Wallace, Eglantine (DNB00)

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WALLACE, EGLANTINE, Lady Wallace (d. 1803), authoress, was youngest daughter of Sir William Maxwell (d. 1771), of Monreith, Wigtonshire, third baronet, and sister of Jane Gordon, duchess of Gordon [q. v.] A boisterous hoyden in her youth, and a woman of violent temper in her maturer years, she was married on 4 Sept. 1770 to Thomas Dunlop, son of John Dunlop of Dunlop, by Frances Anna, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Wallace (1702–1770) of Craigie, fifth and last baronet. On his grandfather's death Dunlop, inheriting Craigie, took the name of Wallace and assumed the style of a baronet; but the property was deeply involved, and in 1783 he was obliged to sell all that remained of Craigie. It would seem to have been shortly after this that his wife obtained a legal separation, on the ground, it is said, of her husband's cruelty. It is probable that the quarrel was due to pecuniary embarrassment. A little later Lady Wallace was herself summoned for assaulting a woman—apparently a humble companion—and was directed by the magistrate to compound the matter. Leaving Edinburgh, she seems to have settled in London, but upon her play ‘The Whim’ being prohibited the stage by the licenser, she left England in disgust. In October 1789 she was arrested at Paris as an English agent, and narrowly escaped with her life. In 1792 she was in Brussels. There she contracted a friendship with General Charles François Dumouriez, whom in 1793 she entertained in London, where she seems to have been well received in society. She died at Munich on 28 March 1803, leaving two sons, the elder of whom was General [Sir] John Alexander Dunlop Agnew Wallace [q. v.] She was author of 1. ‘Letter to a Friend, with a Poem called the Ghost of Werter,’ 1787, 4to. 2. ‘Diamond cut Diamond, a Comedy’ [from the French], 1787, 8vo. 3. ‘The Ton, a Comedy,’ 8vo, 1788; it was produced at Covent Garden on 8 April 1788 with a good cast, but, says Genest, was ‘very dull’ and a dead failure. 4. ‘The Conduct of the King of Prussia and General Dumouriez,’ 1793, 8vo; this was followed by a separately issued ‘Supplement.’ 5. ‘Cortes, a Tragedy’ (?). 6. ‘The Whim, a Comedy,’ 1795, 8vo. 7. ‘An Address to the People on Peace and Reform,’ 1798, 8vo.

[The Book of Wallace, ed. Rogers (Grampian Club), 1889, i. 87–8; Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, 1869, p. 229; Jones's continuation of Baker's Biographica Dramatica, p. 733, where she is said to have been the wife of Sir James Wallace [q. v.]; Paterson's History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton, I. i. 296; Paterson's Lands and their Owners in Galloway, i. 285; Autobiogr. of Jane, Duchess of Gordon (Introduction, Gent. Mag. 1803, i. 386). There are several autobiographical notes in ‘The Conduct of the King of Prussia and General Dumouriez,’ named above.]

J. K. L.