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by this site editor.)
Dysart Arms: Pearl, a fret diamond. Crest: on a wreath, a nag's head, coupled pearl, between two wings erect topaz. Supporters: two antelope proper, attired and unguled topaz. Motto: confido conquiesco "I trust, I am content" For family connection see the Anstruther/Hanbury-Tracy line from Jean Dionis Anstruther or go to The Hastings Legacy.
Writing in August 2003, Susan F. Tollemache offers the following notes gleaned from family information and from the book, 'Ham House its History Art &Treasures' by Mrs. Charles Roundell; 1904, Volume II.:- (If anyone has Volume I, Susan would like to know about it!)
Lionel, third Earl of Dysart, was succeeded in 1727 by his grandson, Lionel, son of Lionel, Lord Huntingtower, who died in 1712. In July, 1729, the fourth Earl of Dysart married Grace Carteret, the eldest daughter of John, Lord Carteret, afterwards first Earl Granville. Grace Carteret was named after her grandmother, Lady Grace Granville, daughter of John, Earl of Bath. On the death of Lord Bath's only son, his daughter succeeded to his great Bath estates and she was - when still quite a child - formally married to the second Lord Carteret who was only a little boy. This was done in order to secure the possessions of the Bath family. After the formal contract, the children were under the charge of their respective parents till they grew up. Such contracts - not unknown in England - were of frequent occurence in France, but they were discontinued shortly after this instance.
The second Lord Carteret died when he was only twenty-six and in 1714 his widow was created Viscountess Carteret and Countess Granville in her own right. Lady Granville, who is called 'The Dragon' in the correspondence of the time, lived to be ninety so that her son, Lord Carteret, was fifty-four when, in 1744, he succeeded to her title.
The mother of Grace Carteret was Frances Worsley, daughter of Sir Robert Worsley, of Appuldercombe - Isle of Wight. She was a beautiful woman and very intellectual, becoming, in her later life the correspondent of Dean Swift. Lady Carteret was married before she was seventeen and portraits of her and her husband - painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller - are in the yellow satin room at Ham House. In 1724, Lord Carteret was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a post which he held for six years. His daughter Grace was eleven years old when she accompanied him to Dublin and her childish beauty was the subject of several Irish Poems.
Click on the Kneller self-portrait to access details of his potential as a pivot in linking a number of families of this era - including various branches of the Smith/Smyth(e) family.
A relative to Lord Carteret - Mrs Delaney - wrote a letter on 1st of August, 1729 in which she mentions the engagement of her young cousin, Grace Carteret, to Lord Dysart. Mrs. Delaney says: - "I went home with Lady Carteret from the Drawing room in hopes of seeing the lovers together, but my Lord Dysart went that morning to his estate in the country and does not return until next Sunday. Miss Carteret behaves herself very well in the affair, and looks neither grave nor merry, though she has no reason to be displeased, and I believe at sixteen is more transported with the prospect than after they have attained a score of years. She has a better chance of being happy than most young ladies in her station because her father and mother are so indulgent to her humour that (although they have as much ambition as most people), yet they would not force her inclinations, which was part of the answer Miss Carteret made Lord Dysart when he told her that notwithstanding my Lord and Lady Carteret's goodness to him and the encouragement they gave him, he should not proceed if she did not approve of him ..... I have not yet seen my Lord Dysart and Miss Carteret: he is very assidious, and every day more enamoured."
The two younger sisters of Lady Dysart, Louisa and Georgina Carolina (the Godchild of the King and Queen), married in 1733. Louisa Carteret married Thomas, second Viscount Weymouth, and Georgina Carolina married the Honble. John Spencer, brother of Charles, third Duke of Malbrough. Her only child was the first Earl Spencer. Mrs. Delaney writes of Mrs. Spencer's marriage in February, 1733: "Our cousins are now growing the most coniderable in the kingdom ... Everybody at the wedding was magnificent: Lady Dysart white and purple and silver; Lady Weymouth blue and silver." On the occasion of Queen Caroline's Birthday Drawing-room a few weeks after Mrs. Spencer's marriage, Mrs. Delaney begins a letter by praising Lady Carteret's "new Brussels head" (the high headdress of lace then fashionable) and continues by saying that Lady Carteret's three married daughters were "most completely dressed, and three very fine figures they were, though very different beauties. Lady Dysart's face is handsome as ever, ... her clothes were of pink amazine, (a silken material with silver threads woven into it) trimmed with silver."
In 1734, Lady Carteret and her daughters were confined within a few weeks of each other and they narrowly escaped a serious accident. Mrs. Delaney writes on 28th of March: "Last Monday, Lady Carteret and her daughters Dysart and Weymouth were going into the city when the coach over turned most violently: never were three women more frightened or with more reason. No harm has come of it, but considering the condition of the ladies, it was a most hazardous accident."
Sir Lionel Talmash, of Bentley, married Ann of Helmingham, Helmingham Hall Suffolk. Their son John Talmash married Ann Louth, daughter of Roger Louth of Santry, Huntingdon, by whom he had five sons and four daughters.
His heir, Lionel Talmash was Sheriff in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the 4th (1513) and 8th (1517) years of the reign of Henry VIII. Lionel married Edith de Joice, of Suffolk. He died in 1553.
Their son, Sir Lionel Talmash (d. 1592) was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. He married Dorothy Wentworth.
Their son, Sir Lionel Talmash was the Sheriff of Norfork and Suffolk. He married Susanna Jermyn, daughter of Sir Ambrose Jermyn, of Rushbrook.
Their son Sir Lionel Talmash was created baronet in 1611. He married Catherine Cromwell, daughter of Lord Henry Cromwell of Ockham and Lady Mary Powlet, daughter of the Marquis of Winchester and his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of the 2nd Lord Willoughby. Note: Lord Henry Cromwell was the father of Lord Edward Cromwell - a family related to Smith/Smyth/e lines treated on this site.
See also this link where musician and music historian Brian Payne states:-
"Catherine Cromwell married Sir Lionel, Lord Tollemache of Helmingham, Suffolk, Godson to Queen Elizabeth and ancestor by Catherine to the Earls of Dysart. They had four children, Anne, Mary, Catherine and Lionel. While on a Royal progress Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Helmingham by Lady Catherine and her husband. During the entertainments the Queen presented Lord Tollemache with her Orpharion. This beautiful musical instrument, made for the Queen by John Rose (1580), has on the back of it a large and very elaborate piece of decorative carving depicting a scallop shell. The Orpharion is a wire strung, scalloped-shaped instrument often mentioned as an alternative to the Lute, and the instrument presented to Lord Tollemache is one of only two original surviving Orpharions."
Their son, Sir Lionel Talmash, 2nd. Bt., married Elizabeth Stanhope, daughter of John Lord Stanhope of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Their son, Sir Lionel Talmash, 3rd Bt., of Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, had seven sisters. In 1648 he married Elizabeth Murray, the daughter of William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart, (cadet branch of the house of Tullibardine - letters patent III Charles II) and Catherine Bruce, daughter of Col. Norman Bruce. William Murray was Secretary of State for Scotland, and died in 1655. Lionel (3rd. Bt.) Talmash had eleven children, but only five survived to adulthood. The 3rd. Bt. died in 1669. A widowed Elizabeth Murray assumed the title Countess of Dysart in 1670. She married John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale and died in 1697.
Elizabeth Murray married Sir Lionel Tollemache of Helmingham in Suffolk in 1648 and the two were leading lights in the Society of the Sealed Knot. Elizabeth was also rumoured to have been on intimate terms with Cromwell during the Protectorate - a rumour not currently supported. She was widowed and after the Restoration, Charles II made her Countess of Dysart in her own right. In 1672 she married the former Scottish covenanter turned Royalist, John Maitland who, in 1673, was made Duke of Lauderdale and later became a member of the CABAL. Ham House, in Surrey, was originally built in 1610 for Sir Thomas Vavasour.
Extract from In Pursuit of Pleasure by Amanda Vickery (Part One: The Comforts of Home)
"A wealthier society was one that could afford to consume goods and leisure on an unprecedented scale. The number of consumers more than trebled as population growth took off from the mid-eighteenth century, but they also became better off, at almost every social level. European visitors considered Britain a remarkably affluent society, but it was also a profoundly unequal society. The landed nobility dominated the social pyramid, despite their small numbers. In England and Wales, the 160 peers of 1688 had risen to some 350 by 1832. Most of this happy few were extraordinarily rich and therefore had a disproportionate impact on the aesthetic and cultural life of the nation. They could afford to travel their country and their continent, developing their taste, collecting art works, inventions and antiquities as they went. They built, rebuilt and refurnished enormous houses in London and the countryside that were often the equal of royal palaces in the smaller European states.
History has tended to credit Dukes, Viscounts and Lords with all the planning, commissioning and collecting that went into the creation of pleasure palaces and stately homes, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that ladies had long been active as patrons of architecture, art and design. Those who left the strongest mark were usually heiresses or widows, who had control of their own capital and could be named outright on deeds and bills. Such a woman was the doughty Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, who after the death of her fourth husband in 1590, built Hardwick Hall with her coronet and initials boldly carved into the parapet. But even in marriage, there were those aristocratic ladies who managed to assert their own needs, desires and taste, through a combination of will, sexual attractiveness and most importantly personal wealth.
The formidable Elizabeth Dysart (c.1626-1698), found marriage no barrier to her own ambitions. With her second husband the Duke of Lauderdale, she presided over the redecoration of Ham House, in Surrey in the 1670s. Elizabeth was nobody's fool, but was not exactly a feminist heroine either. She had started her relationship with the ruthless Earl of Lauderdale before the death of her first husband and the demise of Lauderdale's wife. But once the death-bed prayers were said, she wasted no time. In the words of an observer 'Lady Dysart had such an ascendant over his [Lauderdale's] affections that neither her age, nor his affairs, nor yet the clamour of his friends and the people, more urgent than both of these, could divert him from marrying her within six weeks of his lady's decease.'
Theirs was a power union. Elizabeth had been active in the secret sealed knot society, which helped restore King Charles II, and her husband was a member of the Cabal Ministry, so they sat at the inner circle of Restoration court. Clearly they relished their political prominence and lived accordingly. Burnet notes that 'they lived at a vast rate, but she set everything to sale to raise money, carrying herself with a haughtiness that would have been shocking in a queen.' Ham was remodelled as a spectacular backdrop to the marriage in the height of fashionable taste (though it was only one of their several houses including one in Westminster, an apartment in Windsor Castle, a wing of Holyrood house, Thirlestane Castle and a series of other residences in Scotland). The architect William Samwell designed the enlargements, but it is the sumptuousness of the decoration that takes the breath away.
Ham is luxurious even by the standards of the Restoration court, 'furnished like a Great Prince's', in John Evelyn's description, but then Elizabeth Dysart was ambitious in all things. Having visited Paris in the 1670s, Elizabeth knew baroque splendour when she saw it. The Duke and Duchess ordered an apartment each, with separate bedroom, dressing rooms and closet leading off each other. They commissioned Dutch and English craftsmen to make furniture, had the ceilings and panels painted by Italian and Dutch painters and bought objets de luxe like her favourite Antwerp cabinet purchased in Amsterdam. The Duchess set high standards of comfort and had many closets double-glazed. Eventually, she even took over her husband's larger wing, so that she could build her own private bathroom beneath. There she soaked, steamed and wrapped herself in perfumed towels like a sultan's bride.
For a woman like Elizabeth Dysart, home was a stage for the display of luxury and power. Yet it was also a place of privacy and retreat, where on retiring to her bathroom or her inner closet, she could think, read or just steam, away from the public gaze. With this sort of wealth, home for noblewomen was a power-base and stronghold not a prison. And as the eighteenth century progressed, there were no shortage of aristocratic consumers seeking to patronise artists and artisans, shopkeepers and architects. Some bought old masters, others collected tropical plants, most wanted to reshape the local landscape with the help of the leading designers William Kent, Capability Brown or Humphry Repton. Moreover noblewomen were still determined to put a feminine stamp on their surroundings. Lady Shelburne, for instance, found no difficulty in dominating Robert Adam over the decoration of Shelburne House. 'With Mr Adam I consulted on the furniture for our painted antechamber, and determined that it should be pea green and stain spotted with white and trimmed with a pink and white fringe, it was entirely my own thought and met with his entire approbation.' Exercising personal taste over the domestic sphere was recognised as an elite pleasure for women as well as men. But the market for new goods and leisure was now reaching far beyond a few hundred titled families, and shaping the domestic interior was a pleasure extended to thousands more women over the course of the eighteenth century."