Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex

Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex bigraphy, stories - English Countess

Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex : biography

25 February 1661 – 16 May 1721

Anne Lennard (née Palmer), Countess of Sussex (25 February 1661 – 16 May 1722) was the eldest daughter of Barbara Palmer, mistress to King Charles II of England. She became the wife of Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex, 15th Baron Dacre.

Born Lady Anne Palmer in Westminster, England,June Ferguson’s Royalty GED she was the first child of Barbara Palmer, who was married to Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine, and who was also a mistress of Charles II. According to legend, Anne was conceived on the night of Charles’s Coronation. Both Palmer and the king acknowledged Anne as his daughter and she was known by the alias Fitzroy, meaning "son of the king," but she is generally assigned to the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield, "whom," says Lord Dartmouth, "she resembled very much both in face and person."From Burnet’s History of his Own Times, quoted in G. Steinman Steinman’s A Memoir of Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, 1871, page 26.


The children of her union with Sussex were two sons, who died in infancy; and two daughters, who lived to adulthood, co-heirs of the Barony Dacre:

  1. Barbara Lennard (12 July 1676, Westminster, London – 1741, Paris), married Charles Skelton, Esq., Lieutenant-General in the French service, and Grand Croix de St. Louis. Died without issue.
  2. Charles Lennard, Lord Dacre (25 May 1682, Windsor Castle – 13 March 1684)
  3. Henry Lennard: born about 1683 at Herstmonceaux, Sussex; died in infancy.
  4. Anne Lennard (17 August 1684, Sussex – 26 June 1755, London), 16th Baroness Dacre in her own right. Married thrice;From Booker, von Alvensleben, W Owen’s The Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1790, pages 372-374.
(1) First, to Richard Barrett-Lennard, Esq. (died 1716), son of Dacre Barrett-Lennard and his wife Jane, eldest daughter of Arthur Chichester, the second Earl of Donegal. Died a few months after his marriage to the Lady Anne in 1716, leaving his wife with child. Their son was Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 17th Baron Dacre (1717 – 12 January 1786), who died without legitimate issue.
(2) Secondly, to Henry Roper, 8th Baron Teynham (died 16 May 1723). Had, among other children, Charles, who m. Gertrude, sister and co-heir of John Trevor, esq. of Glynd, in Sussex, and left at his decease, in 1754,

Charles Trevor-Roper, 18th Baron Dacre (1745-1794). Died without issue, and the title devolved upon his nephew.
Gertrude (d. 3 October 1819), who succeeded her brother, as Baroness Dacre. The Hon. Gertrude Roper m. Thomas Brand, esq. of the Hoo, in the county of Herts; by whom she had issue,

Thomas, 20th Baron Dacre
Henry, C.B., major-general in the army, who distinguished himself during the war in Spain.
(3) Thirdly, to Roger Moore, Esq., fifth son of Henry, Earl of Drogheda, in Ireland, by whom she had one son, Henry.

Her descendants include:

  • Sarah, Duchess of York
  • Alexander Murray, 8th Earl of Dunmore
  • Colonel Sir William Robert Campion
  • Thomas Coke, 3rd Earl of Leicester
  • William Legge, 7th Earl of Dartmouth
  • Gerald Legge, 9th Earl of Dartmouth
  • Lady Elizabeth Basset
  • Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield
  • Nigel Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes
  • Dermot Chichester, 7th Marquess of Donegall
  • Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
  • Richard Lyon-Dalberg-Acton, 4th Baron Acton
  • Reginald Manningham-Buller, 1st Viscount Dilhorne
  • Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl
  • Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury
  • Max Wyndham, 2nd Baron Egremont
  • Sir Hugh Barrett-Lennard, 6th Baronet


On 11 August 1674, at the age of thirteen, Lady Anne was married at Hampton Court to the 15th Baron Dacre, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the King. On the same day her ten-year-old sister Lady Charlotte Fitzroy was contracted to Sir Edward Lee (raised from an early baronetcy to the Earldom of Lichfield two months before, and also a Gentleman of the King’s Bedchamber). Both the wedding and her dowry were paid for by Charles II. Dacre was subsequently created Earl of Sussex.