The Welds, the owners of Lullworth were staunch Roman Catholics and suffered much for their preferred religion, coming under suspicion whenever the issue of Catholicism or when the Stewarts were trying to reclaim the British throne. All Catholics were barred from holding public office.
After a childless first marriage, Edward Weld's second wife was the beautiful seventeen-year-old Maria Smythe. Regency buffs will know that he died from injuries suffered from fall from his horse one month after his marriage. So very sad.
Maria, and was left destitute, because there was no will - how could her parents not have seen to this I ask myself? She married again - a Mr Fitzherbert.
Yes, she is indeed Maria Fitzherbert, who later illegally married the Prince Regent. Her marriage was never recognized.
And there we have the connection. I think the Weld family were wrong not to support Edward's widow, don't you?
Until next time.....