The Yelverton affair

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 2005), Letters, Letters, Volume 13

Sir,

—I enjoyed Ms Kahn’s account of the Yelverton affair (HI 13.1,Jan./Feb. 2005), but may I correct some unexpected inaccuracies? TheHon. (William) Charles Yelverton’s date of birth (‘c. 1820’) is easilyfound in standard sources as 27 September 1824. He was not ‘the secondson’ but the third and eldest surviving of the four sons of the thirdViscount Avonmore. The first viscount was William Charles Yelverton’sgreat-grandfather, not ‘his grandfather’. William Charles Yelverton wasto succeed his father in 1870 as the fourth Baron Yelverton and fourthViscount Avonmore. It was the latter title that was the ‘Unionpeerage’. However, to state that ‘little is known about [his] laterlife’ is wide of the mark: he settled down on the family Belle isle,near Roscrea, and Hazle Rock, near Westport, where no doubt the 3,260acres kept him busy until his death in 1883. It is noticeable that heseems to have held no prominent public office—no doubt the scandal ofthe Longworth case followed him for the rest of his days. It iscompletely wrong to state that ‘as he had no heirs [the titles] diedwith him’. By his second marriage of 1858 he had three sons and onedaughter, of whom his eldest and third sons, respectively, succeeded tothe peerages. The third son, the sixth and last Lord Avonmore, died in1910, leaving an only child, the Hon. Evelyn Yelverton, who retired toBournemouth and died unmarried in 1956. The titles did not ‘die’ butare regarded as dormant; the heir appears to be among the descendantsin New Zealand of a younger son of the second viscount. I am not awareof a current claimant, though I understand that those male descendantsstill survive.

—Yours etc.,
BRIAN FITZELLE
Somerset

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