Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and of Cork

For the lady born in 1640, see Dorothy Savile, Viscountess Halifax.
Lady Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and of Cork

Michael Dahl, Lady Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and Countess of Cork, oil painting, 1720, Hardwick Hall, National Trust.[lower-alpha 1]
Born (1699-09-13)13 September 1699
Died September 21, 1758(1758-09-21) (aged 59)
Chiswick House
Nationality English
Other names Dorothy Boyle
Known for Caricatures and portraits
Spouse(s) Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
  • Lady Dorothy Boyle (1724–1742), Countess of Euston
  • Julianna Boyle (1727-1730)
  • Lady Charlotte Boyle (1731–1754), Marchioness of Hartington

Lady Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and of Cork (13 September 1699 – 21 September 1758)[2]:116 was an 18th-century noblewoman, who was a caricaturist and portrait painter in her own right. She was the wife of Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. Several of her studies and paintings were made of her daughters. Chatsworth House, which descended through her daughter Charlotte, holds a collection of 24 of her works of art.

Like her husband, Savile had a great interest in the arts and she was a patron of David Garrick and George Frideric Handel. She was one of Queen Caroline's Ladies of the Bedchamber. Savile Row, developed at the edge of the Boyle's Burlington House estate, was named for Lady Savile.


Early life

Lady Dorothy Savile was born in 1699, the daughter of William Savile, 2nd Marquess of Halifax[1] and his second wife Mary Finch, whose father was Daniel Finch, 7th Earl of Winchilsea.[2]:116, 130 Dorothy was co-heiress of her father's estate.[2]:116

Dorothy's two brothers both died when they were young. She had a sister, Mary, who wed Sackville, Earl of Thanet. Dorothy also had a half-sister, Anne (married to the 3rd Earl of Ailesbury), from her father's first marriage to Elizabeth Grimston, daughter of Sir Samuel Grimston.[3]:468

Marriage and children

Lady Dorothy Savile married Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington[1] on 21 March 1721 and brought a substantial dowry and a shared interest of theatre and music to the marriage.[4]:70 Savile enjoyed the opera, music, and theatre[5] and was a patron of the arts, including David Garrick and George Frideric Handel.[6] Her favorite writer was John Gay.[5]

Soon after their marriage, Boyle began modernising Chiswick House and its grounds.[4]:70 They also lived at Londesborough, East Riding of Yorkshire and in London at Burlington House.[6]

Dorothy Savile, Lady Dorothy Boyle (1724–1742), Countess of Euston, and Her Sister Lady Charlotte Boyle (1731–1754), Later Marchioness of Hartington, National Trust, Hardwick Hall.[lower-alpha 2]

Savile had three daughters, Dorothy (1724-1742), Julianna (1727-1730), and Charlotte (1731-1754).[3]:77[6] Jean-Baptiste van Loo painted a family portrait of Savile, Boyle, Dorothy, and Charlotte by 1739. It is located in Lismore Castle's Devonshire Collection.[6]

In 1741, Dorothy Boyle married the Earl of Euston, who was brutal to her. She died of smallpox just before her eighteenth birthday in 1742.[5][3]:77 Charlotte married William, Marquess of Hartington on 28 March 1748.[2]:130 Charlotte had four children who inherited and passed down through their descendants Savile's artwork and correspondence that is located at Chatsworth. Charlotte died in 1754.[6]


Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and of Cork, died on 21 September 1758, aged 59.[6]



Dorothy Savile, Portrait of Lady Charlotte Boyle, Marchioness of Hartington (1731-1754), circa 1740, Chatsworth House. Attributed to Dorothy Savile

Savile studied how to draw and paint portraits with pastels with William Kent and made copies of good portraits to develop her talent.[8] Kent, who lived with Savile and Boyle for 30 years, studied painting in Rome and in addition to being an artist, he was a designer and landscape gardener.

Kent and Savile made portraits of each other and George Vertue commented that Savile's painting of Kent was "much more like than that done by Aikman".[6] By the mid-1720s she had also studied with Joseph Goupy.[8] During that time she advanced from pastels to oil painting. According to Neil Jeffares and the British Museum, she may have had lessons from Charles Jervas, the King's portrait painter.[8][6]

Lady Savile was a talented caricaturist and made good, though rapid, portraits.[8] Horace Walpole said of Savile, "She drew in crayons, and succeeded admirably in likenesses; but working with too much rapidity did not do justice to her genius. She had an uncommon talent too for caricatura."[6]

Savile made a portrait of daughter Dorothy from memory seven weeks after her death. Of the paintings at Chatsworth, the "new house" at Chiswick, 24 of the works were created by Savile. Mrs. Selwyn, Lady Isabella Finch, and Lady Fitzwalter were among the friends to have received eight of Savile's pastels that are now among the Chatsworth collection.[8] The works in the collection include three oil paintings and pastel studies of her daughters and an oil painting of Princess Amelia.[6] Her sketch, Woman at Harpsichord, with a Dog and a Cat, reveals an intimate scene where the woman plays a tune for her own pleasure.[9]

She made a sketch of her friend Alexander Pope[lower-alpha 3] in his grotto and enjoyed making caricatures. He wrote five quatrains about her entitled On the Countess of B—— cutting paper.[5]

Queen Caroline

Savile was one of Queen Caroline's Ladies of the Bedchamber.[1]

Savile Row

A view of Burlington House in the 1690s, forming the centrepiece of the Burlington Estate.

Boyle drew up plans for a new street for townhouses. The Daily Post reported on 12 March 1733 that new buildings were about to be built on Savile Street[10] in Mayfair, London. The Burlington Estate project was named after Lady Dorothy Savile.[11][12] Savile Row was built by 1735 on freehold land known as Ten Acres belonging to a merchant tailor, William Maddox,[13] By the late 18th century, it was a center for high-quality tailor shops.[11]


  1. Her portrait was also painted by James Worsdale, see James Worsdale, Lady Dorothy Savile.[1]
  2. Her painting Lady Dorothy Boyle (1724–1742), Countess of Euston, and Her Sister Lady Charlotte Boyle (1731–1754), Later Marchioness of Hartington is in the Hardwick Hall, National Trust collection in Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. It was donated to the National Trust in 1959.[7]
  3. At times she was like Pope's amanuensis, a draft of Master Key to Popery in her handwriting resides at the former home of her youngest daughter, Charlotte, at Chatsworth House.[5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Lady Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington and Countess of Cork (1699-1758)". National Trust Collections. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. The Society. 1901. p. 130.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 John Burke (1831). A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage of England, Ireland and Scotland. Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 John Harris (1 January 1994). The Palladian Revival: Lord Burlington, His Villa and Garden at Chiswick. Yale University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-300-05983-0.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Pat Rogers (2004). The Alexander Pope Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-313-32426-0.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Dorothy Boyle, Countess of Burlington". Collections Database. British Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. "Dorothy Savile (1699–1758)". Your Paintings. BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Neil Jeffares (2006). Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 (PDF). London: Unicorn Press. OCLC 607845199 via
  9. Richard Leppert (1 November 1993). The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body. University of California Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-520-91717-0.
  10. Richard Anderson (29 October 2009). "The Sunny Side of the Street". Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-84737-876-7.
  11. 1 2 Eugenia Bell (2007). The Traditional Shops and Restaurants of London: A Guide to Century-old Establishments and New Classics. Little Bookroom. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-892145-46-8.
  12. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford (1925). The Early History of Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Soho, & Their Neighbourhood. p. 128.
  13. F. H. W. Sheppard (1963). Cork Street and Savile Row Area: Introduction, Survey of London: Volumes 31 and 32. London County Council. p. 442 via British History Online.

Further reading

Media related to Dorothy Savile at Wikimedia Commons

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