A daughter of the third Marquess of Ely, she was born Marion Jane Loftus. Her family was on terms of intimate friendship with Queen Victoria, and her mother was a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen. In her youth Lady Marion was a constant visitor at Buckingham Palace. A vivacious and beautiful girl, she was one of the most popular figures in society at that time.
When 20 years of age Lady Marion married Captain George Osborn Springfield, of the 5th Dragoon Guards. It was said at the time that the marriage was "arranged," and there was possibly truth in the story, for a few years later she fell in love with one of her husband's brother officers, Major (afterwards Colonel) Sir James Dyson Bourne, second baronet. Finally the two eloped. The divorce which followed meant that Lady Marion had invited the ostracism of those of her friends who meant most to her. For eight years she was ideally happy with her second husband, and, in spite of the strict views of Victorian society, she regained, to a great extent, her place as one of the leaders of the social life of the times. It was said that even Queen Victoria, who had a special affection for her, became less critical in her attitude towards Lady Marion.
In 1883 Sir James Bourne died. A year later she married again "into the regiment," though her third husband, Lieutenant-Colonel J.J.N. Buchanan, was actually on the retired list. So popular was she with the 5th Dragoons that they were sometimes referred to as "Lady Marion's Own." She is reported to have said, jokingly, that she wished she could live long enough to marry the whole regiment in turn. Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan died in 1893 and in 1894 Lady Marion married, as her fourth husband, the Rev. James Weller of Amersham. They lived happily together for 34 years, most of the time at Earl's Court, where Mr Weller had a church.
After her last marriage Lady Marion devoted herself closely to her husband's work, and among the poor and sick of Kensington she became a much loved figure. The last 25 years of her life were given to ministering among a variety of persons. She visited hospitals and hostels, homes for incurables, and poor persons' firesides, reading to the sick, sympathising and helping.
At the time of her death there hung over her bed the portrait of her second husband (Sir James Bourne) and a picture of his grave, where she expressed her wish to be buried. During the 50 years since his death she had made two bangles made from the gold that decorated his uniform.
Lady Marion was the mother of 10 children, one by her first husband, eight by her second, all of whom died in infancy, and one by her third.
The funeral will take place at St. Stephen's, Gloucester Road, S.W., to-morrow at 2.30 pm.
[Obituary in The Times, 30 October 1933.]