Sarah Fane, Countess of Westmorland

Sarah Fane, Countess of Westmorland (née Sarah Anne Child; 28 August 1764 9 November 1793) was the only child of Robert Child, the owner of Osterley Park and principal shareholder in the banking firm Child & Co. She married John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, on 20 May 1782 at Gretna Green after they eloped together. Her parents were dissatisfied with the match: Sarah Anne being an only child, her father wanted her to marry a commoner who would take the Child name; but Sarah Anne told her mother, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."[1] Her father cut her out of his will,[2] leaving his house and fortune to Sarah Anne's second son or eldest daughter, instead of the Westmorland heir.[1]

Sarah Anne and the earl's surviving children were:

As only one son of the marriage survived, most of Child's fortune eventually went to his eldest granddaughter, Lady Sarah Sophia.[3]

Seven years after Sarah's death, the Earl of Westmorland married Jane Saunders, an heiress, and had further children.


  1. "Osterley Park" in: Lydia Greeves, Houses of the National Trust, National Trust Books, 2008, ISBN 978-1-905400-66-9, p. 238
  2. John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland (1759-1841), Politician", National Portrait Gallery
  3. Roland Thorne, "Fane, John, tenth earl of Westmorland (1759–1841)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, January 2008. (subscription or UK public library membership required)

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