Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Sheridan-Grant Elopement scandal

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Dagley, Taking Amiss
Loretta reports:

The Sheridan-Grant elopement, which more or less kicks off Scandal Wears Satin, was the talk of London for many weeks in the spring and early summer of 1835.  It's hard to make heads or tails of, going by the entries in the Court Journal, which assume one knows all the principals & can translate the initials & cryptic references. I couldn't sort out who was whom until I read the following summary in a life of King William IV.

You can click on the text here for an enlarged version, or read it online beginning on page 398 in The Sailor King: William the Fourth, His Court and His Subjects, Volume 2.


 Richard Dagley caricature, Taking Amiss, courtesy Ancestry


Anonymous said...

I am acquainted ( in a literary way, of course) with someof the cast mainly trhough all the articles I have read about Caroline Norton. The 3 sisters were often called the 3 Graces. Their grandfather was Sheridan the playwright and friend of the Prince of Wales. Brinsley's adventures sound like one of his grandfather's play.
Grant was one of Wellington's Exploring officers. I think one of the most interesting part os this is that the general challenged the husbands of the women he thought had contrived at his daughter's elopement. Such foolishment! as if the death of any of them would have changed circumstances. I really would have thought Grant would have had more sense. However, it seems as though the military had a thing about duels-- feeling that to miss a chance for one was a slur on their manhood.
Caroline was fighting her own husband at this time which makes it more ironic that he was called on to atone for his wife's actions. Norton had already started on his own persecution of his wife and the next year was to take the children from her. SIt will be interesting to discover whether it was at the time of the elopment and duel that Norton beat Caroline so badly she miscarried.
It is hard to find one story that is not entangled with another when dealing with the upperclasses of the period.

Martyn Downer said...

A set of newly discovered antique silver dishes show that the family were fully reconciled by the time of General Grant's death in December 1835 (just six months after his daughter's scandalous elopement with Brinsley Sheridan). The dishes are engraved with the general's own flamboyant coat of arms (with figures of Hussars as the supporters) alongside the combined arms of Marcia and Brinsley. It was a remarkable turnaround given that only in June, Grant was challenging all and sundry to a duel. You can see the dishes at

LorettaChase said...

Martyn Downer, thank you so much for the additional information and the images of the dishes.

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