Confession: a significant error of interpretation in “The Late Lord”

I’m sure it happens to most biographers, but I must confess to an important error of interpretation in The Late Lord. On pp. 181-2, I describe the death of Mary, Countess of Chatham, on 21 May 1821: On Monday, 21 May 1821, Chatham, at home in Hill Street, received the visit of Sir William Bellingham […]

Reviews of “The Late Lord”

“The Late Lord is based on impressive research in the archives and published sources and the author is completely at home in the period. Reiter’s judgment is thoughtful, perceptive and well balanced, while her prose is lively and entertaining. After two hundred years of neglect, Chatham has been immensely fortunate in being the subject of […]

The Late Lord: the book

It is now possible for UK readers to preorder my biography of the 2nd Earl of Chatham! You can order your copy directly from Pen and Sword. It is also available through Amazon (both the UK and US sites). The Late Lord: the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham will be released by […]

John’s later years, Part 3: “the venerable Earl”

Yesterday I thoroughly pillaged the British Library’s excellent 19th Century Newspapers database (… well, *nearly* excellent: I have one or two reservations about the search interface, but that’s another story). I habven’t used it much before, largely because I keep forgetting the 2nd Earl of Chatham clung to life until September 1835, but I found […]

The “Late” Lord Chatham at the Admiralty, 1794

It’s no secret that John was— how shall I put it— not the most punctual of people, and he quite liked the easy life. I certainly haven’t found much to dispute this, although I have found numerous occasions on which he attended public events before eleven o’clock in the morning, so clearly he wasn’t utterly […]

John’s later years, Part 2

So yes, despite my radio silence over the past few days I still have quite a lot of stuff to share that came from my foray into the National Archives last week. Time, then, for my Part 2 of the insight I have gleaned into the later years of the second Earl of Chatham, and […]

Insight into John’s later years (Part 1)

John, Earl of Chatham is fast becoming my Best Research Buddy (BRB for short— and who’m I kidding? Let’s just call him John from here on in for concision’s sake. John, blog readers; blog readers, John. Excellent, now we can move on :-D). The problem is John is one of the Invisible Men in history, […]

Sir Home Popham off Boulogne, 1804: or, correspondence with Lord Melville, BL Add MS 41080

20 June 1804 (f. 10) Sir Home Popham: My dear Lord. Lord Melville: Sir Home. Popham: You remember that letter Lord Hutchinson sent you? Melville: Yes, of course I – Popham: THERE WAS NO LETTER. THERE WAS NEVER ANY LETTER. AND IF THERE WAS, LORD HUTCHINSON DIDN’T SEND IT. Melville: Popham: Oh, and tell Mr […]

‘A dirty Apothecary’: the elopement of Lady Lucy Stanhope and Thomas Taylor

Lady Chatham has now an account of her poor Granddaughter, disposed of (with ten thousand pounds) to a dirty Apothecary in whose shop she is to reside at Sevenoakes. [1] Lady Lucy Rachel Stanhope was not quite 16 years old when Lady Aylesford wrote this report to Mrs Stapleton, companion to the Dowager Countess of […]

The name’s James, Charles James: a Napoleonic-era enigma (Part 2)

You can read last week’s post about Charles James, poet, fixer, and international man of mystery extraordinaire, here. Major of the Royal Artillery Drivers and ‘French Secretary’ to the Ordnance In 1806, Pitt the Younger died and Lord Moira’s Whig associates came to government as the Ministry of All the Talents. Moira himself became Master-General […]