Margot Asquith

[Countess of Oxford and Asquith]

Biography of Margot Asquith

Margot Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith (2 February 1864 – 28 July 1945), born Emma Alice Margaret Tennant, was an Anglo-Scottish socialite, author and wit. She was married to Herbert Henry Asquith, a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1894 until his death in 1928.

Margot Tennant was born in Peeblesshire, Tweeddale, of Scottish and English descent. She was the sixth daughter and eleventh child of Charles Clow Tennant, industrialist and politician, and Emma Winsloe. She was brought up at Glen, the family's country estate, Margot and her sister Laura grew up wild and uninhibited. Margot was a "venturesome child", roaming the moors, climbing to the top of the roof by moonlight, riding her horse up the front steps of the estate house. Riding and golf were her lifelong passions.

The two girls were inseparable, entering society together in London in 1881. She and Laura became the central female figures of an aristocratic group of intellectuals called "The Souls" ("You are always talking about your souls," complained Lord Charles Beresford, thereby providing them with a suitable label). When Laura married Alfred Lyttelton in 1885, the first part of Margot's life ended. Laura's death in 1888 was a devastating blow from which Margot never fully recovered. As a result, Margot developed chronic insomnia which would plague her for the rest of her life.

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