Growing up, Leilah was a "free spirit" and considered unusual by the other children.
Leilah married twice. She married David Boyle Blair (1837 – c.1885), an attache of the British diplomatic service, on August 14, 1872. They had two sons, Ralph Blair (1877 – 1938) and Arthur Blair (1880 – 1904). Blair took an assignment in South Africa where he died.
A few months after Blair's death came the news that Leilah had married Walter Yard-Buller in 1886. Yard-Buller was brother of Lord Churchston; after his death, Yard-Buller inherited the title and Leilah became Lady Leilah Yard-Buller. But it was not a happy marriage. On the way to the wedding, Yard-Buller struck Leilah because she hadn't brought enough money for their planned honeymoon.
They separated, and Leilah fell in love with Valentine Gadesden. The Call describes him as a 'designing fellow' and successful in preying upon Leilah. But she was very much in love in Gadesden, and Yard-Buller's divorce suit named him.
Madness, Death and Burial
Links and References
- From A Brilliant Social Life to the Madhouse San Francisco Call August 7, 1898
- The Loveliest Woman of the West Otago Witness (New Zealand) October 13, 1898 (originally published in the New York Journal)
- Leilah Kirkham on FindAGrave.com