Henrietta Laura Pulteney was born in 1766, the only child of Sir William Pulteney, a Scottish advocate from Wester Hall, Dumfries.
Sir William was born William Johnstone and on 10 November 1760, he married heiress Frances Pulteney, the the third daughter of MP and government official Daniel Pulteney and cousin to the 1st Earl of Bath, William Pulteney. On his death, in 1765 and that of his heir in 1767, she inherited the Pulteney estates and both changed their names to Pulteney. He sat in the House of Commons between 1768 and 1805 and was reputedly the wealthiest man in Great Britain. He invested in developments in Great Britain, including the Pulteney Bridge and other buildings in Bath, buildings on the sea-front at Weymouth and roads in his native Scotland and had extensive estates in America, New York State and the West Indies. He was a friend of Telford, Robert Adam, David Hume, Adam Smith.
Pulteney Bridge was completed to Adam’s Design in 1773, and the Bathwick Estate was begun to Baldwin’s design in 1788.
Henrietta Laura was created 1st Baroness of Bath on 26 July 1792 and 1st Countess of Bath on 26 October 1803. In 1794, she had married her father’s first cousin Sir James Murray, who had taken the name Murray-Pulteney. She died on 14 July 1808 without bearing children and her titles became extinct.
Henrietta Pulteney when a young girl, by Angela Kauffman, Holburne Museum