Amalie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth

Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth (1 April 1704–19 October 1765) was a mistress of George II of Great Britain.

Early life

Born Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wendt, she was the daughter of Johann Franz Dietrich von Wendt, a general in the Hanoverian army, and his wife, Friderike Charlotte "née" von dem Bussche. Her grandmother Maria was probably the first mistress of George I in the 1670s, and her father's correspondence with Ernest Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, the king's brother, has been interpreted as evidence of a homosexual relationship. In 1727, Amalie married Gottlieb Adam von Wallmoden (d. 1752), Oberhauptmann (county administrator) of Calenberg in Hanover and a member of the Wallmoden family.

Royal affair

In 1735, Amalie met George II on one of his visits to Hanover, and they began a love affair. According to Lord Hervey, the king sent a detailed account of the progress of the relationship to Queen Caroline. Reports of Amalie alarmed the queen, who believed a royal mistress could threaten her influence over her husband. Robert Walpole was also concerned due to the belief that Amalie would cause the king to remain in Hanover and reduce the effectiveness of the British government. During the king's stay in Hanover, Amalie gave birth to Johann Ludwig, Graf von Wallmoden-Gimborn (22 April 1736-10 October 1811), who was believed to be the king's but was not acknowledged as such.

Arrival in Britain

Following the queen's death in 1737, Walpole was convinced that only Amalie could maintain the king's health and Walpole probably preferred a Hanoverian mistress than a British one, who might influence the king against his ministers. The king's relationship with the Countess of Deloraine ceased and Amalie came to London with the king in 1738 and the affair became public knowledge. Rumours spread that she was a Catholic and also that the king hung a portrait of her opposite the foot of his bed.

Amalie moved into apartments at St James's Palace and Kensington Palace and was accompanied by her husband, but with the king requiring her to act as the king's hostess at court. She was naturalised in February 1740, created Countess of Yarmouth for life a month later and was divorced from her husband later that year and awarded a pension of £4000 from Irish revenues.

Politics

For the first few years as royal mistress, Lady Yarmouth stayed out of politics but was relied upon by ministers to introduce the king to ideas that he might have resisted. However, she did take a role in the creation of peerages and was alleged to have been allocated the fees for the creations of 1741. Her influence made her a more effective political mistress than her predecessor, the Countess of Suffolk.

In the 1740s, the Earl of Chesterfield thought he could strengthen his position in Henry Pelham's cabinet via Lady Yarmouth, but Lady Yarmouth was unimpressed and did not intercede, and he was eased out office in 1748. She was more supportive of the Duke of Newcastle and when he sought to have the Duke of Bedford removed as a Secretary of State in 1750, she helped persuade the king that the latter was a liability to the administration and Bedford resigned a year later. Her alliance with Newcastle has been credited with persuading the king to remain faithful to the Pitt–Newcastle ministry formed in 1757, despite the king's hatred of Pitt.

During the political turmoil of the 1750s, Lady Yarmouth's influence was useful even to members of the royal family. After the Duke of Cumberland had capitulated to the French at Klosterzeven in 1757, he asked Lady Yarmouth to inform the king of his intention to resign his offices. She was credited by Horace Walpole with persuading the king to support a 'jubilee masquerade in the Venetian manner' at Ranelagh Gardens as part of the celebrations of the end of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1749, but was generally content with the sombre routine of the widowed king's court.

Final years

On the death of the king in 1760, she was left £10,000 by him and remained in Britain at first and spent the summer of 1761 with the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle. She later returned to Hanover where she died of breast cancer in 1765.

References

* [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8839 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amalie von Wallmoden — Porträt von James Bowles: Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden, um 1750 Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth, gebürtiger Name Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wendt (* 1. April 1704 in Hannover; † 19. Oktober 1765 ebendort) war eine deutsche Adlige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden — Porträt von James Bowles: Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden, um 1750 Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth, gebürtiger Name Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wendt (* 1. April 1704 in Hannover; † 19. Oktober 1765 ebendort) war eine deutsche Adlige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn — als Freund italienischer Kunst Reichsgraf Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden Gimborn (* 22. April 1736 in Hannover; † 10. Oktober 1811 ebenda) war ein kurhannoverscher Generalleutnant und Kunstsammler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amalie — is a feminine given name, and may refer to:* Adelheid Amalie Gallitzin (1748 1806), Russian Roman Catholic * Amalie, Princess of Saxony (1794 1870), German composer * Amalie Auguste of Bavaria (1801 1877), Princess of Bavaria and Queen of Saxony… …   Wikipedia

  • Wallmoden-Gimborn — Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden Gimborn als Freund italienischer Kunst Reichsgraf Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden Gimborn (* 22. April 1736 in Hannover; † 10. Oktober 1811 ebenda) war ein kurhannoverscher Generalleutnant und Kunstsammler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Earl of Yarmouth — Robert Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth. Earl of Yarmouth is a title that has been created three time in British history, once in the Peerage of England and twice in the Peerage of Great Britain. The first creation came in the Peerage of England in… …   Wikipedia

  • Amelia Sophie von Großbritannien, Irland und Hannover — Prinzessin Amelia Sophie, um 1738 Amelia Sophie Eleonore von Großbritannien (* 30. Maijul./ 10. Juni 1711greg. in Herrenhausen, Hannover; † 31. Oktober 1786 in S …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Caroline of Ansbach — Queen Caroline, painted by Jacopo Amigoni in 1735 Queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland …   Wikipedia

  • List of breast cancer patients according to survival status — This list of notable breast cancer patients includes people who made significant contributions to their chosen field and who were diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives, as confirmed by public information.According to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Pre-1876 Life Peerages — This is a list of Life Peerages created prior to the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 and the Life Peerages Act 1958.Richard II (1377 1399)*1377 ndash; Guichard d Angle, Earl of Huntingdon *1385 ndash; Robert de Vere, Marquess of Dublin **1386… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”