Lillie Langtry
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Blanche  > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnLillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry, the Jersey Lily, was born on the island of Jersey in 1852. She married Edward Langtry on the island in 1874 and later became a famous actress of striking beauty. She was, for a time, the mistress of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

In 1881 Mrs Langtry caused a sensation by being the first society woman to go on the stage, making her first notable appearance at the Haymarket Theatre, London, as Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer.

milais > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnLillie became celebrated as a "Professional Beauty", sitting for the most famous of the London painters, including Watts, Whistler, Millais, Miles and Pointer.

She learned to court her admirers and market her new fame with the introduction of the "Lillie Syndicate", which promoted products such as Lillie Cream, Lillie Powder and Lillie Bustles. Her endorsement was sought for diverse products, and she became a notable advertising figure.

She was the second owner of Regal Lodge where her visitors included Lord Rothschild, the Sassoons, Sir Ernest Cassell, Prince Louis of Battenburg and Sir John Blundell Maple. In the garden is the grave of Edward VII's terrier dog, Caesar, which had been given to Mrs Langtry by his wife, Queen Alexandra

After Edward Langtry died in 1897, Mrs Langtry married millionaire Sir Hugo de Bathe in 1899 and was known in Kentford as Lady De Bathe.

Mrs Langtry was a very successful racehorse owner, running her horses under the name 'Mr Jersey', and patronising a number of trainers at different times, including Mr J Cannon, Mr Pickering, Mr F Webb and Mr W T Robinson. Her first win was with Milford in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1892, a horse given to her by George Alexander Baird (The Squire). Baird was a notorious gentleman rider and trainer, based at Bedford Lodge. He and Mrs Langtry had begun a torrid affair the previous year after meeting at Newmarket Races. He later gave her a yacht called 'White Lady' before he died in New Orleans in 1893.

In 1899 she won both the Goodwood Cup and Plate with her Australian horse Merman which had previously won the Cesarewitch in 1897. In 1908 she again won the Cesarewitch with her horse Yentoi. By 1905 Mrs Langtry's horses were stabled at Hillside Farm about 2 miles from Regal Lodge.

cloaks  > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnIn February 1905 Mrs Langtry was pictured in the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News giving capes to the poor children of Kentford and loading a cart with presents for the children of the parish.

Lily Langtry > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnThe Actor Illustrated described her unloading toys from a cart at the schoolhouse where she had decorated a Christmas tree. The older boys of the village were presented with tools and printing presses, the girls with model sewing machines. Younger children had dolls, tops and horses and the babies were given woolly dogs and squeaking birds. Even the mothers received blankets.

Finally retiring from the stage in 1914, in 1920 Lady de Bathe sold the house to Major Grigg and went to live in Monte Carlo, dying there in 1929. She is buried in Jersey in the churchyard close to the rectory where she was born

boots  > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to return Mrs Langtry's boots

 

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac