George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon
(24th October 1827 – 9th July 1909)
Viscount Goderich from 1833 to 1859
Earl de Grey and Ripon from 1859 to 1871
A British politician who served in every Liberal cabinet from 1861 until his death forty-eight years later.
Nancy Witcher Langhorne-Astor, Viscountess Astor "I'm a proud Vriginian!"
(19th May 1879 – 2nd May 1964)
Nancy was the first woman to serve as a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons.
(Constance Markiewicz was the first woman elected to serve in the House of Commons after running for the Sinn Féin party in 1918, but in line with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy she did not take her seat.)
She represented the Conservative Party and was the wife of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor.
John was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. He published more than 100 novels, notably The Good Companions (1929), as well as numerous dramas. His output included literary and social criticism.
Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk
(7th November 1815 – 25th November 1860)
He was the son of Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk and Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower. He was returned as a Whig for Arundel in the House of Commons from 1837 to 1851, and Limerick City 1851–1852.
This is his signature inscribed at the front of his book 'The lives of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and of Anne Dacres, his wife' published in 1857.
Francis Knollys, 1st Viscount Knollys
(16th July 1837 – 15th August 1924)
Private Secretary to the Sovereign 1901–1913.
In 1870, he was appointed Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales,
an office he held until the Prince, Edward, became King in 1901. (Edward Vll)
Also Private Secretary to King Gorge V (1910-1913)
Sir Almeric William FitzRoy
(12th November 1851 - 31st May 1935)
Chief Clerk to the Privy Council of Queen Victoria and King Edward VII (1898 -1923)
The son of Francis Horatio Fitzroy and Hon. Gertude Duncombe. He married Katherine Farquhar, daughter of Sir Henry Thomas Farquhar, 4th Bt. and Hon. Alice Brand, on 30th July 1887.
Sir Almeric William FitzRoy graduated from Oxford University, with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). He was Clerk to the Privy Council between 1898 and 1923. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Royal Victorian Order (K.C.V.O.) in 1909.1 He wrote the book Memoirs. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in 1911.
(See alsoSir Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery in Historical Signatures 2)
James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Hamilton and Brandon
(5th January 1703 – 2nd March 1743)
A Scottish peer. On 14th February 1723 Hamilton married Lady Anne Cochrane, a daughter of the 4th Earl of Dundonald and they had one child, James (1724–1758), later 6th Duke of Hamilton. Anne died from the effects of her first and only childbirth a month later and Hamilton married Elizabeth Strangways (an aunt of the future Countess of Ilchester), but she died childless on 3rd November 1729. He then married Anne Spencer (an aunt of the future Countess of Galloway) on 21 August 1737.
William George Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, Lord Hay (until 1819)
Throughout 1897 and 1898 a man called Lawrence Dillon from Manchester decided to send his copy of a book to various notables in an attempt to convince them of his royal ancestry. The book, The Yoke of Empire by Reginald Brett, had been published in 1896 as a testament to Queen Victoria’s Prime Ministers. Dillon wrote letters to the Prince of Wales (later Edward Vll) at Marlborough House, Lord Derby at Knowsley Prescot, the Duke of Devonshire and to the Prime Minister, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Salisbury (without response). It is obvious that Dillon was convinced, almost to the point of obsession, that he was a direct descendant of King William who had had several illegitimate children: it was to one of these that he maintained his connection. His reasons for so doing and the replies that he received are almost insignificant when compared to the fact that here was a book that contained, not only the letters sent to these Victorian luminaries, but also the replies. Proof certain that this little book had travelled the Victorian postal service for almost a year complete with previous contact letters enclosed. Whether Lawrence Dillon had royal blood coursing through his veins or not will probably never be proved. Yet the book, still intact and scruffy though it is, remains a marvellous curio with the added attraction of containing both sides of Victorian communication.
Lawrence Dillon, Manchester
Francis Knollys, 1st Viscount Knollys, on behalf of the Prince of Wales
William Walsh, on behalf of Lord Derby
Sir Almeric William FitzRoy, on behalf of the Duke of Devonshire
The 'ramblings' of Lawrence Dillon 1897-8
Miranda Ponsonbyformerly Rhodri Davies
(1933 - )
Soldier, farmer, nurse.
In 1994 Rhodri decided that it was time to become Miranda Ponsonby
“I said bugger that to all that messing about. I saw this chap, a cosmetic surgeon, at a clinic in Huntingdon. I don't think he's practising any more. I asked him how much to skip all that bloody nonsense. He said £6,000. About a week later, I went up to some dreadful place called Rotherham. I hadn't ever dressed as a woman before. So I bought some women's clothes, put them in a suitcase, and drove up on a rainy, awful day. It was a horrifying operation. They managed to leave part of one of my testicles behind. Which was a bit careless. After a day, I decided to go home."
Donald Alexander Smith
1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal
(6th August 1820 – 21st January 1914)
Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company
A Scottish-born Canadian fur trader, financier, railroad baron and politician. He was born in the Morayshire town of Forres to Alexander Smith, a saddler, and Barbera Stuart. On leaving school at the age of 16, Smith was apprenticed to become a lawyer in the town clerk's office. He left Scotland in 1838 for Canada where he obtained an apprenticeship from the Hudson's Bay Company and remained in the wildernesses of Labrador for nearly thirty years working in the fur trade. Smith was the chief commissioner for the company from 1870 until 1874 and eventually—after becoming its principal shareholder—was appointed as its governor from 1889 to 1914.
Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook
(22nd January 1826 – 15th November 1904)
A British Liberal politician and statesman.
He was Viceroy of India between 1872 and 1876 and First Lord of the Admiralty between 1880 and 1885.
Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes
(born 12th May 1944 in Cleveleys, Lancashire)
Last British Governor and Comander-in-Chief of Hong Kong
He was a Member of Parliament, eventually rising to a cabinet minister and party chairman. In the latter capacity, he orchestrated the Conservatives' unexpected fourth consecutive electoral victory in 1992, but lost his own seat in the House of Commons.
He then accepted the post of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong, and oversaw its return to China in July 1997. From 2000 to 2004 he served as one of Britain's two members of the European Commission. After leaving that post, he returned to the UK and was elevated to the peerage in 2005. He is the Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Chris Patten archive.
This is a letter dated 27th May 1992 which is addressed to a publishing company owned by Richard Oliff. two months later Patten became the 28th and the last Governor of Hong Kong until its handover to the People's Republic of China on 30th June 1997.
Grace Patricia Kelly
(12th November 1929— 14thSeptember 1982)
Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco
An American actress who, in April 1956, married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and was commonly referred to as Princess Grace.
He was the son of James Wandesford Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde and Grace Louisa Staples. He married Frances Jane Paget, daughter of General Hon. Sir Edward Paget, GCB and Lady Harriet Legge, on 19th September 1843.
This is another example of his signature from 1730 (not part of this collection).
This is another example of his signature from 1825 (not part of this collection).
An unidentified Strangeways signature
(born 31st July 1944, Aylesbury)
A British presenter of current affairs and political radio and television programmes, a political commentator and a writer.
John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence
(4th March 1811 – 27th June 1879)
He was known as Sir John Lawrence between 1858 and 1869, was an Irishman who became a prominent British pro-consul and imperial statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1864 to 1869.
Another example of his signature.
NOT part of this collection
Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow
(9th December 1731 – 12th September 1806)
A British lawyer and Tory politician. He served as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain for fourteen years under four Prime Ministers
Thomas William Anson, 1st Earl of Lichfield
(20th October 1795 - 18th March 1854),
Known as The Viscount Anson from 1818 to 1831. A British Whig politician. He served under Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne as Master of the Buckhounds between 1830 and 1834 and under Melbourne Postmaster General between 1835 and 1841. His gambling and lavish entertaining got him heavily into debt and he was forced to sell of the entire contents of his Shugborough Hall estate
and together they went on to have five sons and three daughters
Elizabeth Charlotte Knollys
(1839 – 24th April1930)
Charlotte Knollys was the daughter of Sir William Thomas Knollys, KCB (1797 – 1883) and his wife Elizabeth St Aubyn, and was sister to Sir Francis Knollys, a member of the household to the Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria. She never married and served at court for over six decades (1870 – 1925) as lady-in-waiting and companion to Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII (1901 – 1910) and was raised to the rank of a baron’s daughter by Royal Warrant (1901). Miss Knollys was portrayed by actress Barbara Laurenson in the famous BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) series Edward VII (1975) with Timothy West in the title role and Helen Ryan as Queen Alexandra.
See full entry above...........
The Royal party at Sandringham. Amongst those pictured above are King Edward VII (1841 - 1910), Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife (1867 - 1931), Queen Alexandra (1844 - 1925), Princess Victoria of Wales (1868 - 1935), Hon. Elizabeth Charlotte Knollys, Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Alexandra, Princess Maud, later Queen of Norway (1869 - 1938), Prince Charles, later King Haakon VII of Norway (1872 - 1957), Mrs Joseph Chamberlain and Joseph Chamberlain. (Photo by W & D Downey/Getty Images)
Frederick Richard Dimbleby CBE
(25th May 1913 – 22th December 1965)
An English journalist and broadcaster widely acknowledged as one of the greatest figures in British broadcasting history.
With his three sons, Nicholas, David and Jonathan
William Henry Ralph Reader CBE MBE
(25th May 1903 – 18th May 1982)
Known as Ralph Reader, was an British actor, theatrical producer and songwriter, best known for staging the original Gang Show, a variety entertainment for members of the Scouting Movement.
Philip Henry Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope
(7th December 1781 – 2nd March 1855)
An English aristocrat, chiefly remembered for his role in the Kaspar Hauser case during the 1830s.
A similar 'Astor' item recently placed for auction
Philip Gilbert Hamerton (10th September 1834 – 4th November 1894), was an English artist, art critic and author. In 1882 he issued a finely illustrated work on the technique of the great masters of various arts, under the title of The Graphic Arts, and three years later another splendidly illustrated volume, Landscape, which traces the influence of landscape upon the mind of man. His last books were: Portfolio Papers (1889) and French and English (1889). In 1891 he removed to the neighbourhood of Paris, where he died suddenly in Boulogne-sur-Mer, occupied to the last with his labours on The Portfolio and other writings on art.In 1896 was published Philip Gilbert Hamerton: an Autobiography, 1834–1858; and a Memoir by his wife, 1858–1894.
Another example for value purposes
(6th May 1777 – 17th April 1851)
An English Whig and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1808 and 1837.
Palmer was born at Weston near Bath, the eldest son of John Palmer, a projector of mail coaches. He was educated at Eton College and Oriel College, Oxford. He entered the army as cornet in the 10th Dragoons in May 1796.
In 1808 Palmer was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Bath.
Palmer served with his regiment during the Peninsular war and acted as lieutenant-colonel from May 1810 to November 1814. The Prince Regent appointed him as an aide-de-camp on 8 February 1811, and he held the appointment until he was promoted major-general on 27 May 1825.
Another fine example of his signature. NOT part of this collection
(1789 - 28th April 1872 )
An English artist known for his landscape paintings.
Following his artistic apprenticeship in his youth, he then devoted himself to painting and earned the name of ‘Claude Lorraine of Devonshire’ . His landscapes are very detailed, some of which hang in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London .
Edmund Henry Pery, 1st Earl of Limerick
(8 January 1758 – 7 December 1844)
Pery was the son of William Cecil Pery, 1st Baron Glentworth and his wife, Jane Walcott. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He married Mary Alice, the daughter of Henry Ormsby of County Mayo, in 1783, and he had six children. His heir predeceased him, and Limerick was succeeded in his titles by his grandson. One of Pery's daughters married the Whig politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Monteagle of Brandon.
Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby
(21st April 1775 – 30th June 1851)
Styled Lord Stanley from 1776 to 1832 and known as The Lord Stanley from 1832 to 1834. He was an English politician, landowner, builder, farmer, art collector and naturalist. The Derbyan parakeet, Psittacula derbiana, is named after him. On 30th June 1798 he married Charlotte Margaret Hornby, daughter of Reverend Geoffrey Hornby, with whom he fathered future Prime Minister Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby.
Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby
(12th December 1752 – 21st October 1834)
Usually styled Lord Stanley from 1771 to 1776, he was a British peer and politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He held office as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1783 in the Fox-North Coalition and between 1806 and 1807 in the Ministry of All the Talents.
Around 1898, the house was purchased by Thomas Hermann Lowinsky, the former general manager of the Hyderabad (Deccan) Co coal mines in India. He was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society and won their gold medal for his rhododendrons, an outstanding collection of which he built up at Tittenhurst, including one he named 'Mrs Tom Lowinsky'. Amongst Lowinsky's children who grew up at the park was his daughter, Xenia Noelle Field, the prison reformer and horticulturist.
Tittenhurst Park. The former home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the great song ‘Imagine’ was recorded in the Basement Studio. The house was then sold to Ringo Starr who resided there with his wife for several years before selling on to The Royal Family of Abu-Daubi, which is at the point Yates Associates became involved. Working under Hutch Investments, the MEP design encompassed the Main House, Swimming Pool, and Marjalis. External services in 65acres included security and specialist lighting for the Yellow Brick Road which snakes its way down to the distant Cottage. Yates were involved with this project for approximately 7 years.
(b.1748 Broad Street, London – 28th February 1827 Coltishall)
An English portrait painter and engraver.
Holloway was apprenticed to a seal engraver named Stent at a young age. He went on to study engraving at the Royal Academy beginning in 1773, during which time he resided at 11 Beaches Row, near Charles Square, Hoxton, and exhibited pastel portraits at the Society of Artists in 1777. He later lived in Orme House in Hampton,Edgefield, Norfolk, and Coltishall, Norfolk. He became a court engraver in 1792.
Statement of responsibility: by John Caspar Lavater; Illustrated by more than eight hundred engravings accurately copied; and some duplicates added from originals executed by, or under the inspection of, Thomas Holloway
Addressed to William Ware, the Secretary of the Hudson Bay Company, who carried the company into the 20th century, 1 Lime Street, London. The company's London offices were housed in what was usually referred to as Hudson Bay House. Over the next several hundred years (1700s-1800s) HBC's offices occupied various locations including nos. 3 and 4 Fenchurch St. and, of course no. 1 Lime Street.
An example of another signature. Not part of this collection
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon
(4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002)
The wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. She was Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the Dominions from her husband's accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother to avoid confusion with her daughter. She was the last Empress consort of India.
On Wednesday 5 May 1976 Sir Hereward Wake, 14th Baronet (born 1916), brought Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to the Humfrey Rooms during her visit to Northamptonshire Natural History Society, 10 Castilian Terrace, Northampton in celebration of the Society's centenary. This book was presented to Mabel A. Blincow (d. June 2016 aged 95: funeral took place at the Counties Crematorium, Milton Malsor at 2pm on 15 June 2016). Sir Hereward has hand-written and signed following his text with the Queen Mother's signature added. The page has then been beautifully laminated. My thanks to Christine & Malcolm Noble of Market Harborough for giving me this fine item.