Richard and Lady Marjorie Bellamy were the master and mistress of Eaton Place. He was a politician who prospered
by his wife, rising to power and peerage despite his lack of money. She was rich and strict – the daughter of Lord Southwold,
a former high-ranking member of the government. During their marriage, Richard remained always faithful, although Lady Marjorie's
affections once strayed...
...when she became passionately involved with an opera-loving young soldier, Captain Hammond. He was killed
on the North-West Frontier, bringing the relationship to an end. Six years later, Lady Marjorie, too, was dead – killed in the
Richard and Marjorie, pictured in the morning room at Eaton Place. The chesterfield sofa behind them became
almost a British institution and remained until the final episode.
Fascinating factoid: BBC-TV's The Forsyte Saga of 1967 has often been spoken of as the inspiration behind Upstairs, Downstairs but did you know that Rachel Gurney starred in a 48-part radio adaptation of the Saga, aired as a sort of partner to the TV version, three weeks after the latter had finished its run? She played Irene (the parallel to Nyree Dawn Porter's role in the TV version).
The Bellamys' son, James, was a womaniser and misfit. His affair with Sarah, the cheeky cockney parlourmaid,
ended up with her pregnant and him banished to India.
The Bellamys' daughter, Elizabeth, became involved with Lawrence Kirbridge, an avant-garde poet. They married
and lived on their own in Greenwich with Rose on loan from Eaton Place as their maid. However, Lawrence found himself unable to
consummate their relationship, instead asking his publisher, Sir Edwin Partridge, to step into his shoes on this delicate matter.
Elizabeth fell pregnant and the Bellamys, wishing to avoid a scandal, shipped Lawrence off to foreign parts.
The frail Hazel came to 165 as a secretary in 1912 and soon after accepted James' offer of marriage over dinner
at the Café Royal. The marriage was not a happy affair and she later miscarried their child. The relationship seemed to be on
the mend when she died of influenza at the end of the war.