research by Daphne McCutcheon - Mineheadonline.com
Baroness Marie Amelie Philippine le Clement de Taintegnies
(1848 - 1932)


There is not a lot of information to be found about this illusive lady.... so I thought.........

She was born in Belgium in 12th August 1848 at 7618 Hainaut, Wallonie Belgium. She died in Minehead
on the 10th August 1932.  This was her maiden name. She was actually the daughter of
Baron Philippe-Hubert le Clement de Taintegnies born 1823. died 1869, secrétaire de légation, and
Mathilde Felicite Walsh, daughter of *Count Alfred Walsh and Stella Stanhope.
On 12th September 1868 she married Édouard Émile Honoré Roussille who was born in Mons, Hainaut, Belgium on
9th Dec. 1843. His parents were    
          Jacques François Honoré Roussille and his mother was Clemence Victoire Antoinette Fischer.

She had two sisters:
1) Isabelle Hubertine Emma Caroline le CLEMENT de TAINTIGNIES was born October 21st 1849 at 7618, Hainaut, Wallonie, Belgium. On 21st March 1870 she married Cecil Alfred Hughes. He was born in London on August 26th 1845.

Cecil Alfred Hughes was an officer in the 2nd Life guards, they divorced on the grounds of her adultery with Captain Robert Dalrymple Stewart Muirhead, whom she later married. They had a daughter Lilias Muirhead who was staying with the Baroness in Minehead during the 1901census. Isabelle died in 1934 in Kensington.
Lilias Mabel S Muirhead born 1879  married  Hugh Arthur Stone 3qt. 1907 St.George Hanover Sq. London. 

2) Aline Estelle le CLEMENT de TAINTIGNIES born 29th March 1851 at 7618, Hainaut, Wallonie, Belgium. On 23rd August 1871 she married Francois Charles Marie Antoine de Herissem du Saint-Empire. He died in 1890.

(*Count Alfred Isidore Walsh was the son of Count Philip Walsh, K.S.L., a Major in the Irish Brigade, first in the French Service and afterwards in the British, 3rd son of the first Count of Serrant], a Lieut, in the 15th Regt., he married 26 June 1819 Stella Eloisa, daughter of Philip Dormer Stanhope and granddaughter of Charles Stanhope by his wife (m. 14 July 1745) Catherine Margaretta, sister of Thomas Cope Freeman of Abbot's Langley, co. Herts, and 14 Feb. 1823 assumed the name of Walsh-Freeman under the will of Frances, widow of Admiral Allen and da. of the aforesaid T. C. Freeman. Count Alfred Isidore Walsh-Freeman, died 19 Dec. 1862).

I was told that this is a picture of the Baroness - unfortunately this is incorrect,
the lady is in fact the Countess Lovelace (Mary Caroline King, wife of Ralph, Earl Lovelace)

This early reference to the Baroness, is a piece from a book called 'Memories of an Old Etonian' which states

"We were on friendly terms with the Baron de Taintegnies, who was in attendance
in Leopold ll., King of the Belgians, and also with his three lovely daughters, who,
with their cousins, the daughters of Baron Danetan, were considered the most
beautiful girls in Brussels society at that time. One of the former married in later
years, Captain Stewart Muirhead, of the Blues, a friend of my father and of
Captain Dorrien.

Marie, the Baron's eldest daughter, who was a lovely girl, afterwards became the
Baroness Le Clement de Taintegnies. She lives at Minehead, where she has a fine
estate and hunts with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. I heard from her

quite recently. Her sister, Isa, who married Captain Stewart Muirhead, is now a
widow, her husband having died in Paris in 1906. She also hunts with the
staghounds in Devonshire, and both sisters are well-known horsewomen. Aline,
the youngest sister, who was called 'Bebe', and whom I admired very much when
a child at Brussels and Ostend, married in 1871 Baron de Herissem, and after his death, went to italy where she married again and lived for
several years. She died at Ancona in 1906."

The Baroness had a great love of hunting with hounds and road frequently with the Harriers and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds,
She laid the foundation stone at the hunts kennels at Periton. The Minehead  (originally the Hindon) Harriers were established before 1890 and hunted twice a week in the 1930's. Stag hunting was carried out in October and fox, otter and badger hunting occasionally in 1906.

 (Early in 1890 a public meeting was held at the Beach Hotel in Minehead where a committee was appointed. Now at least a start had been made and a pack of Harriers called 'The Minehead Harriers' was, once again, hunting the district. The hounds at this time, were still the property of the Master and the Hunt had no kennels of it's own. A parcel of land was purchased near Whitecross (later the Rugby ground) by Mr John Stoate with the intention of building kennels and generously allowing them rent free to the Minehead Harriers.
On March 29th, 1890, at a grand ceremony attended by between four and five hundred people and the Master with 11 couple of hounds, the Baroness Le Clement de Taintegnies of Ashley Combe laid the foundation stone of these new kennels.

That is the first reference I have found for the Baroness in Somerset, although she is said to have visited the area frequently.
The earliest reference to her in the West Country is actually staying at the Woody Bay hotel in North Devon, which Harriet Bridle notes in her excellent book of the same title.The earliest census that she appears in is the 1891.

 The 1891 census shows the Baroness living at Ashley Combe Lodge aged 39 she is shown as married.
Kemeys Riddell is listed here, and under relationship is says 'resident agent'. He is aged 28 born in Ottery St.Mary, occupation Land Agent. 
Also living there were these servants:

Sarah E Cornell, aged 50, housekeeper, born in Ely

Vaila Lemaire aged 23 Ladys maid, born Celles Dinant Belgium
Gaston Hus aged 22, footman, born unreadable de leige belgium
Thomas Cornell aged 39, coachman/groom, born in Rogan Essex
Rebecca Tomlin aged 36, upper housemaid born, in Deeping St.James, Lincolnshire
Maria Mooney aged 28, cook, born Fermey Cork Ireland.
Elizabeth A Pugsley age 20, under housemaid, born Porlock
Thomas M Griffiths aged 26, footman, born Hereford
Joseph Moore aged 19, groom, born st. Thomas Exeter Devon
Vincent Evans aged 24, groom, born Cutcombe Somerset
1894 electoral roll shows her living at Ashley Combe

(thanks to Elaine Chant who contributed this photo from her collection)


The Baroness bought Clevelands Minehead from Thomas Lomas in 1899 and the 1901 census show her living at there, aged 49. Staying with her is her niece Lilias S Muirhead aged 22 born in France (She is the daughter of her sister Isabelle who married Stewart Muirhead).
Kemeys Ridell is listed as a boarder aged 39, occupation Land agent.
Mary J Saunders aged 51, cook, born Dulverton
Rose Knight aged 25, Housemaid, born Tiverton
Kesiah Ashman aged 34, ladys maid, born Bath
Phoebe Gould, aged 18, housemaid, born Little Hadham, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Gratton aged 21, kitchen maid born Northlew, Devon
John Copp, aged 31, groom, born Devon
Fenton Earnshaw, aged 26, footman, born Overton Denbighshire Wales


In 1910 she is mentioned in The Polo Monthly:

The club's Challenge Cup, of which the Grasshoppers (Capt. Unthank and
Messrs E.C.Henn-Gennys, J.Vere Foster and F.Rich)
were the holders, was presented by Baroness Taintegnies to the winners,
who also received individual mementoes of their victory.

1905 electoral roll shows her living at Clevelands

  In 1911 the head of the household is meant to fill in the census form, so maybe this is written by the Lady herself, but at least it is her signature.   It is quite interesting as it states she has been married 43yrs, has had 5children of whom only 1 is still living.  Also states the house has 20 rooms.  
Kemeys Riddells' relationship is now shown as 'friend'. aged 48. 
She has another friend staying called Caroline D Preston aged 63 and single.
Caroline Dundas Preston (1848-1934) was a friend (staying with her in 1911) born in Gormanston Castle in Ireland, and died in Kensington,  http://www.irelandxo.com/node/11748
Mary Saunders aged 49, cook, born Dulverton
Keziah Ashman aged 44, maid, born Bath
Beatrice Simpson aged 26, housemaid, born Melton Mowbray
Florence Popler aged 19, born Swindon
Louisa Life aged 20, kitchen maid, born Ashbourne Devon
Edwin James aged 22, Footman, born Faringdon Berks.

 She lived at Clevelands for 32yrs and during that time made alterations and additions to the house. Photographs from that time show stabling and an extra wing facing west. She also had an extensive aviary built to house her collection of rare birds.
I heard mentioned a long time ago. reminiscences the locals had of the Baroness making frequent trips into town in a horse and carriage complete with footmen.

From a book called ' The War Memorial: The Story of One Village's Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003' By Clive Aslet (found online) I found this reference to the Baroness:-
'Further along the coast, exercising their horses on the sands at Thorpe-le-Soken, near Frinton-on-Sea, were the 1st West Somerset Yeomanry.
They and the North Devons formed part of the 2nd South-West Mounted Brigade. One of the West Somersets, was young Private H.C.Brittain,who joined in early 1915, a year and six months below the official recruitment age of nineteen. Before the war, Brittain had worked as a gardener for a 'good and kind lady', Baroness Le Clement de Taintegnies, at Minehead. (Pleased that he was doing his bit when he was sent abroad, she arranged for supplies of cigarettes and tobacco to be sent to him from the Army and Navy Stores, in Victoria Street.)

When Brittain's regiment, with the North Devons, eagerly volunteered for service in the Mediterranean, his enthusiasm was tempered by surprise and dismay: their horses were to be taken from them. Dismounted, both regiments were to be refitted as infantry, the only consolation being that they would retain their cavalry pay.
Apparently the Baroness signed a petition protesting against the first motor charabancs in Minehead area in 1908.

Her mother, Countess Alfred Walsh, died in 1903 and is buried in the churchyard of St.Michaels, next door to Clevelands. (this fact was supplied by Elaine Chant)
Last name WALSH
Gender Female
Birth day -
Birth month -
Birth year 1822
Age 81
Death quarter 1
Death year 1903
County Somerset
Volume 5C
Page 186

  The Baroness died at Clevelands in August 1932 aged 80 and is buried in the Minehead Cemetary as you leave Minehead on the Porlock Road. (thanks to Elaine Chant who supplied this information)
It is said that her ghost still haunts the house.
First name(s) MARIE A P LE C
Gender Female
Birth day -
Birth month -
Birth year 1849
Age 83
Death quarter 3
Death year 1932
County Somerset
Volume 5C
Page 250
Her death was also registered as (thus confirming her married name).
First name(s) MARIE A. P. L.C.
Gender Female
Birth day -
Birth month -
Birth year 1849
Age 83
Death quarter 3
Death year 1932
County Somerset
Volume 5C
Page 250
  A report in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 19th August 1932.
A Requiem Mass was held at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Minehead, for Baroness Marie le Clement de Taintegnies. There was a large congregation. She had resided in West Somerset for over forty years, and formerly hunted regularly with the Devon and Somerset and other local packs. She was in her 84th year.


Report of the Funeral from the West Somerset Free Press, Friday 19th August 1932 -(just as written)
After and illness of about six weeks, the death took place at her residence, Cleveland, on North Hill, just after midnight on Tuesday, of Baronne Marie le Clement de Taintegnies. The Baroness, who had reached an advanced age - she would have been 84 years old today (Friday)- was the daughter of the late Baron de Taintegnies and of the late Countess Alfred Walsh, who died at Minehead in 1903. She was a native of Belgium, but had been resident in this country most of her life, and for over forty years in West Somerset. She came to live at Ashley Combe in 1887and before that was at Woody Bay for a time. But previously she was often a visitor from London to the West Country. It is very probable that the hunting to be enjoyed in this part of the country was the great inducement that caused her to settle down in West Somerset. A very keen follower of hounds in her younger days, she hunted with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and the Exmoor Foxhounds while at Ashley Combe, where she lived for ten years, and after coming to Minehead the West Somerset Foxhounds claimed her interest more. It is, of course, many years since that she hunted, but the older generations remember her as a familiar figure at meets of local packs, including the opening meet at Cloutham which she regularly attended up to about 1913, and as a fearless rider in the field.
Since 1897 she had lived at Cleveland, and it is not generally known perhaps that she had another great interest apart from hunting. She was a great lover of birds, and in extensive aviaries at Cleveland, were many different species, including several rare kinds.
In the Baroness de Taintegnies the Convent of St. Louis and the Church of the Sacred Heart had a great friend, and by none is her death more sincerely regretted than by the sisterhood of the Convent, which the Baroness had befriended from the time it was established at Minehead.
The funeral took place this (Friday) morning. The coffin was taken to the Church of the Sacred Heart on Thursday evening, the Rev.M.J.Hyland conducting a short service as it was received into the Church. The coffin was of unpolished oak, and in addition to the name the breastplate was inscribed just with the dates "Born 1848, Died 1932." Many friends attended a Requiem Mass this (Friday) morning, at which Father Hyland officiated, after which the interment was carried out at the cemetery.
The family mourners were: Monsieur Rousille, Brussels (son): Mrs Lethbridge-Stone, Repton, and Mrs R.H.Kemp London (nieces); Capt. R.H.Kemp, London (nephew-in-law); and Mr.T.A.Law, London (great-nephew).
Members of the indoor and outdoor staff at Cleveland who attended the service were Mr. George Skinner, Miss Lawrence, Miss F.Howell, Mr. Arthur Butcher (who had been in the Baroness' service for about 40 years) and Mrs. Butcher, and
Mr. Fred Smith.
Among those who attended the Requiem Mass were the Rev. Mother Superior, with several of the sisters from the Convent and the Convent Orphans, Mr Sam Adams, Mr V.Iles, Mr Jack Parsons, Mr. and Mrs. F. Blofeld, Col. and Mrs. Page-Henderson, Mrs Hartley Maud, Mr. H.A.Thorne and W.H.Allen Thorne, Mrs Butcher and Miss Butcher, Miss Viet, Mrs.A.Smith, Mr.T.Yandle, Mr. and Mrs. W.T.Ball, Mr. A.C.Tyley, Mrs Hunter Gray, Mrs Whitehead, Mr.H.B.Walker, etc. Mr Beethoven Slade was the organist.
It was the Baroness' wish that there should be no flowers and this was observed.
Mr. S.Mason, Highertown, carried out the funeral arrangements.

Having found that the Baroness had a son, I am unable to find anything more about him, not even his Christian name. However Mrs Lethbridge-Stone was Isabelle's daughter, Lilias Muirhead, and between 1935-1952... she was living at Cleveland Cottage in Minehead.  She died there the following year in 1953, so is probably buried in Minehead as well.

The Baroness' stud-groom Arthur Butcher, was living in Cleveland Cottage in 1910 and mentioned in the probate (below) £100 to her stud-groom Arthur Butcher, if serving".  So he was probably still there when the Baroness died in 1932 (he would have been 59 then). He was actually Joseph Arthur Butcher born 1873 in Nuthurst Sussex.  He married Ann Kingdon who was born in Porlock. They had two children, Gladys b.1899 and Arthur born 1902. He died in 1949 aged 76.




Her furniture and effects were auctioned after she died
(thanks to Elaine Chant for this contribution from her collection)

I found this item online










Marie Amelia Philippine le Clement de Taintegnies of Minehead Somerset, who died on August 10th last aged 83yrs left gross estate of the value of £7,99118s 1d with net personalty £4,088 17s 1d.
Testatrix left £300 to the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Mission at Minehead, " I express the earnest wish (without creating any trust) that a mass may be said every Friday in the Roman Catholic Church at Minehead'. £100 to her stud-groom Arthur Butcher, if serving. £100 to Richard Hensley, gardener, in her service since 1899, if serving at her death. £25 to Fred Smith if serving. Three months wages to each indoor servant of eight years service. One months wages to each other outdoor servant of eight years service. She left her cockatoo with cage and stand to Clifton zoological Gardens.
So far I have found no records of the children she refers too in the 1911 census, except for the son mentioned earlier.

Greatful thanks to my cousin, Doug, in Canada who help unearth some of this information for me, and to Elaine Chant for her contribution to my research, including several photos from her collection.


Clevelands, top left of picture c.1890

  Link to my page about Thomas Lomas, the builder of Clevelands 1877