Venetia Stanley

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Venetia Stanley

Venetia Stanley was born the daughter of Edward Stanley of Tong Castle by his wife Lucy Percy. In about 1620, Kenelm Digby, the 17-year-old son of Everard Digby (executed in 1606), became engaged with Venetia, but his mother Mary (Mulsho) Digby disapproved the relationship and sent him abroad. Upon his return in 1623, he was knighted. But meanwhile Venetia had been busy herself. Edward Sackville, who would become the 4th Earl of Dorset was married to Mary Curzon and they probably already had at least one child. Edward, however had a wandering eye, and took up with the younger Venetia probably sometime around 1620 to 1624. She was a celebrated beauty and he had children of her, while his wife still lived. He settled upon Venetia an annuity.mw07293.jpg

Venetia now took up the offer of Kenelm and they married in 1625. The annuity however went unpaid, and Kenelm sued for it and recovered it. Venetia died suddenly in 1633. When she was found, dead in her bed, her husband summoned that great painter Anthony Van Dyck to draw her portrait one final time.

After her death, to avoid the public eye, he retired into Gresham College. He finally died thirty years later on 11 Jun 1665

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