Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke

Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke

Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke

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Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, 3rd Viscount St John was born on 21 December 1732. His father was John St John, 2nd Viscount St John, half-brother of Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke(1678-1751). His mother was Anne Furnese.

Bolingbroke was educated at Eton College, Berkshire. He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baron St John of Battersea on 19 June 1748 He succeeded to the title of 3rd Viscount St John on 26 November 1748.

"Bully," as he was called by his contemporaries, is best known for his extravagant lifestyle and the racehorses he bred. On 8 September 1757 he married Lady Diana Spencer, elder daughter of the Duke of Marlborough after making a joking proposal to her in one of London's pleasure gardens. Bolingbroke's insistence on maintaining a bachelor's lifestyle (which included lavish spending, a string of mistresses, heavy drinking, and gambling) after their marriage, coupled with verbal and possibly physical spousal abuse led to a bitter separation between Bully and the popular and artistic Lady Diana. Bolingbroke brought divorce proceedings against his wife for her criminal conversation with Topham Beauclerk, to whom she bore a child. The Bolingbroke divorce is notable for being streamlined compared to similar proceedings and thus is credited with easing the way for noble divorces in the 19th century.

Things worsened for Viscount Bolingbroke after his divorce. The damages he won from Beauclerk were paltry compared to the mountain of debt he...
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