Rufane Shaw Donkin
Lieutenant General Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin, was a British army officer of the Napoleonic era and Member of Parliament. Rufane Donkin came of a military family and was the eldest child of General Robert Donkin, who had served with many famous British commanders including Wolfe and Gage and his Colonel, William Rufane. Young Rufane was baptised at St David's Church, Exeter on 9 October 1772 with the name Rusaw Shaw Donkin. Becoming a captain in 1793, Donkin saw active service in the West Indies in the next year, gaining promotion to major in 1796. At the age of twenty-five he became a lieutenant-colonel and in 1798 led a light battalion with distinction in Popham's expedition to Ostend, he served with Cathcart in Denmark in 1807 and two years won command of a brigade of three regiments in the army in Portugal, which he led in victory at the Second Battle of Porto. On the day before the Battle of Talavera, an advance French force surprised Donkin's brigade before they could post pickets: the British had over 400 casualties.
Donkin rallied the men at the main line and led the brigade throughout the battle. The Army transferred Donkin, in the role of quartermaster-general, to the Mediterranean command, he served there from 1810 to 1813, taking part in the Catalan expeditions under Lieutenant-General Frederick Maitland and Lord William Bentinck. In July 1815, the now Major-General Donkin received a posting to India, distinguishing himself as a divisional commander in Hastings's operations against the Mahrattas and receiving the KCB as his reward; the death of his young wife Elizabeth Frances née Markham affected him, after that he went to the Cape of Good Hope on extended sick leave. From 1820 to 1821 he administered the Cape Colony with success as acting Governor, he named the rising seaport of Algoa Bay Port Elizabeth in memory of his wife and in August 1820 erected a memorial to her on a hill overlooking Algoa Bay. In 1821 he became a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order; the rest of Donkin's life passed in political work.
He was one of the original fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, was a member of the Royal Society and of many other learned bodies. His theories as to the course of the River Niger, published under the title Dissertation on the Course and Probable Termination of the Niger, involved him in a good deal of controversy. From 1832 to 1837 he sat in the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed, in 1835 became Surveyor-General of the Ordnance, he was elected as MP for Sandwich in 1839, held that seat until he committed suicide at Southampton on 1 May 1841. He was a general, colonel of the 11th Regiment of Foot, he is listed as one of the important graves lost on the Burdett Coutts Memorial in Old St. Pancras Churchyard in London. Rufane Donkin's cousin, Charles Collier Michell, served as the surveyor-general of the Cape Colony. Donkin Heritage Trail "Archival material relating to Rufane Shaw Donkin". UK National Archives. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Rufane Shaw Donkin
South Street, Mayfair
South Street is a street in Mayfair, England. It runs west to east from Park Lane before merging into Farm Street. Notable buildings include the private house, Aberconway House, listed for sale in 2007 by the developer and estate agent Portman Heritage at £46 million. Historical residents include the courtesan Catherine Walters who lived there from 1872 until her death in 1920. Media related to South Street, London at Wikimedia Commons
John Dewar, 2nd Baron Forteviot
John Dewar, 2nd Baron Forteviot was a Scottish businessman and soldier, notable as being head of the whisky giant Dewar's and of the Distillers Company and a Director of the Bank of Scotland. He was born on 17 March 1885 the eldest child and only son of Sir John Dewar, 1st Baron Forteviot and his wife Johann Tod, his uncle was 1st Baron Dewar. He was sent to Rugby School in England as a boarder, followed by New College at Oxford University. In the First World War he served as a Colonel in the Scottish Horse Regiment, serving in the Balkans and Egypt, he won the Military Cross for bravery. From 1922 to 1924 he served as Lord Provost of Perth and was Deputy Lieutenant of Perthshire. On the death of his father in 1929 he succeeded to the title of Baron Forteviot, he held the title of Brigadier in the Royal Company of Archers, the monarch’s official bodyguard in Scotland. In 1943, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposers were James Watt, Sidney Lord Elphinstone, James Pickering Kendall, John Edwin MacKenzie.
He died at his country estate of Dupplin on 24 October 1947. He is buried at Aberdalgie south-west of Perth; the grave lies attached to the church within the family enclosure to the rear of the church. He married twice, firstly in 1919 to Marjory Winton Isobel Heaton-Ellis, secondly in 1946 to Marjory’s sister, Mrs Muriel Cecil Harriette Cavendish, they had no children. When John died the baronetcy passed to his younger half brother Henry Dewar
Alan Burns, 4th Baron Inverclyde
John Alan Burns, 4th Baron Inverclyde, KStJ was a Scottish nobleman, the son of James, 3rd Lord Inverclyde and Charlotte Mary Emily née Nugent-Dunbar. He was educated at the Royal Military College in Berkshire. Joining the Scots Guards, he was wounded by a German bullet while going'over the top' in France, he reached the rank of Lieutenant in the First World War. As a subaltern in the Scots Guards he fought in France until wounded by a bullet through the palm of one hand. Gangrene impeded swift healing, but at last he was ready to return to the front and confided in a friend that if he had to die for it, he would try to win a decoration for gallantry in action to make his father proud of him, but instead of being sent overseas he was shunted into a'cushy' job at the War Office. Burns succeeded as Lord Inverclyde on the death of his father on 16 August 1919, was invested as a Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John and admitted to the Royal Company of Archers, he married, Olive Sylvia Sainsbury, daughter of Arthur Sainsbury, millionaire owner of the J Sainsbury chain of grocery shops, on 23 November 1926.
They divorced in Scotland in 1928. She went on to marry the racehorse trainer Captain James Townsend Pearce. Secondly he married June Howard-Tripp, daughter of Walter Howard-Tripp, on 21 March 1929; as simply'June', she had been a well established star of revue and silent films, but gave up her showbusiness career on marriage, although this too was to end in divorce, in 1933. Inverclyde published a memoir of two cruises: in his steam yacht the Sapphire to India and Malaya in 1924/5, in the Beryl around the Mediterranean in 1929. Entitled Porpoises and People, it was published in 1930. Although in part dedicated to his wife, in her own memoirs, June states that Burns never told her or anyone else he was writing it, he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the newly-formed 74th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, in the Territorial Army on 11 January 1939, held the position until 1944. During the Second World War he served in France as a captain in the Scots Guards and as ADC to the General Officer Commanding Lines of Communication before being evacuated from St Nazaire.
Inverclyde was on board the RMS Lancastria when she was sunk off St Nazaire on 17 June 1940. He was rescued by the crew of HMT Cambridgeshire, a 443-ton anti-submarine trawler, requisitioned by the navy in August 1939, she was given a 4 inch gun, machine guns and depth chargers, she herself surviving the war and, after returning to peacetime trawling in 1945 as the Kingstone Sapphire, was scrapped in 1954. After returning to England, Lord Inverclyde presented each of his rescuers with a round rosewood box full of cigarettes, each box with an engraved silver plaque, each individually named and given the wording "... HMS Cambridgeshire, St Nazaire to Plymouth, 17 to 19 June 1940, from a grateful passenger, Inverclyde/Scots Guards". Not having inherited any business acumen from his immediate forebears he eschewed the idea of taking an active role in the running of the Cunard Steamship Company and preferred instead the pleasant job of aide-de-camp to the Governor of Gibraltar,1920-21. Inverclyde became a Lieutenant in the Reserve of Officers, in 1922 was Assistant Private Secretary, in an unpaid capacity, to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
After leaving his regiment he retired into private life as master of Wemyss and man-about-town with a bachelor flat in Mayfair. He acquired a yacht and a grouse moor. During the winter he rode with the Eglinton in Ayrshire, his civic duties were not obligatory and, according to his second wife, June, he never took more than cursory interest in local matters. He did, endow two public buildings which remain in use: the Inverclyde National Sports Training Centre at Largs and the Inverclyde Centre in Greenock as a British Sailors Society home, now used by the local authority's homeless persons unit, he had been chairman of the British Sailors' Society in Scotland for 18 years. He was awarded Commandeur Legion d’Honneur, La Medaille de la Reconnaissance, La Médaille de la Ville de Nancy, Honorary citizenship of the towns of Brest and Veulettes-sur-Mer and an Honorary doctorate of the University of Dijon, he was President of the Franco-Scottish Society, Chairman of Friends of France Council for Glasgow and West of Scotland and an Honorary Member of the Association of Francaise Libres.
Lord Inverclyde died on 17 June 1957, at the age of 59, without issue, the title becoming extinct on his death. The name Inverclyde was however resurrected in the early 1970s for the new local authority district centred on Greenock, a creation of the Local Government Act 1973; the local newspaper, the Greenock Telegraph, said that the name'would in a way be a tribute to a man whose interest in the area was always constant'. Inverclyde remains as a Scottish council area. Lord Inverclyde and People, Halton & Truscott Smith 1930 June Tripp, The Whole Story.. 1932 June Tripp, The Glass Ladder.. 1960
George Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough
George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough, DL, styled Earl of Sunderland until 1857 and Marquess of Blandford between 1857 and 1883, was a British peer. Marlborough was the eldest son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane, daughter of Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, he was the uncle of Winston Churchill. He was educated at Eton College between 1857 and 1860 and joined the army, gaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1863 in the service of the Royal Horse Guards, he was initiated into the rite of Freemasonry in January 1871 along with his brother Randolph, in the Churchill Lodge in London. Marlborough married firstly, Lady Albertha Frances Anne Hamilton, daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, on 8 November 1869 at Westminster Palace, she was unkindly described by her mother-in-law as "stupid and dull". They were divorced on 20 November 1883, shortly after Marlborough inherited the dukedom after the death of his father.
Though the new duchess was technically Albertha, Duchess of Marlborough after their divorce, she preferred to use the title she used throughout most of the couple's married life and was known as Albertha, Marchioness of Blandford. They had four children: Lady Frances Louisa Spencer-Churchill, married 6 June 1893 Sir Robert Gresley, 11th Baronet, by whom she had issue. Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough. Lady Lillian Maud Spencer-Churchill, married 6 October 1898 Colonel Cecil Grenfell, by whom she had two daughters. Lady Norah Beatrice Henriette Spencer-Churchill, married 1 December 1920 Francis Bradley Bradley-Birt, by whom she had issue. While married to Albertha, he fathered an illegitimate son known as Guy Bertrand and known as Guy Bertrand Spencer, by Edith Peers-Williams, still married to Heneage Finch, 7th Earl of Aylesford. In an attempt to pressure Lord Aylesford to drop his divorce suit, Lady Aylesford and Marlborough's younger brother, Lord Randolph Churchill, threatened the Princess of Wales that they would subpoena the Prince of Wales as a witness in the divorce.
Guy Bertrand Spencer, whom Marlborough cared more for than his legitimate children, worked in a brewery. He married, in Lily Blanche Minnie Saville, a coachman's daughter. Spencer served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during World War I. At the end of his life he lived at 2 Glaziers Lane, Surrey and died in hospital at Knaphill, Surrey, on 31 March 1950; the duke was cited as one of four co-respondents in the sensational divorce trial of Lady Colin Campbell. He married, as his second wife, Lilian Warren Price, the widow of Louis Carré Hammersley, a New York real-estate millionaire, a daughter of retired United States Navy Commodore Cicero Price; the civil marriage took place on 29 June 1888 at New York City Hall, with the ceremony officiated by the Mayor of New York City, Abram S. Hewitt. A religious ceremony followed the same day, in the chancel of Tabernacle Baptist Church and presided over by its minister, Dr. Daniel C. Potter. There were no issue from this marriage; the 8th Duke of Marlborough died in 1892, aged 48 at Blenheim Palace, was succeeded by his only legitimate son, Marquess of Blandford.
List of Freemasons Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by George Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough
Robert Vansittart, 1st Baron Vansittart
Robert Gilbert Vansittart, 1st Baron Vansittart, known as Sir Robert Vansittart between 1929 and 1941, was a senior British diplomat in the period before and during the Second World War. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1928 to 1930 and Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1930 to 1938 and served as Chief Diplomatic Adviser to the British Government, he is best remembered for his opposition to appeasement and his strong stance against Germany during and after the Second World War. Vansittart was a published poet and playwright. Vansittart was born at Wilton House, Surrey, the eldest of the three sons of Robert Arnold Vansittart, of Foots Cray Place, Kent, a Captain in the 7th Dragoon Guards, by his wife Susan Alice Blane, third daughter of Gilbert James Blane, landowner, of Foliejon Park, Berkshire, his younger brother Guy Nicholas Vansittart had a successful career with General Motors before and after the war. He was recruited into “Z” Network during the 1930s and served in Special Operations Executive during World War II.
The Vansittart family was of Dutch descent: ancestors included Arthur Vansittart, Member of Parliament for Windsor, Colonel Arthur Vansittart, Member of Parliament for Berkshire. Henry Vansittart, Robert Vansittart and Lord Bexley were members of other branches of the family. A female-line ancestor was Lord Auckland. Vansittart was a second cousin of T. E. Lawrence. Known as Van, he was educated at St Neot's Preparatory School and Eton College, where he was a member of the Eton Society and Captain of the Oppidans, he travelled in Europe for two years to improve his French and German, where his experiences may have influenced his Germanophobia and Francophilia. Vansittart entered the Foreign Office in 1902, starting as a clerk in the Eastern Department, where he was a specialist on Aegean Islands affairs, he was an attaché at the British Embassy in Paris between 1903 and 1905, when he became Third Secretary. He served at the embassies in Tehran between 1907 and 1909 and Cairo between 1909 and 1911.
From 1911, he was attached to the Foreign Office. During the First World War, he was joint head of the contraband department and head of the Prisoner of War Department under Lord Newton, he took part in the Paris Peace Conference and became an Assistant Secretary at the Foreign Office in 1920. From that year to 1924, he was private secretary to the Foreign Lord Curzon. From 1928 to 1930, he was Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald. In January 1930 he was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, where he supervised the work of Britain's diplomatic service. Vansittart was suspicious of Adolf Hitler from the start and claimed that what Hitler said was "for foreign consumption", he thought Hitler would start another European war as soon as he "felt strong enough". Vansittart supported revising the Versailles Treaty in Germany's favour but only after Hitler was no longer in power. Vansittart believed that Britain should be firm with Germany, with an alliance between France and the Soviet Union against Germany essential.
Vansittart urgently advocated rearmament. In the summer of 1936, Vansittart visited Germany and claimed that he found a climate that "the ghost of Barthou would hardly have recognised" and that Britain should negotiate with Germany, he thought that satisfying Hitler's "land hunger" at Soviet expense would be immoral and regarded the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance as non-negotiable. It was because he believed that Germany had gained equality in Europe that Vansittart favoured facilitating German expansion in Africa, he thought that Hitler was exploiting fears of a "Bolshevist menace" as a cover for "expansion in Central and South-Eastern Europe". Like Sir Maurice Hankey, Vansittart thought in power politics terms, he thought Hitler could not decide whether to follow Joseph Goebbels and Alfred von Tirpitz in viewing Britain as "the ultimate enemy" or on the other hand adopting the Joachim von Ribbentrop policy of appeasing Britain in order to engage in military expansion in the East.
Vansittart thought that in either case time should be "bought for rearmament" by an economic agreement with Germany and by appeasing every "genuine grievance" about colonies. Vansittart wanted to detach Benito Mussolini from Hitler and thought that the British Empire was an "Incubus" and that Continental Europe was the central British national interest, but he doubted whether agreement could be had there; that was because he feared that German attention, if turned eastwards, would result in a military empire between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. At the Foreign Office in the 1930s, Vansittart was a major figure in the loose group of officials and politicians opposed to appeasement of Germany. In spite of his harsh opposition to appeasement with Germany, Vansittart had been on "very friendly terms with Herr Henlein". Henlein was the Nazi leader of the "separatist" Sudeten German Party, which secretly wanted annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany, he was plotting with Hitler the partition of Czechoslovakia, which would be agreed at the Munich Agreement.
Vansittart told Henlein that "no serious intervention in favour of the Czechs was to be feared from Great Britain and also from France." That reached Hitler in the second half of 1937, when he was deciding about his plan to overthrow Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in the world; the area was part of the manor of Eia and remained rural until the early 18th century. It became well known for the annual "May Fair" that took place from 1686 to 1764 in what is now Shepherd Market. Over the years the fair grew unpleasant and downmarket, became a public nuisance; the Grosvenor family, acquired land through marriage and began to develop it under the direction of Thomas Barlow. The work included Hanover Square, Berkeley Square and Grosvenor Square which were surrounded by high-quality houses and the Church of St George Hanover Square. By the end of the 18th century, most of Mayfair was built on with upper-class housing; the decline of the British aristocracy in the early 20th century led to the area becoming more commercial, with many houses converted into offices for major corporate headquarters and other businesses.
Mayfair retains a substantial quantity of luxury residential property, upmarket shops and restaurants, modern hotels along Piccadilly and Park Lane. Its prestigious status has been commemorated by being the most expensive property square on the London Monopoly board. Mayfair is in the City of Westminster, consists of the historical Grosvenor estate and the Albemarle, Berkeley and Curzon estates, it is bordered on the west by Park Lane, north by Oxford Street, east by Regent Street, the south by Piccadilly. Beyond the bounding roads, to the north is Marylebone, to the east Soho, to the southwest Knightsbridge and Belgravia. Mayfair is surrounded by parkland; the 8-acre Grosvenor Square is in the centre of Mayfair, its centrepiece, containing numerous expensive and desirable properties. Following analysis of the alignment of Roman roads, it has been speculated that the Romans settled in the area before establishing Londinium. Whitaker's Almanack suggested that Aulus Plautius built a fort here during the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43 while waiting for Claudius.
The theory was developed in 1993, with a proposal that a town grew outside the fort but was abandoned as being too far from the Thames. The proposal has been disputed because of lack of archaeological evidence. If there was a fort, it is believed the perimeter would have been where the modern Green Street, North Audley Street, Upper Grosvenor Street and Park Lane now are, that Park Street would have been the main road through the centre; this area was the manor of Eia in the Domesday Book, owned by Geoffrey de Mandeville after the Norman Conquest. It was subsequently given to the Abbey of Westminster, who owned it until 1536 when it was taken over by Henry VIII. Mayfair was open fields until development started in the Shepherd Market area around 1686–88 to accommodate the May Fair that had moved from Haymarket in St James's because of overcrowding. There were some buildings before 1686 – a cottage in Stanhope Row, dating from 1618 was destroyed in the Blitz in late 1940. A 17th-century English Civil War fortification established in what is now Mount Street was known as Oliver's Mount by the 18th century.
The May Fair was held every year at Great Brookfield from 1–14 May. It was established during the reign of Edward I in open fields beyond St. James; the fair was recorded as "Saint James's fayer by Westminster" in 1560. It otherwise continued throughout the 17th century. In 1686, the fair moved to. By the 18th century, it had attracted showmen and fencers and numerous fairground attractions. Popular attractions included bare-knuckle fighting, semolina eating contests and women's foot racing. By the reign of George I, the May Fair had fallen into disrepute and was regarded as a public scandal; the 6th Earl of Coventry, who lived on Piccadilly, considered the fair to be a nuisance and, with local residents, led a public campaign against it. It was abolished in 1764. One reason for Mayfair's subsequent boom in property development was it was able to keep out lower class activities. Building on Mayfair began in the 1660s on the corner of Piccadilly, progressed along the north side of that street. Burlington House was started between 1664–5 by John Denham and sold two years to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Burlington who asked Hugh May to complete it.
The house was extensively modified through the 18th century, is the only one of this era to survive into the 21st century. The origins of major development began when Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet married Mary Davis, heiress to part of the Manor of Ebury, in 1677; the Grosvenor family gained 500 acres of land, of which around 100 acres lay south of Oxford Street and east of Park Lane. The land was referred to as "The Hundred Acres" in early deeds. In 1721, the London Journal reported "the ground upon which the May Fair was held is marked out for a large square, several fine streets and houses are to be built upon it". Sir Richard Grosvenor, 4th Baronet asked the surveyor Thomas Barlow to design the street layout which has survived intact to the present day despite most of the properties being rebuilt. Barlow proposed a grid of straight streets, with a large place as a centrepiece. Buildings were constructed in quick succession, by the mid-18th century the area was covered in houses. Much of the land was owned by seven estates – Burlington, Millf