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View Tree for Marion MacMurrogh MurphyMarion MacMurrogh Murphy (d. 15 November 1922)

Marion MacMurrogh Murphy died 15 November 1922 in Grasslands, Kent. She married Michael George Mulhall on 10 June 1868 in Irlanda, son of Thomas Mulhall and Catherine Flood.

 Includes NotesNotes for Marion MacMurrogh Murphy:
There is a passport extended in 1878 to Edward T. Mulhall by Her Majesty's envoy, Lionel S. Sackville West.

Mr. Sackville West led an interesting life, while an attaché in Stuttgart in 1852 he developed a relationship with a Spanish gypsy dancer, Pepita Oliva, née Josefa Duran, whom he met in Paris. He spoke no spanish and she spoke no english so they communicated in french. Over the years this realationship produced five children: Max, who was not registered with his father's familiy name; Victoire Joséphine, registered as of unknown father and Fleur de Marie, Amalia and Henri who were registered as Sackville West. Pepita was originally married to a spanish dancer, Juan Antonio de la Oliva, with whom she broke up, but because of that she could not marry Lionel Sackville West.

Pepita died giving birth in March of 1872 and Sackville West was left with the five kids which, as far as his family and the British crown were concerned, did not exist. He left the kids with a woman who took care of them and when she died, about three years later, he sent the eldest boy to a farm in South Africa and the other children to a convent. In the meantime he was sent as British Minister to Buenos Aires where he met the Muhalls, and in 1880 Marion Murphy Mulhall took Sackville West's children out of the convent in France and to England.

We know all of the above thanks to one of Sackville West's grandaughter's, Victoria Sackville West, the daughter of Victoire who wrote out the story in a book called "Pepita", published by Leonard and Virginia Wolf at the Hogarth Press, 52 Tavistock Square, London, W.C., in 1937. Follows an extract in page 156:

It was in 1880 that a Mrs. Michel (sic) Mulhall appeared at the convent as my grandfather's emissary to remove his children to England. He had met this lady in Buenos Aires, and, as so often happens to helpless men, had attracted her sympathy over the difficult position in which he found himself. Five illegitimate children! And he a Minister in the British Diplomatic Service! True, the eldest son was temporarily provided for, but there remained the three daughtres and the little boy with no responsible guardian whatsoever now that Mme. de Béon was dead. Besides, they were Roman Catholics; their father was not, though in his vaguely worried way he expressed a wish that they should continue in their mother's faith; Mrs. Mulhall, herself a Catholic, was so much concerned at their possible fate that she travelled to Bercq in order to have a look at the girls who had gone there under the charge of the nuns. When my grandfather called upon her for practical help, she came forward nobly and carried them all off to her own house, Grasslands at Balcombe in Sussex.
My mother, who was then eighteen, left the convent armed with the certificate necessary to enable her to become a governess.

III

When they arrived in England, however, they found a new and most surprising set of facts awaiting them. They discovered that they had an uncle, Lord de la Warr, who owned a large house called Buckhurst, where they were taken to spend the day. It stood in the midst of a park, with a lake and magnificent trees, and was unlike anything they had ever seen before. They discovered that they had another uncle, Lord Sackville, who owned an even larger house called Knole. They discovered further that they had two aunts, the Duchess of Bedford and the Countess of Derby; the Duchess of Bedford refused to have anything to do with them, but Lady Derby (Aunt Mary) treated them from the first with a kindness my mother never forgot. She had them constantly to see her at Derby House, though, with a curious echo of Mme. de Béon, they were always turned away before six o'clock when Aunt Bessie Bedford came for her daily call. Aunt Mary Derby, unlike Aunt Bessie Bedford, lent them her private box at the Albert Hall. She went to see them at the Comvent of the Sacred Heart where they had been temporarily placed at Highgate, and at the lodgings in Eastbourne where they had been sent with an English governess. She told them with the utmost gentleness that they had better drop the 'Sackville' out of their surname, and be known only by the name of West, also that my mother had better change her name from Pepita to Victoria, -it sounded less foreign,- and that Fleur de Marie likewise had better be called Flora, and Henri Henry. But by this time there was no need to deal tactfully or circumspectly with my mother, for she and she alone had been told the whole truth. Mrs. Mulhall had told her on the boat as they were crossing the Channel. "She told me she had to say that my father and mother had never been married. It was a great shock and surprise to me, though I naturally did not at first realise the consequences. I was eighteen. I did not tell my sisters."

It is interesting to point out that Lionel Sackville West was designated in 1881 Her Majesty's Minister in Washington. He took his eldest daughter,Victoire, with him and she was a success in social circles to the extent that even the American President, Arthur, proposed marriage. After some years of great work, in 1888 Lionel Sackville West was tricked by an American newspaper into putting in writing an opinion on the upcoming presidential election, which was tantamount to foreign interference in American politics and he had to be recalled to England in an incident known as The Murchisson Letter. Eventually Victoire married her cousin and became Lady Sackville West, but not before her father became Lord Sackville and upon his death her brother Max sued to be recognized as the heir but lost the case.


More About Marion MacMurrogh Murphy:
Journey: 1880, France & England for Sackville West.64
Published: 1876, From the Amazon to the Andes.

More About Marion MacMurrogh Murphy and Michael George Mulhall:
Marriage: 10 June 1868, Irlanda.
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