Jacintha Dalrymple: Sister to Grace Dalrymple Elliott

Today on my blog I have Joanne Major and Sarah Murden. They are the authors of a forthcoming biography on the eighteenth-century courtesan, Grace Dalrymple Elliott. They have decided to share some information not about Grace, but rather about her elder sister Jacintha. So without further ado …

Jacintha Dalrymple married three times and information on all three of these marriages can be found in our book, An Infamous Mistress: The Life, Loves and Family of the celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliot. Her second husband, whom she married in 1785, was Thomas Winckley, a Lancashire gentleman.

The Winckley family were staunch Jacobites; one John Winckley was executed for treason for his part in the 1715 Jacobite uprising and, from him, a family heirloom, a miniature portrait of King Charles I, was passed down through the generations. It was described thus:

‘This interesting relic is formed of the king’s hair dipped in his blood on the scaffold. The long hair which he wore was probably cut off for the convenience of the executioner; for Sir Henry Halford, describing the condition of the remains when examined in 1813 by order of the Prince Regent, states that at the back of the head the hair was cut short. It has always been considered an heirloom in the family and belonged to John Winckley, who was executed at Lancaster Castle in 1716, with the Earl of Derwentwater, for the Jacobite rising of 1715. On the back of the token are engraved the names of those of the family who adhered to the cause of the Stuarts in 1745, viz, S. Hesketh, R. Hesketh, N. Winckley, T. Winckley.’

Wedding Dress - Cream Silk, Courtesy "Shrewsbury Museums Service (SHYMS: T/1983/1/5). Image sy14206,

Wedding Dress – Cream Silk, Courtesy “Shrewsbury Museums Service (SHYMS: T/1983/1/5). Image sy14206.

James Radclyffe, the 3rd Earl of Derwentwater was actually beheaded on Tower Hill in London, but he had been one of the 1,468 Jacobite’s captured and taken prisoner at the battle of Preston on the 14th November 1715. John Winckley was executed at Preston, on the 20th October 1716.

James Radclyfee, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater, Courtesy of Wikipedia

James Radclyfee, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Frances, daughter of Thomas Winckley and Jacintha, who inherited this piece, remembered wearing it attached to a bracelet as a child on some Jacobite anniversary about the year 1790.

Frances, Lady Shelley, Public Domain

Frances, Lady Shelley. Public domain.

But were Grace Dalrymple Elliott’s ancestors Jacobite sympathisers, or were they on the side of the Hanoverian British Kings George I and George II in the 1715 and 1745 uprisings? All will be revealed in our forthcoming book.

If you would like to visit and learn more about Sarah and Joanne’s website, All Things Georgian, click here to be transported.

If you are interested in their book, the following is a brief summary of what you can expect.

Our biography of Grace, An Infamous Mistress: The Life, Loves and Family of the celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliott, is the product of many years of research into her life, and will be published by Pen and Sword on the 30th January 2016. Containing much information that is new to Grace’s story, and some rarely seen illustrations and pictures too, our book is also a broad insight into the social history of the Georgian era, interspersed with the fascinating lives her family led across the globe. It is both the story of Grace’s life and her family history.

Grace Dalrymple Elliott, Courtesy the Met Museum

Grace Dalrymple Elliott, Courtesy the Met Museum.

Divorced wife, infamous mistress, prisoner in France during the French Revolution and the reputed mother of the Prince of Wales’ child, notorious eighteenth-century courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliott lived an amazing life in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century London and Paris.


Strikingly tall and beautiful, later lampooned as ‘Dally the Tall’ in newspaper gossip columns, she left her Scottish roots and convent education behind, to re-invent herself in a ‘marriage-a-la-mode’, but before she was even legally an adult she was cast off and forced to survive on just her beauty and wits.

The authors of this engaging and, at times, scandalous book, intersperse the history of Grace’s tumultuous life with anecdotes of her fascinating family, from those who knew Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and who helped to abolish slavery, to those who were, like Grace, mistresses of great men.

Whilst this book is the most definitive biography of Grace Dalrymple Elliott ever written, it is much more than that; it is Grace’s family history which traces her ancestors from their origins in the Scottish borders, to their move south to London. It follows them to France, America, India, Africa and elsewhere, offering a broad insight into the social history of the Georgian era, comprising the ups and downs, the highs and lows of life at that time.

This is the remarkable and detailed story of Grace set, for the first time, in the context of her wider family and told more completely than ever before.

If you are interested in purchasing their book, it is currently available for pre-order at the following UK sites:

An Infamous Mistress at Foyles
An Infamous Mistress at Blackwells
An Infamous Mistress at Waterstones
An Infamous Mistress at Book Depository (you can’t pre-order here yet, but you can leave your email address to be notified when it is available).
An Infamous Mistress at Amazon

Please Note: if you are reading this from outside the UK, we are expecting it to be available in America a few months after the UK publication date, and hopefully elsewhere worldwide too.


  • Catalogue of the Portrait Miniatures on loan at the South Kensington Museum, June 1865, London, 1865
  • The Diary of Frances, Lady Shelley, Volume 1, London, 1913
  • Notes and Queries, fourth series – volume first. January-June 1868

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