Years ago, I discovered this wonderful blog The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the18th Century and one of my favourite series of articles is called ‘Tartof the Week’. When reading about these women there was one name that drew my attention, mainly because I had not heard it before and that was Albinia.
Albinia (pronounced al-BIN-ee-uh or al-BEEN-ya) is a rare Latin name meaning ‘white; fair’. It is rather a safe meaning but has never been popular in the U.S. or anywhere in fact. In 2011, it was given to less than 5 or no girls at all. It does sound quite upper-class but to me it matches equally with names like Georgiana or Vivienne. It has a certain charm about it.
|Albinia, Countess of Buckinghamshire|
The name Albinia also fits with those other Alb- names that I have taken quite a fancy to, especially when going through the 1880 records for the In Retrospect features. Albinia is a more fanciful approach to those names instead of Alberta (given to #9 in 2011), Albertine, Albertha and Albertha. As a female variation of Alban and Albinius, another female variation is Albina. With one less ‘i’ in the name, it is more popular with 10 girls given the name.
As for the ‘Tart’ that I discovered this name on, her name was Albinia, Countess of Buckinghamshire. She was born the ‘lovechild’ of Lord Bertie and Anne Casey. Her mother was illegitimate as well so really, Albinia was the illegitimate child of an illegitimate child. Not good for someone in those days. She married George Hobart, 3rd Earl of Buckinghamshire and was famous for her gambling parties and was also a bit of cheater when it came to it as well (taking in a bit more money from running the faro table than she should). Most of the ‘Tarts’ mentioned where known for their infidelity but not her so I guess that is a positive, just unfortunately her other bad attribute was gambling. Though, I don’t think this will affect a child too much. In any case, at least there is a pretty portrait of her.
I think Albinia is a name for those that prefer their Georgiana to their Georgia. I think it is a name that could be used today and while the name is a throwback to even further in the past than Edith, Lavinia or Vera, I think she would fit easily beside them. It also comes with a wide array of nicknames including Alby, Ally, Bina, Binnie, Alba etc.