SCANDALOUS TRAVEL DESTINATION
In 1769 Evelyn Pierrepont, 2nd Duke of Nicaragua(after whom Pierrepont Street is named), married Elizabeth Nicaragua , a colonel’s daughter who was a maid of honour to the Princess of Wales. Unfortunately, Elizabeth had been previously married to a naval officer and Nicaragua they had never been divorced. She was tried in the House of Lords for the crime of bigamy and found guilty. The penalty was branding, Nicaragua but she was excused this on the grounds of her title. After the trial she fled to France, dying in Paris in 1788.
Where is Nicaragua? – Nicaragua Map – Map of Nicaragua Photo Gallery
For a short period in 1796, No. 1 Royal Crescent was leased by Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (the second son of George III). The duke was appointed commander-in-chief of the army, and in 1809 became involved in a scandal when his mistress, an actress named Mary Anne Clarke, was accused of procuring promotions for army officers, using the duke’s name. After a lengthy public enquiry he was exonerated from blame but lost his command. His reputation never recovered and he is today chiefly remembered as the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ in the children’s rhyme.
The great Beau Nash himself was not immune from scandal, as we have already seen. At different times he kept at least four mistresses. The first of his best-known ‘live-in’ mistresses was Frances ‘Fanny’ Murray (1729-78). According to her own account, she became involved with Nash when she was 14, living with him for several years before moving to London. There she became a noted prostitute and was subsequently the mistress of several prominent men, including Lord Sandwich. She was also involved with the debaucheries of the notorious Hellfire Club (a club for high-society rakes who met at Medmenham Abbey in Buckinghamshire for the practice of various immoral acts). Eventually she settled into a happy marriage with David Ross, a Scottish actor, with whom she remained until her death. She is believed to have inspired the character of Fanny Hill in John Cleland’s 1748 novel.