18 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
50 he married the widow of Colonel Edward Sacheverel Pole. This lady, Elizabeth Collier by name; was famous for her wit and 'beauty ; Darwin made passionate poems (see Plate :XI) to her even before her husband's death, and when she was ill he-is reported to have spent the night outside her chamber window. Elizabeth Collier (see Plate XVII) must have been a noteworthy beauty in her day and had many younger suitors when Erasmus Darwin won her after only six months of widowhood. In old age she was a striking figure to her grandchildren, spending her days wholly outdoors supervising her gardeners and labourers at Breadsall Priory, and her house was visited by her grandchildren with the greatest enjoyment. Of her ancestry we can piece together but little, and that tradition, not certainty. Family tradition states that she was a natural daughter' of Charles Colyear, second Earl of Portmore (see Plate XIII). Lord Portmore was a very well-known social figure in his days. He was one of the leading men on the turf in its early period, and his name occurs repeatedly in the old form of racing-namely, matches between two horses, agreed for a certain date between two owners. First as Captain Colyear and then as Lord Portmore from 1720 to 1,760 we find him engaged, in such matches with the Duke of Leeds, Sir Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Godolphin, etc., all notable figures in the early horse racing and horse breeding world. It was a world which centred chiefly round Newmarket Heath, and was largely self-contained. When Peregrine, the Duke of Leeds, dies, his widow Juliana marries Lord Portmore their daughter, Lady Caroline Colyear, marries Sir Nathaniel Curzon, and the son of Peregrine, Thomas fourth Duke of Leeds, marries Mary Godolphin in 1740, and ultimately comes into possession of GogMagog House (with the grave of the Godolphin Arab) near Cambridge. In such environment we have to look for the mother of Elizabeth Collier, who is reported to have been the governess to the Duchess of Leeds' daughters, Lady Caroline and Lady Juliana. It is significant of the higher sense of responsibility of those days, combined as it was with much greater looseness of morals, that we find in the family records that the natural children were often brought up in touch with members of the legitimate family and provided for in much the same way. Thus we
' She was brought up in good society under the charge of a Mrs Mainwaring of Farnham, of whom Elizabeth Collier always spoke with great affection, and whom she occasionally visited.