Comments on: Found Feminism: Jael Boscawen (1647-1730) /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/ A feminist pop culture adventure Wed, 29 May 2013 14:48:24 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ann Clegg /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/#comment-36407 Wed, 29 May 2013 14:48:24 +0000 Thanks Eithne – my mistake.
One other bit of info to add to the story of Jael. At the time of Margaret’s (nee Blagge) death, when Jael and John Evelyn took charge of Sidney’s household and made the funeral arrangements, Jael was unable to travel with the coffin to Cornwall as not just was she looking after Margaret’s new born child Francis but she was nursing her own child Peggie who died in London while the rest of the family were in Cornwall. Sidney wrote this to Jael on 13 Oct 1678 –
“God Almighty is able to send us comforts equall to those he takes from us if he sees fit, butb tis better not to have our portion in this life; people are too apt in prosperity to forget to whome they owe it. Affliction is easier to beare & keep one’s duty. I hope you and I shall always endeavour to doe ours & I pray every day that wee may succeed in it, I doubt not but you doe so too”.
quoted in Transformations of Love by Frances Harris. Oxford UP 2002

By: Eithne Bearden /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/#comment-29360 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 23:03:56 +0000 Just wanted to point out that there is one error in Ann Clegg’s otherwise excellent response. Jael Boscawen’s husband was Edward Boscawen, the son of Hugh Boscawen of Tregothnan, Cornwall. He was never raised to the peerage (hence Jael’s title of “Mrs. Boscawen” – otherwise she’d be the Countess of Falmouth. ) He died in 1685, and it seems that the widowed Jael and her widowed brother Sidney combined households. They seem to have helped each other and he was close to her.

Her son Hugh became the first Viscount Falmouth.

She described herself in later years as “‘very simple* and ‘a worn out insignificant old creature’.”, but she was able to gently take Sarah Duchess of Marlborough to task in later years when she got a bit out of hand in her dealings with her children. (But like all Godolphins – with tact!)

By: Ann Clegg /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/#comment-8966 Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:42:24 +0000 Hi – Jael Boscawen was the wife of Edward the First Earl of Falmouth. She was the daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin ( 1605 – 1667) of Godolphin in Cornwall and his wife Dorothy Berkeley ofYyarlington in Somerset. A great Royalist household. They had 16 children of whom 13 survived infancy. The most notable being Sir William MP, Sidney, National Statesman 1645 – 1712,Henry, Provost of Eton and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Charles MP who married his cousin Elizabeth who founded Godolphin School for Girls.
Jael helped to bring up Sidney’s only child Francis ( later 2nd Earl) when his mother Margaret Blagge died immediately following his birth. Margaret was the muse of John Evelyn. John Evelyn later engineered with Sidney Godolphin, the sponsorship of Evelyn’s grandson Jack and the marriage of jack to Jael’s daugher Anne Boscawen. Hope this is useful.

I am a historian and secretary of the Friends of Godolphin, a National Trust Supporter Group, researching the history of the Godolphin family. Sorry to disappoint you – they were great Royalists not Parliamentarians! Ann Clegg

By: Sarah Cook /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/#comment-7770 Thu, 27 Sep 2012 16:55:54 +0000 In reply to Simon Trafford.

Hi Simon,

Yes, it’s very strange how little there is about her – probably why I find her so fascinating.

And I do remember you (and the dancing!)

By: Simon Trafford /2012/09/24/found-feminism-jael-boscawen-1647-1730/#comment-7375 Mon, 24 Sep 2012 18:34:33 +0000 Excellent piece and thoroughly intriguing. A quick glance at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography shows that she doesn’t have an entry there, either, although she could almost certainly be chased using the biographies and source materials given in the DNB entries for her brother Sydney and her son Hugh, both of whom have entries (as they do in Wikipedia). (Entirely typical to be able to see historical women only through their relationships with historical men, incidentally.) But the DNB entry for her son notes that Jael was a friend of Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, which shows that there must be at least some trace of her in the records. She’s of a level in society and period where it would be no surprise if there were indeed quite decent information recorded on her somewhere.

Oh, and hi, Sarah: I don’t know if you’ll remember but we met ages and ages ago at Planet Angel. :-)