Royal Genes

Safe For Kids

Re: Royal Ancestors for Americans? - Benedict Swingate/Calvert

Sat, 7 Jan 2006 21:13:22 +0000 (UTC) soc.genealogy.medieval

Hello Leo,

For whatever it may be worth:

The intriguing hypothesis that the mother of Benedict Swingate/Calvert
of Maryland - an acknowledged illegitimate son of Charles Calvert, 5th
Lord Baltimore [himself an illegitimate descendant of Charles II] - was
Pertronilla Melusina. Countess of Walsingham and Chesterfield was
perhaps widely floated for the first time by the gifted though
increasingly eccentric (to say the least), American genealogist George
W. H. Washington, FASG (alias S.H. Lee Washington). He wrote in 1950
[New England Historical and Genealogical Register 104:175, n.4]:

"Furthermore, in May 1778 Rebecca [(Calvert) (1749-1770)]'s son ...
entered Eton with his young Calvert uncle; and as family letters state,
he lodged at Chesterfield House in St. James's, London, residence of his
aged great-grandmother, Petronilla Melusina d'Este (1694-Sept.1778),
Countess of Walsingham and Chesterfield. Lady Walsingham, who had been
at one time privately married (1723) to Charles, 5th Lord Baltimore, was
the daughter of King George I and his morganatic wife the Duchess of

I have never read any scholarly work on this hypothesized link, but it
is on the face of it not implausible. Lord Baltimore's intimacy with the
Royal family is clear (Cofferer to the Prince of Wales), and there is
evidence in Calvert family papers that Benedict's mother was very highly
born, for which reason her identity was said to have been strictly

All best,


Anthony Hoskins
History, Genealogy and Archives Librarian
History and Genealogy Library
Sonoma County Library
3rd and E Streets
Santa Rosa, California 95404

707/545-0831, ext. 562