The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Lola Montez
LOLA MONTEZ, a favorite of Louis I. of Bavaria, born in 1824, died at Astoria, N. Y., June 30, 1861. According to some authorities she was a native of Montrose, Scotland, and the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish officer named Gilbert, and according to others she was born in Limerick of an Irish father. Her mother was a Creole who successively lived with or was married to natives of Spain and Great Britain, whence the conflicting accounts of Lola's origin. She received a good education in England, and married an officer named James, whom she accompanied to India. She left him after several years and led an adventurous life in Paris and other capitals. In 1846 she appeared in Munich as a Spanish ballet dancer, and captivated the heart of the Bavarian king by her beauty and accomplishments. Her influence became so great that the ultramontane administration of Abel was dismissed because that minister objected to her being made Countess Landsfeld. The students of the university were divided in their sympathies, and conflicts arose shortly before the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, which led the king at Lola's instigation to close the university. But a more violent outbreak early in March obliged the king to reopen that institution, and to discard Lola, who fled. Although her first husband was still alive, she contracted in 1849 a second marriage with an English officer named Heald. Prosecuted for bigamy, she went with him to Madrid, but soon deserted him. The two husbands died not long afterward. In 1852 she gave performances in New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, and succeeded best in dramatic entertainments setting forth her own adventures. In California she married a Mr. Hull, but he did not live with her long. In 1855 she appeared at Melbourne, Australia, and subsequently lectured in the United States and England. She returned to New York in 1859, reformed her life, and died in poverty in a sanitary asylum. — See “The Story of a Penitent” (24mo, New York, 1867).