Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury

The Earl of Shaftesbury

The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury
Born Anthony Ashley-Cooper
(1869-08-31)31 August 1869
Died 25 March 1961(1961-03-25) (aged 91)
Resting place Parish Church
at Wimborne St Giles
Title 9th Earl of Shaftesbury
Tenure 13 April 1886 – 25 March 1961
Other titles Baron Ashley
of Wimborne St Giles,
Baron Cooper of Pawlett
Known for Philanthropy
Years active 1886–1961
Nationality English
Residence Nice, France;
St Giles House in
Wimborne St Giles
Locality Nice, France;
Dorset, England;
Northern Ireland
Wars and battles First World War 1914–18
Offices Lord Steward
Lord Chamberlain
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Predecessor Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury
Successor Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury
Spouse(s) Lady Constance Sibell Grosvenor (1899–1957)
Issue Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Ashley
Lady Mary Sibell Ashley-Cooper
Lady Dorothea Louise Ashley-Cooper
Major Hon Anthony John Percy Hugh Michael Ashley-Cooper
Parents Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury
Lady Harriet Augusta Anna Seymourina Chichester

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury KP GCVO CBE PC (31 August 1869 – 25 March 1961), was the son of the 8th Earl of Shaftesbury and Lady Harriet Augusta Anna Seymourina Chichester (1836  14 April 1898), the daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Donegall and Lady Harriet Anne Butler.[1]

Military career

Lord Shaftesbury was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 10th Hussars in 1890, promoted to lieutenant in 1891, and to captain in 1898. From 1895-1899 he served as an Aide-de-camp to the Governor of Victoria. He retired from the regular army in 1899, but continued as a captain of the reserve in the Dorset Imperial Yeomanry. On 12 March 1902 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel commanding the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry.[2] On 1 January 1913 he was promoted colonel in the Territorial Force[3] and appointed to command the 1st South Western Mounted Brigade;[4][5] he was granted the temporary rank of brigadier-general on the outbreak of war in 1914.[6] Shaftesbury served through the First World War from 1914 to 1918,[7] and relinquished his appointment as a brigade commander on 1 March 1919, when he was granted the honorary rank of brigadier-general.[8]

Political, civic and court offices

Lord Shaftesbury was Lord Lieutenant of Belfast from 1904 to 1911, Lord Lieutenant of Antrim from 1911 to 1916, and Lord Lieutenant of Dorset from 1916 to 1952. He was Lord Mayor of Belfast 1907, and Chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast 1909–1923.

At the Court, Lord Shaftesbury served as Chamberlain to Mary of Teck as Princess of Wales 1901–1910 and as Lord Chamberlain to her as Queen of the United Kingdom 1910–1922. That year he was appointed Lord Steward of the Household, serving until 1936.

Family life

On 15 July 1899, the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury married Lady Constance Sibell Grosvenor (22 August 1875 – 8 July 1957), the daughter of Victor Alexander Grosvenor, styled Earl Grosvenor (son and heir of Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster) and his wife, Lady Sibell Mary Lumley, daughter of Richard George Lumley, 9th Earl of Scarbrough. Lady Constance was invested as a Dame of Justice of Order of St. John of Jerusalem (DJStJ) and served as a Lady and Extra Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary.

The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury and his wife, Lady Constance had five children:

Lord Ashley was heir apparent to the earldom, scheduled to inherit upon the death of his father. However, at age 46, Ashley died unexpectedly of heart disease before succession. At that time, his son, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, became heir apparent, inheriting the earldom in 1961 upon the death of his grandfather.

Philanthropy and community service

Bryanston School

In 1928, the 9th Earl provided a financial grant to establish a co-educational independent boarding school in Blandford, north Dorset, England, near the village of Bryanston. The 9th Earl served the school as the first Chairman of the Governors.

Bryanston School was founded by a young schoolmaster from Australia named J. G. Jeffreys. He used his confidence and enthusiasm to gain financial support for the school during a period of severe economic instability. With financial backing from the earl, he paid £35,000 for the Bryanston House and its 450 acres (1.8 km2) of immediate grounds.

The school occupies a palatial country house designed and built in 1889–1894 by Richard Norman Shaw and modelled on the chateau at Menars in the Loire valley. Shaw designed the house for Viscount Portman to replace an earlier one. The building and estate was the biggest in Dorset and the last of the grand stately homes to be built in England. The home had been occupied by the Portman family for 30 years at the time of its sale, however, death duties made it impossible for the 4th Lord Portman to hold on to his family estate.[9]

Photo of Bryanston School
Bryanston School in County Dorset

There were just seven teachers and 23 boys of various ages in the first term. Jeffreys was a natural innovator but one who respected good traditions, reflected in his choice of school motto, Et Nova Et Vetera. His was the first English school to adopt the Dalton Plan, its combination of the new and the old being of particular appeal. The system was flexible enough to offer a combination of lessons in the classroom and time for assignment work in subject rooms, which gave the students freedom to decide which pieces of academic work to focus their attention. Students were required to keep a daily record on a chart showing their use of working and leisure time, meeting with their tutors on a weekly basis to ensure effective monitoring of their progress.

Bryanston is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group. It has a reputation as a liberal and artistic school. The principles of the Dalton Plan are still in place today and remain central to the school’s success.

Belfast Castle

The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury presented Belfast Castle to the City of Belfast in 1934. In 1978, Belfast City Council began a major refurbishment over a period of ten years at a cost of over two million pounds. The architect was the Hewitt and Haslam Partnership. The building officially re-opened to the public on 11 November 1988.

Honours and styles of address


Styles of address

Death and burial

The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury died in 1961. He was buried in the Parish Church at Wimborne St Giles near the family estate. The earl's titles passed to his 22-year-old grandson, Anthony Ashley-Cooper.

The 9th Earl had carefully arranged financial matters on the Shaftesbury Estate so that his heirs would avoid death duties. When the earl died in 1961, his grandson inherited the family's 17th-century home and large estate in Dorset, several other properties and a collection of art, antiques, and other valuables. By the 1990s the 10th Earl's wealth was said to be in the "low millions".


  1. Pine, L. G. The New Extinct Peerage 1884–1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms, London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1972, page 3
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27415. p. 1736. 11 March 1902.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 28684. pp. 591–592. 24 January 1913.
  4. Hart's Army List for 1914, p. 89.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 28681. p. 327. 14 January 1913.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28875. p. 6581. 20 August 1914.
  7. Shaftesbury, Earl of (E, 1672) Archived 29 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine. in Cracroft's Peerage. Accessed 22 November 2015.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31241. p. 3717. 19 March 1919.
  9. Holdsworth, Angela (editor). Bryanston Reflections: Et nova et vetera, London: Third Millennium Publishing, 2005, ISBN 978-1-903942-38-3
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Dixon
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Succeeded by
Robert Anderson
Preceded by
The Viscount Farquhar
Lord Steward
Succeeded by
The Duke of Sutherland
Court offices
New title Lord Chamberlain to
The Princess of Wales, later Queen Mary

Succeeded by
The Marquess of Anglesey
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Lord Lieutenant of Belfast
Succeeded by
The Lord Pirrie
Preceded by
Sir Francis Workman-Macnaghten, Bt
Lord Lieutenant of Antrim
Succeeded by
The Viscount Massereene
Preceded by
John Mount Batten
Lord Lieutenant of Dorset
Succeeded by
The Lord Digby
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Anthony Ashley-Cooper
Earl of Shaftesbury
Succeeded by
Anthony Ashley-Cooper
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.