Home » Uncategorized » Eleanor Eden by John Hoppner (ca 1800)

Eleanor Eden by John Hoppner (ca 1800)

And of course the lady most famous for nearly-but-not-quite becoming Mrs William Pitt the Younger.

Interestingly Pitt’s brother John, Earl of Chatham was totally dismissive of the frenzied rumours surrounding his brother’s courtship of Miss Eden in December 1796: “I can not conceive what cou’d induce Bathurst, to write you word, seriously, that my Brother was to marry Miss Eden. I do not believe a word of it, tho he has certainly often been there this year, but I rather fancy the inducement was to talk over the finances with my Lord. Mrs Bankes, who is intimate with the Aucklands assures me there is nothing at all in it, and that Lady Auckland [Eleanor’s mother] amuses herself very much with the report (which is very current) and at the alarm it gives certain Persons, who are afraid, they will not engross the whole of his time as they have been in the habit of doing” (Chatham to Lord Camden, 23 December 1796, Kent RO U840/C254/6)

Perhaps a little bitchy (and one must remember John was not on the best of terms with his brother in December 1796), but interesting nonetheless. I daresay John was one of the least surprised people in England when Pitt decided not to marry Eleanor Eden after all just a month later.

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