Thursday, 3 March 2016

(207) Ashley (later Ashley-Cooper) of Wimborne St. Giles, Earls of Shaftesbury - part 2

The second part of this post concerns the genealogy of the Ashley and Ashley-Cooper families. For an introduction to the family and their estates, and information about the houses they owned, please go to part 1 of this post.


Ashley family of Wimborne St. Giles


Ashley, Robert (d. 1432/33) of Budbury, Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts). Eldest son of John Ashley and his wife Edith, daughter of John Talbot of Salisbury (Wilts). MP for Wiltshire, 1419; Verderer of Pewsham and Melksham Forests (Wilts), 1414-32 and of Blackmore Forest, 1424-32; Escheator for Hampshire and Wiltshire, 1426-27. He married, by 1418, Gillian (c.1393-1476), only daughter and heiress of Sir John Hamely (d. 1398) and widow of John Plecy (d. 1416) of Shapwick Plecy (Dorset), and had issue:
(1) Edmund Ashley (fl. c.1460-80) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Ashley of Cranborne (Dorset); married Isabel [surname unknown] but died without issue before 1476.
He inherited properties near Trowbridge and in Salisbury, and leased lands near Berkeley. His wife inherited the manor of Wimborne St. Giles as a child.
He died shortly before 20 April 1433. His widow married 3rd, Sir Thomas Thame of Hampshire, and died in 1476.

Ashley, Edmund (fl. c.1460-80). Son of Robert Ashley (d. 1432/3) and his wife Gillian, only daughter and heiress of Sir John Hamely. He married Margaret, daughter of Robert Turgis, and had issue including:
(1) Hugh Ashley (d. 1493) (q.v.);
(2) Christian Ashley; married John Canterton.
He inherited the Wimborne St. Giles estate from his mother at her death in 1476.
His date of death is unknown.

Ashley, Hugh (d. 1493). Son of Edmund Ashley (fl. c.1460-80) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Robert Turgis. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Raynold Walwyn of Sussex, and had issue:
(1) A daughter, who married Stephen Wallop of Over Wallop (Hants) and had issue three sons, from whom descended the family of the Earls of Portsmouth;
(2) Henry Ashley (d. 1549) (q.v.).
He inherited the Wimborne St. Giles estate from his father.
He died 29 April 1493.

Ashley, Henry (d. 1549). Son of Hugh Ashley (d. 1493) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Raynold Walwyn of Sussex. He married Radegund (c.1495-1538), daughter of Robert Gilbert of Widcombe (Somerset), and had issue:
(1) Sir Henry Ashley (1519-88), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Anthony Ashley (d. c.1580), of Damerham (q.v.);
(3) Elizabeth Ashley*; a nun of Shaftesbury Abbey;
(4) Gyles Ashley; married Roger Bodenham (probably the man of that name (d. 1579) of Ramsbury (Wilts));
(5) Dorothy Ashley (fl. 1565); married John Alye (d. 1579), son of John Alye of Gussage St. Andrew (Dorset) and had issue one son and one daughter;
(6) Elizabeth Ashley*; married 1st, George Percy of Shaftesbury (Dorset) and 2nd, William Dackombe (fl. 1565) of Mere and Rushton;
(7) Anne Ashley; married John Osborne of Fordingbridge (Hants);
(8) Margaret Ashley; married John Hawles (d. 1571) of Wimborne Nuncross (Dorset); buried at Cranborne where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument;
(9) Edith Ashley (d. 1553); when it became legal for the clergy to take wives, she married, 1549, her 'old playfellow', the Rt. Rev. Paul Bushe (1490-1558), bishop of Bristol, but on the accession of Queen Mary and the restitution of Roman Catholicism he was arrested and required to recant and repudiate his wife; she died, perhaps in childbirth, before this could happen, 8 October 1553; their surviving son was raised by Sir Henry Ashley (1519-88), kt.
He inherited the Wimborne St. Giles estate from his father in 1493.
He died in 1549.
* There were apparently two daughters named Elizabeth. It was not all that uncommon in the 16th century to give two sons the same name, especially where there was a tradition that the male heir in each generation had the same forename, but it was less common with daughters. In this case it is possible that the two Elizabeths were one and the same person, since the one who was a nun can have been no older than her early 20s when Shaftesbury Abbey was dissolved in 1539 and she was released from her vows.

Ashley, Sir Henry (1519-88), kt. Son of Henry Ashley (d. 1549) and his wife Radegund, daughter of Robert Gilbert of Somerset, born 2 October 1519. MP for Shaftesbury, 1547 and for Dorset, 1554, 1563; Ranger of Holt Forest. Deputy Vice-Admiral of Dorset, 1551-82. Knighted at the coronation of Queen Mary, 1553. JP for Dorset, 1554-86 and Wiltshire, 1572-86; DL by 1577; High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 1555-56 and 1564-65; Commissioner for piracy, 1565; Col. of Musters, Shaftesbury division, 1587. He married Katherine (b. c.1522), a servant to Queen Anne of Cleves and daughter of Sir John Basset, kt. of Umberleigh (Devon) and Tehidy (Cornwall), and had issue:
(1) Sir Henry Ashley (1548-c.1605), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Edward Ashley.
He inherited the Wimborne St. Giles estate from his father in 1549. In 1571 he sold property at Trowbridge (Wilts) which had been in the family since 1414.
He died 27 December 1588.

Ashley, Sir Henry (1548-c.1605), kt. Son of Sir Henry Ashley (1519-88), kt. and his wife Catherine, daughter of Sir John Basset, kt. of Umberleigh (Devon), born 11 September 1548. JP for Dorset, 1580; MP for Wareham, 1572, Christchurch, 1586 and Poole, 1589. He was Vice-Admiral of Dorset, 1588, commanded HMS Scout at the time of the Armada, and also concerned himself with land defences against invasion. Gentleman Pensioner to Queen Elizabeth by 1586; knighted, 1603. Between 1589 and 1595 Ashley was involved in a series of disputes and prosecutions before the Privy Council and the Star Chamber over accusations of extortion, libel, a forged warrant and an affray on the streets of Salisbury, most probably driven by his urgent need for funds, as in 1589 it was claimed that his estates were indebted to the tune of £8,000. In the 1590s he obtained permission to travel to Ireland, where his brother-in-law, Lord Burgh, who was Lord Deputy, obtained for him the keepership of a castle near Waterford, but he was later relieved of the command by the Privy Council. In 1602 he again visited Ireland, taking a hundred Dorset men with him, perhaps with the intention of settling in Munster, but he was again recalled by the Privy Council. By 1596 he was actively trying to sell the Wimborne St. Giles estate, which he eventually disposed of to his cousin, Sir Anthony Ashley; but this did not fully resolve his financial embarrassments, and in 1605 he begged Cecil to relieve the distressed estate of himself, his wife, and his children. He married Anne, daughter of William Burgh, 4th Baron Burgh and had issue three sons and four daughters including:
(1) Henry Ashley (fl. 1622); died without issue.
He inherited the Wimborne St. Giles estate from his father in 1588, but sold it to his cousin, Sir Anthony Ashley (d. 1628), kt. and 1st bt., in 1600.
He died about 1605; as he had no lands no inquisition post mortem was held, but many years later administration of his goods was granted to his son, 7 November 1622. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Ashley, Anthony (d. c.1580)Second son of Henry Ashley (d. 1549) and his wife Radegan, daughter of Robert Gilbert of Somerset. He married Dorothy, daughter of John Lyte of Lytes Cary (Somerset) and had issue:
(1) Sir Anthony Ashley (1552-1628) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Ashley (1565-1641), born 2 July 1565; educated privately at Southampton and Salisbury and then at Hart Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1580), Magdalen College, Oxford (BA 1582; MA 1587) and the Middle Temple (called to bar 1595); he was lord of misrule in the Christmas festivities at both Oxford, 1587 and the Middle Temple, 1588; he quarrelled with his elder brother c.1590 and temporarily abandoned his studies to go abroad and fight under Sir Thomas Baskerville in the war against the Catholic league; MP for Dorchester, 1597; barrister-at-law with a practice that was not extensive, leaving him time to build up one of the finest private libraries of the time, eventually amounting to some 5,000 volumes; in 1618 he travelled through France and Spain and visited the library at the Escorial; throughout his life he published translations of a number of works relating to travel, manners and learning; he died unmarried and without issue and was buried at Temple Church, 4 October 1641; his will bequeathed his books to the Middle Temple;
(3) Sir Francis Ashley (1569-1635), kt.; educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1585; BA 1589) and Middle Temple (called to bar, 1596; reader, 1616); barrister-at-law; appointed serjeant-at-law, 1617 and king's serjeant, 1625, although his outspoken views met with considerable opposition, and he was censured and briefly imprisoned by parliament during 1628; as king's serjeant he represented the crown at the trial of John Felton, who that year had assassinated the Duke of Buckingham; he was knighted, 1618, in recognition of his strong support of the royal prerogative; JP for Dorset by 1614 and frequently Chairman of Quarter Sessions; Recorder of Dorchester from c.1610; MP for Dorchester, 1614, 1621 and 1625-26; married Anne, eldest daughter and co-heir of Robert Samways of Toller Fratrum (Dorset) and had (with other issue who died young) a daughter Dorothy, who married, 1626, Denzil Holles, Lord Holles; died 28 November 1635 and was buried at St. Peter, Dorchester;
(4) Jane Ashley (fl. 1565-1610); married 1st, Sir Francis Langley (1548-1602), and had issue seven children; lived in manor of Paris Garden at Bankside, Southwark, where Sir Francis built the Swan Theatre; when he died leaving debts and no will she was his administratrix and also had to deal with legal suits and claims on the estate; she married 2nd, George Delahaye of Reigate, Surrey (d.1608), but after his death returned to Paris Garden, where she was living in 1610;
(5) Katherine Ashley (fl. 1565).
He lived at Daverham.
He died about 1580.

Ashley, Sir Anthony (1552-1628), kt. and 1st bt. Eldest son of Anthony Ashley (d. c.1580) of Damerham and his wife Dorothy, daughter of John Lyte of Lytes Cary, born 1551/2. He received a typically aristocratic education involving military exercises and, probably, travel abroad, where he learned several foreign languages; and then studied at the New Inn and the Middle Temple (admitted 1574). He was taken under the patronage of Sir Christopher Hatton, who sent him in the early 1580s to France as tutor and companion to his heir and nephew William. Again due to Hatton's influence, he was made Clerk to the Privy Council, 1587-1609 and clerk of the castle and county court of York, 1589. MP for Tavistock, 1588 and for Old Sarum, 1592. In 1588, at the request of the privy council, he prepared and published, as The Mariners Mirrour, an English edition of Lucas Waghenaer's pioneering collection of sea charts (Leiden, 1584), adapted for English usage and supplemented by accounts of Drake's raid on Cadiz in 1587 and the defeat of the Armada in 1588. In 1589 he accompanied Drake and Norris on the expedition to Portugal, and when he reported the outcome to the Privy Council he was made responsible for the distribution of the booty. He accompanied the Queen to Oxford in 1592 and was one of eighteen royal servants made a Master of Arts. After the death of Hatton in 1591 he lacked a patron at court to advance his career, and accusations were made against him of frauds, embezzlement, oppression, and perversion of justice, some of which may have been well founded as he certainly profited during his years in office. He was the secretary of war for the attack on Cadiz in 1596 commanded by Howard and Essex, who knighted him. In the same year the godly preacher George Phillips dedicated The Aprill of the Church to Ashley, suggesting that he was seen as having puritan sympathies in religion. In 1609 he was accused of a murder dating back to 1591, and although he was exonerated by the Star Chamber in 1611, this came too late to save his career as he was pensioned off in 1610. JP for Middlesex, 1594- and for Dorset, 1599-1628; High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 1619-20. He was created a baronet in 1622, and at the same time paid for the baronetcy conferred on his son-in-law, Sir John Cooper, thus ensuring that his successors at Wimborne St. Giles would have the same rank. Despite having the reputation that he ‘never loved any but boys’, he married 1st, c.1590, Jane (d. 1619), daughter and co-heir of Philip Okeover of Okeover (Staffs) and widow of Thomas Cokayne (d. 1587) of Ravenston Grange (Derbys), and 2nd, 3 January 1621/2, Philippa Sheldon (c.1602-74), sister-in-law of the King's favourite George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and had issue:
(1.1) Anne Ashley (d. 1628) (q.v.)
He inherited his father's property in about 1580, and purchased the St. Giles House estate at Wimborne St. Giles from his cousin, Sir Henry Ashley, in 1600, for £1,600.
He died in London, 13 January 1627/8, when his baronetcy became extinct; and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, where he and his first wife are commemorated by a canopied table tomb; his will was proved 1 February 1627/8. His first wife died 27 April 1619. His widow married 2nd, Carew Raleigh (1605-66) and died in 1674.

Ashley, Anne (d. 1628). Only child and heiress of Sir Anthony Ashley (d. 1628), kt. and 1st bt. and his first wife, Jane, daughter and co-heir of Philip Okeover of Okeover (Staffs/Derbys) and widow of Thomas Cokayne esq. Her father's concern for the perpetuation of the Ashley lineage was such that her marriage contract included a provision that her eldest son should have the name Ashley, and that any barony to which he might be raised would have the same name. She married, 1 January 1616/7 at Wimborne St. Giles, Sir John Cooper (1597-1631), 1st bt., son of Sir John Cooper, kt., and had issue:
(1) Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (1621-83), 2nd bt., 1st Baron Ashley and 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2) Philippa Cooper (1623-1701); married, 1658 at Rockbourne (Hants), Sir Adam Browne (c.1626-90), 2nd bt., of Betchworth Castle (Surrey), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 20 May 1701 and was buried at Mickleham (Surrey); will proved 21 May 1701;
(3) George Cooper (1625-c.1689) of Farley (Wilts), baptised 15 December 1626; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1642); an officer in the Parliamentary army (Capt. by 1644; Major 1646); JP for Middlesex 1648-60, Dorset 1649-53 and Wiltshire, 1653-57?; MP for Poole, 1654-55, 1660, 1673; trustee of fund for maintenance of ministers 1649-60; member of high court of justice 1650, 1654; Admiralty commissioner, Feb-July 1660; during the Commonwealth he purchased the Crown lands of Clarendon Park for £3,000 but these were repossessed at the Restoration and granted to the 1st Duke of Albemarle; appointed treasurer of prizes at Dover, 1666; married, July 1647, Elizabeth, daughter of John Oldfield of London, fishmonger and sugar refiner, and had issue two sons and six daughters (one of whom, Margaret (d. unm. 1704) was the residuary legatee of her aunt, Dame Philippa Browne, while another, Elizabeth, Lady Hanham, was sent to the Tower for Jacobite activities); 'lately deceased' in July 1689.
She and her husband inherited the St. Giles House estate from her father in 1628 but she died a few months later.
She died of smallpox, 20 July 1628. Her husband married 2nd, 1629 (settlement 12 March 1628/9), Mary, daughter and coheir of Sir Baptist Hicks, 1st Viscount Campden of Campden Manor (Glos) and widow of Sir Charles Morrison of Cassiobury (Herts), and died of tuberculosis at Cassiobury (Herts), 23 March 1631. He was buried at Rockbourne (Hants); an inquisition post mortem was held at Basingstoke (Hants), 11 May 1631.


Cooper family of Rockbourne



Cooper, John alias Richard (d. 1566) of Winscombe (Somerset). Son of John and Alice Cooper. He married Jane, daughter of Sir John Kingsmill of Sydmonton (Hants) and had issue:
(1) Sir John Cooper (1552-1610), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Sir Maurice Cooper (d. 1606) of Puddletown (Dorset); with his elder brother involved in the plantation of Munster; knighted at the coronation of King James I, 23 July 1603; will proved 9 February 1606/7;
(3) George Cooper (d. 1627); married but had no issue; his wife (fl. 1627) had apparently been insane for some years when he made his will in May 1626; will proved 26 April 1627;
(4) Margaret Cooper (fl. 1575); married Thomas Prideaux (1549-1605) of Nutwell Court (Devon) and had issue six sons and four daughters;
(5) Gertrude Cooper; married Robert Broughton of Sampford (Somerset).
He inherited estates in Hampshire and Somerset from his father and elder brother and in c.1532 purchased the manor of Pawlett (Somerset) from Sir Amyas Paulet.
He died 8 May 1566 and was buried at Winscombe. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Cooper, Sir John (1552-1610), kt. of Pawlett (Somerset). Eldest son of John alias Richard Cooper (d. 1566) of Winscombe (Somerset) and his wife Jane, daughter of John Kingsmill of Sydmonton (Hants), born 24 September 1552. MP for Whitchurch (Hants), 1584, 1586-87. Gentleman Pensioner, 1583; JP for Somerset, 1591-1610. He was a soldier and a dependant of Sir John Norris, who encouraged him to join the group of gentlemen who undertook to colonize Munster and provide forces to defend it. After receiving a grant of land in Cork in 1586 but being almost immediately dispossessed of it by Sir Warham St. Leger, who claimed to have a mortgage on it from the previous owner, the Earl of Desmond, Cooper became disillusioned with the project, returned to England and went to law in a dispute over the Cork property which lasted until 1593, when the Privy Council suggested that, if no other solution could be found, Cooper and St. Leger should divide the land. Cooper had in the meantime served under Sir John Norris in the expedition to Portugal in 1589, and had distinguished himself at the battle of the Groyne. He had been knighted by 1603 and was perhaps dubbed at the coronation of King James I, alongside his brother. He married Margaret, daughter of Anthony Skutt of Stanton Drew (Somerset) and had issue:
(1) Sir John Cooper (1597-1631), 1st bt.;
(2) Bridget Cooper (d. 1670); married, 26 May 1615 at Lamerton (Devon), Edmund Tremayne (1587-1667) of Collacombe (Devon) and had issue five sons and two daughters; buried at Lamerton (Devon), 17 December 1670;
(3) Margaret Cooper (fl. 1610); married William Dunch of Avebury (Wilts), son of Sir William Dunch of Little Wittenham (Berks) but had no issue;
(4) Martha Cooper (d. by 1638); married Edward Tooker MP (c.1592-1664) of Maddington (Wilts) (who m2, c.1638, Mary, daughter of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney (Glos) and widow of William Platt of Highgate Hill) and had issue one son and two daughters; died before 1638;
(5) Jane Cooper (d. c.1679); married 1st, Sir William Saunderson (d. 1642), kt., of Withern (Lincs), son of Nicholas Saunderson, 1st Viscount Castleton, and 2nd, before 1651, Robert Baker, who had been an envoy to Spain under King James I; died before 2 December 1679.
He inherited his father's estates at Pawlett (Somerset) and elsewhere in 1566, and in 1608 purchased the manor of Rockbourne (Hants); at his death he owned some 7,000 acres. He commenced the building of a new house at Rockbourne 'according to a plott already conceaved by myself and my trustie servant Robert Burges', which was unfinished at his death, and he left instructions for his executors to complete it during the minority of his son.
He died 24 November 1610; his will was proved 1 February 1610/11. His wife apparently predeceased him as she is not mentioned in his will.

Cooper, Sir John (1597-1631), 1st bt. Only recorded son of Sir John Cooper (1552-1610), kt. and his wife Margaret, daughter of Anthony Skutt of Stanton Drew (Somerset). MP for Poole, 1625, 1628-29; JP for Hampshire, 1623-31, Wiltshire c.1623-25 and Dorset 1628-31. He was opposed to 'popery' but displayed no obvious Puritan leanings, being ‘of an easy and an affable nature’ and a compulsive gambler. He was said to be ‘very lovely and graceful both in face and person’ and to have kept three houses fully furnished and staffed, and exercised great hospitality at each of them. He was created a baronet, 4 July 1622, at the instigation and expense of his father-in-law, Sir Anthony Ashley, and also knighted, 10 July 1622. He married 1st, 1 January 1616/7 at Wimborne St. Giles, Anne (d. 1628), daughter of Sir Anthony Ashley of Wimborne St. Giles (Dorset) and 2nd, 1629 (settlement 12 March 1628/9), Mary (1589-1639), daughter and coheir of Sir Baptist Hicks, 1st Viscount Campden of Campden Manor (Glos) and widow of Sir Charles Morrison of Cassiobury (Herts), and had issue:
(1.1) Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (1621-83), 2nd bt., 1st Baron Ashley and 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(1.2) Philippa Cooper (1623-1701); married, 1658 at Rockbourne (Hants), Sir Adam Browne (c.1626-90), 2nd bt., of Betchworth Castle (Surrey), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 20 May 1701 and was buried at Mickleham (Surrey); will proved 21 May 1701;
(1.3) George Cooper (1625-c.1689) of Farley (Wilts), baptised 15 December 1626; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1642); an officer in the Parliamentary army (Capt. by 1644; Major 1646); JP for Middlesex 1648-60, Dorset 1649-53 and Wiltshire, 1653-57?; MP for Poole, 1654-55, 1660, 1673; trustee of fund for maintenance of ministers 1649-60; member of high court of justice 1650, 1654; Admiralty commissioner, Feb-July 1660; during the Commonwealth he purchased the Crown lands of Clarendon Park for £3,000 but these were repossessed at the Restoration and granted to the 1st Duke of Albemarle; appointed treasurer of prizes at Dover, 1666; married, July 1647, Elizabeth, daughter of John Oldfield of London, fishmonger and sugar refiner, and had issue two sons and six daughters (one of whom, Margaret (d. unm. 1704) was the residuary legatee of her aunt, Dame Philippa Browne while another, Elizabeth, Lady Hanham, was sent to the Tower for Jacobite activities); 'lately deceased' in July 1689.
He inherited his father's estates in Hampshire (at Rockbourne, Whitsbury and Fordingbridge; Puriton; and Lydiard Millicent) and Somerset (Pawlett, Stanton Drew) in 1610. On his father-in-law's death, he and his wife inherited her paternal estate at St. Giles House (Dorset). Despite this, he left debts of some £40,000.
He died of tuberculosis at Cassiobury (Herts), 23 March 1631 and was buried at Rockbourne (Hants); an inquisition post mortem was held at Basingstoke (Hants), 11 May 1631. His first wife died of smallpox, 20 July 1628. His widow married 3rd, Sir Richard Alford.


Ashley-Cooper family of Wimborne St. Giles, Earls of Shaftesbury




1st Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley Cooper, Sir Anthony (1621-83), 2nd bt. and 1st Earl of Shaftesbury. Elder son of Sir John Cooper (d. 1631), 1st bt. and his first wife Anne, daughter and heiress of Sir Anthony Ashley (d. 1628), 1st bt., of Wimborne St. Giles (Dorset), born 22 July 1621. He was orphaned at the age of ten, and brought up by Edward Tooker and other guardians appointed by his father. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1637) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1638; bencher, 1673). MP for Tewkesbury, March-May 1640 and for Downton, December 1640. During the Civil War he was initially a Royalist Colonel of Foot and Captain of Horse; Governor of Weymouth and Portland; sheriff of Dorset, 1643 and DL for Dorset, 1640-42. He switched sides in February 1643/44 and commanded a Parliamentary Brigade from August 1643, and was appointed Field Marshal, General and Commander-in-Chief of Parliamentary forces in Dorset in October 1643. Sheriff of Wiltshire, 1646-48. MP for Wiltshire, 1653, 1654-55, 1656-58 and 1659-60; JP for Dorset 1643-74. He was a commissioner for law reform, 1652-53; a civil probate judge, 1653-54; and councillor of state, 1653-54, but opposed Cromwell's attempt to rule without Parliament and the religious extremism of the Fifth Monarchists.  He took charge of the Tower of London for Parliament and was made one of seven Commanders of the Army, December 1659, became Col. of Fleetwood's Horse, January 1659/60 and Governor of the Isle of Wight, February 1659/60. In May 1660 he was one of the delegation of twelve men deputed by the House of Commons to seek the return of King Charles II, and the following month he received a pardon from the King for his anti-monarchist activities. He was appointed a member of the Committee for Plantations in July 1660 and took a continuing interest in colonial affairs, becoming one of the lords proprietors of the Province of Carolina in 1663 and with his friend John Locke, writing the constitution of Carolina; he was also a member of the Africa Company and its predecessor body, 1664-74 and of Hudson's Bay Company, 1668-73. He was a member of the Society of Mines Royal from 1662 and Governor, 1663-83. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1661-72, Under-Treasurer, 1661-67 and a Lord of the Treasury, 1667-72, and was one of the close advisers to King Charles II known as the CABAL from the initial letters of their names. He was President of the Council for Trade and Plantations, 1672-76 and Lord Chancellor, 1672-73. He was elevated to the peerage as Baron Ashley of Wimborne St. Giles, 20 April 1661 and further created Baron Cooper of Pawlett (Somerset) and Earl of Shaftesbury, 23 April 1672. In 1663 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he was Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, 1671/2-74, High Steward of Salisbury 1672-83 and DL for Dorset, 1660-72. He fell from favour and was deprived of the Lord Chancellorship in 1673 and thereafter led the anti-court party in Parliament, opposed to the growth of "popery and arbitrary government". Throughout the latter half of the 1670s he argued in favour of frequent parliaments (and was imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1677-78 for espousing this view) and argued that the nation needed protection from a potential Roman Catholic successor to King Charles II. During the Exclusion Crisis, Shaftesbury was an outspoken supporter of the Exclusion Bill and of other measures tending to the same effect, including the legitimation of Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The Whig party came out of the alliances formed during the Exclusion Crisis, and Shaftesbury became one of its most prominent leaders. In 1681, during the Tory reaction following the failure of the Exclusion Bill, Shaftesbury was arrested for high treason, although the prosecution was dropped several months later. By 1682 he was the ringleader of a conspiracy for a Protestant rebellion in the event of the King's death, and fearing a second prosecution for treason he fled the country to Holland, where he died in exile in Amsterdam a few months later. He is said to have been a Freemason in the period before the order was openly recognised. He married 1st, 25 February 1638/9, Hon. Margaret (d. 1649), daughter of Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry and Lord Keeper, who brought him a dowry of £4,000 but produced only a stillborn girl; he married 2nd, 15 April 1650, Lady Frances Cecil (1633-52), eldest daughter of David Cecil, 3rd Earl of Exeter; and 3rd, 30 August 1655, Margaret (1627-93), sixth daughter of William Spencer, 2nd Baron Spencer of Wormleighton, who brought him a further dowry of £4,000. He had issue:
(2.1) Cecil Ashley Cooper (b. & d. 1651), baptised 18 January 1650/1 at St Clement Danes, London, but died in infancy, 1651;
(2.2) Anthony Ashley Cooper (1652-99), 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Giles House estate and property in Hampshire and Sussex from his father in 1631. He extensively remodelled St. Giles House c.1651 and c.1672.
He died in Amsterdam, 21 January 1682/3 and was buried at Wimborne St Giles, 26 February 1682/3; his will was proved 4 February 1683/4. His first wife died without issue, 11 July 1649. His second wife died 31 December 1652. His widow died without issue in 1693; her will was proved 15 November 1693 and her inventory was produced 27 February 1696.


2nd Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley Cooper, Anthony (1652-99), 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury. Only surviving son of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1621-83), 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, and his second wife Lady Frances, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Exeter, born 16 January and baptised at St. Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 17 January 1651/2. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1666; MA 1667). An ailing and reclusive man, traditionally regarded as both physically and mentally inadequate, who was described unflatteringly as 'a shapeless Lump’ by Dryden in 1681. He was a disappointment to his father, who secured the guardianship of the future 3rd Earl in 1674. His relationship with his wife seems to have deteriorated to the point where she refused to see their eldest son unless he cut off all ties with his father. Whig MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, 1670-79 and 1680-83. He succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury, 21 January 1682/3, and was Vice-Admiral of Dorset, 1679 and 1685-99. He married, 22 September 1669 at Belvoir Castle (Leics), Lady Dorothy Manners (1653-98), daughter of 8th Earl of Rutland, and had issue including:
(1) Anthony Ashley Cooper (1671-1713), 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2) Hon. John Ashley Cooper (1672-93), born at Exeter House, London, 12 February and was baptised there privately, 25 February 1671/2; died unmarried, 1693;  
(3) Hon. Maurice Ashley Cooper (1675-1726), born 14 April and baptised 22 April 1675; said to have been a scholar but not apparently educated at an English university; a lord proprietor of the Carolinas; married Catherine (d. 1721), daughter of William Popple but died without issue 21 October 1726;
(4) Lady Frances Ashley Cooper (d. 1706); married, c.1704, Francis Stonehouse of Hungerford Park (Berks) and had issue two sons and two daughters; buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 27 August 1706;
(5) Lady Dorothy Ashley Cooper (d. 1749); married, 1700, Edward Hooper of Heron Court, Christchurch (Hants); died 4 May 1749;
(6) Lady Elizabeth Ashley Cooper (d. 1744); married, 20 April 1707, as his second wife, James Harris (1674-1731) of Salisbury, and had issue three sons (from whom descend the Earls of Malmesbury) and one daughter; died 20 January 1743/4 and was buried in Salisbury Cathedral; will proved 15 February 1743/4;
(7) Lady Gertrude Ashley Cooper; died unmarried.
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1683.
He died at Wimborne St Giles, 10 November 1699; his will was proved 23 June 1701. His wife died in June 1698 and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles.

3rd Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley Cooper, Anthony (1671-1713), 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury. Elder son of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1652-99), 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury, and his wife Dorothy, daughter of the 8th Earl of Rutland, born at Exeter House, London, 26 February and baptised at St Clement Danes, London, 7 March 1670/1. At the age of three he was placed in the formal guardianship of his grandfather, the 1st Earl, and was subsequently educated under the supervision of the 1st Earl's friend, John Locke, and in accordance with the methods set out in Locke's Thoughts concerning education. He at first had a governess, Elizabeth Birch, who taught him to read Latin and Greek with ease by the age of eleven, but after his grandfather's death he was sent to Winchester School, 1683-86, where he was mocked for his grandfather's political eclipse and was unhappy; he then undertook an extensive grand tour of Europe in 1687-89 with his lifelong friend Sir John Cropley, 2nd bt., Thomas Sclater Bacon, and a Scottish tutor, Daniel Denoune; they visited Holland (where they met the exiled Locke), Paris, Italy, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, and Hamburg. He spent the next few years in the study of classical authors under the influence of John Locke, to whom he continued to pay a pension first granted by his grandfather, and he was also occupied with the family’s estates and its interests in the Carolinas, where he was a lord proprietor by inheritance from his grandfather; he was actively involved in meetings concerning the governance of the colony. However, he declined to become governor when the post was offered to him in 1695, and his inherited proprietorship was later taken over by his brother Maurice. He was Whig MP for Poole, 1695-98 but finding the smoky atmosphere of London injurious to his asthma, he stood down from the House of Commons in 1698 and bought a house at Chelsea (Middx) which he extended and where he created a garden. In 1698-99 he lived in Holland where he enjoyed the society of a literary circle of people (many of them also friends of Locke) who were interested in philosophy, politics and religion. He succeeded his father as 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, 10 November 1699 and returned home to take over the management of his estates. With the Whigs in power he was briefly Vice-Admiral of Dorset, 1701-02, and is said to have been offered a Secretaryship of State by King William III. With the accession of Queen Anne and the return of the Tories he lost office and he again moved to Holland for a year, 1703-04. On his return, he devoted himself to literary pursuits and all his published works appeared (anonymously) after 1708, culminating in Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times in 1711; the companion volume, Second Characteristics was not, however, published until 1914His writing, although primarily moral and ethical in focus, had a profound effect on English taste and sensibility, and, it has been argued, especially on gardening aesthetics, in which he argued for the adoption of a more natural style. He began to show symptoms of tuberculosis, and after preparing Characteristics for the press, he emigrated to Naples, where he bought numerous books, prints, medals and paintings for himself and his friends; among those which ended up at St. Giles House were two Salvator Rosa landscapes (sold in 1966) and a Judgement of Hercules which commissioned from Paolo de Matteis, 1712.  He married, 29 August 1709, Jane (d. 1751), daughter of Thomas Ewer of Bushey Hall and The Leas, Watford (Herts) and had issue:
(1) Anthony Ashley Cooper (1711-71), 4th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1699, and built the Philosopher's Tower on the edge of the estate. He bought a house at Chelsea in 1698 but sold it to Narcissus Luttrell in 1710.
He died of asthma in Naples (Italy), 15 February 1712/3 and his embalmed body was returned to Wimborne St. Giles for burial in June 1713; his will was proved 31 March 1713. His widow died in 1751.


4th Earl of Shaftesbury,
from the bust on his monument
at Wimborne St. Giles, 1771
Ashley Cooper, Anthony (1711-71), 4th Earl of Shaftesbury. Only child of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1671-1713), 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury and his wife Jane, daughter of Thomas Ewer of Bushey Hall and The Leas, Watford (Herts), born 9 February 1710/11. At the age of five months he was left in England by his parents when they moved to Italy for the benefit of the 3rd Earl's health, and he succeeded his father as 4th Earl while still an infant, 15 February 1712/3. He was married at the age of 13 with the consent of his mother but not that of his legal guardians, as a result of which his guardians brought legal proceedings and obtained an order under the Great Seal for him to be placed in their custody for his education. This no doubt explains why he was entered at New College, Oxford (matriculated 1724) at the exceptionally early age of thirteen. It is not clear when he and his wife began married life together, but they seem to have shared artistic and musical interests, and were friends of Handel, who stayed several times at St. Giles House; the Countess was an accomplished amateur artist and was a friend of Mrs. Delany. The Earl seems to have been a serious young man, who grew early into the responsibilities of his position: in 1732 he republished his father's Characteristics; in 1733 he was made a Trustee for the establishment of the colony of Georgia (USA). In 1735 he became Lord Lieutenant of Dorset; he was appointed Recorder of Shaftesbury, 1756; High Steward of Dorchester, 1757 and Major-General of the Dorset militia, 1761, and he was also a Governor of the Levant Company, 1766-71.  In 1761 he was sworn of the Privy Council, and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1754 and of the Society of Antiquaries in 1767.  He married 1st, 12 March 1724, Lady Susannah (1711-58), daughter of the 3rd Earl of Gainsborough; and 2nd, 20 March 1759 at Roehampton (Surrey), the Hon. Mary Bouverie (1730-1804), daughter of Rt. Hon. Jacob Bouverie, 1st Viscount Folkestone, and had issue:
(2.1) Anthony Ashley Cooper (1761-1811), 5th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2.2) Lady Mary Anne Ashley Cooper (1766-1854), born 31 December 1766; married, 14 April 1788, Charles Sturt MP (1763-1812) of Crichel House (Dorset) and had issue one son (from whom descended the Barons Alington) and two daughters; died 8 July 1854;
(2.3) Cropley Ashley Cooper (1768-1851), 6th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1713 and came of age in 1732. He remodelled the house to the designs of Henry Flitcroft in 1740-44 and laid out a Rococo garden in the late 1740s.
He died 27 May 1771 and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles where he is commemorated by a monument designed by Thomas Scheemakers; his will was proved 8 June 1771. His first wife died without issue, 20 June 1758. His widow died 12 November 1804; her will was proved 6 February 1805.


5th Earl of Shaftesbury, by Batoni.
Ashley Cooper, Anthony (1761-1811), 5th Earl of Shaftesbury. Elder son of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1711-71), 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, and his second wife, Mary, sister of the 1st Earl of Radnor, born 17 September 1761. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1779) and undertook a grand tour of Italy, 1782-84, in the course of which his portrait was painted in Rome by Pompeo Batoni; he also visited Naples, Florence and Turin, and returned via Paris in November 1784. He succeeded his father as 5th Earl as a child on 27 May 1771. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and of Society of Antiquaries in 1785. He married, 17 July 1786 at Wimborne St. Giles, Barbara, daughter and heiress of Sir John Webb, 5th bt. of Odstock House (Wilts) and had issue:
(1) Lady Barbara Ashley Cooper (1788-1844), born in London, 19 October 1788 and baptised at the Portuguese Chapel, London on the same day; married, 8 August 1814 at St. Marylebone, William Francis Spencer Ponsonby (1787-1855), 1st Baron de Mauley of Canford (Dorset) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 5 June and was buried at Great Canford (Dorset), 12 June 1844; her will was proved 20 February 1845.
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1771 and came of age in 1792. At his death the manor of Pawlett (Somerset) which had belonged to the family since the 16th century passed to his daughter and her husband.
He died 14 May 1811 and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles where he was commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 17 June 1811. His widow died in Florence (Italy), 5 October 1819; she is commemorated by a large monument at Wimborne St. Giles designed by Rudolf Schadow, 1819; her will was proved 24 January 1820.


6th Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley Cooper, Cropley (1768-1851), 6th Earl of Shaftesbury. Younger son of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1711-71), 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, and his second wife, Mary, sister of the 1st Earl of Radnor, born 21 December 1768. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1785; BA 1787). An officer in the Dorset militia (Lt., 1790; Capt., 1794). Tory MP for Dorchester, Jan-June 1790 and Nov 1790-1811; High Steward of Dorchester, 1798; Clerk of Deliveries, Royal Ordnance, 1804-06 and March-July 1807; Clerk of the Royal Ordnance, 1807-11. He succeeded his brother as 6th Earl, 14 May 1811. He was appointed to the Privy Council, 1814 and served as Chairman of Committees for the House of Lords, 1814-51 and Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, 1829; Lord Steward of the Household at the Coronation of King William IV, 1831. He married, 10 December 1796 at Hurst (Berks), Lady Anne (1773-1865), daughter of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough, and had issue:
(1) Lady Caroline Mary Ashley-Cooper (1797-1869), born 14 September 1797; married, 1 January 1831 (sep. 1832), Joseph Neeld MP (1789-1856) of Grittleton Hall (Wilts); the marriage broke down when she discovered that he had an illegitimate daughter (or according to a scandalous report in The Satirist, when she produced an illegitimate child four months after the wedding); after the separation she lived in London, where she died without issue, 11 June 1869; will proved 8 July 1869 (estate under £20,000);
(2) Lady Harriet Anne Ashley-Cooper (1798-1868), born 15 September 1798; married, 18 March 1830, Hon. Henry Thomas Lowry-Corry PC MP (1803-73), First Lord of the Admiralty, second son of Somerset Lowry-Corry, 2nd Earl of Belmore, and had issue two sons; died 25 March 1868;
(3) Lady Charlotte Barbara Ashley-Cooper (1799-1889), born 13 October 1799; married, 1824, Henry Lyster (d. 1863) of Rowton Castle (Shropshire), which she inherited on his death and bequeathed to her nephew, Montagu Lowry-Corry (1838-1903), 1st Baron Rowton; died 11 December 1889.
(4) Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1801-85), 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(5) Hon. (Anthony) William Ashley-Cooper (1803-77), born 4 October and baptised at St George's Hanover Square, London, 31 October 1803; educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1821; BA 1824; DCL 1835) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1823); travelled on the Continent with his elder brother, 1824; MP for Dorchester, 1826-30; "a good natured but ineffectual man", he left Parliament on being appointed attaché to British embassy in Vienna, 1830, but it is unlikely he took the appointment up, and it is more likely that he abandoned a political career because of the difficulty of satisfying his conscience and adhering to his domineering father's will; Vice-Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide, 1830-49 (and Treasurer, 1834-49); Master of St. Catherine's Hospital, Regent's Park, London, 1839-77; Director of the Hand in Hand Insurance Co., 1844-77; married, 8 March 1831, the bad tempered Maria Anne (d. 1891), eldest daughter of Col. Hugh Duncan Baillie MP of Tarradale but had no issue; died at Mentone (France), 18 April 1877;
(6) Frederica Ashley-Cooper (1805-08), born 26 May 1805; died young, 25 March 1808;
(7) Hon. (Anthony) Henry Ashley-Cooper (1807-58) of Clewer Lodge, Windsor (Berks), born 5 May 1807; educated at Eton; an officer in the Army (Ensign, 1825; Lt., 1826; Capt. 1831; half-pay, 1834; retired 1841); MP for Dorchester, 1831-47; married, 2 October 1835, Jane Frances (d. 1893), only daughter of Robert Pattison of Wrackleford (Dorset) and had issue two daughters; died 30 November 1858 and was buried at Kensal Green, 7 December 1858; will proved 31 March 1859 (effects under £3,000);
(8) Hon. (Anthony) John Ashley-Cooper (1808-67), born 21 December 1808; educated at Eton, Christ Church (matriculated 1826; BA 1829) and Inner Temple (called to bar 1836); barrister-at-law (QC, 1866); MP for Gatton, 1831-32; married, 17 March 1840, Julia (d. 1907), eldest daughter of Henry John Conyers of Copt Hall (Essex) but had no issue; he died of bronchitis following a stroke, 1 January 1867; will proved 26 February 1867 (effects under £30,000);
(9) Hon. Anthony Francis Ashley-Cooper (1810-25), born 10 June 1810; died young, following a fight at Eton, 28 February 1825;
(10) Hon. Anthony Lionel Ashley-Cooper (1813-36), born 11 April and baptised at Richmond, 15 May 1813; a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy; died unmarried, 'after a few days' illness', in Paris, 14 January 1836;
He lived in Richmond (Surrey) and London until he inherited the St. Giles House estate from his elder brother in 1811.
He died 2 June and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 9 June 1851; his will was proved 1 September 1851. His widow died 7 August 1865 aged 91, and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 12 August 1851.


7th Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley-Cooper, Anthony (1801-85) KG, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. Eldest son of Cropley Ashley Cooper (1768-1851), 6th Earl of Shaftesbury, and his wife Anne, daughter of 4th Duke of Marlborough, born at 24 Grosvenor Square, London, 28 April and baptised at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 26 May 1801. Educated at Manor House School, Chiswick, 1809-13, Harrow, 1813-16 and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1819; BA 1822; MA 1832; DCL 1841) and undertook an extended grand tour of Europe, 1823-25. Tory MP for Woodstock, 1826-30, Dorchester 1830-31, Dorset 1831-46 and Bath, 1847-51. In politics he was motivated more by religious, humanitarian and philanthropic concerns than by party, and although he held political appointments in the 1820s and 30s (including being a lay Lord of the Admiralty in 1834-35), he was increasingly independent in his views and never held Government office again after 1841. As Commissioner for Indian Affairs, 1828-30 he sought to promote humanitarian and administrative reform in India. In 1828 and again in 1845 he also took a leading part in securing legislation to protect lunatics, as a result of which he was appointed a Metropolitan Lunacy Commissioner, 1828-85 (Chairman, 1833-85). He was a lifelong opponent of Parliamentary reform and democracy, but exhibited a strong paternalistic concern for the physical, moral and religious welfare of the people. In 1833 he took charge of steering the Factory Act, which limited the working hours of children and young people, through Parliament as a Government bill and he campaigned for further measures in the 1840s, including the Mines Act, 1842. His sympathy with the oppressed increasingly set him at odds with his Tory voters in Dorset, and a speech in November 1843 in which he criticised landowners led to a permanent breach with his father, with whom his relations had never been easy. When he supported repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 he was obliged to resign his Dorset seat in Parliament, although he was elected for Bath the following year. Later public appointments included being an Ecclesiastical Commissioner, 1841-47, and a member of the General Board of Health, 1848-54. He was President of the Statistical Society, 1843-45. During the 1830s his evangelical Christian faith deepened, and he became convinced of the imminent second coming of Christ, an expectation which drove him to reform national life so as to mitigate the impact of the coming divine judgment. He became stridently anti-Catholic and anti-Tractarian, and in 1866 notoriously condemned J. R. Seeley's Ecce homo as ‘the most pestilential book ever vomited from the jaws of Hell’. He supported measures for Sabbath Day observance, and was Chairman of the Church Pastoral Aid Society, 1836-85 and the British & Foreign Bible Society, 1851-85. He campaigned for the probity of British policy overseas and criticised the opium trade with China and the conduct of the Crimean war. He was a staunch opponent of slavery and accordingly a supporter of the north in the American Civil War. He succeeded his father as 7th Earl, 2 June 1851 and was Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, 1856-85. After Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister in 1855 he had a significant informal role as an adviser on ecclesiastical appointments, and he obtained a noticeable increase in the proportion of evangelicals on the bench of bishops. He was made a Knight of the Garter, 1862 and awarded the Freedom of the City of London, 1884. He had a tall, graceful figure, with blue eyes and dark curly hair, which he retained into old age. He married, 10 June 1830, Lady Emily (k/a Minny) Caroline Catherine Frances (1810-72), officially daughter of 5th Earl Cowper but more probably the love-child of Lady Cowper and the 3rd Viscount Palmerston (who became Lady Cowper's second husband in 1839), and had issue:
(1) Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1831-86), 8th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2) Hon. (Anthony) Francis Henry Ashley-Cooper (1833-49), born 13 March 1833; educated at Harrow School and died there, 31 May 1849; buried at Harrow (Middx), 6 June 1849;
(3) Hon. (Anthony) Maurice William Ashley-Cooper (1835-55), born 23 July 1835; died unmarried 'after many years of patient suffering' at Lausanne (Switzerland), 19 August 1855, and was buried there;
(4) Hon. (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley-Cooper (later Ashley) (1836-1907) [for whom see below under Ashley of Broadlands];
(5) Lady Victoria Elizabeth Ashley-Cooper (1837-1927), born 23 September 1837; married, 8 January 1873, as his second wife, Henry Spencer Chichester (1821-1906), 2nd Baron Templemore and had issue one daughter; died 15 February 1927; will proved 18 March 1927 (estate £3,146);
(6) Hon. (Anthony) Lionel George Ashley-Cooper (1838-1914), born 7 September 1838; educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1857; MA 1860) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1862); JP and DL for Dorset; he did not always use the second element of his surname; married, 12 December 1868, Frances Elizabeth (1848-75), younger daughter of Capel Hanbury-Leigh of Pontypool Park (Glam.), but had no issue; died 18 August 1914; will proved 3 October 1914 (estate £59,947);
(7) Lady Mary Charlotte Ashley-Cooper (1842-61), born 25 July 1842; died unmarried after being 'tried and purified in the furnace of affliction' at Torquay (Devon), 3 September 1861 and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 7 September 1861;
(8) Lady Constance Emily Ashley-Cooper (1845-72), born 29 November 1845; died unmarried, 16 December 1872;
(9) Lady Edith Florence Ashley-Cooper (1847-1913), born 1 April 1847; died unmarried, 25 November 1913 and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 28 November 1913.
(10) Hon. (Anthony) Cecil Ashley-Cooper (1849-1932) of Stumble Holt, Holmwood (Surrey), born 8 August 1849; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted, 1868; BA 1872; MA 1875); Asst. Sec. to Sir Henry Bartle Frere, 1st bt., as High Commissioner for South Africa, c.1877-80; Chairman of the Artisans', Labourers' and General Dwellings Company; a Director of Rowton Houses, Ltd.; DL for Dorset; died unmarried, 23 September 1932.
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1851 and made major extensions to the house in the 1850s. The estate was heavily encumbered and much in need of improvement, and he eventually achieved a substantial improvement in the social condition of his tenants and dependants, but his own financial position remained insecure. In 1883 the estates in England comprised 17,317 acres in Dorset, 3,250 acres in Hampshire and 1,218 acres in Wiltshire, worth £16,440 a year. 
He died from inflammation of the lungs at Folkestone (Kent), 1 October 1885; his funeral in Westminster Abbey on 8 October 1885 was attended by many thousands of people, testimony to the esteem with which the ‘poor man's earl’ had come to be regarded by all social classes and a wide range of interest groups; he was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 9 October 1885, and was commemorated by a statue (by J.E. Boehm, 1886) in Westminster Abbey, and by the sculpture known as 'Eros' at Piccadilly Circus, London (by Alfred Gilbert, 1893). A three-volume memoir by E. Hodder, The life and work of the seventh earl of Shaftesbury, was published in 1887. His wife died 15 October 1872.


8th Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley-Cooper, Anthony (1831-86), 8th Earl of Shaftesbury. Elder son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1801-85), 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and his wife Emily Caroline Catherine Frances, daughter of 5th Earl Cowper, born 27 June and baptised at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 7 August 1831. Educated at Rugby School. Joined the Royal Navy, 1848 and served in the Black Sea and the Baltic during the Crimean War. He was an attaché to the Earl Granville's special mission to Russia for the Coronation of Czar Alexander II, July 1856. He then joined the Dorset Yeomanry (Cornet, 1856; Lieutenant, 1857; retired 1859) and later the Antrim Royal Rifle Regiment of Militia (Lieutenant, 1858; Capt., 1862), the South Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps (Lt., 1860), the London Irish Volunteer Corps (Lt., 1860-63), the Dorset Militia (Lt-Col., 1862-72) and the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers, London brigade (Lt-Cmdr, 1875; Cmdr. 1880). Liberal MP for Hull, 1857-59 and Cricklade, 1859-65. In the last few months of his life he suffered from acute depression and convinced himself that he was utterly ruined. He married, 22 August 1857 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London, Lady Harriet Augusta Anne Seymourina (1836-98), only daughter of 3rd Marquess of Donegall, and had issue:
(1) Lady Margaret Emily Ashley-Cooper (1858-1931), born 28 September 1858; married, 27 May 1884 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), (Theophilus) Basil Percy Levett (1857-1929) of Belgravia, eldest son of Theophilus John Levett of Wychnor Park (Staffs), but had no issue; died 16 October 1931; will proved 3 November 1931 (estate £66,541);
(2) Lady Evelyn Harriet Ashley-Cooper (1865-1931), born 27 June 1865; married 1st, 23 October 1889, James Douglas McGarel-Hogg (1861-1903), 2nd Baron Magheramorne and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 1 March 1905, Hon. Hugo Baring OBE (1876-1949), sixth son of 1st Baron Revelstoke; died 22 January 1931; will proved 14 April 1931 (estate £8,561);
(3) Lady Mildred Georgiana Ashley-Cooper (1867-1958), born 25 February 1867; married, 16 July 1895 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Hon. George Higginson Allsopp MP of Foston Hall (Derbys), third son of  Henry Allsopp, 1st Baron Hindlip, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 4 March 1958; will proved 27 June 1958 (estate £1,287);
(4) Lady Susan Violet Ashley-Cooper (1868-1938), born 18 July 1868; married, 14 July 1892 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Walter Erskine (1865-1955), 12th Earl of Mar & (14th Earl of) Kellie and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 16 December 1938;
(5) Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1869-1961), 9th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(6) Lady (Ethel) Maud Ashley-Cooper (1870-1945), born 16 December 1870; married, 6 February 1894 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Vice-Admiral Sir George John Scott Warrender (1860-1917), 7th bt., KCB, KCVO, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 3 September 1945; will proved 1 May 1946 (estate £19,106).
He inherited the Belfast Castle estate from his father-in-law, the 3rd Marquess of Donegall, in 1884 and completed the building of the Castle. He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his father in 1885. In 1883 his estates in Ireland were 22,996 acres, largely in Antrim and Donegall, worth £41,649 a year.
He committed suicide, 13 April 1886, by shooting himself in a cab in Langham Place, London, and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 19 April 1886; his will was proved 18 June 1886 (estate £26,940). His widow died of heart disease at the Bristol Hotel, Rome, 14 April and was buried at Wimborne St. Giles, 4 May 1898; her will was proved 15 August 1898 (effects £78,011).


9th Earl of Shaftesbury.
Image: National Portrait Gallery.
Some rights reserved.
Ashley-Cooper, Brig-Gen. Anthony (1869-1961) GCVO KP, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury. Only son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1831-86), 8th Earl of Shaftesbury, and his wife Lady Harriet Augusta Anne Seymourina, only daughter of George Chichester, 3rd Marquess of Donegall, born 31 August 1869 and baptised at Wimborne St. Giles. Educated at Eton, 1883-86 and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He succeeded his father as 9th Earl, 13 April 1886. An officer in the 10th Hussars (2nd Lt., 1890; Lt., 1891; Capt., 1898; retired 1899); Military Secretary to the Governor of Victoria, 1895-98; served again throughout WW1; Col. commanding SW Mounted Brigade, Territorial Force, 1913-16 (Brig-Gen., 1914); Hon. Colonel of Northern Ireland Horse, Lt-Col. and Hon. Col. of Antrim Royal Garrison Artillery. Commissioner of Congested Districts Board, Ireland, 1903-14; Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, 1903-11, Co. Antrim, 1911-16 and Dorset, 1916-52; Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1907; Chairman of Dorset County Council, 1924-46; JP for Dorset. Chancellor of Queens University of Belfast, 1909-23 (Hon. LLD). Member of London School Board, 1901-03; Development Commissioner, 1920-49 (Chairman, 1946-49); Chairman of National Advisory Council (to Ministry of Labour) on Juvenile Employment, 1928-31; Younger Brother of Trinity House, 1920; appointed to the Privy Council, 1922. Chamberlain to HM Queen Mary, 1901, 1910-22; Lord Steward of the Household, 1922-36. Provincial Grand Master of Freemasons, Dorset, 1902. Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St. John; Grand Officer of the Legion d'honneur; KCVO 1906; KP 1911; CBE 1919; GCVO 1924. In 1928 he helped to found Bryanston School in Dorset and became first Chairman of the Governors. He married, 15 July 1899, Lady Constance Sibell Grosvenor (1875-1957), Extra Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary and Dame of Justice of the Order of St. John, elder daughter of Victor Alexander Grosvenor, Earl Grosvenor, and had issue:
(1) Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1900-47), Lord Ashley (q.v.);
(2) Lady Mary Sibell Ashley-Cooper (1902-36), born 3 October 1902; married, 27 November 1928, Napier Sturt (1896-1940), 3rd Baron Alington, of Crichel House (Dorset) and had issue a daughter (later Mrs. Marten), who inherited Crichel; died 2 August 1936; will proved 29 September 1936 (estate £3,016);
(3) Lady Dorothea Louise Ashley-Cooper (1907-87), born 29 April 1907; Officer of the Order of St. John; married, 23 July 1935, Brig. Antony Head (1906-83), 1st Viscount Head and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 24 March 1987; will proved 11 August 1987 (estate £526,312);
(4) Lady Lettice Mildred Mary Ashley-Cooper (1911-90), born 12 February 1911; served in WW2 as a Flight Officer in WAAF and obtained a civilian pilot's licence, 1946; Officer of the Order of St. John; died unmarried, 24 November 1990; will proved 15 February 1991 (estate under £115,000);
(5) Hon. (Anthony) John Percy Hugh Michael Ashley-Cooper (1915-86), born 5 October 1915; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford (MA); served in WW2 as a Major in the Life Guards and was a prisoner of war; member of the Order of St. John; married, 5 January 1946, Julian (1915-2001), eldest daughter of Maj. George Gerald Petherick and had issue four daughters; died 16 June 1986; will proved 8 September 1986 (estate £139,949).
He inherited the Belfast Castle and St. Giles House estates from his father in 1886. In the early 20th century he lived at Belfast Castle, but in 1934 he presented the house and its estate to the city of Belfast.
He died 25 March 1961, aged 91; his will was proved 1 November 1961 (estate £41,737). His wife died 8 July 1957.


Lord Ashley.
Image: National Portrait Gallery.
Some rights reserved.
Ashley-Cooper, Maj. Anthony (1900-47), Lord Ashley. Elder son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1869-1961), 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, and his wife Lady Constance Sibell Grosvenor, elder daughter of Earl Grosvenor, born 4 October 1900. Educated at Eton, RMC Sandhurst and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. An officer in the Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1925) and Wiltshire Yeomanry (Lt., 1929; Capt., 1937; Major 1938); ADC to Governor of Bombay, 1929-30 and to Commander-in-Chief of British forces in India, 1930-31. He transferred to Military Intelligence in 1940 and served with the Auxiliary Units, preparing British resistance to an anticipated German invasion. Officer of the Order of St. John, 1943-47. He married 1st, 3 February 1927 (div. 1934), (Edith Louise) Sylvia (1904-77), actress, daughter of Arthur Hawkes; married 2nd, 31 March 1937, Francoise (d. 1999), eldest daughter of Georges Soulier of Rouen (France) and had issue:
(2.1) Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1938-2004), 10th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2.2) Lady Frances Mary Elizabeth Ashley-Cooper (b. 1940), born 9 April 1940; educated at Heathfield School, Ascot (Berks); granted the rank of an earl's daughter, December 1962; lives in France and has issue two sons (William and Sebastian Benedetto).
He died of heart disease in the lifetime of his father, 8 March 1947; his will was proved 3 December 1947 (estate £4,562). His first wife married 2nd, 7 March 1936, as his third wife, Douglas Fairbanks senior (1883-1939), the American actor; 3rd, 18 January 1944 (div. 1948), Edward Stanley (1907-71), 6th Baron Stanley of Alderley; 4th, 20 December 1949, as his fourth wife, Clark Gable (1901-60), the American actor; and 5th, 1954, Prince Dmitri Djordjadze (1898-1985), a Georgian nobleman, hotel executive and racing driver; and died 29 June 1977. His widow married 2nd, 12 August 1947, Col. Francois Goussault (d. 1984) of the French Air Force, son of Col. Maurice Goussault of Le Mans (France), and died in August 1999.


10th Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley-Cooper, Anthony (1938-2004), 10th Earl of Shaftesbury. Only son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1900-47), Lord Ashley, and his second wife Francoise, eldest daughter of Georges Soulier of Rouen (France), born 22 May 1938. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. Served in Royal Armoured Corps (2nd Lt.) and 10th Royal Hussars. Chairman of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Council, 1966-80. President of the Shaftesbury Society, the Hawk & Owl Trust, and Vice-President of British Butterfly Conservation Society. Director of PKL Group, 1989-2000. Hon. Citizen of South Carolina, 1967. The death of his mother in 1999 seems to have caused him an emotional crisis, as a result of which he divorced his second wife, handed over his estate to his son, and adopted a reputedly dissipated lifestyle in England, Versailles (France) and on the French Riviera. He married 1st, 21 July 1966 (div. 1976), Bianca Maria (d. 2013), daughter of Gino de Paolis of Rome and formerly wife of Jack Le Vien, film producer; 2nd, 15 December 1976 (div. 2000), Christina Eve (b. c.1940), daughter of Nils Montan and formerly wife of [forename unknown] Casella, and 3rd, 5 November 2002 at Hilversum (Holland) (sep. 2004), Jamila Ben M'Barek (b. c.1961), and had issue:
(2.1) Anthony Nils Christian Ashley-Cooper (1977-2005), 11th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.);
(2.2) Nicholas Edmund Anthony Ashley-Cooper (b. 1979), 12th Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.).
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his grandfather in 1961 and subsequently planted over 1,000,000 trees on the estate. In 2000 he handed over the management of the estate to his elder son and moved to the Continent.
He was murdered on or about 4 November 2004, but his body was not discovered until 7 April 2005; his estranged third wife and her brother were subsequently convicted of the murder and jailed for 20 years and 25 years respectively; his ashes were subsequently interred at Wimborne St. Giles. His will was proved 10 November 2006. His first wife died in Rome, 16 March 2013 and was buried there 18 March 2013.

Ashley-Cooper, Anthony Nils Christian (1977-2005), 11th Earl of Shaftesbury. Elder son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1938-2004), 10th Earl of Shaftesbury and his second wife, Christina Eve Casella, daughter of Nils Montan, born 24 June 1977. Educated at Marlborough and Bristol University (BSc 1999); he later worked as an accountant in London. He was unmarried and without issue.
He took over the management of the St. Giles House estate in 2000 and inherited it on his father's death in 2004.
He died of a heart attack in New York, 15 May 2005; his will was proved 20 September 2006.


12th Earl of Shaftesbury
Ashley-Cooper, Nicholas Edmund Anthony (b. 1979), 12th Earl of Shaftesbury. Younger son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1938-2004), 10th Earl of Shaftesbury and his second wife, Christina Eve Casella, daughter of Nils Montan, born 3 June 1979. Educated at Eton, Canford School, and Manchester University (BA) and London Business School (MBA). He emigrated to the USA in his early 20s, and built a successful career in the music industry in New York, but gave this up on inheriting the title and estates in 2005. In 2009 he suffered serious spinal injuries in a riding accident, which initially left him partially paralysed, although he has since recovered sufficiently to be able to resume running marathons for charity. He married, 11 September 2010, Dinah (b. 1980), veterinary surgeon and daughter of Dr. Fritz Streifeneder, and has issue:
(1) Anthony Francis Wolfgang Ashley-Cooper (b. 2011), Lord Ashley, born 24 January 2011;
(2) Lady Viva Constance Lillemor Ashley-Cooper (b. 2012), born 22 April 2012;
(3) Lady Zara Ashley-Cooper (b. 2014), born December 2014.
He inherited the St. Giles House estate from his brother in 2005, and has since undertaken a major programme of restoration work on the house and grounds.
Now living.


Ashley of Broadlands, Barons Mount Temple




Evelyn Melbourne Ashley
Image: National Portrait Gallery.
Some rights reserved.
Ashley-Cooper (later Ashley), Hon. & Rt. Hon. (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne (1836-1907). Fourth son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper (1801-85), 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and his wife Emily Caroline Catherine Frances, daughter of 5th Earl Cowper, born 24 July 1836. Educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1858) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1856; called to bar, 1863). He apparently never used the second element of his family's surname. Private secretary to his grandmother's second husband (who may also have been his natural grandfather), Lord Palmerston, as Prime Minister, 1858-65; Treasurer of County Courts, 1863-74; barrister-at-law on Oxford circuit, 1865-74; Liberal MP for Poole, 1874-80 and Isle of Wight, 1880-85; Secretary of the Board of Trade, 1880-82; Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 1882-85; Church Estates Commissioner, 1880-85. On the division of the Liberal party in 1885 he became a Liberal Unionist and although he stood several times for Parliament in different constituencies over the following years, he was not elected again. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1891 and was a JP for Dorset, Hampshire and Sligo and DL for Hampshire; Official Verderer of the New Forest; Mayor of Romsey, 1898-1903. In 1865 he was attached to the mission sent to convey the Order of the Garter to Christian IX of Denmark, and was then created a commander of the Danish order of the Dannebrog. He completed the biography of Lord Palmerston begun by Lord Dalling (d. 1872) in 1872-76. He married 1st, 28 July 1866, Sybella Charlotte (1844-86), second daughter of Sir Walter Rockcliffe Farquhar, 3rd bt. and 2nd, 30 June 1891, Lady Alice Elizabeth (1853-1931), third daughter of William Willoughby Cole, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen, and had issue:
(1.1) Col. Wilfrid William Ashley (1867-1939), 1st Baron Mount Temple (q.v.);
(1.2) Sybil Katherine Ashley (1869-76), baptised at St Simon, Chelsea (Middx), 11 September 1869; died young and was buried at Ranmore (Surrey), 17 January 1876;
(1.2) Lilian Blanche Georgiana Ashley (1875-1939), born 27 June and baptised at Holy Trinity, Chelsea (Middx), 24 July 1875; married, 16 November 1895, Col. Hercules Arthur Pakenham CMG (1863-1937) of Langford Lodge (Antrim), son of Lt-Gen. Thomas Pakenham, and had issue one son and two daughters; died in Australia, 14/15 September 1939; will proved at Sydney (Australia), 2 August 1940 (estate £315) and sealed in London, 8 February 1941 (effects in England £29);
(2.1) Anthony Henry Evelyn Ashley (1894-1921) of Westbrook House, Bromham (Wilts), born 25 February 1894; Capt. in Coldstream Guards; married, 6 March 1920, Albinia Mary (d. 1972), elder daughter of Maj. Edward Henry Evans-Lombe of Thickthorn and Marlingford Hall (Norfk) and widow of Francis William Talbot Clerke (who m3, 3 February 1923, Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Rainey Ludlow-Hewitt GCB GBE CMG DSO (d. 1973), but had no issue; died 14 January 1921; will proved 15 March 1921 (estate £32,375).
He lived in London until he inherited Classiebawn, Mullaghmore, Sligo and Broadlands House, Romsey from his mother's brother, William Cowper-Temple, 1st Baron Mount Temple, in 1888.
He died 15 November 1907 at Broadlands and was buried at Romsey; his will was proved 28 January 1908 (estate £150,613). His first wife died 31 August and was buried at Romsey, 4 September 1886. His widow died 25 August 1931; her will was proved 24 October 1931 (estate £6,013).


1st Baron Mount Temple
Ashley, Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid William (1867-1939), 1st Baron Mount Temple of Lee. Only son of Hon. (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley-Cooper (later Ashley) (1836-1907) and his first wife, Sybella Charlotte, second daughter of Sir Walter Rockcliffe Farquhar, 3rd bt., born 13 September and baptised at St. Simon, Chelsea (Middx), 4 October 1867. Educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1885). Served in Ayrshire Militia, 1886-89, Grenadier Guards, 1889-98 (Hon. Lt-Col.), Hampshire Militia, 1899-1903 and during WW1 as Major in 3rd Battn, Hampshire Regiment and Lt-Col. commanding 20th Battn, King's Liverpool Regiment, 1914-15. Conservative MP for Blackpool, 1906-18, Fylde, 1918-22 and New Forest & Christchurch, 1922-32; Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Transport, 1922-23; Under-Secretary for War, 1923-24; Minister of Transport, 1924-29. He was appointed to the Privy Council, 1924, and raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Mount Temple of Lee, 13 January 1932. He was a leading figure in the Navy League and helped to found Comrades of the Great War in 1917. In the 1930s he was Chairman of the Anti-Socialist Union. Regarding Nazi Germany as a bulwark against the spread of communism, he was the first President of the Anglo-German Fellowship 1935-38 (resigning after the Kristallnacht in protest against Nazi treatment of Jews, Catholics and other minorities) and a strong supporter of the policy of appeasement. County Alderman for Hampshire; High Steward of Romsey; JP and DL for Hampshire. He married 1st, 4 January 1901, Amalia Mary Maud (1879-1911), only child of Sir Ernest Cassel GCB GCMG GCVO PC, and 2nd, 29 August 1914, Muriel Emily (1881-1954), elder daughter of Rev. Walter Spencer of Fownhope Court (Herefs) and formerly wife of Rear-Adm. Hon. Arthur Lionel Ochoncar Forbes-Sempill, and had issue:
(1.1) Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley (1901-60), Countess Mountbatten of Burma (q.v.);
(1.2) Ruth Mary Clarissa Ashley (1906-86) of The Hall, Six Mile Bottom (Cambs), born 29 July and baptised at Great Stanmore (Middx), 6 October 1906; married 1st, 12 May 1927 at St Margaret, Westminster, Capt. Alec Stratford Cunningham-Reid, and had issue two sons; they separated in 1936 and she reverted to her maiden name by deed poll, 1938 and was divorced after an affair with the actor Henri Garat, 1940; she married 2nd, 3 September 1940 (div. 1943), Laurie Gardner, only son of Sir Ernest Gardner of Maidenhead (Berks); and married 3rd, 15 June 1944 (div. 1955), Thomas Pitt Hamilton Cholmondeley (1900-79), 4th Baron Delamere of Vale Royal (Cheshire); died 10 October 1986 and was buried at Six Mile Bottom (Cambs); will proved 6 April 1987 (estate £1,228,446).
He inherited Broadlands and Classiebawn Castle from his father in 1907. He lived in London and later at The Grove, Stanmore (Middx) until c.1917.
He died of Parkinson's disease at Broadlands, 3 July 1939, when his barony expired; his will was proved 27 January and 27 August 1940 (estate £236,804). His first wife died 5 February 1911; her will was proved 20 March 1911 (estate £74,441). His widow lived after his death at Culver House, Penshurst (Kent) and died 24 June 1954; her will was proved 26 August 1954 (estate £46,442).


Edwina, Countess Mountbatten
Ashley, Dame Edwina Cynthia Annette (1901-60), Countess Mountbatten of Burma. Elder daughter of Wilfrid William Ashley (1867-1939), 1st Baron Mount Temple and his first wife, Amalia Mary Maud, daughter of Sir Ernest Cassel GCB GCMG GCVO PC, born 28 November 1901. She left school at eighteen to live with her widowed Cassel grandfather at his house in London and act as his hostess. He died in 1921 and left her the major part of his fortune, giving her an enviable combination of beauty, wealth, energy, and intelligence. She married into the outer reaches of the royal family the following year (her husband's mother was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria), but became jealous of her husband's professional success and of the attention he gave the navy. Their glitzy lifestyle in London concealed a stormy marriage and a chaotic personal life in which both parties had many admirers and affairs. Matters reached a crisis in 1932 when The People alleged she had had an affair with Paul Robeson and been ordered abroad by the royal family; this was untrue and she successfully sued for libel, but it was a fortunate escape as she had had a scandalous affair with the equally black pianist, Leslie 'Hutch' Hutchinson, and The People had simply got the wrong man. With the Second World War she found a new outlet for her energies in charitable work, initially with the Order of St. John, where she proved a brilliant administrator as Superintendent from 1942 (mentioned in despatches, 1946). Her greatest contribution came after the War, when her husband, as supreme allied commander south-east Asia, had formidable military and civil responsibility. Edwina assembled teams and equipment to locate and rescue thousands of internees and prisoners of war, venturing at great risk into swamps and jungle. For this work she was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, 1947 and Dame Commander of Royal Victorian Order, 1946, and awarded the Channel Islands Imperial Order of the Crown of India, 1947. When her husband was made Viceroy of India in 1947, with a brief to negotiate and achieve the independence of the subcontinent, she brought a new spirit to the viceregal household, opening it to people of every sort. Her links helped her husband and his staff to resolve innumerable difficulties arising from independence and the resultant separation of India and Pakistan. When Partition brought bloodshed, she headed the United Council of Relief and Welfare, co-ordinating all the major voluntary organizations as they struggled to help the refugees. In these demanding circumstances she became close to the Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, with whom she corresponded constantly for the rest of her life. She was made an honorary LL.D of Edinburgh University, 1954, and awarded the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh, 1954. She married, 18 July 1922 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London, Lord Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten (1900-79), later 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and last Viceroy of India, and had issue:
(1) Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten (b. 1924), 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, born 14 February 1924; served in WW2 with WRNS, 1943-46; Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, 1984-99; Col. in Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 1974-2007; holder of many charitable appointments; Dame of the Order of St. John, 1981; married, 26 October 1946, John Knatchbull (1924-2005), 7th Baron Brabourne of Brabourne and had issue five sons and two daughters; 
(2) Lady Pamela Carmen Louise Mountbatten (b. 1929), born at Barcelona (Spain), 19 April 1929; bridesmaid to HRH Princess Elizabeth, 1947; Lady-in-Waiting to HM The Queen, 1952-54; married, 13 January 1960, David Nightingale Hicks (1929-98), interior designer, son of Herbert Hicks of The Hamlet, Coggeshall (Essex) and had issue one son and two daughters.
She inherited her grandfather's estate, including Brook House in Mayfair, Moulton Paddocks and Branksome Dene, in 1921 and the Broadlands estate and Classiebawn from her father in 1939.
She died unexpectedly in her sleep at Jesselton, British North Borneo, 21 February 1960, while on an inspection tour for the St. John's Ambulance Brigade, and she was buried at sea. Her will was proved 21 March 1960 (estate £589,655). Her husband was assassinated by the IRA on his yacht in Donegal Bay, 27 August 1979; his will was proved 29 February 1980 (estate £2,196,949).



Sources


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003; Debrett's Peerage, 2015; Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn., 1841, pp. 18-19; VCH Hampshire, vol. 4, 1911, pp. 452-54; Country Life, 31 March 1923, pp. 434-41; 7 April 1923, pp. 466-73; 11 December 1980, pp. 2247-50; 18 December 1980, pp. 2334-37; Dorothy Stroud, Capability Brown, 2nd edn., 1957, pp. 122-23; Dorothy Stroud, Henry Holland, 1966, p. 133; Sir Nikolaus Pevsner & David Lloyd, The buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1967, pp. 144-45; John Newman & Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the buildings of England: Dorset, 1972, pp. 471-73; Timothy Mowl & Brian Earnshaw, Architecture without Kings, 1995, pp. 101-04; Roger Turner, Capability Brown and the Eighteenth-Century English Landscape, 1999, pp. 108-10; Timothy Mowl, Historic gardens of Dorset, 2003, pp. 68-73; Richard Hewlings, 'Architaphel's architect', Georgian Group Journal, 2008, pp. 3-4; Michael Hill, East Dorset Country Houses, 2013, pp. 282-93; ODNB entries on the 1st, 3rd and 7th Earls and on W.W. Ashley, 1st Baron Mount Temple and Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/research/members.


Location of archives


Ashley-Cooper family, Earls of Shaftesbury: deeds, manorial records, estate and family papers, 12th-20th cents. [Private Collection: enquiries to Archives Sector Development, The National Archives]; legal and family papers, 16th-19th cents. [The National Archives, PRO30/24]; Dorset deeds, maps, surveys and rentals, 17th-19th cents. [Dorset History Centre, D/DOR]; Belfast and Co. Antrim estate deeds, legal papers, leases and estate papers, 17th-20th cents. [Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, D389, D509, D652, D811, D835, D971, D1255, D1326 D1769, D2083, D2223, D2338, D3402]
Ashley-Cooper, Anthony, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury: diaries, correspondence and papers, 1825-85 [Southampton University, HMC]
Temple family, Viscounts Palmerston and their successors: Broadlands (Hants) and Irish deeds and estate papers, 17th-20th cents. [Southampton University, MS 62, MS 369]; misc. family papers, 18th-19th cents. [British Library, Add. MSS. 59851-4]


Coat of arms


Quarterly, 1st and 4th, argent three bulls passant sable armed and unguled or (for Ashley); 2nd and 3rd, gules a bend engrailed between six lions rampant or (for Cooper).


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  • If anyone is able to provide additional career information or missing genealogical details for the earlier generations of this family, I should be very pleased to hear from them.

Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 3rd March 2016 and was updated 11th March 2016. I am grateful to Leland Montgomery for corrections.

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