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Anna WINGATE -Governess

Contents of this page: [Who was she?] [Links] [Transcript] [Notes]

Who was she?

The family history extract linked below has been kindly contributed by Jon C. McKenzie who is a descendant of Ann.  The story is fascinating and we have very little idea who Ann WINGATE was or what happened to her after 1780 when she gave birth to the illegitimate daughter of Hugh Edward, eldest son of the fourth Lord Clifford.  The Cliffords of Chudleigh are a well-known Devonshire Roman Catholic family and they still live in the house at Ugbrooke where Ann had the "illicit connexion" with the future fifth Lord Clifford.

To find out more read What Happened to Ann Wingate? by Jon C. McKenzie


The quotation below is taken from the book Cliffordiana by George Oliver, printed by T. Howe, High Street, Exeter c. 1822.  The Cliffords of Chudleigh were a Roman Catholic family and George Oliver was their chaplain.  He wrote widely, often under the pen-name 'Curiosus', mostly on local history subjects.  This particular book traces the genealogy of the Clifford family from Richard, Duke of Normandy, and is a flattering account of the family doings - especially of the then current Lord Clifford, his elder brother (the fifth Lord Hugh above) and his father.   From the same book (p.50) we learn that the fifth Lord Hugh was born at "10, P.M. 1 July, 1756, . . . and baptized the following day.


In this noble Lord were combined extraordinary beauty of person and fascinating urbanity of manners.  On 2 May 1780, he married Apollonia, daughter and co-heiress of Marmaduke, the 5th Lord Langdale, but left no issue [See my Note below].  After a long and lingering illness, he expired in the bloom of life, at Munich on 15 January, 1793.  The painful and unwearied assiduity of his Lady in rendering those endearing attentions, which no wealth can purchase or reward, is happily described by his chaplain, the Rev. Joseph Reeve in the Poem intitled "Ugbrooke Park".

She survived her Lord twenty-two years, and dying 31 December, 1815, was buried in Hazlewood Church, near Leeds.  At the time of her death she was sixty years old.  Probably she chose this place for here burial, as the proprietor of the Church and Hazlewood Hall, Sir Thomas Vavassour, Bart., was son of Dorothy, eldest daughter of Lord Langdale.|| Her epitaph is

Memorić Sacrum
Nobilissimć Apollonić Dominć Clifford
Quć pridie Kal. Januarii 1816
In domino pič quievit
Eleemosynas ilius enarrabunt

To the memory of her honoured husband she had erected a Monument in the Chapel of the Jesuits' College at Munich, with the following Inscription from the pen of his confidential friend, Rev. Hermen Kemper, S.J.

Hic jacet
Hugo Clifford
Baro Clifford de Chudleigh
Ex antiquissimâ Prosapiâ
Par Anglić, &c.
Fidem Catholicam a piis Parentibus acceptam
Constanter tenuit, opibus suffulsit
Virtutibus ornavit
Sibi devinxit
Pietate, Morum Integritate, Patientiâ invictâ;
Obsequio, Munificentiâ, Indolis Suavitate.
Ex Italiâ in Patriam tendens
Viribus exhaustis
Pič et placidč Monachii animam
Creatori reddidit
Ćtatis suć XXXVII
Marmaduci Baronis de Langdale Filia
Marito dilectissimo usque ad extremum spiritum
Comes Individua
Mćrens Posuit.

+ Arms of Langdale - Sable, A Chevron between three Etoiles Argent

|| The title of Lord Langdale became extinct in 1777.  The Creation is dated 10 Charles II."


. . . but left no issue

The account above is not strictly true.  Hugh, the fifth Lord Chudleigh, did indeed leave no legitimate issue but he did have an illegitimate daughter, Mary Warner CLIFFORD, by a governess, Anna WINGATE.

In his will, he calls Apollonia his “dear and lawful wife”. This unusual wording suggests that the legality of the marriage could have been called into question at some time.  Perhaps he went through some form of clandestine marriage with someone else at some point (Ann?). Perhaps in a Catholic ceremony? Catholic marriages were not recognised in law at that time and clandestine marriages - although outlawed by the Hardwicke 1754 Marriage Act - were still taking place.  The Prince Regent (future King George IV) who married the Catholic, Mrs. Fitzherbert, in 1785 being a case in point.


Read Jon McKenzie's account:  What happened to Ann Wingate?

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