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History of Langtry Farms and Lillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry, née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton was a famous actress and socialite during the 19th century. She was born on the British Island of Jersey in 1853. Lillie was one of seven of the Dean of Jersey’s children and his only daughter. Although she never received a formal education, Lillie went on to have a successful acting career. She starred in many plays in England and the United States. In 1888, Lillie purchased 4,200 acres of land in California that would become Langtry Farms.


Lillie Langtry, née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton was born October 13, 1853, in Jersey, an island off the coast of Normandy, France. She was the only daughter of the Dean of Jersey and was one of seven with six brothers.


Lillie married Edward Langtry, a wealthy 30-year-old Irish widower and landowner. The pair moved to London where she later began her acting career.


Lillie starred in her first play at the Haymarket Theatre in London. The same year, she gave birth to her daughter Jeanne Marie Langtry, whose father was reportedly not her husband but rather Prince Louis of Battenberg who married Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Victoria in 1884. Lillie left Jeanne in the care of her mother.


Lillie made her theatrical debut in New York as crowds from around the world came to see her beauty.


Lillie became an American citizen and divorced Edward Langtry. She completed a transcontinental tour of the United States, where she would pick up a distant admirer, Judge Roy Bean, in Texas. Although the two never met, Bean named his saloon in Langtry, Texas, the “Jersey Lillie” and later claimed he named the town “Langtry” in her honor.


Lillie purchased a 4,200 ranch in California where she raised horses and founded the Langtry Farms winery.


Lillie Langtry died in Monaco and was buried in the graveyard of St. Saviour’s Church in Jersey.


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