Dame Barbara Cartland ( 1 )

Dame Barbara Cartland ( 1 )

by Jason

The story really begins in Scotland where there is a village
named after the Cartlands and where the family are reported in
ancient Chronicles as being in Lanarkshire as far back as AD
1200. Some of the Cartlands moved south and Barbara Cartland’s
Great Grandfather had an estate in Worcestershire. At the time
of the Industrial Revolution in 1840 he moved to Warwickshre and
built a large house in open countryside at a place which is now
known as Kings Norton in Birmingham. A wealthy man with a Brass
Factory in Birmingham, his second son, James Cartland, became a
great Financier and Barbara Cartland’s Grandfather.

James Cartland helped to build up the City of Birmingham and was
twice offered a Baronetcy and a Knighthood – all of which he
refused. James married Flora Falkner who was a direct descendant
of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland. The couple only had one
son, James Bertram Falkner Cartland, who fell in love and
married with Mary ( Polly ) Hamilton Scobell. The couple moved
to Worcestershire and on July 9th 1901 at Vectis Lodge,
Edgbaston – Barbara Cartland (Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland )
was born.

The family, were originally born into an enviable degree of
middle class security, but the suicide of her paternal
grandfather left them short of money. The family were forced to
move to Amerie Court in Pershore. Tragedy struck once again when
Major James Cartland was killed in France in the final weeks of
the ending of the First World War. Barbara Cartland was just
seventeen. When asked by her mother where she would like to
live, Barbara Cartland chose London and the family, including
her two brothers Ronald and Anthony, subsequently moved to the
capital. Her enterprising mother opened a London dress shop to
make ends meet “Poor I may be,” Polly Cartland once said, “but
common I am not”. Anthony and Ronald would both be killed in
battle, one day apart, in 1940.

After attending Malvern Girls’ College and Abbey House, an
educational institution in Hampshire, Cartland became a
successful journalist and a gossip columnist. Her first novel,
“Jigsaw,” was published in 1923. It was a huge success and
Barbara Cartland began to write seriously in order to earn money.

In 1927 Barbara Cartland married Alexander George McCorquodale,
a former Officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who
was heir to a British printing fortune. They had a daughter
called Raine who became “Deb of the Year” in 1947 and much later
the stepmother of Diana, Prince of Wales.

In 1935, Barbara’s brother, Ronald, was working in the
Conservative Central Office and anxious to become a candidate in
the Labour held Kings Norton Division of Birmingham. In those
days a Member of Parliament had to pay their own expenses of
around £1,000. Ronald was only earning £4 a week.

These were turbulent times for the family as Barbara, had now
divorced her husband whose family confiscated his money and left
Barbara and Raine, aged four, with a Marriage Settlement of £500
per annum. The divorce involved charges and countercharges of
infidelity and Barbara Cartland would later marry one of the men
Alexander McCorquodale accused her of dallying with, his cousin
– Hugh Mc Corquodale.

At this time Barbara Cartland was writing for a weekly magazine
and several newspapers but always under an assumed name so that
no one knew who the writer was. Determined that her brother
should stand for Kings Norton she wrote 10,000 words a day in
order to pay for his Election Expenses. The house that her
Grandfather had built was still in Kings Norton. Labour decided
to field a well known politician. Barbara Cartland wrote and
canvassed on behalf of her brother who finally won with a
majority of nearly 6000. All the hard work and commitment had
paid off.

Ronald and Anthony Cartland were both killed in the Second World
War. At the entrance to Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire
there is a Calvary erected to the memory of Barbara Cartland’s
Father, Mother and two Brothers. Cartland Road in Kings Norton
is named after the family. Barbara Cartland went on to write a
biography about Ronald which included his best political
speeches. In 1936 Barbara Cartland married Hugh McCorquodale, an
officer of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and who had
received the Military Cross for Gallantry. The couple had two
sons, Ian and Glen. Barbara Cartland speaks fondly about the
family visits to Scotland.

” I travel all over the world. I am thrilled by the exotic
beauty of the East and the vital virility of the West.

But as I turn for home, my heart is in the Highlands”

Barbara Cartland lived at Camfield Place, Hatfield,
Hertfordshire. The family still own the Estate which was
originally settled on by a Knight in 1275. It once featured a
Tudor Manor House which was pulled down by Beatrix Potter’s
Grandfather who rebuilt the house in 1867. Beatrix Potter wrote
that Camfield was the place that she loved best and where she
wrote “The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The estate features an Oak
Tree, planted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth in 1550 whilst she was
imprisoned at Hatfield.


Source by Birmingham Uk Com

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