Welcome back scandal-seekers! I bet you all thought Id forgotten about our favorite posts. Not at all! It just takes a bit more digging and the scandals aren’t half as juicy as three-somes and madness and all that other “truth is stranger than fiction” stories.
But today I have a story that will be recognizable to readers and writers of historical romance. the aristocrat marrying the commoner. the rags-to riches story.
Who doesn’t love that? Don’t we all all want to think that true love will conquer all, and that it was ll about love?
Today we will talk about Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth, who was to supposed to become the Marquess of Bath. I will give you a bit of a background on his father. The Marquess and his wife had 11 children. (Obviously they got along well enough in the marriage bed). While several of their daughters married well, their sons gave them no end of trouble. Aside from the heir, Thomas, there were two brothers who, for want of a better word in our regency speak, were scoundrels. They gambled and drank away their inheritance, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds. It became so bad that their father the Marquess refused to pay their debts and the brothers fled England. One went to either America or Canada, one to maybe Australia. It was never known.
Viscount Weymouth himself was a drinker and gambler, but that wasn’t what brought him such disfavor with his father. No, it was the fact that he eloped with the beautiful daughter of his father’s toll-keeper, a commoner.
His father was outraged and tried everything possible to change his mind about his marriage. Of course he couldn’t disinherit him outright, but he could do away with all the unentailed properties. The Marquess tried to bribe him with the amount of money his inheritance was worth to give up his title, when it became obvious he wouldn’t give up his wife.
All to no avail. The Viscount and his wife moved to Italy and he set about waiting for his father to die, so he could inherit. Occasionally they would write the sniping or nasty letter to one another, but other than that, there was no communication between the two. His mother, the marchioness, came to visit and indicated acceptance of the marriage. She died early, however and his father refused his wife’s dying wish-to acknowledge or accept his son’s marriage.
Before she died she wrote to her husband, pleading with him to reconcile:
“Accept my grateful thanks for all the kindness and happiness you have bestowed on me for so many years, which has been returned by the warmest affection that one mortal is capable of for another…Talk to our children of your interests, of your affairs, and try to get reacquainted with theirs. Be their friend, as well as their respected father …”
The viscount remained in Italy, waiting for his father to die. He and his wife had no children.
But alas, fate would play a cruel trick, for the father turned out to be even more stubborn in life than the son. At the age of 41, Viscount Weymouth died. Not five weeks later, his father the Marquess died, at the age of 74. The viscount’s wife did not have a child and she later married an Italian Count.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any pictures or painting of the viscount or his wife