The Death of the Duchess

“Last Tuesday Evening about 7 o’clock died, at her house in Grosvenor-Square, after a few Days Illness, her Grace Erengard- Melusina Schuylenberg [sic], Princess of Eberstein, Dutchess [sic] of Kendal and Munster, Marchioness and Countess of Dungannon, Countess of Faversham, and Baroness of Schuylenberg, Dundalk and Glastonbury.”96

Melusine died at the age of 75 on 10 May 1743. When Horace Walpole recorded her death he mistakenly noted that she was 85 years old, but he was right when he told Horace Mann that “her riches were immense, but I believe my Lord Chesterfield will get nothing by her death but his wife”. Melusine had never liked her son-in-law, or the way he treated her daughter after their marriage. Chesterfield believed that his mother-inlaw was “very little above an idiot,” but she was certainly canny enough to ensure that the money she left to Young Melusine could not be seized by her husband.

In her will, Melusine distributed her wealth to her daughters Melusine, Countess of Chesterfield, and Luise, Countess of Dölitz, who had never remarried following her divorce – there was far too much fun to be had for that. Melusine was laid to rest in a private vault at South Audley Street Chapel. Melusine and George Louis’ surviving daughters, Luise and Young Melusine, died in 1773 and 1778 respectively. They were interred alongside their mother and with that, the vault was sealed. The story of Melusine von der Schulenberg, the longest-serving mistress of any of the Georgian kings, had come to an end.

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