Dorothy Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury

Dorothy Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury (c. 1656 June 1698),[1] formerly Lady Dorothy Manners, was the wife of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury, and the mother of the 3rd Earl.

She was the daughter of John Manners, 8th Earl of Rutland, and his wife, the former Frances Montagu, herself a daughter of Sir Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton. Her brother John Manners, was created Duke of Rutland, and all five of her sisters married into the aristocracy: Lady Grace Manners married first Patrick Chaworth, 3rd Viscount Chaworth, and afterwards Sir William Langhorne, 1st Baronet;[2] Lady Margaret Manners became Countess of Salisbury; Lady Frances Manners became Countess of Exeter; and Lady Elizabeth Manners became Countess of Anglesey. Lady Grace became Viscountess Chaworth, and Lady Anne became Viscountess Howe.

Lady Dorothy's marriage to the future earl, which took place on 22 September 1669,[3] was supposedly negotiated by John Locke, a friend of the 1st earl, who had been tutor to his son.[4] This arrangement does not seem to have lasted very long, and it has been suggested that the 2nd Earl was not a promising pupil.[5] In 1672, when his father became an earl, Dorothy's husband (by now an MP) became known as Lord Ashley and she as Lady Ashley. They had three children:

  • Lady Elizabeth Ashley-Cooper (died 1744), who married James Harris and had children
  • Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), who married Jane Ewer and had one son
  • Hon. Maurice Ashley-Cooper (1675-1726), who married Catharine Popple and had no children[6]

Locke was the family's physician and assisted at the birth of the couple's eldest son and also attended Dorothy when she suffered a miscarriage.[7]

The 1st Earl, apparently dissatisfied with his son, arranged for his grandson, the future 3rd Earl, to be removed from his parents' care and taken to Locke for tutoring.[8]. After the 1st Earl's death, however, the boy was returned to his mother and father, now the 2nd Earl and Countess, and they sent him to Winchester College for his education.[9]


  1. Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003. Page 3447.
  2. Thomas Seccombe, ‘Langhorne, Sir William, baronet (c.1634–1715)’, rev. Andrew Grout, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16019. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
  3. Great Britain. Public Record Office (1872). Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records. pp. 228–.
  4. "ASHLEY, alias COOPER, Hon. Anthony (1652-99)". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  5. John Spurr (8 April 2016). Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury 1621–1683. Routledge. pp. 168–. ISBN 978-1-317-18051-7.
  6. Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003. Page 3575
  7. Prospects. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 1994.
  8. "Curse of the Shaftesburys". The Independent. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  9. Livio Pestilli (2013). Paolo de Matteis: Neapolitan Painting and Cultural History in Baroque Europe. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-1-4094-4620-0.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.