Lola Montez


Lola Montez

Original Name Eliza Rosanna Gilbert
Grange, County Sligo, Ireland
Death 17 Jan 1861 (aged 39)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section 8, Lot 12730
Memorial ID 726 View Source
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Entertainer, American Folk Figure. Lola Montez, whose original name was Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert, was an Irish adventuress and dancer who achieved international notoriety through her liaison with King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Her family lived at King House in Boyle, County Roscommon, until early 1823, when they traveled to her father’s military post in India. Shortly after their arrival, her father died of cholera. Her mother married another officer, Lieutenant Patrick Craigie, the following year. Eventually she was sent back to Britain, where she attended several different schools until 1837, when she married Lieutenant Thomas James. The couple separated five years later and she became a professional dancer under a stage name. Her London debut as “Lola Montez, the Spanish dancer” was disrupted when she was recognized. This could have ended her career, but she traveled around continental Europe and continued her career there. During her travels she reputedly formed liaisons with Franz Liszt and Alexandre Dumas, among others. She settled in Paris, where she began an affair with Alexandre Dujarier, who owned a large newspaper, and reputedly used this romance to revitalize her career as a dancer. Dujarier, in a drunken state at a party, offended a man, was challenged to a duel by him and was shot and killed. In 1846, she arrived in Munich, where she was discovered by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and became his mistress. Her influence on the king made her unpopular with the people. Despite the opposition, Ludwig made her Countess of Landsfeld in August 1847, and she used this position to exercise political power. In March 1848, under pressure from a growing revolutionary movement, Ludwig abdicated, and she fled Bavaria, her career as a power behind the throne at an end. After a short stay in Switzerland, she went to London in late 1848. There she married George Trafford Heald, an army cavalry officer. However, the terms of her divorce from Thomas James did not permit either to remarry while the other was living, and they were forced to flee the country to escape a bigamy prosecution. They resided in France and Spain, but within two years, the relationship ended. From 1851 to 1853, she performed as a dancer and actress in the eastern United States, then in May 1853, she arrived at San Francisco. She married Patrick Hull, a local newspaperman, and moved to Grass Valley, California. Her marriage soon failed; a doctor named as co-respondent in the divorce suit brought against her was shortly after murdered. In June 1855, she departed for a tour of Australia to resume her career by entertaining miners at the gold diggings during the gold-rush of the 1850s. She earned further notoriety when, after reading a bad review in The Ballarat Times, she allegedly attacked the editor with a whip. She departed in May 1856, then settled in New York City, and gathered a following as a lecturer on such topics as fashion, gallantry, and beautiful women. She tried and failed in attempts at a theatrical comeback in various American cities, then arranged in 1857 to deliver a series of moral lectures in Britain and America. An apparently genuine religious conversion led her to take up various philanthropies. She published “Anecdotes of Love; Being a True Account of the Most Remarkable Events Connected with the History of Love; in All Ages and among All Nations”, “The Arts of Beauty, or, Secrets of a Lady’s Toilet with Hints to Gentlemen on the Art of Fascination”, and “Lectures of Lola Montez, Including Her Autobiography” all in 1858.

Bio by: Pete Mohney


Born at Grange, County Sligo
February 17, 1821
Known as
Lola Montez
Countess of Landsfeld

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 726
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lola Montez (17 Feb 1821–17 Jan 1861), Find a Grave Memorial ID 726, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .