William Clarke Somerville (1790-1826)

Major William C. Somerville, of "Montalbino" Maryland; U.S. Minister to Sweden

Associated Houses

Stratford Hall


Chateau de la Grange

Courpalay, Rozoy-en-Brie

He was born in St. Mary's, Maryland, and educated with a mind towards managing his family's plantations. He lived at Mulberry Fields (renaming it "Montalbino") which he inherited from his father. He also owned "Sotterly" that he won in a game of dice with his brother-in-law and he bought Stratford Hall from the Lee family in Virginia. He served as a Major in the War of 1812, after which he left for an extensive tour of Europe, making many influential friends along the way. To capitalize on those friendships, John Quincy Adams appointed him Minister to Sweden, but first sent him on a diplomatic mission to Greece. On his way there, he stayed with the Marquis de Lafayette at the Chateau de la Grange-Bleneau where he fell ill, died, and is buried. He authored several books and was twice engaged but never married: He was first engaged to Sarah Conyers (d.1811) but before the wedding she was killed in the fire at the Richmond Theater. He was then engaged to Cora Livingston of Montgomery Place, New York, but died before marrying her. He was not survived by any children. 


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 27/04/2021 and last updated on 27/04/2021.