Birth: 25 February 1753

Place or Registered Place of Birth: Raphoe, co. Donegal, Ireland

Baptism: 15 March 1753

Place of Baptism: St James, Westminster, London, Middlesex

Death: 23 July 1821 - Aged 68

Place or Registered Place of Death: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Place of Burial: Middleton Park, Oxfordshire

Father: Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden, Bishop of Raphoe (1713-1752)

Mother: Frances Carter (1718-1764)

Spouse(s): George Bussy Villiers

Date of Marriage: 6 March 1770

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: St. Martin in the Fields, Middlesex


Charlotte Anne Villiers (1771-1808)
Anne Barbara Frances Villiers (1772-1832)
George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey (1773–1859)
Caroline Elizabeth Villiers (1774–1835)
Georgiana Villiers (-)
Sarah Villiers (1779-)
William Augustus Henry Villiers (1780–1813)
Elizabeth Villiers (-1810)
Elizabeth Frances Villiers (1786–1866)
Harriet Villiers (1788-1870)


The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 91 - 1821
Countess Of Jersey.
July 25. At Cheltenham, Frances Dowager Countess of Jersey, relict of George Bussy the fourth Earl. She was the sole daughter and heir of Dr. Philip Twysden, Bishop of Raphoe, younger son of Sir Wm. Twysden, of Royden Hall, in Kent, bart.; and was the mother of the present Earl of Jersey and of nine other children. She was very unpopular at the period of the unhappy marriage of our present Sovereign.

Her Ladyship's remains were interred in the family vault, at Middleton Park, Oxfordshire.

Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey (February 25, 1753 – July 23, 1821, Cheltenham) was one of the more notorious of the many mistresses of King George IV when he was Prince of Wales.

She was born Frances Twysden, apparently posthumously born daughter of the Rev. Philip Twysden, Bishop of Raphoe (1746–1752) (d. 2 November 1752, allegedly shot while attempting to rob a stagecoach in London)[1] and his second wife Frances Carter (later wife of General Johnstone), daughter of Thomas Carter of Robertstown, Master of the Rolls. Her disreputable father was third son of Sir William Twysden, 5th Bart of Roydon Hall, by his wife and distant cousin Jane Twisden. The Twysden family was convincingly traced from one Roger Twysden living around 1400.

When she was seventeen, she married George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey, son and heir of William Villiers, 3rd Earl of Jersey and his wife Lady Anne Egerton. Her husband was nearly twenty years older and was Master of Horse to the Prince of Wales and a Lord of the Bedchamber. The reason for the marriage of Lord Jersey to the daughter of a disreputable Irish bishop has not been explained in contemporary accounts.

George IV began his affair with Lady Jersey in 1782. She was also romantically involved with members of the English aristocracy, including Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle. It was not until 1794 that she lured the Prince of Wales away from his secret wife, Maria Fitzherbert, whom he had married in a Catholic ceremony that was invalid under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, in order for him to take a wife who could be legally acknowledged. He would, however, continue to be romantically involved with Mrs Fitzherbert until 1811.

Having encouraged the Prince of Wales to marry his first cousin, Caroline of Brunswick in 1794, Lady Jersey nevertheless set out to make Caroline's life difficult. However, the now Princess of Wales (Caroline) had very little regard for George IV, nor he for her, and after the birth of their child, they lived apart during their twenty-five year marriage, leaving a void Frances and other mistresses, including Mrs Fitzherbert, continued to fill.

Since Lady Jersey enjoyed the favour of Queen Charlotte, even the displeasure of George III was not enough to threaten Lady Jersey's position, and she continued to run the Prince of Wales' life and household for some time. In about 1803, her previously undisputed place as senior mistress to the Prince of Wales was challenged by his infatuation with Lady Hertford. Eventually, he replaced Lady Jersey, and she would come to have no active involvement with the royal court.

According to Archaelogia Cantiana,
"The home of the Bishop's daughter Frances, Lady Jersey, a favourite of George IV, became a society gambling rendezvous, at which the reputations of her cousins were in no way enhanced. She had remained married to George Villiers throughout."

Her son George's wife, Sarah (also famous as Lady Jersey), was a leader of the ton during the Regency of the Prince of Wales and his reign as George IV.

Lady Jersey died at Cheltenham and was buried at Middleton Stoney.

Lady Jersey occupied the Prince of Wales from 1794 to 1798. Her husband George Bussey Villers the 4th Earl of Jersey was the Prince of Wales Master of Horse. Born Frances Twysden in 1753 she was the daughter of the Irish Bishop of Raphoe. At 17 she married the 4th Earl of Jersey then 35. He was a member of the Prince's household as the Lord of the Bedchamber. The Prince first tried to bed her in 1782 without success.She had affairs with the diplomat William Fawkener and the 5th Earl of Carlisle. In 1794 as a 41 year old grandmother but still highly attractive she began an affair with the Prince of Wales. It is she who encouraged him to break off his relationship with Mrs. Fitzherbert and marry in order to settle his debts. She also encouraged the choice of Caroline of Brunswick whom she felt would be no threat to her hold over the Prince. She was made one of Princess Caroline's Ladies in waiting.

The Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden was born about 1713 at Royden Hall, East Peckham in Kent. Philip died on 2 November 1752 on Wrotham Heath in Kent and was buried at the Peckham Chapel, East Peckham, Kent.

Frances Carter was born at Robertstown, co. Meath in Ireland on 11 May 1718. Frances died on 24 November 1764.

The Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden and Frances Carter were married at Robertstown in Ireland on 27 February 1749.

Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden was born circa 1714. He was the son of Sir William Twysden, 5th Bt. and Jane Twisden.

Philip married, firstly, Mary (Elizabeth) Purcell 2 March 1740 at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Mary died about February 1743 at Crayford and was buried at East Peckham in Kent. They had two children from this marriage, Jenny Margaret Twysden who was born about 1742 and an unnamed son who was born and died in 1743.

He married, secondly, Frances Carter, daughter of Rt. Hon. Thomas Carter on 27 February 1749 at Robertstown, co. Meath in Ireland. Frances died 24 November 1764.

Philip died on 2 November 1752.

Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden held the office of Bishop of Raphoe between 1746 and 1752. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.). He had a daughter by his first wife.

Philip Twysden was better known for his spoting interests than his piety.

Rev. Philip Twysden, Bishop of Raphoe (1746–1752) (died 2 November 1752), allegedly shot while attempting to rob a stagecoach in London. Chaplain to Lord Chestefield when Lord Lieut of Ireland and then offered the (Irish) bishopric. Alumni Oxoniensis reports he was rector of Eastling, Kent 1745 till his death.

Rev. Philip Twysden was bankrupt before he died.

Is reputed to have tried to hold up a doctor on Wrotham heath, who had stayed the previous night at Royden Hall. Further, the previous evening, the bishop is supposed to have removed the charge from the doctor's pistols. But a sick man whom the doctor had attended that evening, warned him of the drawn pistols. The doctor recharged them and when held up by a highwayman who kept on advancing to him, shot him and then found the highwayman was the bishop.

If true, this was all hushed up for 40 years.

Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century By John Bowyer Nichols
Letters of the Rev. Samuel Denne, F.S.A.
Wilmington, Aug. 22, 1796
..........."In compliance with your request, I make the underwritten report of Dr. Philip Twysden, who died Bishop of Raphoe in Ireland, Nov. 2, 1752. He was the younger son of Sir William Twysden, of Royden-hall in Kent, Bart. He was presented to the Rectory of Crayford, in Kent, in December 1737; and resigned it in 1747, on his promotion to the above-mentioned See; and this seat upon the Irish Episcopal Bench was acquired by his being Chaplain to the Duke of Dorset when Viceroy. The first wife of Dr. Twysden, Mary Purcell, died in or about February 1743. I have the same voucher for mentioning that the Prelate of Raphoe was married to Miss Carter March 7, 1750, that he deceased Nov. 2, 1752, and that the lady of the late Bishop of Raphoe was delivered of a daughter Feb. 25,1753, who was christened Frances, and was married to George fourth Earl of Jersey. The name of the Bishop does not occur among the Predicators in Letsome's Preacher's Assistant, edited by Cooke; nor is it likely that he ever committed to the press any Sermon, though from his high station in the Church he could hardly have avoided delivering a discourse upon some public occasion............

Frances was the daughter of the Rt. Hon. Thomas Carter of Castlemartin, Master of the Rolls, Secretary of State, and P.C., of Robertstown and Rathnally, co. Meath, m. 1719, Mary, dau. and co-heiress (with her sister, the Viscountess Jocelyn) of Thomas Claxton, Esq. of Dublin, and had issue,

Thomas Carter, M.P. for Old Leighlin, m. to Anna-Maria, sister of Sir George Armytage, of Kirklees, co, York and by her (who m. 2ndly 18 Sept. 1766, John Nicholson, Esq. of Balrath, co. Meath) had issue one dau,, Mart, m. to Skeffington Thompson, Esq. of the co. Meath,

Henry Boyle Carter, Esq. (a capt. in Col. Irwin's regt.) of Castle Martin, m. 23 Feb. 1750, Susanna, dau. and co-heiress (with her sister, Elizabeth, who m. 1 June. 1738, John Bingham, of Newbrook, grandfather of John Bingham, 1st Lord Clanmorris), of Sir Arthur Shaen, Bart of Kilmore, co. Roscommon, and widow of James Wynne, Esq. of Hazlewood, co. Sligo, and by her had issue.

Frances, m. 1st, 27 Feb. 1749, to the Rt. Rev. Dr, Philip Twysden, bishop of Raphoe, by whom she had issue an only dau., Frances, m. 4 March, 1770, to George-Bussey, 4th Earl of Jersey. Mrs. Twysden m. 2ndly, Gen. James Johnston in 1763, colonel of the Scots Greys.

Susan, m. 21 April, 1743, to Thomas Trotter, of Duleek, co. Louth, grandfather of Elizabeth, Marchioness of Thomond.

Mary, d. unm.

The Rt. Rev. Philip Twysden and Frances Carter had a second older daughter, Mary. She only appears in the LDS records and with the name Twisden but the details make it very plain to be that she was an elder daughter though probably did not survive long, from the lack of other information on her.

Frances Twysden