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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: July 2017

11 - Rescue

from Anne Hunter's life


John's old friend and colleague Dr Maxwell Garthshore came to the rescue. He arranged for Anne ‘to reside in the house of two young ladies of large fortune’ who were his wards, and to receive a very handsome salary. They were Ann and Jane Saunders, the orphaned daughters of Dr Richard (Huck) Saunders and his very wealthy wife Jane, heiress of her uncle Admiral Sir Charles Saunders. Garthshore's first wife had died in 1765 and he had recently remarried in May 1795, so perhaps he wished to relinquish the care of the girls. It is clear that they were living in central London, probably in St Marylebone, as on 30 August 1796 Ann Saunders, then still a minor, married Robert Dundas (son of Henry Dundas, and later 2nd Viscount Melville), at St Mary-le-Bone Church. It was a good catch, according to the Gentleman's Magazine, as she was worth £100,000. Anne did not attend the wedding, instead she spent the summer with the Gilberts in Cornwall. Thereafter Jane Saunders seems to have been living in New Street, Spring Gardens. She was still there in 1798 but not in 1799, having perhaps moved to the Dundas household in Wimbledon in 1798, from where she married John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, in February 1800.

Anne's time as chaperone to the Saunders girls was short-lived, for late in 1796 or early in 1797, more congenial employment was offered to her, this time caring for the ‘Ladies Eglinton’, Mary (aged 9 or 10) and Susannah Montgomerie (8 or 9) at 18 Duke Street, Westminster. Their father, John Hunter's friend and patient, Archibald Montgomerie the 11th Earl of Eglinton, had recently died and they became the wards of another friend of the Hunters’, the girls’ cousin Sir Archibald MacDonald. Now Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Sir Archibald was the posthumous son of Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat on the Isle of Skye, and his wife Lady Louisa (née Leveson-Gower) was a particular friend of Anne's. The MacDonalds also lived near to the Eglintons at 20 Duke Street. Anne became very fond of the Montgomerie girls and the MacDonalds’ teenage daughters Louisa and Susan.

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The Life and Poems of Anne Hunter
  • Online ISBN: 9781781388464
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