"Mr. Manners kept a gambling house and her family disapproved very much of the marriage.
She (Louisa) used to meet him inside the avenues [at Ham House] up the Melancholy Walk - by the door in the wall. But one day she went outside the wall and he got hold of the key and refused to give it back to her and swept her off to Gretna Green where they were married. "
(From the "Gossip Notes" of Ada Tollemache - 4th. Lady Sudeley)
"Her parents afterwards insisted on her being married at St. James' Piccadilly."
Merlin, present (7th) Lord Sudeley writes:
"Five years after his entry into the House of Commons, in 1868, Charles Hanbury-Tracy married Ada, daughter of Frederick Tollemache, who was a younger brother of the Earl of Dysart at Ham House near Richmond in Surrey, now open to the public, and well known for its ornate Baroque interior, given to it by Elizabeth, Countess of Dysarts second husband the Duke of Lauderdale, member of Charles IIs Cabal and virtual ruler of Scotland for twenty years after the Restoration.
In the 18th.century, Lord Dysarts son and heir married Horace Walpoles niece Charlotte. He approached his father to say that on getting married he needed more money, to which Dysart replied he had none to give, but plenty to lend at a low rate of interest. A later Lord Dysart abandoned by his wife said he did not mind her going, but had noticed she did not say good-bye, which was a breach of etiquette."
Site Note - In August 2003, Susan F. Tollemache - who descends from the second marriage of the Reverend Ralph Tollemache - wrote:
"My cousin, Theodora Astley Cooper, daughter of Lyonesse Tollemache, was the last child to be born in Ham House - in April 1899. Her father was Personal Assistant to the last Earl to live there. He was the one who remarked about his wife's departure that "I did not so mind her going but wished she'd said goodbye." He was a man who found personal relationships difficult but could quieten a bucking horse or fierce dog with the touch of his hand and the words he uttered.
My brother (Peter) told me that Theodora had told him that the Earl had once gone into a stable where a stallion had gone berserk and with the touch of his hand on the stallion's neck had stopped its roaring and bucking."
Susan adds that she inherited a copy of this Valentine Greene mezzotint engraving, of Louisa Manners from Theodora Astley Cooper. The original is described in the 19th century book - Ham House: it's History & Treasures - thus: "Lady Louisa was a beautiful woman. A full length portrait of her was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1779, and exibited in the same year. She is represented in a white dress; one hand holds the end of a Persian sash, which is twisted around her waist, the other hand supports her cheek and her elbow rests on a pedestal. The mezzotint engraving was excuted by Valentine Greene, and is 23 1/2 inches long by 15 inches wide; a proof of this was sold at Christie's in 1887 for £102."
The second image of Louisa Manners is adapted from an original painting by Hoppner (1758-1810) (courtesy Alan Tollemache) of which Susan has a Charles Turner engraving.
In the painting, Louisa is described as being in "A peasant or woodland dress - that is a striped bodice cut open in front, a dark cloak thrown back and a straw hat becomingly tied under the chin." The sitter's pose is recorded as: "Lady Louisa has raised one bare arm, so as to touch with her hand the bunch of ribbons which fasten her bodice, the other arm hangs by her side."
"The original was owned by the Marchioness of Ailsbury and, after the death of her only son - to whom she had left it - it was sold for £1450. A copy is at Ham House."
Lord Sudeley continues - "4th. Lady Sudeleys uncle, Lord Dysart, lived as a hermit in two rooms in the Strand, reciting Byron to himself, his meals served through a trap door; so she was brought up at Ham by her father and uncle, Frederick and Algernon Tollemache, who, in their frugality refused any fires, so their mother chided them gently, if they caught cold, of dissipating money in doctors fees.
Frederick Tollemache was an MP for many years. Algernon Tollemache accumulated a large fortune of £815,000 out of lending money to settlers in New Zealand, making many of them into minor gentry; and on his death in 1892, one year before 4th. Lord Sudeleys bankruptcy, left half of it to his niece Ada Sudeley.
Let me leave a vignette of how she appeared to those of my family who knew her when they were children. Like most of her generation she modelled herself on Queen Victoria, being dressed in black; and so strict was the attention her generation gave to deportment she did not seem to walk at all, but to glide on wheels. She gave her husband many children, three sons including my grandfather, and five daughters. Amongst these, Aunt Alice married into the Keppel family, Earls of Albemarle, descended from William IIIs boyfriend. Aunt Eva married into the Anstruthers, baronets of Balcaskie. Their illustrious grand-daughter Joyce, under the pen name Jan Struther, wrote the celebrated book, Mrs Miniver, which in its illustration of the English character helped to bring America into the war. President Roosevelt said that in its contribution to the war it was the equivalent of 14 battleships.
After the bankruptcy in 1893, when 4th. Lord Sudeley lost everything and much of 4th. Lady Sudeleys fortune disappeared under her Guarantee, they retired to Ormeley Lodge near Ham, till recently the home of the financier Sir James Goldsmith. Brought up as she had been at Ham, 4th. Lady Sudely looked on Ormeley as a villa and the atmosphere there was not happy."