The beginning of the Seven Year War between Britain and France.
George II, who reigned for 33 years, died suddenly at Kensington Palace, at the age of 76, on 25th October and was buried at Westminster Abbey, Middlesex. He was succeeded by his 22 year old grandson, George III, the son of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales. The new King reigned for 60 years but was plagued by ill-health in his later years. His long reign spanned through most of the Industrial Revolution period.
second wife was:
Andrew Bayntun Rolt was born on 28th September 1755 at Spye Park House, in the county of Wiltshire. He was the fourth son of Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt.
Sir Edward and his wife, Dame Mary Poynter, had seven children prior to this, but the first six, born before 1752 were considered illegitimate when the law changed that year, declaring marriage by custom and repute to be illegal. This meant that neither of Sir Edward's three sons could be regarded as a legal heir in the event of his death, so he and his wife remarried in secret.
Their seventh child was a daughter, before the birth of Andrew some years later in 1755, which gave Sir Edward his rightful and legal heir.
On the 28th June 1777 Andrew Bayntun Rolt married The Right Honourable Lady Maria Alicia Coventry, who was the eldest daughter of The Right Honourable, George William, the 6th Earl of Coventry. This marriage took place at her father's house in Piccadilly, in the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square and was performed by the Rev. St. Andrew St. John, clerk, a priest or member in holy orders of the Church of England, by virtue of a special licence granted for that purpose, by his Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The couple had first met and became acquainted a year earlier and were both 21 years of age at the time of their marriage. The witnesses who signed the marriage certificate were The Earl of Coventry, Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt (Andrew's father), Anne Coventry, William Harris and John Coventry.
Some years earlier,
Lady Coventry had an altercation with a certain Kitty Fisher, one of
the most famous 18th century courtesans, known for her beauty and wit,
and the mistress of several well-known men of the day, including Maria's
husband, the Earl of Coventry and probably Casanova. Kitty maintained
a certain rivalry with the Earl's wife and when they met in a London
park, Lady Coventry admired her dress and asked her the name of her
dressmaker. Kitty replied that she had better ask Lord Coventry as he
had given it to her as a gift.
Andrew and Maria
Bayntun's first-born daughter, Mary, died a few days after her birth,
but in 1780 they had another daughter, Maria Barbara, and the couple
made their home at Battle
House (the Dower House), situated next to
the church in Bromham village.
The affair was
first noted at the beginning of September 1781 by Andrew's brother,
the Rev. Henry Bayntun, when he visited the house on three separate
occasions and saw the couple romping together and kissing each other.
Mary Nash, who was Lady Maria's personal maid and some of the other
servants of the house were also aware of the affair and had seen them
together on many occasions. Sir Andrew, at this time, was in London
Divorce was rare at this time but on the 15th February 1783 it was granted to Andrew Bayntun Rolt by an Act of Parliament. Andrew was, at first, inconsolable and despite her shameless actions, he long lamented the mother of his only child.
Cooper treated Maria with cruelty and brutality. The heartless destroyer
of her life and fame, finished the dismal tragedy, shutting up her corpse
in the house alone, until the rats had actually eaten part of her body.
Yet this man was afterwards admitted to the best society and admired
by all the ladies. Death at least put an end to her sufferings and the
young, elegant and accomplished Lady Maria, nurtured upon the bosom
of indulgence, died in a low house, without a single friend or attendant
to minister her last wants or a charitable hand to close her dying eyes.
She died on the 18th January 1784 at the age of 29.
1788 Andrew's father, Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt, was forced to declare
his granddaughter, Maria Barbara, first in the entail of the Bayntun
estate when she was just 8 years old, which meant she would inherit
her father's estate upon his death. The divorce meant that she would
be Andrew's only legal and legitimate heiress.
Andrew, in his early life, possessed very high moral qualities, but
the misconduct of his first wife, to whom he was fondly attracted, altered
his nature and he became a more carefree and reckless character.
July 1797, Andrew's eldest daughter, Maria Barbara, eloped with the
Reverend John Starky, the Rector of Charlinch, Somerset much
to the surprise of the family.
By 1806, Andrew was no longer living at Spye Park, but at Percy House, Lower East Hayes, Bath, Somerset and was listed in a record of the appointment of his son-in-law, the Rev. John Starky, as Rector of Charlinch, on the 15th April 1808, as late of Spye Park, Wiltshire but now of Bathampton, Somerset. He chose to rent the mansion at Spye Park for a number of years.
In 1812, Spye Park was rented to Colonel Thornton, of Lincoln's Inn, Middlesex, a gentleman much noted in the annals of sporting and racing. The lease was for 21 years, if Sir Andrew should live so long, and included the mansion, with a mill, a herd of deer and lands, at an annual rent of £750.
The new tenant wanted to replace the Bayntun portraits in the house with those of his own. He had an immense number of sporting and other valuable paintings of his own, together with a collection of rare and exotic plants and the lands were stocked with three wagon loads of bald-faced and other red deer, roebucks, Asiatic deer and partly-coloured fallow deer.
Andrew agreed and arranged for Henry Bayntun, probably his nephew, the Rector of Bromham rather than his brother Harry, the Rector of Rowde and Wolverton, to take charge of the Bayntun portraits.
On the 13th of September 1813, Andrew Bayntun Rolt made his last Will and Testament, which mentioned seven of his 13 children by Harriet Maria Poynter. The will lists the six children as Andrew, Thomas, John, Lucy, Harriet, Maria Constance and Mary, who were all christened with the surname Bayntun, despite the fact that Andrew was never married to Harriet Maria. Clearly Andrew wanted these children to have his name and he also refers to their mother in his will as Harriet Maria Bayntun, otherwise Poynter, spinster. The other six children had died before this time many of them at a very young age.
A previous Deed of Settlement dated 13th December 1809 listed another of his reputed seven acknowledged children by the said Harriet Maria, called Maria Constantia.
will also lists his six children by Ann Power Ann, Charles, Martha,
Francis, George and Wilmot Robert all with the surname Bayntun
Power and he makes provision for them financially once they reach their
respective age of 21, or sooner should either Ann or Martha marry before
Bayntun Rolt was buried in the family crypt in the Church
of St. Nicholas, Bromham. His second wife, Anna Maria
survived him and was buried at Swainswick near Bath.
When Andrew Bayntun Rolt died the Baronetcy of one of Wiltshire's most famous families became extinct and his estate was inherited by his only legal heiress and daughter Maria Barbara Bayntun Rolt