Wednesday, 10 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire

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

Shugborough Hall in 2012.

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

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

The lake was embellished with the surviving Chinese House, built on what was at first an island in the moat in about 1748, and later by a Chinese pagoda built of timber. This is often stated to have been lost in a flood of 1795, but the account of a visit by Peter Oliver in 1779 suggests it may already have disappeared by then.

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

Shugborough: the Chinese House in 1984. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved
Shugborough: the Rococo interior of the Chinese House, 1996. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved
At the same time as work was beginning on developing the gardens, Thomas embarked on a major enlargement of the house (c.1745-50) by the addition of pavilions either side of the central block of the 1690s and joined to it by single-storey links decorated with pedimented aedicules.  The pavilions have domed semi-circular bows on the main (east) front. The architect employed is not known. Eileen Harris has made a case for attributing the work to Thomas Wright on stylistic grounds, but recent research casts doubt on this, as Wright was in Ireland for the whole of 1747 and in London for much of 1748, when work on the house was in progress. 

Shugborough: the Shepherd's monument is of three periods; the original bas-relief by Scheemakers; the rustic arch attributed to Thomas Wright, and the Doric aedicule probably added by Stuart. Image: Edward Wood. Some rights reserved.

Even if he was not involved in the house, Wright might still have been responsible for some work on the decorative buildings in the grounds, particularly the artificial ruins and the Shepherd's Monument.  Wright was first connected with Shugborough because the rustic stone frame of the Shepherd's Monument bears a great similarity to an arbour designed by him for Badminton House (Glos) and published in his Universal Architecture in 1755.  

Thomas Wright: design for an arbour
from Universal Architecture, 1755
The Shepherd's Monument has a complicated history: the original white marble bas-relief by Scheemakers was later given a frame of stone carved in a rustic manner, and later again the whole was placed in a Doric aedicule, probably designed in the 1760s by Stuart. This continual reworking (and the same thing happened to the artificial ruins) suggests to me that Anson may have been largely responsible for their design himself, and that he picked up and incorporated ideas from pattern books and from buildings seen on his travels that appealed to him, without necessarily consulting any of the architects who originally conceived the motifs.   

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

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

Inside the house, two main rooms survive from the 1740s period: the former drawing room and Thomas Anson's library. The drawing room (now dining room) is decorated with stuccowork by one of the Vassalli brothers and a series of large architectural capriccios, commissioned in Bologna but later altered by Nicholas Dall (d. 1776), a Danish scene-painter and landscape artist who came to Britain in the early 1750s and was commissioned by Thomas Anson to depict his house and gardens. 

Shugborough Hall: library. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakedge Hall, Colwich, Staffordshire

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

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

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

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

Orgreave Hall, Staffordshire

Orgreave Hall: north front. Image: Susan Ward.

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

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

Ranton Abbey, Staffordshire

Ranton Abbey in 2011. Image: Jim

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

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

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

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

Anson family of Shugborough, Viscounts Anson and Earls of Lichfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anson, Thomas William Arnold (1913-58), Viscount Anson. Elder son of Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960), 4th Earl of Lichfield, and his first wife, Evelyn Maud, daughter of Col. Edward George Keppel, born 4 May 1913. Educated at Harrow and Staff College, Camberley; served in Grenadier Guards, 1935-55 (2nd Lt, 1935; Lt., 1938; Capt., 1940; Major 1948; retired as Lt. Col, 1955); Deputy Assistant Adjutant- and Quartermaster-General in Middle East and Italy, 1942-44; General Staff Officer, London District, 1944-46. He married 1st, 28 April 1938 (div. 1948), Anne Ferelith Fenella (1917-80), daughter of Hon. John Herbert Bowes-Lyon, and 2nd, 12 May 1955, Monica (d. 1969), only daughter of Commander Ralph Neville RN and formerly wife of Maj. Peter Holdsworth Hunt MC and Robert Maxstone Inglis, and had issue:
(1.1) (Thomas) Patrick John Anson (1939-2005), 5th Earl of Lichfield (q.v.);
(1.2) Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Anson (1941-2020), born 7 June 1941; granted rank of an Earl's daughter, 12 July 1961; founded Party Planners, 1960; Director of Debrett's Peerage Ltd, 1979-83; President of Action for ME, 1995-; Chairman of Rupert Lund Assocs and Cadogan Co.; married, 27 July 1972 (sep. 1985; div. 2009), Sir Geoffrey Adam Shakerley (1932-2012), 6th bt. (who m1, 1962, Virginia Maskell (d. 1968) and had issue two sons; and m3, 2010, Virginia (née Hobson)), and had issue one daughter; died 1 November 2020.
He died 18 March 1958. His first wife married 2nd, 16 September 1950 at Glamis Castle, Prince Georg of Denmark, and died in 1980. His widow married 4th, 29 July 1959 (div.), Lt-Col. Eric Astley Cooper-Key and died 8 November 1969.

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

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


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 2324-27; The Olio, vol. 8, 1832, pp. 87-88; E. Harris, 'A flair for the grandiose', Country Life, 2 September 1971; D. Jaques, Georgian Gardens, 1983, pp. 85, 143; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, pp. 236-38; J.M. Robinson, Shugborough, 1989; G. Jackson-Stops, 'The orient and the antique: the Shugborough landscape', Country Life, 11 July 1991; T. Mowl & D. Barre, The historic gardens of England: Staffordshire, 2009, pp. 103-20; S. Jeffery, 'The formal gardens at Moor Park in the 17th and early 18th centuries', Garden History, 42:2, 2014, pp. 157-77; J. Phibbs, 'A list of landscapes that have been attributed to Lancelot 'Capability' Brown - revisions', Garden History, 42:2, 2014, pp. 281-6; M. Cousins, 'Shugborough: "a perfect paradise"', Garden History, 43:1, 2015, pp. 33-73.

Location of archives

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

Coat of arms

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

This account was first published 10 December 2014 and was revised 13 December 2014, 25 June 2015 and 19 December 2020.


  1. So very interesting. My two times as well as three times great grandfathers were named William Anson White. With naming patterns as they are, I wonder if there is a connection, perhaps a maternal connection. My DNA shows that I am 52% British. Having just recently found documentation of my three times great grandfather, I hope to be able to extend my research into his line this summer. Thank you so much for sharing this fascinating family history.

  2. Please note spelling correction: "Great Heywood" (Staffordshire) referred to in the above.... should be Great Haywood ...with an 'a' NOT 'e'. If you Google "Great Heywood" it will refer you to "Great Haywood".

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. I have now made the correction!

  3. Dear Mr Kingsley
    I visited Shugborough last week and, in writing my own blog of this visit, I came across your site. What a treasure trove of invaluable information, and I shall certainly return as I make other visits around the country.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.