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Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, Duchess of Kendal and Munster

From Academic Kids

Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, Duchess of Kendal and Munster was born at Emden on the December 25, 1667.

When a Maid of Honour to the Electress Sophia of Hanover, she became a mistress of the Electoral Prince, Georg Ludwig, and bore him at least three illegitimate children, including:

Georg succeeded as Elector of Hanover in 1698 and King of Great Britain (as George I) in 1714.

Melusine moved with him to England, and on the 18 July 1716 was created Duchess of Munster, Marchioness and Countess of Dungannon, and Baroness Dundalk, in the Peerage of Ireland. On the 19 March 1719 she was further created Duchess of Kendal, Countess of Feversham and Baroness Glastonbury, in the Peerage of Great Britain.

In 1723, the Emperor created her Princess of Eberstein. This last creation in particular tended to support the theory that she had married the King in secret. Robert Walpole said of her that she was "as much the queen of England as anyone was" (George's wife Sophia had been kept in imprisonment since their divorce in 1694).

The Duchess of Kendal was a very thin woman, being known in Germany as "the Scarecrow" and in England as "the Maypole". When in England, she lived principally at Kendal House in Isleworth, Middlesex,

She died, unmarried (unless George I had wedded her), on the 10 May, 1743.

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