Lucretia Montgomerie or Molyneaux

There were three Lady Dons in Regency Edinburgh, who have caused some confusion to genealogists. Their husbands were three baronets of Newton Don, succeeding from father to son in 1749, 1776 and 1815 and all called Alexander. The first Lady Don was Mary Murray, daughter of John Murray of Philiphaugh. She outlived her husband by 40 years and during all that time was lived in George Square, recalled by Henry Cockburn as a one of the great ladies of Edinburgh society and one of the last to use a Sedan Chair, and dying aged 91 on 14 December 1815 (9). The second Lady Don was Henrietta Cunningham, daughter of John Cunningham, Earl of Glencairn. She married Sir Alexander in 1778 just after he succeeded, and died in 1801 (10). The third Lady Don, Lucretia Montgomerie, was married in London on 23 November 1813 and died in Edinburgh on 19 February 1817 (8, 1) - the oft-cited dates of 1809 for her marriage and 1815 for her death, given in the Complete Baronetage, are wrong.

Lived
1791 (5) - 19 February 1817 (1)
Origin
Garboldisham Hall, Norfolk
Father
George Molineux Montgomerie. He was the son of Crisp Molineux. Born c.1759. He was 'released from a state of painful existence' in 1804. (4)
Mother
Elizabeth White, 1762-1836 (5). Daughter of Michael White, Governor of the Leeward Islands 1764-1782 and 1784-5. (6) He inherited a plantation in Montserrat, and speculated in land in Domenica and Monserrat disastrously: he allowed his family in Lille only £400 a year and died in a debtor's prison in 1785. (7)
Address
4 Thistle Street
Chapel connection
1817 (funeral)
Married on
23 November 1813 (Not in 1809 as the Complete Baronetage states) (8)
Spouse
Sir Alexander Don, Bart, of Newton Don, 1779-1826. In 1785 when he was only six his two sisters Elizabeth and Mary, along with a friend, were tragically drowned while crossing the River Eden below their home (12). Following the death of Lucretia he threw himself into rebuilding Newton Don (below) but overspent the resources of the estate. He married Grace Stein in 1824 but died in 1826 when his son William was an infant, and most of the estate was sold during his long minority.
Children
None.

Newton Don, rebuilt
after her death (11)


Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Complete Baronetage, ed G.E.C (William Pollard, Exeter, 1904) vol.4 no.264
  4. Garboldisham Memorial Inscriptions, online accessed 20 October 2011
  5. Unreferenced date in Ancestry.com (accessed 19 October 2011)
  6. Worldstatesmen.org (accessed 19 October 2011)
  7. Richard Sheridan, Sugar and slavery: an economic history of the British West Indies, 1623-1775 (Canoe Press, 2000) p.179-180
  8. Edinburgh Annual Register vol.6 (1813) p.357. There is also a notice in the Scots Magazine
  9. Caledonian Mercury 16 December 1815; Henry Cockburn Memorials of his time (T.N.Foulis, Edinburgh and London 1909) p.57
  10. These dates are from the otherwise unreliable Complete Baronetage (Pollard, Exeter, 1904) vol. 4 p.264. If you are interested in Henrietta you are recommended to check them.
  11. 'Newton Don' in Historic Houses Association (online accessed 24 October 2011)
  12. 'Newton Don' in Stitchill, Scotland (online, accessed 24 October 2011)

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