Lady Anne Fitzroy Stuart-Lennard

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About Lady Anne Fitzroy Stuart-Lennard

Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex (25 February 1661-2 – 16 May 1721-2), formerly Lady Anne Palmer, alias Fitzroy, was the eldest daughter of Barbara Palmer née Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, and most likely Charles II of England or Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield.

She was born Anne Palmer on 25 February 1661 or 1662 at Westminster, England.[1] She was the first child of Barbara Palmer, who was the wife of Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine, and who was also a mistress of Charles II. According to legend, Anne was conceived on the night of Charles's Coronation. Both Palmer and the king acknowledged Anne as his daughter and she later took on the surname of Fitzroy, meaning "son of the king," but she is generally assigned to the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield, "whom," says Lord Dartmouth, "she resembled very much both in face and person."[2]

On 11 August 1674, at the age of thirteen and a half, Lady Anne was married, at Hampton Court, to the 15th Baron Dacre, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the King. On the same day her younger sister, Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, was contracted at the age of ten, to Sir Edward Lee, raised from an early baronetcy to the Earldom of Lichfield two months before. He also was a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber. Both the wedding and the dowry were paid for by Charles II. Dacre was subsequently created Earl of Sussex.

At some point she had an almost certainly lesbian relationship with Hortense Mancini, a mistress of Anne's father, Charles II, and therefore a rival of her mother, his maîtresse en titre. To put an end to the affair, Anne's husband, Lord Sussex, removed his wife to the country. In the summer of 1678, Lady Sussex was abducted from a convent in Paris and seduced by Ralph Montagu (afterwards 1st Duke of Montagu). She was 17 years old. He was successively the lover of mother and daughter (the Duchess of Cleveland and Lady Sussex).[3] In a letter to King Charles, dated "Paris, Tuesday the 28th, 1678," her mother wrote:

I was never so surprised in my whole life-time as I was at my coming hither, to find my Lady Sussex gone from my house and monastery where I left her, and this letter from her, which I here send you the copy of. I never in my whole life-time heard of such government of herself as she has had since I went into England. She has never been in the monastery two days together, but every day gone out with the Ambassador (Ralph Montagu), and has often lain four days together at my house, and sent for her meat to the Ambassador; he being always with her till five o'clock in the morning, they two shut up together alone, and would not let my maitre d'hôtel wait, nor any of my servants, only the Ambassador's. This has made so great a noise at Paris, that she is now the whole discourse. I am so much afflicted that I can hardly write this for crying, to see a child, that I doted on as I did on her, should make me so ill a return, and join with the worst of men to ruin me.[4]

Anne's husband the Earl of Sussex was a "popular but extravagant man"[5] who, by extravagance and losses by gambling, had to sell the estate of Herstmonceaux and others. Lord and Lady Sussex separated in 1688. She was widowed in 1715.

The children of her union with Sussex were two sons, who died in infancy; and two daughters, who lived to adulthood, co-heirs of the Barony Dacre:[6]

  • 1.Barbara Lennard: born 12 July 1676 at Westminster, London; died 1741 at Paris. Married Charles Skelton, Esq., Lieutenant-General in the French service, and Grand Croix de St. Louis. Died without issue.
  • 2.Charles Lennard: born 25 May 1682 at Windsor Castle; died 13 March 1684. Lord Dacre.
  • 3.Henry Lennard: born about 1683 at Herstmonceaux, Sussex; died in infancy.
  • 4.Anne Lennard: born 17 August 1684 at Sussex; died 26 June 1755 at London. 16th Baroness Dacre in her own right. Married thrice;[7]
  • (1) First, to Richard Barrett-Lennard, Esq. (died 1716), son of Dacre Barrett-Lennard and his wife Jane, eldest daughter of Arthur Chichester, the second Earl of Donegal. Died a few months after his marriage to the Lady Anne in 1716, leaving his wife with child. Their son was Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 17th Baron Dacre (1717 – 12 January 1786), who died without issue.
  • (2) Secondly, to Henry Roper, 8th Baron Teynham (died 16 May 1723). Had, among other children, Charles, who m. Gertrude, sister and co-heir of John Trevor, esq. of Glynd, in Sussex, and left at his decease, in 1754, ....
  • (3) Thirdly, to Roger Moore, Esq., fifth son of Henry, Earl of Drogheda, in Ireland, by whom she had one son, Henry.

Her descendants include:

  • Alexander Murray, 8th Earl of Dunmore
  • Colonel Sir William Robert Campion
  • Thomas Coke, 3rd Earl of Leicester
  • William Legge, 7th Earl of Dartmouth
  • Gerald Legge, 9th Earl of Dartmouth
  • Lady Elizabeth Basset
  • Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield
  • Nigel Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes
  • Dermot Chichester, 7th Marquess of Donegall
  • Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
  • Richard Lyon-Dalberg-Acton, 4th Baron Acton
  • Reginald Manningham-Buller, 1st Viscount Dilhorne
  • Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl
  • Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury
  • Max Wyndham, 2nd Baron Egremont
  • Sir Hugh Barrett-Lennard, 6th Baronet

Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex should not be confused with her daughter, Anne Barrett-Lennard, 16th Baroness Dacre.

The Countess of Sussex died May 16, 1721 or 1722, and was buried at Linsted, County Kent.


  • 1.^ June Ferguson's Royalty GED
  • 2.^ From Burnet's History of his Own Times, quoted in G. Steinman Steinman's A Memoir of Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, 1871, page 26.
  • 3.^ Cunningham and Goodwin's The Story of Nell Gwyn, 1903, page 196.
  • 4.^ "Memoirs of the Court of England"
  • 5.^ From John Heneage Jesse's Memoirs of the Court of England During the Reign of the Stuarts, 1855, page 170.
  • 6.^ [1]
  • 7.^ From Booker, von Alvensleben, W Owen's The Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1790, pages 372-374.
  • ____________
  • 'Lady Anne Palmer1
  • 'F, #108411, b. 25 February 1660/61, d. 16 May 1722
  • Last Edited=20 Jan 2011
  • Consanguinity Index=0.0%
  • 'Lady Anne Palmer was born illegitimately on 25 February 1660/61.1 She was the daughter of Charles II Stuart, King of Great Britain and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland.3,1 She married Thomas Lennard, 1st and last Earl of Essex, son of Francis Lennard, 14th Lord Dacre and Elizabeth Bayning, Countess of Shepey, on 16 May 1674.4 She died on 16 May 1722 at age 61.4
  • ' She was also known as Anne Fitzroy.3 On 28 February 1672/73 she was acknowledged as daughter of King Charles II by Warrant.5 From 16 May 1674, her married name became Lennard. As a result of her marriage, Lady Anne Palmer was styled as Countess of Essex on 5 October 1674.1
  • 'Children of Lady Anne Palmer and Thomas Lennard, 1st and last Earl of Essex
    • 1.Henry Lennard4
    • 2.Lady Barbara Lennard4 b. 12 Jul 1676, d. 1741
    • 3.Charles Lennard, Lord Dacre4 b. 3 Jun 1682, d. 13 Mar 1683/84
    • 4.Anne Lennard, Baroness Dacre+4 b. 17 Aug 1684, d. 26 Jun 1755
  • Citations
  • 1.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 91. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 2.[S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
  • 3.[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 256. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • 4.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1014. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • 5.[S323] Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage: founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's The Peerage of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland: David Douglas, 1904), volume I, page 31. Hereinafter cited as The Scots Peerage.
  • ________________
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Lady Anne Fitzroy Stuart-Lennard's Timeline

February 25, 1661
Westminster, Middlesex, England
June 3, 1682
August 17, 1684
May 16, 1721
Age 60
Linsted, County Kent