Belle Bilton(1867-1906), Music hall entertainer; wife of 5th Earl of Clancarty; daughter of John George Bilton
Isabel Maude Penrice ('Belle') Le-Poer-Trench (née Bilton), Countess of Clancarty
Sitter in 34 portraits
In 1889 the music-hall entertainer Belle secretly married Viscount Dunlo, heir to the Earl of Clancarty. Disapproving of his son's actions, the Earl forced his son to leave Belle and travel abroad. Belle was left pregnant and destitute, having ended her career after the wedding. Encouraged by his father, the Viscount filed for divorce in a case that was widely followed by the press. After losing the case he returned to live with Belle. Cut off from his allowance, the pair lived off Belle's earnings from her theatrical work. In 1901 the Viscount succeeded to his father's title as Earl of Clancarty and Belle became Countess of Clancarty.
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William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.