Thursday, March 31, 2011

Essex Girls

The county of Essex has a rather negative reputation for its young ladies, just look up "Essex Girl" in the Urban Dictionary.  Having lived there at one point in my life there I can both say "What a silly stereotype!" and "Holy Mother, what is that girl wearing!?! This is why some stereotypes are based on truths!"  Now we all know the eighteenth century was not a prudish time; quite the opposite in fact.  Now that poses the question: Were there any Lady Essex Girls?  After all there was a Lady Jersey Shore.  Let us examine the possibilities.

The Countesses of Essex (some anyway):

Lady Mary Bentinck
Mary was one of the famous Hampton Court Beauties; considered one of the most lovely women at the court of William and Mary.  Her beauty was also given the exclusive Kit-Cat club toast, something reserved for VIP Whig ladies.
Result: Hot, but not bothered.

Lady Jane Hyde
(c. 1694-1724)
Another noted beauty, Lady Jane served as a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Princess of Wales.
Result: Yawn.

Lady Elizabeth Russell
Well behaved women rarely make history and this one barely made history.
Result: I'd rather make history.

Frances Hanbury Williams
This Lady Essex was quite fashionable but only was a Countess of Essex for five years before she expired.
Result: Not enough time to live up to her name.

What the heck.  None of these ladies qualify as Essex Girls!  No low cut dresses, no public displays of affection, nothing!  I even found a Lady Essex Mostyn.  Her first name was Essex and she couldn't even make headlines.  So sadly I must accept that there were no Lady Essex Girls in the century when they should have been making the most of the stereotype. 

Cassiobury housed these lame ducks and has a fabulous site about them.
Well thank goodness someone was able to write a book about Infamous Essex Women!
Look, another book about Essex Girls!


  1. Well...that's certaintly...interesting? lol

  2. Even the portraits are dull.

  3. This is totally unrelated to your post but I just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award! Check out my post here: for instructions and all that.

  4. Hmm maybe the wealthy women of Essex knew they had to be extra careful when it came to protecting their reputation because of the bad rep Essex (for some reason) had. But im sure there has got to be a tart from essex somewhere! Lol

  5. I'm an Essex Girl and can be a bit of a tart on occasion. Like Madame du Barry however, I am no lady. ;)

    I feel like a gauntlet has been thrown though and am off to find some Essex Girls for my blog!

  6. They're certainly out's just unfortunate that none with the titles lived up to the name!