Thomas Edward Anson (1883-1960) Fourth Earl of Lichfield

On the death of the third Earl in 1918 he was succeeded by his son Thomas Edward (b. Dec 9th 1883). He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge. He held the office of Lord High Steward of Stafford from 1933 until his death, and was also deputy lieutenant for the county, as well as a J.P. He was Acting Master of the Horse to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1906 and 1910, and served in the First World War as a captain in the 5th City of London Rifle Brigade. After succeeding to the title he devoted himself to the care of Shugborough.


He first married Evelyn, daughter of Colonel Edward George Keppel, and had four children


·        Thomas William Arnold (b. May 4th 1913 – March 18th 1958). Father of Patrick Lichfield and Lady Elizabeth Anson. He was educated at Harrow-on-the-Hill. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Grenadier Guards. Thomas, who was known as ‘Billy’ within the family, had been a worry to his parents due to the manner in which he drove his car which during the earlier part of his life included several crashes. He was professional soldier being a lieutenant and colonel in the Grenadiers. He married Anne Ferelith Fenella Bowes-Lyon[1] on April 28th 1938. On returning from the Second World War he found he was unable to adapt to married life, resulting in divorce in 1948. He later re-married Monica Neville[2] on May 12th 1955. In 1958 he was stung by a bee that brought on an allergic reaction, causing his death forty-eight hours later on March 14th, at the age of forty-four.


Patrick’s mother later married Prince Georg of Denmark on 16th September 1950 at Glamis castle. She afterwards became Princess Anne of Denmark. She died in 1980 on London from a myocardial infarction at the age of sixty-two.


·        Betty Marjorie (b. March 12th 1917). She married Colonel Thomas Foley Churchill Winnington on 20 May 1944. They had five children, although the first, Celestria, died on the day she was born on 19 January 1947. The remaining four were – Sir Anthony Edward, (b.13 May 1948), Sarah Rose (b.29 April 1951), Emma Elizabeth (b.26 February 1956) and Henry Thomas (b.19 February 1961). Their eldest child, Sir Anthony Winnington, was educated at Eton and Grenobie University, France. He married Karyn Kathryn Kettles on 5 December 1978.[3] He succeeded as 7th baronet Winnington of Stanford Court, Worcestershire, on 26 April 2003. In 2003 Betty’s address was 182 Rivermead Court, Ranelagh Gardens, London, and her son Sir Anthony’s was 20 Baskerville Road, London.


·        Edward John (Feb 19th 1919 – 6th Oct 1942). A tragic causality of the Second World War was the death of Thomas and Evelyn’s youngest son Edward John. The official description of his death is given below:


‘At the time of the accident the ship was in dry dock and, as the Captain, Lieutenant Fanshaw was away on leave, Edward as First Lieutenant, was in command.


About 11.30pm on Tuesday October 5th, Edward, or Eddy as he was commonly known, and another officer, Lieutenant Hutton, who was on board with him, decided to go ashore in the dockyard to stretch their legs and get some air before turning in. They had one torch between them, which Edward’s servant had left out for him earlier in the evening in case he went ashore.


They visited one of the dockyard workshops where some repairs were being done for the ship, and Edward, as was his wont, started talking and joking with the workmen. After they had been there for some little time, Edward said that he thought that he ought to get back to the ship and left. After a few minutes Lieutenant Hutton remembered that Edward had gone off without the torch and went out of the workshop and called to him to wait until he caught up with him but received no reply and so thought Edward was then out of earshot. Lieutenant Hutton said goodnight to the men in the workshop and started to follow Edward back. He did not catch him up and when he arrived back onboard asked the quartermaster who was on duty whether the First Lieutenant had returned alright to which the quartermaster replied that he had not. Lieutenant Hutton returned to the dockyard to see if he could find him and even enquired at the workshop in case he had returned there, but there had been no sign of him. By this time Lieutenant Hutton had serious concerns for Edward and returned to the ship to organise a search party. They then discovered his body at the bottom of the dock, having suffered a fall of 60 feet. It was thought that he had tripped over the rail that runs alongside the dry dock when attempting to find the stairway leading down to his ship.


Everything possible was dome and warm things were immediately placed around him and he was taken without delay to the Naval Hospital. His injuries were multiple and he was unconscious the whole time and died peacefully at 3.30am on Wednesday October 6th.


An obituary from a local newspaper recorded: ‘The whole village [of Great Haywood] was profoundly moved when the news reached it, for Mr Eddy (to give him the familiar name by which he was known), was seen by many only two or three days before, whilst on shore leave. He was liked and esteemed by all for his simple and unassuming ways and charming personality. At the impressive and beautiful naval funeral on Sunday October 10th, the Bishop of Lichfield aptly “Thanked God for his brave response to the call of his King and Country, for his happy fellowship with his comrades, and for the beauty and purity of his life.”’


·        Cecilia Evelyn (1926 - 16 Jan 1963). Little is known about the life of Cecilia who was born in 1926. Rather unusual, she does not appear on the height chart in the internal library doorway after 1933 (aged 7) although her brothers and sister continue to. During the Second World War she worked with the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She married Sir John Henry Wiggin on 30th September 1947 whose ancestral home is Honington Hall at Stratford on Avon. They had two children – Charles Rupert John Wiggin and Benjamin Henry Edward Wiggin (b.23 Aug 1951). They appear on the passenger list of the SS Braemar Castle travelling from Gibraltar to London in 1954. He gave his occupation as a Major in the British Army. Their home address was given as Flat 9, 1 Princes Row, Buckingham Palace Row, London SW1. The couple divorced in 1961, and the London phone book for that year records her address as 12 Onslow Court, Drayton Gardens, SW10.[4] She died 16th January 1963, aged 37. Her death was registered at Kensington and her address was still Onslow Court. Her burial took place on 24th January 1963 at Brompton, London.[5]


Evelyn had a heart complaint and died during on April 16th 1945 at the age of fifty-eight. It is conjectured that she never recovered from the loss of her younger son Edward three years earlier. His second marriage was to Margaret, daughter of Colonel Henry Dawson-Greene, on 23rd February 1949.


At this time there were thirty-eight indoor staff and about the same amount outdoor, including a plumber, painter, cabinet-maker and beekeeper, with the maids and house servants living in a warren of corridors underneath the roof.[6] However, these days of large staffing would soon come to an end.


Shortly after being inherited by the fourth Earl was the discovery of dry rot found in 1920. This work entailed major repairs and some structural changes over the next four years, all of which were a serious drain on resources. The first sign of dry rot was a growth of a large patch of fungus on the wall at the south-east corner of the Red Drawing Room. An examination revealed that many areas of the house were similarly infected. The main cause of this was seepage of moisture through the walls and roof, attributable to the slate facing and roofing added during Samuel Wyatt’s alterations of 1795-1806. The slates on the exterior walls had not been overlapped in the usual way but rather butted together and fixed with large iron nails with only the edges being laid in cement. The resulting hollow behind each slate accumulated moisture if the painted surface became cracked, as had happened during the First World War when repainting was not possible. The roofing slates were also butted together, the joints having been protected by slate fillets laid in mastic which often let in rainwater, so allowing the fungus to spread to the roof timbers. It was decided that only a complete renovation of the house could save it from further serious structural problems. Many of the main roof timbers were rotten as were floor joists and lintels over doors and windows. Large areas of brick walls were also infected making them potentially unstable. The work was carried out between January 1921 and October 1924. Throughout the house defective timber, and also that in unventilated areas, was replaced with steel or concrete. All affected areas of brickwork were pulled down and rebuilt; interior plaster on wooden battens was replaced by cement directly on brick. The exterior slate facing was removed, except for the area under the portico, to reveal the original red brick with stone dressings of the 17th century house. As this was not in a good enough condition to leave exposed it was refinished with American white cement on a Portland cement backing. The roof was completely re-slated and the lead flats and gutters replaced.[7]


Advantage was taken of this necessary demolition to improve the height of the attic storey of the saloon wing, and also to provide an en-suite bathroom for the state bedroom. When this wing was added by Wyatt c1805 the plan had been subservient to the elevation to preserve its classical symmetry. The greater height of the ground-floor saloon necessitated a higher first floor level, but the windows in order to present a regular external appearance, were carried round at the general level. The result of this was that the windows of the State Bedroom were partly below floor level. In order to raise them to a more convenient height the elevation of the wing was altered, two pilasters being introduced to allow the exterior cornice level to be raised. The top storey was altered to form a high parapet with a central circular lunette window. The attic windows on this front were bricked up and new side windows added; wooden dummy windows here were removed and replaced with brick recesses. As these attic rooms were low and dark it was decided to improve them by raising the entire roof of the saloon wing by about three feet, so the ceilings of these were all renewed. The bathroom was created for the State Bedroom by converting a box-room, this being lit by a shaft up to a sky-light on the roof.[8]


Further alterations were made to the first floor of the north-wing links section, the walls being rebuilt and raised several feet in height and a new flat roof formed at the higher level. The lantern over the bathroom was replaced and a new one made over the landing corridor which was thrown open to the main staircase. The staircase window was removed, the opening was made into an arcade fitted with metal balusters to match the others, so that the staircase is now lit from the landing skylight. Other work on the first floor landing included the closing-off of the doorway between no.1 Bed and Dressing-rooms with a new entrance being made from the passage into the latter.[9]


Serious defects were also found on the south front of the west wing between the portico and the Boudoir corner. This necessitated laying a concrete raft which extended under the walls at each side with steel members to take up any stresses and angled concrete blocks to key the walls into the main front. The first floor windows were replaced with taller ones, this being made possible by the removal of the frieze or window-head beneath the cornice. Two wooden dummy windows at the Boudoir corner were removed and the spaces bricked up. The basement window below these was raised and the small area rebuilt to the new level. In the attic the front bedrooms were given new windows and the dummy windows on each side were replaced with brick recesses. At the north end of the house the existing dummy windows were also replaced by brick recesses.[10]


During the course of the repairs the unsatisfactory crank bell system was replaced with an electric one, with an indicator board in the basement passage near the Service Wing. As the electrical system was not installed until 1927 these bells must have then been battery-powered.[11]


The school room was still in used during the 1930s for the education of Cecilia. Because of the isolation of Shugborough Thomas and Evelyn were anxious of their children being able to mix with others, so children from neighbouring families were often invited to Shugborough with tennis parties being very popular.


During the Second World War the estate, intersected by two main line railways, and of considerable strategic importance, had a large military camp constructed over most of the southern part of the Park.[12]


Towards the end of the 1950s the House experienced ‘an almost Dickensian decline.’ The fourth Earl and his wife, ‘continuing the process of retrenchment that had begun with the war, had slowly evacuated one gloomy room after another until now they were virtually camping out in the sole remaining heated room with only a housekeeper for company.’[13] After the death of their eldest son in 1958 (father of the fifth Earl), and now in poor health, the fourth Earl and his wife moved to the warmer climate of Bournemouth. Before they left they carefully moth-balled and dust-sheeted the House. Whenever his grandson Patrick, now in his early twenties, was at Shugborough, he and his sister Elizabeth occupied a small cottage on the other side of the estate.


The factors which contributed to the decline in numbers of country houses during the early 20th century stemmed largely from the imposition of death and estate duties in 1892 and 1908 respectively; the effects of the agricultural depression which lasted from 1873 until 1914; the loss of sons and heirs in the First World War with its resultant ending of the ready-supply of domestic servants, had all contributed to force the sale or destruction of numerous country houses by the 1930s. The circumstances of the Second World War with its aftermath of austerity and penal taxation brought about the downfall of many more. Between 1945 and 1974 about 250 historic houses were demolished in Britain.[14]


It was the wish of the fourth Earl that the property should be opened to the public. Consequently, on his death in 1960, the House, Park and contents were offered in part payment of death duties to the National Trust. The alternative would have been to auction both the House and contents, breaking up the collection and almost repeating the fate of the first Earl. The negotiations with the National Trust were long and complex and continued for a number of years. By the conclusion the house included a private family apartment and the Treasury wrote off the tax debt. Along with the estate the family trustees also gave a sum of money to provide an endowment fund. The income from this fund was not sufficient to provide for the upkeep and therefore Shugborough was leased to Staffordshire County Council. Under this arrangement the County Council established a County Museum in the stables, educational and conferencing facilities, as well as administering the property.


Restoration work was completed as part of the conditions of the takeover of the property. The portico was restored; a new oak staircase to the second floor was to be installed as the existing one would be in the private part of the house; the provision of firedoors, screens and other openings to allow public access to certain rooms and to close of private quarters; and updating the hot and cold water systems. The private water supply was updated by connection to the main public supply. Crude sewage was discharged into the Trent opposite the east front of the house. This was updated with the installation of a new underground sewage treatment tank. The electricity supply was also updated.[15]


Also on the ground floor the private apartment retained the use of the Study, the Boudoir and the Anson Room. The wooden glass screen door which formerly closed off the main corridor from the service wing was moved further along in order to separate the public and private parts of the house. Decorations included removing the white paint from the yellow scagliola columns of the Hall and Saloon. Other features originally added by Joubert and now removed included the dado and architraves in the staircase Hall area, the Bust Parlour and the Saloon. The broad striped wallpaper was hung as a cheaper alternative to the expensive damask silk with which the Drawing Room had originally been hung. Ceilings were repainted and roses added to some of the rooms. The house, after the restoration work, was finally opened to the public in 1966.[16]


The new staircase to the second floor was installed to give staff access to the rooms used for office space and museum storage. The original staircase leading from the landing was screened off in the private apartments, so giving the private apartment most of the ground floor and all of the upper on the south side of the house as a self-contained unit. This part had always been reserved for family use, not only because of its closer proximity to the service wing, but also as it was the sunniest part of the house. The first floor rooms of the south wing became living and bedroom accommodation, those over the service wing are now used as a staff flat. The side entrance became front door of the private apartment leading into the circular hall. Rear access was made by converting one of the windows in the ground floor Dining (formerly Smoking) Room into a door which was stuccoed on the exterior to blend with the rear elevation.


Thomas Patrick John Anson (1939-2005) Fifth Earl of Lichfield


The fourth Earl was succeeded by his grandson because his own son died durig his own lifetime. ‘Patrick Lichfield’ was born at his grandmother’s house at Embankment Gardens, West London, on April 29th 1939. Patrick was a first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II as they both share one set of great-grandparents – the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. One of their ten children, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, married the man who would become George VI, who had two daughters, Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. Elizabeth’s brother, John Bowes-Lyon, also had two daughters, Patrick’s mother Anne (1917-1980) and his aunt Diana.


The Strathmore family home was Glamis Castle where Patrick, along with his sister Elizabeth, spent occasional holidays during their nomadic childhoods, which involved staying with grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and aunts. Patrick recalled that his great-grandfather, the Earl of Strathmore, had a large beard that regularly caught fire whenever he lit a cigarette.


One of his earliest memories of Shugborough was that during the Second World War, the household during air raids would disappear into the cellars for safety, headed by his grandfather brandishing the port. The only potential target was the railway line that ran through a corner of the park. Originally the house had had its own station although this had been closed at the beginning of the war. Missing this convenience, Patrick’s grandfather would pull the communication cord, regally handing the guard a £5 note to cover the cost of the fine, before taking a short stroll across the estate. Although much of his time at Shugborough was spent outdoors, on rainy days he would amuse himself within the house. This once included, much to his grandmother’s indignation, playing ping-pong against one of the Zuccarelli landscapes (although this later turned out to be a forgery).[17]


Patrick attended Harrow public school, followed by Sandhurst. After passing out he joined the Grenadiers. This consisted mostly of guarding the Tower of London, St James’s Palace, the Bank of England and Buckingham Palace. There were also postings to Triploli, Kumba and the Cameroons (Africa). During the late fifties and early sixties he was living in London with a love of jazz that led to frequent visits to nightclubs. Before the end of 1962 he resigned his commission in the Grenadiers and turned to photography as a career, beginning by assisting Kasterine and Wallis.


Although on a small salary of £3-11-6 from the Shugborough trustees he needed to earn a living. With the blessing of Kasterine and Wallis, who feared no competition, he began working as a commercial photographer, initially concentrating on portraits. Where possible he would use exterior locations, utilising natural light to make the subject appear as natural as possible. His photographs slowly began to appear in newspapers and advertisements. Still relatively poor, he would photograph girlfriends, and friends of girlfriends, as opposed to the expense of hiring models.


Eventually he built up a small portfolio of celebrity portraits. Image was of prime importance during the sixties, especially for celebrities. This naturally led to ‘image makers’, such as David Bailey, Terrance Donovan and Terry Duffy, and, eventually Patrick Lichfield. He progressed from newspapers to glossy magazines, including a substantial amount of work for ‘Queen.’ This direction also involved photo-journalism as well as portraits.


When his London home at Wilton Place was due for demolition he purchased a one-bedroom studio apartment at Aubrey Walk, Holland Place. This was largely financed after successfully persuading the Shugborough trustees that a London-base was necessary for his work. However, towards the end of the sixties, he thought that ‘real London was beginning to pall and the countryside that had meant so much to me as a child was exercising a magnetic attraction.’[18] When he did move into Shugborough he still retained his home at Aubrey Walk for working purposes. At Shugborough, in agreement with the National Trust, he occupied a suite of surplus rooms in the south wing accessed by the original servants’ entrance. ‘Most of the rooms, many of them familiar since childhood, were considerably smaller than those in the rest of the house, easier to heat and furnish although pleasantly proportioned.’[19] These included ‘the old second dining room with its impressive bookcases would become our main dining room; my old bedroom, a breakfast room, conveniently situated next door to the new kitchen in what had been Liz’s bedroom. My grandfather’s dressing room, which I’d originally marked down as a darkroom, would now be a small sitting room. If I really wanted a darkroom up here we could no doubt carve one out of a cellar.’[20]


As well as photographing celebrities he also captured royals. For ‘Vogue’, which he described as the ‘photographer’s medium’, he photographed the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, thirty years after their exile to France. These photographs added great status to his rapidly-increasing portfolio and was his induction for ‘Vogue’, leading to numerous assignments for the magazine in New York. It was through working for ‘Vogue’ that he met David Bailey, later a frequent visitor to house parties at Shugborough.


Although being labelled a ‘ladies man’, his ‘beautiful women’ were, for the most part, professional relationships. However, he never played the moniker down, realising that no publicity is bad publicity. He took the iconic photograph of Marsha Hunt, Star of ‘Hair’, naked and sporting an enormous afro. While in New York he became friends with Bianca Macias. Later she asked him to give her away as bride when she married Mick Jagger. This produced another iconic photograph of the newly-weds in the back of the wedding car. Another Rolling Stones connection was formed with their drummer. An error in the House concerning the dating of a display of Paul de Lamerie silver was spotted, and corrected, by Charlie Watts. During a break in the Rolling Stones UK tour in May 1976[21] Patrick’s butler, Arthur, collected Jagger and Watts and brought them to Shugborough, the other band members staying at Tillington Hall. A photo of Jagger holding a bird was taken by Patrick at the farm. Other guests have included Princess Anne, who, after the visitors had departed, rode around the grounds with Patrick on Motorbikes. The Royal Photographic Society held a one-man retrospective show of his work in 1974.


By this time he was a highly-respected photographer and progressed from magazines to commissions for calendars, most notably the seventeen successive calendars for Unipart.  He also produced advertising material for highly influential clients such as Bayer Pharmaceutical, Daimler, Burberry, British American Tobacco, Pears Soap and Kodak. After a burglary at Aubrey Walk in which all his cameras were stolen the camera manufacturers Olympus proposed a reciprocal agreement. If they provided him with equipment he would agree to endorse their cameras. Although he did not relinquish photography completely (by now Lichfield Studios was largely run by his staff) he became more actively engaged in the management of Shugborough.


Patrick secured his first royal commission after approaching the Buckingham Palace press office with the suggestion of shooting group photographs of the Queen and her family on holiday. His successful execution of informal portraits helped to humanise the royals. He depicted a relaxed and smiling family on holiday, dressed casually in kilts in front of Balmoral, fishing, having barbecues, riding and walking. He was the official photographer for the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. This included the famous shot of the bridal group collapsing in a heap of laughter after the formal shoot was over. He was also responsible for the photographs of Princess Anne’s engagement and the Queen’s silver wedding anniversary.


Patrick was a keen supporter of the digital photographic revolution. He professed himself hugely relieved to be quit of the tyranny of film and calculated that the move to digital saved him £75,000 a year in film and processing costs.


Patrick married Lady Leonara Mary Grosvenor (b.1st Feb 1949), daughter of the fifth Duke of Westminster, on March 8th 1975.


·        Lady Rose Meriel Margaret  (b.27 July 1976)


·        Thomas William Robert Hugh (b.19 July 1978)


·        Lady Eloise Anne Elizabeth (b.1981)


They subsequently divorced eleven years later. The amount of travel that Lichfield undertook during assignments, spending on average 200 nights a year in hotels had presumably contributed to the break-up. The constant stream of tabloid stories ‘documenting’ his alleged affairs with models throughout the seventies and eighties did not help. On the break-up of his marriage, Noel Myers, Unipart’s art director who had worked with Lichfield on the famous calendars, suggested in an interview that Lichfield was driven to being a workaholic because he was determined to prove he was not the beneficiary of privilege.


As a businessman his investments included the stage shows ‘Hair’ and ‘Oh Calcutta!’ from their beginning in the 1960s. He also attempted to help organise a British version of the famous Woodstock festival, although this was aborted when the financial backers withdrew. Later he became director of several restaurants in London. In 1989 he took a role as the VSO’s first ambassador, visiting volunteers worldwide.


From the early 1990s Patrick’s later partner was Lady Annuziata Asquith, the daughter of Julian Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith. Patrick met the former model on a commission from Burberry. In 1996 he bought a home on the Island of Mustique, and had for neighbours Mick Jagger, Bryan Adams, Princess Margaret. One of hhis last interviews was by Emine Saner of the ‘Evening Standard’ who flew out to meet him in Mustique in July 2004.  Ironically it was titled ‘Lord Lichfield: the night I nearly died.’ Below are extracts from that interview:


We’re sitting in his beautiful living room, with whitewashed wooden walls decorated with turtle shells. The room opens onto his terrace with a stunning view of the sea. The house - painted white and very pretty - is sprawling; tiers of lower bedrooms, terraces, orchards and two cottages tumble down the hillside. He thinks it's small (though with six bedrooms, a gym, and a cinema being built, it's hardly pokey) and he rents it out for 30 weeks a year at £8,000 a week. Hugh Grant has taken it, as has Pierce Brosnan.


“When Princess Margaret first came, it was very primitive. We had no electricity and we’d cook on little camping stoves. She was completely unfazed. We were bitten to death by mosquitos and it took nearly an hour to get from one end of the island to another because the roads were terrible. It's become comfortable but there's still an island feel about it. The celebrity thing here is absolutely meaningless. A few years before she died she held a dinner party at the Beach Bar and she asked me, Raquel [Welch], Mick [Jagger] and Jerry, David [Bowie] and Iman. Nobody turned their head.”


He shows me where he had a near-fatal accident 13 years ago. He fell 18 feet backwards over a wall by his swimming pool and smashed his skull in two places, punctured a lung, broke his back and eight ribs.  No planes could land on the island at night, so he had to lie on the tiled floor of his living room for nine hours, waiting for dawn with only an aspirin for the pain. He spent six weeks in hospital and another eight months recovering.  “If you have a near-death experience like that, you realise how fragile life is. I am hugely grateful for the hand life has dealt me. There have been bitter moments but if they hadn't happened, I wouldn't relish the sweet bits.” After the accident, he gave up his 50-a-day cigarette habit and all but stopped drinking. “And now they've got lights on the runway at the airport.”


One casualty of his jet-set life was his marriage to Lady Leonora Grosvenor. They married in 1975, had three children (Rose, now 27, Thomas, 25, and Eloise, 24) but divorced after eleven years, amid reports of his affair with a model. “To marry a photographer who charges around the world with the most beautiful girls is not a reliable prospect,” he said. “Until my marriage break-up, I'd never had any form of emotional upset. I might have broken a few hearts but my own was pretty much intact. That shows how spoilt I was. Then, when the bump came, boy did it hurt, probably because I recognised that it was my fault. I was the one who had strayed.”


After the divorce, Lichfield was so depressed he “forgot to eat”, sparking reports that he was suffering from Aids because he became so thin. Now, he says, he is very happy in his relationship with Lady Annunziata Asquith. She is wandering around in a lilac dress with ‘Mustique’ embroidered on the front, her blonde hair scooped up at her neck. In her fifties, she is still incredibly attractive. She is the most beautiful woman he has photographed, says Lichfield. But doesn't he have to say that? “No, it's true,” he says. They have known each other for many years (she modelled for him for 17 years).


On November 10th 2005 he suffered a major stroke while staying with friends in the Oxford area. He died the following day at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, aged 66. Members of his family were at his bedside. A statement released on behalf of Lichfield Studios by his photographic agent Camera Press said: ‘The Earl of Lichfield died peacefully.’


The Daily Mail obituary was headed ‘Queen’s distress at death of Lord Lichfield’ who said that she was ‘deeply saddened’ at the death of her first cousin once removed. Lady Antonia Fraser, a former subject of Patrick’s, said “It is terribly sad news. What I remember most is that he made the sitting such fun. It was so enjoyable because he had such high spirits - that it is hard now to believe he is dead - and you got a lovely picture at the end of it’


Lord Lichfield had been working in the studio the day before he fell ill and recently took portraits of Baroness Thatcher for her 80th birthday celebrations. The former Prime Minister said: ‘Patrick Lichfield was not only one of the most talented and professional of photographers, he was also an absolute delight to sit for.’


His funeral was held at Colwich parish church where he was buried in the Anson vault. He is also enshrined at Madame Tussaud’s waxworks, as well as a model of him that moves and speaks at the Bradford Museum of Photography.


Patrick’s sister is Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Anson, born at Windsor Castle in 1941. Her Godfather was George VI. During the 1960s she began Party Planners, and has provided catering for events including Prince William’s 18th, the Princess Royal’s 50th and Princess Margaret’s 70th birthday celebrations. She married Sir Geoffrey Adam Shakerley on 27th July 1972 at Westminster Abbey, with Princess Anne as her bridesmaid. They have one daughter, Fiona Elizabeth Fenella Shakerley (b.1973).[22] She was a director of Debrett’s Peerage between 1979 and 1983. In 2003 her address was listed as being 56 Ladbrooke Gove, London.


Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson (b.1978) Sixth Earl of Lichfield


Thomas was born on July 19th 1978, the eldest and only son of Patrick Lichfield. He married Lady Henrietta Tamara Conyngham, daughter of the 8th Marquess Conyngham, of Slane Castle, Ireland, in December 2009 at Chelsea Registry Office. In March 2010 he relinquished the rights to the family apartment at Shugborough thereby ending what had been the Anson family home for 317 years. He now lives near Bideford in Devon. His first son was born in May 2011.




Patrick Lichfield Television Appearances


Patrick made a number of television appearances, although always appearing as himself rather than in acting roles.


·        The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (Chat show). Episode dated 16 Sept 1970.


·        Peer in Focus (Documentary) 1971.
V.I.P.-Schaukel (Documentary). Episode 2.3. 1972.


·        The Sweepstakes Game (Game show). Episodes 1.9 and 1.12. 1976.


·        Going for a Song (Documentary). Episode dated 11 Sept 1977.


·        Call My Bluff (Quiz show). Ten episodes between 1979-1983.


·        Aspel & Company (Chat show). Episode 4.9. 1987.
The Dame Edna Experience (Chat show). Episode 1.5. 1987


·        Keeping Up Appearances (Comedy series). ‘Sea Fever’ episode. 1993.


·        Mad Dogs and Englishmen. 1995.


·        The Mrs Merton Show (Chat show). Episode 2.6. 1995


·        Celebrity Countdown (Quiz show). Episode 1.4. 1998


·        Masterchef (TV series) 1990-1999. Episodes 1.10 (1990) and 9.13 (1999)


·        The Terry and Gaby Show (Chat show). Episode dated 5 Nov 2003.


·        The Truth About Boarding Schools (Documentary) 2003.


·        Casualty.


·        Countryfile (Current affairs). Episode dated 11 April 2004.


·        Breakfast TV (Chat show). Episode dated 26 April 2004.


·        This Morning (Chat show). Episodes dated 8 May 2003 and 7 Oct 2004.


·        Hot Shots (Documentary) Episode on Portraits. 2005.


·        The Queen at 80 (Documentary).


TV commercial for Olympus Camera. This involved dressed up as a guardsman and being recognised by passing tourists (“It’s you, isn’t it?!”).


Patrick Lichfield Radio Appearances


Patrick appeared on the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Desert Island Discs’ on the 31st Oct 1981. His eight choices were:


1.    I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter – Fats Waller and his Rhythm Band.


2.    As Time Goes By – Dooley Wilson (Castaway’s favourite).


3.    Sheep May Safely Graze (from Cantata No. 208) – Johann Sebastian Bach. Soloist: Cyril Smith, Phyllis Sellick.


4.     Just Like a Woman – Bob Dylan.


5.    The Banana Boat Song – Stan Freberg and Peter Leeds.


6.    A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum.


7.    Vincent – Don McLean.


8.    Jupiter (from The Planet Suite) – Gustav Holst. Choir: St. Paul’s Cathedral Congregation.


Patrick also had a cameo in the long-running BBC Radio 4 series ‘The Archers’ as the photographer at Shula Archers’ wedding.


Patrick Lichfield Books


Lichfield on Photography (1981)


The Most Beautiful Women (1981)


A Royal Album (1982)


Patrick Lichfield’s Unipart Calendar Book (1982)


Lichfield on Travel Photography (1986)


Not The Whole Truth (autobiography, 1986)


Queen Mother: The Lichfield Selection (editor, 1990)


Elizabeth R: A Photographic Celebration of 40 Years (editor, 1991)




Any un-cited references are taken either from the original house guide produced by The National Trust (1989, revised 1996), miscellaneous notes from guide folders in the rooms or from conversations with House staff.


Archibald Anson, ‘About Others and Myself’, 1920.


Walter Chetwynd, The History of Pirehill Hundred by Walter Chetwynd of Ingestre 1679. Reprinted in Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol.1914.


June May Harris, ‘Yes M’Lady – at home with the Ansons 1888-1900’


Constance Johnson, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’. Dissertation submitted for the degree of Master of Arts in History of Art and Design (CNAA), Birmingham Polytechnic, 1989.


Rosemary K. Jones, ‘The Development of Shugborough Hall from the 17th century to the Present Day’, thesis submitted as part of course requirements for B.A.(Hons) in Printed and Woven Textiles. (Useful for an examination of the Sale Catalogues for both Shugborough and Lichfield House in London in 1842).


Patrick Lichfield, ‘Not The Whole Truth. An Autobiography.’ Constable, London, 1986.


Pam Sambrook, ‘Aristocratic Indebtedness’, PHD Thesis.


F. B. Stitt, ‘Shugborough : The End of a Village’, in Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol.1970.


Burke’s Peerage, 1922, (pp1393-1394), supplemented with additional dates missing from the 1922 edition from


[1] Anne Ferelith Fenella Bowes-Lyon was born on December 4th 1917 at Washington DC, USA. She was the daughter of the Honourable John Herbert Bowes-Lyon and the honourable Fenella Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis.

[2] Monica Neville was the daughter of Commander Ralph Neville and the honourable Lettice Cary.

[3] Sir Anthony had three children – Victoria Elizabeth (b.1981), Sophie Rose (b.1985) and Edward Alan (b.15 November 1987).

[4] Her ex-husband does not appear in the phone book.

[5] Her name also appears on a gravestone in St Stephen’s, Great Haywood, as Cecilia Evelyn Wiggin, nee Anson. A photo of this exists at the County Museum, Shugborough.

[6] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole truth’, p13.

[7] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p65.

[8] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p66.

[9] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p66.

[10] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p67.

[11] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p69.

[12] Built as a POW camp. Lichfield, p15

[13] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole Truth’, p46.

[14] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p71.

[15] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p79-80.

[16] Johnson, Constance, ‘The Evolution of Shugborough’, p83.

[17] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole Truth’, p34.

[18] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole Truth’, p124.

[19] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole Truth’, p124.

[20] Lichfield, Patrick, ‘Not The Whole Truth’, p124.

[21] The Rolling Stones played Bingley Hall, Stafford, as part of their world tour on May 17th and 18th 1976.

[22] She married Edward Brocas Burrows in 2004 and has two children – Noah (b.March 2006) and Ruby (b.2008).