Nadine, Countess of Shrewsbury and Waterford, who has died aged 90, was an accomplished operatic singer, stylish hostess and for many years, Lady shrewsbury the outside world at least, an advertisement for domestic happiness. Her husband, the 21st Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford, the premier Earl of England and Ireland, was a hands-on farmer at Ingestre, his estate in Staffordshire; when he set up a roadside stall to sell his produce, his wife served over the counter.
At the same time Lord Shrewsbury encouraged
Lady shrewsbury wife's ambitions as a singer; inat the age of 41 and after producing six children, she made her debut as the soprano "Nadine Talbot" in a recital at the Wigmore Hall, with songs by Handel, Mozart and Purcell.
Three years later, after nursing her husband through Lady shrewsbury, Lady Shrewsbury was the driving force behind Opera at Ingestre, a highly professional opera season which seemed destined to become a Glyndebourne of the Midlands.
The festival Lady shrewsbury extended the next year, but never took place again; for in the Shrewsburys became involved in a celebrated divorce case after Lord Shrewsbury sued his wife on the ground of adultery. Named as co-respondent was Anthony Lowther, the Earl's former private secretary, and tutor to their children. Lowther was 27 at the time, the Countess The case, the longest of its kind since the war, lasted for 18 days, and the press pounced upon the piquant detail set out in Mr Justice Collingwood's 20,word judgment.
A godson of King George V and Queen Mary, he had left "Lady shrewsbury" the previous year, and was soon to inherit large estates in the Midlands and the patronage of 11 livings. Perhaps because she was two years his senior, there was opposition from Lord Shrewsbury's family to the match, but they eventually married inand went to live Ingestre Hall.
On the outbreak of war, Lord Shrewsbury joined the Royal Artillery. According to evidence later adduced in the divorce case, he met Nina Mortlock in and they began an affair; Lady Shrewsbury said he subsequently told her that he wanted a divorce.
Lady shrewsbury on demobilisation, the Earl took up again with Nina Mortlock; the affair continued on and off over the next decade. In Anthony Lowther, then 21 and just down from Cambridge, arrived at Ingestre as tutor to the Shrewsburys' four daughters, who were to be educated at home.
Soon he was "Lady shrewsbury" other duties, such as overseeing the opening of the gardens, and helping to reduce household expenditure. In the latter endeavour he was notably successful, which did not endear him to some of the other members of staff, who later gave evidence in the divorce case.
The Earl gradually came to rely on Lowther more and more; in he served as the administrative manager of the first opera festival. But in the Earl learnt that his wife had had a miscarriage, and it was suggested by her gynaecologist's secretary that Lady shrewsbury father was Lowther.
The Earl confronted his wife, and shortly afterwards served a petition for divorce. At the court case servants at Ingestre were called to give evidence, much Lady shrewsbury which was trivial or speculative. It emerged, for instance, that Lowther was treated as a member of the family, that he called the Earl "John" and that the Earl sometimes called him "Tonykins". Lady Shrewsbury called Lowther "darling", although this was a term of affection he clearly shared with others.
It was not denied that the respondents kissed each other night Lady shrewsbury morning and when either had been away. Lowther often came to the Earl and Countess's bedroom after they had retired because he had been exercising their dogs with his own. Worthy of consideration, said the judge, was that Lowther and the Countess were seen Lady shrewsbury occasions walking hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm in the grounds; for their part, they said this happened only very rarely, when the slippery conditions required him to give her some assistance.
Witnesses also spoke of occasions when servants entered a room and the two of them jumped apart. They had also been seen kissing passionately on the Blue Landing.
Most persuasive of all, so far as the judge was concerned, was the evidence of the former family doctor, who said that, inLady Shrewsbury telephoned him
Lady shrewsbury say she had "slipped up with an old lover and must do something about it".
Lady Shrewsbury vigorously denied this. The doctor also recalled how Lady Shrewsbury had told him that was in love with a man younger than herself, but that this lover was now rejecting her.
This, too, said Lady Shrewsbury, was fiction. The judge said that, although the doctor was partisan and went out of his Lady shrewsbury to emphasise matters against Lady Shrewsbury, he was not prepared to find that his evidence was a "wicked invention". Neither was he minded to decide "Lady shrewsbury" a housekeeper who read a passionate letter from the Countess to Lowther ending with the words "At this late hour are you
Lady shrewsbury of being found out?
The woman had also found another letter in Lowther's desk from the Countess, in which she appeared to be giving him the opportunity of removing himself gracefully from their alleged relationship. On another occasion, Lowther was heard to say to the Countess: The judge concluded that, while much of the evidence of association between Lady Shrewsbury and Lowther was capable of perfectly innocent interpretation, some of it was not.
He therefore found the case against them proved. Afterwards, both Lowther and Lady Shrewsbury were dignified and persuasive in continuing to deny any affair. The Earl had asked the judge to exercise his discretion concerning his own admitted adultery, claiming that there were extenuating circumstances, not the least of them being the fact that his wife had told him that she could never love anyone as she had loved her previous boyfriend,
Lady shrewsbury Corbett, the steeplechase jockey who died in a car accident in When he returned to England inLord Shrewsbury said, his wife told him that she had had an affair with a Frenchman.
He claimed she became increasingly violent-tempered and unkind. It was in these circumstances, he said, that he had fallen back into the arms of Nina Mortlock, although he was still intent on saving the marriage.
But Lady shrewsbury judge found his evidence inconsistent with other letters which showed deep affection between husband and wife. The judge decided that Lady Shrewsbury's did not afford an explanation for the Earl's own adultery, and its resumption, and therefore refused the Earl's petition for divorce. After the case, Lady Shrewsbury told reporters she was determined to get her husband back "for the sake of the poor, unhappy children".
She did not, she said, believe in divorce, neither did she feel jealousy towards Nina Mortlock. I am sorry if she has loved and wanted my husband all these years and hasn't been able to have him. A month later, Lord Shrewsbury arranged for Sotheby's to auction the entire contents of Ingestre Hall, and to sell the house itself. Lady Shrewsbury and the children continued to
Lady shrewsbury there, Lord Shrewsbury sent out letters to tradesmen saying that they were not to continue their credit arrangements.
Having sold the house he went to live Lady shrewsbury Madeira to grow bananas with Nina Mortlock, later moving Lady shrewsbury Switzerland. In Lady Shrewsbury sued her husband for divorce, having given up hope of ever getting him back. The next year she was granted a decree nisi. The judge, Mr Justice Ormrod, said that, without impugning the previous judge's decision, or attempting any reassessment of Lady Shrewsbury's credibility, there was a possibility that she was "Lady shrewsbury" the truth when she denied adultery.
Lord Shrewsbury subsequently married Nina Mortlock. Nadine, Lady Shrewsbury, meanwhile, resumed her singing career, under the name of Nadine Credi short for Crediton. She also worked for a time with Lotte Nicholls, the musicians' agent. A caring and loving character, with a great fund of amusing stories, she was always interested in what others had to say.
Populist Right-wing former Mayor of Toronto whose drunken antics scandalised his fellow citizens. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Friday 16 November Nadine, Countess of Shrewsbury. She died on February 19, and is survived by her two sons and four daughters. More from The Telegraph. More from the web.
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Genealogy for Lady Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Shrewsbury (c - ) family tree on Geni, with over million profiles of ancestors. Lady Shrewsbury was born Nadine Muriel Crofton on January 24the daughter of Brigadier-General Cyril Randell Crofton, of Trobridge.