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People/Characters: Louisa Caton Hervey Osbourne, Duchess of Leeds

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Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad by Jehanne Wake

Character description

Louisa Caton Hervey Osbourne, Duchess of Leeds (1793-1874) was the third daughter of Richard Caton (a Briton living in America) and Mary Carroll, a member of the wealthy and prominent Irish-American Carroll family of Maryland, and daughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence.   She and her three sisters grew up on her grandfather's estates, where they were unusually well-educated, including financial management.   In an era when women lost control of their fortunes when they married, Charles Carroll was careful to ensure that his female descendants were financially independent.    When her sister Marianne went to England for her health, Louisa and their sister Bess accompanied her.   The three women were a surprising social success given the prejudices against Americans and were sometimes known as the Three Graces.   The Duke and Duchess of Wellington took a parental interest in Louisa, even planning her first wedding to Sir Felton Hervey.  When he died in 1819, she decided to remain in England.   She later married Frances Osbourne, 7th Duke of Leeds.  After his death, she devoted herself to Catholic charities.

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PuddinTame (3)
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