Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington

AKA:
Kick
Birth Name:
Kathleen Agnes Kennedy
Birth Date:
February 20, 1920
Birth Place:
83 Beals Street, Brookline, Massachusetts
Death Date:
May 13, 1948
Place of Death:
Plateau du Coiron, Sceautres, France
Age:
28
Cause of Death:
Plane crash
Cemetery Name:
St. Peter’s Church
Claim to Fame:
Historical Figure
Kathleen Agnes Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington (née Kennedy) also known as "Kick" Kennedy was an American socialite. She was the second daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, a sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, and the wife of the Marquess of Hartington, heir apparent to the 10th Duke of Devonshire. When her father was serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Kathleen made many friends in London and was the "debutante of 1938". Working with the Red Cross, she began a romantic relationship with Lord Hartington, whom she married in May 1944 much to the anger of her parents. He was killed on active service in Belgium only four months later. Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1948, flying to the south of France while on vacation with her new partner, the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam. The only family member to attend her funeral was her father, Joseph P. Kennedy. Her mother, Rose Kennedy waited 20 years to visit her daughter's grave, and even then it was a brief visit.

The headstone for Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington reads:

IN LOVING
MEMORY OF
KATHLEEN
1920 – 1948
WIDOW OF MAJOR THE
MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
KILLED IN ACTION & DAUGHTER
OF THE HON JOSEPH KENNEDY
SOMETIME AMBASSADOR OF THE
UNITED STATES TO GREAT BRITAIN JOY SHE GAVE; JOY SHE HAS FOUND

The last moments of Kathleen’s life were horrifying.

On May 13, 1948, Lady Hartington and Lord Fitzwilliam were flying from Paris to the French Riviera for a vacation aboard a de Havilland DH.104 Dove. At 3:30 in the afternoon, their plane took off, reaching an altitude of 10,000 feet. Approximately one hour into the flight, radio contact was lost with the plane when it entered the region near Vienne which was also close to the center of a storm. The plane’s four occupants endured twenty minutes of severe turbulence which bounced their small plane up and down as much as several thousand feet at a time. When they finally cleared the clouds, they instantly discovered the plane was in a dive and moments away from impact, and they attempted to pull up. The stress of the turbulence, coupled with the sudden change of direction, tore loose one of the wings, followed by both engines, and finally the tail. The plane’s fuselage then spun into the ground seconds later, coming to rest nose-down in a ravine, after striking terrain at Plateau du Coiron, near Saint-Bauzile, Ardèche, France. Lady Hartington was instantly killed, along with Fitzwilliam, the pilot Peter Townshend and the navigator Arthur Freeman.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

St. Peter’s Church

1 Jap Lane

Edensor, Bakewell, DE45 1PH

United Kingdom

Europe

Grave Location:

Cavendish Family Burial Ground, Grave No. 8C015

Grave Location Description

As you enter the grounds of this historic church facing the entry to the church, walk right to the back of the church and take the first hard right along with walkway. Walk to the very back of the graveyard and looking to your right, 3rd row from the border you will find the final resting place of the former Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy.

Grave Location GPS

53.224878340869715, -1.6267362024585312

Visiting The Grave:

Photos:

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