Sunday, 21 December 2014

(150) Anstruther of Balcaskie, baronets

Anstruther of Balcaskie
The Anstruther family have owned land in the East Neuk of Fife since the 12th century, and were based first at Dreel Castle in Anstruther. They have spawned numerous branches which have become established as independent gentry families, amongst the earliest of whom were the Anstruthers of Balcaskie. This branch of the family commences with Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt., third of the five sons of Sir Philip Anstruther (d. 1702) of Anstruther, all of whom were knighted or received baronetcies.  Sir Robert demonstrated loyalty to the Protestant succession in 1689-90 and was rewarded with a lucrative appointment as one of the joint receivers of inland excise in Scotland. In 1696 he became one of the first Directors of the Bank of Scotland, and he was also intermittently a MP, at first in the Scottish Parliament and after 1707 in the British parliament in London. He was made a baronet in 1694 and in 1698 was able to buy the Balcaskie estate near Pittenweem, where the house had been enlarged and modernised by Sir Robert Bruce in the 1660s and 1670s. His eldest son, Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt., was bred to the law and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1711. He inherited Balcaskie in 1737 and enlarged the estate in 1745, before making some changes to the house in about 1750. Sir Philip must have spent a good deal of time in Edinburgh, but his eldest son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt., although also trained as an Advocate, spent most of his time at Balcaskie and devoted himself to rural pursuits.  Like his father he added to the estate, buying a property at Watten in Caithness. The younger sons in each generation went mainly into the Army, and chiefly into the regiment named after their kinsman, Colonel Preston, and known later as Col. Anstruther's regiment or the Cameronians; after 1750 became the 26th Foot. The first Sir Robert had five sons in the army, including one who was killed at the Battle of Preston in 1715 and another who became a Lt-General and bought himself a small estate at Balgarvie (Fife); Sir Philip had three sons in the army, including two full Colonels, one of whom ended his days as Governor of Guernsey. 

The 3rd baronet's eldest son, Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther (1768-1809), played a distinguished part in the Mediterranean campaigns of Sir Ralph Abercromby and in the Peninsuala War of 1808-09, but died 'of exhaustion' during the retreat to Corunna in 1809, and was buried alongside the hero Sir John Moore, who was killed at the Battle of Corunna. His younger brother, Sir Alexander Anstruther (1769-1819) was a barrister, who became a judge in India and when he returned to Scotland bought the small Thirdpart estate in Fife. Balcaskie passed to Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther's son, Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt., who came of age in 1825 and made alterations to the house and gardens between 1827 and 1834 and again in 1848 and 1856. Having inherited the estates and title as a child, his military career (in the Grenadier Guards) was brief, and it was left to his sons to continue the military tradition of the family. His eldest son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt., was a Lt-Col. in the Grenadiers and saw action in Canada and Crimea, although he was invalided home from the latter conflict with dysentry.  After inheriting Balcaskie, he became MP for Fife and Lord Lieutenant of the county - the first member of the family to hold this office. In 1883 the estates consisted of 22,597 acres in Caithness and 2,121 acres in Fife, worth £9,062 a year. The principal seats were Balcaskie and Watten (Caithness).

Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt., succeeded his father in 1886 and retired from the Royal Engineers shortly afterwards, although he continued to play an active role in local military affairs in Fife, as officer commanding a battalion of the Royal Highlanders. Like his father, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1923-34.  His only son, Capt. Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921), died in his father's lifetime of wounds received in the First World War, so the heir to Balcaskie in 1934 was his young son, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt.  After Eton and Cambridge, Sir Ralph had twenty years in the Coldstream Guards, and then found a place in the Queen Mother's household, where he was Treasurer for nearly thirty years. In 1980 he succeeded a distant kinsman as 12th baronet of Anstruther, and as Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland, but he was unmarried and without issue, so both the family baronetcies passed on his death to his second cousin once removed, Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt. Balcaskie was vested in a trust, but became the home of Sir Ian's second son, Toby Anstruther (b. 1967) and his family.  Sir Ian was succeeded in his titles by his elder son, Sir Sebastian Paten Campbell Anstruther (b. 1962), who also inherited the estate his father had bought at Barlavington in Sussex.  The family's current wealth derives mainly from a substantial estate at South Kensington in London, which Sir Ian inherited unexpectedly from his mother's sister in 1960, and which includes Thurloe Square and Alexander Square.

Balcaskie House, Fife

Balcaskie House in 1994. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

The earliest reference to the estate is in a royal charter of 1223, when it was held by the Balcaskie family, but it passed by marriage to the Strang family in about 1362.  It was probably David John Strang (fl. 1575-1613), who built an L-shaped tower house which is the earliest part of the present building to survive, since a monogram of his initials appears in the pediment above the garden entrance, but some authorities attribute this building to Alexander Moncrieff in the 1620s. The original building is still detectable by its thicker walls, and is now represented by the four-storey block with a crow-stepped chimney-gable at the western end of the north front, and about half of the south front. There was a projecting spiral staircase in a semi-circular tower on the west front.

In 1665 the estate was bought by Sir William Bruce, scion of a minor branch of the great Bruce clan, who had sought refuge from the Commonwealth regime in the 1650s as a merchant in Rotterdam, and who made himself useful to the future King Charles II by conveying messages to and from General Monck when the Restoration was being negotiated. As a result, Bruce was rewarded a baronetcy and a succession of posts in the Royal Works in the 1660s.  Unlike many placemen he appears to have developed a genuine interest in and talent for architecture, and Sir John Clerk of Penicuik described him as 'the chief introducer of architecture in this country'. By 1670 he was advising on the reconstruction of Thirlestaine Castle (Berwicks) and after his appointment as Surveyor-General of the Kings Works in Scotland in 1671 he was responsible for remodelling Holyroodhouse. He cut his architectural teeth, however, at Balcaskie in 1668-74, at Leslie House (Fife) in 1667-72, and perhaps at Panmure House (Angus), where he may have played a role in the late 1660s. Nothing is known of his architectural education, although it was undoubtedly informed by his travels as a merchant in the Low Countries and northern France in the 1650s, and probably also by the study of engravings of contemporary English and French design. His early works, such as Balcaskie, are markedly less innovative than the later ones such as Kinross House, although they do show interesting evidence of his architectural experimentation.

Balcaskie House: north front of 1668-74. The centre was raised and altered c.1750, when the Venetian window was inserted, and again c.1830 when the porch was added by William Burn.  Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

At Balcaskie, he made the house balanced and regular, although not entirely symmetrical, by constructing a new L-shaped block as a mirror image of the existing tower house.  The open centre of the resulting broad U-shape he filled with a two-storey block, probably flat-roofed and balustraded. The work was carried out in 1668-74 by John Hamilton, mason and Andrew Waddell and Alexander Paterson, wrights.

On the north front the old crow-stepped tower (which he may have heightened) is matched by another of the same height (but with only three storeys instead of four) placed at the other end of the facade. Outside these, he added the square towers with pyramidal roofs which also appear at the angles of the south front. Quite how the centre, between the two tower elements, was handled is not clear.  Perhaps almost by accident, Balcaskie came to have a pioneering double-pile plan, with two lines of rooms placed back-to-back: it was a model which Bruce was to re-use in more studied terms in many of his later houses.  It is also possible that Bruce was responsible for the curving walls and the compact side-pavilions to which they lead (although in my view these are more likely to be additions of c.1745-50, as John Gifford first suggested). If this Palladian layout is of Bruce's time, it is his greatest innovation, and especially remarkable as he did not buy a copy of Palladio's Quattro Libri until 1676: in all Britain only Stoke Bruern House and Berkeley House in London had such pavilions before 1674.

In about 1750 Sir Philip Anstruther altered the centre of the north front, raising it to three storeys, and inserting the Venetian window in the centre.  It seems most likely that the Palladian forecourt arrangement was also created at this time.  Further changes were made to the north front in 1830-32, when William Burn added a Jacobean porch, and inserted a window either side of the Venetian window to bring more light into the gallery he created or redecorated on the first floor. Burn also made a Jacobethan stair to the first floor to provide a formal access to this room.  

The main rooms of the 17th century house are on the south front, where there was a state apartment extending the length of the house.  It began at the west end with a double-cube ante room; next came a drawing room (now the library); then the state bedchamber (now the dining room), and finally a closet (now the breakfast room) in the south-east corner turret. The family rooms were on the second floor, where the Blue Room was probably Bruce's bedchamber and the Globe Room was probably his study.  Most of these rooms have rich decorative plasterwork, which is probably largely by the English master-plasterer George Dunsterfield and his assistant William Lindores, both of whom also worked for Bruce at Thirlestaine and Holyroodhouse, and whose bills are preserved. The Blue Room has a low-relief ceiling with moulded ribs and simple motifs of cherubs, roses and thistles, and also the initials of Bruce and his wife, Dame Mary Halket. The Globe Room has a large globe-shaped pendant wrapped in bands of zodiac signs.  The most elaborate ceilings are in the state rooms on the first floor: the library and dining room have painted central panels set in elaborate plasterwork surrounds. The paintings, representing Fame and Daedalus and Icarus respectively, are attributed to Jacob de Wet, several of whose bills survive in the family papers. The ceiling in the dining room is likely to be all of the 1670s, as Daedalus and Icarus is painted directly on the plaster, but the library ceiling appears to have been altered in the mid 18th century, judging by the mix of classical and more primitive motifs employed. The house was restored by Sir Ralph Anstruther in 1987, and again by the present owner.

Balcaskie House: south front. Image: © Jimmy Graham

On the south or garden front, the regularity of the house is a little less perfectly achieved, and the appearance is not helped by William Burn's alterations of 1830 for the 4th bt., which included lengthening the first floor windows and creating the balcony of cast iron which originally ran the whole width of the facade, but part of which has been removed in recent years. 

In 1856-58 David Bryce made further alterations to the western end of the house in his Scots Baronial style.  He provided a large new main staircase, which involved the destruction of the original spiral staircase of the Strangs tower house.  A bow window was also added to the western corner-tower on the south front.

Balcaskie House: west elevation, 1994. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Balcaskie House: the upper terrace and the axis aligned on the Bass Rock, 1994.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Balcaskie House: the Lawn Terrace, showing the buttressing of the main terrace and one of the arches added by
W.S. Gilpin in 1827-32. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

An important component of Sir William Bruce's scheme for Balcaskie was his layout of the grounds, with a series of three broad terraces descending from the house to the south, on an axis aligned on the Bass Rock, twelve miles away in the Firth of Forth: this arrangement still survives.  The first terrace has a massive retaining wall strengthened at regular intervals by broad buttresses. The two lower terraces were originally planted as orchards.  In 1827-32 Sir Ralph Anstruther, 4th bt., brought in William Sawrey Gilpin to make some changes. His most important additions were two broad flights of stone steps at either end of Bruce's massive retaining wall, linking the first two terraces, and the balustrade which tops the retaining wall. He also created a broad gravel walk between two stone arches along the top terrace. The parterre here was designed later, by William Andrews Nesfield, in 1847-48.

Descent: David John Strange (fl. 1575-1613); to son, John Strang, who sold 1615 to Alexander Moncreiff; to David Moncrieff (d. 1629); to nephew, John Moncrieff (d. before 1647); to son, David Moncrieff (d. 1658); to son, John Moncrieffe, who sold 1665 to Sir William Bruce (c.1630-1710), architect, who greatly extended the house; sold 1684 to Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully, who sold 1698 to Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt.; to grandson, Capt. Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt.; to son, Lt-Col. Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt.; to son, Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt.; to grandson, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th & 12th bt.; to kinsman, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968).

Anstruther family of Balcaskie, baronets

Anstruther, Sir Robert (1658-1737), 1st bt. Third son of Sir Philip Anstruther (d. 1702) of Anstruther (Fife) and his wife Christian, daughter of Gen. Sir James Lumsden of Innergelly, baptised 24 September 1658. A merchant-burgess of Anstruther and one of the receivers of the customs there and in Bo'ness; burgess of Edinburgh, 1689 and Aberdeen, 1698; joint general receiver of supply and inland excise for Scotland, 1691-1707; joint farmer of the excise for Scotland, 1696-97; MP for Anstruther Easter, 1681-82 and for Anstruther Wester, 1702-07 in the Scottish Parliament and for Fife, 1709-10 in the British Parliament. Director of the Bank of Scotland, 1696. He was created 1st bt. of Wrea and Balcaskie, 28 November 1694. He married 1st, c.1684, Sophia (d. 1686), daughter and heir of David Kinnear of Kilmany (Fife), and for a time assumed the name of Kinnear, c.1684-86; he married 2nd, 12 March 1687 at Edinburgh, Jean, daughter and heir of William Monteith of Wrea (West Lothian), and 3rd, 13 September 1703 at Edinburgh, his cousin, Marion (d. 1743), daughter of Sir William Preston, 2nd bt. of Valleyfield, and had issue:
(2.1) Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2.2) Capt. William Anstruther (1691-1715), baptised in Edinburgh, 11 September 1691; an officer in the 26th Foot; killed at the storming of Preston (Lancs), 12 November 1715;
(2.3) Lt-Gen. Robert Anstruther (d. 1773) of Balgarvie (Fife); entered the army 1718 (Capt., 1718; Major, 1738; Lt-Col., 1745; Col., 1755; Maj-Gen. 1758; Lt-Gen., 1765) and fought at Dettingen, Fontenoy and Culloden; married, 11 August 1765 in Edinburgh, Lady Elizabeth (d. 1803 or 1804), daughter of Charles Maitland, 6th Earl of Lauderdale and widow of James Ogilvie of Inchmartin; died without issue; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted by PCC, 6 August 1773;
(2.4) Margaret Anstruther (b. 1694), baptised at Linlithgow, 19 June 1694; probably died unmarried;
(2.5) Christian Anstruther (d. 1760); married, 17 September 1716 in Edinburgh, Sir John Henderson (1686-c.1730), 3rd bt. of Fordel, and had issue two sons and four daughters; buried in Edinburgh, 5 February 1760;
(2.6) Lt-Col. George Anstruther (b. 1696; fl. 1755), baptised at Linlithgow, 23 May 1696; an officer in 26th Foot (Lt-Col., 1755);
(2.7) John Anstruther (b. 1701), born 3 January 1701; died young;
(2.8) Jean Anstruther (d. 1778); married, 3/9 January 1720, James Makgill (d. 1747) of Rankeillor (Fife), de jure 4th Viscount of Oxfuird, but died without issue, 1778;
(2.9) Alexander Anstruther (fl. 1716); an ensign in 26th Foot; died unmarried;
(3.1) Anne Anstruther (b. c.1704/5); married, 26 October 1729 at Largo (Fife) as his second wife, James Durham (1678-1744?) of Largo and had issue three sons;
(3.2) Isobel Anstruther (b. 1706), baptised 8 December 1706; probably died unmarried;
(3.3) Maj. Charles Anstruther (1707-64), baptised at Carnbee, 25 December 1707; served in the Army (Major, 1737) but was apparently later an advocate in Edinburgh; died without issue, 1764;
(3.4) Prestina Anstruther (b. 1709), baptised 13 August 1709; probably died unmarried;
(3.5) Agnes Anstruther (1713-86), baptised 3 December 1713; died unmarried, 16 June 1786.
He purchased the Balcaskie estate in 1698.
He died March 1737. His first wife died without issue in 1686. The date of death of his second wife is unknown. His widow died April 1743.

Anstruther, Sir Philip (1688-1763), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt. of Balcaskie, and his second wife, Jean, daughter and heir of William Monteith of Wrea, born 1688. A member of the Faculty of Advocates, 1711; one of the Principal Clerks to the Bills. Succeeded his father as 2nd bt., March 1737, and was served heir general, 2 February 1742.  He married, c.1732, Catherine (1697-1759), eldest daughter of Lord Alexander Hay of Spott (East Lothian), and had issue:
(1) Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Alexander Anstruther (b. 1734), baptised 26 February 1734; died young;
(3) Catherine Anstruther (b. 1735), born 7 and baptised 10 April 1735; died young;
(4) Col. John Anstruther (1736-1815), born 13 and baptised 19 May 1735; served in the army, 1751-82 (Lt., 1756; Capt., 1762; Major, 1766; Lt-Col, 1773; Col., 1780; retired 1782) and surrendered the 62nd Foot at Saratoga, 1777; prisoner, 1777-78 when he was released as part of a prisoner exchange; officer in Fifeshire Corps of Fencible Cavalry, 1794-97 (Major, 1794; Lt-Col., 1796; Col., 1797); married, 24 December 1774, Grizel Maria (d. 1795), daughter of John Thomson of Charleton House (Fife) and had issue four sons and two daughters, from whom descend the Anstruther-Thomson family who will be the subject of a future post; died 10 February 1815 and was buried at Kilconquhar (Fife);
(5) Philip Anstruther (b. 1737; fl. 1765), born 7 and baptised 10 August 1737; married Anna Anderson and had issue two sons and two daughters;
(6) Col. William Anstruther (1738-1805), baptised 24 July 1738; served in the army from 1755-77 (Lt., 1757; Capt., 1766; retired, 1777); settled at Bergen (New Jersey) 1777-79 but was re-commissioned in Royal Garrison Battalion (Major, 1779) and served in Bermuda, c.1782; later commissioned in Independent Company of Invalids (Lt-Col., 1790; Col., 1795) in Jersey; Commandant of Guernsey, 1795-1805; married Isabella McLeod (c.1750-1836) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 1805 and was buried in St. Peter Port (Guernsey);
(7) Capt. James Anstruther (1739-76), born 22 and baptised 25 July 1739; served in the Army from 1756 (Lt., 1759; Capt., 1770); died unmarried, 22 December 1776;
(8) Jane/Jean Anstruther (b. 1740), born 26 and baptised 27 November 1740;
(9) Christian Anstruther (1742-1803), baptised 28 February 1742; married, 22 May 1769, James Lumsdaine (d. 1820) of Innergellie, but died without issue; probably the person of this name buried at Cupar (Fife), 24 November 1803;
(10) Catherine Anstruther (1743-1826), born 11 and baptised 15 May 1743; died unmarried, 7 March 1826 at Pittenweem (Fife);
(11) Charles Anstruther (1746-78), born 13 and baptised 17 November 1746; died unmarried in Dominica, July 1778;
(12) Agnes Anstruther (b. 1748), born 13 and baptised 14 September 1748; probably died young.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1737 and acquired the neighbouring Carnbee estate in 1745. He made alterations to the house at Balcaskie, c.1750.
He died 27 May 1763. His wife died at Balcaskie, 11 February 1759.

Anstruther, Sir Robert (1733-1818), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Catherine, daughter of Lord Alexander Hay of Spott (East Lothian), born 19 and baptised 21 April 1733. A member of the Faculty of Advocates and one of the principal Clerks to the Bills, but he lived principally at Balcaskie and devoted himself to country pursuits. He succeeded his father as 3rd bt., 27 May 1763. He married, 17 August 1763, Lady Janet (1742-70), youngest daughter of Alexander Erskine, 5th Earl of Kellie, and had issue:
(1) Janet Anstruther (1764-98), born 25 and baptised 28 May 1764; married, 28 September 1797, Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756-1841), later Chief Justice of Madras (who married 2nd, 1806, Louisa Burroughes); died, 1798, reputedly in childbirth while on her way to India;
(2) Catherine Anstruther (c.1765-1820); died unmarried, 22 September 1820 and was buried at St George, Hanover Square, 4 October 1820; administration of goods with will annexed granted, 14 March 1821
(3) Elizabeth Anstruther (1766-1839), born 30 October 1766; married, 23 February or 7 March 1787, Col. Colin Campbell (c.1761-1839) of Stonefield and had issue three sons; died 1839;
(4) Robert Anstruther (1768-1809) (q.v.);
(5) Sir Alexander Anstruther (1769-1819), kt. of Thirdpart (Fife), born 10 September 1769; educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1785) and Lincolns Inn (called to bar 1792); barrister-at-law; went to India, 1798; Advocate-General in Madras, 1803-12; Recorder of Bombay, 1812-18; knighted, 9 April 1813; married, 14 March 1803, Sarah (d. 1865), daughter of Thomas Prendergast of Croan (Ireland) and widow of Capt. W. Selby of Hon. East India Co. service, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 16 July 1819 in Mauritius; will proved 28 May 1821;
(6) Philip Anstruther (1770-96), born 4 October 1770; officer in the Royal Navy; died 23 July 1796.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1763 and purchased an estate at Watten (Caithness) in about 1780. At his death he was succeeded by his grandson, Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt. (q.v.).
He died at Balcaskie, 2 August 1818. His wife died 14 October 1770.

Anstruther, Brig-Gen. Robert (1768-1809). Eldest son of Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Lady Janet, youngest daughter of Alexander Erskine, 5th Earl of Kellie, born 3 and baptised 7 March 1768. Educated at Westminster School. An officer in the Army, 1788-1809 (Capt., 1792; Major, 1797; Lt-Col, 1797; Brig-Gen., 1808); served in Flanders, 1793-94 and West Indies, 1797-99; Quartermaster General in Mediterranean, 1800 under Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby; Adjutant-General in Ireland, 1802; served in Peninsula Campaigns, where he fought at the Battle of Vimiera and commanded the rearguard of Sir John Moore's retreat to Corunna, 1809. Appointed a knight of the Crescent (Egypt). He married, 19 March 1799 at Margate (Kent), Lucy Charlotte (1778-1833), only daughter of Lt-Col. James Hamilton of Coldstream Guards, and had issue:
(1) Jane Anstruther (1801-65), born 13 January and baptised 21 June 1801; married, 21 January 1822, John Dalyell (d. 1843) of Lingo (Fife), provost of Cupar, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 13 March 1865;
(2) Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Charlotte Lucy Anstruther (1805-90), born 11 April in Dublin and baptised 11 May 1805; died unmarried, 5 January 1890;
(4) Capt. James Hamilton Anstruther (later Lloyd-Anstruther) (1806-82) of Hintlesham Hall (Suffolk), born 20 December 1806; JP and DL for Suffolk; Capt. in 46th Regiment; married 1st, 6 December 1838, Georgiana Charlotte (d. 1843), daughter of Hon. Lindsey Merrik Peter Burrell and had issue one son, from whom descend the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe baronets, who will be the subject of a future post; married 2nd, 1 November 1847, Hon. Georgiana Christiana Barrington (d. 1881), daughter of 5th Viscount Barrington and had issue four sons; died 23 December 1882;
(5) Elizabeth Christian Anstruther (1808-1893), born 23 March and baptised 18 April 1808; married, 2 November 1837, Rev. William Henry Deane (1799-1854), rector of Hintlesham, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 7 December 1893.
He died of exhaustion at Corunna, 14 January 1809, in the lifetime of his father, and was buried next to Sir John Moore. His widow died 2 February 1833.

Sir R.A. Anstruther
Anstruther, Capt. Sir Ralph Abercromby (1804-63), 4th bt. Eldest son of Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther (1768-1809) and his wife Charlotte Lucy, only daughter of Lt-Col. James Hamilton, born in London, 1 March and baptised 13 May 1804; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1822); Captain in Grenadier Guards (retired 1829). He succeeded his grandfather as 4th bt., 2 August 1818. Convenor of Fife, 1855-60; Rector of St. Andrews University, 1859-63. He married, 2 September 1831 at Lambeth (Surrey), Mary Jane (1811-86), daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Henry Torrens KCB and had issue including:
(1) Lucy Charlotte Anstruther (1833-1903), born 12 April and baptised 13 June 1833; married, 12 August 1852, Capt. Sir Alexander Kinloch (1830-1912), 10th bt. of Gilmerton, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 14 November 1903;
(2) Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Henry Anstruther (1836-54), born 4 June 1836; served as a Lieutenant in Welsh Fusiliers and was killed at the Battle of Alma, 20 September 1854;
(4) Hamilton Anstruther (1842-73), born 11 August 1842; appointed commissioner to inquire into the jute industry in India, c.1872; died unmarried at Alexandria, 4 September 1873;
(5) Mary Anstruther (c.1845-1911); married, 20 June 1867 at St Paul, Kensington, Charles Hugh Berners (1842-1919) of Woolverstone Park (Suffolk), son of Capt. Hugh Berners, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died at Marseilles (France), 17 April 1911; will proved 2 August 1911 (estate £1,941).
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his grandfather in 1818 and came of age in 1825. He made alterations to the house and gardens in 1827-34, 1848 and 1856.
He died 18 October 1863. His widow married 2nd, 14 November 1868 at Edinburgh, William Talbot Talbot-Crosbie (d. 1899) of Ardfert Abbey (Kerry), died 26 August 1886 and was buried at Ardfert.

Anstruther, Lt-Col. Sir Robert (1834-86), 5th bt. Eldest son of Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt., and his wife Mary Jane (1811-86), daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Henry Torrens KCB, born 28 August 1834 at Edinburgh. Educated at Harrow. Served in Grenadier Guards 1853-62 (Lt-Col., 1861) and saw action in the Crimea and Canada; MP for Fifeshire, 1864-80 and St. Andrews, 1885-86. Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1864-86. He married, 20 July 1857 at Beckenham (Kent), Louisa Maria Chowne (d. 1913), daughter of Rev. William Knox Marshall, vicar of Wragby (Lincs) and prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, and had issue:
(1) Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Mary Evelyn Anstruther (1859-1921), born July 1859; died 2 January 1921;
(3) Henry Torrens Anstruther (1860-1926), born 27 November 1860; educated at Eton and Edinburgh University; advocate in Scotland, 1884; Liberal Unionist MP for St Andrews, 1886-1903; Government Whip, 1895-1903; member of administrative council of Suez Canal, 1903; JP for Buckinghamshire and Fife; married, 24 August 1889 (sep. 1912), Hon. Dame Eva Hanbury-Tracy DBE (1869-1935), eldest daughter of 4th Baron Sudeley and had issue one son and one daughter; died 5 April 1926;
(4) Admiral Robert Hamilton Anstruther CMG (1862-1938), born 10 June 1862; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt. 1885; Commander, 1897; Capt., 1904; Commodore, 1912; Rear-Admiral, 1915; retired, 1916; Vice-Admiral, 1919; Admiral, 1924) who served as senior naval officer on Danube, 1900-02; North Sea Fisheries, 1902-04; Newfoundland fisheries, 1906-08; Hong Kong and coast of China, 1912-16; appointed CMG 1907 and awarded Order of Rising Sun (2nd class), Japan; married, 6 January 1890, Edith Flora (d. 1944), daughter of William Felton Peel and had issue one son; died 26 September 1938;
(5) Arthur Wellesley Anstruther CB (1864-1938), born 5 March 1864; Capt. in Fife Artillery Militia; private secretary to President of Board of Agriculture & Fisheries, 1892-98; Chief Clerk to Board, 1898-1902; Assistant Secretary to Board, 1902-20; author of the History of the family of Anstruther, 1923; married 1st, 26 April 1893, Hon. Mary Elma Cumming-Bruce (d. 1894), daughter of 5th Baron Thurlow; married 2nd, 21 October 1901 (Louisa Adele) Rose (d. 1962), daughter of William Hume Trapman of Charleston (South Carolina) and London and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 20 October 1938.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1863.
He died 21 July 1886. His widow died at Shamley Green (Surrey), 25 January 1913; her will was proved 3 April 1913 (estate £6,822).

Anstruther, Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William (1858-1934), 6th bt. Eldest son of Lt-Col. Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt. and his wife Louisa Maria Chowne, daughter of Rev. William Knox Marshall, born 5 July and baptised at Beckenham. Educated at Eton; Hon. LL.D (St Andrews Univ). An officer in the Royal Engineers, 1877-90, serving in Egypt, 1883 and on the Bechuanaland expedition, 1884-85; later Lt-Col. commanding 6th Fifeshire Volunteer Battalion of Royal Highlanders and Hon. Col. of 6th/7th Battn. JP for Fife and JP and DL for Caithness; Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1923-34. He succeeded his father as 6th bt, 21 July 1886. He married, 5 August 1885 at St Mark, North Audley Street, London, Mildred Harriet CBE (1863-1952), daughter of Edward Hussey of Scotney Castle and Lamberhurst (Kent), and had issue:
(1) Margaret Christian Anstruther (1887-1925), born 16 August 1887; died unmarried, 8 September 1925;
(2) Magdalen Janet Anstruther (1889-1953), born 19 April 1889; married, 14 August 1911, Lt-Col. Sir Thomas Wilfred Hargreaves John Erskine DSO (1880-1944), 4th bt. of Cambo and had issue two sons and six daughters; died 15 February 1953;
(3) Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921) (q.v.);
(4) Sarah Katherine Anstruther (1894-1952), born 28 September 1894; JP for Fife; died unmarried, 22 December 1952;
(5) Elizabeth Mildred Louisa Anstruther (1896-1932), born 29 April 1896; married, 20 October 1920, Maj. Julian Neil Oscar Rycroft DSO MC (1892-1928), only son of Maj-Gen. Sir William Henry Rycroft KCB KCMG and had issue two daughters; died 11 September 1932;
(6) Gertrude Mary Anstruther (1900-75), born 9 March 1900; Headmistress of St. James' School, West Malvern, 1948-60; Assistant Prof. of English, Hood College, Maryland, 1961-62 and Coffey College, Nevada, 1962-64; died unmarried, 10 April 1975.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1886. At his death his title and estates passed to his grandson, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt. (q.v.).
He died 30 September 1934. His widow died 25 April 1952.

Anstruther, Capt. Robert Edward (1890-1921). Only son of Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Mildred Harriet, daughter of Edward Hussey of Scotney Castle (Kent), born 4 April 1890. Served in the Royal Highlanders from 1909 (Lt. 1912; Capt. 1914; Temp. Col.) and was twice wounded and awarded the MC and the Croix de Guerre with palms. He married, 16 June 1919 at Naas (Kildare), Margeurite Lily Blanche (1897-1992), only daughter of Hugo de Burgh of Ballinapierce (Wexford), and had issue:
(1) Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt. (q.v.).
He died from the effects of his wounds, 22 July 1921, in the lifetime of his father. His widow died 12 July 1992.

Anstruther, Sir Ralph Hugo (1921-2002), 7th and 12th bt. Only child of Capt. Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921) and his wife Margeurite, daughter of Hugo de Burgh of Ballinapierce (Wexford), born 13 June 1921. His father died a month after he was born and since his mother disliked Balcaskie, he was brought up mainly at his grandmother's family home, Scotney Castle. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge (BA 1940). Major in Coldstream Guards, 1941-59; served in WW2 (wounded) and Malaya (mentioned in despatches); member of the Royal Company of Archers. Assistant Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 1959-64; Equerry, 1959-2002; Treasurer of Queen Mother's Household, 1961-98 and Treasurer Emeritus, 1998-2002. DL for Fife and Caithness. Succeeded his grandfather as 7th bt. of Balcaskie, 30 September 1934, and his distant kinsman as 12th bt. of Anstruther, 1980. Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland. He was appointed MC 1943, CVO 1967, KCVO 1976, GCVO 1993. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his grandfather in 1934 and restored the house in the 1980s.  At his death his titles passed to his second cousin once removed, Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt (q.v.); Balcaskie having been made over some years earlier to Sir Ian's second son, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968).
He died 19 May 2002.

Sir Ian Anstruther (1922-2007)
Anstruther, Sir Ian Fife Campbell (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt. Second but only surviving son of Douglas Tollemache Anstruther (1893-1956) and his first wife, Enid (d. 1964), second daughter of Lord George Granville Campbell, born 11 May 1922. His early life was blighted by his parents' divorce and subsequent custody proceedings, 1924-38, and he was largely brought up by his mother's sister, Joan Campbell. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (BA 1942). Captain in Royal Corps of Signals, 1942-47; member of Royal Company of Archers.  Attaché at the British embassy in Washington DC (USA) and private secretary to Lord Inverchapel, the ambassador, 1947-51; historian and writer; author of works including I Presume, 1956 (a biography of H.M. Stanley); The Knight and the Umbrella, 1963 (on the Eglinton tournament); The scandal of the Andover Workhouse, 1973; Oscar Browning1983 (a biography); Coventry Patmore's Angel, 1992 (a biography of Patmore and his wife) and The Baronets' Champion, 2006. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London; a major benefactor of the London Library, where he funded the Anstruther Wing, 1992, and of Cambridge University Library; founder of the Anstruther Literary Trust. He succeeded his second cousin once removed, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, in the baronetcies of Balcaskie and Anstruther in 2002, and believed he had also inherited the British baronetcy created for the 4th bt. of Anstruther in 1798, although this had in reality become extinct in 1980. He married 1st, 7 March 1951 (div. 1963), (Geraldine) Honor (d. 2002), elder daughter of Capt. Gerald Stuart Blake MC of Clock House, Lindfield, Sussex, and 2nd, 15 November 1963, Susan Margaret Walker RIBA (b. 1930), daughter of Henry St. John Brading Paten, and had issue:
(1.1) (Emily) Kate Campbell Anstruther (b. 1953); married 1st. 1975 (div. 1986) Malcolm Harrison and had issue two sons and two daughters, and 2nd, 1988 (Andrew) Simon Basil Crosby of Hindleap Corner, Forest Row (Sussex), son of Andrew Basil Crosby MBE;
(2.1) Sir Sebastian Paten Campbell Anstruther (b. 1962), 9th and 14th bt. of Barlavington, born 13 September 1962; born before his parents' marriage but legitimated under Scots law by their marriage and thereby enabled to inherit his father's titles; inherited the Barlavington estate from his father, 2007; married, 1992, Pornpan (k/a Goy) Pinitwong of Thailand and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2.2) Lucy Anstruther (b. & d. 1964); died June 1964;
(2.3) Rachel Whittome Campbell Anstruther (b. 1965), born 28 August 1965;
(2.4) Harriet (k/a Hattie) Joan Campbell Anstruther (b. 1967), born 24 March 1967; writer and designer; married 1st, 19 July 1991 (div. 1995) Hamish Howard Anthony Summers, son of Anthony Gilbert Summers, and had issue one daughter; 2nd, 27 July 2002, Henry Bourne, son of Prof. Kenneth Bourne;
(2.5) Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968) (q.v.);
(2.6) Eleanor Thurloe Campbell Anstruther (b. 1971) of Chiddingfold, Dunsfold (Surrey), born 30 March 1971; married, 2005, Geoffrey A. Tanner.
He purchased the 3,000 acre Barlavington estate in Sussex in 1956 and unexpectedly inherited an estate in South Kensington (including Thurloe Square and Alexander Square) from his aunt, Joan Campbell, in 1960, which made him wealthy. He also bought an estate at Hascombe (Surrey) in 1972 and a house near St. Tropez (France) in 1973. At his death Barlavington passed to his elder son and Hascombe to his younger son. 
He died at Barlavington, 29 July 2007; his will was proved in 2008 (estate in excess of £35m). His first wife died 22 December 2002. His widow is now living.

Anstruther, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell (b. 1968). Second son of Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt., born 16 December 1968. Chief of Clan Anstruther and Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland. At the time of his father's death in 2007 it was widely reported that he had inherited his father's British baronetcy as the eldest son of his father born in wedlock, but this baronetcy had in fact expired in 1980.  He married, 1996, Kate, daughter of Thomas Pevsner (1926-2014) and granddaughter of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural historian, and had issue:
(1) Madeleine Isobel Anstruther (b. 2000), born 9 April 2000;
(2) Alexander Thomas Anstruther (b. 2002), born 14 May 2002.
He was given the Balcaskie estate by Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, 7th and 12th bt., some years before his death, and inherited the Hascombe estate from his father in 2007. He has been an active director of the South Kensington estate.
Now living.


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 111-14; W. Wood, The East Neuk of Fife: its history and antiquities, 1887, pp. 274 ff; G.E. Cokayne, Complete Baronetage, iv, 1904, pp. 366-67; H. Fenwick, Architect Royal: the life and works of Sir William Bruce, 1630-1710, 1970, pp. 11-14; A.A. Tait, The landscape garden in Scotland, 1980, pp. 228-30; G. Plumptre, 'Direct descent', Country Life, 26 November 1987, pp. 58-61; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Fife, 1988, pp. 84-87; P. Fitzalan Howard, 'Balcaskie House, Fife', Country Life, 25 May 1989, pp. 174-79; S.R. Evans, Masters of their craft, 2014, pp. 92-93.

Location of archives

Anstruther family of Balcaskie, baronets: deeds, family and estate papers relating to the Balcaskie estate and to Watten and Scarmclett (Caithness), 1223-late 20th cent. [St. Andrews University Library, msdep121]
Lloyd-Anstruther of Hintlesham Hall: deeds and papers, 16th-20th cents [Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich, HA74, HA167]; deeds and estate papers, 17th-19th cents [Hampshire Archives & Local Studies, 26M62]

Coat of arms

Argent, three piles issuing from the chief sable.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

(149) Anson of Shugborough Hall, Ranton Abbey and Orgreave Hall, Earls of Lichfield

Anson family, Earls of Lichfield
The story of the Anson family is in many ways typical of the experience of English aristocratic families. Two successful lawyers, William Anson (c.1580-1645) and his grandson, William Anson (1656-1720) provided the family with modest landed estates and a fashionable country house at Shugborough. The second William married an heiress and his eldest son, Thomas Anson (1695-1773), who inherited his father's estate at the age of 25, had the means to undertake a Grand Tour and indulge his passion for collecting beautiful things from across Europe and beyond to fill the house with treasures.  Meanwhile, Thomas's younger brother, Admiral George Anson (1697-1762), 1st Baron Anson, had an adventurous and highly profitable career at sea, culminating in his capture of the Spanish treasure ship, Nuestra Señora de Covadonga: his captain's share (37.5%) of the value of her cargo was probably over £100,000. Lord Anson went on to become First Lord of the Admiralty and one of the ablest naval reformers of the 18th century, and he brought political connections and interests into the family.  His position at the heart of the political establishment was cemented by his marriage in 1748 to the daughter of the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke.  The two brothers were close and seem to have collaborated in the development of Shugborough as a grand seat with fashionable gardens, and in the purchase of property at Lichfield to provide a political base for the family. Lord Anson and his wife bought Orgreave Hall to have a house near to Shugborough, although from 1751 they had their own grand house at Moor Park in Hertfordshire where they also made improvements. Lady Anson died in 1760 and her husband two years later, and since they had no children, Thomas inherited the bulk of his fortune. Although already 67, unmarried and childless, Thomas threw himself into a further round of improvements, extending and landscaping the park at Shugborough and employing his friend James "Athenian" Stuart to realise as decorative buildings in the park some of the great monuments of ancient Greek architecture which he had recorded in the Antiquities of Athens. Stuart also rebuilt 15 St James Square, London (Lichfield House) as a London town house for Thomas. When Thomas died in 1773, Shugborough and its collections, and what was left of the Admiral's money, passed to his nephew George Adams (later Anson) (1731-89), who had already inherited Orgreave Hall from the Admiral. George's impact at Shugborough was minimal, but he had a large family of eight sons, many of whom had distinguished careers in the army and the church, and three daughters.  

His eldest son was Thomas Anson (1767-1818), who as MP for Lichfield was a radical Whig and a keen supporter of Charles James Fox. In 1806 Fox rewarded his loyalty with a peerage as Viscount Anson. The 1st Viscount married a daughter of the agricultural pioneer, Thomas Coke of Holkham (Norfolk) and shared many of his father-in-law's interests: it was said that under his supervision the kitchen gardens at Shugborough became "a kind of Academy for the study of Horticulture". He also made further improvements to the house under the direction of Samuel Wyatt, extended the park and built a model farm to showcase his innovative methods. His eldest son, Thomas William Anson (1795-1854) 2nd Viscount Anson, inherited in 1818 and cut a dash in society in the 1820s and 1830s. He was described as "a fine fellow with an excellent disposition, liberal, hospitable, frank and gay, quick and intelligent", and he was in favour at Court. In about 1819 he bought the Ranton estate and built a new house there as a centre for entertaining and hunting. King William IV made him Earl of Lichfield in his coronation honours in 1831, and he was later Postmaster General for six years, overseeing the introduction of Rowland Hill's penny post. However, he was also extravagant and addicted to betting, and he incurred heavy electioneering expenses: the cumulative effect was to rapidly accumulated mortgages on the estate up to the maximum that could be supported, and in 1842 he was sued for personal debts of £20,000 by a lawyer who seems also to have been his bookmaker. To clear this, almost all the contents of Shugborough and Lichfield House in London were sold and Lord Lichfield retreated to the Continent to leave cheaply. After he returned in 1847 he lived at Ranton, and Shugborough remained empty and shut up.

Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield, inherited in 1854 and took the radical decision to sell Lichfield House in London and use the proceeds to redecorate and refurnish Shugborough, so that the family could return there.  In the prosperous years of the 1850s and 1860s the large mortgages on the estates could be serviced within the income from farming, but with the Agricultural Depression of the 1870s and 1880s they once more became a concern, and in 1880 the 2nd Earl handed over the Shugborough estate to his eldest son and heir, Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield. The new owner set himself to reduce the mortgage burden. In place of a single very large mortgage he put in place a number of smaller loans with relations and friends who were perhaps less likely to foreclose, and he took on a number of company directorships in the banking industry and with Hudson's Bay Company to provide a non-agricultural income. With careful management of the estates these measures were ultimately successful in paying off the mortgages, and when the 3rd Earl died in a shooting accident in 1918 he left an estate which was unusually free of debt.  This undoubtedly helped Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, to steer the estate through the difficult years of the mid 20th century. Ranton Abbey was burnt out during the Second World War and the estate was sold in 1955; Orgreave Hall was also sold in 1953.  After his death, Shugborough was accepted by the Government in lieu of death duties and presented to The National Trust for preservation, together with a modest endowment from the family.  The Trust then entered into a long-term partnership with Staffordshire County Council to manage the house and estate and open them to the public, and the Council established its County Museum in buildings in the park.

The heir to the title in 1960 was Patrick Lichfield (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield, who as a society photographer, confidant of the royal family and man about town was much in the public eye in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Under the terms of the agreement with The National Trust, he kept a flat at Shugborough, a few rooms of which were occasionally opened to the public. In about 1987 he took the opportunity to buy back the Ranton Abbey estate which his grandfather had sold, and where the house was still a ruin. His intention was to build a new house there which could become a new seat for the family, but his efforts to secure planning permission for a new house only came to fruition a few weeks after he died.  His son and heir, Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson (b. 1978), 6th Earl of Lichfield decided not to pursue the project and in 2008 sold Ranton again. He also gave up the family flat in Shugborough, ending his family's connection with Staffordshire after nearly 400 years.

Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire

During the Middle Ages, Shugborough belonged to the bishops of Lichfield, who had a moated manor house here, parts of which seem to have survived into the 1740s. In the 16th or early 17th century, ownership of the manor house became separated from the rest of the estate, and the property which William Anson inherited in 1688 consisted only of the house and about 80 acres of land. In 1693-95 he rebuilt the house as a smart seven by five bay, two-storey house of red brick (the top storey was added later), which remains the nucleus of the present building. The architect is unknown, but a note dated 1694 among the Anson papers which says simply 'Waiting for Smith', together with what is known of the proportions and style of the building, must raise the possibility that it was William Smith (1660-1724) of Warwick, the elder brother of the more famous Francis. When first built, the house overlooked a small village of sixteen cottages strung out along a street leading down to the Essex Bridge across the River Trent. When Thomas Anson (1695-1773) inherited the estate in 1720 his first priority seems to have been to buy up and demolish the nearby village houses (the villagers were re-housed in new cottages at Great Haywood, across the river), and in 1731 he acquired the nearby mill, with its pond and stream.  This enabled him to convert the farm landscape into a park, and to enlarge the millpond into a small lake. Between 1737 and 1740 he purchased several further small pieces of land, so that by 1741 he owned a quarter of the village.

Shugborough Hall in 2012.

From the first, Thomas had some funds to invest in improvements at Shugborough, derived from his mother's Carrier inheritance, but his finances and ambition seem to have been radically transformed after 1744, when his brother George (later Admiral Lord Anson) returned from his circumnavigation of the globe with the captain's share of the prize money for the Nuestra Señora de Covadonga in his cabin trunk. The two brothers were always close, and since neither was then married or had children (George married in 1748 but remained childless), they seem to have embarked on a collaborative development of Shugborough and the establishment of the Ansons as one of the leading gentry families in Staffordshire, in the ultimate interest of their nephew, George Adams, who stood to inherit the estate. Extension of the estate remained a priority, and by the time he died in 1773, Thomas owned over 1,000 acres.  The area immediately around the house had become a ferme ornée with extensive tree planting and the creation of many ornamental buildings and monuments, mostly in the fashionable Rococo Chinoiserie style, taking inspiration from Lord Anson's visit to China in 1743. 

Shugborough: the ferme ornée landscape and follies in 1768, by Nicholas Dall. Image: © National Trust Images

The lake was embellished with a Chinese pagoda (built of timber and lost in a flood of 1795) and the surviving Chinese House, built on what was at first an island in the moat.

Chinese House at Shugborough, from a watercolour by Moses Griffith, c.1780. Image: © National Trust/Sophia Farley

Shugborough: the Chinese House in 1984. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved
Shugborough: the Rococo interior of the Chinese House, 1996. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved
At the same time as work was beginning on developing the gardens, Thomas embarked on a major enlargement of the house (c.1745-50) by the addition of pavilions either side of the central block of the 1690s and joined to it by single-storey links decorated with pedimented aedicules.  The pavilions have domed semi-circular bows on the main (east) front. The architect employed is not known for certain, but Eileen Harris has made a powerful case for attributing the work to Thomas Wright on stylistic grounds, and it seems likely that Wright was also responsible for some of the decorative buildings in the grounds, particularly the Shepherd's Monument in its original form and the artificial ruins, made from demolished parts of the medieval house, on the lawn beside the lake.  

Shugborough: the artificial ruins on the west lawn by Nicholas Dall, 1775.  Image: National Trust Images

Shugborough: ceiling of former drawing room with plasterwork by Vassalli, c.1748
Image: Tony Hisgett. Some rights reserved

Inside the house, two main rooms survive from the Wright period: the former drawing room and Thomas Anson's library. The drawing room (now dining room) is decorated with stuccowork by one of the Vassalli brothers and a series of large architectural capriccios, commissioned in Bologna but later altered by Nicholas Dall (d. 1776), a Danish scene-painter and landscape artist who came to Britain in the early 1750s and was commissioned by Thomas Anson to depict his house and gardens. 

Shugborough Hall: library. 

The library was formed from a room in the corner of the original house and the single-storey link to the second pavilion, and therefore has a deep segmental arch, flanked by Ionic columns, through the former external wall. The bookcases are fitted into arched recesses, and both parts of the room have attractive plaster ceilings with reliefs of Fame and Minerva, and medallions of philosphers and the arts and sciences, presumably also made by Vassalli to Wright's designs. In this room, Thomas Anson built up a remarkable library with a particular focus on architecture and archaeology, including for example a complete set of Piranesi's engravings of Rome, which was sadly all dispersed at the great sale of 1842 (see below). Among the rooms that have been lost was a new dining room made in the centre of the west front, which had a large projecting five-windowed bow encircled by attached columns and crowned with a balustrade, building which seems to have necessitated the demolition of a surviving part of the medieval house.  Although only two rooms survive from the 1740s, it is clear that the whole house was redecorated at that time. To an extent, the house was developed as something of a museum commemorating the Admiral's nautical achievements: the entrance hall, for example, being embellished with 'sea pieces and stucco' commemorating the Admiral's naval victories, while a gallery was fitted with an arched recess containing a model of the Centurion, the ship in which he circumnavigated the globe.

Nicholas Dall's view of the west front of Shugborough, with the Chinese House, orangery, ruins and classical colonnade
© National Trust Images/John Hammond

In 1762 the Admiral died and left his fortune to Thomas, who began a further round of improvements to the house and park. The park was expanded to the south and west and landscaped, possibly to the design of Capability Brown (whom the Admiral had employed at Moor Park) but more probably to the design of William Emes (who worked later for Thomas at Oakedge Hall).  In the new parkland Thomas built a series of major Grecian monuments to the design of James ("Athenian") Stuart, whose book Antiquities of Athens was financed by the Society of Dilettanti of which Thomas was a founder member. 

Shugborough: the Arch of Hadrian, 1761-64. Image: Paul Brooker. Some rights reserved.

The most prominent monument, and one of the first to be built, was a copy of the Arch of Hadrian at Athens, which stands on the highest point in the park. It was built in 1761-64 and became Thomas' memorial to his brother and sister-in-law. The upper stage of the arch contains marble sarcophagi, surmounted by busts of them, flanking a naval trophy symbolising the spoils of war: the busts, trophy, and medallions of Minerva and Neptune establishing naval discipline, were carved by Peter Scheemakers, a sculptor who was much employed by Anson.

Shugborough: The Tower of the Winds, 1765. The ground-floor windows were inserted in 1803 when it was converted into a dairy for Lady Anson. Image: Richard Styles. Some rights reserved.

Next came the Tower of the Winds, erected at the opposite end of the lake to the pagoda, which is a fairly faithful copy of the Classical original, as engraved by Stuart. The Shugborough version was originally intended to carry sculpted reliefs of the winds on the frieze panels round the top of the walls, and these appear to be shown on Moses Griffith's watercolour of the building: they may perhaps have been painted in trompe l'oeil.  The tower contains an upstairs banqueting room with a domed and coffered ceiling; the lower room was more simply decorated but furnished with casts of centaurs and a statue of Mercury.

The Tower of the Winds
from The Antiquities of Athens
Shugborough: Choragic monument
of Lysicrates
Perhaps the most interesting of the Grecian monuments is the copy of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, also known as the 'Lanthorn of Demosthenes', which Stuart found embedded in the wall of a Capuchin monastery in Athens. Only the base of the original survived, but from holes in the upper surface of the stone flower on top, Stuart deduced that it had been intended as a monumental plinth to support a bronze tripod, and he published a conjectural restoration in The Antiquities.  At Shugborough, Anson gave Stuart the opportunity to reconstruct the tripod in three dimensions, and when casting the great bowl was found to offer technical difficulties, Anson brought in his friends Matthew Boulton and Josiah Wedgwood to solve the problem, which was done by substituting pottery for bronze. 

Thomas Anson also employed Athenian Stuart to rebuild his town house in London, Lichfield House, 15 St James' Square, in 1763-66, and in about 1768 Anson made further alterations to the house at Shugborough, adding an extra storey to the links in order to increase the bedroom accommodation. This spoilt the external proportions and gave the house a rather barracks-like appearance in an engraving of 1786.

Shugborough Hall from an engraving (after Moses Griffith), 1786.

Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson from 1806, inherited the Shugborough estate in 1789. He immediately set about a major remodelling of the house, carried out between 1790 and 1798, and then between 1803 and 1806 undertook further works, mostly in the park. His architect was the neo-Classicist Samuel Wyatt (1737-1807), elder and more reliable brother of James Wyatt, who specialised in the design of country houses and modern farm buildings in a restrained and refined manner, and who had previously done work at several neighbouring estates, including Blithfield and Tixall. His new wing at Tixall, indeed, could be seen from the park at Shugborough.  

Wyatt's brief at Shugborough was to bring visual unity to the main facades and to further increase the accommodation. He increased the size of the wings, extending them especially on the west front, which allowed him to create a large drawing room in the north wing, to enlarge many other spaces in the house, and to create rooms of varied shapes. As a result of these changes, many rooms required new decorative treatments. In the entrance hall, Wyatt introduced eight scagliola columns defining an oval space within the almost square room and adding a spatial subtlety the space had not possessed before. The Red Drawing Room in the newly-expanded north wing is the grandest surviving interior of the Wyatt period, and has a fine stucco ceiling by Joseph Rose the younger and a chimneypiece by Richard Westmacott.

Shugborough Hall: the Red Drawing Room by Samuel Wyatt, 1790s.  Image: ©National Trust Images/Mike Williams

Externally, he removed the balustraded parapet from the central block but added one to the wings, to adjust the proportions between the two, but his main changes were to add a large eight-column Ionic colonnade across the whole width and lower two storeys of the central block, to simplify and refine the external detailing, and to reface the whole house with a covering of polished and painted slate - a technique he also used at Soho House, Birmingham. The whole project cost £5,500, of which the slatework accounted for half.

In the second phase of Wyatt's work, between 1803 and 1806, he demolished the old dining room in the centre of the west front and replaced it with a long projecting saloon, reputedly in preparation for a visit by the Prince Regent, who never came. The new room was 52 feet long and austerely grand, with a parade of six 'yellow antique' scagliola columns with Corinthian capitals down either side, and a pair of simple but delicate chimneypieces by Charles Rossi.

Shugborough Hall: west front, showing the projecting saloon added in 1803-06 and altered in 1920.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

In 1795 there was a disastrous flood at Shugborough, when the river burst its banks and swept away the Chinese pagoda and much of the Rococo park layout.  The loss of these whimsical features of the ferme ornée was not regretted, and the flood prompted a complete redesign of the landscape to the design of John Webb, formerly the partner of William Emes whom Thomas Anson had employed at Oakedge Hall in 1771.  Lord Anson and Webb sought to adapt what had been a purely ornamental layout to also meet the needs of modern scientific farming; he intended the Park Farm to become the pre-eminent example of scientific farming in the county. John Webb was paid some £9,500 for his work at Shugborough between 1795 and 1805. The line of the main Stafford-Lichfield road was diverted across Cannock Chase, a new channel was dug for the River Sow to reduce the flood risk, and the park was greatly extended. The few remnants of the old Shugborough village that survived near the Tower of the Winds were cleared away and replaced by new cottages at Great Haywood. The expansion of the park entailed building new drives and pairs of lodges on the Stafford and Lichfield approaches. 

Shugborough: Lichfield Lodges in 1984. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved

The Lichfield Lodges were originally built at Great Haywood, but moved to their present site on the south-west side of the park when the London & North-Western Railway was driven through the estate in about 1845. They were designed by Samuel Wyatt and are a charming, beautifully proportioned and delightfully crisp design, consisting of twin cubes, either side of the drive, with Tuscan columns in antis flanking recessed centres.  Wyatt also designed a new home farm, Park Farm, near the Tower of the Winds, which is now a museum.

The 1st Viscount was succeeded in 1818 by his son, Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount and, from 1831, 1st Earl of Lichfield. He inherited a flourishing and solvent estate, but through a general tendency to extravagance, buying land, election expenses, hunting and horse-racing, he accumulated debts of over £600,000 by 1841. In that year he was sued for a debt of £20,000 by a London lawyer who seems also to have been his bookie, and having exhausted the potential of the estate to support additional mortgages, he was obliged to auction off the majority of the contents of Lichfield House in London and Shugborough. Through this sale were dispersed Thomas Anson's library and collections of antique sculpture and old master paintings, as well as a fine cellar of wine. Following the sale, the Earl went abroad to live cheaply in France, and Shugborough was shut up and largely abandoned. When he did return, in 1747, he lived mainly at Ranton Abbey rather than at Shugborough.

The revival of Shugborough was left to his son, Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield, who married a younger daughter of the 1st Duke of Abercorn in 1855. He determined to refurbish and refurnish Shugborough, and to finance this sold Lichfield House in London to the Clerical, Medical & General Insurance Company. The renewal of Shugborough was entrusted to the leading decorators, Morant & Boyd, who redecorated the main rooms and supplied furniture, curtains, carpets and even pictures. The 2nd Earl also bought a lot of good 18th century French furniture to replace the lost contents of the reception rooms.

Although Shugborough had been brought back into use, the vast mortgage on the estate was not reduced by the 2nd Earl, and with the onset of the Agricultural Depression this became a major concern. The 2nd Earl handed over responsibility for the estate to his heir, Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield, in 1880, who over thirty years achieved the task of putting the estate on a sound footing, by taking on the estate management himself, renting out Ranton Abbey, supplementing his income through taking on company directorships. He was devoted to Shugborough and the family history and purchased some Admiral Anson memorabilia, as well as re-arranging the contents of the house to emphasise their importance in relation to the family history. He moved objects from outbuildings and brought them into the main house for safer preservation: for example, Admiral Anson's Chinese porcelain  and mirror paintings were moved from the Chinese House in 1885. In 1899 he undertook a major redecoration of the house under the direction of Amadée Joubert, who also made alterations to the staircase, and in 1911 he created a billiard room from a number of smaller spaces to the design of H.L. Anderson.

When the 3rd Earl was killed in a shooting accident in 1918, his son, Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, succeeded to the estates. He was faced with an immediate crisis in terms of a severe outbreak of dry rot caused by water seeping through Samuel Wyatt's patent slate facing of the exterior and spreading through the structure behind. In 1920 the whole exterior of the house was stripped and the slate replaced by stucco under the direction of Alan Munby. At the same time, the central bay on the west front was remodelled, the windows lengthened, pilasters added, and the original attic windows replaced by a high parapet with a central bulls-eye window. These were the last major alterations made by the family.  During the Second World War the park became a large military camp, and some damage was done to the park monuments. At the 4th Earl's death the house was accepted in lieu of death duties by the Government, and passed to the National Trust for preservation. The Trust granted a lease of the estate to Staffordshire County Council, and the two bodies have worked together to carry out extensive restoration work on both the house and the park buildings.  The family retained a large flat in the house until the death of the 5th Earl in 2005, but this part of the house is now also open to visitors.

Descent: sold 1546 to William Paget... sold to Thomas Whitby, who sold 1624 to William Anson (d. 1628) of Dunston; to son, William Anson (1628-88); to son, William Anson (1656-1720); to son, Thomas Anson (1695-1773); to nephew, George Adams (later Anson) (1731-89); to son, Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson; to son, Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson and 1st Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield; accepted in lieu of tax and presented to National Trust after his death.

Oakedge Hall, Colwich, Staffordshire

The house stood on rising ground south of the river Trent, about a mile south-east of Shugborough, and within the same manor. There was an early 17th century house here, which seems to have been the main home of the Anson family until the new house was built at Shugborough in the 1690s. Oakedge was presumably rented from the Whitby family (who had earlier sold Shugborough to the Ansons), and it was associated with a series of fishponds which perhaps imply that it was not a very grand or sophisticated building. But nothing is known of the architecture of the building, which was replaced in about 1744 by a new house built for John Whitby (d. 1750).

Oakedge Hall, Colwich: detail of a painting by Nicholas Dall, 1773, sold at Christies New York in 2013.

This was a plain astylar seven bay, three-storey house of yellow stone (at first called Whitby Wood), with a three-bay centre and a central pedimented doorcase. A romantic elegy published in 1832 recalled "its tapestry-glooming galleries, its saloons of pictures and cabinets, its polished oaken floors and dark carved wainscots". In about 1765 Thomas Anson bought the house as a residence for his unmarried sisters, and it was also used by the family while alterations were in progress at Shugborough in the 1760s and 1790s. After that, the house was abandoned, and by 1817 it was mostly boarded up, with just a few rooms inhabited by old retainers. By 1832 it had been demolished and the foundations filled in and grassed over. The grounds were landscaped by William Emes in 1771: his design (in the Staffordshire Record Office) shows very sinuous carriage drives and naturalistic planting.

Descent: John Whitby (d. 1750); to son, Rev. Thomas Whitby (d. 1828), who sold c.1765 to Thomas Anson (1695-1773); to sisters, Isabella Anson (b. 1685) and Joanna Anson (d. 1787); to nephew, George Anson (1731-89); to son, Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson; to son, Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson & 1st Earl of Lichfield, who demolished the house.

Orgreave Hall, Staffordshire

Orgreave Hall: north front. Image: Susan Ward.

A moderate sized L-shaped house, built probably in 1668, which was considerably enlarged over the next sixty or so years. It now has main fronts to the north and south. The south front has projecting two-storey wings with hipped gables, joined by an open arcade which seems to be Victorian in its present form but may have earlier origins. The north front is in a rustic Baroque style, and has three storeys, with a parapet which sweeps down in convex quadrants far too close to the end windows, which are in any case dummies. The quoins must be a Victorian or later addition, keeping in the spirit of the facade, and are just thin layers of concrete stuck onto the the bricks.  The splendid doorcase with fluted Corinthian pilasters and a swan's neck pediment is of much higher quality and probably came from somewhere else. To the east of the house is an early 18th century stable block.

Descent: John Turton sold 1752 to Admiral George Anson (1697-1762), 1st Baron Anson; to nephew, George Adams (later Anson) (1731-89); to son, Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson; to son, Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson and 1st Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, who sold 1953...

Ranton Abbey, Staffordshire

Ranton Abbey in 2011. Image: Jim

Ranton was the site of an Augustinian abbey, founded in about 1150 and dissolved in 1536. Only the 14th century tower and part of the south wall remain, although the cloisters and other parts are known to have still been standing in 1663. A new house of which little is known was built after that date, and William Baker was acting as surveyor of works, presumably for alterations, in 1748-49 and 1752-53.

The present three-storey eleven bay red brick house with a projecting three-bay pedimented centre and rather curious end elevations with a pedimental gable the full width of the facade, was built in 1820 for the 1st Earl of Lichfield and used as a base for large shooting parties. It was let later in the Victorian period, and was gutted by fire in 1941 while occupied by the bodyguard of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Substantial ruins of the house survive today, including the external walls to full height.

The estate was sold to the Wedgwood porcelain company in the 1950s but bought back by the 5th Earl in 1987 with a view to restoring the house or building a replacement as a seat for his descendants. Realisation of these plans was delayed for many years due to objections from English Heritage. Permission was finally granted in December 2005, about a month after Lord Lichfield died, and the estate was sold in 2008 and again in July 2011 (for around £3.5 million), but no works have yet taken place beyond the removal of ivy from the ruins. The permission granted was for the building of a new Palladian-style house close to the ruins, and involving the demolition of most of the 1820 building, but it would seem far more logical, and probably no more expensive, to stabilise and restore the existing building.

Descent: ...Sir Jonathan Cope (c.1692-1765), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Charles Cope (c.1743-81), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir Charles Cope (c.1770-81), 3rd bt.; to uncle, Sir Jonathan Cope (c.1758-1821), 4th bt., who sold c.1819 to Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson and 1st Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, who sold c.1955 to Wedgwood & Co. Ltd.; sold 1987 to Thomas Patrick John Anson (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield; to son, Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson (b. 1978), 6th Earl of Lichfield, who sold 2008.

Anson family of Shugborough, Viscounts Anson and Earls of Lichfield

Anson, William (c.1580-1645). Parentage unknown, born about 1580. Educated at Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1597). He married Joan, daughter of Robert Mitchell alias Whitehall of Oldbury (Worcs) and had issue:
(1) William Anson (1628-88) (q.v.)
He lived at Dunston (Staffs). He bought the manor of Shugborough in 1624 and also the manors of Bolehall, Tamworth (sold 1615) and Glascott (Warks).
He died after 10 May 1645; his (verbal) will was proved 7 October 1645. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Anson, William (1628-88) of Shugborough. Son of William Anson (d. 1645) and his wife Joan, daughter of Robert Mitchell alias Whitehall of Oldbury (Worcs), born 1628. He unsuccessfully claimed the right to bear arms at the heralds' visitation of Staffordshire in 1663. He married Elizabeth (d. 1668), daughter of Thomas Stafford of Bothams Hall (Derbys) and had issue including:
(1) William Anson (1656-1720) (q.v.)
(3) Elizabeth Anson;
(4) Joanna Anson; married, 17 November 1684, Edward Slaney of Baxterley
(5) Mary Anson;
(6) Thomas Anson (b. 1663), baptised 11 June 1663;
(8) Dorothy Anson (b. 1664), baptised 9 March 1664;
(7) Stafford Anson (b. 1666), baptised 6 August 1666.
(2) Charles Anson (b. 1667), baptised 2 September 1667;
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1644.
He died in 1688. His wife died in October 1668.

William Anson 1656-1720
Anson, William (1656-1720) of Shugborough.  Son of William Anson (1628-88) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Stafford of Botham Hall (Derbys), born 1656. Lawyer. He married, 20 April 1682, Isabella, daughter and co-heir of Charles Carrier of Wirksworth (Derbys), and had issue, with one other child who died young:
(1) Elizabeth Anson (b. 1683; fl. 1720), baptised 24 November 1683; died unmarried after 1720;
(2) Isabella Anson (b. 1685; fl. 1720), baptised 17 March 1685; living in 1720;
(3) William Anson (b. & d. 1687), born 2 February 1687; died in infancy, 24 February 1687;
(4) Mary Anson (1688-1762?), born 29 January 1688; possibly the person of this name who was buried at St. Sepulchre, Holborn, London, 14 September 1762;
(5) Janetta Anson (1690-1771), born 26 February 1690; married Sambrooke Adams (1701-34) of Sambrooke (Salop) and had issue including a fourth son, George Adams (1731-89) (q.v.), who inherited the Shugborough estate in 1773;
(6) Anna Anson (d. 1782) of Oakedge Hall, Colwich; died unmarried; will proved 13 June 1782;
(7) Thomas Anson (1695-1773) (q.v.);
(8) George Anson (1697-1762), 1st Baron Anson (q.v.);
(9) Joanna Anson (1699-1787) of Oakedge Hall, Colwich, baptised 11 May 1699; died unmarried; will proved 7 April 1787;
(10) William Anson (b. 1703), baptised 10 August 1703; probably died young.
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father, and began rebuilding the house in 1693, perhaps to the design of William Smith the elder.
He died in August 1720; his will was proved in the PCC, 22 October 1720. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Thomas Anson (d. 1773)
Anson, Thomas (1695-1773) of Shugborough. Eldest surviving son of William Anson (1656-1720) and his wife Isabella, daughter of Charles Carrier of Wirksworth (Derbys), born 1695. Educated at St John's College, Oxford (matriculated 1711) and Inner Temple (admitted 1708; called to bar, 1719). He undertook the Grand Tour, visiting Paris and Spa in 1723 and Padua, Rome, Naples and Florence in 1724-25. In 1734 he visited the Levant and in 1740-41 he went abroad again, visiting Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alexandria and Rosetta, travelling up the Nile to Cairo, and then going on to Cyprus and Aleppo. He was a founder member of the Society of Dilettanti in 1732. MP for Lichfield, 1747-70.  In 1748-49 he was sent to Paris to prepare for peace negotiations with France by Lord Sandwich. He amassed a large collection of classical statuary with the help of Nollekens in Rome and Sir John Dick, British Consul at Livorno, which remained at Shugborough until 1842. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1720 and added large wings in c.1748. In 1762 he inherited almost all the property of his younger brother, Admiral Lord Anson, but he sold Moor Park in 1763 and used the proceeds to employ Athenian Stuart to design buildings for the park and also to built him a town house at 15 St James' Square, London. He also employed Matthew Brettingham to design a house in Spring Gardens for him before 1764. In 1765 he bought Oakedge Hall, Colwich, as a home for his unmarried sisters and in 1771 he employed William Emes to landscape the grounds there.
He died 30 March and was buried at Colwich, 10 April 1773; his will was proved 30 April 1773. 

Admiral George Anson
Anson, Admiral George (1697-1762), 1st Baron Anson. Second surviving son of William Anson (1656-1720) and his wife Isabella, daughter of Charles Carrier of Wirksworth (Derbys), born 23 April 1697. Served in the Royal Navy from February 1711/2 (Midshipman, 1716; 2nd Lieutenant, 1718; Commander, 1722; Post-Captain, 1724; Rear-Admiral of the Blue, 1740 and of the White 1745; Vice-Admiral 1746; Admiral, 1748); served on South Carolina Station, 1724-30, 1732-35, where relatively light duties left him time for mixing in colonial society; engaged in protecting British trade in West Africa and the West Indies, 1737-39; sent to harry Spanish shipping and colonies around South America, and to capture Spanish treasure, 1740, during the course of which activity he circumnavigated the world, 1740-44 and captured the treasure ship Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, a major prize (the captain's share of which made him rich); first commander of the newly created Western Squadron, established to guard British home waters, 1746-47, in which capacity he had a further major victory against a French convoy off Cape Ortegal; a Lord of the Admiralty, 1744-51, in which capacity he was a significant reformer, formalising the ranks of naval officers and establishing the first uniform for officers; First Lord of the Admiralty, 1751-56, 1757-62; Whig MP for Hedon, 1744-47; an Elder Brother of Trinity House, 1749-62 (Master, 1752-56). Created 1st Baron Anson of Soberton (Hants), 13 June 1747 (an advancement to Viscount, with a special remainder in favour of his nephew, George Adams, was pending at the time of his death); sworn of the Privy Council, 1750. He married, 25 April 1748, Lady Elizabeth Yorke (1725-60), daughter of 1st Earl of Hardwicke but had no issue.
He purchased 15 St James Square, London (later Lichfield House) as a town house in 1748. He bought Orgreave Hall in 1752. He paid £14,000 for the Moor Park (Herts) estate the same year and spent a further £6,000 employing Matthew Brettingham to make alterations to the house, 1752-54 and Capability Brown to lay out the grounds in 1754-59. 
He died 6 June 1762 while walking in the grounds at Moor Park and was buried at Colwich; the barony became extinct on his death; his will was proved 16 June 1762. His wife died 1 June 1760 and was buried at Colwich.

Anson (né Adams), George (1731-89) of Orgreave Hall. Fourth son of Sambrooke Adams (d. 1734) of Sambrooke (Salop) and his wife Janette, daughter of William Anson (d. 1720) of Shugborough, baptised 25 July 1731. Whig MP for Saltash, 1761-68, Lichfield, 1770-83. He changed his name to Anson by royal licence in 1773, on inheriting the Shugborough estate. He married, 5 January 1763, Hon. Mary (1739-1821), daughter of George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, and had issue:
(1) Mary Anson (1763-1837), born 8 December 1763; married, 22 January 1785, Sir Francis Ford (1758-1801), 1st bt. of Barbados and Ember Court (Surrey) and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 20 January 1837;
(2) Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson (q.v.);
(3) Anne Anson (1768-1822), born 22 February 1768; married, 20 December 1792, Bell Lloyd (d. 1845) of Crogan (Merioneths), second son of Bell Lloyd of Bodfach (Montgomerys) and had issue; died 25 May 1822;
(4) Gen. Sir George Anson (1769-1849) GCB (q.v.);
(5) Ven. Charles Anson (1770-1827), born 20 August 1770; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1788; BA 1792; MA 1795); ordained deacon, 1793 and priest, 1794; rector of Lyng 1794-1827 and Mautby (Norfolk), 1804-27; Archdeacon of Carlisle and rector of Great Salkeld (Cumbld), 1805-27; died unmarried and was buried at St. George's Hanover Square, 13 June 1827; will proved 20 September 1827;
(6) Sir William Anson (1772-1847), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(7) Rev. Henry Anson (1773-1854), born 19 December 1773; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1791; BA 1795; MA 1798); ordained 1797; rector of Gresham (Norfolk), 1798-1801; rector of Oxnead (Norfolk), 1801-54, Swanton Abbot (Norfolk), 1807-26, Skeyton (Norfolk), 1807-54, perpetual curate of Bylaugh (Norfolk), 1826-27; rector of Lyng-cum-Whitwell (Norfolk), 1827-54; died unmarried, 17 October 1854; will proved in PCC, 2 January 1855;
(8) Edward Anson (1775-1837); born 25 April 1775; educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1794); Capt. in Kings Own Staffordshire Regt.; married, 21 January 1808 at New Windsor (Berks), Harriott, daughter of James Ramsbottom and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 18 March 1837; will proved 7 August 1837;
(9) Lt-Col. Sambrooke Anson (1778-1846), born 18 February and baptised 15 March 1778; educated at Eton; Lt-Col. of 1st Foot Guards; married, 13 August 1831, Elizabeth Hawkins (d. 1866) and had issue one daughter; died 10 October 1846 and was buried in Norwood Cemetery, 16 October 1846; will proved 12 November 1846;
(10) Very Rev. Frederick Anson  (1779-1867), born 23 March 1779; educated at Christ Church and All Souls College, Oxford (matriculated 1797; BA 1801; MA 1804; BD and DD 1839); ordained deacon, 1802 and priest, 1803; rector of Sudbury, 1803-10; vicar of Marston-upon-Dove (Derbys), 1804-40 and Longford (Derbys), 1809-40; prebendary of Southwell, 1826-39; Dean of Chester Cathedral, 1839-67, where he began the process of restoring the Cathedral; married, May 1807, Mary Anne, only daughter of Rev. Richard Levett of Milford (Staffs) and had issue five sons and four daughters, from whom descended the Anson-Horton family of Catton Hall who will be the subject of a future post; died 8 May 1867; 
(11) Catherine Juliana Anson (1780-1843), born 27 December 1780 and baptised 21 January 1781; married, 17 March 1807, Capt. Henry Stuart and had issue at least one daughter; died at Cheltenham (Glos), 5 July 1843.
He lived at Orgreave Hall until 1773, and at Shugborough thereafter, where he continued the works begun by his uncle and added to the estate. Orgreave was let after he inherited Shugborough. In 1789 he purchased 16 St James' Square, London - the house next door to Lichfield House - perhaps with thoughts of rebuilding the latter on a larger scale. The existing building was demolished in 1790 but the site was sold again in 1804.
He died 27 October 1789; his will was proved in the PCC, 18 February 1790. His widow died in London, 11 December 1821; her will was proved in the PCC, 7 February 1822.

Anson, Thomas (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson. Eldest son of George Anson (né Adams) of Orgreave Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, born 14 February 1767. Educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1784; MA 1788); undertook a Grand Tour in 1788-89, visiting Geneva, Florence, Rome and Venice. A keen agriculturalist, whose kitchen garden "was used as a kind of Academy for the study of Horticulture". Whig MP for Lichfield, 1789-1806; through the influence of Charles James Fox he was created 1st Viscount Anson, 17 February 1806. He married, 15 September 1794 at Holkham (Norfolk), Lady Anne Margaret Coke (1779-1843), second daughter of Thomas William Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, and had issue:
(1) Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson & 1st Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Anne Margaret Anson (1796-1882), born 3 October and baptised 15 November 1796; married, 12 August 1819 at Holkham (Norfolk), Archibald John Primrose (1783-1868), 4th Earl of Rosebery and had issue; died 19 August 1882; administration of goods granted 11 December 1882 (estate £6,614);
(3) Maj-Gen. Hon. George Anson (1797-1857), born 13 October and baptised 16 November 1797; educated at Eton; served in the Army 1814-57 (but was on half pay 1827-53); MP for Great Yarmouth, 1818-35, Stoke-on-Trent, 1835-37, Staffordshire South, 1837-53; Storekeeper of the Ordnance, 1835-41; Clerk of the Ordnance, 1841, 1846-52; returned to the Army as Maj-General, 1853; Chief of the Madras Army, 1854-56; Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in India, 1856-57; a good looking and well-known "man about town" and a prominent racehorse owner who won the Derby in 1842 and the Oaks in 1844; married, 30 November 1830, Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Annabella (1805-58), third daughter of Cecil Weld-Forester, 1st Baron Forester, and had issue three daughters; died of cholera at Kernal (India), 27 May 1857, while marching north to deal with the Indian Mutiny; his body was later exhumed and returned to England where he was reinterred in Kensal Green Cemetery; will proved in PCC, 27 July 1857 and a further grant of administration issued, 31 May 1860;
(4) Hon. Charles Littleton Anson (1799-1812), born 28 January and baptised 13 March 1799; midshipman in Royal Navy; killed on board HMS Bacchante by the accidental and unexplained explosion of a gun, 1812;
(5) Capt. Hon. William Anson (1801-30), born 26 February and baptised 2 March 1801; educated at Eton; Capt. in the Royal Navy; appointed CB, 13 November 1827; died unmarried and was buried at Shugborough, 19 October 1830;
(6) Georgiana Anson (b. & d. 1802); born 6 June and baptised 7 June 1802; died in infancy and was buried 9 June 1802;
(7) Hon. Henry Anson (1804-27), born 15 March and baptised 21 April 1804; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1822; BA 1825); travelled in the Middle East with John Fox-Strangways, but was arrested for entering a mosque; released by  the good offices of the French consul but died at Aleppo, of plague contracted while in jail, May 1827; will proved 15 July 1828;
(8) Edward Anson (b. & d. 1805), born 21 and baptised 24 July 1805; died in infancy;
(9) Hon. Georgiana Anson (1807-21), born 3 January and baptised 3 March 1807; died young 10 February 1821 and was buried at Holkham, 16 February 1821;
(10) Hon. Edward Harcourt Anson (1808-17), born 20 August 1808 (a twin brother died at birth); died young, 26 June 1817;
(11) Hon. Frances Elizabeth Anson (1810-99), born 9 January and baptised 7 March 1810; married 1st, September 1835, Hon. Charles John Murray (1810-51), second son of David William Murray, 3rd Earl of Mansfield and had issue three sons and two daughters; married 2nd, 10 September 1853, Ambrose Isted (d. 1881) of Ecton Hall (Northants); died 25 December 1899;
(12) Hon. Frederica Sophia Anson (1814-67), born 24 August and baptised 2 September 1814; married, 21 April 1838, Hon. Bouverie Francis Primrose, second son of Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery, by his first wife; died 11 October 1867;
(13) Hon. Elizabeth Jane Anson (1816-94), born 28 February and baptised 10 June 1816; Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Victoria, 1864-90 and Extra Lady, 1890-94; married, 18 July 1837, Henry Manners Cavendish (1793-1863), 3rd Baron Waterpark, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 15 September 1894 and was buried at Doveridge (Derbys).
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his uncle in 1789 and employed Samuel Wyatt to enlarge and remodel the house and build a model farm in the park. He also enlarged the park and removed Shugborough village to a new site outside it. Wyatt also altered his town house at 15 St James' Square, 1791-94.
He died in London, 31 July 1818 and was buried at Colwich, 10 August 1818, where he is commemorated by a monument designed by Sir Richard Westmacott; his will was proved in the PCC, 10 September 1818. His widow died in London, 23 May 1843, and was buried at Shugborough, 31 May 1843 where she is commemorated by a monument designed by John Francis; her will was proved 15 July 1843.

Anson, Gen. Sir George (1769-1849) GCB. Second son of George Anson (né Adams) of Orgreave Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, born 1769. Educated at Eton, 1779-85. Served in the Army from 1786 (Lt., 1791; Capt., 1792; Major, 1794; Lt-Col., 1798; Col., 1805; Maj-Gen., 1810; Lt-Gen, 1819; General, 1827) and was particularly noted for his distinguished conduct in several campaigns during the Peninsular War, 1809-13, for which he was thanked by the House of Commons, 1816. Colonel of 23rd Dragoons, 1814-18 and of 4th Dragoon Guards, 1827-49. MP for Lichfield, 1806-41. Aide-de-camp to King George III, 1805; Groom of Bedchamber to Duke of Kent, 1800; Equerry to HRH the Duke of Kent 1810-20 and subsequently to Duchess of Kent; Groom of the Bedchamber to HRH the Prince Consort (Prince Albert); Governor of Chelsea Hospital, 1849 and Lt-Governor, 1846-49. He married, 1800, Frances (d. 1834), sister of Sir Frederic Hamilton, 5th bt., of Silverton Hill, and had issue:
(1) Augustus George Anson (1801-29), born 13 August 1801; Lt. in 11th Dragoons; married, 4 December 1823 at Madeira, Barbara Park, neice of Mungo Park; died 10 May 1829;
(2) Mary Anne Anson (1803-75), born 28 January and baptised 24 February 1803; married 1st, 17 September 1823, Rev. Charles Gregory Okeover (1792-1826) and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 14 February 1833, Robert Plumer Ward (1765-1846) of Gilston Park (Herts); died 30 January 1875; will proved 16 February 1875 (estate under £5,000);
(3) Capt. Octavius Henry St. George Anson (1817-59), born 28 September and baptised 7 October 1817; served in 9th Lancers; married 1st, 20 February 1845, Katherine Harriette (d. 1849), daughter of James Wemyss, and had issue one son; married 2nd, 12 December 1850 at Cawnpore (India), Frances Elizabeth Manson; died 14 and buried 15 January 1859 at Mussoorie, Bengal (India); grant of administration 6 September 1862 (estate under £20);
(4) Francis Harcourt Anson (1804-31), baptised 4 May 1804; served in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1826); died unmarried, 20 July 1831;
(5) Frances Elizabeth Anson (b. & d. 1805), baptised 25 May 1805; died in infancy and was buried 3 July 1805;
(6) Maj. Frederick Walpole Anson (1806-48), born 21 May and baptised 15 June 1806; Major in the Bengal Army; married, 25 July 1827 at Agra (India), Catherine Hanson, and had issue three sons; died 12 November 1848 and was buried at Chelsea Hospital (Middx), 17 November 1848; he is commemorated by a monument in St Luke's, Chelsea designed by Samuel Cundy; will proved in PCC, 21 November 1848;
(7) Charlotte Isabella Anson (1807-42), baptised 9 May 1807; married, 29 March 1828 at Brighton (Sussex), Edward Richard Northey (1795-1878) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Malta, 18 January 1842;
(8) Theodosius Vernon Anson (1808-25), born 1808; died young, January 1825;
(9) Admiral Talavera Vernon Anson (1809-95), born 26 November 1809 and baptised 9 January 1810; served in Royal Navy, 1824-72 (Commander, 1838; Capt., 1841; Rear-Admiral, 1861; Vice-Admiral, 1866; Admiral, 1872); married 1st, 13 June 1843, Sarah Anne (1822-46), daughter of Richard Potter and had issue two sons; married 2nd, 24 August 1847, Caroline Octavia Emma Staveley (1829-94) and had issue one son and three daughters; died 8 September 1895; will proved 14 October 1895 (estate £320);
(10) Constantia Anson (1810-42), born 11 December 1810 and baptised 1 January 1811; married, 6 October 1831 at St Marylebone (Middx), Sir Robert North Collie Hamilton (1802-87), 6th bt. of Silvertonhill and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 28 November 1842;
(11) Sophia Anson (1812-64), born 20 October and baptised 18 November 1812; married, 11 June 1836 at St James, Westminster, John James Kinloch (1805-76) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 23 April 1864 and was buried at Teddington (Middx);
(12) Adelaide Frances Anson (1814-15), born 25 July 1814; died in infancy and was buried at Frant (Sussex), 15 January 1815;
(13) Rev. Thomas Anchitel Anson (1818-99), born 14 October and baptised 1 November 1818; educated at Eton and Jesus College, Cambridge (admitted 1838; BA 1843; MA 1847; cricket blue); ordained deacon, 1842 and priest, 1843; rector of Billingford (Norfolk), 1843-50 and Longford (Derbys), 1850-99; rural dean of Cubley, 1869-99; married, 5 August 1846 at Twyford (Norfolk), Anna Jane, daughter of Lt-Col. Henry Packe of Twyford Hall (Norfolk) and had issue three sons and seven daughters; died 3 October 1899; will proved 3 November 1899 (estate £4,975);
(14) Julia Henrietta Anson (1819-1886), born in France, 10 November 1819; Maid of Honour to HM Queen Victoria; married, 15 December 1841 at St George, Hanover Square, London, Sir Arthur Brinsley Brooke (1797-1854), 2nd bt., son of Sir Henry Brooke, 1st bt., and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 27 December 1886; will proved 10 March 1887 (estate £3,532);
(15) Edward Hamilton Anson (1821-1914), born at Caen (France), 2 December 1821; officer in Bengal Civil Service; Gentleman Usher; married, 1843 at Bath (Somerset), Louisa Clapcott and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 12 July 1914; will proved 6 August 1914 (estate £8,609).
He died 4 November 1849; his will was proved 8 December 1849. His wife died 24 February 1834.

Anson, Sir William (1772-1847), 1st bt. Third son of George Anson (né Adams) of Orgreave Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, born 13 August 1772. Served in the Army in the Peninsular War; appointed KCB and created a baronet, 30 September 1831. He married, 26 January 1815 at St Marylebone (Middx), Louisa Frances Mary (d. 1837), only child of John Dickenson of Birch Hall, Manchester, and had issue:
(1) Sir John William Hamilton Anson (1816-73), 2nd bt., born 26 December 1816; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1834); married, 27 July 1842, Elizabeth Catherine (d. 1903), daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Denis Pack KCB and had issue four sons and seven daughters, from whom descends the current Anson baronet; killed in a railway accident at Wigan (Lancs), 2 August 1873; will proved 19 September 1873 (estate under £30,000);
(2) Mary Louisa Anson (1818-56), born 5 January 1818; married, 8 July 1848, Rev. Matthew Thomas Farrer of Ingleborough (Yorks), vicar of Addington and Shirley (Surrey) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 15 November and was buried at Shirley 21 November 1856; administration of goods granted November 1859 (estate under £300);
(3) William Vernon Dickenson Anson (1819-42), born 10 February and baptised 10 March 1819; died unmarried, 1842;
(4) Very Rev. George Henry Grenville Anson (1820-98), born 19 July 1820; educated at Eton and Exeter College, Oxford; ordained 1843; vicar of Rusholme (Lancs); Archdeacon of Manchester, 1870-90; married, 27 June 1848, Augusta Agnes Hook; died 9 February 1898 and was buried at Rusholme; will proved 17 March 1898 (estate £10,979);
(5) Anne Georgiana Frances Anson (b. 1822), born 14 July 1822; married, 19 February 1846, Rev. William Thornton (1806-81) of Kingsthorpe Hall (Northants) and had issue two sons and five daughters; died 22 November 1911; will proved 20 January 1912 (estate £19,335);
(6) twin, Maj-Gen. Sir Archibald Edward Harbord Anson KCMG (1826-1925), born 16 April 1826; educated at home and locally in Woolwich; served with Army 1844-67 in Crimea, Mauritius, Madagascar and India; Lt-Governor of Penang, 1867-82 and during that period was four times Acting Governor of Straits Settlements; on retirement, JP for Sussex; married 1st, 9 January 1851, Elizabeth Mary (d. 1891), daughter of Richard Bourchier and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 15 May 1906, Isabelle Jane (d. 1923), daughter of Robert Armitstead of Dunscar (Lancs); died February 1925 aged 98 and was buried at Hastings Cemetery; will proved 5 June 1925 (estate £46,695);
(7) twin, Louisa Frances Maria Anson (1826-1904), born 16 April and baptised 22 May 1826; married, 16 April 1857, Francis Du Cane (1826-80) and had issue one son and seven daughters; died 14 January 1904; will proved 17 February 1904 (estate £4,560).
Through his wife he inherited the Birch Hall estate in Manchester, which was let to tenants and never became a family residence.
He died 14 January and was buried 19 January 1847 at Kensal Green (Middx). His wife died 25 July and was buried 1 August 1837 at Kensal Green.

Thomas William Anson,
1st Earl of Lichfield
Anson, Thomas William (1795-1854), 2nd Viscount Anson and 1st Earl of Lichfield. Eldest son of Thomas Anson (1767-1818), 1st Viscount Anson, and his wife Lady Anne Margaret, daughter of Thomas William Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, born 20 October 1795 and baptised at Colwich (Staffs), 17 November 1795. Educated at Eton c.1809-13 and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1814); Whig MP for Yarmouth, June-July 1818; succeeded his father as 2nd Viscount Anson, 31 July 1818; appointed to Privy Council, 1830; Master of the Royal Buckhounds at Windsor, 1830-34; created 1st Earl of Lichfield in the coronation honours of King William IV, 15 September 1831; Postmaster General, 1835-41, in which capacity he oversaw the introduction of the penny post; High Steward of Yarmouth, 1836-54. Described by Greville as "a fine fellow with an excellent disposition, liberal, hospitable, frank and gay, quick and intelligent", but he was also extravagant and given to betting, and through this and heavy electioneering expenses he severely overspent; in 1842 almost the entire contents of Shugborough except the family portraits were sold to pay his debts. He married, 11 February 1819 at St James, Westminster (Middx), Louisa Barbara Catherine (c.1802-79), daughter of Nathaniel Phillips of Slebech Hall (Pembs) and had issue:
(1) Lady Louisa Mary Anne Anson (1820-82); married, 26 November 1838, Lt-Col. Edward King-Tenison (d. 1878) of Kilronan Castle (Roscommon) and had issue two daughters; died 27 August 1882;
(2) Lady Anne Frederica Anson (1823-96); married, 29 August 1843, Francis Charteris (1818-1914), 10th Earl of Wemyss and 6th Earl of March and had issue seven sons and three daughters; died 22 July 1896;
(3) Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(4) Lady Harriet Frances Maria Anson (1829-98); married, 7 June 1851, Augustus Henry Venables-Vernon (1829-83), 6th Baron Vernon and had issue two sons and five daughters; died 15 February 1898 and was buried at Sudbury (Derbys); will proved 26 April 1898 (estate £11,720);
(5) Hon. William Victor Leopold Horatio Anson (1833-56), born 1 August 1833; officer in Royal Navy; died 1856;
(6) Lt-Col. Hon. Augustus Henry Archibald Anson (1835-77) VC, born 5 March 1835; served in 84th Foot and 8th Hussars (Lt-Col); awarded VC for actions during the Indian Mutiny in 1857; MP for Lichfield, 1859-68 and Bewdley, 1869-74; married, 1 December 1863, Amelia Maria (who m2, 13 August 1881, 8th Duke of Argyll and died 1894), daughter of Rt Rev. Thomas Legh Claughton DD, Bishop of St. Albans; died without issue at Cannes (France), 17 November 1877 and is commemorated by a monument in Lichfield Cathedral; will proved 13 April 1878 (estate under £4,000);
(7) Lady Gwendoline Isabella Anna Maria Anson (1838-1912); married, 19 April 1865, Nicholas Power O'Shee (d. 1902) of Gardenmorris (Waterford) and had issue two sons; died 14 March 1912;
(8) Very Rev. & Hon. Adelbert John Robert Anson (1840-1909), born 20 December 1840; educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1859; BA 1862; MA 1867; DD); ordained 1865; rector of Woolwich (Kent), 1875-83; Bishop of Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1884-92, where he courted controversy by encouraging the English settler community to consider themselves superior to other settlers and native people and to hold themselves aloof; Master of St. John's Hospital, Lichfield, 1893-98 and assistant bishop of Lichfield; Canon Residentiary and Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral; died unmarried, 27 May 1909 and was buried at Colwich; will proved 25 August 1909 (estate £8,627).
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1818. In 1819 he purchased the Ranton estate where he built Ranton Abbey the following year.
He died 18 March 1854 at 2 Great Stanhope St., London. His widow died 20 August 1879 at 28 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London; her will was proved 11 October 1879 (estate under £7,000).

Thomas George Anson,
2nd Earl of Lichfield
Anson, Thomas George (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield. Eldest son of Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 1st Earl of Lichfield, and his wife Louisa Barbara Catherine, daughter of Nathaniel Phillips of Slebech Hall (Pembs), born 15 August 1825. Educated at Eton, 1839-41. Precis writer in Foreign Office, 1846-47; Liberal MP for Lichfield, 1847-54; Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, 1863-71. He married, 10 April 1855, Lady Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton (1834-1913), eldest daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, and had issue:
(1) Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Col. Hon. Sir George Augustus Anson (1857-1947), KCB of Rowley Hall (Staffs), born 22 December 1857; educated at Harrow and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; Capt. in Royal Artillery; Lt-Col. of Royal Field Artillery, 1915-16; Chairman, Staffordshire Territorial Forces Association, 1922-37; Chief Constable of Staffordshire 1888-1929; DL for Staffordshire; appointed MVO 1907, CBE 1925, KCB 1937; awarded KPM 1918; married, 27 September 1884, Blanche Mary (1863-1941), daughter of George Miller of Brentry (Glos) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 25 Mary 1947; buried at Crondall (Hants); will proved 29 August 1947 (estate £16,239);
(3) Maj. Hon. Henry James Anson (1858-1904), born 29 December 1858; served in 2nd bttn, Highland Light Infantry; ADC to Governor General of Canada; married, 27 October 1902, Lady Adelaide Audrey Ryder (d. 1956), daughter of Henry Dudley Ryder, 4th Earl of Harrowby; died without issue in Jersey, 26 February 1904; will proved 7 April 1904 (estate £7,760);
(4) Lady Florence Beatrice Anson (1860-1946), born 12 August 1860; married, 15 August 1885, Col. Sir Henry Streatfeild GCVO (1857-1938) of Chiddingstone (Kent), private secretary and equerry to HM Queen Alexandra 1910-25, and had issue one son; died 25 September 1946; will proved 22 February 1947 (estate £9,516);
(5) Hon. Frederic William Anson (1862-1917) of Cell Barnes (Herts), born 4 February 1862; JP for Hertfordshire; married 1st, 3 August 1886, Florence Louisa Jane (d. 1908), daughter of Lt-Col. John Henry Bagot Lane of Kings Bromley (Staffs) and had issue three sons and three daughters; married 2nd, 16 June 1915, Edith Emily (d. 1961), daughter of S.E. Rowland of Slinfold (Sussex); died 2 April 1917; will proved 5 June 1917 (estate £32,483);
(6) Hon. Claud Anson (1864-1947) of Ballyin, Lismore (Waterford), born 11 January 1864; educated at Harrow; JP and Vice-Lord Lieutenant for Co. Waterford; High Sheriff of Co. Waterford, 1909; married, 27 February 1901, Lady Clodagh Beresford (1879-1957), youngest daughter of 5th Marquess of Waterford and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 25 December 1947; will proved 24 June 1948 (estate in England £13,794);
(7) Lady Beatrice Anson (1865-1919), born April-June 1865; married, 30 July 1890, Lt-Col. Richard Hamilton Rawson MP (1863-1918) of Gravenhurst, Bolney (Sussex) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 15 December 1919; will proved 13 March 1920 (estate £34,346);
(8) Hon. Francis Anson (1867-1928), born 7 March and baptised 23 May 1867; emigrated to America, 1884 and became an American citizen; stock rancher in Texas, but retired to England; served in WW1 as Capt. in South Wales Borderers, 1915-16; married, 15 June 1892, Caroline (1873-1951), second daughter of George Cleveland of Coleman, Texas (USA) and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 13 April 1928; will proved 29 June 1928 (estate £136,125);
(9) Lady (Mary) Maud Anson (1869-1961), born 8 July 1869; appointed OBE 1920; married, 19 July 1893, Hon. Edward Alan Dudley Ryder (1869-1949), son of Henry Dudley Ryder, 4th Earl of Harrowby and had issue one son and two daughters; died 22 September 1961; will proved 18 December 1961 (estate £31,183);
(10) Lady Edith Anson (1870-1932), baptised 23 December 1870; married, 29 April 1895, Lionel Fortescue King (1865-1929), 3rd Earl of Lovelace, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 8 October 1932;
(11) Hon. William Anson (1872-1926) of Christoval, Texas (USA), born 19 April 1872; emigrated to USA, 1890 and became an American citizen, 1902; married, 17 July 1917, Louisa Goddard (c.1887-1952), daughter of Frederick de Voe Van Wegenen of Fulton, New York (USA) and had issue one daughter; died 22 June 1926;
(12) Lady Evelyn Anson (1873-95), born Oct-Dec 1873; died unmarried, 2 July 1895; will proved 6 September 1895 (estate £5,169);
(13) Hon. Alfred Anson (1876-1944), born 15 April 1876; educated at Harrow; emigrated to USA, 1910; served in WW1 as Captain in Sussex Yeomanry; Officer of the Crown of Italy; married, 1 July 1912, Leila (c.1878-1953), daughter of Gen. Charles T. Alexander of Washington DC (USA) and widow of John Josiah Emery of New York (USA) (by whom she had issue); died without issue, 25 March 1944 in New York (USA).
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1854 and restored and redecorated the house shortly afterwards, using the proceeds from the sale of Lichfield House in London in 1856.
He died in London, 7 January 1892 and was buried at Great Heywood (Staffs); his will was proved 14 April 1892 (estate £180,713). His widow died 23 April 1913 and was buried at Great Heywood, 26 April 1913; her will was proved 30 May 1913 (estate £14,488).

Anson, Thomas Francis (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield. Eldest son of Thomas George Anson (1825-92), 2nd Earl of Lichfield, and his wife Lady Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton, eldest daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, born 31 January 1856 at Chesterfield House, Mayfair, London. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1874; BA 1878). JP, DL and County Alderman for Staffordshire; Director of the National Provincial Bank Ltd. and the Bank of Australasia; Deputy Governor of Hudson's Bay Co., 1888-89; President of MCC, 1897; a Liberal Unionist in politics, he contested Lichfield unsuccessfully at the 1886 election, and was one of the founders of the Social Welfare Association for London, 1910. He married, 5 November 1878, his first cousin twice removed, Lady Mildred Coke (1854-1941), daughter of Thomas William Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, and had issue:
(1) Lady Bertha Anson (1879-1959), born 22 August 1879; married, 23 October 1902, Hon. Thomas Henry Frederick Egerton (1876-1953), son of Francis Charles Granville Egerton, 3rd Earl of Ellesmere, and had issue two daughters; died 30 August 1959; will proved 27 November 1959 (estate £8,701);
(2) Lady Mabel Anson (1882-1972), born 18 July 1882; married, 12 October 1914, Atholl Laurence Cunyngham Forbes (1882-1953), 21st Lord Forbes and had issue two sons; died 21 March 1972;
(3) Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(4) Lady Violet Anson (1886-1974), born 21 April 1886; married, 29 July 1912, Col. Lancelot Mare Gregson OBE (d. 1935), second son of Rev. Charles Gregson of Burdon and Murton (Co. Durham) and had issue one son and four daughters; died 17 September 1974;
(5) Hon. Arthur Augustus Anson (1887-1960), born 29 July 1887; educated at Harrow; married, 31 July 1929 (sep. 1933), Beatrice Dora (b. 1890) (who married 1st, 1913 (div. 1920), James Alexander Guthrie and 2nd, R.E. Sassoon), daughter of Walter James of Hampstead (Middx); died 30 August 1960 at the Priory Hospital, Roehampton; will proved 27 October 1960 (estate £4,298);
(6) Maj. Hon. Rupert Anson (1889-1966), born 7 November and baptised 13 December1889; educated at Harrow; served in WW1 as Capt. in Royal Fusiliers; Major in King's Royal Rifle Corps; served in WW2 with Special Operations Executive; married, 26 November 1919, Marion (k/a Mollie) Emma Ruthven (d. 1965), daughter of James Halliday and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 20 December 1966.
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1892 and carried out alterations to the house in 1899 and 1911.
He died as a result of a shooting accident, 29 July 1918 and was buried at Great Heywood, 2 August 1918; his will was proved 12 September 1918 (estate £304,082). His widow died at Cranbourne Court (Berks), 12 May 1941; her will was proved 30 July 1941 (estate £32,760).

Thomas Edward Anson,
4th Earl of Lichfield
Anson, Thomas Edward (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield. Eldest son of Thomas Francis Anson (1856-1918), 3rd Earl of Lichfield, and his wife Lady Mildred Coke, daughter of Thomas William Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, born 9 December 1883. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. ADC and Acting Master of Horse to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1906-10; served in WW1 as Captain in 5th City of London Rifles; Lord High Steward of Stafford, 1933-60; DL and JP for Staffordshire. He married 1st, 11 July 1911, Evelyn Maud (1887-1945), only daughter of Col. Edward George Keppel of Sprowston Grange (Norfolk), and 2nd, 23 February 1949, Violet Margaret (1899-1988), younger daughter of Henry Dawson Dawson-Greene of Slyne and Whittington Hall (Lancs) and formerly wife of Lt-Col. Humphrey Burgoyne Philips (by whom she had issue two sons) of Heybridge, Tean (Staffs), and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas William Arnold Anson (1913-58), Viscount Anson (q.v.);
(1.2) Lady Betty Marjorie Anson (b. 1917; fl. 2003), born 12 March 1917; married, 20 May 1944, Col. Thomas Foley Churchill Winnington MBE (d. 1999) and had issue two sons and three daughters; 
(1.3) Hon. Edward John Anson (1919-43), born 19 February 1919; served in WW2 as Lieutenant in Royal Navy; died unmarried following an accident while returning to duty at a naval dockyard during the black-out, 6 October 1943 and was buried at Great Haywood;
(1.4) Lady Cecilia Evelyn Anson (1924-63); served in WW2 in WRNS; married, 30 September 1947 (div. 1961), Maj. John Henry Wiggin and had issue two sons; died 16 January 1963.
He inherited the Shugborough estate from his father in 1918. He sold Orgreave Hall in 1953 and Ranton Abbey in 1955. At his death, the estate was accepted in lieu of death duties by the Government and presented to the National Trust.
He died 14 September 1960 and was buried at Great Heywood; his will was proved 9 December 1960 (estate £223,971). His first wife died 16 April 1945. His widow died in October 1988.

Anson, Thomas William Arnold (1913-58), Viscount Anson. Elder son of Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, and his first wife, Evelyn Maud, daughter of Col. Edward George Keppel, born 4 May 1913. Educated at Harrow and Staff College, Camberley; served in Grenadier Guards, 1935-55 (2nd Lt, 1935; Lt., 1938; Capt., 1940; Major 1948; retired as Lt. Col, 1955); Deputy Assistant Adjutant- and Quartermaster-General in Middle East and Italy, 1942-44; General Staff Officer, London District, 1944-46. He married 1st, 28 April 1938 (div. 1948), Anne Ferelith Fenella (1917-80), daughter of Hon. John Herbert Bowes-Lyon, and 2nd, 12 May 1955, Monica (d. 1969), only daughter of Commander Ralph Neville RN and formerly wife of Maj. Peter Holdsworth Hunt MC and Robert Maxstone Inglis, and had issue:
(1.1) (Thomas) Patrick John Anson (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(1.2) Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Anson (b. 1941), born 7 June 1941; granted rank of an Earl's daughter, 12 July 1961; founded Party Planners, 1960; Director of Debrett's Peerage Ltd, 1979-83; President of Action for ME, 1995-; Chairman of Rupert Lund Assocs and Cadogan Co.; married, 27 July 1972 (sep. 1985; div. 2009), Sir Geoffrey Adam Shakerley (1932-2012), 6th bt. (who m1, 1962, Virginia Maskell (d. 1968) and had issue two sons; and m3, 2010, Virginia (née Hobson)), and had issue one daughter.
He died 18 March 1958. His first wife married 2nd, 16 September 1950 at Glamis Castle, Prince Georg of Denmark, and died in 1980. His widow married 4th, 29 July 1959 (div.), Lt-Col. Eric Astley Cooper-Key and died 8 November 1969.

'Patrick Lichfield',
5th Earl of Lichfield
Anson, (Thomas) Patrick John (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield. Only son of Thomas William Arnold Anson (1913-58), Viscount Anson, and his first wife, Anne Ferelith Fenella, daughter of Hon. John Herbert Bowes-Lyon, born 25 April 1939. Educated at Harrow and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Lieutenant in Grenadier Guards, 1959-62; photographer (as Patrick Lichfield); FBIPP; FRPS; Freeman of the City of London, 1981; ambassador for Voluntary Service Overseas; director of Burke's Peerage and proprietor of Burke's Club; he also established (with Viscount Linley) a chain of restaurants called Deals. Author of The Most Beautiful Women, 1981; Lichfield on Photography, 1981; A Royal Album, 1982; Patrick Lichfield's Unipart Calendar Book, 1982; Creating the Unipart Calendar, 1983; Hot Foot to Zabriskie Point, 1985; Lichfield on Travel Photography, 1986, Not the Whole Truth (autobiography), 1986; Courvoisier's Book of the Best, (ed.), 1986; 5th edn., 1994; Lichfield in Retrospect (with Charles Mosley), 1988; Queen Mother: the Lichfield selection (ed.), 1990; and Elizabeth R: a photographic celebration of 40 years, (ed.), 1991; he was also a frequent broadcaster. He married, 8 March 1975 (div. 1986), Lady Leonora Mary Grosvenor LVO (b. 1949), elder daughter of Robert George Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster, and had issue:
(1) Lady Rose Meriel Margaret Anson (b. 1976), born 27 July 1976;
(2) Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson (b. 1978), 6th Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(3) Lady Eloise Anne Elizabeth Anson (b. 1981); married, 7 September 2013 at Cranborne (Dorset), Louis Alexander Philip Waymouth, son of Nigel Waymouth.
Following his divorce, Lord Lichfield had a long-term relationship with Lady Mary Annunziata Asquith, to whom he left the bulk of his personal fortune for life at his death.
He retained a flat at Shugborough Hall and repurchased the Ranton Abbey estate c.1987 with a view to reconstructing the house there as a new family seat.
He died following a stoke, 11 November 2005, and was buried in the old family vault at Colwich; his will was proved in 2006 (estate approx. £5.7m).

Anson, Thomas William Robert Hugh (b. 1978), 6th Earl of Lichfield. Only son of (Thomas) Patrick John Anson (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield, and his wife Lady Leonora Mary Grosvenor, daughter of 5th Duke of Westminster, born 19 July 1978 and baptised in Lichfield Cathedral, 15 October 1978. He succeeded his father as 6th Earl of Lichfield, 11 November 2005. He married, December 2009, Lady Henrietta Tamara Juliet Conyngham (b. 1976), daughter of Henry Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham and had issue:
(1) Thomas Ossian Patrick Wolfe Anson (b. 2011), Viscount Anson, born 20 May 2011;
(2) Hon. Finnian Anson (b. 2014), born 12 August 2014.
He inherited the Ranton Abbey estate and the lease on a flat at Shugborough Hall from his father in 2005. He sold Ranton in 2008 and gave up the flat in 2010.
Now living.


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 2324-27; The Olio, vol. 8, 1832, pp. 87-88; E. Harris, 'A flair for the grandiose', Country Life, 2 September 1971; D. Jaques, Georgian Gardens, 1983, pp. 85, 143; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, pp. 236-38; J.M. Robinson, Shugborough, 1989; G. Jackson-Stops, 'The orient and the antique: the Shugborough landscape', Country Life, 11 July 1991; T. Mowl & D. Barre, The historic gardens of England: Staffordshire, 2009, pp. 103-20; S. Jeffery, 'The formal gardens at Moor Park in the 17th and early 18th centuries', Garden History, 42:2, 2014, pp. 157-77; J. Phibbs, 'A list of landscapes that have been attributed to Lancelot 'Capability' Brown - revisions', Garden History, 42:2, 2014, pp. 281-6.

Location of archives

Anson family, Viscounts Anson and Earls of Lichfield: deeds and estate records for Shropshire, Staffordshire and London property, and family papers, 1330-20th cent. [Staffordshire County Record Office, D615, D991, D3394, D5056, D5800; D6120]; Norfolk deeds, manorial records and estate papers, 18th-19th cents [Norfolk Record Office, FOS559-66]; plans of a house in Hanover Square, London, 1769 [Hampshire Archives & Local Studies, 6M59 Box 1/32]
Anson, Admiral George (1697-1762), 1st Baron Anson: correspondence and official papers, 1740-62 [British Library Add MSS 15855, 15955-57; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich MS 91]

Coat of arms

Quarterly, 1st, argent, three bends engrailed gules, in the sinister chief a crescent of the last (for Anson); 2nd, ermine, three cats-a-mountain passant guardant in pale sable (for Adams); 3rd, azure, three salmon naiant in pale or and argent (for Sambrooke), 4th, sable, a bend or between three spear heads argent (for Carrier).

This account was last revised 13th December 2014.