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Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting

Table of Contents:

Introduction
Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting
Appendix 1: "Queen Victoria's First Ladies-in-Waiting"
Sources


 
Introduction:

This list of ladies-in-waiting to Queen Victoria is a modified version of the original document titled "Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting" that was once on my website, but which has been temporarily removed. The full and updated document will return in early 2007.

The raison d'être for the following document is the public's interest in wanting to know the names of the women who served as ladies-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. (Questions about this topic appear with some regularity in forums such as Usenet newsgroups, Internet message boards, and personal web sites.) It is to be hoped that this document will fill a gap for those who have ever asked: "Can someone tell me if my relative, N..., was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria?".  

This document contains a comprehensive list of the women of the Royal Household who were in waiting (in attendance) upon Queen Victoria from the time of her accession in June 1837 until her death in January 1901. (There were 123 women who acted as ladies-in-waiting, including two who were appointed but who were never in waiting.) This document does not include information about the women who served in the Queen's Household in non-waiting capacities, such as Queen Victoria's lady attendant (Baroness Lehzen), the Queen's personal maids (dressers and wardrobe maids), and the various housekeepers, housemaids, cleaners, seamstresses, laundresses (including body linen laundress and linen women), and the like. The list also does not include information about the succession of wet-nurses, nurses, nursery-maids, governesses, under-governesses, and such. Finally, the list does not include information about the women who attended upon Queen Victoria when Princess (for example, her nurses and her governesses).

The main source for "Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting" is an out-of-print publication titled The Royal Household 1837-1897, by W.A. Lindsay. His work was "founded upon a list made by the late Lieut.-Colonel the Honourable Charles Hugh Lindsay, C.B., Groom in Waiting. This list was graciously accepted by the Queen [HM Queen Victoria] in manuscript [...]". The author then cross-referenced the records of the Lord Chamberlain (under whom the ladies-in-waiting received their salaries) and the London Gazette for the whole of Queen Victoria's reign up until the time of publication. Therefore, this is a full list of all the Queen's ladies-in-waiting. If the interested reader searches this list of names and does not find his or her relative, then that relative was, unfortunately, not a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria.
 
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Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting (shown chronologically by order of appointment)


Mistresses of the Robes:

Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland 1837-1841, 1846-1852, 1853-1858, 1859-1861
Charlotte, Duchess of Buccleuch 1841-1846
Anne, Duchess of Atholl [Athole] 1852-1853
Louise, Duchess of Manchester 1858-1859
Elizabeth, Duchess of Wellington 1861-1868, 1874-1880
Elizabeth, Duchess of Argyll 1868-1870
Anne, Duchess of Sutherland 1870-1874
Elizabeth, Duchess of Bedford 1880-1883
Anne, Duchess of Roxburghe 1883-1885
Louisa, Duchess of Buccleuch 1885-1886, 1886-1892, 1895-1901
 appointment vacant* Feb.-Aug. 1886
 appointment vacant** Aug. 1892-July 1895

* Acting Mistress of the Robes: Elizabeth, Duchess of Bedford.

** Acting Mistress of the Robes: Anne, Dowager Duchess of Atholl [Athole] and Anne, Duchess of Roxburghe (jointly). Note: Louisa, Countess of Antrim was temporary Acting Mistress of the Robes in April 1894, when Queen Victoria attended the wedding of her grandchildren (Ernst Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Victoria Melita of Great Britain) in Coburg.



Ladies of the Bedchamber
:

Louisa Emma, Marchioness of Lansdowne 1837-1838
Anna Maria, Marchioness of Tavistock (later Anna Maria,
Duchess of Bedford)
1837-1841
Anne, Countess of Charlemont 1837-1854
Maria, Countess Mulgrave (later Maria, Marchioness of Normanby) 1837-1841
Emma, Baroness Portman 1837-1851
Laura Elizabeth, Countess of Durham 1837-1838
Sarah, Baroness Lyttelton (later Sarah, Dowager Baroness Lyttelton) 1837-1842
Frances, Baroness Barham (later Frances, Countess of
Gainsborough, later still Frances, Dowager Countess of Gainsborough)
1837-1872
Blanche Georgina, Countess of Burlington 1838-1840
Eliza Arden, Marchioness of Breadalbane 1839 (Jan.-July)
Mary, Countess of Sandwich 1839-1842
Carolina Augusta, Countess of Mount Edgcumbe
(later Caroline Augusta, Dowager Countess of Mount Edgcumbe)
1840-1854, 1863-1865
Catherine, Countess of Dunmore 1841-1845
Frances Elizabeth, Viscountess Jocelyn 1841-1867
Susan Georgiana, Countess of Dalhousie 1842 (Jan.-May)
Charlotte, Viscountess Canning 1842-1855
Charlotte, Duchess of Norfolk 1842-1843
Elizabeth, Marchioness of Douro (later Elizabeth,
Duchess of Wellington)
1843-1858
Elizabeth Lucy, Countess of Desart 1845-1864
Jane, Marchioness of Ely (later Jane, Dowager Marchioness of Ely) 1851-1889
Anne, Duchess of Atholl [Athole] (later Anne,
Dowager Duchess of Atholl [Athole])
1854-1897
Jane, Baroness Churchill (later Dowager Baroness Churchill) 1854-1900
Maria Anne, Baroness Macdonald 1855-1863
Jane Frederica Harriet Mary, Countess of Caledon 1858-1878
Elizabeth Jane, Baroness Waterpark (later Elizabeth Jane,
Dowager Baroness Waterpark)
1864-1890
Susanna Stephania, Duchess of Roxburghe (later Susanna
Stephania, Dowager Duchess of Roxburghe)
1865-1895
Eliza Horatia Frederica, Viscountess Clifden 1867-1872
Blanche Julia, Countess of Mayo 1872-1874
Eliza Amelia, Countess of Erroll (later Eliza Amelia,
Dowager Countess of Erroll)
1873-1901
Julia Janet Georgina, Baroness Abercromby 1874-1885
Ismania Catharine, Baroness Southampton (later Ismania
Catharine, Dowager Baroness Southampton)
1878-1901
Emily Theresa, Baroness Ampthill (later Emily Theresa,
Dowager Baroness Ampthill)
1885-1901
Cecilia Maria Charlotte, Viscountess Downe 1889-1901
Louisa, Countess of Antrim 1890-1901
Edith, Countess of Lytton 1895-1901
Anne Emily, Duchess of Roxburghe 1897-1901


Extra Ladies of the Bedchamber:
 
Charlotte, Duchess of Norfolk 1843-1870
Emma, Baroness Portman 1851-1865
Carolina Augusta, Countess of Mount Edgcumbe
(later Caroline Augusta, Dowager Countess of Mount Edgcumbe)
1854-1863, 1865-1881
Frances Elizabeth, Viscountess Jocelyn 1867-1880
Eliza Horatia Frederica, Viscountess Clifden (later Lady Stirling) 1872-1896
Frances, Dowager Countess of Gainsborough (previously Frances,
Countess of Gainsborough and previously to that Frances, Baroness Barham)
1873-1885
Blanche Julia, Countess of Mayo (later Blanche Julia,
Dowager Countess of Mayo)
1874-1901
Jane Frederica Harriet Mary, Countess of Caledon 1878-1888
Elizabeth, Duchess of Bedford (later Elizabeth,
Dowager Duchess of Bedford)
1883-1897
Jane, Dowager Marchioness of Ely 1889-1890
Elizabeth Jane, Dowager Baroness Waterpark 1891-1894
Anne Emily, Duchess of Roxburghe 1895-1897


Honorary Lady of the Bedchamber:
 
Blanche Julia, Countess of Mayo  1872 (Apr.-July) 


Women of the Bedchamber
:
 
Honourable Mrs. Brand (afterwards Trevor) 1837-1853
Lady Caroline Barrington 1837-1875
Lady Charlotte Copley (later Lady Copley) 1837-1866
Honourable Mrs. Campbell 1837-1873
Lady Harriet Clive 1837-1841
Frances Mary, Viscountess Forbes 1837-1874
Caroline Mary, Lady Gardiner 1837-1859
Lady Theresa Digby 1837-1856
Honourable Mrs. George Edward Anson (later Honourable
Mrs. George Edward Anson)
1841-1853, 1853-1855
Miss Amelia Matilda Murray 1853-1855
Frances, Viscountess Chewton 1855-1901
Honourable Mrs. Hamilton Gordon (later Honourable
Lady Hamilton Gordon)
1855-1901
Mary, Lady Codrington 1856-1885
Lady Sarah Elizabeth Lindsay (later Honourable Lady Lindsay) 1859-1890
Honourable Mrs. Robert Bruce 1866-1889
Lady Elizabeth Philippa Adeane 1873-1877
Miss Flora Clementina Isabella Macdonald 1874-1897
Honourable Mrs. George Hope 1875-1877
Honourable Mrs. Ferguson 1877-1901
Honourable Horatia Stopford 1877-1901
Lady Cust 1885-1901
Honourable Harriet Lepel Phipps 1889-1901
Honourable Emily Sarah Cathcart 1888-1901
Honourable Ethel Cadogan 1897-1901
Mrs. John Haughton 1899-1901


Extra Women of the Bedchamber:
 
Miss Mary Anne Davys (later Mrs. Pratt) 1839-1888
Honourable Mrs. Robert Bruce 1862-1866
Lady Augusta Frederica Elizabeth Stanley
(previously Lady Augusta Frederica Elizabeth Bruce)
1863-1876
Lady Charlotte Copley (later Lady Copley) 1866-1875
Honourable Mrs. Charles Grey 1870-1890
Frances Mary, Viscountess Forbes 1874-1877
Lady Elizabeth Biddulph 1877-1901
Honourable Emily Sarah Cathcart 1880-1890
Honourable Mrs. Gerald Wellesley 1882-1901
Miss Ina Erskine McNeill 1888-1895
Mrs. Townshend Wilson 1890-1894
Mrs. Drummond (senior), of Megginch 1891 (Jan. 1-Dec. 22)
Georgina Elizabeth, Lady Cowell 1894-1901
Honourable Caroline Fanny Cavendish 1894-1901
Honourable Mrs. Alaric Grant
(previously Miss Victoria Matilda Susan Baillie)
1895-1901
Honourable Mrs. Bernard Mallet
(previously Miss Marie Adeane)
1895-1901
Honourable Lady Ponsonby 1895-1901
Miss Flora Clementina Isabella Macdonald 1897-1901


Honorary Woman of the Bedchamber
:

Honourable Lady Biddulph
(previously Miss Mary Frederica Seymour)  
1857-1901


Resident Women of the Bedchamber
:
 
Miss Mary Anne Davys 1837-1839
Lady Augusta Frederica Elizabeth Bruce 1861-1863
Miss Ina Erskine McNeill 1888-1895


Maids of Honour
:

Honourable Harriet Pitt 1837-1841
Honourable Caroline Cocks (later Lady Caroline Somers-Cocks) 1837-1849
Honourable Margaret Dillon 1837-1838
Miss Sarah Cavendish 1837-1842
Miss Matilda Paget 1837-1855
Miss Amelia Matilda Murray 1837-1853
Miss Harriet Lister 1837-1844
Miss Mary Spring Rice (later Honourable Mary Spring Rice) 1837-1841
Miss Henrietta Julia Anson 1838-1841
Honourable Frances Catherine Devereux 1841-1847
Miss Eleanor Stanley 1841-1862
Honourable Georgiana Liddell 1841-1845
Miss Clementina Baillie-Hamilton 1842-1845
Miss Lucy Maria Kerr 1844-1872
Miss Caroline Dawson 1845-1851
Honourable Anne Napier 1845-1847
Miss Caroline Fanny Cavendish 1847-1881
Miss Flora Clementina Isabella Macdonald   1847-1874
Miss Elizabeth Frederica Lennox 1849-1850
Miss Mary Frederica Seymour 1850-1856
Miss Beatrice Byng 1851-1863
Miss Mary Bulteel 1853-1861
Miss Emily Sarah Cathcart 1855-1880
Miss Louisa Gordon 1856-1857
Miss Horatia Charlotte Stopford 1857-1877
Miss Victoria Alexandrina Stuart-Wortley 1861-1863
Miss Harriet Lepel Phipps 1862-1889
Honourable Adelaide Cavendish 1863 (July-Aug.)*
Honourable Lucy Caroline Lyttelton 1863-1864
Miss Emma Elizabeth Lascelles 1863-1865
Miss Florence Catherine Seymour (later Lady Florence
Catherine Seymour)
1864-1870
Miss Mary Louisa Lascelles 1865-1881
Honourable Mary Emma Pitt 1870-1883
Honourable Frances Mary Drummond 1872-1901
Miss Evelyn Cecilia Paget 1874-1894
Honourable Amy Lambart 1877-1884
Miss Ethel Henrietta Mary Cadogan 1880-1897
Miss Evelyn Moore 1881-1901
Miss Victoria Matilda Susan Baillie 1881-1884
Honourable Frederica Louisa Fitzroy 1883-1889
Miss Constance Honoria Kerr 1884-1886
Miss Maude Okeover 1884-1887
Miss Rosa Penelope Hood 1886-1894
Honourable Louisa Brownlow 1887 (May-Sept.)*
Miss Marie Adeane 1887-1891
Miss Bertha Lambart 1890-1901
Miss Adeline Loftus 1889-1892
Miss Mary Florentia Hughes 1891-1901
Miss Mary Hardinge 1892-1894
Miss Aline Majendie 1894-1901
Miss Mary Elizabeth Agnes Byng (later Lady Mary Byng) 1894-1898
Honourable Judith Harbord 1894-1901
Miss Sylvia Edwardes 1897-1901
Honourable Susan Baring 1898-1899
Honourable Dorothy Vivian 1899-1901

* appointed, but never in waiting


Extra Maids of Honour:
 

Miss Amelia Matilda Murray 1853 (Mar.-May)
Miss Eleanor Stanley 1862-1866
Miss Ethel Henrietta Mary Cadogan 1876-1880
Miss Victoria Matilda Susan Baillie 1881 (July-Dec.)
Miss Caroline Fanny Cavendish 1881-1894
Miss Constance Honoria Kerr 1886-1901

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Appendix 1: "Queen Victoria's First Ladies-in-Waiting"

Queen Victoria chose twenty-six women as her first ladies-in-waiting at her Accession.1 They  were appointed to her Household on July 1, 1837, with the exception of Lady Lansdowne, who was appointed on August 9, 1837. They are shown as listed in the London Gazette of August 29, 1837.2

The July 1837 date was when the ladies were officially appointed to the Queen's Household; however, some of the ladies began their duties at Court almost immediately after accepting their post. For example, Lady Tavistock attended Her Majesty when she travelled to Windsor on June 26, 1837 to visit her widowed aunt, Queen Adelaide, and Lady Lansdowne attended Her Majesty at Kensington Palace the following day (June 27) when she received Privy Councillors, Ambassadors and Ministers.3 Other ladies began their duties once Queen Victoria was settled in Buckingham Palace in mid-July (the Queen had formerly lived at Kensington Palace), such as Maids of Honour Harriet Pitt and Mary Spring Rice who were presented to Her Majesty on July 13.4

One lady, the Dowager Baroness Lyttelton, did not take up her duties until a year after her official appointment. Queen Victoria explained the reason for this in her Journal: "Wrote to Lady Lyttelton to ask her to become one of my ladies of the Bedchamber (in a year), for she is still in widow's weeds."5 (Dowager Lady Lyttelton, whose husband the 3rd Baron Lyttelton died in April 1837, 'entered upon her duties' as the Queen's Lady of the Bedchamber on October 3, 1838.)6

Mistress of the Robes:

The Duchess of Sutherland.

Principal Lady of the Bedchamber:

The Marchioness of Lansdowne.

Ladies of the Bedchamber:

The Marchioness of Tavistock, The Countess of Charlemont, The Countess of Mulgrave, The Lady Portman, The Lady Lyttelton, The Lady Barham, The Countess of Durham.

Maids of Honour:

The Hon. Harriet Pitt, the Hon. Margaret Dillon, the Hon. Caroline Cocks, the Hon. Miss Cavendish, the Hon. Matilda Paget, Miss Murray, Miss Lister, Miss Spring Rice.

Women of the Bedchamber:

The Lady Caroline Barrington, the Lady Harriet Clive, the Lady Charlotte Copley, the Viscountess Forbes, the Hon. Mrs Brand, the Lady Gardner, the Hon. Mrs. G. Campbell.

Resident Woman of the Bedchamber:

Miss Davys.

Footnotes:

1. Lindsay, Royal Household, pp 5, 21, 23-25, and Steuart Erskine, Twenty Years at Court, pp 15-16.
2. The Times, August 30, 1837.
3. Esher, The Girlhood of Queen Victoria, Vol. 1, pp 203 & 205.
4. Esher, The Girlhood of Queen Victoria, Vol. 1, pp 211-212.
5. Esher, The Girlhood of Queen Victoria, Vol. 1, p. 208.
6. Wyndham, The Correspondence of Sarah Spencer, p. 278.

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Sources:

Lindsay, W.A. The Royal Household 1837-1897. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd., 1898. 
The London Gazette

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This website was last updated on December 16, 2006. © 1998-2006 Yvonne Demoskoff