Old Court Hotel

Elizabeth the Widow and Mother

On the very eve of their next major overseas appointment to India, Simcoe was taken ill and died at Exeter in 1806. Over 40 years of widowhood followed, where Elizabeth’s grief ranked with that of her later sovereign, Victoria.

However, far from becoming a recluse, Elizabeth returned to her dedication toward her family, properties and the religious, social, political and charitable concerns of the day. She continued to travel widely with her children including visits to Whitchurch and Herefordshire, which she loved so well and was the frequent subject of her drawing. She spent time in Bath, at Aldwinkle and at least 5 weeks a year in Cheltenham, which was a particular favourite.

At this time, the enigmatic side of her personality was evident from the fact that she would not allow any of her daughters to marry during her lifetime. Elizabeth died in 1850 at the age of 87 years.

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