Shelley, Percy Florence, 3rd Baronet

BORN 12 Nov 1819, Firenze, Toscana - DIED 5 Dec 1889
GRAVE LOCATION Bournemouth, Dorset: St. Peter's Churchyard

Percy Florence Shelley was the only surviving child of Percy Byssshe Shelley and his wife Mary Shelley. His father drowned in Italy in 1822 and he returned with his mother to England in 1824.

He was educated at Harlow and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1844 his grandfather Sir Timothy died and he became the 3rd Baronet of Castle Goring, Sussex. In 1845 he lived in Putney and he was elected to the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

On 22 June 1848 he married Jane St John. She was a widow whose strong personality overshadowed his own. They lived in Bournemouth and when his mother died in 1851 she was buried at St Peter's Churchyard, Bournemouth. He and Jane had no children, but they adopted Bessie Florence Gibson, the daughter of Edward Gibbon who was possibly Jane's brother. Lady Shelley removed many valuable doccuments that could damage Percy Bysshe Shelley's reputation from the family archive.

Percy Florence lived as a typical English gentleman in Bournemouth. He also had a house in London in Tite Street, Chelsea, where he had hos own private theatre. In 1865 he was appointed High Sherrif of Sussex. In 1879 a caricature of him by Carlo Pellegrini appeared in Vanity Fair. He died in 1889 and was buried in Mary Shelley's tomb at St Peter's Churchyard.

• Mother: Shelley, Mary
• Father: Shelley, Percy Bysshe
• Wife: St. John, Jane (1848-1889, London: St. George's, Hanover Square)

Related persons
• knew Allingham, William
• was drawn by Pellegrini, Carlo

12/11/1819 Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley's son Percy Florence is born. He was born in Florence. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe]
25/8/1823Mary Shelley arrives in London with her son Percy Florence [Shelley, Mary]
14/6/1826Percy Florence Shelley becomes heir to the Shelley fortune after the death of his half-brother Charles Shelley 
29/9/1832Percy Florence Shelley enters Harlow school 
0/5/1833Mary Shelley moves to Harlow. Since september, 1832 her son Percy Florence went to school there. It was cheaper to enlist him as a day student and let him live with her. [Shelley, Mary]
0/4/1836Mary Shelley moves to 14 North Bank, Regents Park. She had lived in Harlow since May 1833, where her son Percy went to school. In April 1836 she housed him with a private teacher, Mr. Morrison, Vicar of Stoneleigh (near Leamington, Warwickshire). [Shelley, Mary]
10/10/1837Percy Florence Shelley enters Trinity College, Cambridge 
0/2/1840Sir Timothy Shelley raises Percy Florence Shelley's allowance to 400 pounds 
0/6/1840Mary Shelley travels on the continent with her son Percy Florence. From June to December. They visited Cadenabbia, Milan and Paris. [Shelley, Mary]
0/2/1841Percy Florence Shelley graduates from Trinity College, Cambridge. Sir Timothy Shelley subsequently increased his allowance to 400 pounds. 
0/3/1843Mary Shelley arrives in Rome. She had been touring the continent with her son Percy Florence since June 1842 and it was her first visit to the city since the 1820s. They visited Shelley's grave but she couldn't find the grave of her son William who had died in Rome in 1819 and was buried at the same cemetery. Percy Florence was unimpressed with the art in Rome and to her disappointment he refused to visit the museums. Mary toured them with the art critic Alexis-Francóis Rio. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe]
10/7/1843Mary Shelley returns to England after a travelling on the continent. Her son Percy Florence was in her company. [Shelley, Mary]
22/6/1848Percy Florence Shelley marries Jane St. John. They had been engaged since 24 March 1848. The wedding took place at St. George's, Hanover Square, London. [St. John, Jane]
29/7/1848Mary Shelley joins her son Percy Florence and his wife Jane at Field Place. Jane St. John had married her son Percy Florence and they had returned from their honeymoon in the Lake District. Field Place was the birthplace of Percy Florence's father Percy Bysshe Shelley. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe][St. John, Jane]
0/0/1850Mary Shelley travels to the Côte d'Azur. It was in the spring and she was in the company of her son Percy Florence and his wife Jane. [Shelley, Mary]
29/10/1864William Allingham dines with Sir Percy Florence Shelley. During the dinner Lady Shelley and two of Shelley's sisters were present. One of the sisters was Helen. Sir Percy stated clearly that he wasn't interested in literature and poetry and that he preferred sailing and private theatre. Helen Shelley's memories of Leigh Hunt were not favourable and Allingham, who had known Hunt, decided not to about Hunt anymore. [Allingham, William][Hunt, Leigh][St. John, Jane]
9/12/1868Sir Percy Florence Shelley receives William Allingham for lunch. Lady Shelley tells him about Mary Shelley's last moments and about the Christianity of Shelley's daughter Ianthe. [Allingham, William][St. John, Jane]
12/12/1868William Allingham enters Sir Percy Florence Shelley's steam yacht. He was invited by the boatsman at Inman's Quay to enter the yacht Nökken. Sir Percy Florence Shelley and Lady Shelley were there. Allingham describes in his diary that it was rather cold and the decided to go ashore to dine. [Allingham, William][St. John, Jane]
6/12/1889Sir Percy Florence Shelley dies. He was the only surviving child of Percy Bysshe shelley and Mary Shelley. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe]


The grave of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Mary Shelley at St. Peter's Churchyard, Bournemouth.
Picture by Androom (18 Jun 2010)


The grave of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Mary Shelley at St. Peter's Churchyard, Bournemouth.
Picture by Androom (18 Jun 2010)


The grave of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Mary Shelley at St. Peter's Churchyard, Bournemouth.
Picture by Androom (18 Jun 2010)


Plaque for Sir Percy Florence Shelley at Shelley Manor, Boscombe.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2015)


• Allingham, William, William Allingham, A Diary, 1824 - 1889, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1985
• Feldman, Paula R. and Diana Scott-Kilvert, The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987
• Mellor, Anne K., Mary Shelley, her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters, Routledge, New York, 1989
• Rees, Joan, Shelley's Jane Williams, William Kimber, London, 1985
• St Clair, William, The Godwins and the Shelleys, Faber and Faber, London, 1990
• Sunstein, Emily W., Mary Shelley, Romance and Reality, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1989
Sir Percy Shelley, 3rd Baronet - Wikipedia

Sheridan, Margaret Burke

Published: 03 Jun 2017
Last update: 09 Jul 2023