This black marble memorial (below) set on the floor of Hillesden church is to Alexander Denton.
He was the first son of Edmund Denton and Elizabeth Rogers. He did not have a great start in life. He was an orphan by the age of three and his father’s excesses left him with little in the way of financial security.
He was raised by his godfather Sir Ralph Verney and Dr William Denton, by then the court physician to Charles II. Alexander was appointed to the Buckinghamshire lieutenancy in March 1680.
But in March 1688 Hester ran off with a close friend, Thomas Smith. A lawsuit concluded Alexander should be paid £5,000 by Smith and any suggestion that his wife deserved financial support was negated as she had run off with £500. However, she had delivered a small fortune as a dowry to the marriage, so this was harsh. Denton refused to see her, she died in 1691. John Verney (aka Lord Fermanagh) stated it was no ill news for her husband. Denton did however pay for her funeral in Spitalfields.
He became the MP for Buckingham from 1690-1698, to some extent ‘cocking a snook’ at Sir Ralph Verney. John Verney, who obviously was good with soundbites, dismissed Alexander’s betrayal and called him a silly drunken cuck[old].
Alexander split his time between London and Hillesden and apparently became passionate in his pursuit of the ‘turf’.
He managed to be re-elected in 1695 despite concerns about his ongoing courtship of a ‘Mistress Clarke’ from Watford. He proved to be an inactive MP, applying for five leaves of absence during his political career. He died aged 43-44,
|Note on shorthand acronyms being used in the DFB:|
– GGF1 / GGM1 – means first great-grandfather /mother;
– GU11 / GA11 – means eleventh great-uncle / great-aunt;
– 1C3 – means first cousin three times removed