Yelverton, William Charles (DNB00)

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YELVERTON, WILLIAM CHARLES, fourth Viscount Avonmore (1824–1883), born on 27 Sept. 1824, was the eldest son of Barry John Yelverton, third viscount (1790- 1870), by his second wife, Cecilia (d. 1 Feb. 1876), eldest daughter of Charles O'Keoffe of Hollybrooke Park, Tipperary. Barry Yelverton, first Viscount Avonmore [q. v.], was his grandfather. William Charles was educated for the military service at Woolwich and entered the royal artillery. He attained the rank of major; served in the Crimea during the Russian war, received a medal and clasp for Inkerman and Sebastopol; and was created a knight of the fifth class of the Medjidie by the Turkish government. From 1859 until 1868 he was involved in litigation in regard to the validity of a marriage which it was alleged he had contracted in 1857 in Scotland and Ireland [see Longworth, Maria Theresa]. The House of Lords eventually decided against the marriage. In March 1861 Yelverton was suspended from all military duties, and on 1 April he was placed on half-pay. He succeeded his father as fourth viscount on 24 Oct. 1870, and died at Biarritz on 1 April 1883. He married on 26 July 1858, at the episcopal chapel, Trinity, near Edinburgh, Emily Marianne, youngest daughter of Major-general Sir Charles Ashworth [q. v.] and widow of the naturalist, Edward Forbes [q. v.] By her he had two surviving sons, Barry Nugent, fifth viscount (1859–1885), and Algernon William, sixth viscount. Yelverton's marriage episode was reproduced in the novel ‘Gentle Blood, or the Secret Marriage’ (Tait's Edinb. Mag. 1861), by James Roderick O'Flanagan, while Cyrus Redding [q. v.] based the plot of ‘A Wife and not a Wife’ (1867) on the story of Yelverton's Irish marriage.

[Burke's Peerage; Boase's Modern Biogr. s.v. ‘Avonmore’ and ‘Longworth;’ Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit. s.v. ‘Yelverton;’ authorities cited under Longworth, Maria Theresa.]

E. I. C.