Enjoying success in later life

The Telegraph: Prince Charles: others enjoying post-65 success

My mother has been included among distinguished company in article about those who’ve achieved success in later years (see here). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me who complained about having to pay 5 quid to listen to her perform at a poetry reading though.

Judith Cowper (1702 – 1781)

Judith Cowper (1702 – 1781) by William Samuel Wright

I think I first encountered my 7 x great grandmother Judith Cowper in the Ahnentafel my relative Rafael Madan kindly sent me. I have to admit that I hadn’t given her much thought because the geometric progression of ancestry means there are literally thousands of ancestors to follow up. However, I found a portrait of her and her father on the BBC’s Your Paintings Art Collection while putting together my The digital portrait collection post. It turns out that she was a poet and muse of Alexander Pope who was a famous beauty “remarkable for the loveliness of her neck. Judith has her own entry on the Wikipedia, and one in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB). There’s a longer biography by William Prideaux Courtney, in Dodsley’s Collection of Poetry, its Contents and Contributors (1910). Continue reading


Alice Claire MacDonnell of Keppoch was Bardess to the Clan Donald Society and is my great great great aunt. She was born Born 31 Jan 1854 (Kilmonivaig) and Died 12 Oct 1938 (Hove).

Monday, 23 Jan 1939 PROBATE
MACDONELL – Alice Claire, of 20 Pembroke-crescent, Hove, Sussex, spinster, died 12 October 1938, at 9 Rutland Gardens, Hove. Administration (with will), Exeter, 23 January, to Angus Charles Majoribanks Maitland, of no occupation. Effects £126 3s 7d.

[Alice C. MacDonell Age 83, 1938 4Q Hove 2b 363]  Continue reading