Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Death of Edward Langtry - New York Times Article

Edward Langry was probably the most unfortunate of the many men involved with the notorious Jersey Lillie.  Edward was Lillie's first husband and they were married in 1874 by Lillie's father, the Dean of Jersey.  Edward owned land in Ireland, was a keen sportsman and wealthy enough to own a yacht.  After marrying Lillie, everything that could go wrong for Edward, did go wrong.

Lillie was keen to make herself known in society and pressed Edward to move to London.  Edward despised London and felt similarly about society, he would much rather have been sailing in his yacht.  Sadly, Edward's family's business was affected heavily during the agricultural depression of the late 19 century and the yacht had to be sold, leaving Edward with a small allowance from the family estate with which to support his wife.  This was surely a hindrance for a lady with aspirations such as Lillie!  As Lillie rose through society, she began attracting the attention of wealthy and powerful men leaving Edward increasingly obsolete.  Friends of her admirers would take Edward away fishing so as to leave Lillie and her lovers, most famously the Prince of Wales, undisturbed.  Edward was a proud man and emotionally struggled to deal with the situation he found himself in.  Understandably his family disproved of Lillie's behaviour and as a result cut off his allowance.  Unable to come to terms with the lack of;  affection from his wife, the respect of his family and the loss of financial support he turned to alcohol and eventually lost his mind.  Contrary to the article below, in the years leading up to his death, Edward was a hapless drunk, barely surviving on a £35 per week (the allowance given by Lillie on the condition that he cut all connections with her).  He died a broken man, alone, in Chester Asylum.

Death of Edward Langtry

A clip from the TV series Lillie showing the sad end of Edward Langtry.  (Jump to 49:00.)

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