The Duke gave her an ultimatum: give up Grey and the child or she would never see her three children again.
Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (7 June 1757 - 30 March 1806), was a leading member of late Georgian society, famous for her extrovert personality, her extravagant fashions and her championing of the Whigs led by Charles James Fox.
She lived in a notorious “ménage à trois” with her husband and his mistress, Lady Elizabeth Foster, and had an affair with the future prime minister, Charles Grey, which almost ruined her.
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An intelligent woman Georgiana is usually associated with her extravagant behaviour, but there is a different side to her which is often overlooked. In 1779 , she published a satire, The Sylph, and she also wrote a number of poems, including The Passage of the Mountain of St Gothard and verses to accompany the bust of Charles James Fox at Woburn.
She was separated from her husband and living in restricted circumstances and eagerly seized the opportunity to improve her situation.
Lady Elizabeth, known as Bess, attached herself to Georgiana and was invited to return home with them.
She in turn was unprepared for her duties as Duchess and hungry for affection.
The Duke already had a mistress, Charlotte Spencer, with whom he had a daughter, Charlotte Williams.
In 1784, when Fox was struggling to keep his seat in the Westminster election, Georgiana and her sister went amongst the electorate, canvassing for votes for Fox.
Their actions were successful and Fox held his seat, but the press was humiliating, accusing Georgiana of exchanging kisses for votes and forcing her to take a less visible role in the future.
When she eventually confessed to her debts, it seemed for a while as if the Duke would divorce her, but instead he treated her with great forbearance.