Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was almost the last in the male line of a famous family—illustrating his own favourite Law of Averages; for his great-great-grandfather, Francis Edgeworth, married three wives,2 and his grandfather, the eccentric and celebrated Richard Lovell Edgeworth, married four wives3 and had twenty-two children, of whom seven sons and eight daughters survived him. F. Y. Edgeworth himself was the fifth son of a sixth son. Yet, in 1911, after the other heirs had died without leaving male issue,4 he succeeded to the family estate of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, where the Edgeworths, whose name was taken from Edgeware, formerly Edgeworth, in Middlesex, had established themselves in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. After his succession he had taken interest in gathering up family records and in seeking to restore Edgeworthstown House to something of its former tradition under the care of a married niece, Mrs Montagu. Whilst visiting Ireland every summer, he did not live at Edgeworthstown, but declared that he looked forward to a happy’ old age’—though when, if ever, he would have deemed this period to have arrived I do not know5—in the home of his forefathers.
KeywordsPolitical Economy Royal Statistical Society Frequency Theory British Association Male Line
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