The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Vicountess Mina de Brimont-Brassac

Vicountess Mina de Brimont-Brassac

A carte-de-visite portrait of vicomtesse Mina de Brimont-Brassac (1828-1913), née Laurence Camille Clementine Mina Sheppard, daughter of Thomas Sheppard of Folkington Place, Sussex. Her maternal grandfather was the comte de Brassac. Most sources record her title as 'vicomtesse' but some call her 'comtesse'.

On 25 October 1857 she married Armand Edmond Edgar, vicomte de Ruinart de Brimont at Rheims in France.

According to documents held at the Public Record Office in Kew, for some unknown reason in 1872 she gave power of attorney to the radical politician, atheist and champion of birth control Charles Bradlaugh.

Her husband died in Paris in 1896. Mina died at Gensing Lodge, Maze Hill, St Leonards in Sussex on 15 May 1913. Her age at time of death was recorded as 85 though two years earlier the 1911 census had recorded her age as 68.

A brief obituary appeared in The Times on 19 May 1913: 'The Vicomtesse de Brimont-Brassac died last week at St Leonards, where she had lived for some time. The Vicomtesse, in spite of advancing years, had retained her vigour almost to the last. She had been a friend of Gambetta and of Emile de Giradin, and had many interesting reminiscences of the later years of Napoleon the Third's reign. In religious matters the Victomtesse was extremely tolerant. She was a generous helper of the Hollingdon PSA [a branch of the Wesleyan Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Society] and had opened their industrial exhibition. The funeral will take place on Wednesday.'

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London on 24 May 1862.

The portrait comes from an album that belonged to her cousin, Rose Isabella Susan Preston (born 1842), later the wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ethelred Shuttleworth.


Code: 123833
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