Social Victorians/People/Ampthill

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Also Known As[edit | edit source]

  • Family name: Russell
  • Oliver (Arthur Oliver) Villiers Russell or Dick[1] (Arthur Oliver) Villiers Russell
  • Baron Ampthill
    • Odo William Leopold Russell, 1st Baron (11 March 1881 – 25 August 1884)[2]
    • Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron (25 August 1884 – 7 July 1935)
  • Baroness Ampthill
    • Emily Theresa Villiers Russell (1881 – 22 February 1927)[3]
    • Margaret Lygon (25 August 1884 – 12 December 1957)[4]

Acquaintances, Friends and Enemies[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1863 March 10, Lady Emily Theresa Villiers, daughter of the 4th Duke of Clarendon, was a bridesmaid for Alexandra, Princess of Wales at her wedding.[5]

1868 May 5, Odo Russell and Emily Theresa Villiers married.[3]

1881 March 11, Odo Russell was created Baron Ampthill.[2]

1884 August 25, Oliver Russell became 2nd Baron Ampthill on the death of his father, Odo Russell; he was 15.

1885, Emily, Baroness Ampthill was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria.[5]

1891, Lady Margaret Lygon, daughter of the 6th Earl of Beauchamp, "first became friends" with Princess May of Teck.[6]

1894 October 6, Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill, and Margaret Lygon married.[4]

1897 July 2, Friday, Lord Ampthill; Lady Ampthill, accompanied by a Miss Russell; and Emily, Lady Ampthill attended the Duchess of Devonshire's fancy-dress ball.

Costume at the Duchess of Devonshire's 2 July 1897 Fancy-dress Ball[edit | edit source]

Black-and-white photograph of a standing man richly dressed in chain mail with a sword and helmet
Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill in costume as a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table. ©National Portrait Gallery, London.

Oliver Russell, Lord Ampthill[edit | edit source]

At the Duchess of Devonshire's fancy-dress ball, Oliver Russell, Lord Ampthill (at 77) was a knight of the Round Table.

  • "Lord Ampthill was a Knight of King Arthur, appearing in armour with white cloth surcoat, embroidered with three lions rampant."[7]:p. 3, Col. 4b
  • "Lord Ampthill (knight of King Arthur), white surcoat, with three lions rampant embroidered in scarlet, chain armour on the arms and legs."[8]:p. 34, Col. 1b
  • He was dressed as a "Knight of King Arthur, in armour, with white cloth surcoat embroidered with three lions rampant."[9]:p. 8, Col. 1B
  • He wore "white satin tabard, royal blue cloak embroidered in scarlet and gold over chain mail armour, with helmet, spurs, and two-handed sword complete, each with his own crest embroidered on his tabard."[10]:p. 5, Col. 7a

Lafayette's portrait of "(Arthur) Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill as a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table" in costume is photogravure #208 in the album presented to the Duchess of Devonshire and now in the National Portrait Gallery.[11] The printing on the portrait says, "Lord Ampthill."[12]

Margaret Russell, Lady Ampthill[edit | edit source]

Black-and-white photograph of a standing woman richly dressed in an historical costume with a crown and a veil
Margaret, Lady Ampthill as a Lady-in-Waiting at the Court of King Arthur. ©National Portrait Gallery, London.

Margaret Russell, Lady Ampthill (at 419) was also in attendance:

  • She was dressed as a "lady of the Court of King Arthur," wearing "white and silver brocade, over underdress of soft green Liberty satin; transparent cloak of white gauze."[8]:p. 42, Col. 3a
  • "Lady Ampthill, as Madame de Lamballe, Superintendent of the Household of Marie Antoinette, wore a costume of magnificent brocade of blue and gold, and an underdress of blue satin trimmed with real Louis XV. lace. Coiffure poudre, with feathers and diamonds."[7]:p. 3, Col. 3c

Lafayette's portrait of "Margaret (née Lygon), Lady Ampthill as a Lady-in-Waiting at the Court of King Arthur" in costume is photogravure #207 in the album presented to the Duchess of Devonshire and now in the National Portrait Gallery.[11] The printing on the portrait says, "Lady Ampthill."[13]

The Evening Standard is the only source that says Lady Ampthill was anything other than a lady of the Court of King Arthur. Also, the Gentlewoman says she was wearing white and silver over "soft green Liberty satin," but the Evening Standard says blue and gold with an underdress of blue satin. Lady Ampthill's portrait in the Album does not describe the colors of her costume, but its identification of her as a Lady of King Arthur's court lends support to the description in the Gentlewoman.

Miss Constance Russell[edit | edit source]

The Times lists a Miss Russell as accompanying Lady Ampthill.[14] This Miss Russell was Constance Russell, who would have been about 25 and unmarried. The Gentlewoman identifies her as Miss Constance Russell, though the other sources just say "Miss Russell."[8]:p. 41, Col. 1a

Miss Constance Russell (at 418) was dressed as a flower seller or "bouquetière, period Louis XV.," wearing a "jupon of rose moirė; robe à panier of striped pekin flowered white and pink."[8]:p. 41, Col. 1a

Black-and-white photograph of a standing woman richly dressed in an historical costume
Emily, Lady Ampthill in costume as the Princess de Lamballe. ©National Portrait Gallery, London.

Emily, Lady Ampthill[edit | edit source]

Madame la princesse de Lamballe

Emily, Lady Ampthill (at 420), Oliver Russell's as well as Constance and Augusta Russell's mother, was dressed as Madame de Lamballe, wearing a "costume of magnificent brocade of blue and gold; underdress of blue satin trimmed with real Louis XV. lace."[8]:p. 40, Col. 3c

Lafayette's portrait of "Emily Theresa (née Villiers), Lady Ampthill as the Princess de Lamballe" in costume is photogravure #263 in the album presented to the Duchess of Devonshire and now in the National Portrait Gallery.[11] The printing on the portrait says, "Emily, Lady Ampthill as The Princesse de Lamballe," with a Long S in Princesse.[15]

Executed in 1792 in the French Revolution, the Princess of Lamballe (8 September 1749 – 3 September 1792) — Princess Marie Thérèse Louise of Savoy — was a lady in waiting for Marie Antoinette. Often portrayed in pink and white, this portrait (left), of a Princess de Lamballe in her late 20s, is not the original for Lady Ampthill's portrait. It was painted by Antoine-François Callet in about 1776 and is in the collection at the Palace of Versailles.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

  • Nationality: British[16]

Family[edit | edit source]

  • Odo William Leopold Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill (20 February 1829 – 25 August 1884)[2]
  • Emily Theresa Villiers Russell, Baroness Ampthill (9 September 1843 – 22 February 1927)[3]
  1. Oliver (Arthur Oliver) Villiers Russell, later 2nd Baron Ampthill (19 February 1869 – 7 July 1935)
  2. Odo William Theopilus Villiers Russell (3 May 1870 – 23 December 1951)
  3. Constance Evelyn Villiers Russell (1 January 1872 – 27 September 1942)
  4. Victor Alexander Frederick Villiers Russell (27 June 1874 – 11 March 1965)
  5. Alexander Victor Frederick Villiers Russell (27 June 1874 – 3 January 1965)
  6. Augusta Louise Margaret Romola Villiers Russell (14 March 1879 – 15 November 1966)


  • Dick[1] (Arthur Oliver Villiers) Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill (19 February 1869 – 7 July 1935)[17]
  • Margaret Lygon, Baroness Ampthill (8 October 1874 – 12 December 1957)[4]
  1. John Hugo Russell, 3rd Baron Ampthill (4 October 1896 – 3 June 1973)
  2. Admiral Hon. Sir Guy Herbrand Edward Russell (14 April 1898 – 25 September 1977)
  3. Hon. Phyllis Margaret Russell (3 June 1900 – c. 24 May 1998)
  4. Hon. Edward Wriothesley Curzon Russell (2 June 1901 – 13 February 1982)
  5. Brigadier Hon. Leopold Oliver Russell (26 January 1907 – January 1988)

Notes and Questions[edit | edit source]

  1. Lady Blanche Gordon-Lennox was also dressed as Princess de Lamballe.
  2. According to the Morning Post and the Gentlewoman, the Knights of the Round Table were George, Baron Rodney; Hon. R. Grosvenor; Seymour Henry Bathurst, 7th Earl Bathurst; and Hon. Grosvenor Hood.[9]:8, Col. 1b [8]:40, Col. 1c According to the Daily News, the Knights of the Table Round were "Lord Ashburton, Lord Rodney, Lord Bathurst, Lord Ampthill, and Lord Beauchamp."[10]:5, Col. 7a George, Baron Rodney was 40 at the time of the ball; Seymour Henry Bathurst, 7th Earl Bathurst was nearly 33; Hon. Grosvenor Hood was 29;  Lord Francis Ashburton was nearly 31; Lord Ampthill was 28; Lord Beauchamp was 25.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Spy." Vanity Fair 21 March 1891.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Person Page". www.thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2021-05-29. https://www.thepeerage.com/p6855.htm#i68545.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Lady Emily Theresa Villiers." "Person Page". www.thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Lady Margaret Lygon." "Person Page". www.thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Emily Russell, Baroness Ampthill". Wikipedia. 2019-07-28. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Emily_Russell,_Baroness_Ampthill&oldid=908192831. 
  6. "Margaret Russell, Baroness Ampthill". Wikipedia. 2020-04-12. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Margaret_Russell,_Baroness_Ampthill&oldid=950512963. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 “The Ball at Devonshire House. Magnificent Spectacle. Description of the Dresses.” London Evening Standard 3 July 1897 Saturday: 3 [of 12], Cols. 1a–5b [of 7]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000183/18970703/015/0004.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 “The Duchess of Devonshire’s Ball.” The Gentlewoman 10 July 1897 Saturday: 32–42 [of 76], Cols. 1a–3c [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003340/18970710/155/0032.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Fancy Dress Ball at Devonshire House." Morning Post Saturday 3 July 1897: 7 [of 12], Col. 4a–8 Col. 2b. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18970703/054/0007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Duchess of Devonshire's Fancy Ball. A Brilliant Spectacle. Some of the Dresses." London Daily News Saturday 3 July 1897: 5 [of 10], Col. 6a–6, Col. 1b. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000051/18970703/024/0005 and https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/BL/0000051/18970703/024/0006.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball (1897): photogravures by Walker & Boutall after various photographers." 1899. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait-list.php?set=515.
  12. "Oliver Villiers Russell, Lord Ampthill." Diamond Jubilee Fancy Dress Ball. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw158571/Arthur-Oliver-Villiers-Russell-2nd-Baron-Ampthill-as-a-Knight-of-King-Arthurs-Round-Table.
  13. "Margaret, Lady Ampthill." Diamond Jubilee Fancy Dress Ball. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw158570/Margaret-ne-Lygon-Lady-Ampthill-as-a-Lady-in-Waiting-at-the-Court-of-King-Arthur.
  14. "Ball at Devonshire House." The Times Saturday 3 July 1897: 12, Cols. 1a–4c The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
  15. "Emily, Lady Ampthill as The Princesse de Lamballe." Diamond Jubilee Fancy Dress Ball. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw158626/Emily-Theresa-ne-Villiers-Lady-Ampthill-as-the-Princess-de-Lamballe.
  16. "Odo Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill". Wikipedia. 2020-06-17. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Odo_Russell,_1st_Baron_Ampthill&oldid=963026369. 
  17. "Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill". Wikipedia. 2020-07-28. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oliver_Russell,_2nd_Baron_Ampthill&oldid=969965884.