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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


16 B I 0 GRAPH I C AL S KET C €I E S. No. CLXXIV. THE RIGHT HON. SELINA COUNTESS DOWAGER OF HUNTINGDON. LADYH UNTINGDwOaNs born in 1707. She was the second daughter, and one of the three co-heiresses of Washington Earl of Ferrers. In 1728, at the age of twenty-one, she was married to Theophilus Earl of Huntingdon, by whom she had four sons and three daughters, only one of whom (the Countess of Moira) survived her ladyship.‘ The union was one of great domestic felicity, but not destined to be of very long continuance, as the Earl died in 1746. After the death of the Earl, the zeal which the Countess had early displayed in the service of religion and the cause of humanity, gradually extended over a wider field, till her example, her writings, and her unbounded charity, at length placed her at the head of that numerous sect, of which she was at once the support and the ornament. At her death it was calculated that she had expended, in acts of public and private charity, more than One Hundred Thousand Pounds. Lady Huntingdon died at her house in Spa Fields, near London, on the 17th June 1791, in the eighty-fourth year of her age. By her will it was directed that her remahs should be deposited beside those of her husband, and that they should be dressed in the suit of white silk which she wore on the occasion of opening the chapel in Goodman’s Fields. The coffin was to be covered with black, and the interment to be conducted in the least ostentatious manner possible. The officiating clergyman (Mr. Jones of Spa Fields Chapel) was to receive $10 for his trouble. A considerable portion of her ladyship’s fortune was bequeathed for the support of sixty-faur chapels, which she had established in various parts of the United Kingdom, besides some other legacies, and $4000 yearly to be distributed in casual charities.’ 1 Upon the extinction of this branch of the Earls of Huntingdon, the Baronies of Hastings, etc., Her ladyship has been very severely satirised in Johnston’s “Chrysal, or the Adventures of a fell to the Moira family, Guinea ”-some say deservedly.
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