People in William’s life A-Z

(Page last updated: 28 November 2019)


  • Bush. Anne Bush: housekeeper at Powderham, mentioned in William’s English will (section 10). For her own will, see Wills of other people.
  • Carte. Edward Carte: William’s agent in Ireland from 1811 to 1818, a cousin of the Thomas Locke who married William’s aunt Ann Clack.
  • Chaudlet. Joseph Chaudlet: “He was an important character in the old village [Bloomingdale, New York] and a man of many talents and resources. Bom in Marseilles, he met in Paris with Gen. Lafayette who found that Joseph was an excellent cook and gave him, on leaving France, letters to Fulton and Major Colden, which procured him the position of chef to Lord Courtenay, who kept an almost princely household at “Claremont.” Chaudlet exhibited such skill in treating the Viscount’s horses that he was promoted to the post of veterinary surgeon. Afterwards he built and managed the Harsenville smithy.” (Hopper Striker Mott, The New York of Yesterday, 1908, page 417.)
  • Corbyn. Henry Corbyn: William’s tenant in Devon and (from 1821) in France; he witnessed the first codicil to William’s English will.
  • Ferrère-Laffitte: William’s bankers in France.
  • Fouchécour. Comte de Fouchécour: Jean Francois Louis Marie Marguerite de Salivet de Courtenay, Comte de Fouchécour et de Salivet Vicomte de Blomchamps et du Boire, a French aristocrat born in 1759 who migrated to England in 1792 and was naturalized with support from William’s family as ‘Jean de Courtenay’ by an 1812 act of the UK parliament (Journals of the House of Commons volume 67 pages 68, 307, & 54; Journals of the House of Lords volume 48 pages 824, 826 & 830). When his French translation of Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas was published in London in 1798, Fouchécour describes himself as ‘Heureux si mes efforts me méritent l’approbation de mes lecteurs, et si la nation loyale et hospitalière à la quelle je fais hommage de ma traduction l’accueille avec indulgence.‘ He taught French to support himself in England, and Brit Nicholson quotes an 1808 description of him by one of his pupils: ‘His manners were gentle but like his face, very plain and his figure small but well made.’ As a friend of William’s cousin and brother-in-law sir John Honywood, two of his letters appear in Lady Honywood’s Memorial (pages 16-17 and 29); he seems to have been held in The Fleet, a prison for debtors, in December 1811 (London Gazette, No. 16557 page 24).
  • Fryer. William Fryer, a labourer from Powderham, was indicted at Exeter in 1811 for having consensual sex with William.

Longways Dance null by Thomas Rowlandson 1756-1827


  • Gawler. See Sisters (Anne).
  • Genevray. See Sisters (Frances).
  • Henley. Samuel Henley: born at Abbotskerswell (Devon).
  • Hoskins. Alexander Hoskins (1766-c1830) – AH: William’s agent in Ireland from 1818 to 1821; AH was the [elder?] son of Ann & Alexander Hoskins of Great Broughton (Cumberland) and Hornby Hall (Lancs); father’s will proved in 1826 [but his father may be the Alexander Hoskins who died in 1800 and was buried on 5 July at Melling, Lancashire]. Married Margaret Smith (see Smith below; aged 54 at death in 1838; buried 26 February at Melling) at Heysham (Lancashire) 21 June 1798; they had at least 8 children: rev. William Edward H, Margaret Royse of Nantenan (co. Limerick), Elizabeth H, James Alexander H, Henry Repton H, Thomas (killed in Ireland aged 19 in 1821), Maria (baptised St Pancras 16 November 1807), Alexander (died as an infant 16 January 1807). AH‘s elder/younger brother George was a merchant at Liverpool; their sister Ann (died 1819 @57 & buried at Melling) married Timothy Parker (-1805) of Hornby Hall and their children included 9 sons. AH articled 1781-1786 to Robert Fisher of London but interrupted by ill health; residue from 1793-1795 with Edward Newsham of Liverpool.
  • La Forest. Charles Henry La Forest: a legatee in William’s English will (section 4 and codicil 4). Le comte de Laforest is listed at 15 rue Belle-Chasse and madame la comtesse Laforest at 8 place Vendôme in Almanach des 25000 addresses des principaux habitans de Paris par l’année 1832.
  • La Gage. Augustus Louis La Gage: a legatee in William’s English will (section 4).

Longways Dance null by Thomas Rowlandson 1756-1827


  • Mills. Thomas Mills: William’s solicitor in Paris in 1831.
  • Moore. William Moore (?1728-99): rector of Inwardleigh, North Lew and Spreyton but lived at South Tawton (all 4 places in Devon); the tutor who came upon William and William Beckford having sex together in 1784.
    • [information on William Moore’s children to be added: natural child by Elizabeth Jones of Okehampton, TNA 1232A/PO 152; Francis, CCEd Person ID: 36829; William, CCEd Person ID: 108221; David; Abraham MP, friend of William Gifford; Thomas; Rebecca Cann [banker: see Margaret Dawes & Nesta Selwyn, Women Who Made Money, 2010, pp. 130-33]; Mary Ponsford; Grace; Elizabeth; ]
  • Morton. Joseph Farington’s diary for 17 May 1811 records a conversation with ‘Dr. Fisher of Exeter, Brother to the Bishop of Salisbury’: ‘He told me Mr. Morton of Exeter, an excellent magistrate, was alone the person who by His determined conduct brought the proceedings against Lord Courtney to a point which obliged Him to secure His safety by leaving the Kingdom. Mr. Morton had solicited other magistrates to concur with Him in His exertion for this purpose but they on one pretence or other declined it. He took the Depositions against His Lordship, one of them was to a fact, — the other to an attempt’. (ed. James Greig, volume 6 page 273).’ There may be a mistranscription or some misunderstanding here – I have not yet been able to identify this ‘Mr. Morton’ but TNA database now includes two items relating to wills which may be relevant: William Morton of Saint Thomas, Exeter (1816); William Morton of Exeter (1832). The Monthly Magazine reports the death of ‘Mr. William Morton, of Alphington-street’ in its issue dated 1 August 1816. In Exeter Memories David Cornforth mentions a William Morton as landlord of The Round-Tree Inn in 1816 and 1822, with his widow Mary Morton having taken on the business by 1839 until 1850 or later; she is also listed in White’s 1850 History, gazetteer, and directory of Devonshire, p.163.
  • Pethybridge. Richard Pethybridge: William’s butler in France; witnessed the first codicil to William’s English will.

Longways Dance null by Thomas Rowlandson 1756-1827


  • Saurez. Theodore de Saurez: a legatee in William’s English will (section 4 and codicil 4); ‘son of the Marquis de Saurez’.
  • Smith. Thomas Smith (1754-1831): MP for West Looe 1802-03; married Jane Addison who survived him; died 24 April 1831 in London (77 Russell-square). His sister Margaret married Alexander Hoskins in 1798 (see Hoskins above); his sister Agnes (-1840) married David Murray of Jamaica (-1822).
  • Taylor. Thomas Taylor (?1731-1805) of Denbury and West Ogwell in Devon, a friend of William’s father. Beckford mentions ‘old Taylor’ in letters to Samuel Henley and some writers on Beckford have mistakenly assumed that Taylor was William’s tutor at the time of the 1784 scandal (see Moore above).
  • Thackeray. Thomas James Thackeray: soldier, playwight &  agriculturist; a second cousin of the writer William Makepeace Thackeray; witnessed William’s English will in Paris, May 1831.
  • Tod. George Tod: published his design for a conservatory at Powderham in 1806.


Thomas Rowlandson:

Pantheon Masquerade NPG

Pantheon Masquerade Tate

Longways Dance (3):



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