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Bennett, Sarah (1797–1861), governess, was born at Spalding, Lincolnshire, on 4 March 1797; her mother was the daughter of a tradesman, her father an architect and builder. Her father died aged thirty-eight, leaving a family of eight children and a ruined business. Sarah...

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Burney, Frances (1776–1828), governess and poet, was born in London in January 1776, the fourth child and second daughter of cousins Esther (Hetty) Burney (1749–1832) and Charles Rousseau Burney (1747–1819), and niece of the novelist and diarist Frances Burney, Madame D'Arblay. Her parents were both talented musicians: ...

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Crawford [married name Buthlay], Marion Kirk [called Crawfie] (1909–1988), royal governess and author, was born on 5 June 1909 at Woodside Cottage, near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, the daughter of John Inglis Crawford of Earlston, Ayrshire, and his wife, Margaret (later Mrs Robert Kirk)...

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Davies, Catherine (b. 1773, d. in or after 1841), governess and author, was born at Beaumaris, Anglesey, one of a family of thirty-three children of a twice-married father. At fifteen she went to Liverpool to work in a merchant's family and subsequently to ...

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Finch [née Fermor], Lady Charlotte (1725–1813), royal governess, was born on 14 February 1725, the second daughter in the family of ten children of Thomas Fermor, first earl of Pomfret (1698–1753), courtier, of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, and Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys (1698–1761), letter writer and diarist [...

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Lady Charlotte Finch (1725–1813) by William Hopkins, 1787 © Crown copyright in photograph: UK Government Art Collection

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Fordyce [née Cumming], Henrietta (1734–1823), governess, was born in Scotland, lost her father at an early age, and was educated at home by her mother. From the age of twelve, when the death of her mother left her orphaned (and 'tocherless' without a dowry; ...

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La Fite, Marie Elisabeth de [née Marie Elisabeth le Boué] (1737–1794), author, translator, and governess, was born on 21 August 1737 in Hamburg (or perhaps Altona), the daughter of Alexander le Boué, merchant, and his wife, Marie Elisabeth, née Cottin. Both parents originated from the ...

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Lehzen, (Johanna Clara) Louise, Baroness Lehzen in the Hanoverian nobility (1784–1870), royal governess, was born on 3 October 1784 in Hanover, among the younger of the seven daughters and two sons of Joachim Friedrich Lehzen, a Lutheran pastor, and his wife, Melusine Palm...

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(Johanna Clara) Louise Lehzen, Baroness Lehzen in the Hanoverian nobility (1784–1870) by Princess Victoria, 1833 The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II