Letters to the Countess

Edited by N. C. F. DE SALIS




Letters to the Countess is an anthology of private letters received by Henrietta, Countess de Salis between 1802 to 1832. The letters are from a previously unpublished family archive.

In 1810, Jerome, 4th Count de Salis,product_thumbnail.php married Henrietta Foster, daughter of William Foster, Bishop of Clogher, and niece of John Foster, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

After their marriage, Jerome and Henrietta lived between Ireland (Rokeby Hall), London, and the Continent. They travelled frequently.  Nine children followed, being born between 1812 and 1828, respectively in Dublin, London, Dublin, Paris, Paris, Florence, Dublin, Bath and Pisa.

While abroad, Henrietta was kept up to date of events in Ireland by letters from her sister, Letitia North, from her  brother-in-law, John Henry North and her brother, John Leslie Foster.  The letters provide an insight into political and domestic events of the time and the tensions that existed between them.

When the Countess encouraged North to stand for Parliament in the Drogheda election of 1822 she was met with consternation from John Leslie Foster, who ‘did not approve … of ladies dictating to gentlemen in matters to which the softer sex are usually strangers’.

In 1828 and with the Countess’s support, John Henry North was eventually elected as MP for Drogheda but his success was short-lived: only three years later he died, exhausted, having failed to stem the revolutionary tide for reform.

After North’s death, a bitter row ensued between the two sisters about the expenses of his election.




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