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Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale entry: Overview screen.
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During the early eighteenth century Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, wrote family letters about business and relationships. She is remembered for the letter to her sister which tells, with a historian's narrative flair and command of detail, how when her husband (a Jacobite) was condemned to death for treason, she planned and carried through the daring coup of smuggling him out of prison.
Milestones
1672 Lady Winifred Herbert (later Nithsdale) was born, the last of a family of six children, all girls except one. Bibliographic Citation link.
Before 16 April 1718 At the urging of her sister the prioress, WMCN wrote out her story of rescuing her husband ("the full relation of what you desired"). She provided no date, but an adapted copy (polished, less vivid) was made at Rome on this day. Bibliographic Citation link.
May 1749 WMCN died in Rome after five years of widowhood. Bibliographic Citation link.
1816 Winifred Nithsdale's famous letter reached print at Durham a century after the events it relates, as Genuine Account of the Escape of Lord Nithsdale: printed from the original letter. Bibliographic Citation link.
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