Lady Anne Barnard

A socialite at the Cape of Good Hope

Lady Anne Barnard was born in 1750 in Scotland to Anne Lindsay (née Dalrymple) and James, Earl of Balcarres.

She met and married Andrew Barnard in 1793 who was 12 years her junior.  During British military occupation of the Cape of Good Hope, he was appointed as colonial secretary by a friend of Lady Anne’s, Viscount Melville, who was secretary for war and the colonies. They traveled to the Cape in 1797. Lady Anne wrote numerous letters to Mellville telling of life in the colony. While her stay was brief (only five years), her diaries of her time in the Cape and travels to the interior, are an important record of people and events of the time. She was a popular socialite and she was known for entertaining at the Castle of Good Hope. She was the official hostess here for Earl Macartney. Her ghost is said to still have parties at the castle. When the Cape was conquered again by the British in 1806 Andrew Barnard was reappointed colonial secretary, but Lady Anne chose to remain in London where she died in 1825. Lady Anne was also an accomplished artist, some of her works were included in her published accounts of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her works include oil paintings and drawings.

Lady Anne is commemorated in a couple of places in Cape Town, A chamber in the Castle of Good Hope is known as “Lady Anne Barnard’s Ballroom”; a road in of Newlands,  “Lady Anne Avenue” The house where the Barnards lived, The Vineyard, survives today as part of the vineyard hotel.

Lady Anne Barnards bath at Groot Constantia 


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