George Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne

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George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne DL (27 November 1912 – 25 August 1999) was a British peer and Conservative politician. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for Perthshire in 1950, he held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire in 1952. He held the office of Lord-in-Waiting between 1957 and 1958, he held the office of Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office between 1958 and 1962. He held the office of Minister of State, Commonwealth and Colonial Affairs between 1962 and 1964,[1] he was invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1964.


Petty-Fitzmaurice was the son of Lord Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice and grandson of Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne. His cousins, the 7th Marquess of Lansdowne and the 7th Marquess's younger brother, were both killed in action in August 1944 and Petty-FitzMaurice thus unexpectedly inherited his titles, except for the Lordship of Nairne, which was inherited by the 7th Marquess's sister Katherine Evelyn Constance Bigham (1912–1995). After his father's death, Petty-Fitzmaurice's mother Violet became the wife of John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever.


Petty-Fitzmaurice married four times, his wives being:

  • Barbara Dempsey Chase (1918–1965), only child of Harold Stuart Chase (1890–1970), a real-estate investor, of Santa Barbara, California, and Detroit, Michigan, and his wife, née Gertrude Boyer, formerly Stearns. They married on 18 March 1938; Lady Lansdowne died on 18 February 1965, from injuries sustained in "a shotgun blast in the gunroom at her Scottish home, Meikleour House .... The police called it an accident",[2] they had four children:
    • Caroline Margaret Petty-Fitzmaurice (8 January 1939 – 27 September 1956); she, like her mother, died in a shooting accident.[3]
    • Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 21 February 1941)
    • Robert Harold Mercer Nairne (born 16 February 1947), married Jane Elizabeth Gordon (born 1950), a cousin of Granville Charles Gomer Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly and had issue, two sons and one daughter. He is better known as a writer who lives in Scotland on the Mercer-Nairne estates inherited from his ancestress Emily Jane de Flahaut, 8th Lady Nairne, heiress of that family as of 1874. He has two sons, both married with issue, and one daughter:
      • Emily Jane Mercer Nairne (born 1974) married Dominic Robertson, has issue - three daughters.
      • Samuel George Mercer Nairne (born 1976), married Claire Aussudre, and has issue two sons (born 2009 and 2011) and one daughter.
      • Joseph Douglas (Joe) Mercer Nairne (born 1980), married Melissa Wakeley, and has issue, one son and one daughter.
    • Lady Georgina Elizabeth Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 10 January 1950), married Guy Hamilton in 1974 (divorced 1980), and married Robert Eric Miller in 1981 (divorced 1991). She lives in London and has two children and three grandchildren.
      • Josiah Stirling Hamilton (born 1975), married Justine Miller and lives in Santa Barbara, California - has issue, one son and one daughter.
      • Emma Carissa Hamilton (born 1977), married David Malina and lives in New York City - has issue, one daughter.
  • Selina Polly Dawson Carnegie, daughter of David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles and former wife of Robin Andrew Duthac Carnegie, on 22 December 1969. They were divorced in 1978. By this marriage, Lord Lansdowne had one stepson, Andrew James Carnegie (born 1963).
  • Gillian Anna Morgan (1936–1982), daughter of Alured A.E. Morgan and his first wife, the former Nancye Little-Jones, she and Lord Lansdowne married on 15 October 1978.
  • Penelope Eve Astor (died 2006), widow of Lord Lansdowne's half-brother the Hon. John Astor, former wife of David Rolt, and daughter of Commander George Francis Norton Bradford, they married on 12 July 1995.


  1. ^ George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-FitzMaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne
  2. ^ "Marchioness of Lansdowne, 46, Succumbs to Gunshot Wounds, The New York Times, 18 February 1965
  3. ^ "Marchioness of Lansdowne, 46, Succumbs to Gunshot Wounds, The New York Times, 18 February 1965


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Hawke
Succeeded by
The Earl of Gosford
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Petty-FitzMaurice
Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded by
Charles Petty-FitzMaurice