The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

Her father refused consent for her to marry her first love, Second Viscount Townshend, however they were married much later on after the death of Townshend’s first wife, but by this stage Dorothy had been deeply embroiled in an affair with a very much in debt Lord Wharton.

Upon learning of his new wife’s previous misconduct he ordered that she be kept locked in her apartments at Raynham Hall. He never allowed her to leave its premises, not even to see her children. She died at the age of 40, on 29th March, 1726. Her death was officially reported being of smallpox but many believe she died of either a broken heart or a broken neck after being pushed down the grand staircase.

It is thought that her ghost still walks the staircase looking for her 5 children which she was also parted from by her husband after he learned of her affair.

The SPR file and the Herbert investigation