (7 ft) headless marble statue.

Lady Hester settled near Sidon, a town on the Mediterranean coast in what is now Lebanon and became a recluse. She died in her sleep in 1839.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Autograph letter signed : Aleppo, to Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, 1814 Aug. 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Autograph note signed : [n.p.], to an unidentified recipient, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Vol. XXXI (ff. 194). 1807.Prussia General: Correspondence, etc., rel. to campaigns in East Prussia, Eastern Europe and Baltic: 1804-1814.Francis Dighton, of Commander-in-Chief's Office, Horse-Guards: Memoranda to,: 1804-1809.includes:ff. 1, 134, 191 ..., 1807 British Library
creatorOf Stanhope, Hester Lucy, Lady, 1776-1839. Letter, [ca. 1796-1839?], May 12, [Damietta?], [Near East], to H. W. Wynne. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Autograph letter signed with initials : Mount Lebanon, to her cousin, 1814 Aug. 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Vol. XXV, 1789-1814.Hon George Villiers: Correspondence of Lord and Lady Morley rel. to his office as Marine Paymaster: 1809-1819.includes:ff. 1-8b, 14 Henry Ley, of Trehill, county Devon: Letters to Lord Morley: 1789, 1794.ff. 9, 12, 67, 68 Robe..., 1789-1814 British Library
referencedIn Letter : Athens, 1838, May 9. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Portion of an autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to the Earl of Hardwicke, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Autograph letter signed : Walmer Castle, Deal, to Mrs. Watkins, 1804 Feb. 5. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn ROSE PAPERS. Vol. I (ff. 312). Papers of, and relating to, William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister; 1783-1809, viz (1) Correspondence of George Rose with William Pitt; 1783-1805. Included also are copies by Rose of three letters (ff. 3-5, 10, 90) fr..., 1783-1809 British Library
referencedIn Amy Lowell autograph collection, 1523-1930. Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron, 1800-1859. Autograph manuscript letter (signed) to [Mary] Berry; Bourges, 1843 September 1. Houghton Library
creatorOf Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope papers., 1813 British Library
referencedIn Archive of the Bruce Family Bodleian Library, Oxford
creatorOf Vol. XXXIV (ff. 172). Dec. 1808-July 1809.Francis Dighton, of Commander-in-Chief's Office, Horse-Guards: Memoranda to,: 1804-1809.includes:f. 1 Sir Arthur Paget, GCB; diplomatist; 3rd son of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge: Letter to Sir J. W. Gordon: ... British Library
creatorOf MORGAN-GRENVILLE PAPERS. SERIES I. Vol. IV (ff. ) : -1. Correspondence of Richard Grenville with members of the Royal Family; BRO Ref. D55/4; 1782-1807. 2. Correspondence of Grenville with James Cruden, merchant, mostly concerning possible trading v..., 1761-1821 British Library
creatorOf Correspondence, G–W, unidentified correspondents, accounts, vouchers and receipts, 1791-1814 British Library
creatorOf Vol. XXXIII (ff. 223). Aug.-Nov. 1808.Francis Dighton, of Commander-in-Chief's Office, Horse-Guards: Memoranda to,: 1804-1809.includes:ff. 1, 63, 95 George Gordon, Marquess of Huntly; 5th Duke of Gordon: Letters, etc., to Sir J. W. Gordon: 1805-181... British Library
creatorOf Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to Mrs. Thomas, 1820 May 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Vol. XXXII (ff. 183). Jan.-July 1808.Francis Dighton, of Commander-in-Chief's Office, Horse-Guards: Memoranda to,: 1804-1809.includes:ff. 1, 68 Major John Austin, 58th Foot; Deputy Adjutant-General, Madeira: Letters, etc., to Sir J. W. Gordon: 1808... British Library
referencedIn TEN LETTERS from Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope to her kinsman, Gen. Richard Grenville (d. 22 Apr. 1823), brother of Lord Glastonbury; [1810] -[1822] . Autograph, except for that on ff. 28-37, which is a copy. All are written from Syria except the first ..., 1810-1822 British Library
referencedIn ROSE PAPERS. Vol. III (ff. 379 in two parts: A, ff. 1-189; B, ff. 190-379). General correspondence of George Rose; 1777-1817.includes:f. 1 Edward Southwell, 20th Lord Clifford: Letter to G. Rose: 1777.ff. 3-53 b Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumbe..., 1777-1817 British Library
referencedIn Vol. III, ff. 353, P-Z.includes:f. 1 Frederick W. Pailthorpe, illustrator to C Dickens: Letter to W. Miller: 1903. f. 2 Francis Turner Palgrave, poet and anthologist: Letter to -: 1862. f. 3 Edward Henry Palmer, orientalist: Letter to S. 0. Grey: 187... British Library
creatorOf Letter to Lady Lucy Taylor : Walmer Castle : ALS, 1803 Nov. 8. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn AUTOGRAPH letters and signatures of Royal and illustrious persons, chiefly of England and France, of the l9th century. Amongst them is the signature of H.M. Queen Victoria when Princess, dated in the year 1823. The collection is stated to have been f..., 19th century British Library
creatorOf Autograph letter signed : Convent of Mar Elias [Lebanon], to Michael Bruce, 1814 May 12-June 4. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Vol. III. (ff. 365). April 1810-1830.includes:ff. 1, 117, 161 Charles Arbuthnot: Letters, as Secretary to the Treasury, etc., to Lord Wellesley: 1809-1823. f. 3 Andrew Strahan, printer of the ' London Gazette.': Letter to Lord Wellesley: 1810. ff.... British Library
referencedIn Pitt family papers 1728-1830 1757-1805 Pitt family papers William L. Clements Library
referencedIn British Correspondence, A-K, 1556-1972 and n.d. [bulk 1740-1890]. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Marquess of Sligo letters, 1810 Aug-Dec. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Autograph letter in the third person : "Walmer Castle", to Mr. Leith , "Saturday morning," [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Correspondence, A-F, 1792-1814 British Library
creatorOf Lady Hester Stanhope letters and portrait, 1808-1839 Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn KNIGHTLEY MANUSCIPTS. Vol. IV A (ff. 249). Letters and papers, mostly autograph, of peers, statesmen, men of letters, etc., arranged alphabetically; 1690 -1908. Included are three letters, in French, addressed to the Marquise du Châtelet (supplement..., 1690-1908 British Library
creatorOf Vol. XXX (ff. 247). 1797-1806.Francis Dighton, of Commander-in-Chief's Office, Horse-Guards: Memoranda to,: 1804-1809.includes:ff. 1-2b Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Shannon: Letters to Sir J. W. Gordon: 1797. f. 3 Navigation: Compass variations on boa..., 1797-1806 British Library
Relation Name
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, 1743-1820, person
associatedWith Barker, John, 1771-1849. person
associatedWith Bruce, Michael, person
associatedWith Buckingham, James Silk, 1786-1855, person
associatedWith Chatham, Hester (Grenville) Pitt, Baroness, 1720-1803. person
associatedWith Cumberland, Ann (Luttrell) Horton, Duchess of, 1743-1808. person
associatedWith Hardwicke, Earl, person
associatedWith Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, 1725-1807. person
associatedWith King, Jonas, 1792-1869. person
associatedWith Leith, Mr, person
correspondedWith Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925 person
associatedWith Meryon, Charles Lewis, 1783-1877. person
associatedWith Pitt, William, 1759-1806. person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Sligo, Howe Peter Browne, Marquess of, 1788-1845. person
associatedWith Smith, W. Sidney (William Sidney), Sir, 1764-1840, person
associatedWith Taylor, Lucy, Lady. person
associatedWith Taylor, Lucy Rachel Stanhope, Lady, 1780-1814, person
associatedWith Thomas, Mrs, person
associatedWith Watkins, Mrs, person
associatedWith William L. Clements Library corporateBody
associatedWith Wynne, H., person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chevening ENG GB
Joûn 05 LB
Lebanon 00 LB


Birth 1776-03-12

Death 1839-06-23






Ark ID: w6w2000k

SNAC ID: 88037295