The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Rev. Edward Quenby Ashby

Rev. Edward Quenby Ashby

Identified in the Silvy daybooks as 'Edward O. Ashby,' a small slip of paper with the carte-de-visite carries the sitter's initials, which clearly read 'E.Q.A.' This is therefore almost certainly the Reverend Edward Quenby Ashby (1805-1871), who for many years was the Rector of Dunton in Buckinghamshire.

Born in 1805, he was the third son of William Ashby of Quenby in Leicestershire. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1826, MA 1833). In 1842 he was appointed the Rector of Dunton, Bucks., a position he held until his death on 7 March 1871.

He married, firstly, on 10 May 1842, Elizabeth Sophia, second daughter of the Reverend Henry Palmer of Carlton Hall, Leicestershire. He married, secondly, on 4 January 1855 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Ellen Dorothea, youngest daughter of the Reverend Edward Hatch Hoare, Vicar of Barkby in Leicestershire.

Between those two marriages occurred a divorce. In 1849 this was a complicated process which, prior to the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, required a Private Act of Parliament. So expensive was the procedure that only a handful of people undertook it each year. Between 1700 and 1857 there were a mere 314 such Acts, most of them initiated by husbands.

It seems that while travelling with her brother, the first Mrs Ashby had met Henry Edwyn Chandos Scudamore-Stanhope (later 9th Earl of Chesterfield) in Madeira and had 'afterwards carried on a adulterous Intercourse and criminal Conversation' with him. The relationship had continued aboard the ship to Cadiz and once the lovers arrived at Southampton, Mrs Ashby had 'eloped' with Stanhope on 15 May 1849. Just two weeks later Ashby had begun a prosecution for 'criminal conversation' against Stanhope, and been awarded the sum of £500. Parliament agreed that 'the Bond of Matrimony' had been 'violated and broken by the manifest and open Adultery of the said Elizabeth Sophia Ashby' and that the marriage was therefore 'henceforth wholly dissolved, annulled, vacated, and made void, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever.' Elizabeth and Stanhope's relationship didn't last very long. Two years later Stanhope married a daughter of Sir John Hay.

Reverend Edward Quenby Ashby died, aged 66, on 7 March 1871 at Quenby Hall in Leicestershire.

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London on 15 July 1861.


Code: 126907
  Back           Home Contact   
© Paul Frecker 2018