Henrietta Knight, Baroness Luxborough (1699–1756)

Author of Letters written by the late Right Honourable Lady Luxborough

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Henrietta Knight, née St. John, was the daughter of Henry, Viscount St. John, and his second wife Angelique Madeleine Pellisary. She was a younger half-sister of the influential politician Henry St. John, 1st Viscount Bolingroke. Henrietta was brought up in privilege and comfort at the family estate, Lydiard Park, near Swindon, North Wiltshire, interrupted only by visits to fashionable London. In 1727, she married Robert Knight, a member of Parliament and later Baron Luxborough and 1st Earl of Catherlough. Nine years later, Henrietta was accused by her husband of adultery and forced into exile at his dilapidated estate of Barrells in Warwickshire without being allowed to see her three children or her friends. To keep sane, she devoted herself to farming and gardening, creating an aviary and pavilion among other features. She consulted and exchanged visits and letters with the poet-landscape gardener William Shenstone -- their correspondence was published 20 years after her death as Letters Written by the Late Rt. Hon. Lady Luxborough to William Shenstone (1775). Several of her poems also survived, including "The Bullfinch in Town" and "Written to a Near Neighbor in a Tempestuous Night" (1748). See her biographies, My Darling Heriott: Henrietta Luxborough, Poetic Gardener and Irrepressible Exile by Jane Brown and Chequered Chances by Audrey Duggan.
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