William Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon


William Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon

William "Kitty" Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon (c. 1768 - May 26, 1835), was the youngest son of William Courtenay, ("de jure" 8th Earl of Devon) 2nd Viscount Courtenay and his wife Frances Clack. He was baptized on August 30, 1768.

Born into a family of eight sisters, William Courtenay was better known as "Kitty" Courtenay to family and friends. The first years of his life were relatively peaceful. At the age of ten, he met William Beckford, and fell in love with him.

William Courtenay inherited the title of 3rd Viscount Courtenay of Powderham. Furthermore, he also retrospectively revived the title of Earl of Devon in 1831 for the Courtenay family, the title having been dormant since 1556.

With his new title, he led an excessively flamboyant lifestyle. He was responsible for the addition of a new Music Room in the Powderham Castle, designed by James Wyatt, which included a carpet made by the newly formed Axminster Carpet Company. He was also a homosexual and lived in the United States where he owned a property on the Hudson River in New York, and later in Paris.

He did not marry due to his sexual orientation, and thus fathered no known children. He died on May 26, 1835 at age 66 in Paris, France due to natural causes. He was loved by his tenants, who insisted that he be buried in stately fashion. He was buried on June 12 1835 in Powderham.


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