More ancestors of the Princess of Wales

Continuing my project of reviewing recent scholarship (or new databases) that might add material to Richard Evans’s 2007 book, The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, I have reached the late Princess’s great-great-great-grandparents. Among them: James Brownell Boothby (1791–1850) and Charlotte Cunningham (1799–1893), who were married in 1816. Ancestry’s UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects, 1628–1969 database documents the marriage of James, late of Sheffield, Yorkshire, and Charlotte, late of Folke (Sherborne), Dorset, in “Bahia of the Brazils, South America.”[1] As there was then “no Protestant Church, Chapel, or Place of Public Worship” established in Bahia, the ceremony was performed by the bride’s father, Alexander Cunningham, the British Consul.

James Boothby’s entry should now read:

50. James Brownell Boothby, born at Sheffield 10 Feb. 1791 and died at Twyford (Ealing), Middlesex 28 Oct. 1850. He married at the bride’s father’s house, Bahia, Brazil 1 Aug. 1816,


A 2013 article in The Telegraph India indicates that the Princess’s matrilineal great-great-great-grandmother was born in Yemen, rather than in India:

63. Katherine Scott Forbes, born at Mocha, Yemen 1 Dec. 1812 and died at 16 Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen 10 April 1893.


Going back another generation, to the great-great-great-great-grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales:

66. Charles Bingham, 1st Earl of Lucan, M.P. [as Sir Charles Bingham, Bt., and Baron Lucan] 1761–76 and 1782–84 … married (by license) at St. James’s Church, Bath, Somerset 26 July 1760,[2]

67. Margaret Smyth, a miniature painter much admired by Horace Walpole, buried at St. Mary’s Church, Wimbledon, Surrey 22 Jan. 1814 aged 73.[3]

68. Vice Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour-Conway [later Seymour], M.P.  1784–86 and 1788–1801 … died off Jamaica 11 Sept., buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Arrow, Warwickshire 22 Nov. 1801.[4] He married at the Earl Waldegrave’s house, London 3 April 1786,

69. Lady Anne Horatia Waldegrave, born 8 Nov. 1762 and died 12 June 1801; buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard.


74. Vice Admiral William Lukin [from 1824 Windham], born 20 Sept., baptized at Metton, Norfolk 20 Oct. 1768 and died 12, bur. at Felbrigg, Norfolk 21 Jan. 1833.[5] He married at Plaistow, Kent 24 June 1801,

75. Anne Thellusson, born 25 Sept., baptized at the Church of St. Andrew Hubbard, London 19 Oct. 1774 and died 4, bur. at Felbrigg 12 Jan. 1849.[6]


The England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530–1980 at Ancestry provides new information for the second husband of Sophia Charlotte Howe, Baroness Howe in her own right [No. 85]:

Sir Jonathan Wathen Phipps [from 1814 Waller], 1st Baronet, G.C.H., born 6, baptized at the Church of St. Katherine Cree, London 26 Oct. 1769 and died at 8 New Cavendish Street, London 1 Jan. 1852, son of Joshua Phipps and Mary Allen. 


The entry for Georgiana (Montagu), Lady Gore, should read:

87. Georgiana Montagu, Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Adelaide, born 15 May, baptized at St. Swithin’s Church, Walcot (Bath), Somerset 13 June 1785[7] and died at Wilcot Manor, Wiltshire 14 Nov. 1854.


The entries for the Earl and Countess of Cardigan may be amended:

90. Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan, M.P. [as Robert Brudenell] 1797–1802, Equerry to HM Queen Charlotte 1791–1810, born posthumously at London 25 April 1769 and died at Portman Square, London 14 Aug. 1837. He married at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London 8 March 1794,

91. Penelope Anne Cooke, Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Charlotte 1818, born 14 Feb., baptized at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Harefield, Middlesex 8 March 1770[8] and died at Gopsall, Nottinghamshire 2 Feb. 1826.

Continued here.


[1] RG 33: Foreign Registers and Returns, 1627-1960. See also Edward J. Davies, “The parentage of Alexander Cunningham of Rio de Janeiro,” Notes and Queries 56: 3 [2009]: 371–74 at 372.

[2] Not 25 August 1760, as in the book. Somerset, England, Marriage Registers, Bond and Allegations 1754–1914 [database on-line].

[3] Not 27 February 1814, as in the book. Surrey, England, Church of England Burials, 1813–1897 [database on-line].

[4] Warwickshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1535–1812 [database on-line].

[5] Norfolk, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials 1813–1990 [database on-line].

[6] Norfolk, England, Transcripts of Church of England Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers 1600–1935 [database on-line].

[7] Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531–1812 [database on-line].

[8] London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538–1812 [database on-line].

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward was the founding editor at Vita Brevis; he served as NEHGS Editor-in-Chief 2013-2022. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

7 thoughts on “More ancestors of the Princess of Wales

  1. “Born posthumously” (as in the case of 90. Robert Brudennel) always sounds odd, as if one were born after one’s own death! I do have one known ancestor, a great-great-grandfather, who was a posthumous child. His poor mother was left alone in the wilds of Arkansas with three children and a fourth on the way, when her husband jumped into a river to escape a swarm of bees in December 1829 and died shortly thereafter of dropsy. I trust that Robert Brudennel’s mother had an easier time of it.

    1. Yes, Anne (Bishopp) Brudenell outlived her husband by 35 years. It was the gap between father’s death and son’s birth that made me look at the entries for this family — to find that Mrs. Brudenell’s birth couldn’t be documented among her parents’ other children — a question for another day!

  2. I believe the church where Sir Jonathan Wathen Phipps was baptised is St Catherine Cree. There is no “d” on Cree.

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