Painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1756

Little is known about Hon. Audrey Townshend, the only daughter of Charles, 3rd Viscount Townshend and Audrey Harrison. This page focuses on her "husband", Robert Orme, and describes his background, history, friends and any other facts relevant to the quest for Townshend knowledge.

b.1725 d.1790

Robert Orme was born in 1725. He entered the army as an ensign in the 35th Foot but on the 16th September 1745 he exchanged into the Coldstream Guards and became a lieutenant on the 24th April 1751. He accompanied General Braddock to America and was one of his aide-de-camps together with Lt .Col Robert Stewart and Capt. George Washington. Apparently Orme was not chosen by Braddock himself to be one of his aides - his selection came from the Duke of Cumberland. Orme was present on the battle-field and apparently assisted the removal of the General from the field, although other reports honour Stewart for this. After his recovery from his wound he embarked for England. In October 1756, he resigned his commission in the Guards. Robert Orme died in 1790 and is apparently buried with other Orme family members at Bath Abbey.

Click here to view the 1755 letter by Orme to Governor Dinwiddie.

For further information about this Orme family contact:

b.abt 1730 d.1781

Audrey Townshend was born sometime between 1724 and 1740 and died in 1781. It is said that Audrey married Capt. Robert Orme in 1756 after retiring from the army earlier that year but this is doubtful. Through existing decendants it is known that Audrey and Robert Orme had at least one son. She was in Europe at the time suggesting, perhaps, that she was there to hide her pregnancy. Apparently Robert Orme was already married when she supposedly married him or became pregnant. There are letters and wills suggesting that by 1764 she was still refered to as "Miss Audrey Townshend".

b.1720's d.

Lt.Col. Robert Stewart (probably of lower rank when under Braddock) commanded the Light Horse who served as Braddock's bodygaurds. Robert Stewart is noted for his bravery in the face of tremendous odds - 25 of his 29 men were killed and a number of horses were shot from under him.

.....full biography still under construction.

Robert Stewart was also the uncle of Hon William Townshend of Prince Edward Island, through William's marriage to Flora Stewart. Robert Stewart helped his elder brother, Peter Stewart, get the position of Chief Justice of PEI through consultations with Sir William Montgomery, the father-in-law of George, 1st Marquess Townshend. These Stewarts originate from Campbeltown, Argylshire, Scotland, the seat of the Campbells (The Duke of Argyll). Caroline Campbell married Rt.Hon Charles Townshend.

b.1731 d.1799

George Washington (Captain, later General, later President) was born on the 22nd February 1732, Westmoreland County, Va. and died on the 14th of December 1799. His first military experience came during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) when Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent him on two missions deep into the Ohio country in the British dispute with the French. In 1755 he accompanied Braddock's ill-fated march on Fort Duquesne.

After an interval of 15 years he returned to arms as the commander for the American army that had gathered around Boston in 1775. By a vigorous siege he forced the British to give up the city and in the ensuing five years of war proved himself an indominatable, if not always fortunate, commander, ending the war with the capture of Yorktown and the surrender of Lord Charles Cornwallis' army in 1781. Ironically, Lord Charles Cornwallis (b. d.) was a 1st cousin of Audrey Townshend.

...description still being constructed.

b.1695 d.1755

Edward Braddock born in 1695, son of Major General Edward Braddock, entered the army as an Ensign in the Coldstream Guards on the 14th October 1710. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on the 21st November 1745. On the 29th March 1754 he became a Major General, and on the 24th September of the same year was made Commander in chief of his Majestys' Forces in America. He was fatally wounded at the engagement on the Monogahela, 9th. July 1755, and died four days later.

Extract from the Alexandria Archeological Museumwebsite:

The major event of the 1750s was the French and Indian War. Virginian participation in the wars between the European powers became significant only after 1739 during the "War of Jenkin's Ear" and "King George's War" (1739-1748). By the time these conflicts had ended, Pennsylvanian and Virginian traders were pushing into the Ohio River Valley--territory claimed by France. From 1749 the French took steps to secure the Ohio Valley and, in mid 1752, attacked an outlying trading post. In 1753, Governor Dinwiddie sent the 21-year-old George Washington to protest the French action and to ascertain their intentions. Washington reported that only by force could the French be prevented from full occupation of the valley. Convinced of France's hostile intent, the Governor ordered that the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers (in western Pennsylvania) be fortified, and sent a small army under Washington to take the post. The French beat them to the site, built Fort Duquesne and, with some difficulty, defeated Washington's force at their hastily constructed "Fort Necessity." Thus began a two-year undeclared colonial war which coalesced into and helped spark a European "Seven Years' War" which reached from Canada to India.

General Edward Braddock arrived in Alexandria in April 1755 to lead an army of 1400 British regulars and 450 colonials to Fort Duquesne. At John Carlyle's house he met with the governors of five colonies--Dinwiddie of Virginia, Sharpe of Maryland, Shirley of Massachusetts, Morris of Pennsylvania and DeLancey of New York--to discuss strategy, finances, and possible campaigns against other French strongholds. Robert Orme's journal indicates Braddock did not want to stay here long, "as the greatest care and severest punishments could not prevent the Immoderate use of spirituous liquors, and as he was likewise informed the water of that place was very unwholesome...." The army set out on the route we now know as Braddock Road; a cannon, said to be one of Braddock's, can be seen today at the intersection with Russell Road. On July 9, eight miles from Fort Duquesne, Braddock's army was ambushed and defeated by about one thousand French and Indians, and Braddock was killed. Washington retreated to Virginia, burying General Braddock near the site of Fort Necessity.

For further information on General Braddock contact:


Both the Orme and Braddock families are buried at Bath Abbey (with the exception of General Edward Braddock). This might show how Braddock and Orme knew eachother although it is at odds with the fact that Cumberland chose Orme to be Braddock's aide and not Braddock himself. At Bath Abbey we find an inscription to Hon. Audrey Townshend's uncle, Rev Edward Townshend.

Joshua Reynolds not only painted Robert Orme but painted Hon Audrey Townshend's her brothers too, George and Charles. This vaguely suggests that Orme probably socialized amongst Townshend associates. Interestingly, The portrait of Thomas Townshend (Lord Sydney), Audrey's cousin, was painted by Gilbert Stuart who also painted George Washington.