Anne Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield

Anne Elizabeth Stanhope (née Weld-Forester), Countess of Chesterfield (1802–1885) was known as a political confidante.

Anne Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield
Anne Elizabeth Forester

September 7, 1802
DiedJuly 27, 1885
NationalityUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Known forcorrespondent
Spouse(s)George Stanhope, 6th Earl of Chesterfield
Children2; including George
RelativesSelina Bridgeman, Countess of Bradford (sister)
Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland (grandfather)
George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (grandson)


Stanhope was the eldest daughter of the member of parliament Cecil Weld-Forester, 1st Baron Forester and Lady Katherine Manners, the daughter of Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland. She was born on 7 September 1802. The family home was Willey Park in Shropshire.

In 1830 Lord Derby proposed to her, but she instead accepted the proposal of Lord Chesterfield. They had one son and a daughter, Lady Evelyn Stanhope (1834–1875), later the first wife of Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon. Anne Stanhope's husband was considered a wastrel, who spent much of his time asleep in Bretby Hall and let his lands at Bretby to go to waste. He died in June 1866, aged 61, and was succeeded by their son, George.

Like her sister Selina, Countess of Bradford, Anne was an intimate friend of Benjamin Disraeli. After they had both been widowed Disraeli is said to have proposed to her, but she declined on the grounds that people over seventy would be foolish to marry. Some of their friends thought that she refused him because she believed that he cared more for her sister Selina, Countess of Bradford.[1] Nevertheless she was Disraeli's confidante and they exchanged hundreds of letters.[2]

She continued to live at Bretby Hall. She died on 27 July 1885 having outlived her son and daughter.[2]


  1. Pearson, Hesketh Dizzy- the life and personality of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield Harper Collins New York 1951 p.243
  2. "Stanhope [née Forester], Anne Elizabeth, countess of Chesterfield (1802–1885), political confidante | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50251. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
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