20 SEPTEMBER 1969, Page 11

A hundred years ago

From the 'Spectator', 18 September 1869- Lady Palmerston died at Brockett Hall, Herts, this day week, in the eighty-third year of her age. She was, when Countess Cowper. one of the first six patronesses of Almack's, and a great leader in the fashionable world. The Times . . . eulogizes greatly her "grace, refinement, sweetness of disposition," &c; but it was hardly by these qualities alone, or what they suggest, that she so long ruled in the political drawing-rooms of England. Like almost all leaders of this kind, Lady Palmerston had a vast deal of fibre in her physique. Grace and refinement without bodily strength are of little account in a life of wear and tear such as hers.