Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 54.djvu/21

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Stanhope
Stanhope
14

England sympathised with her 'grievances,' but she failed to obtain any redress, and in August 1838 she shut herself up in her castle with some five of her retainers, walled up the gate, and refused to see any visitors. Untamed by the miseries of her later years, she died as she had lived, in proud isolation, on 23 June 1839, with no European near her. On hearing of her illness, Niven Moore, the British consul at Beyrout, rode over the mountains to see her, accompanied by William McClure Thomson, the American missionary. They arrived just after her death, and found the place deserted. All the servants had fled as soon as the breath was out of the body, taking with them such plunder as they could secure. Not a single thing was left in the room where their mistress lay dead, except the ornaments upon her person. At midnight her countryman and the missionary carried her body by torchlight to a spot in the garden and there buried her. Sketches of her fortalice and her grave are in Thomson's 'The Land and the Book' (1886).

A portrait drawn on stone by R. J. Hamerton is bound up along with some memoranda and an autograph letter in 'Collectanea Biographica' (vol. xcv.) in the print-room at the British Museum.

[The chief authorities are Meryon's Travels of Lady Hester Stanhope (1846) and his still more entertaining Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope (1845), each in three volumes and illustrated by lithograph portraits of Lady Hester in costume. See also Gent. Mag. 1839, ii. 420; Stanhope's Life of Pitt; Phipps's Memoirs of Robert P. Ward, 1850, i. 143; Russell's Eccentric Personages, 1864, i. 105-15; Caroline Fox's Journals and Letters, ed. Pym, p. 34; Thomson's The Land and the Book; Lamartine's Voyage en Orient; Michaud et Poujonlat's Corresp. d'Orient, 1833, v. 530 sq.; Madden's Travels, 1829, letter xxxv.; Kinglake's Eothen, chap. viii.; Warburton's Crescent and Cross, chap. xix.; Wolff's Travels in the East, 1860; Quarterly Review, Ixxvi. 430 sq.]

T. S.


STANHOPE, JAMES, first Earl Stanhope (1673–1721), was eldest son of Alexander Stanhope (youngest son of Philip Stanhope, first earl of Chesterfield [q. v.]), by Catharine, daughter of Arnold Burghill of Thingehill Parva, Herefordshire. His father was envoy to the States-General, and died in 1707. James was born at Paris in 1673, and was naturalised as a British subject by an act in 1696. He was educated at Eton and matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, 'aged 14,' on 25 May 1688, but took no degree. When his father went to Madrid as British minister in 1690 he accompanied him, and spent a year there, gaining a knowledge of the Spanish language and character which proved useful to him afterwards. In 1691 he went to Italy, and served under the Duke of Savoy. In 1694-5 he served as a volunteer in Flanders. He distinguished himself and was severely wounded in one of the assaults at Namur, and on 1 Nov. 1695 he was given a commission as captain and lieutenant-colonel in the 1st foot-guards. On 12 Feb. 1702 he obtained the colonelcy of a regiment, afterwards the 11th foot. He was elected M.P. for Newport (Isle of Wight) in 1701 and for Cockermouth in 1702. He continued to represent the latter place till 1713. He was a steady whig, and supported the act of settlement in 1701. He took part in Ormonde's expedition to Cadiz in August 1702, and acted as Spanish secretary to the duke (see his letters in Spain under Charles II). He was mentioned in Ormonde's despatch as having particularly distinguished himself in the storming of the south battery at Vigo on 23 Oct. He served with his regiment under Marlborough on the Meuse in 1703. He went to Portugal with it in 1704, and was sent to garrison Portalègre; but an attack of rheumatism and a Portuguese doctor, 'who, by bleeding and dieting me, had almost done my business,' obliged him to go back to Lisbon, and he escaped being made prisoner with his men in May, when Portalegre was taken by Berwick. He returned to England, and was made brigadier-general on 25 Aug. 1704.

In June 1705 he went back to the Peninsula with Peterborough's expedition [see Mordaunt, Charles, third Earl of Petersborough]. In the councils of war at Barcelona he was less averse to undertaking the siege than most of the land officers. In the attack on Fort Montjuich, on 13 Sept., he commanded the reserve, and helped to secure the possession of the captured outworks. When Barcelona itself capitulated he was sent into the town as a hostage, and his tact and knowledge of the language proved useful in appeasing the outbreak of the inhabitants, who rose against the garrison. In doing this he and Peterborough ran greater risk, as he told Burnet, than they had done during the siege. He was sent home with the despatches, charged by Peterborough to look well after his interests. The Archduke Charles, in his letter to Queen Anne, made particular mention of Stanhope's 'great zeal, attention, and most prudent conduct.'

On 29 Jan. 1706 he was appointed minister to Spain in place of (Sir) Paul Methuen [q. v.] He left England at the end of February with reinforcements, which reached