elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Sarah Ponsonby (1755 – December 9, 1831)

The Ladies of Llangollen were two upper-class women from Ireland whose relationship scandalized and fascinated their contemporaries. Eleanor Charlotte Butler was a member of one of the dynastic families of Ireland, the Butlers, the Earls (and later Dukes) of Ormond. Sarah Ponsonby was a second cousin of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough, and thus a second cousin, once removed, of his daughter the Lady Caroline Lamb. Rather than face the possibility of being forced into unwanted marriages, Butler and Ponsonby ran away together in April 1778. Their families hunted them down and forcefully tried to make them give up their plans, in vain. They decided to move to England, but ended up in Wales and set up home at Plas Newydd near the town of Llangollen in 1780. They restructured Plas Newydd in the Gothic style with draperies, arches and glass windows. Butler and Ponsonby lived together for the rest of their lives, over 50 years. Their books and glassware had both sets of initials and their letters were jointly signed.

Timeline & Places:

• 1755: born.

• 1760s: lived at Woodstock Estate, Woodstock Arboretum, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny, Irlanda

• 1780 to 1831: lived at Plas Newydd, Hill St, Llangollen LL20 8AW, Regno Unito, sharing with Eleanor Charlotte Butler

• December 9, 1831: died. Buried at St Collen, Denbigh LL16, Regno Unito. Buried alongside: Eleanor Charlotte Butler (May 11, 1739 – June 2, 1829)


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