Robert Capell1

M, #280331, b. 1903
Last Edited=22 Sep 2014
Consanguinity Index=0.0%
     Robert Capell was born in 1903.1 He is the son of Henry Addison Devereux Capell and Olive Mary Richardson-Bunbury.2


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1350. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S37] BP2003. [S37]

Mary Kathleen Capell1

F, #280332
Last Edited=22 Nov 2010
     Mary Kathleen Capell is the daughter of Reverend Horatio Bladen Capell and Ada Augusta Hawkins.2 She married, firstly, Francis George West, son of Reverend George West, in 1894.1 She married, secondly, Edward Aubrey Courtauld Lowe in June 1900.2 She and Edward Aubrey Courtauld Lowe were divorced in 1906.2 She married, thirdly, Captain William Frederick Ullathorne Cosens in 1914.2
     From 1894, her married name became West. From June 1900, her married name became Lowe.2 From 1914, her married name became Cosens.2

Child of Mary Kathleen Capell and Francis George West


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1350. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  3. [S47] BIFR1976 Beamish, page 98. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S47]

Reverend George West1

M, #280333
Last Edited=17 Apr 2008
     Reverend George West lived at Horeham Hall, Essex, EnglandG.1

Child of Reverend George West


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1350. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S37] BP2003. [S37]

Lt.-Col. Augustus Cuthbert Erskine West1

M, #280334, b. 29 July 1900, d. 1968
Last Edited=29 Jun 2017
     Lt.-Col. Augustus Cuthbert Erskine West was born on 29 July 1900.1 He was the son of Erskine Eyre West and Annette Aileen Maude Huddart.1 He married Mabella Lyall Reynolds, daughter of Charles Hilton Reynolds, on 18 June 1927.1 He died in 1968 at Eastbourne, Sussex, England.2
     He was educated at Trent College, Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, EnglandG.1 He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin University, Dublin, County Dublin, IrelandG.1 He was educated at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire, EnglandG.1 He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the The Baluch Regiment, Indian Army.1 He fought in the Second World War.1

Children of Lt.-Col. Augustus Cuthbert Erskine West and Mabella Lyall Reynolds


  1. [S31] Bernard, Sir Burke, editor, Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Ireland, 4th ed. (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1958), page 751. Hereinafter cited as Landed Gentry of Ireland.
  2. [S266] World War II Unit Histories - Officers, online Hereinafter cited as World War II Unit Histories - Officers.

Rt. Hon. Samuel Molyneux1

M, #280335, d. 1728
Last Edited=19 Aug 2014
     Rt. Hon. Samuel Molyneux was the son of William Molyneux and Lucy Domvile.2 He married Lady Elizabeth Diana Capell, daughter of Lt.-Gen. Algernon Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex and Lady Mary Bentinck, in 1717.1,2 He died in 1728, without issue.1
     He held the office of Lord of the Admiralty.2 He was secretary to the Prince of Wales (later King George II.)2


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1348. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S368] E. M. Swinhoe, editor, Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 98th edition (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1940), page 1752. Hereinafter cited as Burkes Peerage and Baronetage, 98th ed.

Robert Frost1

M, #280336
Last Edited=17 Apr 2008
     Robert Frost lived at Snape, Suffolk, EnglandG.1

Child of Robert Frost


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1350. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S37] BP2003. [S37]

Violet Annie Frost1

F, #280337, d. 1960
Last Edited=17 Apr 2008
     Violet Annie Frost was the daughter of Robert Frost.2 She married Reverend Horatio Bladen Capell, son of Hon. Adolphus Frederick Charles Molyneux Capell and Hon. Charlotte Mary Maynard, in 1916.1 She died in 1960.1
     From 1916, her married name became Capell.

Child of Violet Annie Frost and Reverend Horatio Bladen Capell


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1350. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S37] BP2003. [S37]

Hon. unknown son Capell1

M, #280338, b. after 1733
Last Edited=16 Apr 2008
Consanguinity Index=0.25%
     Hon. unknown son Capell was born after 1733.1 He was the son of William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex and Lady Elizabeth Russell.1 He died, unknown.1


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1348. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]

Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams1

M, #280339, b. 8 December 1708, d. 2 November 1759
Last Edited=19 Jul 2018
Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams 2
     Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams was born on 8 December 1708 at Coldbrook, Monmouthshire, WalesG.3 He was the son of Major John Hanbury and Bridget Ayscough.4 He married Lady Frances Coningsby, daughter of Thomas Coningsby, 1st Earl of Coningsby and Lady Frances Jones, in July 1732.4 He died on 2 November 1759 at age 50.2
     He was also known as Charles Hanbury.4 He was a writer and diplomatist. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England.4 In 1729 his name was legally changed to Charles Hanbury-Williams.4 He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire.4 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Monmouthshire between 1734 and 1747.5 He was Paymaster of the Marines between 1739 and 1746.4 He was appointed Knight, Order of the Bath (K.B.) in 1744.4 He was Minister to Dresden in 1746.4 He held the office of Ambassador to Berlin and St. Petersburg between 1749 and 1757.4 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Leominster between 1754 and 1769.4 He held the office of High Steward of Leominster.4 He lived at Coldbrook Park, Monmouthshire, Wales.4 He has an extensive biographical entry in the Charles Hanbury took the surname Williams upon reaching his majority in 1729 in anticipation of his father's settling Charles Williams's estate upon him. Charles Williams (1634–1720) of Caerleon, Monmouthshire, one of John Hanbury's oldest friends, fled from Wales after killing his cousin in a duel, settled in Smyrna, and there amassed a large fortune. In friendship and gratitude for Hanbury's negotiating his return, Williams left the bulk of his estate to Hanbury with instructions to invest the inheritance in estates in south Wales or Monmouthshire and to select the recipients, all of whom, with the exception of John Hanbury, would take the surname Williams. Hanbury purchased Coldbrook Park and other estates and land in Monmouthshire; he also invested in mortgages and securities. On Charles's marriage in 1732, his father made over Coldbrook to him; the rest of the estate went to him before his father's death.

In October 1716 Charles Hanbury began attending a boarding-school in Chelsea. In 1720 he entered Eton College. By May 1724 he had left Eton when he set out on a grand tour with his tutor, Captain Sewell; he returned to England in 1726. By 1731 he had become a popular figure among the wits in London and was considered a model for young men of St James's.

On 1 July 1732 at St James's Church, Piccadilly, Williams married Lady Frances Coningsby (1709–1781), youngest daughter of Thomas Coningsby, first earl of Coningsby (1657–1729), and his second wife, Frances (1674–1715), daughter of Richard, first earl of Ranelagh and his second wife, Frances, daughter of Francis, fifth Lord Willoughby, of Parham. At her father's death in 1729, Lady Frances received a generous inheritance and then, following the death of her older sister Margaret in 1761, the remainder of his estate including Hampton Court in Herefordshire.

Williams and Lady Frances probably knew one another several years before their marriage since their families shared the same circle of friends. Their first child, Frances, was born on 4 March 1735. Their second daughter, Charlotte, was born on 8 July 1738. The marriage from the beginning was troubled. Williams spent time away from home and was unfaithful. After he became a member of the Society of Dilettanti in 1736, the marriage may have deteriorated further. By September 1742 it had come to an end.

From June to November 1742 Williams stayed in Bath while being treated for syphilis, the worst case his doctor had ever seen. In late August Lady Frances, who had remained at their home in London, discovered that she too had an advanced case of syphilis, Williams never having revealed to her why he was in Bath nor having indicated to her what the symptoms she complained of might indicate. Lady Frances, having left their house on Albemarle Street to undergo treatment in the City, refused to return to Williams's home and even to see him again, insisting that their agreement of settlement be drawn up by third parties. Following her treatment—by that time the gossip of London—Lady Frances went to the home of her aunt, Lady Kildare (1664/5–1758), widow of John, eighteenth earl of Kildare. Although opposed to a separation, Williams accepted his wife's demand and her request to bring up their two daughters. Williams paid an allowance for the maintenance of his daughters and returned to Lady Frances what she brought to their marriage.

Williams remained close to his daughters. In their correspondence, both daughters and father expressed great affection for each other and Williams shared with Fanny his love of music, especially opera. In 1749 he accepted Lady Essex's proposal for a marriage between Fanny and her son William-Anne Holles Capel, Lord Essex. Until their eventual marriage on 1 August 1754 after Lord Essex returned from his extended grand tour, Williams worked to assure the union of these two young people through the long unofficial engagement.
Political career
Upon his father's death Williams was nominated to succeed Hanbury as MP for Monmouthshire. He was elected on 6 March 1735. Unlike his father, Williams supported Robert Walpole and became a member of Walpole's circle. In autumn 1737, while visiting Houghton, he met Henry Fox, who became his closest friend, confidant, and adviser. About this time he also met Thomas Winnington. The three associated themselves with the ‘good Whigs’, or old corps, who remained loyal to Walpole and who then transferred their loyalty to Henry Pelham. The ‘bad Whigs’, or new whigs, according to Williams, abandoned Walpole, worked for his downfall, and then betrayed their old allies to join the opposition, or old corps, for power and position.

In late November 1737 Williams was appointed paymaster of marines. In 1741 he was again returned to parliament unopposed from Monmouthshire. Through his marriage Williams also gained influence in Herefordshire, where the earl of Coningsby had been a strong whig, and in 1741 he became custos rotulorum of Herefordshire. On 9 July 1741 he was appointed lord lieutenant of Herefordshire. In 1744 he was elected the high steward of the corporation of Leominster for life.

Although when he first entered parliament he seemed ambitious for distinction, Williams's career in parliament was undistinguished. He remained faithful to Walpole, his friend Henry Fox, and the whigs, even voting for support of Hanoverian troops in 1743 when in reality he opposed them, but he contributed little to the party's voice in the House of Commons, delivering only four speeches. Following Walpole's resignation in 1742, Williams became increasingly disillusioned with politics. His relationship with Henry Pelham was uncomfortable and worsened when in May 1744 Williams helped facilitate the clandestine marriage of Henry Fox and Caroline Lennox, eldest child of the second duke of Richmond, a friend and political ally of Pelham. Williams, who had long wanted to become a knight of the Bath and who had been nominated by the king in May, was told the king might revoke the nomination. Richmond, however, though angered by his daughter's elopement, would not block Williams's honour. On 20 October 1744 the installation finally took place.

In June 1745 after Pelham failed to appoint Williams's candidate as receiver for Herefordshire, Williams spoke of quitting politics, and in July 1745 resigned as lord lieutenant of Herefordshire. Also in 1745 a committee of the House of Commons was appointed to investigate the way the marine forces were paid. It discovered that two deputies whom Williams had personally appointed had put money out for interest for themselves rather than placing it in the bank as they had assured Williams they had. Neither deputy implicated Williams, but the inquiry, which lasted through spring 1746, embarrassed Williams.

In the midst of the investigation, Thomas Winnington died suddenly in April 1746, to Williams's great distress. Furthermore, a poem he wrote but had never intended to publish, ‘An Ode to Fox, on the Marriage of the Duchess of Manchester’, brought him trouble and deepened his distress. The duchess of Manchester, widowed in 1739, married in 1743 Edward Hussey, an Irishman, but the marriage was kept secret until summer 1746. The ode, while not uncomplimentary to the duchess, contained a stanza which was seen as a slur on the Irish. Williams—upset, partly because he had always supported the interests of Ireland—left London for Monmouthshire to avoid unpleasant confrontations with Hussey and his allies. When he accepted a diplomatic position later that year, many accused him of cowardice. This charge, however, seems unfounded since Williams had applied to be private secretary to Lord Harrington, the newly appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland, a position which would have taken him to Ireland for several months a year. Not surprisingly, Harrington did not appoint Williams. Meanwhile Fox exerted his influence to secure Williams the diplomatic post. On 5 December 1746 Williams resigned as paymaster of the marines, and before Christmas kissed the king's hand as minister to Saxony at Dresden. Williams, having been granted permission to delay his departure in order to put his affairs in order, left England in April 1747.

Before leaving the country Williams and his brother Capel agreed to exchange seats in parliament. Thus Capel stood for Monmouthshire and Williams for Leominster. Because Williams was in Dresden during the election in the summer of 1747, Capel managed his brother's campaign. Capel won. Williams lost. Williams blamed his brother for his loss; Capel blamed the opposition of the Coningsby family. Two years later when home on leave Williams visited Leominster in preparation for the next election. In 1754, on leave in England, he campaigned in Leominster and on 17 April 1754 was returned unopposed to parliament.
Williams spoke little in parliament, but he advanced his party's cause as a writer of satire. By 1740 he had become a prolific satiric poet, first attacking members of the whig opposition, singling out George Lyttelton, Bubb Dodington, and the duke of Argyll. Williams portrays them as hypocrites, for while they accuse the Walpole government of corruption, they, indeed, commit the very acts they criticize: accept places, hand out pocket boroughs to their dependants, and win seats through corruption as Argyll did in Scotland in the general election of 1741. Following Walpole's resignation in 1742, Williams directed his attacks upon the new whigs and, advised by Fox, began a systematic campaign to discredit them, averaging one work a month between February 1742 and December 1743 when Henry Pelham became first lord of the Treasury. Hurling at them the same accusations they had made against the supporters of Walpole, often using the same language they had used, he presents them as corrupt, seekers of power, driven by personal ambition rather than love of country, subservient to their leaders, and betrayers of their former allies. By 1743 Williams had become a celebrity because of his poetry. In that year he was elected a member of White's Club.

In spring 1742 Williams began his assault upon William Pulteney, later Lord Bath, and satirized him more persistently and more virulently than any other individual, attacking him in nineteen poems between then and December 1744. He presents Pulteney as responsible for Walpole's resignation:

he made a great monarch change hands:
He spake—and the minister fell.
(‘The statesman’, Works, 1.151)

By moving from opposition leader to government supporter, Pulteney revealed not only his political instability but also his self-interest:

False to his country, falser to his friends,
And true to nothing but his private ends.
(‘Peter and My Lord Quidam’, ibid., 1.50)

Williams wrote some panegyric verse but little in comparison to his satires. When Henry Pelham became first lord of the Treasury, he wrote ‘An Ode to Henry Pelham’ in his praise. In ‘An Epistle to Fox’ he praises Lord Orford, and in ‘An Ode to the Right Honourable Stephen Poyntz, Esq.’, both poems dated 1745, he lauds Poyntz, who as governor of the duke of Cumberland had inculcated in the young prince love of country and values of loyalty. Williams valued these last two poems above his other work. Although so many of his poems were political, Williams vowed in 1743: ‘My Muse is no Prostitute’ (BL, Add. MS 51390, fol. 116v), and there is no evidence to show that he received favours or benefits for his work, although Lady Mary Wortley Montagu believed that ‘His servile ambition has gain'd him two yards of red Riband’ (Complete Letters, 3.131).

Besides political satire and panegyric, Williams wrote much miscellaneous verse: songs, love poems, complimentary verses, and imitations of Horace, Virgil, and Ovid. Much of his poetry was judged obscene, even by his contemporaries, and his reputation has reflected that judgement. Many poems, however, were not meant to be published but rather to be sung among drinking companions or read aloud to friends to gain the reputation of a wit. Influenced by Pope, whose early poetry especially he admired, Williams had neither the conciseness nor the subtlety of Pope. Most prolific between February 1742 and August 1743, his production of political poetry diminished as his disillusionment with the Pelhams increased, and he wrote little such poetry after December 1744. Because he took great interest in the Jacobite rising of 1745, he wrote some satires against the tories. He continued to write poems frequently during his first two years abroad, but after 1749 wrote few poems. An essay published on 13 September 1753 in The World (no. 37) has been identified by Horace Walpole as his. After he went to Russia in 1755 he wrote little. Although he informed Fox on 28 September 1756 that he was inspired to write an ode to his daughter Charlotte against poetesses, probably the only poem he wrote during the last years of his life was to his daughter Lady Essex, ‘Fanny Against Flattery’.

Establishing the œuvre of Charles Hanbury Williams is difficult. Because many of his poems remained anonymous, a necessity particularly after he began attacking the new whigs, attribution has presented problems. Williams never kept a record of the poems he had written, nor did he keep copies of poems he sent to Fox for criticism. Furthermore, many of his poems were never published, and as his fame grew, other works were increasingly attributed to him. The corpus attributed to him in Edward Jeffery's edition of his Works, published in four volumes in 1822, is unreliable. Horace Walpole, who annotated his copy of A collection of poems, principally consisting of the most celebrated pieces of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, knight of the Bath (1763), now in the British Library, has been central in identifying Williams's poems. Not until Tone Dagny Sundt Urstad's 1987 dissertation on the works of Williams has an accurate bibliography of his writing been established, her study both adding to and subtracting from the canon.
As a diplomat from 1747 to 1757 Williams saw both France and Prussia as threats to the long-term peace of Europe and his main object in the courts in which he served was to curb the power of France, to frustrate the intrigues of the French and Prussians in Saxony and Poland, and to strengthen the bonds between Britain, Saxony, Poland, and Russia. He also endeavoured to secure votes for his king's choice of the archduke as king of the Romans. He took his duties seriously and worked hard. In well-written, thoughtful letters and memoranda, he conveyed information, analysed situations, and made recommendations to Chesterfield, Newcastle, and Holdernesse. Unfortunately, he often did not receive intelligence from England and was sometimes left for months without instructions.

Arriving in Dresden in late May 1747, Williams was welcomed by Frederick Augustus II, elector of Saxony, who was also Augustus III, king of Poland, a position he had attained through the support of Russia and Austria. Although Williams was popular with the king and his court, he found Dresden cold, dull, and expensive, and thus early in 1748 asked to be moved. Again Fox intervened on his behalf, and the king agreed to send him to Turin. However, Williams's replacement was reassigned, so he remained in Dresden until he was assigned unwillingly to Berlin in 1749.

After a prolonged leave to England beginning in September 1749 followed by visits to The Hague and Hanover, Williams arrived in Berlin in July 1750 with Henry Digby, Henry Fox's nephew, as his secretary. His reception was not cordial. Frederick mistrusted Williams just as Williams mistrusted Frederick. After being in Berlin for only three weeks, Sir Charles received orders to start for Warsaw for the meeting of the Polish diet. The diet, however, was over the day Williams arrived, having adjourned before the first order of business, the election of a marshal, had been accomplished. While in Warsaw, Williams received the king of Poland's word that he would not renew a treaty with France and was given a picture of the king set in diamonds in a gold snuffbox. Once Williams returned to Berlin, Frederick circulated stories to discredit him, instructed inhabitants to ignore him, and complained of Williams through his minister in London. After attending court on 10 November 1750, Williams wrote: ‘The French Minister was with the King an Hour this Morning before His Majesty came out and when the King of Prussia appeared he took Care to speak to every Foreign Minister at this Levy except myself’ (‘Journal begun at Berlin July 1750’, 218). In January 1751 Williams was recalled but without any criticism from the king and was reassigned to Dresden. While in Berlin, Sir Charles met Voltaire and also young Count Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, the future king of Poland, whose mother belonged to the powerful Czartoryski family.

In Dresden by March, Williams worked out a subsidy treaty with Britain, the Netherlands, and the king of Poland. When the treaty was placed before parliament on 16 January 1752, it was carried by 236 votes to 54. In August Williams made his second trip to Poland where the diet was meeting in Grodno. The diet, as usual, was chaotic and unprofitable, ending shortly after opening in late October. By early December Williams was back in Dresden. In February 1753 he received orders from Newcastle to go to Vienna to speak more plainly to the Austrian government than the ambassador, Robert Keith, had done. He spoke to Maria Theresa in such plain, perhaps even blunt, language that he angered her and, as a result, accomplished nothing and may even have weakened the Anglo-Austrian alliance.

After a second extended leave in England in 1753–4, Williams returned to Dresden on 27 August 1754, and one week later travelled for a third time to Warsaw where the king of Poland received him coldly, a signal that he was now under the influence of the French. At the same time that Williams was trying to counter the efforts of the French, he also feared a civil war in Poland over succession, for two noble families vied for domination of Poland: the Potockis, favoured by the French, and the Czartoryskis, favoured by the Russians. Sir Charles supported the Czartoryski faction, and this support pleased Russia. In March 1755 he received news he had been appointed ambassador to the Russian court. He took his young friend Poniatowski with him as secretary.

Williams's first task as ambassador was to complete the difficult task of working out a subsidy treaty with Russia for keeping troops on the border in case Prussia invaded Hanover. Fox guided the treaty through parliament. The paper containing the ratification of the subsidy treaty arrived in Russia in early December 1755, and following innumerable delays was signed on 12 February 1756. Within a few days of the signing Williams learned that Britain and Prussia had signed the convention of Westminster on 16 January 1756. Had Tsarina Elizabeth had such knowledge she would not have signed the subsidy treaty.

The tsarina disliked Prussia, favoured France (although relations between Russia and France had broken off in 1747), and was allied with Austria. After Frederick attacked Austrian Silesia through Saxony in 1756, France rapidly increased her influence and re-established diplomatic relations with Russia. Williams failed to persuade Elizabeth to mediate in the conflict, and on 31 December 1756 Elizabeth signed accession to the peace of Versailles between France and Austria. Williams's position was difficult: by showing any favour to Prussia, now Britain's ally, he offended Elizabeth. For the first time Williams was looked upon with favour by Frederick, since Sir Charles had acted on his behalf and had provided Frederick with reliable information about Russian troop preparation.

While Williams was received coolly at court, he was welcomed by the ‘Young Court’ of Grand Duke Peter and his wife Grand Duchess Catherine, both of whom favoured Prussia and Britain. From the beginning Catherine liked Williams and confided in him; his secretary Poniatowski became her lover. In August 1756 the secret, almost daily, correspondence between Catherine and Sir Charles began and continued until early January 1757, the time during which Poniatowski was away from Russia. Sir Charles provided her with intelligence, warned her of the dangers within Russia, and advised her on her best course of action. This correspondence was first published in Moscow in 1909; an English translation of the 157 letters appeared in 1928.

While Williams was on diplomatic service he suffered severe and chronic illnesses and depression. In Russia his physical condition worsened, and he displayed some irrational behaviour. In December 1756 and again in January 1757 he requested permission to come home but then stayed on, partly because Frederick did not want him to leave. The volatile political situation in Russia increasingly isolated him and made him less effective. In July 1757 he received permission to leave. On 8 October 1757 he began his difficult and troubled journey home. After briefing his replacement, Robert Keith, in Hamburg, he arrived in England after the middle of February 1758.
Last years
In Hamburg Williams showed signs of being deranged; by the time he reached London he was hallucinating, making extravagant claims, and acting violently, no doubt the result of tertiary syphilis. With the aid of Fox, the family confined him and placed him under the care of Dr William Battie. By the end of April 1758 he had recovered sufficiently to move to Monmouthshire, where both his daughters visited him during the summer. When he returned to London in early December, his behaviour was more extravagant and violent than it had been earlier in the year. Again Lord and Lady Essex called upon Fox to aid them and again Williams was put under restraints. On 28 May 1759 a commission acting in a writ de lunatico inquirendo found him a lunatic and placed his property in the custody of his brother Capel. He remained under the care of Dr John Munro, and died in London, at Lord Bolingbroke's house, Chelsea, on 2 November 1759, never knowing that his beloved daughter Frances had died of a fever on 19 July shortly after giving birth to a daughter or that his daughter Charlotte had married Robert Boyle Walsingham, fifth son of the first earl of Shannon, on 17 July. On 10 November 1759 Charles Hanbury Williams was ‘interred with great Pomp’ in the north aisle of Westminster Abbey (Public Advertiser, 10 Nov 1759).

Williams's portraits indicate he was a good-looking man of medium height, slim as a young man but heavier in his later years. When young he rejected religion, but when older he recommended John Tillotson and his beliefs to young Lord Essex. He maintained strong friendships and had particularly good rapport with young men, witness his friendships with Poniatowski, Digby, Philip Stanhope, and Lord Essex. Horace Walpole acclaimed the wit of his poetry, called him ‘most generous’, but found him overbearing in conversation. Walpole concluded that ‘he had innumerable enemies, all the women, for he had poxed his wife, all the Tories for he was a steady Whig, all fools, for he was a bitter satirist, and many sensible people, for he was immoderately vain’ (Walpole, Corr., 30.312).

Mary Margaret Stewart

Earl of Ilchester and Mrs Langford-Brooke, The life of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams: poet, wit and diplomatist (1929) · T. D. S. Urstad, ‘The works of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams’, PhD diss., U. Cam., 1988 · R. H. Tenison, The Hanburys of Monmouthshire (1995) · Yale U., Lewis Walpole Library, Hanbury Williams archives · BL, Holland House papers, Add. MSS 51390–51393 · The works of the right honourable Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, 3 vols. (1822) · C. Hanbury Williams, ‘Journal begun at Berlin July 1750’, Central Library of Newport, Wales, Pontypool papers · Walpole, Corr., vols. 18, 21, 30 · The complete letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ed. R. Halsband, 3 vols. (1965–7) · ‘Letters Patents’, Gwent County RO, JCH 1027 · earl of Ilchester and Mrs Langford-Brooke, eds., The correspondence of Catherine the Great when grand-duchess, with Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams, and letters from Count Poniatowski (1928) · M. M. Stewart, ‘“And blights with plagues the marriage hearse”: syphilis and wives’, The secret malady: venereal disease in eighteenth-century Britain and France, ed. L. E. Merians (1996), 103–13 · Universal Chronicle (10–17 Nov 1759) · London Evening-Post (1–3 Nov 1759) · Public Advertiser (3 Nov 1759) · Public Advertiser (10 Nov 1759) · A. Locke, The Hanbury family, 2 vols. (1916) · D. B. Horn, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams and European diplomacy, 1747–58 (1930) · GM, 1st ser., 14 (1744), 281, 533 · GM, 1st ser., 29 (1759), 551

Gwent County RO, Cwmbrân, Hanbury Williams family of Coldbrooke, Monmouthshire, legal and financial papers · Imperial Archives of Russia, letters · Newport Central Library, Wales, corresp., literary MSS, and poems · NL Wales, copy of account of the court at Dresden in 1747 · PRO, copies of dispatches from Germany, PRO 30/29 · Yale U., Farmington, Lewis Walpole Library, letters and poems | BL, corresp. with Lord Holdernesse, Egerton MSS 3419, 3463–3464 · BL, corresp. with Lord Holland and literary papers, Add. MSS 51390–51395 · BL, Holland House papers, Add. MSS 51390–51393 · BL, letters to R. Keith, Add. MSS 35469–35481 · BL, corresp. with Sir A. Mitchell, Add. MS 58286 · BL, corresp. with duke of Newcastle and others, Add. MSS 32710–32886 · BL, letters to Sir Thomas Robinson, Add. MSS 23825–23829 · BL, corresp. with Thomas Steavens, Add. MS 34731 · estate office, Pontypool, Wales, Hanbury family papers, PPR. Bdl. 11 (3), 231, 236 (1–9), 236 (7a), 238 (1–13), 239 (2) · Herts. ALS, Cashiobury Collections, Cashiobury (Malden) MSS, letters and papers · NL Wales, Lord Abergavenny papers, letters to George Hanbury in 1745, Bdl. 801 · NL Wales, Morgan of Tredegar papers, letters and papers · NMM, letters to earl of Sandwich, MS 91/108 · NRA Scotland, priv. coll., corresp. with Lord Stormont · PRO, letters to secretaries of state, Bdl. 236 (7a); Bdl. 231 · U. Cal., Berkeley, letters to earl of Chesterfield · U. Nott. L., letters to H. Pelham; papers when paymaster general, marine forces


J. Worsdale, oils, 1733, repro. in Ilchester and Langford-Brooke, The life of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams (1929), 115 · J. B. van Loo, oils, 1744, Town Hall of Leominster; repro. in Ilchester and Langford-Brooke, The life of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams (1929), frontispiece · attrib. J. G. Eccardt, oils, c.1746, NPG [see illus.] · A. R. Mengs, oils, 1751, Lazienki Palace, Warsaw · red pencil, Lewis Walpole Library, mounted in Richard Bull's copy of Horace Walpole's A description of a villa (Strawberry Hill, 1784), 33/30/cop. 11; repro. in Walpole, Corr., vol. 30, p. 311; colour transparency, Lewis Walpole Library
Wealth at death

Major Hanbury invested £22,725 in land (including Coldbrook Park) and £44,700 in mortgages and securities; £23,000 still not invested at Sir Charles' death; under settlement made in 1730, Capel Hanbury became heir to Coldbrook estate because Sir Charles died without male heir; but had to surrender Pontypool to George Hanbury; Pontypool lands settled by act of parliament in 1760 on Capel with part of Williams's inheritance not yet invested in land (£23,000): Earl of Ilchester and Langford-Brooke, Life, 26; Tenison, The Hanburys, 137
© Oxford University Press 2004–7
All rights reserved: see legal notice Oxford University Press

Mary Margaret Stewart, ‘Williams, Sir Charles Hanbury (1708–1759)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 [, accessed 3 Aug 2007]

Sir Charles Hanbury Williams (1708–1759): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29488

[Previous version of this biography available here: October 2005]

Back to top of biography.3


Children of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams and Lady Frances Coningsby


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1348. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  2. [S130] Wikipedia, online http;// Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.
  3. [S4132] Robin J Conisbee Wood, online <e-mail address>, Robin J Conisbee Wood (unknown location), downloaded 23 November 2009.
  4. [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  5. [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 396. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

Michael Charles Butler Johnson1

M, #280340
Last Edited=17 Apr 2008
     Michael Charles Butler Johnson married Evelyn Hamilton Bentink Martin Ackers, daughter of Charles Penryn Ackers, before 1968.1


  1. [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1349. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]