Posted by Laura W on January 25, 1998 at 17:32:34:
In response to Names, written by Valerie Mc. on January 25, 1998 at 00:03:44
] A woman could retain her surname in marriage if she were an heiress to a considerable fortune - in other words, if she had no brothers to carry on the name. So her name would be hyphenated with her husband's, and her arms quartered with his on the family achievement. This is how some of those immense achievements of arms that look like quilts came about - generations of canny marriages!
Often this was part of the marriage settlements, or else it occurred when the inheritance actually took place. For example, Lady Jersey inherited the Child's Bank fortune because her grandfather Child was so incensed with his only daughter's elopement with the heir of the Earl of Westmoreland that he disinherited her in favor of her daughter. Lord Jersey's family name was Villiers; he took the surname Child-Villiers by royal license in 1819 (and Sally's maiden name, BTW, was Fane). According to Debrett's he also actually took the name Child before his title, and styled himself The Earl of Child-Jersey.
A crazy one was "Golden Ball" Hughes. His mother was a Hughes, and as the custom was, he was christened with Hughes as his middle name, so he was Edward Hughes Ball (c. 1798-1863). He then inherited a fortune from his mother's brother, and so he changed his name in 1819 in honor of him, becoming Edward Hughes Ball Hughes. His fortune when he inherited it was reputed to be around 40,000 pounds a year, which was why he was called "Golden Ball."
Another one is the first Earl Granville, whose given name was Granville Leveson-Gower.
] Notice in the novels that all married women are referred to as "Mrs. So-and-so"; I don't think even their given names were used, except by relatives and intimate friends.
You are correct and this is one of my greatest pet peeves about modern Regency novels-- overuse of first names.
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