William’s parents, lady and lord Courtenay, had 13 daughters:

  • Amelia 1777-1789
  • Anne 1774-1835. Known as lady Valentia from 1793, and as lady Mountnorris from 1816.
  • Caroline 1775-1851
  • Charlotte 1764-1844
  • Eleanor 1772-1789
  • Elizabeth 1766-1815
  • Frances 1763-18[??]. Known as lady Honywood from 1781, and later as lady Frances Honywood du Genevray. See: Isabella Courtenay and her niece; Lady Honywood’s Memorial.
  • Harriet 1771-1836. Known as lady Carteret from 1826.
  • Isabella 1765-1783. See: Isabella Courtenay and her niece.
  • Louisa 1781-1823
  • Lucy 1770-1821. Known as lady Lisburne from 1820.
  • Matilda 1778-1848
  • Sophia 1780-1845

In 1831, long after his death, their father was recognised by the UK’s House of Lords as earl of Devon de jure. His seven surviving daughters assumed the rank and title of earl’s daughters and became known as: lady Anne Mountnorris, lady Caroline Morland, lady Charlotte Giffard, lady Francis Honywood [du Genevray], lady Harriet Carteret, lady Matilda Locke, lady Sophia Foy.

All 13 sisters were alive at the same time for little more than one year, from Louisa’s birth in December 1781 to Isabella’s death in March 1783. The eldest, Frances, had married in December 1778 before Sophia’s birth and become a mother before Louisa was born.


  • 1763 Frances
  • 1764 Charlotte
  • 1765 Isabella
  • 1766 Elizabeth
    • 1768 William
  • 1770 Lucy
  • 1771 Harriet
  • 1772 Eleanor
  • 1774 Anne
  • 1775 Caroline
  • 1777 Amelia
  • 1778 Matilda
  • 1780 Sophia
  • 1781 Louisa


Four of the sisters became and remained widows: Caroline, Charlotte, Matilda and Sophia. Frances was also widowed but married for a second time. Three of the sisters did not marry: Amelia, Eleanor and Isabella.

  • 1778 Frances married her cousin John Honywood (1757-1806). She later married Louis Léon comte du Genevray (see marginal note dated 9 June 1834 on last page of probate copy of her father’s will: lady Frances Honywood du Genevray.)
  • 1788 Elizabeth married lord Charles Henry Somerset (1767-1831). The couple eloped on 22 May 1788 for a Gretna Green marriage in Scotland. They were then married by special licence with parental consent on 8 June 1788 at Hillingdon (Middlesex, England). After Elizabeth’s death (1815) lord Charles married lady Mary Poulett in 1821.
  • 1788 Charlotte married Thomas Giffard (1764-1823) by special licence on 23 June 1788 at the Courtenay house in Grosvenor Square, London.
  • 1790 Anne married George Annesley (1770-1844) on 3 September 1788 at Powderham. The couple separated after a few years and Anne’s later partner was John Gawler who changed his name to John Bellenden Ker (1764-1842).
  • 1797 Harriet married lord George Thynne (1770-1838)
  • 1798 Lucy married John Vaughan (1769-1831)
  • 1800 Matilda married her cousin John Locke (-1837)
  • 1804 Sophia married Nathaniel Foy (1773-1817)
  • 1805 Louisa married her brother-in-law lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset (1776-1842)
  • 1812 Caroline married Charles Morland (1773-1828)

CHILDREN (William’s nieces and nephews)

Nine of the ten married sisters had children – more than 50 between them. If Harriet had any children, they died before her husband’s death in 1838.

William was probably a godfather to some of these children, among them perhaps: Matilda’s son Charles Courtenay Locke; Caroline’s son William Courtenay Morland; Anne’s sons William Annesley and Francis John Courtenay; Elizabeth’s children Georgiana Somerset and Villiers Henry Plantagenet Somerset.

For Frances Elizabeth Honywood who married Aubone Surtees, see: Isabella Courtenay and her niece.


Their father’s will provided a maintenance allowance for each daughter until her eighteenth birthday or the day of her marriage, whichever came first. On that day she was to receive her ‘portion’: £6,000 for each daughter.

None of the sisters gained from William’s wills and only Sophia is mentioned: his English will provided for the continued payment of an annuity which she had been receiving since her husband died in 1817.

DEATHS (and wills)

Their mother lady Courtenay died in 1781, and their father lord Courtenay in 1788. Frances seems to have been alive at the time of William’s death but so far I have found no record of the date or place of her death.

  • 1783 Isabella at Grosvenor Square, London in England
  • 1789 Amelia
  • 1789 Eleanor
  • 1815 Elizabeth at Cape Town in South Africa
  • 1821 Lucy at château de l’Épine, Picardie in France
  • 1823 Louisa at Over Norton, Oxfordshire in England
  • 1835 Anne at Southampton, Hampshire in England
    • 1835 William at Place Vendôme, Paris in France
  • 1836 Harriet
  • 1844 Charlotte at Chillington, Staffordshire in England. For her will, see Charlotte Giffard.
  • 1845 Sophia at Chillington, Staffordshire in England [buried Plumstead, Kent 16 January 1845]
  • 1848 Matilda at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Île-de-France in France
  • 1851 Caroline at Hayes, Kent in England
  • 18?? Frances

For information about the wills left by William’s sisters and brothers-in-law, with transcripts of a few of the shorter wills, visit the pages Wills of other people 1: lists and Wills of other people 2: transcripts.

For death notices and obituaries, visit William’s obituaries with notices of other deaths.


John Preston Neale: Ford House, 1818.,_Devonshire.jpg

John Swete recorded in his journal for 1793: “of late years it hath been alternatively inhabited, by Sir John Honeywood and Lord Charles Somerset, who married Sisters of the present Lord Courtenay.”

Page history

  • First published online 26 June 2018


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