Historian, Author, Broadcaster and TikTok viral sensation coming to Stowe House

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Join us as last year's winner of the George Clarke Prize, Dr Amy Boyington, presents her fascinating research on the women at Stowe.

‘What about the women of Stowe? Throwing light on Stowe’s eighteenth-century chatelaines’

9 May, 6pm. Booking essential. Free of charge.

Stowe has long been celebrated for its pioneering gardens and its remarkable house, but it has been made even more famous by the illustrious names attached to it.

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Dr Amy BoyingtonDr Amy Boyington
Dr Amy Boyington

The patrons and architects that created Stowe, such as Viscount Cobham, Earl Temple, Sir John Vanbrugh, William Kent, James Gibbs, Charles Bridgeman and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, have all added to the lustre of this amazing country house. But what about the women?

There are several influential women associated with eighteenth-century Stowe whose stories have long been overshadowed by their male relatives. For example, it is astonishing that so little is known about Anne, Viscountess Cobham, née Halsey (d.1760), especially as her substantial dowry enabled Lord Cobham to transform Stowe.

And what about Anna, Lady Temple, née Chambers (1709?-1777), the wife of Earl Temple? She reputedly brought £50,000 to her marriage, thereby allowing Stowe to undergo a further transformation. She was also a published poet, and yet very little is known about her life.

Finally, what about Lady Mary Elizabeth Nugent (1758-1812), the wife of George Grenville, Marquess of Buckingham? She is generally completely forgotten, and yet she was a talented artist and an active philanthropist both in the local Stowe area and elsewhere.

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Stowe HouseStowe House
Stowe House

This talk aims to throw some much-needed light upon these women, focusing particularly on the lives of Anna, Countess Temple and her successor Mary, Marchioness of Buckingham. It seeks to highlight how they experienced and enjoyed Stowe, and whether they left a lasting legacy upon the estate.


Dr Amy Boyington is a historian, author and broadcaster. Through her work, publications and social media (@history_with_amy) she is committed to bringing history to life in an engaging and exciting way.

Amy has worked in a curatorial capacity at Holkham Hall, Goodwood House and Woburn Abbey. She has worked as a research consultant for the National Trust at Stowe Landscape Gardens and for Historic Royal Palaces at Kensington Palace. She was recently a Senior Properties Historian for English Heritage.

Amy's debut book Hidden Patrons: Woman & Architecture in Georgian Britain (Bloomsbury, 2023) has received rave reviews. She is now working on her second book Decadence & Display which focuses on the eighteenth-century country house dining room.

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