Chabot, Isabella Charlotte de Rohan- (1784–1868), aristocrat and diarist, was born 16 July 1784 in Leinster House, Dublin, fourth daughter of William Robert Fitzgerald (qv), 2nd duke of Leinster, and his wife Emilia Olivia, only daughter and heir of St George Usher, Lord St George. Lord Edward FitzGerald (qv) was her uncle. She spent her childhood at the family homes – Carton in Co. Kildare, Frascati in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, and Leinster House in Dublin city. During the 1798 rebellion the family fled to Dublin, and she long remembered the atmosphere of fear that prevailed in the city at the time.
In 1805 she moved to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where she met and fell in love with William Henry Lyttleton. Her family disapproved of the match, however, and they did not marry. She often stayed with her sister, Lady Olivia Kinnaird, in London, and became a noted figure in fashionable society. In June 1809 Isabella married an émigré French officer living in London, Louis William de Rohan-Chabot, vicomte de Chabot, son of the comte de Jarnac. His mother, the comtesse de Jarnac, was Elizabeth Smyth of Tinna Park, Co. Wicklow. He rose to the rank of major-general and served during the Peninsular war. Isabella travelled to Portugal with her husband in 1811, and they lodged with the eccentric Marquis d'Anjega at Belem. When Chabot took ill they decided to return to England, and nearly perished in a violent storm in the Bay of Biscay. Their infant son, who had also been ill, died during the voyage.
Isabella visited Ireland in 1812, finding Leinster House sadly neglected, and returned to Ireland again in 1813 for the birth of her daughter, Olivia. After the restoration of the French monarchy in 1814, Chabot was appointed ADC to the duc d'Orléans and she became a lady-in-waiting to the duchess. Living in Paris, she entered French society and met the prince regent, the future George IV, at a soirée. When Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815, she fled from France and came to Carton, Co. Kildare, where she gave birth to another son, Philippe. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo (18 June 1815), she returned to France, where she resumed her duties as lady-in-waiting to the duchesse d'Orléans, residing at the Palais Royal and the Château de Villiers at Neuilly.
She came to Ireland for a prolonged stay in 1819 and accompanied George IV back to England on the royal yacht after the royal visit of 1821. In 1825 her marriage broke up and she fell into a profound depression. She continued with her duties, however, and when the duc d'Orléans was crowned as King Louis-Philippe of France, after the revolution of 1830, she became chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie-Amélie. She died in 1868.
Her son, Philippe de Rohan-Chabot, became French ambassador to London and inherited Thomastown Castle, Co. Tipperary, from his paternal cousin Lady Elizabeth Mathew, one of the Smyth sisters. Her daughter, Olivia de Rohan-Chabot, married Jules de Lasteyrie, a grandson of Lafayette, and lived at the Château Lagrange near Paris. In 1984 the comte de Chambrun of Château Lagrange, a direct distant descendant, discovered a diary which Isabella had begun writing in 1806 and stopped after the departure of her husband in 1825. It provides valuable insights into her early life in Ireland, her experiences of the 1798 rebellion, and her later life in England and France.