Eliza Gilbert was born on the 17th February 1821 at Grange, County Sligo. She was the daughter of Ensign Edward Gilbert, an officer in the 25th (the King's Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot and Elizabeth Gilbert (née Oliver), daughter of Charles Silver Oliver MP for Killmallock, Limerick.
The family moved to India in 1823 but Eliza’s father died shortly afterwards and her mother remarried. After returning to Great Britain at the age of ten to complete her education Eliza eloped with a young officer and became Mrs. Thomas James, the first of two marriages. They were quickly estranged and she left to pursue a stage career on the continent adopting the name Lola Montez.
She is best remembered as the mistress of Franz Liszt and King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who awarded her the title of Countess of Landsfeld. Some of her performances were based on her own life – e.g. Lola Montez in Bavaria. She toured the Australian goldfields in the 1850s before settling in the US, where she died in January 1861. She is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Lola Montez is just one of over 320 characters featured at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.
|Date of Birth||17th Feb 1821|
|Date of Death||17th Jan 1861|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Ensign Edward Gilbert|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Elizabeth Gilbert (née Oliver)|
|Occupation||Dancer, Actor, Lecturer, Author|