Bapsybanoo Pavry facts for kids
Bapsybanoo Pavry, also known as Bapsy, Marchioness of Winchester, was born Bapsy Pavry of Bombay, the daughter of a Parsi Head Priest, the Most Rev. Khursheedjee Pavry.
Pavry lived in England from a young age, where she pursued a "campaign to become one of the great figures of the age" by breaking into English high society. She was painted several times by Augustus John, including in 1930, and was the subject of an essay by Duncan Fallowell.
In 1952 she married Henry Paulet, 16th Marquess of Winchester and became the Marchioness of Winchester - thought to be the only Indian Marchioness in history. Her husband, the childless widower Marquess, was ninety years old at the time. The Marquess left Pavry within weeks of the marriage for his former fiancée Eve Fleming, the mother of Ian Fleming, the James Bond author, and a former lover of Augustus John. (After a brief engagement, Eve Fleming had refused to marry the Marquess because on remarriage she would have lost the substantial allowance granted in her husband's will). In 1957, the Marchioness sued Mrs Fleming, alleging that she had enticed the Marquess away, but despite initial success, the decision was over-turned in Mrs Fleming's favour on appeal. The Marquess lived out the remainder of his life in Monte Carlo with Eve Fleming, dying four months prior to his centenary in 1962.
The Marchioness lived for a short time in the medieval surroundings of the Winchester house near Southampton. Despite living in England for most of her adult life, she retained much of her Indian ways, expecting public respect and recognition for her high status. She only went to Winchester once, immediately after her marriage in 1952, but felt snubbed because few people welcomed her, and never returned. Nevertheless, on her death she bequeathed £500,000 to the town of Winchester to be used to build a community centre in the grounds of the Winchester Guildhall in her name so that the community would be forced to acknowledge her.
Winchester City Council struggled to carry out the bequest for 14 years, by which time the sum had grown to £1.4 million. Finally, in June 2009, a room in the Guildhall was refurbished and renamed after her with a huge portrait of her in her state robes by Frank Salisbury taking pride of place.
After the death of her brother in 1985, the Marchioness established the Dasturdaza Doctor Jal Pavry Award for International Peace and Understanding at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in memory of her brother, Dr. Jal Pavry. The fund provides an award to students at SIPA for the best paper on the topic of international peace and understanding. She also established two fellowships at Oxford University in her name and that of her brother.
The Marchioness returned to India in 1985 and lived out the rest of her life there, dying in 1995.
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