Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

The Scandalous Lady W

The amazing true story of Lady Worsley, whose elopement prompted her husband to sue her lover and sparked one of the greatest scandals of 18th-century England.

In 1781, wealthy heiress Seymour, Lady Worsley, caused outrage when she cuckolded her husband, respectable MP Sir Richard Worsley, and ran away with her lover Captain George Bisset. Furious, Sir Richard responded by suing Bisset for criminal conversation and demanding a record £20,000 for the damage done to his property - Lady Worsley. While Seymour and Bisset hid out in a London hotel, Sir Richard and his lawyers set about proving his wife's infidelity through a series of devious schemes. When the case came to court, Sir Richard lied about his relationship with Seymour, painting a perfect picture of their marriage and persuading others to do the same. Bisset looked sure to be facing penury and prison until Seymour devised a bold plan. To save her lover from ruin, she disclosed a shocking secret - one that astounded the court, put her reputation in jeopardy and turned the trial into the greatest sex scandal of the 18th century.

1 hour, 28 minutes

Last on

Christmas Eve 2015 22:40

Filming locations

Filming locations

Scenes for The Scandalous Lady W were filmed at Clandon Park in Surrey before the devastating fire in April.

The Marble Hall, Green Drawing Room, Hunting Room, Saloon were used to represent Appuldurcombe House, Sir Richard Worsley’s estate and the Palladio Room was dressed as a hotel room.

Located near to Wroxall on the Isle of Wight, the real Appuldurcombe House is today the shell of a large 18th-century baroque country house cared for by English Heritage.  

Credits

Role Contributor
Writer David Eldridge
Producer Madonna Baptiste
Director Sheree Folkson
Author Hallie Rubenhold
Seymour, Lady Worsley Natalie Dormer
Sir Richard Worsley Shaun Evans
George Bisset Aneurin Barnard
Wet Nurse Rebecca Cooper
Baby Jane (Newborn) Albie Frost
Mr Hesse Robert Morgan
Captain Leversuch Alex Beckett
Mrs Leversuch Kirsty Hoiles
Elizabeth Figg Elizabeth Rider
Mary Sotheby Jessica Gunning
Hannah Commander Rose Shalloo
Ann Ekelso Scarlett Brookes
Viscount Deerhurst Oliver Chris
James Farrar Peter Sullivan
Lord North Richard McCabe
Baby Jane (4 Months) Thomas Parker
Baby Jane (4 Months) Tyler Parker
Mr Bearcroft Will Keen
Mr Wallace QC Craig Parkinson
Clerk George Fouracres
Lord Chief Justice Mansfield David Calder
Jury Foreman Jonathan Coote
Footman Thomas Coombes
Lord Peterborough Tom Edden
Dr Osborn Michael Bott
Mary Marriott Sandra Huggett

Broadcasts

  • Mon 17 Aug 2015 21:00
  • Christmas Eve 2015 22:00
  • Christmas Eve 2015 22:40

Cast and Characters

Cast and Characters

Learn more about the real life characters and the actors that play them.

BBC Writersroom: Adapting The Scandalous Lady W

BBC Writersroom: Adapting The Scandalous Lady W

Screenwriter David Eldridge on how Hallie Rubenhold's book was ripe for drama.