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Caroline Lennox: Wikis

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Lady Fox as painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1757-58.

Georgiana Caroline Fox, 1st Baroness Holland of Holland (27 March 1723 – 24 July 1774), known as Lady Caroline Lennox before 1744 and as Lady Caroline Fox from 1744 to 1762, was the eldest of the Lennox Sisters, immortalised in Stella Tillyard's book, Aristocrats, and the television series based on it.

The Lennox sisters were daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, a legitimate descendant of an illegitimate son of King Charles II of England. In 1744, Lady Caroline eloped with Henry Fox, a politician who was eighteen years her senior. Though her parents disapproved of the marriage, it proved a very happy one. The couple had four sons, including the great Whig politician, Charles James Fox and the general Henry Edward Fox. Their home, Holland House, Kensington was a social and political gathering place.

Lady Caroline's favorite sister, Emily Lennox, married and went to live in Ireland in 1747. In 1750 and 1751, the Lennox sisters' parents died in quick succession, leaving three younger daughters, Louisa, Sarah, and Cecilia, aged eight, six, and one. In his will, the 2nd Duke of Richmond, remembering Lady Caroline's reckless elopement, passed over her and instructed that his three youngest daughters be entrusted to the care of their sister Emily and her husband, James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare.[citation needed] Lady Caroline resented this slight but hoped to redeem herself by presenting her younger sisters at court and helping them make good matches.[citation needed] The Kildares' allegations that the Foxes were responsible for Lady Sarah Lennox's embarrassing rejection by the young King George III, as well as her disastrous marriage to Sir Charles Bunbury soon afterwards, provoked a quarrel between the sisters that was not healed until shortly before Lady Caroline's death.[citation needed]

In 1762, George III raised Caroline to the Peerage as Baroness Holland of Holland and her husband was created Baron Holland of Foxley less than a year later. Caroline's spoiled sons, especially Stephen, the eldest, caused her much embarrassment and distress by gambling and falling into debt. She was already suffering from a mysterious and painful illness when her husband, who had suffered a stroke, died. She followed within a short time.

Ancestry

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
New creation
Baroness Holland
1762–1774
Succeeded by
Stephen Fox

References

Tillyard, Stella. Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832. London: Chatto & Windus, 1994.

Trivia

In 1999, a 6-part miniseries based on the lives of Caroline Lennox and her sisters aired in the U.K. It was called Aristocrats. [1]

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