Anne Seymour Damer

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Anne Seymour Damer, by Joshua Reynolds
Anne Seymour Damer (née Conway, 1749–1828) was a sculptor. Anne's sculptural works largely comprises portrait busts of her contemporaries.

She was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, the daughter of Field-Marshal Henry Seymour Conway (1721–1795) and his wife Caroline Bruce, born Campbell, Lady Ailesbury (1721–1803), and was brought up at the family home at Park Place, Remenham, Berkshire. In 1767 she married John Damer, the son of Lord Milton, later the 1st Earl of Dorchester. The couple received an income of £5,000 from Lord Milton, and were left large fortunes by Milton and Henry Conway. They separated after seven years, and he committed suicide in 1776, leaving considerable debts.

Anne was a frequent visitor to Europe. During one voyage she was captured by a privateer, but released unharmed in Jersey. She visited Sir Horace Mann in Florence, and Sir William Hamilton in Naples, where she was introduced to Lord Nelson.

She had a close friendship with the author Mary Berry, and they are thought to have been lovers. In 1802 they visited Paris together and were granted an audience with Napoleon.

Anne was encouraged in her sculpture by Horace Walpole, a close friend of her father. On Walpole's death she inherited his "gothick" house at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, and lived there until 1818 when she moved to York House, also in Twickenham. She died, aged 79, in 1828 at her London house in Grosvenor Square, and is buried in the church at Sundridge, Kent, along with her sculptor's tools and apron and the ashes of her favourite dog.

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