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Sophia Dubochet

Sophia Dubochet


On a cold February day in 1812, at the age of 17, Sophia, a London courtesan, became a wife; a very unusual and expensive choice of partner for the 2nd Baron Berwick of Attingham, Shropshire: Thomas Noel-Hill.

Was that choice a ruse to deflect rumours about Hill’s sexuality? Was she a ‘beard’, did he need a ‘beard’ or is the generally accepted narrative ‘... he was besotted with her’ true? Or was it all of these? 

Peter Roscoe (of Shrewsbury LGBT History Group) has previously enquired into the lives of other celebrities with a link to Shropshire (Mary Whitehouse, Joan Lander, Agnes Hunt, Eglantyne Jebb, Samuel Butler…). For this event he shares a short video of the Baron, reflecting on his life,15 years on from the marriage, and coming to terms with losing his treasured Attingham Park for ever, to live in Italy, where his creditors cannot pursue him although bankruptcy looms

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