Lady Agnes Mackenzie
(1832 - after 1913)
4 July 1862
Volume 8, page 174, sitting number 10,318.
Born in or about 1832, Agnes Smyth was the second daughter of Ross Thompson Smyth of Ardmore, County Londonderry.
On 16 August 1858 at St Peter’s in Dublin she married Sir William Mackenzie of Coul, born in 1806, who had entered the Maritime Service of the East India Company in 1826, served in Bombay and China, lived some time in New South Wales and succeeded to his Baronetcy in 1856.
A dinner and ball for one hundred local dignitaries and tenants was given at Coul House on the night of the wedding. Sir James Mackenzie of Rosehaugh ‘discharged the duties of chairman with his usual tact and bonhomie.’ The Inverness Courier (19 August 1858) reported on the event in great detail, reprinting many of the speeches. Sir James informed the assembled company that ‘I have every reason to think that Sir William Mackenzie has this day drawn as his prize in the lottery of life one of the brightest gems of the Emerald Isle. Lady Mackenzie’s family, the Smyths of Ardmore, are much esteemed and respected in the county of Derry. Her father, Mr Smyth of Ardmore, is a landed proprietor of influence; and, when famine and pestilence visited the sister isle some years ago, Mr Smyth was amongst the foremost in acts of charity and benevolence. He helped to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, he sympathised with suffering, he sorrowed for bereavement. Such, gentlemen, is a brief and very imperfect description of the family of the lady to whom I am sure you all prepared to give a most cordial Highland welcome.’
Sir William Mackenzie died without issue at Coul House in Contin on 21 December 1868. In September 1881 Lady Mackenzie married en secondes noces the Baron di San Felice di Monteforte, a Neapolitan nobleman.
According to the Complete Baronetage (George Edward Cokayne, 1904), in 1904 she was living in Rome. When a prominent member of the Mackenzie clan got married at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow in 1913, a local newspaper listed all the gifts received by the bridal couple; the ‘Baronessa di San Felici’ [sic] gave a book.