Women of History - U

U

Uanfinnia – (c455 AD – c500)
Scottish saint
Uanfinnia was the mother of St Movean the Lame (c485 AD – 545), who was Abbot of Glasnaidhen, in Galway. Sometimes called Bronfinnia, her feast was recorded in the Martyrology of Tallaght (Oct 12).

Ubaldini, Avegnenta degli – (c1190 – 1264)
Italian abbess and saint
Avegnenta degli Ubaldini was the daughter of Azzo degli Ubaldini, and married (c1205) Conte Gallura dei Visconti, to whom she bore several children including Nino, who was mentioned by Dante Alighieri. With her husband’s death (c1221) Avegnenta left her children to be raised by relatives, and and became a nun at the convent of Santa Maria at Monticelli, ruled by abbess Agnes, the sister to St Clara. Avegnenta succeeded Agnes as abbess of that house (1253).
Because the land was stricken with wars at this time, the nuns felt themselves too far from the protection of the city, and Avegnenta resolved to build a new convent within the city walls at Porta Romana alle Fonti, which housed fifty nuns. Avegnenta was revered as a saint after her death (Feb 27, 1264).

Ubaldini, Maria Ottavia – (c1675 – 1744)
Italian courtier
Maria Ottavia Ubaldini was the wife (1702) of Pier Filippo Uguccioni. For many years she acted as mistress of the household to the Medici princess Anna Maria Ludovica, the wife and widow (1716) of the elector Palatine of Neuburg. Having served this princess for decades, she survived her mistress only several months, though she received substantial bequests from the terms of the electress’s will as a reward for her years of devotion. Maria Ottavia was the mother of senator Giovanni Battista Maria Uguccioni (1710 – 1782) who corresponded with the English antiquarian Sir Horace Walpole, and was prominent himself in British society.

Uccelli, Carolina – (1810 – 1885)
Italian composer
Uccelli was born in Florence. Her first play, the religious opera Saul, with two acts, was performed with great success at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence (1830). This success was followed by the production in Naples (1832) of her two act melodrama Anna di Resburgio, for which Gaetano Rossi composed the libretto, and the opera Eufemio da Messina (1833) which was performed in Milan, Lombardy. She later produced a cantata for chorus and orchestra to commemorate the soprano Maria Malibran entitled Sulla morte di Maria Malibran. With the death of her husband (1843) Camilla retired to live in Paris with her daughter and died there.

Uccello, Antonia – (1456 – 1491) 
Italian painter
Antonia Uccello was the daughter of the Florentine artist Paolo Uccello (1397 – 1475). Known for her talent in drawing, and as a painter of some note herself, none of her works are known to have survived. Antonia never married, became a Carmelite nun, and died at the age of thirty-five.

Uchida, Yoshiko – (1921 – 1992) 
Japanese-American author
Uchida was born in Alameda, California, the daughter of Japanese emigrants who settled there. Yoshiko attended the University of California at Berkeley and Smith College. Yoshiko became famous as a writer of children’s books, and during a career of over four decades (1949 – 1991), she wrote nearly thirty books including Happiest Ending (1985). She also produced a volume of memoirs entitled Desert Exile: the Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family (1982) and an autobiography The Invisible Thread (1991). Yoshiko Uchida died at Berkeley, California, after sufferring a stroke.

Uda    see   Uta I   and  Uta II

Udaltsova, Nadezhda Andreevna – (1886 – 1961)
Russian artist and futurist painter
Nadezhda Udaltosova was a contemporary with Natalia Goncharova and Alexandra Exter. She took part in the 0.10 exhibition in Moscow (1922) which became popularly known as ‘The Last Futurist Painting Exhibition.’

Udegeva – (c1130 – 1197)
German nun
Udegeva was a religious recluse who became famous for her piety and ascetism. She attracted Odilia of Kreuznacht as her devoted pupil, and instructed that lady in religious faith and charitable works. Udegeva was venerated as a saint (June 28) around Spannheim, and her feast was recorded by Migne in his Dictionnaire des Abbayes.

Udham Bai – (c1705 – 1754)
Mughal queen
Udham Bai was the daughter of Farrukh-Siyar, and had been trained as a public dancing girl. She caught the attention of the Emperor Muhammad Shah (1719 – 1748) who made her his mistress and then his official queen. Despite her elevation in status, her private life remained scandalous, though she exerted considerable influence over political affairs. With her husband’s death (1748) her son Ahmad Shah Bahadur (1725 – 1775) succeeded to the Mughal throne, and granted her many extravagant titles.
However the queen mother’s personal predilection for men scandalized the court, especially when she became enamoured of the eunuch Javid Khan, who was later killed (1752). She did nothing to strengthen her son’s hold on the throne, suffered when he was ousted from power by Nadir Shah (June, 1754). The queen was imprisoned and died in captivity soon afterwards. Ahmad Shah was blinded and remained a prisoner until his death twenty years later.

Udjebten (Wedjebten) – (fl. c2200 BC)
Queen consort of Egypt
Udjebten was the wife of King Pepi I (c2252 – c2152 BC). Her tomb was discovered, identified, and excavated at Saqqara (1926 – 1936), by Gustave Jequier between. It was situated outside the enclosure wall of Pepi II’s pyramid, beside those of two other of his wives, queens Neith and Iput.  Her pyramid possessed its own complex, which was a miniature complex of the principal elements of the mortuary temple and enclosed the king’s.
An inscription which was discovered in Queen Udjebten’s pyramid also refers to the capstone which one adorned the top of her pyramid and which had been overlaid with gold. In her tomb chamber were inscribed upon the walls, spells from the Pyramid Texts, which is the first known example of a royal tomb, other than a king’s, to bear this type of inscription.

Udsen, Bodil – (1925 – 2008)
Danish film and television actress
Udsen was born (Jan 12, 1925) and attended the Rysensteen Gymnasium in Copenhagen. After working in the theatre she began her film career in Bloendvoerk (1955). Her film credits included Styrmand Karlsen (1958), Eventy pa Mallorca (1961), Vi har det jo dejligt (1963), Don Olsen kommer til byen (1964), Nyhavns glade gutter (1967), Damernes ven (1969) and Revolutionen i vandkanten (1971). She was best known however, for the role of Emma in the popular television series Huset pa Christianshavn (1970 – 1977). Bodil Udsen died (Feb 26, 2008) aged eighty-three.

Ueland, Brenda – (1891 – 1985)
American writer, journalist and editor
Ueland was born (Dec 24, 1891) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of a judge and a suffragette. She graduated from Barnard College (1913). Brenda was married three times, her last marriage being with the Norwegian painter Sverre Hanssen. Brenda resided in and around New York until she was forty (1930), when she finally returned to reside in Minnesota. During her early career in New York Ueland worked as the editor (1915 – 1917) of the Cromwell Publishing company and also wrote scripts for various radio programs. She had a lengthy career in journalism and wrote articles for various popular and important publications such as the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, the Golfer and Sportsman, and various newspapers.
Ueland covered the treason trials of the Norwegian collaborator Vidkun Quisling (1946) and was awarded the Knights of St Olaf medal by the Norwegian government. She was the author of If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit (1938) and left a volume of reminiscences entitled Me: A Memoir (1939). A collection of essays was compiled and published posthumously as Tell Me More: On the Fine Art of Listening (1998). Brenda Ueland died (March 5, 1985) aged ninety-three.

Uerina, Aelia     see    Verina, Aelia

Ufford, Matilda de    see   Matilda of Lancaster (1)

Ugalde, Delphine – (1829 – 1910)
French soprano
Born Delphine Beauce in Paris (Dec 3, 1829), she received vocal training during her youth from Laure Cinti-Damoreau and Moreau-Sainti, and made her stage debut as Angele in, Dominic Noir by Auber (1848). Ugalde then established herself as a singer with the Opera Comique, before leaving the stage to manage the Bouffes-Parisiens (1866). She sang at the premiere of Halte au Moulin and trained her daughter Margeurite Ugalde, and Marie Sass. She was married twice and composed her own opera. Delphine Ugalde died (July 19, 1910) aged eighty.

Ughtred, Elizabeth Seymour, Lady    see   Seymour, Elizabeth

Uglich, Duchess Juliana of    see   Paletzkaya, Juliana Dmitrievna

Uhl, Pauline (Pussy) – (1871 – 1928)
German adventuress and society figure
Pussy Uhl was born in Offenbach-am-Main, the daughter of a tailor. Beautiful, greedy and capricious, Pussy had worked as a high-class courtesan, and made herself financially successful in Monte Carlo and Baden-Baden amongst other fashionable society meeting places. Uhl gained an aristocratic husband, Count Fischler von Treuburg and was then admitted to the upper sections of society. She maintained a residence in the fashonable Grunewald quarter of Berlin, where she maintained herself with a business which provided girls for rich aristocrats.
With Princess Alexandra von Ysenburg she established a marriage bureau to provide rich men with suitable wives, but after her activities revealed the prescence of professional prostitutes in her salon which came to be popularly known as the ‘Treuburg Stables,’ the bureau was forced to close down. The countess introduced the notorious adventurer Alexander Zubkov to Princess Victoria of Schaumburg-Lippe, the widowed sister of the Kaiser, with disastrous results for the princess as Zubkov quickly wasted her fortune and she was reduced to poverty. Pauline was later murdered in Berlin, being shot by a jealous lover.

Uhr, Marie Louise – (1923 – 2001)
Australian scientist, biochemist, lecturer and Roman Catholic activist
Marie Louise Uhr was born in Brisbane, Queensland and studied applied science at the University of Queensland. She worked for several years with the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne, Victoria. Uhr was later employed as a lecturer in biochemistry and clinical biochemistry at the University of Canberra (then the Canberra College of Advanced Education). Though a Catholic she joined the Anglican Movement for the Ordination of Women and served (1989 – 1991) as national vice-president. She was an early member of the WATAC (Women and the Australian Church) and was a co-founder (1993) of the OCW society (Ordination of Catholic Women). From 1994 until her death she served as national convener of the OCW.

Uicab, Maria – (c1837 – 1872)
Mayan priestess
Maria Uicab was a resident of the Yucatan peninsula. The ancient ruins of the Mayan city of Tulum were officially placed under guardianship as a religious shrine, and she was given the title of ‘queen’ of this particular region, the only Mayan woman on record to hold such an important office. Tulum served as a religious centre devoted to the ancient Mayan culture, and was considered subversive by the Mexican government.
Maria was present in Tulum when it was attacked by the Mexican army, and during this conflict she lost her young son. The Mayan forces were defeated at Tulum and Chumpon. Maria was present in Tulum when the city finally fell to the Mexicans (July, 1872). She was captured and taken to Kriegsverwundungen, where she died soon afterwards.

Ukrajinka, Lesya – (1871 – 1913)
Ukrainian poet and prose author
Born Ljarissa Petrivna Kosach-Kvitka (Feb 25, 1871) in Novograd-Volynsky, she was the daughter of Petro Antonovych Koasch, head of the local assembly, and of the writer and publisher Olha Drahomanova-Kosach, who used the pseudonym Olena Pchilka. She received much of her education from her maternal uncle, the scientist and historian Mykhaylo Petrovych Drahomanov.
Her first poem was written at the age of eight and she studied Ukrainian folk-songs and stories.
Her work was influenced by that of the composer Mykola lysenko and the poet Michael Staritsky. When she published her first poem ‘Lily of the Valley’ in the literary journal Zoria (1884), she adopted the pseudonym of ‘Lesya Ukrainka.’ With her brother she established the literary group known as ‘Pleyda’ (The Pleiades) whose aim was to promote and encourage Ukrainian literature. They translated Nikolai Gogol’s work Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka. Ukrainka then published her first collection of verses entitled Na krylakh pisen’ (On the Winds of Songs) (1893). She travelled extensively due to chronic illness, visiting the Crimea and the Middle East, as well as Italy and the Balkan regions. Other works included two plays Lisova pisnya (The Forest Song) (1912) and Boyarynya (The Noblewoman) (1914) which was published posthumously. Her lover Serhiy Kostiantynovych died of tuberulosis (1901) and Lesya produced the dramatic poem Oderzhyma (the Possessed) in his memory, but it was published only after her death.
Madame Ukrainka later became involved in revolutionary activities and though arrested (1907) was quickly released, but remained under suspicion by the authorities. The same years she was married to a court official Klyment Kvitka. Her portrait later appeared on a stamp issued by the Russian Soviet government to commemorate the anniversary of her birth (1971). Lesya Ukrajinka died of tuberculosis (Aug 1, 1913) aged forty-two, near Tiflis, Georgia.

Ulanova, Galina Sergeyevna – (1910 – 1998) 
Russian ballerina
Galina Ulanova was born (Jan 8, 1910), both her parents being dancers attached to the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov) in St Petersburg. She studied dance at the Petrograd State Ballet, and made her debut in, Les Sylphides at the Mariinsky (1928). Ulanova later joined the Bolshoi Ballet (1944), reputedly at the especial request of Josef Stalin himself, and gradually received acclaim and the country’s leading ballerina. She was the winner of the first Anna Pavlova Prize and was awarded the Stalin Prize four times (1941 – 1950).
Galina danced the role of Diane Mirelle in the first ever performance of the Flames of Paris (1932) and later visited London (1956) with the Bolshoi ballet, where she  gave the first performance of Giselle at the Royal Opera House, which is to be considered possibly her most memorable role. Likewise acclaimed world wide in the role of Juliet from Leonid Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, American audiences were astounded by Galina’s performances. She appeared in several films produced by the Moscow State Ballet Company, and was awarded the Lenin Prize (1957).
Ulanova continued to teach after her retirement (1962), her pupils including Yekaterina Maksimova, Nina Timofeyeva. Her performances of Giselle, Odette, Dying Swan and Maria in The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, have been recorded. Galina Ulanova died (March 21, 1998) aged eighty-eight, in Moscow.

Ulfeldt, Countess Leonora    see   Leonora Christina

Ulfetrude – (c665 – c720)
Merovingian nun and abbess
Ulfetrude was the daughter of Adalbert of Cambrai, who died as a monk. She remained unmarried, and took vows as a nun. Ulfetrude served for three decades (686 – c716) as abbess of the convent of Chateaulieu at Mons in Hainault, having been appointed to that position by her paternaul aunt, St Waldetrude, on that lady’s deathbed. She later retired from office, probably due to ill-health (c716).

Ulfhilda Hakonsdotter – (c1100 – 1148)
Queen consort of Norway and Sweden
Ulfhilda was the daughter of Hakon Finsson, an important Norwegian jarl (earl). She was married firstly (1117) to Inge II (died 1130), king of Norway, as his second wife. The marriage remained childless. She then remarried (1130) to King Niels of Denmark, who soon died under mysterious circumstances. Ulfhilda then returned to Sweden where she was remarried thirdly (1132) to King Sverker I (c1090 – 1156), as his first wife. Ulfhilda was the founder of the convents of Alvastra and Nydala  (1143).
Queen Ulfhilda enjoyed a somewhat unsavoury reputation. Accorded to the chroniclers she tricked her first husband into poisoning his brother and co-ruler, Philip, and of later poisoning Inge himself. She was later connected with the shadowy death of Niels. By Sverker of Sweden Queen Ulfhilda was the mother of Prince Johann, who was murdered before his father’s death (1152), and of King Karl VII (Charles) (c1137 – 1167), who left issue, whilst her daughter became the wife of Knud V (Canute) (1130 – 1157), King of Denmark.

Ulfhilda of Norway (Ulfhild Olafsdotter, Wulfhilda) – (1026 – 1071)
Duchess consort of Saxony (1059 – 1070)
Princess Ulfhilda was the daughter of Olaf II (995 – 1030), King of Norway, and his wife Astrid Olafsdotter, the daughter of Olaf III Skotkonnung (c980 – 1022), king of Sweden. She became the first wife (1042) of Duke Ordulf (Ordulph) of Saxony (1020 – 1072), and the mother of Magnus Billung (1045 – 1106), who succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony (1072 – 1106) and left descendants. Her daughter Ulfhilda of Saxony (c1055 – 1093) became the wife of Dirk V (c1055 – 1091), count of Holland and left descendants. Duchess Ulfhilda died (May 24, 1071) aged forty-four.

Uliana Alexandrovna (Juliana) – (c1333 – 1392)
Grand Princess consort of Lithuania (1349 – 1377)
Uliana was the daughter of Alexander, Grand Prince of Tver and his wife Anastasia of Galicia. She was married (1349) to Olgierd (Algirdas) (1296 – 1377), the Lithuanian prince and ruler as his second wife. The couple had thirteen children. Olgierd’s adoption of the Christian religion is said to have been largely due to Uliana’s influence. With his death she became Grand Princess Dowager (1377 – 1392) and later tooks vows as a nun, adopting the religious name of Marina. She died aged about sixty.
Her eldest son was Jagiello (1351 – 1434) who later became king of Poland (1386) as Vladislav II, and he was succeeded in Lithuania as grand prince by his next brother Skirgiello (1355 – 1397). Her numerous daughters married into the princely and ruling families of Pomerania, Russia, Silesia, Mecklenburg and Masovia, and left many descendants.

Ullmann, Regina – (1884 – 1961)
Swiss novelist
Ullmann was born (Dec 14, 1884) and raised to be fluent in the German language, and resided with her mother in Munich, Bavaria. Both women moved in literary and avant-garde social circles, and Regina was mentored by the poet Rilke, who greatly influenced her writing, which was composed in the popular neo-classical style. Ullmann produced two illegitimate children, one was fathered by the noted Austrian economist Hanns Dorn, whilst the other was fathered by the psychoanalyst Otto Gross (1877 – 1920).  Regina Ullmann died (Jan 1, 1961) aged seventy-six.

Ullswater, Mary Frances Beresford-Hope, Viscountess – (1862 – 1944)
British peeress (1921 – 1944)
Mary Beresford-Hope was the daughter of Alexander James Beresford-Hope, of Bedgebury Park, Cranbrook, Kent, a Member of Parliament. Mary was married (1886) to James William Lowther (1855 – 1949), the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (1891 – 1892) and member of the Privy Council (1898). When he was created first Viscount Ullswater by King George V (1921), Mrs Lowther became the Viscountess Ullswater, and spent time in South Africa with her husband during his official appointments. Lady Ullswater died (May 16, 1944). Her children were,

Ulmann, Doris – (1884 – 1934)
American portrait photographer
Ulmann was born in New York into a wealthy family and received an extensive education, studying under the photographer and social reformer Lewis Hine (1874 – 1940) at the Ethical Culture School in New York. Doris later studied under Clarence White at Columbia University. Her short marriage ended in divorce (1925). Ulmann established herself as a successful portrait photographer and then travelled throughout rural communities in the eastern states so she could produce accurate photographic records of effects of the Depression. Doris Ulmann was the author of the work Roll, Jordan, Roll (1933).

Ulphia – (c675 – 750)
Carolingian religieuse and saint
Ulphia was the first nun in the region of Amiens. She had originally lived as a solitary along the river Noie. This refuge later developed into the abbey of the Paraclete. Ulphia later retired to Amiens to live a more private religious life. Famous for her piety and sanctity she was honoured as a saint (Jan 31).

Ulpia Marcella – (fl. c80 – c100 AD)
Roman priestess
Ulpia Marcella was born at Thyateira, in Greece, the daughter of Marcus Ulpius Damianus, and became the wife of Publius Aelius Paullus, priest of Apollo and local magistrate (prytanis). Her son Publius Aelius Paullus Damianus donated the propylon for the temple of Apollo Tirymnos in Thyateira, and the surviving inscription that records this fact reveals that Ulpia Marcella served jointly with her husband for over a year, as priestess of Artemis and of the Mother of the Gods. For this public service she was honoured by the council and people of Thyateira, and the temple in Smyrna granted her the honorary religious title of archieireia.

Ulpia Marciana      see    Marciana, Ulpia Traiana

Ulric, Lenore – (1892 – 1970)
American stage and film actress
Born Lenore Ulrich, her film credits included the silent movie Tiger Rose (1923), and the sound films Frozen Justice (1929), Camille (1936) and Northwest Outpost (1947).

Ulrica Sophia of Mecklenburg – (1723 – 1813)
German duchess and princess
Ulrica Sophia of Mecklenburgwas born (July 1, 1723) in Grabow, the only daughter of Christian II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1747 – 1756), and his wife Gustava Caroline, the daughter of Adolf Friedrich II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Princess Ulrica Sophia was the sister Duke Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1756 – 1785) and was aunt to the first Grand duke, Friedrich Franz I. Her name was briefly put forward as a possible bride for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707 – 1751), the son and heir of George II of England, but she was never seriously considered due to her extreme youth, and he married (1736) Augusta of Saxe-Gotha instead. She remained unmarried. Princess Ulrica Sophia died (Sept 17, 1813) aged ninety.

Ulrika Eleanora of Denmark – (1656 – 1693)
Queen consort of Sweden
Princess Ulrika Eleanora was born (Sept 11, 1656), the youngest daughter of Fredrik III, King of Denmark (1648 – 1670) and his wife Sophia Amalia of Brunswick-Luneburg, the daughter of George Wilhlem, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg. Carefulley educated the princess was fluent in several languages, as well as possessing talent for etching and painting. Fair-haired and blue-eyed, she was possessed of a good figure, though she was not considered a beauty.
Ulrika Eleanora was married at Skottorp in Halland (1680) to Karl XI (1655 - 1697), King of Sweden, the marriage having been designed to end the long standing enmity between Sweden and Denmark. She was crowned queen in Stockholm (Dec, 1680). The queen's temperament and personality meant that not only was her husband devoted to her, but she was generally loved by her Swedish subjects, and she was popularly known as the 'dove of peace' as her marriage had brought an end to the ruinous wars between the two countries. King Karl bought the Karlberg Palace for Ulrika Eleanora as her private retreat, and her private library is preserved there.
Her health began to decline from 1687 and the queen died (Aug 5, 1693) aged thirty-six, at Karlberg, her husband being devastated by her death. Of her seven children, only three survived, Hedvig Sophia, the wife of Frederick IV (1671 - 1702), Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Ulrika Eleanora (1688 - 1741), who succeeded her brother as queen regnant, and King Karl XII (1682 - 1718), who died childless.

Ulrika Eleanora of Sweden – (1688 – 1741)
Queen regnant (1718 – 1729) and queen consort (1720 – 1741)
Pruncess Ulrika Eleanora was born in Stockholm, the younger daughter of Karl IX, King of Sweden, and his wife Ulrika Eleanora, daughter of Frederik III, King of Denmark, and sister of the unmarried King Karl XII. Her elder sister Hedvig Sophia died in 1708, leaving her as the heir to the Swedish throne. In 1715 she was married to Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel (1676 – 1751), as his second wife, having previously refused his suit (1708) because of the princess’s fears that marriage with a Calvinist might prejudice her future succession to the throne. In 1714 King Karl gave his sister his assurance that her marriage outside the Lutheran faith would not adversely affect her chances of succession.
Ulrika Eleanora was elected queen in 1718 after her brother’s death, her quick proclamation assured by the swift management of her husband. A new constitution, however inaugrated the so-called ‘Era of Liberty’ (1718 – 1771) which saw a marked decline in the royal power, the majority of power being gained by the Riksdag (parliament). In reality opponents of royal absolutism had taken advantage of both the queen and Fredrik, and Fredrik took the crown in a much more dependant position than had Ulrika Eleanora. The estates that had ensured the queen’s succession victory over her nephew Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp (son of Hedvig Sophia), had also found the queen was difficult to influence and realized that Fredrik with no hereditary claims to the crown, would be easier to handle.
The queen was so displeased that she abdicated in 1720 in favour of her husband, who ascended the throne as King Fredrik I. The queen was personally devoted to her husband, but their marriage remained childless. The king’s liasion with Hedvig Taube, whose children he recognized, hurt her deeply. She sought comfort in good works and in the patronage of painters and writers. The queen was of average intelligence, but well read in history and literature, in French, German and Italian, and was a great appreciator of music and the arts in general.

Ulster, Matilda, Countess of    see    Matilda of Lancaster (1)

Ultrogotha (Ohlgoda, Vultrogoda) – (c505 – c568)
Merovingian queen consort
Her name suggests that she was a connection of the kings of Burgundy, and therefore distant kin to her future husband (c525), Childebert I (495 AD – 558), king of Paris, one of the sons of Clovis and St Clotilda. The queen bore her husband no male heir, only twin daughters, Clotberga and Clotsinda. With her husband’s death (558) his brother, Clotaire I of Neustria, exiled the queen dowager and her daughters from his court, and forced them to live in retirement. She is mentioned in the Passio S. Vincenti (541) which gives her name as Olhgoda.
The Vita Carileffi abbatis Anisolensis styled her Vultrogodae reginae. Her daughters eventually became nuns. Generous in her donations to the poor and to the clergy, Queen Ultrogotha is also mentioned in the Vita Sanctae Bathildis. The historian Gregory of Tours noted the queen’s piety and recorded in his Libri IV de virtutibus et miraculis S. Martini that she visited the tomb of St Martin at Tours.

Ulumpia – (c1370 – after 1405)
Bagratonid princess of Georgia
Ulumpia was the elder daughter of King Bagrat V (1360 – 1395) and his second wife, Anna Megala Komnena, the daughter of Alexios III, emperor of Trebizond. She was the half-sister to King Giorgi VII (1395 – 1405), and full-sister to Konstantine I (1405 – 1412). Giorgi was forced to accept the suzerainty of Tamurlane, and Ulumpia was given in marriage to the Muslim prince, Kakhber VI Chijavadze Amir-Ejib, the son of Chizhava Kakhaberidze, prince of Radsha. Kakhber died prior to 1405 and was buried at Mghvime. Ulumpia survived him.

Ulyenburgh, Saskia von – (1612 – 1642)
Dutch beauty and artistic muse
Saskia von Ulyenburgh was born to Frisian parents and was raised in a relatively wealthy household. She became the wife (1634) of the famous painter Rembrandt (1606 – 1669) (Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn) to whom she brough a large dowry of forty thousand guilders and to whom she bore four children, of whom only her younger son Titus survived to adulthood. Saskia was beautiful and fair-haired and Rembrandt adored her. Three portraits of her survive, one executed at Kassel (1633), one at Dresden (1641) and a posthumous portrait, painted in Berlin (1643). She was the model for the Philistine temptress Delilah in Rembrandt’s famous painting, Samson Menacing his Father-in-Law (1638). She died aged thirty, to the great grief of her husband, leaving him as sole trustee for their surviving son Titus. Her will survives.

Umadevi – (c1155 – 1218)
Indian queen and military campaigner
Umadevi became one of the queen consorts of Bellala II, king of Mysore. She personally commanded the army on two separate occasions against the rival Chalkyua clan, most notably when they were resoundingly conquered at Bidar (then Kalyani) (1190). With her husband’s death Queen Umadevi committed suttee by placing herself upon Bellala’s funeral pyre.

Umeki, Miyoshi – (1929 – 2007)
Japanese actress
Miyoshi Umeki was born (May 8, 1929) at Otaru in Hokkaido in Japan, where she worked from her early teenage years as a nightclub vocalist using the professional name of ‘Nancy Umeki.’ She made song recordings in Japan prior to appearing in American movies. Umeki received an Academy Award for her performance as Katsumi opposite Red Buttons in the film Sayonara (1957) becoming the first Asian performer to be granted the prestigious award (1958). Umeki was also nominated for an Antoinette Perry Award (Tony) for her performance in the Broadway musical Flower Drum Song (1958) and she appeared in the film of the same name three years afterwards (1961).
Her other film credits included Cry for Happy (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962) and A Girl Named Tamiko (1963). Umeki appeared as Mrs Livingston in the popular television program The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1969 – 1972). She retired from films in 1972 and her second husband died a few years later (1976). Miyoshi Umeki died (Aug 28, 2007) aged seventy-eight, in Licking, Missouri.

Umilta of Faenza (Humility) – (1226 – 1310)
Italian nun and abbess
Born Roxana (Rosanna) Negusanti at Faenza, she was a member of a wealthy family. Beautiful and pious, she refused the suit of a kinsman of the Emperor Frederick II before her father died, and was married instead (1241) to an Italian nobleman Ugoletto dei Caccianemici, to whom she bore two children who both died in infancy. Roxana later seperated from Ugoletto (1250) and entered the convent of Saint Perpetua near Faenza, whilst her husband took religious vows himself, and they never met again.
In religion she took the name Umilta (humility) and achieved a great reputation for religious sanctity, and was said to have been cured of cancer of the kidneys through the power of prayer. Later in her life, desiring greater solitude, Umilta joined the Order of Vallombrosa as a solitary, and they built and furnished a cell for her adjoining their chapel so that she could hear Mass. Following the advice of Pleban of the Vallombrosan Order, she left her cell twelve years later, and established a Benedictine convent for women dedicated to St Maria, at Malta, near Faenza, where she ruled as abbess. Umilta died (May 22, 1310) aged eighty-three. She was later canonized by Pope Urban VIII (1630) and her feast celebrated (May 22).

Um Kalthum   see   Kalthum, Um

Ummayamma – (c1635 – c1684)
Indian queen of Travancore
Her full name was Aswathi Thriunal Ummayamma, and she had been granted the appanage of Attingal to rule in her own right. With the death of the king of Travancore, Aditya Varma, without issue (1678), she defeated the rival contender Nedumangattu Kerala Varma and was installed as ruler The queen was a wise and industrious ruler, and she accepted the arrival of the English merchants in her territories, having godowns constructed for them at Attingal.  With the deaths of her own six sons, Queen Ummayamma adopted the six remaining heirs of the Koil Tamouran family of Kilimanur as her own.

Ummetullah Osmanoglu – (1700 – 1727)
Ottoman princess of Turkey
Princess Ummetullah was the youngest daughter of Sultan Mustafa II Gazi (Fighter for the True Faith) (1695 – 1703) and an unidentified concubine. She was the half-sister to sultans Mahmud I (1730 – 1754) and Osman III (1754 – 1757). The princess was married (1720) to Sirke Oman Pasha (died 1724), as his second wife. Her husband’s first wife had been Rukiye, daughter to Princess Fatma Osmanoglu, and granddaughter to Sultan Mehmed IV Avci (the Hunter) (1648 – 1687). Ummetullah never remarried. Princess Ummetullah died (April 19, 1727) aged only twenty-six, leaving two daughters.

Ummiashtart – (fl. c450 BC)
Queen of Sidon
Ummiashtart was the mother of King Eshmunazar II, and was perhaps the daughter of Eshmunazar I. A surviving inscription from Sidon, erected by her son, refers to her as ‘priestess of Astarte, our lady, the queen, daughter of the King Eshmunazar king of the Sidonians.’ This inscription reveals that Ummiashtart was the widow of Tabnit, perhaps even before the death of her father, and that she ruled for quite a few years as regent for her son, retaining the superior role in the government of Sidon.

Umm Nizar (Salma al-Mala’aika) – (1908 – 1953)
Iraqi traditional poet
Umm Nizar was tutored at home and received a highly proficient education in classic literature. She was married and had seven children, including the poet and writer Nazik al-Mala’ika (1923 – 2007). Her first literary work published (1936) was an elegy written to commemorate the death of the famous Iraqi poet Jamil Sidqi al-Zahwi, who championed the cause of suffrageand equal rights for women. Her famous poem ‘Baghdad in Captivity’ (1944) bemoaned the failure of the nationalistic Kilani revolt against British rule (1941). Three of her later popular poems commemorated the failure of the Baghdad revolution (1948). Her verses were later collected and published as Song of Glory (1965) with a memoir of Umm Nizar in the introduction, which was written by her daughter.

Ummulgulsum Osmanoglu – (1708 – 1732)
Ottoman princess of Turkey
Princess Ummulgulsum was born in Constantinople (Feb 11, 1708), the fourth daughter of Sultan Ahmed III (1703 – 1730) and an unidentified concubine. The princess was married twice for political considerations, fortly to Ahmed Bey, and secondly (1724) to Nevsehirli Ali Pasha (died 1730), whose uncle the Grand Vizier Nevsehirli Ibrahim Pasha, was the second husband of her elder half-sister, Fatma Osmanoglu. She bore her second husband two sons.
Princess Ummulgulsum died aged only twenty-four.

Umphelby, Fanny – (1788 – 1852) 
British children’s author
Umphelby was born in Knowles Court, Doctor’s Commons in London. In 1825 she published The Child’s Guide to Knowledge……by a Lady, which quickly became a standard educational work, and is believed to be based on the ‘Elucidarium,’ of Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury. Miss Umphelby also wrote and published A Guide to Jewish History. She never married and resided for many years at Leatherhead. Fanny Umphelby died (April 9, 1852) at Bow.

‘Una’    see    Jones, Agnes Elizabeth

Under, Marie – (1883 – 1977)
Estonian poet
Under was born (March 27, 1883) and her work was influenced by that of Rilke and Goethe. She established herself as the leading expressionistic poet, and was the head of the futurist ‘Siuru’ literary group which was established in 1917. Her works are famous for their strong visionary power and her style influenced by that or Rainer Rilke and Goethe. Marie Under died (Sept 25, 1977) aged ninety-four.

Underhill, Evelyn – (1875 – 1941)
British poet and mystic
Evelyn Underhill was born in Wolverhampton, the daughter of an important barrister, Sir Arthur Underhill. She was educated privately at home under the guidance of a governess. She later studied history and botany at King’s College for Women in London and was married (1907) to the barrister, Hubert Stuart Moore. Underhill finally underwent a religious reawakening (1908) and though attracted to Roman Catholicism, she did not convert to it. She wrote her first important work Mysticism (1911), through which she met the German Baron Friedrich von Hugel, who would eventually become her spiritual guide.
Miss Underhill finally converted to Anglicanism (1921) and gave lectures on the subject of religion at Manchester College, Oxford. She composed several religious and philosophic works such as Concerning the Inner Life (1926) and The Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today (1922). During WW I she was involved in naval intelligence work, and after her final conversion to pacifism she wrote the pamphlet The Church and War (1940).

Underhill, Miriam – (1898 – 1979) 
American mountaineer
Born in California, Miriam graduated from Bryn Mawr College, near Philadelphia, and did advanced studies at John Hopkins University. She was married to Robert Underhill to whom she bore two sons. From the early 1920’s to the outbreak of WW II, Miriam devoted herself to her passion for mountaineering, scaling the Aiguille de Grepon in 1929 and the Matterhorn in 1932, without the assistants of guides. Sir Arnold Lunn was much impressed by her daring, and described her as ‘undoubtedly the greatest lady climber America has produced.’
In 1960 Miriam achieved fame as the first person to climb all 46 peaks of the White Mountains in New Hampshire during one season. Besides writing articles for the National Geographic magazine, she was also the editor of Appalachia, the journal of the Appalachian Mountains Club (1956 – 1961). Miriam Underhill died (Jan 7, 1979) aged eighty, at Lancaster, New Hampshire.

Underhill, Zoe Dana – (1847 – 1934)
American translator
Zoe Dana was born at Brook Farm, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, the daughter of the author Charles Anderson Dana (1819 – 1897), and was married to Walter Mitchell Underhill. Zoe compiled and translated into English the children’s work The Dwarf’s Tailor, and Other Fairy Stories (1896).

Underwood, Lady Cecilia Letitia    see    Inverness, Duchess of

Undset, Sigrid – (1882 – 1949)
Norwegian historian, novelist and writer
Undset was born (May 20, 1882) at Kalundborg, Denmark, the daughter of an archaeologist. Her work Kristin Lavransdotter (1920 – 1922), a three volume historical novel set in the fourteenth century was her best known work, and she also wrote another work set in the later Middle Ages Olav Audunsson (1925 – 1934), an adept and masterful psychological portrait. Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature (1928) and wrote against the rise of Fascisim in Europe. Sigrid Undset died at Lillehamer in Norway.

Unger, Caroline – (1803 – 1877)
German soprano
Unger was born (Oct 28, 1803) at Stuhlweissenburg in Hungary. After considerable vocal training she established herself as a popular and talented soprano vocalist. She retired from the stage after her marriage (1840), when she became Madame Sabatier. Caroline Unger died at her villa (March 23, 1877) aged seventy-three, near Florence.

Ungnad, Maria Elisabeth – (1656 – 1689)
German courtier
Maria Elisabeth Ungnad was the mistress of Count Antony I von Aldenburg, and by him the mother of Antony II, Count von Aldenburg. Her descendants included the famous countess Charlotte Sophia von Aldenburg (1715 – 1800) and Elizabeth Le Blond (1851 – 1934), the British montaineer, traveller and biographer. She was created Countess von Weissenwolf before her early death.

Unton, Lady Anne    see   Warwick, Anne Seymour, Countess of

Unuisticc – (c760 – after 820)
Scottish queen
Unuisticc was the sister and heiress of Constantine and Unuist, who both reigned as kings of the Picts. She was married (c775) to Eochaid the Venemous (c730 – 789), King of Dalriada, as his second wife, and whom she long survived as queen dowager. Queen Unuisticc was the mother of Alpin of Dalriada (c778 – 834) considered by history to be the first king of Scotland, and who possessed a claim through his mother to the Pictish throne, which passed in the female line.

Unwin, Mary – (1724 – 1796)
British literary figure
Mary Unwin the friend of the poet William Cowper (1731 – 1800). She was married firstly to a clergyman Morley Unwin, to whom she bore a son and a daughter. Cowper joined their family as a boarder (1765) and two years later her husband d8ed suddenly after being thrown from his horse (July, 1767). After this event, Mary and her children removed with Cowper to Olney in Buckinghamshire, they all residing together there for the next two decades.
Mary and Cowper were supposed to marry, but it was kept secret to spare the feelings of Cowper’s cousin Theodora, his first and early love. In the end the projected marriage (1773) never took place due to Cowper’s unbalanced mental state. Despite this their friendship survived and Mrs Unwin is credited with persuading Cowper to try his hand at secular poetry, though she later became jealous of his friendship with Lady Austen. She suffered a stroke (1792) and remained paralyzed until her death. She was interred in the church at East Dereham, where Cowper was buried beside her at his own death.

Unwin, Nora Spicer – (1907 – 1982)
British author and book illustrator
The earliest notable example of her art work appeared in the posthumous publication of Edith Nesbit’s novel Five of Us – and Madeline (1925). Nora Unwin composed the text for almost a dozen works for children including Round the Year: Verses and Pictures (1939).

Unzer, Johanna Charlotte – (1724 – 1782)
German poet
Unzer was born (Nov 17, 1724) at Halle into a wealthy middle-class family, and became the wife (1751) of a physician, after which she settled in Hamburg. Johanna Unzer produced a manual for the education and edification of young girls entitled Grundrisseiner Weltweisheit fur das Frauenzimmer (Blueprint of Good Advice for the Women’s Room) (1751). This was followed by the collection of verse entitled Scherzgedichte (Jesting Poems) (1751) which ran to three editions, and Sittliche und zartliche Gedichte (Virtuous and Effective Poems) (1754) in which she complained of the lack of opportunities available for women writers and poets. Johanna Unzer died (Jan 29, 1782) aged fifty-five.

Unzueta, Concepcion – (b. 1900)
Spanish poet and educator
Born in Abando, Bizkaia, she was educated there, and later trained as a schoolteacher in Vizcaya. Her first published works were articles which related to teaching matters which appeared in the Euskerea publication (1930). Unzueta was best known for two poems ‘Gomutakiak’ (Memory) and ‘Gogo Ituna’ (Sad soul) which she composed using the pseudonym ‘Utarsus’ and which were published in the literary periodical Mila euskal olerki eder (One rhousand beautiful Basque poems).

Uota     see    Oda of Ammergau

Uphill, Susanna – (1659 – 1724)
English gentlewoman
Uphill was born into an old gentry family, being the daughter of Anthony Uphill, of Trinity Minories, Aldgate Without, London and of Dagenham. Her eldest brother, called Anthony after his father, was killed in the Battle of Southwold Bay against the Dutch (1672). Though her three sisters all married well, Susanna herself remained unmarried. Susanna Uphill’s neglect in maintaining her share of the river wall along the Thames River caused the disaster of Dagenham Breach (1707). She had been ordered to repair the seawall bordering her property, but before she could comply with this, the autumn tide inundated vast areas of the Dagenham Marsh. Vast amounts of money were spent to repair the damage, but the remaining lake was named Dagenham Breach. Her brother Richard Uphill, of Barking, Essex, and of London, founded the Uphill Charity (1716) to provide for the poor of Dagenham. Susanna Uphill died aged sixty-five

Upper Ossory, Anne, Countess of     see    Ossory, Anne Liddell, Countess of

Upper Ossory, Evelyn Leveson-Gower, Countess of – (1725 – 1763)
British Hanoverian society figure
Lady Evelyn Leveson-Gower was born (June 26, 1725) the granddaughter of Evelyn Pierrepoint, Duke of Kingston, and niece to the famous Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu. She was the fifth daughter of Sir John Leveson-Gower (1694 – 1754), first Earl Gower, and his first wife, Lady Evelyn Pierrepoint (1691 – 1727). Lady Evelyn was married firstly (1744) to John Fitzpatrick (1720 – 1758), the first earl of Upper Ossory. With his death the countess was remarried (1759) to Richard Vernon (1726 – 1800), and bore him two daughters, Henrietta Vernon, the wife of George Brooke, second Earl of Warwick, and Caroline Vernon, the wife of Robert Percy Smith. Her correspondence with the noted traveller and antiquarian Horace Walpole was edited and published by her grandson Lord Lyvedon. The Countess of Upper Ossory died (April 14, 1763) aged thirty-seven.

Upton, Bertha – (1849 – 1912)
American verse writer
Born Bertha Hudson, she was the mother of the illustrator and author Florence K. Upton. She was the daughter of the architect, John W. Hudson, and was married to Thomas Harborough Upton. Bertha worked with her daughter and composed the text for her famous children’s picture books such as The Adventures of two Dutch dolls and a ‘Golliwog.’ (1895). Until 1909 she produced the verses for her daughter’s subsequent books, though she returned to the USA to reside permanently (1895).

Upton, Florence – (1873 – 1922)
Anglo-American painter
Florence was born in New York of British parentage, being the daughter of Thomas Upton and his wife Bertha Upton (nee Hudson). She was educated in New York and Paris, and later returned to England (1893) where she remained for the rest of her life. A noted portrait painter, her work was exhibited at the Royal Academy and at the American Exhibition. She was awarded the Medaille d’Honneur at the International Exposition at Nantes (1905). Upton is best remembered for her creation of the ‘golliwog’ character, which first appeared in her work The Adventures of two Dutch dolls and a ‘Golliwog.’ (1895) in which she collaborated with her mother, who produced the verses for this book and all of her subsequent works published until 1909 including The Golliwog’s Bicycle Club (1896). Florence Upton died (Oct 17, 1922) aged forty-nine, in London.

Urach, Alberadis von (Alberada) – (c1075 – 1140)
German abbess and lay religious
Alberada von Urach was the daughter of Count Egino von Urach and his wife Cunegonde, countess von Zollern, and was sister to Gebhard von Urach, Bishop of Strasbourg in Alsace. According to the religious chronicler Bucelinus in his Lignum Vitae, Alberadis was placed as abbess over the convent at Lindovia. However, her personal humility, and self-effacement was such that she forsook this prestigious office, so that she might become lay sister at the convent of Zwiefalten. The church honoured Alberada as a saint after her death (April 5).

Urach, Caroline Alexei, Countess von    see   Alexei, Caroline

Urach, Mariga von – (1932 – 1989)
German-Anglo preservationist
Born Princess Marie Gabrielle Sophie Jose Elisabeth Albertine von Urach (Aug 21, 1932) in London, she was the eldest daughter of Prince Albert von Urach (1903 – 1969) of Wurttemburg and his first wife Rosemary Blackadder (1901 – 1975), the daughter of Johann Blackadder. She was married at Oxford (1954) to Desmond Walter Guinness, later the second Baron Moyne, as his first wife. They had two children and were later divorced (1981). Princess Mariga von Urach died (May 8, 1989) aged fifty-six, at Dublin in Ireland. Her children were,

‘Uraib – (c840 – 899)
Arabic poet and court singer
‘Uraib was a concubine or slave girl at the Abbasid court in Baghdad. Much of her surviving poetic verse is addressed to one man. She circulated a popular story that she was really the daughter of the powerful wazir (minister) Ja’far al-Barmaki from, The Arabian Nights, and had been sold into slavery after her father’s downfall.

Urania, Julia – (fl. c14 – c40 AD)
Graeco-Roman queen consort
Julia Urania was the wife of Ptolemy (c20 BC – 40 AD), who succeeded his father Juba II as king of the Roman client kingdom of Mauretania in Africa. Her mother-in-law was Queen Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII and the Roman triumvir Marcus Antonius. Urania’s parentage and background remain unknown, though modern scholars have mede tentative connections with the royal family in Emesa (Homs) in Syria. Her existence is attested solely from a funerary inscription discovered in Cherchell (formerly Caesaria), Algeria, then the capital of Mauretania. The inscription was raised by her freedwoman, Julia Bodina, and specifically records her royal title.
Her husband was later murdered at the command of Gaius Caligula, but whether Urania survived him remains unknown. The couple were said to have had a daughter, Drusilla (c15 – c50 AD) who became the second of the three Drusillas to become the wife of the Roman governor Antonius Felix (c12 BC – 54 AD). Felix’s first wife Drusilla (c7 BC – c39 AD) had been the sister to King Ptolemy and therefore Urania’s own sister-in-law. Urania’s daughter was not the Queen Drusilla mentioned in the Christian Bible, which was actually Felix’s last wife, Queen Julia Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa II of Judaea, and former wife of King Azizus of Emesa.

Urbica, Magnica      see     Magnia Urbica

Urbina, Isabel de – (c1567 – 1595)
Spanish aristocrat and courtier
Her brother served at the court as herald to Philip II, and Isabel de Urbina became the first wife of the noted poet and dramatist Lope de Vega (1562 – 1635). The couple were married by proxy (May, 1588) and resided in Valencia before Vega joined the household of the Duke of Alva. Isabel died childless.

Urbino, Antonia da – (c1500 – 1566)
Italian Renaissance patron
Antonia da Urbino was the daughter of Bartolomeo da Urbino, patrician and lawyer of Padua. She was married firstly to Raffaello Montagnana, and secondly to Alessandro Capodivacca. Antonia built and financed the funerary chapel in the church of San Francesco in Padua, for which she commissioned portrait busts of herself and her father. Antonia also commissioned the altar piece, which was produced by the painter Paolo Pino (1565). Her granddaughter Samaritana Capodivacca was her sole heir at her death.

Urbino, Eleonora Violante Maria Gonzaga, Duchess of – (1493 – 1550)
Italian Renaissance princess, patron and courtier
Eleonora Gonzaga was the eldest daughter of Gian Francesco Gonzaga, Marchese of Mantua and his wife, the famous patron and salonniere, Isabella d’Este, the daughter of Ercole I d’Este, duke of Modena. Eleonora was married (1509) to Francesco Maria I della Rovere, first Duke of Urbino (1490 – 1538), the nephew of Pope Julius II (1503 – 1513). The sources which provide her with a first husband, Count Antonio Montalto, confuse Eleonora with her daughter Ippolita. Eleonora survived Francesco Maria as Dowager Duchess (1538 – 1550) having borne him twelve children. Two sons and five daughters died in infancy, and five children survived to adulthood,

Urbino, Levina Buoncuore – (fl. 1866 – 1869)
American traveller and author
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Levina Urbino spent several years travelling throughout Europe on a grand tour. With her return to Boston she published an account entitled An American Woman in Europe.The Journal of Two Years and a Half Sojourn in Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy (1869).

Urduja – (fl. c1350 – c1380)
Eastern warrior princess and ruler
Urduja was the daughter of King Tawalisi of Pangasinan , situated in the west central region of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The kingdom and its riches described in detail by the Muslim traveller and historian, Ibn Battuta. According to Battuta, Urduja fought in single combat, and included women as well as men in her army. Battuta was well impressed with her valour and generous hospitality, and she fitted out his ship for his voyage to China at her own expense, including provisions such as lemons, mangoes, ginger, and salt. Her existence has been open to some doubt, but the most important building in the city of Lingayen remained popularly known as the ‘Urduja Palace’ and her statue remains in the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan.

Ure, Mary Eileen – (1933 – 1975)
British stage and screen actress
Mary Ure was born (Feb 18, 1933) in Glasgow, Scotland, the daughter of a civil engineer, and was educated at York in England. After appearing with success in several school plays she went to study at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art in London (1951 – 1954). Strikingly blonde and blue-eyed, Ure made her stage debut in Manchester, Lancashire, and then appeared in London in Jean Anouilh’s play Time Remembered (1954). She also appeared in Shakespearean roles such as Desdemona and Titania.
However, she was best known for her appearances in films such as Looking Back in Anger (1957), Sons and Lovers (1961) for which she received an Academy Award nomination, The Mind Benders (1963) and Custer of the West (1967). Her husbands were the dramatist John Osborne (1957 – 1962) from whom she was later divorced, and the actor Robert Shaw (1963). Mary Ure died (April 3, 1975) aged forty-two, in London.

Urecal, Minerva – (1894 – 1966)
American character actress of film, radio and television
Born Minerva Holzer (Sept 22, 1894) in Eureka, California, her adopted stage name of ‘Urecal’ was an anagram of her home town. Urecal generally play strong natured, outspoken, and overbearing women, and was sometimes mistaken for Marjorie Main in general appearance. She appeared in the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy film Bonnie Scotland (1935) and played Mrs DeWitt in the classic Destry Rides Again (1939). She played the nurse in the classic war film They Died With Their Boots On (1941) with Erroll Flynn and Olivia De Havilland, and appeared with W.C. Fields in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), with Bela Lugosi in The Corpse Vanishes, and portrayed a mental patient in The Snake Pit (1948).
Her later film credits included appearances in such classics as By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) and The Seven Faces of Dr Lao (1964). She retired from movies after appearing in That Funny Feeling (1965). Despite all these film cameos Minerva Urecal was best remembered for her appearances in the title role of the popular television series Tugboat Annie (1956) and as the mother in Peter Gunn (1959 – 1961). Minerva Urecal died (Feb 26, 1966) aged seventy-one, in Glendale, California.

Uren, Ethelda Runnalls – (1870 – 1947)
Australian nurse
Ethelda Uren was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the daughter of Jonathon Uren and was sister to the noted educator and headmaster, Malcolm Francis Uren (1872 – 1963). Ethelda was trained with the AANS (Australian Army Nursing Service) (1904) and was appointed as principal matron (1915 – 1917) during WW I. Matron Uren served with her nurses at Salonika in Greece (1917 – 1918). With the end of the war she returned to Australia, where her valuable service was recognized by the award of the RRC medal (Royal Red Cross). She remained unmarried.

Urena de Henriquez, Salome – (1850 – 1897)
Dominican poet and educator
Urena was born (Oct 21, 1850) in Santo Domingio, into a prominent literary family, being daughter to the poet, statesman, and judge, Nicolas Urena de Mendoza (1822 – 1875). She was married to the physician, Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal to whom she bore several sons. With the noted teaching pioneer and patriot Eugenio de Hostos (1839 – 1903), Urena co-founded the Institutio de Senhoritas, the first secondary school for women established in the Dominican Republic. Closely associated with the Republican movement Salome was a fervent nationalist and her verses reflected these ideals. She later sufferred from tuberculosis, and her health forced her to remove to the warmer climate of Puerto Plata. A collection of her verse was published entitled Poesias de Salome Urena de Henriquez (1880). Salome Urena de Henriquez died (March 6, 1897) aged forty-six, at Puerto Plata.

Urfe, Jeanne Camus de Pontcarre, Marquise d’ – (1707 – 1775)
French occultist
Jeanne Camus de Pontcarre was married (1724) to Louis Christophe de La Rochefoucald-Lascaris (1704 – 1734), Marquis de Langheac d’Urfe, to whom she bore a son Alexandre, who died young, and two daughters, Adelaide, Marquise de Bage and Agnes Marie, Comtesse de Creuilly. She was in her youth quite beautiful, and was for a time the mistress of the Regent Duc d’Orleans.
Intelligent but slightly mentally unbalanced, the marquise was very wealthy, and overtly interested in the occult. At her Chateau de Pontcarre she spent large sums of money acquiring a cabalistic library, and building her own laboroatory. Madame d’Urfe gained public notoriety as the victim of a famous fraud arranged by the infamous adventurer Giacomo Casanova, who promised to reveal to her the fantastic secrets of occult law. Indeed, the scope of his weird schemes were recorded for posterity by the author himself (1822) and make entertaining reading, he himself referred to her as ‘that divine madwoman.’
The marquise eventually became so devoted to him that she entrusted large sums of money upon him to him. She sent him to Holland, Augsburg and Munich to fulfill business transactions for her (1758 – 1759), which sums he used to support his own lavish lifestyle. Finally realizing that his deception would unravel, and that he could safely milk the marquise no longer, Casanova returned to Paris (1763). Details he provides concerning details of Madame d’Urfe’s will are outright fabrications, though her own will reveals that she ordered two packets of letters to be burned at her death, presumably her letters from Casanova.

Urgulanilla, Plautia – (12 BC – before 41 AD)
Roman Imperial princess
Her grandmother Urgulania was a close friend to Livia, wife of the Emperor Augustus. She was married to the future Emperor Claudius I (41 – 54 AD) as his first wife. Their only son Drusus Germanicus (6 – 23 AD) the great-grandson of Livia, died young, having accidentally choked on a pear. Urgulanilla and Claudius proved uncongenial to each other, and later lived apart, and she became involved in a liasion with her family freedman Boter.
They were later divorced and Urgulanilla had died prior to Claudius’s assumption of the Imperial crown. Her daughter Claudia, though fathered by Boter, was raised by the family and married to a Celtic British prince by Claudius when he was occupied with his invasion of Britain (43 AD). Her Celtic subjects called her Genvissa. Urgulanilla was portrayed by actress Jennifer Croxton in the BBC (British Broadcasting corporation) series I Claudius (1976) with Derek Jacobi in the title role.

Uris, Dorothy – (1906 – 1992) 
American actress and vocal instructor
Uris was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her early acting career on Broadway began prior to 1930, and included minor roles such as parlourmaids. Her most famous film roles were as the mother of Knute Rockne in, Knute Rockne: All American (1940), and the invalid wife in The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Besides being a founding member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, Dorothy, who was known professionally as ‘Dorothy Tree’, taught elocution and diction at the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. She published several books in this field, most notable of which were Everybody’s Book of Better Speaking and To Sing in English. Dorothy Uris died in Englewood, New Jersey.

Urlachan – (c1150 – before 1194)
Irish queen consort of Thomond
Urlachan was the elder daughter of Dermot Macmurrough, King of Leinster, and his wife Mor, the daughter of Murtough O’Toole, Lord of Omuretly. She was sister to Aioffe (Eva), the wife of Richard FitzGilbert, Earl of Pembroke and maternal niece to St Laurence O’Toole (1132 – 1180), Archbishop of Dublin. Urlachan became the wife (before 1170) of Donnell More (died 1194), King of Thomond, and was the mother of his son and successor Donaugh Cairbreach (c1170 – 1242), King of Thomond. Through her son she was the ancestress of the successive kings of Thomond, the lords inchiquin, of Arthur Wellesley, the famous ‘Iron Duke’ of Wellington and of Queen Elizabeth II and her descendants.

Urmila Devi – (1883 – 1956)
Indian political activist and social reformer
Urmila Devi was born into a wealthy Hindu family in Dacca, sister to the important nationalist figure Chittranjan Das and was sister-in-law to Basanti Devi. With the death of her husband (1920) she became more closely involved in the political movement aimed at the removal of the British from India. Urmila participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and with her brother and sister-in-law she assisted to boycott the visit of the Prince of Wales (1921). For this activity she suffered a period of imprisonment. She was re-arrested for picketing outside the shops of foreign cloth merchants (1930) and was placed under house-arrest. She later accompanied Mahatma Gandhi on his peace mission to Noakhali (1946).

Urner, Catherine Murphy – (1891 – 1942)
American composer and vocalist
Urner was born (March 23, 1891) in Mitchell, Indiana, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. She won a scholarship which enabled her to travel to Paris to study composition under Charles Koechlin. Returning to the USA Urner was appointed as director of vocal music (1921 – 1924) at Mills College in Oakland, California. A talented public singer who specialized in Native American tribal songs, she translated several treatises for Koechlin, and it was mainly due to her influence that he was invited to lecture in California. Koechlin orchestrated her Esquisses normandes suite (1929), which was composed for orchestra and choral voices. She later married (1937) the noted organist Charles Shatto. Catherine Urner died (April 30, 1942) aged fifty-one, in San Diego.

Urner, Mabel Herbert – (1881 – 1957)
American author
Mabel Urner was born (June 28, 1881) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and became the wife of Lathrop Colgate Harper. Urner was the author of two well acclaimed works Journal of a Neglected Housewife (1909), and The Woman Alone (1924). Mabel is best known as the author of The Married Life of Helen and Warren (1925) which was syndicated in American newspapers for over twenty-five years as the popular ‘Helen and Warren’ series. Mabel Urner died (March, 1957) aged eighty-five.

Urraca Fernandez – (c936 – after 1007)
Queen of Navarre
Urraca Fernandez was the second daughter daughter of Fernando Gonzalez, Count of Castile and his wife, the Infanta Sanchia Sanchez, daughter of Sancho I Garcia, King of Navarre. She was married firstly as a child (941) to Ordono III Ramirez, King of Leon (c926 – 955). He died at Zamora and was buried in the Abbey of San Salvador in Leon. Queen Urraca was married secondly to Ordono IV, King of Leon, and then  thirdly (962) to Sancho II Abarca, King of Navarre (c936 – 994).
By her first marriage Queen Urraca was the mother of Vermudo II Ordonez, King of Leon (c953 – 999) and by her third, she was mother to Garcia IV Sanchez, King of Navarre (c964 – 999) for whom she appears to have ruled as regent. She also appears to have ruled as regent for her grandson, Sancho Garcia III the Great, and probably shared the regency with her daughter-in-law, Ximena of Cea.

Urraca Fortunez (Oneca) – (847 – after 880)
Spanish Infanta of Navarre
Urraca Fortunez was the daughter of King Fortun Garcia of Navarre and his wife Aurea. She was married firstly (863) to Abdallah I (842 – 912), the Moorish sultan of Cordoba. This marriage was later ended to enable her to remarry (880) to a Spanish nobleman, Aznar Sanchez, Count de Larraun. Their daughter, Toda Aznarez de Larraun, became the second wife of Sancho I Garcia, King of Navarre.

Urraca Garcia (1) – (c996 – c1027)
Queen consort of Castile (1023 – c1027)
Infanta Urraca Garcia was the daughter of Garcia IV Sanchez, King of Navarre, and his wife Ximena Fernandez, the daughter of Fernando Vermudez, Count of Cea. Urraca became the short-lived wife (1023) of Alfonso V Vermudez (994 – 1028), King of Castile and Leon, but appears to have predeceased her husband. Her daughter, Infanta Ximena Alfonsez (c1024 – c1047) became the wife of Fernando Gundemariz, Count of the Asturias.

Urraca Garcia (2) – (c946 – 1041)
Spanish Infanta of Navarre
Infanta Urraca Garcia was born in Pampeluna, the daughter of King Garcia I Sanchez of Navarre (925 – 970) and his wife Teresa. She was married firstly (961) to Fernando Gonzalez, Conde de Lara (c910 – 970) as his second wife. After his death she remarried to William I Sancho (c925 – 997), Duke of Gascony, as his second wife. Urraca survived her last husband over forty years as the Dowager Duchess of Gascony (997 – 1041). Duchess Urraca died (Aug 12, 1041) aged about ninety-four.

Urraca de Haro – (c1167 – after 1226)
Queen consort of Castile (1187 – 1188)
Dona Urraca Lopez de Haro was the daughter of Lope Diaz V de Haro, Conde de Vizcaya and Najera and his wife Aldona Ruiz de Castro. Urraca became the third wife (May, 1187) of Ferdinando II (1137 – 1188), King of Castile and Leon. The king died the following year at Benavente in Italy and there were no children of the marriage. Urraca survived her husband for over thirty-five years and Queen Dowager of Castile and was still living in 1226.

Urraca Henriquez – (1100 – after 1130)
Infanta of Portugal
Urraca Henriquez was the eldest daughter of Queen Teresa (c1116 – 1128), the daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile, and her husband, Henry of Burgundy. She was sister to King Alfonso I Henriques (1128 – 1185). Urraca was married (before 1120) to Vermudo Perez de Trava, Conde de Trastamara (c1090 – after 1161). She survived the death of her mother, Queen Teresa (1130), and left descendants.

Urraca of Castile (1) – (1080 – 1126) 
Queen regnant (1109 – 1126)
Urraca was the only surviving child of Alfonso VI Fernandez, King of Castile and Leon, and his fourth wife Constance, widow of Hugh II, Count of Chalons, and daughter of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy. Her education was supervised by Don Pedro de Ansurez, Count of Valladolid. Infanta Urraca was married firstly (1093) at Toledo, to Prince Raymond of Burgundy (c1070 – 1107), a maternal kinsman, who was granted the title of count of Castile. She brought the county of Galicia as her marriage portion, and she bore him a son, Alfonso VII (1105 – 1157). Raymond was killed at the battle of Grajal, near Ucles (March 26, 1107). The death of her half-brother Sancho (1107) left Urraca as heiress to the Castilian throne, and she succeeded as queen regnant upon her father’s death (June, 1109).
Her second marriage at Monzon Castle, near Carrion, Burgos (Oct, 1109) with Alfonso I, King of Aragon (1073 – 1134) had been arranged her late husband in the event of his death, so that the war against the Almoravids should be competently continued, even if it should mean that Leon and Castile should be ruled over by an Aragonese prince. In consequence of this marriage, the four Christian kingdoms wre nominally united and Alfonso I took the title of ‘imperator tatius Hispaniae (emperor of all Spain), which had been held by Urraca’s father. If the union had succeeded the reconquest of Islamic Spain might have been greatly accelerated, and the fractional tendencies of the Christian held territories might have been checked.  The marriage failed both personally and politically, Leon and Castile were hostile to the Aragonese king because Queen Urraca, who was highly popular with her own subjects, bitterly disliked her second husband. This personal distaste which is borne out by the queen’s own surviving letters, was fanned by the influence of her advisor Bernard, the French Cluniac archbishop of Toledo, who wished to see his protégé, Urraca’s son Alfonso Ramirez, upon the Imperial throne, and also because Alfonso I handled all opposition to his rule far too brusquely.
At Bernard of Toledo’s prompting the pope declared Urraca’s marriage with Alfonso null and void (1114). Despite this Alfonso continued to be involved in civil strife within the central kingdom until he eventually gave up his claims in favour of his stepson Alfonso VII. Queen Urraca remarried thirdly (c1118) to a Castilian nobleman, Pedro Gonzales, count of Lara (c1073 – 1130), to whom she bore two children.  The queen died at Saldanha (March 8, 1126) aged forty-five, from the effects of chidlbirth, and was interred within the Abbey of San Isidoro, Leon.

Urraca of Castile (2) (Urraca Alfonsez) – (1186 – 1220)
Queen consort of Portugal (1211 – 1220)
Infanta Urraca was born at Palencia, the daughter of Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, and his wife Eleanor Plantagenet, the daughter of Henry II, king of England (1154 – 1189) and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Urraca was originally selected as the future bride for the French dauphin Louis (Louis VIII), but her grandmother Queen Eleanor intervened in the matter. She maintained that the French people would never be able to accept the Spanish named of Urraca (Urraque) whereas her sister, the Infanta Blanca, would become Blanche. So Urraca was exchanged for Blanca and her marriage was shelved. Urraca was later sent to marry (1206) the Portugese prince Alfonso (1185 – 1223), who later succeeded his father as Alfonso II (1211). The chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines refers to her as regina Portugalie. Queen Urraca died (Nov 3, 1220) at Coimbra, Beira, aged thirty-four and was interred within the Cistercian abbey of Santa Maria at Alcobace. She left five children,

Urraca of Galicia – (c806 – c841)
Queen consort of the Asturias
Urraca Diaz was of the family of the counts of Galicia, being the daughter of Count Diego Rodriguez of Castile and Galicia. She became the first wife (c822) of Ramiro I Vermudez (791 – 850), King of the Asturias and was the mother of Ordono I Ramirez (c825 – 866), King of the Asturias and Galicia. Queen Urraca appears to have held rights to the county of Galicia, which passed to her husband and later to her son Ordono, which enabled them both to establish themselves and kings of Galicia.

Urraca of Ivrea – (960 – c1007)
Princess of Italy
Urraca was the daughter of Berengar II of Ivrea, King of Italy and his wife Willa of Arles, the daughter of Boso of Arles, Marquis of Tuscany. Her parents were deposed and then imprisoned by the Emperor Otto I (962 – 973) but their children were brought up at the imperial court. Urraca and her sisters Gerberga and Rosala were raised in the household of the Empress Adelaide, the wife of Otto I.
The empress later arranged for Urraca to made a dynastic marriage (c990) with Gozelo I (Gonzelon) (c970 – 1044), Duke of Lower Lorraine and Margrave of Antwerp, a vassal of her grandson Otto III, who was ten years the junior of his bride. Urraca became the duchess consort of Lorraine (c990 – c1007) and was the mother of Godfrey II the Bearded (c997 – 1069) who succeeded his father as Duke of Lower-Lorraine (1044 – 1069) and left descendants. Her daughter Oda of Lorraine (c995 – 1044) became the wife of Lambert II (c990 – 1062), Count of Louvain (1015 – 1062) and left descendants.

Urraca of Leon – (fl. c1100)
Spanish Infanta
Infanta Urraca Ordonez was the daughter of the Infante Ordono Ordonez of Leon, and was the great-granddaughter of King Ramiro III Flavio of Leon. She became the wife of Sancho sanchez (died 1120), Seigneur de Erro y Tafalla. Their daughter and heiress was Maria Sanchez, the wife of Diego Lopez, Conde de Vizcaya.

Urraca of Portugal – (1151 – 1188)
Queen consort of Leon
Infanta Urraca was the daughter of Alfonso I Henriques, King of Portugal, and his wife Matilda of Savoy, the daughter of Amadeo III, Count of Savoy. She was married (1164) to Ferdinando II (1137 – 1188), King of Leon and Galicia, as his first wife, and became the mother of King Alfonso XI el Barbaro (1171 – 1230).  Prominent in religious and government affairs, the queen signed a charter for the Templar order (1169) and signed another surviving charter conjointly with Ferdinando (1174).
They were later forced to separate because they were related within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. Queen Urraca vainly attempted to procure a papal dispensation in order to rectify the legality of her marriage, but she was ultimately forced to surrender the fight when a divorce was pronounced (June, 1175). The queen then retired from the court and took the veil as a nun at the convent of Bamba (1175).  Queen Urraca died (Oct 16, 1188) at Bamba, and was interred within the abbey of San Juan Bautista of the Knights of St John.

Urraca of Sanguesa (Oneca Rebelle) – (c843 – c880)
Spanish medieval heiress, queen and figure of legend
Urraca was the heiress of the important province of Sanguesa, which caused her to be popularly known to history as ‘Urraca Rebelle Sanguesa.’ She became the first wife (c858) of Garcia II Inigo (c830 – c892), King  of Navarre, and was the mother of King Sancho I Garcia (c865 – 925), and the Infanta Sanchia Garcia of Navarre (born c870), who married firstly to Inigo Fortunez (died c905), and secondly to Galindo II Aznarez (c865 – 922), Count of Aragon, as his second wife.

Urraca of Toledo – (fl. c920 – 924)
Queen consort of Castile
This princess was born the daughter of Abdallah Ibn Muhammed, the Wali of Toledo but her Muslim name remains unrecorded. She made an important dynastic marriage with Fruela II el Leproso (c875 – 925), King of Castile and Leon and took the Christian name of Urraca at the time of her marriage (c919). She was the mother of the Infanta Urraca Froilaz (c921 – after 969) who became the wife of Aznar Purceliz. Urraca became queen consort at the beginning of her husband’s short reign (Jan, 924) but there remains no evidence that she survived Fruela.

Urraca of Zamora – (1034 – 1101)
Spanish Infanta and political figure
Urraca was the elder daughter of Ferdinando I, King of Castile, and his wife Sanchia, the daughter of Alfonso V, king of Leon, and sister to kings Sancho II (1065 – 1072), and Alfonso VI the Great (1072 – 1109). With her father’s death (1065) she received the appanage of Zamora which she ruled in her own right, under the suzerainty of her brothers Sancho II and Alfonso VI. She defended Zamora successfully against her brothers Sancho and Garcia (1072), and Sancho’s assassination shortly afterwards was widely believed to have been instigated by the Infanta and Alfonso together.
Urraca then summoned all the nobility of Castile and Leon to acknowledge Alfonso as the true heir of his brother and they complied. Despite this however, deep suspicions remained, and a group of powerful nobles, led by El Cid forced the king to publicly swear his innocence concerning Sancho’s death. Urraca retained considerable influence over her brother all her life. She never married and rumours accused the royal pair of indulging in an incestuous liasion.

Urraca Maria Isabella Carolina Adelgunda Carmela – (1913 – 1999)
Princess of Naples and the Two Sicilies
HRH (Her Royal Highness) Princess Urraca was born (July 14, 1913) at Nymphenburg Castle in Munich, Bavaria, the fifth and youngest daughter of Prince Ferdinand of Naples, Duke of Calabria, Head of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies (1934 – 1960), and his wife Maria Ludovica (Ludwiga), the daughter of Ludwig III, King of Bavaria (1913 – 1918). Urraca was never married. Princess Urraca died (May 3, 1999) aged eighty-six, at Sigmaringen in Germany.

Urreta Arroyo, Alicia – (1935 – 1987)
Mexican pianist, composer and teacher
Urreta Arroyo was born (Oct 12, 1935) at Veracruz. She studied piano under Joaquin Amparan, with Eduardo Hernandez Moncada, Leon Mariscal, and with Rodolfo Halffter in Mexico City (1948 – 1954). Urreta had further piano instruction from Alicia de Larrocha and Alfred Brendel, and became an academic, being appointed a lecturer in acoustics at the Institutio Politecnico Nacional in Mexico City. Her works included the radio opera Romance de Dona Balada (1972), the ballet Tributo, and the De Natura Mortis, composed for voice, instruments, and tape (1972). Alicia Urreta Arroyo died (Dec 20, 1987) aged fifty-two, in Mexico City.

Urry, Michelle Dorothy – (1939 – 2006)
American cartoon editor
Michelle was born (Dec 28, 1939) nee Kaplan in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated from the University of California in Los Angeles, and was married firstly to the sculptor, Stephen Urry (died 1993), and secondly to the screenwriter, Alan Trustman. Urry worked in Chicago, Illinois on the staff of the famous Playboy magazine, where she remained the rest of her working life. Apart from acting as consulting editor for various other well-known periodicals such as Good Housekeeping she worked for over three decades (1971 – 2006) as the magazine’s cartoon editor. With the founder, Hugh Hefner she co-edited Playboy: 50 Years of The Cartoons. Michelle Urry died (Oct 15, 2006) aged sixty-six.

Ursana – (c641 – c690)
Anglo-Saxon princess
Ursana was the illegitimate daughter of Earkonbert, King of Kent (640 – 664) and an unknown concubine. She was married (c656) to Count Rigobert, mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian kings in Neustria. Her only child Bertha was married to Count Siegfrid of Pontivy and later established the convent of Blangy in Artois. With the death of her husband (c681) Ursana retired from the world and became a nun, being venerated as a saint.

Ursel, Eleonore Christine Elisabeth von Salm, Duchesse d’ – (1678 – 1757)
German-French society figure
Princess Eleonore von Salm was born (March 14, 1678) the fourth daughter of Karl Theodor Otto (1645 – 1710), seventh Prince von Salm, and his wife Louise Marie, the daughter of Prince Edward of Bohemia (1625 – 1663), Count Palatine of the Rhine, the grandson of James I, King of Great Britain (1603 – 1625) (VI of Scotland). Her marriage was arranged for dynastic and political reasons, and did not take place until she was aged thirty-five. Eleonore was then married (1713) to Duke Conrad Albert d’Ursel (1665 – 1738), their wedding being one of the last ever to be announced by public proclamation in the old medieval manner.
Her husband died at Namur twenty-five years later (May 3, 1738) and Eleonore survived him for two decades as Dowager Duchesse d’Ursel (1738 – 1757). She bore him two children, Charles Elisabeth Conrad Albert (1717 – 1775), who succeeded his father as second Duc d’Ursel (1738 – 1775) and left descendants, and Comtesse Benoite Charlotte d’Ursel (1719 – 1778) who married Francois Albert, Duc de Bournonville (1710 – 1769) but died childless. Eleonore was the great-grandmother of Melanie, countess Zichy-Ferraris (1805 – 1854), the third wife of the famous prince-chancellor, Clemens Wenzel von Metternich. Duchesse Eleonore died in Brussels (March 23, 1757) aged seventy-nine.

Ursins, Anne Marie de La Tremoille-Noumastier, Princesse des – (1641 – 1722)
French-Spanish political figure
Anne Marie de La Tremoille-Noumastier was the daughter of Louis II de La Tremoille, first Duc de Noirmoutier, and his wife Renee Julie Aubery, the daughter of Jean Aubery. She married (1659) Adrien Blaise de Talleyrand, Prince de Chalais. They were forced to travel abroad to Spain and Italy because of the marquis having fought an illegal duel. Widowed at Maestre (1670), the princesse remained in Rome under the protection of the Cardinals d’Estrees and Portocarrero. Anne Marie remarried (1675) to Flavio Orsini, Duca di Bracciano, but frequntly visited the court of Versailles in France, where she ingratiated herself with Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon.
With the duke’s death (1695), the princesse assumed the name of Ursins, a corruption of Orsini, and for her unofficial services in securing Neapolitans and Spaniards of rank in Rome as French partisans in view of the approaching death of the childless Carlos II of Spain, she was rewarded with a pension by Louis XIV (1699). Instrumental in arranging the marriage of Louis XIV’s grandson, the newly installed Philp V of Spain with Marie Louise of Savoy (1700), Madame des Ursins was installed at the court as camerara mayor (chief lady-in-waiting) and informed Madame de Maintenon concerning all that took place at the Spanish court. During the War of the Spanish Succession the princesse headed the Bourbon party. She remained the most powerful woman in Spain until (1714) when she was peremptorily dismissed from office, and exiled from Spain by Philip’s second wife, Elisabeth Farnese, who intended to rule the king herself, and brooked no opposition. Madame des Ursins then retired to Rome. Her letters survive. The Princesse de Ursins died (Dec 5, 1722) aged eighty-one.

Ursinus, Sophie Charlotte Elisabeth – (1760 – 1836)
German society murderess
Born Sophie Weingarten, she was the daughter of an Austrian diplomat. She was married to an elderly gentleman named Ursinus, a Prussian privy councillor, whom she may or may not have poisoned, as well as several other relatives, and her lover, the motives apparently being money, though Madame Ursinus was quite wealthy. She was eventually convicted, but only of the murder of her unmarried aunt, Christina Regina Witte, though the court permitted her to keep her ill-gotten inheritance. Madame Ursinus spent the remained of her life in comfortable imprisonment in a remote prison fortress of Glatz, on the border of Bohemia and Silesia. The governor moved out so that Madame could take over the use of his private apartments. She was permitted use of her wealth and allowed to entertain visitors, becoming something of a regional celebrity. Madame Ursinus died (April 4, 1836) aged seventy-five.

Urso, Camilla – (1842 – 1902)
French violinist
Urso was born at Nantes, in Brittany, the daughter of the famous organist and flutist, Salvator Urso. Camilla studied the violin from early childhood under Lambert Joseph Massart (1811 – 1892) at the Paris Conservatoire, and toured the USA at the age of only ten years, where she astounded audiences with her virtuoso playing, before touring throughout Europe, with great success. Her married name was Lueres. Camilla Urso died (Jan 20, 1902) aged fifty-nine, in New York.

Ursula – (fl. c300 AD)
British virgin martyr
St Ursula was supposedly the daughter of Dionotus, Roman dux in Cornwall, who ruled Britain in the absence of the Emperor Maximian II Daia. Ursula was sought in marriage by Conan Meriadoc, the pagan ruler of Brittany, but refused his suit. She then made a pilgrimage to Rome travelling with eleven companions. Bad weather forced them to reach Rome via the mouth of the Rhine river, and they returned via Cologne (Koln). There the group was murdered by a band of barbarians, and the citizens of Cologne interred their remains, whilst a shrine erected to their memory may have been destroyed by the Franks (353 AD).
Later versions of the story place this event in the mid fifth century, and makes Ursula and her companions the martyrs of chastity under the invading Huns, rather than religious faith. An erroneus translation of a fourth or fifth century inscription led to the ridiculous tale of Ursula and her ‘eleven thousand virgins.’ The discovery of an ancient Roman burial ground in Cologne (1155), believed to contain the bones of the martyrs, and was the occasion of additional legends, which were further embellished by the visionary, Elisabeth of Schonau.
The story of St Ursula, the origin of which is variously explained, has inspired many poets and painters, notably the old Cologne master, Hans Memling in Bruges, and Vittore Carpaccio in Venice. Her feast was observed by the church (Oct 21), and she was especially remembered as the patron of the Ursuline nuns founded by Angela Merici (1535).
St Ursula was one of the patron saints of England, and of the European cities of Delphi in Greece and Cologne in Germany. She was also the patron saint of orphans, students and archers and the famous Abbess Hildegard of Bingen composed several chants in her honour. The Portugese navigator Cristobal Colon named the Virgin Islands after St Ursula and her companions and she is depicted on their coat-of-arms. Ursula was one of the saints affected by the Roman reformation of the Calendar of Saints. Her feast was removed from the calendar but her veneration was still permitted in certain localities.

Ursuleac, Viorica – (1894 – 1985)
Romanian soprano
Ursuleac was born (March 26, 1894) in Chernivtsi, in the Ukraine, Russia. She trained as a singer in Vienna, and made her stage debut in Zagreb, in the role of Charlotte in Massenet’s opera Werther (1922). She was married to the Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss (1893 – 1954). Ursuleac appeared with various prestigious European operas in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, and Frankurt, and was the favoured soprano of the composer Richard Strauss. She appeared in the premieres of several of his operas including Arabella (1933) (her favourite role) and Friedenstag (1938) which was dedicated by Strauss to Ursuleac and her husband. She appeared at the Salzburg Festivals and at Covent Garden in London (1934), and at the Royal Opera as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello under the conducting of Sir Thomas Beecham.
Her other notable roles included those of Chrysothemis in Elektra, the Empress in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, Sieglinde in Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure, the Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Leonora in La forza del destino, Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos, Tosa, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Turandot. She appeared as Brangane in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1948) opposite the famous Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad, in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (1948). Her last performance was in Der Rosenkavalier in Wiesbaden (1953). Madame Ursuleac was later appointed a professor of the Salzburg Mozarteum (1964). Viorica Ursuleac died (Oct 22, 1985) aged ninety-one, at Ehrwald in the Tyrol, where she had quietly resided for several decades.

Usflete, Johanna – (c1369 – c1420)
English Plantagenet noblewoman
Johanna was the daughter of Sir Gerard Usflete by his wife Lora Furnival, heiress of the Worksop branch of that family. Her brother Sir Gerard Usflete was the second husband of Elizabeth Fitzalan, Duchess of Norfolk, widow of Thomas Mowbray. Johanna was married firstly to William Brecknells and secondly (1394) to Sir Miles Stapilton (c1367 – 1400) of Wighill in Yorkshire, to whom she bore five children before his early death. Johanna brought Miles the village of North Ferriby and a share of the manor of Swanland, near Ousflete in York.
With her husband’s death (1400) Johanna’s infant son was granted to the custody of Richard Norton. Lady Stapilton never remarried and her will has survived. Johanna died before her son came of age (1422). Her four daughters, Isabella, Elena, Margaret and Johanna Stapilton all remained unmarried and resided at Wighill being mentioned in the will of their brother (June 3, 1455).

Usinda Nunilona – (c764 – after 792)
Queen consort of Leon (788 – 791)
Usinda Nunilona was the daughter of Atulfo, Count of Coimbra in Portugal, and was a descendant of Egica (died 702), King of the Visigoths. Usinda was married (c781) to Vermudo I Froilaz (c755 – 797), King of Leon and the Asturias (c755 – 797) who was deposed (791) and was the mother of King Ramiro I Vermudo (791 – 850) of the Asturias. Queen Usinda survived her husband’s deposition and was living in 792, but further details of her life remain unrecorded.

Uta I (Uda) – (c960 – 1025)
Bavarian nun and abbess
Uta I succeeded Kunigunde (1002 – 1025) as abbess of the convent of Neidermunster in Regensburg. She herself was succeeded in office by Abbess Heilika I (1025 – 1052). Uta organized the scriptorium within her abbey, and had her nuns trained as artists and calligraphers, producing religious manuscripts and other items.

Uta II (Uda) – (c1055 – 1103)
Bavarian nun and abbess
Uta II succeeded Heilika II as abbess of Neidermunster in Regensburg (1089 – 1103). She herself was succeeded in office by Abbess Richenza (1103 – 1109). During Uta’s rule the scriptorium of Neidermunster produced the surviving, Uta Codex.

Uta of Passau – (c1086 – 1140)
German duchess consort of Carinthia (1124 – 1140)
Countess Uta was the only child of Ulrich the Rich, Count of Passau, and his wife Adelaaide of Frontenhausen, later the wife of Berengar II, Count of Sulzbach. Because of this relationship Uta is sometimes referred to in sources as ‘Utha von Sulzbach.’ Uta inherited the county of Marquartstein (Markwartstein) from her mother (1110), which had been left to Countess Adelaide by her first husband, Count Marquart (Markwart). Uta was married (before 1105) to Engelbert II (c1077 – 1141), Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Istria. 
Duchess Uta was the ancestress of the English king, Edward III (1327 – 1377), and through his surviving children, she became ancestress of most of the royal and aristocratic families of England and Europe. Duchess Uta died (April 16, 1140) and was interred at the Abbey of Sean. Her husband then retired from the world and became a monk at Sean, where he died and was buried with Uta. She left eight children,

Utley, Freda – (1898 – 1978)
American journalist, lecturer, author and newspaper correspondent
Utley was born (Jan 23, 1898) and was employed as a foreign correspondent by various British newspapers during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Holding strong socialistic ideals, she travelled widely in China and Japan, and became a specialist concerning affairs in the Far East. Utley later went to Russia where she was employed at the Institute of World Economy and Politics in Moscow (1930 – 1936) but Russia and the rise of Stalin saw her become disillusioned with the credo and rhetoric. Her written works were China at War (1939) and, The Dream We Lost (1940) about her vision of the ‘end’ of true Communism. Freda Utley died (Jan 21, 1978) aged seventy-nine, in Washington, D.C.

Uttley, Alison – (1884 – 1976)
British children’s author and writer
Born Alice Jane Taylor at Cromford in Derbyshire, she was educated at a local grammar school and at Manchester University in Lancashire. She studied at Cambridge to qualify as a schoolteacher, and was married (1911 – 1930) to the scientist James Uttley. With her husband’s early death Alison Uttley took up writing so that she could remain at home to overseer the upbringing of her son. To this end she produced the popular work The Country Child (1931) for adults, which was illustrated by C.F. Tunnicliffe.
Uttley wrote many books along the varying themes of rural life, and was an imaginative story teller, but her best remembered works were her stories for children, for whom she invented the ever popular characters of Little Red Fox, Little Grey Rabbit, and Brock the badger, amongst others. Uttley’s other published works included The Stuff of Dreams (1953), A Traveller in Time (1963), and A Ten O’Clock Scholar (1970). She wrote her autobiography entitled Ambush of Young Days (1951). Alison Uttley died at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Uvarov, Dame Olga Nikolaievna – (1910 – 2001)
Russian-Anglo veterinarian and author
Olga Nikolaievna Uvarov was born (July 9, 1910) in Moscow, the daughter of a lawyer Nikolas Uvarov. Left an orphan she was located in Russia by the American Red Cross and taken to England (1917) where she was raised by her uncle, the noted entomologist Sir Basil Uvarov. Olga attended the University of London Royal Veterinary College and qualified as a veterinary surgeon (1934). She established her own successful practice and her career lasted over four decades.
Uvarov served as the president of the Society of Women Veterinary Surgeons (1947 – 1949) and received the Victory Gold Medal from the Central Veterinary Society (1965). Uvarov was elected to the council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (1968) and later served as president, becoming first woman to hold that office (1976). Uvarov was appointed DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II (1983) in recognition of her valuable contribution to science. Dame Olga Uvarov was then appointed as the vice-president of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (1986). She wrote articles which were published in The Veterinary Annual and the International Encyclopaedia of Veterinary Medicine (1966). Dame Olga Uvarov died aged ninety-one, in London.

Uvedale, Mary Dormer, Lady    see   Dormer, Mary

Uwilingiyimana, Agathe – (1953 – 1994)
Rwandan stateswoman and politician
Agathe Uwilingiyimana was born in Nyaruhengeri, a Hutu village, the daughter of a farmer. She later graduated from the Notre Dame des Citeaux High School at Butare in the Belgian Congo, and was trained as a mathematics teacher. Agathe was married (1976) to a fellow student and bore him five children. Uwilingiyimana later taught chemistry at the National University of Rwanda and later on in Butare, where she establihsed a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (1986). The government in Kilgali, the capital, appointed her as a director of the Ministry of Commerce (1989) and several years afterwards she joined the Republican and Democratic Movement. The opposition prime minister, Dismas Nsensiyaremye then appointed her as minister of edcuation (1992).
Uwilingiyimana replaced Nsensiyaremye as the first female Rwandan prime minister (July, 1993), serving under President Habyarimana. The government remained dominated by the Hutu, and tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a peace with the Tutsi dominated guerilla movement, the RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front). She was dismissed by Habyarimana after a period of only eighteen days, but remained as caretaker prime minister for eight months. When President Habyarimana was assassinated in April, 1994, Uwilingiyimana and her family were placed under the protection of government forces. When they laid down their weapons the family was forced to flee for safety to the United Nations compound in Kilgali. However it was invaded by Rwandan soldiers, and she and her husband was found and shot dead (April 7, 1994). Their children remained hidden by friends and reached safety in Switzerland.

Uxbridge, Jane Champagne, Countess of – (1742 – 1817)
British society figure and letter writer
Jane Champagne was the eldest daughter of Reverend Arthur Champagne, Dean of Conmacnoise in Ireland. She was married (1767) to Sir Henry Paget (1744 – 1812), tenth Baron Paget and later (1784) first Earl of Uxbridge, to whom she bore a large family of twelve children. Jane survived him five years as Dowager Countess (1812 – 1817). Lady Uxbridge travelled in England and in France and conducted a considerable correspondence with her several married daughters and other female family members. This collection has been edited and published as The Capel Letters, Being the Correspondence of Lady Caroline Capel and her Daughters with the Dowager Countess of Uxbridge from Brussels and Switzerland, 1814 – 1817 (1955).
Lady Uxbridge died (March 9, 1817) aged seventy-four. Her children included,

Uxelles, Marquise d’    see    Bailleul, Marie

Uys, Sannie – (1876 – 1966)
South African essayist and writer
Her husband was the famous rugby player Japie Krige, who was a member of the Springboks team. They were the parents of Francois Krige (1913 – 1994), the noted painter and sculptor, famous for his association and work with the Kalahari tribesmen.

Uzes, Anne Hippolyte de Grimaldi, Duchesse d’ – (1664 – 1700)
French heiress
Princesse Anne de Grimaldi was born (July 26, 1664) in Monaco, the third daughter of Louis I de Grimaldi, Prince of Monaco, and his wife Catherine Charlotte, the daughter of Antoine III, Duc de Gramont. With her mother’s death (1678), Anne Hippolyte resided with her father, and the closeness of father and daughter was the reason that she did not marry until she was aged in her thirty-second year. Princess Anne was married (1696) in Paris, to Jacques Charles de Crussol (1675 – 1739), Marquis d’Acier and Duc d’Uzes, ten years her junior. The couple produced two daughters. The duchesse died (July 23, 1700) aged thirty-five, in Paris, from the effects of childbirth. She was buried in the Carmelite church in the Faubourg St Jacques.

Uzes, Julie Madeleine Victoire Pardaillon de Gondrin, Duchesse d’ – (1731 – 1799)
French heiress and and courtier
Julie Pardaillon de Gondrin was born (March 20, 1731) the only daughter of Louis Pardaillon de Gondrin, second Duc d’Antin and his wife Francoise Gillon de Montmorency. A prominent member of the Bourbon courts of Louis XV and Louis XVI at Versailles, Julie was a direct descendant of the famous and bedazzling Athenais de Rochechouart, the mistress of Louis XIV, through her legitimate husband, Louis, Marquis de Montespan. She was married (1753) to Francois Emmanuel de Crussol (1728 – 1802), ninth Duc d’Uzes, who survived her, and to whom she bore several children, including Francois de Crussol (1756 – 1843), tenth Duc d’Uzes (1802 – 1843) who left descendants. Her brother Louis, the third and last Duc d’Antin, died childless (1757) and the family title became extinct, but Madame d’Uzes inherited the vast and rich Antin estates. She survived the horrors of the Revolution. The duchesse died (Sept 13, 1799) aged sixty-eight.

Uzes, Marie Julie de Sainte-Maure de Montausier, Duchesse d’ – (c1650 – 1695)
French heiress
Marie Julie de Saint-Maure was the daughter of Charles de Sainte-Maure, Duc de Montausier and his wife Julie Lucine d’Angennes, the daughter of Charles d’Angennes, Marquis de Rambouillet and his wife Catherine de Vivonne, the famous salonniere. She became the wife (1664) of Emanuel II de Crussol (1642 – 1692), Duc d’Uzes, to whom she bore eight children. The duc and duchesse attended the court of Louis XVI at Versailles and the duchesse was mentioned in the Memoires of the court historian the Duc de Saint-Simon. She survived her husband as the Dowager Duchesse d’Uzes (1692 – 1695) and died (April 14, 1695). Her children included Jacques Charles de Crussol (1675 – 1739), Duc d’Uzes who left issue, and Julie Francoise de Crussol d’Uzes who became the wife of Louis Pardaillon de Gondrin (1665 – 1736), first Duc d’Antin and left issue.

Uzes, Marie Victurnienne de Rochechouart-Mortemart, Duchesse d’ – (1847 – 1933) 
French salonniere
A prominent leader of pre-WW I society after the fall of the Second Empire of Napoleon III (1870), she was born Marie Adrienne Anne Victurnienne Clementine de Rochechouart (Feb 10, 1847) in Paris, the youngest daughter of Anne Victurnien Louis de Rochechouart, Comte de Mortemart, and his wife Marie Clementine Le Riche de Chevigne, daughter of Louis Marie Joseph Le Riche, Comte de Chevigne. She was a member of the family of the notorious Athenais de Rochechouart-Mortemart, marquise de Montespan, famous as the mistress of Louis XIV.
Marie Victurnienne was married in Paris (1867) to Amable Antoine Jacques Emmanuel de Crussol (1840 – 1878), twelfth Duc d’Uzes. The duchesse never remarried despite her youth and beauty, and was Dowager Duchesse d’Uzes for over fifty years (1878 – 1933). She held a famous salon in Paris, which was frequented by notable social and literary figures, such as the novelist Marcel Proust. The duchesse herself published several popular novels. The duchesse died (Feb 3, 1933) aged eighty-five, at the Chateau de Dampierre. Her children were,

Uziell-Hamilton, Adrianne Pauline – (1932 – 2005)
British lawyer and judge
Born Adrienne Grantham (May 14, 1932), she was the daughter of a physician. She was educated privately at home with a governess and then attended a girls’ academy. She was married (1952) to Mario Reginald Uziell-Hamilton (died 1988), to whom she bore two children.Adrianne then studied law and qualified as a lawyer (1965), being eventually appointed head of chambers at the Inner Temple (1976). She was made a Recorder of the Court (1985), and later served as governor of the Polytechnic College of North London (1986) before being appointed a judge. Uziell-Hamilton was served as a member of the Legal Aid Panel from 1969, and wrote several publications concerning marriage contracts. Adrienne Uziell-Hamilton died (April 13, 2005) aged seventy-two.