Alexina Sophia Gallot

11/15/02

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Alexina Sophia Gallot

Alexina was born in 1821in Surry, England to John and Ann Elizabeth Gallott.

During her teenage years Alexina met Robert Henry Herbert, the 12th Earl of Pembroke and 9th Earl of Montgomery, and went to live with him in Paris.  Robert was still married to Princess Octavia Spinelli of Sicilly, so the two never married.  By 1852 they had 3 young sons.  Robert fell ill and during the lengthy illness his brother, Sidney, took care of him and lectured him on his irregular life. Robert recovered but had no intention of discarding his mistress, and three years later a little girl was born. As the children were illegitimate, his heir was Sidney who, after being made Baron Herbert of Lea, died in 1861. When Robert died in Paris in 1862, it was Sidney's son who became the next Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery.

In the 1881 census Sophia (the name she was using at the time) is listed as living at 2 Chester Ter London, England as a visitor in the home of James D. Cowan.

 

More on Robert Henry Herbert, 12th Earl of Pembroke, 
9th Earl of Montgomery, (1791-1862)
Born 19 September 1791 London, Hill Str.
Died 25 April 1862 Paris                                                                 
Buried Paris, Pere-la-Chaise                                                             
Married 17 August 1814 Butera Palace, Palermo                              
Princess Octavia Spinelli  (Died 1857)

Early in 1814 he went on holiday to Sicily where he was introduced to Prince and Princess Buttera de Rubari. The princess, Octavia Spinelli, much younger than her husband but also much older than Robert, was soon rumoured to be his mistress. Also according to rumour, she had extracted a promise that Lord Herbert would marry her when her elderly husband died. The rumour reached England and, when the Prince died in June 1814, Robert's father, the Earl of Pembroke, hurried over but arrived one day after a clandestine marriage had already taken place. The Sicilian laws required three previous proclamations and, as the marriage had taken place without the benediction of a priest, the marriage was regarded illicit, rendering both parties liable with imprisonment, the groom in a fortress and the bride in a convent.

However, these laws were hardly ever enforced; but when the enraged Lord Pembroke applied to the Sicilian Government to prevent any further form of marriage, a decree was issued to enforce the punishments. The Government showed their distaste for the matter by giving Robert the opportunity to escape; but as he declined this chance, on 21 August 1814 both Robert and Octavia were arrested. A few months in prison cooled Robert's ardour and, when offered a second chance, he took it and, in December 1814, was back in England. Soon Octavia was released on bail and made her way to London, where she took a house and styled herself Lady Herbert. She started Court proceedings to have her conjugal rights restored but achieved little else but having their marriage declared to be valid. Sicilian laws prevented her from taking her dower out of the Country, while at the same time Lord Herbert was described as "with a wife and no wife".

In October 1827 his father died and Robert became 12th Earl of Pembroke and 9th Earl of Montgomery. It seems that Octavia had returned to Sicily and, having declared never to make his home in England, Robert left for Paris, taking with him the choicest pieces of French furniture. In 1832 when Sidney, his half-brother, came of age, assuming responsibility for the maintenance of the great house and estate of Wilton.

In 1852 Sidney was summoned to Paris to visit the dangerously ill Robert. However, he also found Robert's mistress, Alexina Sophia Gallot, and their three little boys. During the lengthy illness Sidney took care of Robert and lectured him on his irregular life. Robert recovered but had no intention of discarding his mistress, and three years later a little girl was born. As Robert had no legitimate children, his heir was Sidney who, after being made Baron Herbert of Lea, died in 1861. When Robert died in Paris in 1862, it was Sidney's son who became the next Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery.

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This site was last updated 11/15/02