Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/797

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
775
STANHOPE, LADY HESTER—STANISLAUS I.

standard works; and though here and there he has been found to give credit for too much to Lord Chatham, his industry, clear though not brilliant style, and general impartiality in criticism, have been deservedly praised. His position as an historian was already established when he succeeded to the earldom in 1855, and in 1872 he was made an honorary associate of the Institute of France. He was president of the Literary Fund from 1863 until his death. He died on the 24th of December 1875, being succeeded as 6th earl by his son Arthur Philip (1838–1905), father of the 7th earl. His second son, Edward Stanhope (1840–1803), was a well-known Conservative politician, who filled various important offices, and was finally secretary of state for war (1886–1892).


STANHOPE, LADY HESTER LUCY (1776–1830), the eldest child of the 3rd Earl Stanhope by his first wife Lady Hester Pitt, was born on the 12th of March 1776, and dwelt at her father's seat of Chevening in Kent until early in 1800, when his excitable and wayward disposition drove her to her grandmother's house at Burton Pynsent. A year or two later she travelled abroad, but her cravings after distinction were not satisfied until she became the chief of the household of her uncle, William Pitt, in August 1803. She sat at the head of his table and assisted in welcoming his guests, gracing the board with her stately beauty and enlivening the company by her quickness and keenness of conversation. Although her brightness of style cheered the declining days of Pitt and amused most of his political friends, her satirical remarks sometimes created enemies when more consideration for the feelings of her associates would have converted them into friends. Lady Hester Stanhope possessed great business talents, and when Pitt was out of office she acted as his private secretary. She was with him in his dying illness, and some of his last thoughts were concerned with her future, but any anxiety which might have arisen in her mind on this point was dispelled through the grant by a nation grateful for her uncle's qualities of a pension of £1200 a year, dating from the 30th of January 1806, which Lady Hester Stanhope enjoyed for the rest of her days. On Pitt's death she lived in Montagu Square, London, but life in London without the interest caused by associating with the principal politicians of the Tory party proved irksome to her, and she sought relief from lassitude in the fastnesses of Wales. Whilst she remained on English soil happiness found no place in her heart, and her native land was finally abandoned in February 1810. After many wanderings she settled among the Druses on Mt Lebanon, and from this solitary position she wielded an almost absolute authority over the surrounding districts. Her control over the natives was sufficiently commanding to induce Ibrahim Pasha, when about to invade Syria in 1832, to solicit her neutrality, and this supremacy was maintained by her commanding character and by the belief that she possessed the gift of divination. Her cherished companion, Miss Williams, and her trusted medical attendant, Dr Charles Lewis Meryon (1783–1877), dwelt with her for some time; but the former died in 1828, and Meryon left Mt Lebanon in 1831, only returning for a final visit from July 1837 to August 1838. In this lonely residence, the villa of Djoun, 8 m. from Sidon, in a house “hemmed in by arid mountains,” and with- the troubles of a household of some thirty servants, only waiting for her death to plunder the house, Lady Hester Stanhope's strength slowly wasted away, and at last she died on the 23rd of June 1839. The dissappointments of her life, and the necessity of overawing her servants as well as the chiefs who surrounded Djoun, had intensified a temper naturally imperious. In appearance as in voice she resembled her grandfather, the first Lord Chatham, and like him she domineered over the circle, large or small, in which she was placed.

Some years after her death there appeared three volumes of

Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope as related by herself in Conversations with her Physician (Dr Meryon, 1845), and these were followed in the succeeding year by three volumes of Travels of Lady Hester Stanhope, forming the Completion of her Memoirs narrated by her Physician. They presented a lively picture of this strange woman's life and character, and contained many anecdotes of Pitt and his colleagues in political life for a quarter of a century before

his death. See also Mrs Charles Roundell, Lady Hester Stanhope (1910).


STANIMAKA, a town of Bulgaria in Eastern Rumelia; on the Derin Dere, an affluent of the Maritza, 12 m. S.S.E. of Philippopolis. Pop. (1906), 14,120. It is an important seat of the wine trade and also possesses a distillery. Sericulture is carried on under British auspices. To the south of the town are the ruins of the medieval citadel. Under its Greek name Stenimachos, the town is frequently mentioned in connexion with the Bulgarian wars from the nth century onwards.


STANISLAU (Polish, Stanislawow) , a town in Galicia, Austria, 87 m. S.E. of Lemberg by rail. Pop. (1900), 30,410, about half Jews. It possesses a beautiful parish church, which contains the tombs of the Potocki family. The principal industries include tanning, dyeing, tile-making, milling, the production of yeast and there is a large establishment for the manufacture of railway stock. Stanislau is an important railway junction, and has a considerable trade, principally in agricultural produce. Stanislau was founded by Stanislav Potocki (d. 1683), and has been newly rebuilt since it was devastated by a great fire in 1868.


STANISLAUS I. [Leszczynski] (1677–1766), king of Poland, born at Lemberg in 1677, was the son of Rafael Leszczynski, palatine of Posen, and Anne Catherine Jablonowska. He married Catherine Opalinska by whom he had one daughter. In 1697, as cupbearer of Poland, he signed the confirmation of the articles of election of Augustus II. In 1703 he joined the Lithuanian Confederacy, which the Sapiehas with the aid of Swedish gold had formed against Augustus, and in the following year was selected by Charles XII. to supersede Augustus. Leszczynski was a young man of blameless antecedents, respectable talents, and ancient family, but certainly without sufficient force of character or political influence to sustain himself on so unstable a throne. Nevertheless, with the assistance of a bribing fund and an army corps the Swedes succeeded in procuring his election by a scratch assembly of half a dozen castellans and a few score of gentlemen (July 2, 1704). A few months later Stanislaus was forced by a sudden inroad of Augustus to seek refuge in the Swedish camp, but finally on the 24th of September 1705 he was crowned king with great splendour, Charles himself supplying his nominee with a new crown and sceptre in lieu of the ancient regalia which had been carried off to Saxony by Augustus. The first act of the new king was to conclude an alliance with Charles XII. whereby Poland engaged to assist Sweden against the tsar. Stanislaus did what he could to assist his patron. Thus he induced Mazeppa the Cossack hetman to desert Peter at the most critical period of the war, and placed a small army corps at the disposal of the Swedes. But he depended so entirely upon the success of Charles's arms that after Poltava (1709) his authority vanished as a dream at the first touch of reality. The vast majority of the Poles hastened to repudiate him and make their peace with Augustus, and Leszczynski, henceforth a mere pensioner of Charles XII., accompanied Krassau's army corps in its retreat to Swedish Pomerania. On the restoration of Augustus, Stanislaus resigned the Polish Crown (though he retained the royal title) in exchange for the little principality of Zweibriicken. In 1716 he was saved from assassination at the hands of a Saxon officer, Lacroix, by Stanislaus Poniatowski, the father of the future king. He now resided at Weissenburg in Lorraine, and in 1725 had the satisfaction of seeing his daughter Mary become the consort of Louis XV. and queen of France. His son-in-law supported his claims to the Polish throne after the death of Augustus II. in 1733, which led to the war of the Polish Succession. On the 9th of September 1733 Stanislaus himself arrived at Warsaw, having travelled night and day through central Europe disguised as a coachman, and on the following day, despite many protests, was duly elected king of Poland for the second time. But Russia, opposed to any nominee of France and Sweden, at once protested against his election; declared in favour of the new elector of Saxony, as being the candidate of her Austrian ally; and on the 30th of June