Siddhesh Joshi

Lady Betty

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Name  Lady Betty
Died  December 21, 1739
Lady Betty

Lady Elizabeth Hastings (19 April 1682 – 21 December 1739), known as Lady Betty and less commonly as Steele's Aspasia, was a benefactor and the daughter of the 7th Earl of Huntingdon. Her brother George became the 8th Earl. On her father's death in 1701 her brother passed on to her the estate of Ledston or Ledstone Hall, near Castleford, West Yorkshire, and she lived there until her death. She did not marry.

She had an annual income of about £3000 and gave half of this to various charitable causes, including local charities, a girls' school in Ledsham, and a school in Chelsea run by Mary Astell. She was a major influence on the erection of Holy Trinity Church, Leeds. She gained the epithet "Steele's Aspasia" because Richard Steele wrote an essay in Tatler that compared Hastings to Aspasia.

Her portrait was painted by Godfrey Kneller, and her memorial in Ledsham church is based on this portrait.

Early in 1738 she was found to have breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy, but her health continued to decline until she died at the end of 1739; during her illness she continued to make charitable donations. She left the bulk of her estate to her nephew Francis Hastings, 10th Earl of Huntingdon, but also made many charitable legacies and left the estate of Wheldale, near Wakefield to The Queen's College, Oxford to support scholars from specified northern schools.

She is remembered in the names of primary schools in Collingham, Ledston and Thorp Arch.


Lady Betty Wikipedia

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