Tales of Our Great Families

Cover of book Tales of Our Great Families
Categories: Nonfiction

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of a fortune which should fairly outstrip the Rothschilds and Esterhazys. We are told by Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, in his amusing "Memoirs of My own Time," that George the Third had a very great objection to raise to the peerage any member of a family engaged in commercial pursuits; and it was long before he could be persuaded?even by his favourite " heaven-born" minister, William Pitt ?to break his resolution. The first to burst down the barrier of royal exclusiveness was Mr. Robert Smith, a banker in London, and the son of a banker at Nottingham, to whom Pitt was largely indebted for the " sinews of war" in the earlier part of his career, and on whom, therefore, was conferred, in 1797, the title of Lord Carrington, or, as the family now spell it, Carington. Another of the wealthy money-changers and money-brokers, whose fortunes were established by successful commerce, east of Temple Bar, in the middle of the last century, was the aforesaid Peter Thellusson, who was born in 1735. Though not known to fame on this side the British Channel, yet, according to Sir Bernard Burke and the Heralds, the Thellussons trace back their origin to the ancieime noblesse of the kingdom of France. The first of the name ofwhom we hear anything in particular was Frederick de Thellusson, Seigneur de Flescheres, and Baron de Saphorin, one among the nobles who assisted Philip VI. of France in his expedition into Flanders early in the fourteenth century. His family still owned their hereditary estates at Fleschere, near Lyons, up to the time of the great Massacre of St. Bartholomew, in August, 1572, when they fell among the victims of that dreadful night According to tradition, the only member of the family who escaped the slaughter was Theo- philus de Thellusson, who had marr...

Tales of Our Great Families
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