The Earl of Ancaster

Lord Willoughby de Eresby
Member of Parliament for Horncastle
In office
Preceded byEdward Stanhope
Succeeded byWilliam Weigall
Personal details
Born(1867-07-29)29 July 1867
Died19 September 1951(1951-09-19) (aged 84)
Political partyConservative
Eloise Lawrence Breese
(m. 1905; his death 1951)
ChildrenGilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
ParentsGilbert Henry Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 1st Earl of Ancaster
Lady Evelyn Elizabeth Gordon
Eton College
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 2nd Earl of Ancaster GCVO JP DL (29 July 1867 – 19 September 1951), known as Lord Willoughby de Eresby from 1892 to 1910, was a British Conservative politician.[1]

Early life

Ancaster was born in London on 29 July 1867. He was the eldest son of Gilbert Henry Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 1st Earl of Ancaster, and Lady Evelyn Elizabeth Gordon, daughter of Charles Gordon, 10th Marquess of Huntly.

He was educated at Lambrook preparatory school and at Eton, where he was editor of the Eton College Chronicle and president of the Eton Society. He then attended Trinity College, Cambridge.[1][2]


In 1894, he was elected to Parliament for the Horncastle Division of Lincolnshire, a seat he held until shortly after the December 1910 general election, when he succeeded his father as second Earl of Ancaster and entered the House of Lords. Ancaster later held office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries under David Lloyd George from 1921 to 1922 and under Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin from 1922 to 1924.[1]

Apart from his parliamentary political career he was also Lord Lieutenant of Rutland from 1921 to 1951, Chairman of Rutland County Council from 1922 to 1937, DL for the county of Perthshire and JP for Lincolnshire, where he was Chairman of the Kesteven Quarter Sessions from 1911 to 1937.[1]

He was Joint Lord Great Chamberlain between 1910 and 1951. He was appointed GCVO in 1937.[1]

During the Second Boer War he was appointed an honorary Major of the Leicestershire Imperial Yeomanry, but was in June 1901 transferred to become Captain of the Lincolnshire Imperial Yeomanry,[3] rising to Lieutenant-Colonel.[4]

On 12 December 1902 he was one of the founding directors of Ivel Agricultural Motors Limited of Biggleswade, founded by Dan Albone who had invented the Ivel Agricultural Motor (the word 'tractor' did not come into common use until later).[5]

Personal life

In 1905, Lord Aveland married American heiress Eloise Lawrence Breese (1882–1953), daughter of William Lawrence Breese of New York, at St Margaret's, Westminster.[6] Her sister Anne married Lord Alastair Robert Innes-Ker, the second son of James Innes-Ker, 7th Duke of Roxburghe. Lord Alastair's brother, Henry Innes-Ker, 8th Duke of Roxburghe, also married an American, Mary Goelet.[7] Eloise and Anne's brother, William L. Breese Jr.,[8] was married to Julia Kean Fish, daughter of U.S. Representative Hamilton Fish II.[9] Together, Eloise and Gilbert were the parents of two sons and two daughters:[1]

He died on 19 September 1951, aged 84, and was succeeded in his titles by his only surviving son, Gilbert James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby.[1] His widow died in 1953.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituary: Earl of Ancaster". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 20 September 1951. p. 8.
  2. ^ "Willoughby, the Hon. Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond (WLHY886GH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "No. 27330". The London Gazette. 5 July 1901. p. 4476.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ancaster, Earl of (UK, 1892 - 1983)". Cracroft's Peerage. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Dan Albone". Biggleswade History Society. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Miss Eloise Breese Weds" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 December 1905. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  7. ^ "DUKE OF ROXBURGHE MARRIES MISS GOELET; Second American Heiress to be Made a Duchess in St, Thomas's WOMEN MOB HER CARRIAGE Extraordinary Demonstration Near the Church by Faminine Sightseers Keeps Police Busy -- Reception at Mrs. Goelet's Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 November 1903. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  8. ^ "New Yorker Dies at Front: W. L. Breese, Killed in Battle, Held an English Commission". The New York Times. 17 March 1915. p. 3.
  9. ^ "MISS JULIA FISH TO WED W.L. BREESE; Second Daughter of Hamilton Fish Engaged to a Son of Mrs. Higgins of London, CEREMONY IN THE SPRING Mr. Breese Has Large Mining Interests in Alaska--He Is James L. Breese's Nephew" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 December 1907. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  10. ^ "HON. PHYLLIS ASTOR TO WED PEER'S SON; Only Daughter of Lord and Lady Astor Betrothed to Heir of Earl of Ancaster. COUNTESS IS NEW YORKER Fiance's Mother Is Former Eloise Breese--Her Mother Is Noted as M. P." (PDF). The New York Times. 1 July 1933. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  11. ^ "COUNTESS OF ANCASTER; The Former Eloise Breese of New York Dead in England" (PDF). The New York Times. 15 December 1953. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Stanhope
Member of Parliament for Horncastle
Succeeded by
William Weigall
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Onslow
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Succeeded by
Walter Robert Smith
Court offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Cholmondeley
Lord Great Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The 3rd Earl of Ancaster
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Ranksborough
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland
Succeeded by
William Melville Codrington
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
Earl of Ancaster
Succeeded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
Baron Willoughby de Eresby
(descended by acceleration)

Succeeded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby