Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
61 x 46 cm, 24 x 18 inches
At the age of 16, Catherine Tylney Long became the wealthiest heiress in England. In 1805 she inherited a portfolio of grand estates, including Athelhampton. Although courted by royalty, Catherine married the Duke of Wellington’s nephew, the suave William Wellesley Pole. Her elaborate marriage, glamorous lifestyle and kind-hearted deeds caught the imagination of the British public who celebrated her as their Regency ‘Angel’. However, the indiscretions of her husband forced Catherine and her young children to flee to Europe. ‘Wicked’ William’s scandalous behaviour led to the destruction of Catherine’s ancestral home, Wanstead House, and contributed to her early death. Yet, even from beyond the grave, our Guardian Angel of Athelhampton fought a historic court case that paved the way for the rights of women and children.