Sir Thomas Stepney (1760-1825) is arguably the most famous person to have been buried in Llanelli parish church, if not the town as a whole. A close friend and attendant of 'the Grand Old Duke of York', he moved in the highest society and features in some of the most hilarious anecdotes of the Regency period. However, Stepney was also a man with secrets. His first marriage was a bizarre and short-lived affair which culminated in him exhuming his wife's body eighteen months after her death so that the remains could be shipped to Carmarthenshire. His second wife was one of only a handful of early nineteenth century women who obtained a divorce through her own initiative. She became a leading novelist and society figure of the 1830s and 1840s, counting the likes of the Duke of Wellington and the young Disraeli as her friends, despite the fact that her personal reputation bordered on the scandalous.

Llanelli Community Heritage lecture 23 November 2010 by Dr. David Davies

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