Baroness Herbert of Lea

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Baroness Herbert of Lea's Geni Profile

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Mary Elizabeth Ashe Herbert (à Court-Repington)

Birthdate: (89)
Birthplace: Richmond, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Death: October 30, 1911 (89)
Herbert House, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lieutenant-General Charles à Court-Repington and Catherine à Court-Repington
Wife of Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea
Mother of Mary Catherine von Hügel; Elizabeth Maud Parry, Lady; Sidney Herbert, 14th Earl of Pembroke; William Reginald Herbert; Sir Michael Henry Herbert, KCMG CB PC and 2 others
Sister of Charles Henry Wyndham à Court Repington

Managed by: Peter James Herbert
Last Updated:

About Baroness Herbert of Lea


In August 1846, at the age of 24, she married an ambitious young politician, Sidney Herbert, the second son of the 11th Earl of Pembroke. She became a Peelite; and, when Sidney Herbert was later made Secretary at War during the Crimean War, she became an ally of Florence Nightingale. In 1861 Sidney Herbert died, shortly after being created Baron Herbert of Lea, leaving her a widow with four sons and three daughters. Lady Herbert of Lea became a Roman Catholic convert at Palermo in 1866, practising as an "ardent Ultramontane", under the influence of her intimate friend, Cardinal Manning. Following her reception into the Catholic Church, as part of a determined effort to ensure the Protestant succession of the Herberts, she was forbidden by Parliament to bring her children to Mass,[citation needed] and her children were taken as wards in Chancery and brought up in the Church of England. Only her eldest daughter, Mary, followed her into the Catholic faith. She disliked "of Lea" as an addition to her title, and never used it, becoming known as "Lady Lightening" for her efficiency and ardour working for Catholic charities and interests. She worked in partnership with Cardinal Vaughan for St Joseph's Foreign Missionary College, Mill Hill Park, London, which was opened in 1869. The missionary students at Mill Hill became the focus of her life and work. When she died in London in 1911, she was buried along with Vaughan at Mill Hill, where her tomb bore the simple epitaph, ‘The Mother of the Mill’. [edit]Social figure

Lady Herbert was the intimate friend and correspondent of many eminent Victorians, including politicians, such as Benjamin Disraeli, Palmerston and Gladstone; reformers, such as Florence Nightingale; and leaders in the Roman Catholic revival, such as Cardinal Newman, Cardinal Vaughan and Cardinal Manning. She figures as Lady Chiselhurst in W.H. Mallock's novel, The Old Order Changes (1886), and as Lady St Jerome in Disraeli's roman à clef, Lothair (1870). Disraeli described her as: She was the daughter of a Protestant house, but, during a residence at Rome after her marriage, she had reverted to the ancient faith, which she professed with the enthusiastic convictions of a convert. Her whole life was dedicated to the triumph of the Catholic cause; and, being a woman of considerable intelligence and of an ardent mind, she had become a recognized power in the great confederacy which has so much influenced the human race, and which has yet to play perhaps a mighty part in the fortunes of the world. [edit]Writings

Impressions of Spain in 1866 (Richard Bentley, 1867) Cradle Lands (travels in Egypt and Palestine) (1867) Wives and Mothers of the Olden Time (1871) A Search after Sunshine, or Algeria in 1871 (Bentley, 1872) Wayside Tales (1880) Edith (autobiographical novel) Besides these she wrote several stories, some of them autobiographical, articles (many contributed to the Dublin Review), and a number of biographies and biographical essays, mostly of religious figures, which were translated or paraphrased from French originals. The latter included biographies of St. Monica, St. John Baptist de Rossi, Bishop Félix Dupanloup, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Garcia Moreno, Frédéric-François-Xavier Ghislain de Mérode, etc.: Three Phases of Christian Love (St Monica, Mlle Victorine de Galard Terraube, Ven. Mère Devos) (translated, 1866) Devin, A., Abyssinia and its Apostle (life of Saint Justin de Jacobis) (London: Burns and Oates, 1867) Berthe, P. Augustine, Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador, 1821-1875, abridged edition translated from the French (London: Burns and Oates, 1889) Lagrange, F., Life of Monseigneur Dupanloup: Bishop of Orléans (translated)

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Baroness Herbert of Lea's Timeline

June 21, 1822
Richmond, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
May 21, 1849
Age 26
July 6, 1850
Age 28
July 30, 1851
Age 29
February 20, 1853
Age 30
Belgrave Square, London, Middlesex, England
May 12, 1854
Age 31
June 25, 1857
Age 35
England, United Kingdom
April 24, 1859
Age 36
October 30, 1911
Age 89
United Kingdom