Wallmoden, Amalie Sophie Marianne (DNB00)

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WALLMODEN, AMALIE SOPHIE MARIANNE, Countess of Yarmouth (1704–1765), born on 1 April 1704, was daughter of Johann Franz Dietrich von Wendt, general in the Hanoverian service, by his wife Friderike Charlotte, born von dem Busche, widow of General Welk, also in the Hanoverian service. In 1727 she was married to Gottlieb Adam von Wallmoden, ‘Oberhauptmann’ of Calenberg, Hanover. Blonde, sprightly, amiable, niece of Lady Darlington, and great-niece of the elder Countess Platen, Frau von Wallmoden attracted in 1735 the attention of George II during his summer sojourn in the electorate. She received from him without hauteur gallantries which he frankly communicated to the queen, by whom they were as frankly encouraged. Caroline's complaisance was probably dictated rather by policy than by indifference, for a touch of bitterness is apparent in the ‘Ah, mon Dieu! cela n'empêche pas,’ with which on her deathbed she rejoined to the ‘Non, j'aurai des maîtresses’ with which the king met her suggestion that he should marry again. The king kept his word, and when the time of mourning had elapsed Frau von Wallmoden was brought over from Hanover and installed in St. James's Palace. In 1739 she was divorced from her husband, and in the following year (24 March) she was created Countess of Yarmouth. Her advent was hailed by Walpole in the hope that her influence might be politically serviceable. Lady Yarmouth, however, proved entirely unfit for the rôle of a Pompadour, and had the good sense to abstain as a rule from meddling in court intrigues. On the death of the king, whose affection she never lost, she returned to Hanover, where she died on 19 Oct. 1765. She left issue two sons, Franz Ernst and Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden. The latter, born on 27 April 1736, was brought up at the English court and reputed the fruit of her intimacy with the king. As, however, he was born before the divorce, his paternity is doubtful. He entered the Hanoverian service, and bore high command with no great distinction in the war with the French (1793–1801). He died at Hanover on 10 Oct. 1811.

Some of Lady Yarmouth's letters are preserved in Additional MSS. 6856, 23814 f. 578, 32710–969, and Egerton MS. 1722 ff. 35, 132.

[Duerre's Regesten des Geschlechtes von Wallmoden, pp. 248, 255; Malortie's Beiträge zur Gesch. des Braunschweig-Lüneburgischen Hauses u. Hofes, v. 149; Vehse's Gesch. der Höfe des Hauses Braunschweig, i. 273; Siebenfach. Königl. Gross.-Britannisch. u. Churfürstl. Braunschweig-Lüneburgisch. Staats-Calendar, 1740 p. 72; Lord Hervey's Mem. i. 499; Lord Chesterfield's Letters, ed. Mahon, iii. 274; Bielfeld's Friedrich der Grosse u. sein Hof, i. 101; Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges, ix. 413; Nicolas's Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope; Gent. Mag. 1765, p. 492; Allg. Deutsche Biographie, ‘Wallmoden.’]

J. M. R.