THE HONOURABLE MARY NEAVE, A COUNTESS OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, is daughter
of the late Everard James, ninth Lord Arundel of Wardour, and Mary, third
daughter of Robert Jones, Esq.
Mrs. Neave's descent and lineage, both in the paternal and maternal line,
are in the highest degree ancient and illustrious. About the middle of
the sixteenth century, Sir Thomas Arundel, her lineal ancestor, peculiarly
distinguished himself against the Turks at the battle of Stregonium, where
he served as a volunteer under the Emperor Rodolph II. For his valorous
feats on that occasion he was created a Count of the Holy Roman Empire
by patent, dated at Prague, December 14th, 1595, with limitation to each
of his children and their descendants for ever of both sexes. He was subsequently
elevated to the peerage of England by King James I., on the 4th of May,
1605, with the title of Baron Arundel of Wardour. His honours descended
in due course to the father of the lady who is the subject of the present
necessarily brief notice.
By her mother's side Mrs. Neave claims a descent of very high antiquity
in the annals of Great Britain, as deriving her lineage from the ancient
house of Jones, of Holt, in Denbighshire, which traces its origin in a
regular genealogical course up to Ednowain Bendew, son of Conan, and grandson
of Gwaithvoed, Prince of Powis.
Mrs. Neave, then the Honourable Mary Arundel, was married to Richard Digby
Neave, Esq., on the 7th of August, 1828.
Mr. Neave, according to tradition, is descended from the ancient family
of Le Neve of Norfolk; but in the early part of the seventeenth century,
we find the branch from which this gentleman immediately springs possessed
of considerable property in the counties of Suffolk and Essex. Sir Richard
Neave, the first Baronet, became an eminent merchant of London, and was
elected Governor of the Bank of England in 1780. He bore a conspicuous
part in the mercantile transactions of that period, being one of the Commissioners
of Public Accounts, a Director of the Hudson Bay Company, Chairman of
the West India Merchants, and also of the Ramsgate Harbour Trusts.
His son and successor, Sir Thomas Neave of Dagnum Park, Essex, married
Frances Caroline, daughter of the Rev. William Digby, Dean of Durham,
and niece of the first Earl of Digby, of which marriage Mr. Richard Digby
Neave is the eldest born and next in succession to the Baronetcy.