Loudoun Kirk

Copyright Friends of Loudoun Kirk © 2015

LADY FLORA HASTINGS



There is an obelisk within the kirkyard, which serves as a monument to Lady Flora Hastings. Lady Flora was a Lady in Waiting to the Duchess of Kent (mother of Queen Victoria). In 1839 Lady Flora returned to Buckingham Palace after a holiday in Scotland and immediately consulted the Queen's physician. The rumour began that she was pregnant and her honour was cast into doubt, despite two doctors stating that the symptoms were no grounds for suspicion of pregnancy. Queen Victoria, however, believed the rumours and the argument caused great public outcry against the Queen.


Lady Flora died quietly in her sleep due to her illness (an enlarged liver) with no apology from the Queen. Her family were outraged and Lady Flora's sister Sophie, whilst waiting by her death bed, refused to sleep in a bed belonging to the Queen. The family, in retaliation, attached postage stamps, bearing the Queen's head, upside down.



                                                                                      Lady Flora’s bracelet


  THE SWAN SONG


Grieve not that I die young.  Is it not well

To pass away ere life hath lost its brightness?

Bind me no longer sisters, with the spell

Of love and you kind words.  List ye to me,

Here I am blessed – but I would, be more free:

I would go forth in all  my spirit’s lightness.

     Let me depart!








Thus would I pass away – yielding my soul

  A joyous thankoffering to Him who gave

That soul to be, those starry orbs to roll.

Thus – thus exultingly would I depart,

Song on my lips, ecstacy in my heart.

Sisters – sweet sisters, bear me to my grave –

       Let me depart!



                                                         By Lady Flora Hastings



Ah! Who would linger till bright eyes grow dim,

Kind voices mute, and faithful bosoms cold?

Till carking care, and toil, and anguish grim,

Cast their dark shadows o’er this fairy world;

Till fancy’s many-coloured wings are furled,

And all, save the proud spirit, waxeth old?

     I would depart.

Lady Flora, like many of the Young ladies of that time, read and wrote poetry. There is a copy of her book of poems available to read on the internet.


Poems by Lady Flora Hastings