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Amalie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth

Amalie von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth

Mistress of George II
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Mistress of George II
Gender female
Birth 1 April 1704 (Hanover)
Death 19 October 1765 (Hanover)
Family
Children: Johann LudwigReichsgraf von Wallmoden-Gimborn
The details
Biography

Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wallmoden, Countess of Yarmouth, born Amalie von Wendt (1 April 1704–19 or 20 October 1765) was the principal mistress of King George II from the mid-1730s until his death in 1760. Born into a prominent family in the Electorate of Hanover, and married into another, in 1740 she became a naturalised subject of Great Britain and was granted a peerage for life, with the title of "Countess of Yarmouth", becoming the last royal mistress to be so honoured. She remained in England until the death in 1760 of King George II, who is believed to have fathered her second son, Johann Ludwig, Reichsgraf von Wallmoden-Gimborn. She returned to Hanover for the rest of her life, surviving the king for nearly five years.

Biography

She was born Amalie Sophie Marianne von Wendt on 1 April 1704, the daughter of Hanoverian General Johann Franz Dietrich von Wendt by his marriage to Friderike Charlotte von dem Bussche-Ippenburg, who belonged to one of the branches of von dem Bussche family. Her aunt was Melusine von der Schulenburg, Duchess of Kendal. She entered into the House of Wallmoden in 1727 with her marriage to Gottlieb Adam von Wallmoden, with whom she shared a son, Franz Ernst von Wallmoden. She was described in 1738 in a letter to Charles, Viscount Townshend as being a brunette with "fine black eyes", "very well shaped, not tall, nor low; has no fine features, but very agreeable in the main."

George II was first attracted to the Countess Wallmoden in 1735, during a visit to Hanover, where she lived with her husband. In 1736, she bore a son, called Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden, said to be the unacknowledged illegitimate child of the king. By 1738, George II's visits to Hanover to see his mistress were so numerous as to invite satire by Samuel Johnson in the poem "London". The king ended the necessity of those visits after the death of his wife Caroline of Ansbach in November 1737, sending for the Countess Wallmoden to join him in England, but it did not put an end to Johnson's disapproval. In 1739, Johnson wrote scathingly of the king's relationship with Wallmoden, "his tortured sons shall die before his face / While he lies melting in a lewd embrace".

In 1739, Amalie von Wallmoden divorced her husband. In 1740, she was naturalized and given the non-heritable title of Countess of Yarmouth, the last royal mistress to be so honoured. She was officially designated Amalie Sophie von Wallmoden to obscure the question of her marital status. Horace Walpole indicated that her primary focus was on pleasing the king, although she was also said to be interested in the bestowing of peerages, reputedly playing a part in the creation of a Barony for Stephen Fox-Strangways in 1741 and in the newly created title of Viscount Folkestone for Jacob des Bouverie in 1747.

After the death of the king on 25 October 1760, Amalie von Wallmoden returned to Hanover. She died on the 19th or 20 October 1765 from breast cancer, aged 61.

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