Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 9: Mornington


Volume 9, page 238:
He [Richard (Wellesley), Earl of Mornington (d.1842)] m., 1stly, 29 Nov. 1794, at St Geo., Han. Sq., Hyacinthe Gabrielle, who had been his mistress, da. of Pierre ROLAND, of Paris.

Hyacinthe's parentage is discussed by Hugh Farmar, in A Regency Elopement, pp.169-171 (1969). Farmar quotes a letter from her second son, Gerald, to his eldest brother, Richard, reporting his interview with a Colonel Fagan in 1822. The Colonel told Gerald Wellesley that Hyacinthe was fathered on Madame Rolland by his uncle, a cavalry officer named Fagan in the French service. According to Farmar, Madame Rolland was a former actress named Hyacinthe Gabrielle Varis, and her lover was Christopher Alexander Fagan, Chevalier of the Order of St Louis (1733-1816) [the latter information apparently from a personal communication by Sir Anthony Wagner].

In a letter to The Times published on 19 July 1974, Wagner described Christopher Fagan as "almost certainly" Hyacinthe's father, citing Farmar and also his own English Genealogy, pp. 169-171 (1972, edn), Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, p. 262 (1958 edn) and Iris Butler, The Eldest Brother, the Marquess Wellesley, 1760-1842, pp. 50, 490, 609 (1973).

[The information about Wagner's letter was provided by Rosemary Hamilton in March 2008.
Item last updated: 6 April 2008.]