Alfred Charlemagne Lambart (1861-1943)

 I am indebted to John Adlard’s book “Stenbock, Yeats and the Nineties” (Woolf 1969) for information on Lambart and any quotes emanate from him. Lambart was related to the Earls of Cavan and appears not to have followed any particular profession. He was “improvident, intelligent and amusing”. Apparently he thought he was rather like Byron. He seems to have spent most of his time abroad, he had friends in the literary and artistic world and he knew Max Beerbohm who drew a caricature of him. Max says he was always very correctly dressed and one surmises he was part of the Florence ex-pat community, a world depicted in Maugham’s Up at the Villa. This caricature can be seen in Hart-Davis’s “Letters of Max Beerbohm to Reggie Turner” (1964–opposite page 284.)  He was married twice and divorced twice. His second marriage, to Lady Mexborough “seems merely to have been for his own maintenance”. It seems, in the end, that Lady Mexborough settled him in some comfort at her villa near Florence while she instituted costly divorce proceedings. It is known he was a friend of the decadent poet Count Eric Stenbock (1860-1895) who left him £200 in his will. I surmise, as they were both about the same age, that they were at Oxford together. However a preliminary search of Oxford records reveals no Lambart. Stenbock was up at Oxford in 1879 at the same time that Gerard Manley Hopkins was living there. Adlard says “we know that (Lambart) was a crony of Eric’s only from Eric’s will. He was a tireless correspondent and kept almost all his letters; but when he died his daughter burned the lot. It seems a very great pity.”

One wonders why his letters were burnt, although it was and still is a not uncommon practice. His connection with the 1890s decadents may have been deemed shameful. Even  in the 1950s Oscar Wilde was spoken of in hushed tones. Any further information would be appreciated.

A final deep search revealed that Lambart was first married to one Constance Green in June 1897 and married again in June 1920 to  Anne Belcher (Lady Mexborough) who died in 1943. He is also to be found at a website devoted to heirs of William the Conqueror and he was also, presumably, an heir of the Emperor Charlemagne.

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