Nancy Witcher Langhorne
Portrait of Nancy Astor by John Singer Sargent, 1909
|Member of Parliament|
for Plymouth Sutton
28 November 1919 – 5 July 1945
|Preceded by||Waldorf Astor|
|Succeeded by||Lucy Middleton|
|Born||19 May 1879|
Danville, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||2 May 1964 (aged 84)|
Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, England
|Political party||Coalition Conservative|
|Spouse(s)||Robert Gould Shaw II|
(m. 1897–1903; divorced)
(m. 1906–1952; his death)
|Parents||Chiswell Dabney Langhorne|
Nancy Witcher Keene
|Residence||Cliveden and Grimsthorpe Castle|
England[change | change source]
She was once asked by an English woman, "Have you come to get our husbands?" Her reply, "If you knew the trouble I had getting rid of mine....." charmed her listeners and displayed the wit which later became famous.
Her second husband, Waldorf Astor, was born in the United States but the family to England when Waldorf was twelve. The couple were well matched from the start. Not only were they both American expatriates with similar temperaments, but they were of the same age, being born on the same day, 19 May 1879.
After marrying Waldorf, Nancy moved into Cliveden, a lavish estate in Buckinghamshire on the River Thames. It was a wedding gift from Astor's father, She became a prominent hostess for the social elite. The Astors also owned a grand London house, No. 4 St. James's Square, which is now the premises of the Naval & Military Club.
A blue plaque unveiled in 1987 commemorates Astor at St. James's Square. Through her many social connections, Lady Astor became involved in a political circle which advocated unity and equality among English-speaking people and support for British imperialism.
References[change | change source]
- Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons in December 1918 but in line with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy did not take her seat. Markievicz was detained in Holloway Prison at the time.
- Sykes (1984), p. 75
- Wilson, Bee (20 December 2012). "Musical Chairs with Ribbentrop". London Review of Books. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Astor, Lady Nancy (1879–1964)". English Heritage. Retrieved 18 August 2012.