|Percy Florence Shelley
3rd Baronet of
Sir Percy Florence Shelley, 3rd Baronet of Castle Goring (12 November 1819 – 5 December 1889) was the son and only surviving child of English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. He was thus the only grandchild of Mary Wollstonecraft or William Godwin to live beyond infancy. His middle name, possibly suggested by his father's friend Sophia Stacey, came because he was born in Florence. He had two elder half-siblings, by his father's first marriage, to Harriet Westbrook.
His parents lived in Italy for several years, until his father drowned off Livorno, whereupon his mother moved back to England with him, her only surviving child, in 1822. Mary Shelley never remarried; Percy Florence had no further siblings.
He joined Harrow School in 1832, and went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1837.
He married Jane Gibson on 22 June 1848, who had previously been married to the Hon. Charles Robert St. John, son of the 3rd Viscount Bolingbroke and the Viscountess Bolingbroke, Baroness Hompesch. The couple had no children, although they adopted Bessie Florence Gibson, the daughter of Edward Gibson who was possibly Jane Gibson's brother. Bessie Gibson married Lieutenant-Colonel Leopold James Yorke Campbell Scarlett, and was the mother of Shelley, Robert and Hugh Scarlett, the 5th, 6th and 7th Barons Abinger respectively.
He was appointed High Sheriff of Sussex in 1865. He appeared in the 'Men of the Day' series in Vanity Fair in 1879 as "The Poet's Son", a caricature by Ape. The caption reads: "But he delights above all in yachting and in private theatricals, and is even now engaged in building a theatre for amateur performers. He is a gentleman." According to Yachting World, Shelley was a member of the prestigious and exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Shelley died in 1889 and was buried in the family vault in the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Bournemouth, reputedly with the heart of his father alongside him. In that vault, in addition to the patrilineal family, lie the remains of his maternal grandparents, namely Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin; Shelley and his wife were instrumental in moving their bones from St Pancras Old Church in London.
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