Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Lady Farnham
15 July 1861

Volume 4, page 213, sitting number 4921.

Born in or about 1805, the Honourable Anna Frances Esther Stapleton was the youngest daughter of Thomas Stapleton, 12th Lord le Despenser, whose ancestors arrived in Great Britain in the train of William the Conqueror.

On 3 December 1828 she married Henry Maxwell, the Member of Parliament for County Cavan in Ireland, who later succeeded his father and became the 7th Baron Farnham in the Peerage of Ireland. The following year he was elected one of the representative peers for Ireland. 

Their marriage produced no children.

Lord and Lady Farnham were both killed in the Abergele rail disaster of 1868.

Early in the morning on 20 August 1868 the Irish mail train on its way from London to Holyhead collided with a run-away cargo truck loaded with paraffin. The resulting explosion and fire killed 32 passengers, leaving the bodies so charred that the majority were beyond recognition. The accident was the worst railway disaster in Britain up to that date.

According to one report, 'This lady was 63 years of age at the time of her death' (Bell's Weekly Messenger, 22 August 1868).

[A portrait by Silvy of Lord Farnham appears on page 51 of this section.]


code: cs1713
Anna Frances Esther Stapleton, Anna Frances Esther Maxwell, 7th Baron Farnham, Lady Farnham, Farnham, violent death, Camille Silvy, Silvy