BARONETAGE
Last updated 03/07/2014
Names of baronets shown in blue
have not yet proved succession and, as a
result, their name has not yet been placed on
the Official Roll of the Baronetage.
Date Type Order Name Born Died Age
Dates in italics in the "Born" column indicate that the baronet was
baptised on that date; dates in italics in the "Died" column indicate
that the baronet was buried on that date
DENTON of Hillersdon,Bucks
12 May 1699 E 1 Edmund Denton 25 Oct 1676 4 May 1714 37
to MP for Buckingham 1698-1708 and
4 May 1714 Buckinghamshire 1708-1713
Extinct on his death
DENYS of Stratford Place,London
23 Nov 1813 UK 1 George William Denys 20 May 1788 26 Apr 1857 68
MP for Hull 1812-1818
26 Apr 1857 2 George William Denys 11 Dec 1811 23 Feb 1881 69
23 Feb 1881 3 Francis Charles Edward Denys-Burton 15 Mar 1849 19 Nov 1922 73
19 Nov 1922 4 Charles Peter Denys 27 May 1899 3 Oct 1960 61
to Extinct on his death
3 Oct 1960
DE RAEDT of the Hague,Holland
30 May 1660 E 1 Gualter de Raedt
Nothing further is known of this baronetcy
DEREHAM of West Dereham,Norfolk
8 Jun 1661 E 1 Thomas Dereham c 1600 30 Mar 1668
Mar 1668 2 Henry Dereham c 1643 27 May 1682
May 1682 3 Richard Dereham 10 Apr 1644 c 1710
c 1710 4 Thomas Dereham c 1678 16 Jan 1739
to Extinct on his death
16 Jan 1739
DERING of Surrenden Dering,Kent
1 Feb 1627 E 1 Edward Dering 28 Jan 1598 22 Jun 1644 46
MP for Hythe 1629 and Kent 1640-1642
22 Jun 1644 2 Edward Dering 8 Nov 1625 24 Jun 1684 58
MP for Kent 1660, East Retford 1670-1679
and Hythe 1679-1685
24 Jun 1684 3 Edward Dering 18 Apr 1650 15 Oct 1689 39
MP for Kent 1679-1685
15 Oct 1689 4 Cholmeley Dering 23 Jun 1679 9 May 1711 31
MP for Kent 1705-1708 and 1710-1711 and
Saltash 1708-1710
For further information on this baronet, see the
note at the foot of this page.
9 May 1711 5 Edward Dering 8 Dec 1705 15 Apr 1762 56
MP for Kent 1733-1754
15 Apr 1762 6 Edward Dering 28 Sep 1732 8 Dec 1798 66
MP for New Romney 1761-1770 and 1774-
1787
8 Dec 1798 7 Edward Dering 16 Feb 1757 30 Jun 1811 54
30 Jun 1811 8 Edward Cholmeley Dering 19 Nov 1807 1 Apr 1896 88
MP for Wexford 1830 and 1831,New
Romney 1831 and Kent East 1852-1857 and
1863-1868
1 Apr 1896 9 Henry Nevill Dering 21 Sep 1839 27 Aug 1906 66
27 Aug 1906 10 Henry Edward Dering 9 May 1866 14 Jun 1931 65
14 Jun 1931 11 Anthony Myles Cholmeley Dering 29 Jul 1901 23 Apr 1958 56
23 Apr 1958 12 Rupert Anthony Yea Dering 17 Oct 1915 16 Mar 1975 59
to Extinct on his death
16 Mar 1975
DE ROBECK of Naas,Kildare
8 Oct 1919 UK 1 John Michael de Robeck 10 Jun 1862 20 Jan 1928 65
to Admiral of the Fleet 1925
20 Jan 1928 Extinct on his death
DE SAUMEREZ of Guernsey
13 Jun 1801 UK See "Saumerez"
DE SAUSMAREZ of Jerburg,Guernsey
26 Jun 1928 UK 1 Havilland Walter de Sausmarez 30 May 1861 5 Mar 1941 79
to Extinct on his death
5 Mar 1941
DES BOUVERIE of St.Catherine Cree
19 Feb 1714 GB 1 William des Bouverie 26 Sep 1656 19 May 1717 60
19 May 1717 2 Edward des Bouverie c 1690 21 Nov 1736
MP for Shaftesbury 1719-1734
21 Nov 1736 3 Jacob des Bouverie (Bouverie from 22 Apr 1737) 14 Oct 1694 17 Feb 1761 66
He was subsequently created Viscount
Folkestone (qv) in 1747. The baronetcy
remains merged with the Earldom of Radnor
DES VOEUX of Indiaville,Queen's Co.
1 Sep 1787 I 1 Charles des Voeux c 1746 24 Aug 1814
24 Aug 1814 2 Charles des Voeux 5 Sep 1779 28 Sep 1858 79
28 Sep 1858 3 Henry William des Voeux 16 Dec 1806 4 Jan 1868 61
4 Jan 1868 4 Frederick Assheton des Voeux 1818 3 Mar 1872 53
3 Mar 1872 5 Henry Dalrymple des Voeux 1824 20 Jan 1894 69
20 Jan 1894 6 Charles Champagne des Voeux 26 Nov 1827 11 Mar 1914 86
11 Mar 1914 7 Frederick des Voeux 1 Mar 1857 4 Jan 1937 79
4 Jan 1937 8 Edward Alfred des Voeux 9 Nov 1864 19 Dec 1941 77
19 Dec 1941 9 William Richard de Bacquencourt des Voeux 27 Dec 1911 Sep 1944 32
to Extinct on his death
Sep 1944
DE TRAFFORD of Trafford Park,Lancs
7 Sep 1841 UK 1 Thomas Joseph de Trafford 22 Mar 1778 10 Nov 1852 74
10 Nov 1852 2 Humphrey de Trafford 1 May 1808 4 May 1886 78
4 May 1886 3 Humphrey Francis de Trafford 3 Jul 1862 10 Jan 1929 66
10 Jan 1929 4 Humphrey Edmund de Trafford 30 Nov 1891 6 Oct 1971 79
6 Oct 1971 5 Rudolph Edgar Francis de Trafford 31 Aug 1894 16 Aug 1983 88
16 Aug 1983 6 Dermot Humphrey de Trafford 19 Jan 1925 22 Jan 2010 85
22 Jan 2010 7 John Humphrey de Trafford 12 Sep 1950
DE VERE of Curragh,Limerick
4 Dec 1784 I 1 Vere Hunt 1761 11 Aug 1818 57
11 Aug 1818 2 Aubrey de Vere Hunt (de Vere from 3 Feb 1832) 28 Aug 1788 5 Jul 1846 57
5 Jul 1846 3 Vere Edmond de Vere 12 Oct 1808 23 Sep 1880 71
23 Sep 1880 4 Stephen Edward de Vere 26 Jul 1812 10 Nov 1904 92
to MP for co.Limerick 1854-1859
10 Nov 1904 Extinct on his death
DEVEREUX of Castle Bromwich,Warwicks
25 Nov 1611 E 1 Edward Devereux c 1550 22 Sep 1622
MP for Tamworth 1588-1589
22 Sep 1622 2 Walter Devereux c 1659
He subsequently succeeded to the
Viscountcy of Hereford (qv) in 1646 with
which title the baronetcy remains merged
DE VIC of Guernsey,Channel Islands
3 Sep 1649 E 1 Henry de Vic c 1599 20 Nov 1671
20 Nov 1671 2 Charles de Vic 17 Mar 1688
to Extinct on his death
17 Mar 1688
DEVITT of Chelsea,London
4 Jul 1916 UK 1 Thomas Lane Devitt 28 Mar 1839 8 Dec 1923 84
8 Dec 1923 2 Thomas Gordon Devitt 27 Dec 1902 23 Dec 1995 92
23 Dec 1995 3 James Hugh Thomas Devitt 18 Sep 1956
DEVITT of Pangbourne,Berks
25 Jun 1931 UK 1 Philip Henry Devitt 26 Jan 1876 5 Jun 1947 71
to Extinct on his death
5 Jun 1947
DEWAR of the City of Perth
24 Jul 1907 UK 1 John Alexander Dewar 6 Jun 1856 23 Nov 1929 73
He was subsequently created Baron
Forteviot (qv) in 1917 with which title
the baronetcy remains merged
DEWAR of Homestall Manor,Sussex
23 Jun 1917 UK 1 Thomas Robert Dewar 6 Jan 1864 11 Apr 1930 66
He was subsequently created Baron
Dewar (qv) in 1919 with which title the
baronetcy then merged until its extinction
in 1930
D'EWES of Stowlangtoft,Suffolk
15 Jul 1641 E 1 Simonds D'Ewes 18 Dec 1602 18 Apr 1650 47
MP for Sudbury 1640-1648
18 Apr 1650 2 Willoughby D'Ewes c 1650 13 Jun 1685
13 Jun 1685 3 Simonds D'Ewes c 1670 May 1722
May 1722 4 Jermyn D'Ewes 2 Apr 1688 21 Apr 1731 43
to Extinct on his death
21 Apr 1731
DEWEY of South Hill Wood,Kent
20 Feb 1917 UK 1 Thomas Charles Dewey 31 Aug 1840 13 Jul 1926 85
13 Jul 1926 2 Stanley Daws Dewey 12 Aug 1867 1 Jan 1948 80
1 Jan 1948 3 Anthony Hugh Dewey 31 Jul 1921
D'EYNCOURT of Carters Corner,Sussex
3 Feb 1930 UK See "Tennyson-D'Eyncourt"
DICK of Prestonfield,Edinburgh
7 Mar 1677 NS 1 James Dick c 1644 15 Nov 1728
to He obtained a further creation in 1707 -
15 Nov 1728 see below
Extinct on his death
For information about the loss of the British
man-of-war "Gloucester" see the note at the
foot of this page
DICK of Prestonfield,Edinburgh
22 Mar 1707 NS 1 James Dick c 1644 15 Nov 1728
15 Nov 1728 2 William Dick 12 Jun 1701 14 Jan 1746 44
14 Jan 1746 3 Alexander Dick 22 Oct 1703 10 Nov 1785 82
10 Nov 1785 4 William Dick 7 Jan 1762 19 Nov 1796 34
19 Nov 1796 5 Alexander Dick 8 Dec 1786 2 Jun 1808 21
2 Jun 1808 6 John Dick 10 Jun 1767 14 Dec 1812 45
14 Dec 1812 7 Robert Keith Dick (Dick-Cunyngham from 1845) 14 Apr 1773 14 Dec 1849 76
He subsequently succeeded to the baronetcy
of Cunningham (see Dick-Cunyngham below) in
1829 when the baronetcies then merged until their
extinction in 1941
DICK-CUNYNGHAM of Lambrughton,Ayr
19 Sep 1669 NS 1 John Cunningham 20 Nov 1684
Nov 1684 2 William Cunningham 7 Feb 1664 1740 76
1740 3 John Cunningham c 1696 30 Nov 1777
30 Nov 1777 4 William Cunningham 19 Dec 1752 16 Jan 1829 76
16 Jan 1829 5 Robert Keith Dick (Dick-Cunyngham from 1845) 14 Apr 1773 14 Dec 1849 76
He had previously succeeded to the
baronetcy of Dick (qv) in 1812
14 Dec 1849 6 William Hanmer Dick-Cunyngham 22 Oct 1808 20 Feb 1871 62
20 Feb 1871 7 Robert Keith Alexander Dick-Cunyngham 21 Dec 1836 2 May 1897 60
2 May 1897 8 William Stewart Dick-Cunyngham 20 Feb 1871 25 Mar 1922 51
25 Mar 1922 9 Colin Keith Dick-Cunyngham 3 Mar 1908 Oct 1941 33
to Extinct on his death
Oct 1941
DICK-LAUDER of Fountainhall,Haddington
25 Jan 1690 NS 1 John Lauder 7 Apr 1692
Apr 1692 2 John Lauder 2 Aug 1646 20 Sep 1722 76
20 Sep 1722 3 John Lauder 5 Dec 1669 Feb 1728 58
Feb 1728 4 Alexander Lauder 6 Nov 1698 17 May 1730 31
17 May 1730 5 Andrew Lauder 8 May 1702 6 Mar 1769 66
6 Mar 1769 6 Andrew Lauder-Dick 16 Dec 1820
16 Dec 1820 7 Thomas Dick-Lauder 13 Aug 1784 29 May 1848 63
29 May 1848 8 John Dick-Lauder 21 Apr 1813 23 Mar 1867 53
23 Mar 1867 9 Thomas North Dick-Lauder 28 Apr 1846 19 Jun 1919 73
19 Jun 1919 10 George William Dalrymple Dick-Lauder 4 Sep 1852 7 May 1936 83
7 May 1936 11 John North Dalrymple Dick-Lauder 22 Jul 1883 19 Sep 1958 75
19 Sep 1958 12 George Andrew Dick-Lauder 17 Nov 1917 11 Aug 1981 63
11 Aug 1981 13 Piers Robert Dick-Lauder 3 Oct 1947
DICKSON of Sornbeg,Ayr
28 Feb 1695 NS 1 Robert Dickson Oct 1711
Oct 1711 2 Robert Dickson 12 Nov 1694 1 Feb 1760 65
to On his death the baronetcy became either
1 Feb 1760 extinct or dormant
DICKSON of Hardingham Hall,Norfolk
21 Sep 1802 UK 1 Archibald Dickson May 1803
May 1803 2 Archibald Collingwood Dickson 30 Jun 1772 18 Jun 1827 54
18 Jun 1827 3 William Dickson 10 Jun 1798 5 Jan 1868 69
5 Jan 1868 4 Colpoys Dickson 21 Aug 1807 21 May 1868 60
21 May 1868 5 Alexander Collingwood Thomas Dickson 1 Aug 1810 22 Jun 1884 73
22 Jun 1884 6 John Poynder Dickson (Dickson-Poynder from
12 Jan 1888) 31 Oct 1866 6 Dec 1936 70
He was subsequently created Baron
Islington (qv) in 1910 with which title
the baronetcy then merged until its
extinction in 1936
DIGGS of Chilham Castle,Kent
6 Mar 1666 E 1 Maurice Diggs c 1638 1672
to Extinct on his death
1672
DILKE of Sloan Street,Chelsea,London
22 Jan 1862 UK 1 Charles Wentworth Dilke 18 Feb 1810 11 May 1869 59
MP for Wallingford 1865-1868
11 May 1869 2 Charles Wentworth Dilke 4 Sep 1843 26 Jan 1911 67
MP for Chelsea 1868-1886 and Forest of
Dean 1892-1911. President of the Local
Government Board 1882-1885. PC 1882
For further information on this baronet, see the
note at the foot of this page.
26 Jan 1911 3 Charles Wentworth Dilke 19 Sep 1874 7 Dec 1918 44
7 Dec 1918 4 Fisher Wentworth Dilke 5 Jan 1877 25 Mar 1944 67
25 Mar 1944 5 John Fisher Wentworth Dilke 8 May 1906 28 Jun 1998 92
28 Jun 1998 6 Charles John Wentworth Dilke 21 Feb 1937
DILLINGTON of Knighton,Isle of Wight
6 Sep 1628 E 1 Robert Dillington 1664
MP for Isle of Wight 1654-1655
1664 2 Robert Dillington c 1634 25 Apr 1687
MP for Newport IOW 1660-1661 and 1670-1685
25 Apr 1687 3 Robert Dillington c 1664 13 May 1689
MP for Newport IOW 1689
13 May 1689 4 John Dillington 5 Mar 1706
5 Mar 1706 5 Tristram Dillington c 1678 7 Jul 1721
to MP for Newport IOW 1707-1710 and 1717-1721
7 Jul 1721 Extinct on his death
For further information on this baronet, see
the note at the foot of this page
DILLON of Lismullen,Meath
31 Jul 1801 UK 1 John Talbot Dillon 1739 17 Jul 1805 66
17 Jul 1805 2 Charles Drake Dillon c 1770 12 Jan 1840
12 Jan 1840 3 Arthur Richard Dillon c 1772 3 Jul 1845
3 Jul 1845 4 William Dillon 1 Jul 1774 31 Mar 1851 76
31 Mar 1851 5 Arthur Henry Dillon 7 Jan 1828 30 Dec 1852 24
30 Dec 1852 6 John Dillon 1 Dec 1806 28 Nov 1875 68
28 Nov 1875 7 John Fox Dillon 1843 1 Nov 1925 82
1 Nov 1925 8 Robert William Charlier Dillon 17 Jan 1914 25 Dec 1982 68
to Extinct on his death
25 Dec 1982
DILLWYN-VENABLES-LLEWELLYN
of Penllergaer and Ynis-y-gerwn,Glamorgan
20 Mar 1890 UK 1 John Talbot Dillwyn-Llewellyn 26 May 1836 6 Jul 1927 91
MP for Swansea 1895-1900
For information on this baronet's first two sons,
see the note at the foot of this page
6 Jul 1927 2 Charles Leyshon Dillwyn-Venables-
Llewellyn 29 Jun 1870 24 Jun 1951 80
MP for Radnorshire 1910. Lord Lieutenant
Radnorshire 1929-1949
24 Jun 1951 3 Charles Michael Dillwyn-Venables-
Llewellyn 23 Feb 1900 15 Mar 1976 76
Lord Lieutenant Radnorshire 1949-1974
15 Mar 1976 4 John Michael Dillwyn-Venables-Llewellyn 12 Aug 1938
DIMSDALE of London
23 Jul 1902 UK 1 Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale 19 Jan 1849 9 Aug 1912 63
MP for London 1900-1906. PC 1902
9 Aug 1912 2 John Holdsworth Dimsdale 10 Feb 1874 10 Apr 1923 49
For further information of the death of this
baronet,see the note at the foot of this page
10 Apr 1923 3 John Holdsworth Dimsdale 31 Dec 1901 7 Feb 1978 76
to Extinct on his death
7 Feb 1978
DINELEY-GOODERE of Burhope,Hereford
5 Dec 1707 GB See "Goodere"
DIXIE of Bosworth,Leics
14 Jul 1660 E 1 Wolstan Dixie c 1603 13 Feb 1682
13 Feb 1682 2 Beaumont Dixie c 1630 May 1692
May 1692 3 Wolstan Dixie 25 Mar 1657 10 Dec 1713 56
10 Dec 1713 4 Wolstan Dixie c 1701 29 Jan 1767
29 Jan 1767 5 Wolstan Dixie 9 Mar 1737 12 Jan 1806 68
12 Jan 1806 6 Beaumont Joseph Dixie 6 Jul 1769 14 Jul 1814 45
14 Jul 1814 7 Willoughby Wolstan Dixie c 1775 26 Oct 1827
For further information on this baronet,
see the note at the foot of this page.
26 Oct 1827 8 Willoughby Wolstan Dixie 16 Oct 1816 23 Jul 1850 33
23 Jul 1850 9 Alexander Dixie 1780 29 Dec 1857 77
29 Dec 1857 10 Alexander Beaumont Churchill Dixie 24 Dec 1819 8 Jan 1872 52
8 Jan 1872 11 Alexander Beaumont Churchill Dixie 22 Dec 1851 21 Aug 1924 72
For further information on this baronet's wife,
see the note at the foot of this page.
21 Aug 1924 12 George Douglas Dixie 18 Jan 1876 25 Dec 1948 72
25 Dec 1948 13 Alexander Archibald Douglas Wolstan Dixie 8 Jan 1910 28 Dec 1975 65
to Extinct on his death
28 Dec 1975 For information on his daughter's attempt to
claim the baronetcy,see the note at the foot
of this page
DIXON of Ballymenoch,co.Antrim
7 Oct 1903 UK 1 Daniel Dixon 28 Mar 1844 10 Mar 1907 62
MP for Belfast North 1905-1907
10 Mar 1907 2 Thomas James Dixon 29 May 1868 10 May 1950 81
PC [NI] 1930. Lord Lieutenant Belfast
1924-1950
10 May 1950 3 Herbert Dixon 23 Jan 1880 20 Jul 1950 70
He had previously been created Baron
Glentoran (qv) in 1939 with which title
the baronetcy remains merged
DIXON of Warford,Cheshire
7 Feb 1918 UK 1 Alfred Herbert Dixon 22 Feb 1857 10 Dec 1920 63
to Extinct on his death
10 Dec 1920
DIXON of Astle,Cheshire
15 May 1919 UK 1 George Dixon 23 May 1842 1 Apr 1924 81
1 Apr 1924 2 John Dixon 13 Jun 1886 7 Aug 1976 90
7 Aug 1976 3 John George Dixon 17 Sep 1911 7 Oct 1990 79
7 Oct 1990 4 Jonathan Mark Dixon 1 Sep 1949
DIXON-HARTLAND
of Middleton Manor,Sussex
13 Oct 1892 UK 1 Frederick Dixon Dixon-Hartland 1 May 1832 15 Nov 1909 77
to MP for Evesham 1881-1885 and Uxbridge
15 Nov 1909 1885-1909
Extinct on his death
DIXWELL of Tirlingham,Kent
27 Feb 1628 E 1 Basil Dixwell 27 Dec 1585 28 Dec 1642 57
to MP for Hythe 1626
28 Dec 1642 Extinct on his death
DIXWELL of Broomehouse,Kent
19 Jun 1660 E 1 Basill Dixwell 22 Jun 1640 7 May 1668 27
7 May 1668 2 Basill Dixwell 11 Dec 1665 28 Mar 1750 84
to MP for Dover 1689-1690 and 1695-1700
28 Mar 1750 Extinct on his death
DIXWELL of Coton Hall,Warwicks
11 Jun 1716 GB 1 William Dixwell c 1688 14 Jan 1757
to Extinct on his death
14 Jan 1757
DODDS of West Chiltington,Sussex
10 Feb 1964 UK 1 Edward Charles Dodds 13 Oct 1899 16 Dec 1973 74
16 Dec 1973 2 Ralph Jordan Dodds 25 Mar 1928
DODSWORTH of Newland,Yorks
22 Jan 1784 GB See "Smith-Dodsworth"
DOLBEN of Findon,Northants
1 Apr 1704 E 1 Gilbert Dolben c 1659 22 Oct 1722
MP for Ripon 1685-1687,Peterborough
1689-1698 and 1701-1710 and Yarmouth IOW
1710-1715
22 Oct 1722 2 John Dolben 12 Feb 1684 20 Nov 1756 72
20 Nov 1756 3 William Dolben
MP for Oxford University 1768 and 1780-1806 12 Jan 1727 20 Mar 1814 87
and Northamptonshire 1768-1774
20 Mar 1814 3 John English Dolben c 1750 27 Sep 1837
to Extinct on his death
27 Sep 1837
DOMVILE of Templeogue,Dublin
21 Dec 1686 I 1 Thomas Domvile c 1650 15 Apr 1721
15 Apr 1721 2 Compton Domvile 1696 13 Mar 1768 71
to PC [I] 1743
13 Mar 1768 Extinct on his death
DOMVILE of Templeogue,Dublin
22 May 1815 UK 1 Compton Pocklington Domvile c 1775 23 Feb 1857
MP for Bossiney 1818-1826,Okehampton
1826-1830 and Plympton Erle 1830-1832
23 Feb 1857 2 Charles Compton William Domvile 24 Dec 1822 10 Jul 1884 61
10 Jul 1884 3 William Compton Domvile 20 May 1825 20 Sep 1884 59
20 Sep 1884 4 Compton Meade Domvile 24 Oct 1857 22 Apr 1935 77
to Extinct on his death
22 Apr 1935
DOMVILLE of St Albans,Herts
28 Jul 1814 UK 1 William Domville 26 Dec 1742 8 Feb 1833 90
8 Feb 1833 2 William Domville 22 Mar 1774 21 May 1860 86
21 May 1860 3 James Graham Domville 29 Jun 1812 21 Feb 1887 74
21 Feb 1887 4 William Cecil Henry Domville 30 Dec 1849 22 Apr 1904 54
22 Apr 1904 5 James Henry Domville 10 Dec 1889 13 Sep 1919 29
For information on the death of this baronet,see
the note at the foot of this page
13 Sep 1919 6 Cecil Lionel Domville 14 Sep 1892 3 Feb 1930 37
3 Feb 1930 7 Gerald Guy Domville 3 Mar 1896 10 Oct 1981 85
to Extinct on his death
10 Oct 1981
DON-WAUCHOPE of Newton,Berwick
7 Jun 1667 NS 1 Alexander Don 1687
1687 2 James Don c 1710
c 1710 3 Alexander Don 13 Apr 1749
13 Apr 1749 4 Alexander Don 2 Oct 1776
2 Oct 1776 5 Alexander Don 5 Jun 1815
5 Jun 1815 6 Alexander Don 5 May 1780 11 Apr 1826 45
MP for Roxburghshire 1814-1826
11 Apr 1826 7 William Henry Don 4 May 1825 19 Mar 1862 36
For information on this baronet,see the note
at the foot of this page
19 Mar 1862 8 John Don-Wauchope 10 Jul 1816 12 Dec 1893 77
12 Dec 1893 9 John Douglas Don-Wauchope 15 Sep 1859 28 Apr 1951 91
28 Apr 1951 10 Patrick George Don-Wauchope 7 May 1898 15 Sep 1989 91
15 Sep 1989 11 Roger Hamilton Don-Wauchope 16 Oct 1938
DONNER of Oak Mount,Lancs
28 Nov 1907 UK 1 Edward Donner 2 Aug 1840 29 Dec 1934 94
to Extinct on his death
29 Dec 1934
DORINGTON of Lypiatt,Gloucs
12 Feb 1886 UK 1 John Edward Dorington 24 Jul 1832 5 Apr 1911 78
to MP for Tewkesbury 1886-1906. PC 1902
5 Apr 1911 Extinct on his death
DORMAN of Nunthorpe,Yorks
21 Jul 1923 UK 1 Arthur John Dorman 8 Aug 1848 12 Feb 1931 82
12 Feb 1931 2 Bedford Lockwood Dorman 6 Apr 1879 5 Sep 1956 77
5 Sep 1956 3 Charles Geoffrey Dorman 18 Sep 1920 2 Sep 1996 75
2 Sep 1996 4 Philip Henry Keppel Dorman 19 May 1954
DORMER of Wyng,Bucks
10 Jun 1615 E 1 Robert Dormer 26 Jan 1551 8 Nov 1616 65
He was subsequently created Baron
Dormer (qv) later that month with which
title the baronetcy remains merged
DORMER of Lee Grange,Bucks
23 Jul 1661 E 1 John Dormer c 1640 7 Nov 1675
7 Nov 1675 2 William Dormer 28 Sep 1669 9 Mar 1726 56
to Extinct on his death
9 Mar 1726
DOUGHTY-TICHBORNE of Tichborne,Hants
8 Mar 1621 E See "Tichborne"
DOUGLAS of Glenbervie,Kincardine
28 May 1625 NS 1 William Douglas c 1660
c 1660 2 William Douglas c 1680
c 1680 3 Robert Douglas 24 Jul 1692
24 Jul 1692 4 Robert Douglas c 1662 27 Jan 1748
27 Jan 1748 5 William Douglas c 1690 23 Jul 1764
23 Jul 1764 6 Robert Douglas 1694 24 Apr 1770 75
24 Apr 1770 7 Alexander Douglas 1738 28 Nov 1812 74
to On his death the baronetcy became dormant
28 Nov 1812
DOUGLAS of Kelhead,Scotland
26 Feb 1668 NS 1 James Douglas 19 Feb 1639 c 1707
c 1707 2 William Douglas c 1675 10 Oct 1733
10 Oct 1733 3 John Douglas c 1708 13 Nov 1778
MP for Dumfries-shire 1741-1747
13 Nov 1778 4 William Douglas c 1731 16 May 1783
MP for Dumfries 1768-1780
16 May 1783 5 Charles Douglas Mar 1777 3 Dec 1837 60
He subsequently succeeded to the
Marquessate of Queensberry (qv) in 1810
with which title the baronetcy remains
merged
DOUGLAS of Carr,Perth
23 Jan 1777 GB 1 Charles Douglas 1727 17 Mar 1789 61
17 Mar 1789 2 William Henry Douglas 28 Jul 1763 25 May 1809 45
25 May 1809 3 Howard Douglas 1 Jul 1776 9 Nov 1861 85
MP for Liverpool 1842-1847
9 Nov 1861 4 Robert Percy Douglas 29 Aug 1805 30 Sep 1891 86
30 Sep 1891 5 Arthur Percy Douglas 15 Oct 1845 6 Sep 1913 67
6 Sep 1913 6 James Stewart Douglas 25 Mar 1859 5 Nov 1940 81
to Extinct on his death
5 Nov 1940
DOUGLAS of Maxwell,Roxburgh
27 Jun 1786 GB 1 Sir James Douglas [kt 1759] 1703 2 Nov 1787 84
MP for Orkney & Shetland 1754-1768
2 Nov 1787 2 George Douglas 1 Mar 1754 4 Jun 1821 67
MP for Roxburghshire 1784-1806
4 Jun 1821 3 John James Douglas (Scott-Douglas from
10 Jul 1822) 18 Jul 1792 24 Jan 1836 43
24 Jan 1836 4 George Henry Scott-Douglas 19 Jun 1825 26 Jun 1885 60
MP for Roxburghshire 1874-1880
26 Jun 1885 5 George Brisbane Douglas 22 Dec 1856 22 Jun 1935 78
22 Jun 1935 6 James Louis Fitzroy Scott Douglas 24 Oct 1930 16 Jul 1969 38
to Extinct on his death
16 Jul 1969
DOUGLAS of Castle Douglas,Kirkcudbright
17 Jul 1801 UK 1 William Douglas Jun 1809
to Extinct on his death
Jun 1809
DOUGLAS of Glenbervie,Kincardine
30 Sep 1831 UK 1 Kenneth Mackenzie Douglas 22 Nov 1833
22 Nov 1833 2 Robert Andrews Douglas 1807 1 Nov 1843 36
1 Nov 1843 3 Robert Andrews Mackenzie Douglas 19 Jul 1837 28 Feb 1884 46
28 Feb 1884 4 Kenneth Douglas 29 May 1868 28 Oct 1954 86
28 Oct 1954 5 Sholto Courtenay Mackenzie Douglas 27 Jun 1890 9 Jun 1986 95
to Extinct on his death
9 Jun 1986
DOWDALL of Athlumney,Meath
24 Nov 1663 I 1 Luke Dowdall 31 Aug 1689
31 Aug 1689 2 Laurence Dowdall by 1700
to Baronetcy forfeited by attainder 1691
6 Apr 1691
DOWNING of East Hatley,Cambs
1 Jul 1663 E 1 George Downing Aug 1623 24 Jul 1684 60
MP for Carlisle 1656-1658 and Morpeth
1660-1685
Jul 1684 2 George Downing c 1656 Jun 1711
Jun 1711 3 George Downing 24 Oct 1685 10 Jun 1749 63
MP for Dunwich 1710-1715 and 1722-1749
10 Jun 1749 4 Jacob Garrard Downing c 1717 6 Feb 1764
to MP for Dunwich 1741-1747,1749-1761 and
6 Feb 1764 1763-1764
Extinct on his death
DOYLE of Guernsey,Channel Islands
29 Oct 1805 UK 1 John Doyle 1756 8 Aug 1834 78
to MP for Newport IOW 1806-1807
8 Aug 1834 Extinct on his death
DOYLE of Boscombe,Wilts
18 Feb 1828 UK 1 Francis Hastings Doyle 3 Jan 1783 6 Nov 1839 56
6 Nov 1839 2 Francis Hastings Charles Doyle 21 Aug 1810 8 Jun 1888 77
8 Jun 1888 3 Everard Hastings Doyle 9 Feb 1852 21 Feb 1933 81
21 Feb 1933 4 Arthur Havelock James Doyle 21 Feb 1858 19 Feb 1948 89
19 Feb 1948 5 John Francis Reginald William
to Hastings Doyle 3 Jan 1912 10 Feb 1987 75
10 Feb 1987 Extinct on his death
D'OYLY of Shottisham,Norfolk
29 Jul 1663 E 1 William D'Oyly c 1614 Nov 1677
MP for Norfolk 1654-1655,1656-1658,1659,
and Great Yarmouth 1660-1677
Nov 1677 2 William D'Oyly c 1637 c 1680
c 1680 3 Edmund D'Oyly c 1666 24 Oct 1700
Oct 1700 4 Edmund D'Oyly 1763
1763 5 Hadley D'Oyly c 1709 30 Jul 1764
30 Jul 1764 6 John Hadley D'Oyly Jan 1754 5 Jan 1818 63
MP for Ipswich 1790-1796
5 Jan 1818 7 Charles D'Oyly 18 Sep 1781 21 Sep 1845 64
21 Sep 1845 8 John Hadley D'Oyly 29 Sep 1794 21 Mar 1869 74
21 Mar 1869 9 Charles Walters D'Oyly 21 Dec 1822 11 Jul 1900 77
11 Jul 1900 10 Warren Hastings D'Oyly 6 Apr 1838 16 Feb 1921 82
16 Feb 1921 11 Hastings Hadley D'Oyly 26 Jan 1864 20 Mar 1948 84
20 Mar 1948 12 Charles Hastings D'Oyly 3 Jul 1898 10 Jan 1962 63
10 Jan 1962 13 John Rochfort D'Oyly 19 Apr 1900 29 Apr 1986 86
29 Apr 1986 14 Nigel Hadley Miller D'Oyly 6 Jul 1914 1 May 2000 85
1 May 2000 15 Hadley Gregory D'Oyly 29 May 1956
D'OYLY of Chislehampton,Oxon
7 Jul 1666 E 1 John D'Oyly 17 Nov 1640 13 Apr 1709 68
MP for Woodstock 1689-1690
13 Apr 1709 2 John D'Oyly c 1670 1746
1746 3 Thomas D'Oyly c 1701 6 Feb 1759
6 Feb 1759 4 John D'Oyly c 1702 24 Nov 1773
to Extinct on his death
24 Nov 1773
D'OYLY of Kandy,Ceylon
29 Aug 1821 UK 1 John D'Oyly 6 Jun 1774 25 May 1824 49
to Extinct on his death
25 May 1824
DRAKE of Buckland,Devon
2 Aug 1622 E 1 Francis Drake 16 Sep 1588 11 Mar 1637 48
MP for Plympton Erle 1624-1625 and
Devonshire 1628-1629
11 Mar 1637 2 Francis Drake 25 Sep 1617 6 Jan 1662 44
MP for Beeralston 1646-1648 and Newport
1660-1662
6 Jan 1662 3 Francis Drake 1 May 1647 15 Jun 1718 71
MP for Tavistock 1673-1685,1689-1695
and 1696-1701
Jun 1718 4 Francis Henry Drake 2 Mar 1694 26 Jan 1740 45
MP for Tavistock 1715-1734 and Beeralston
1727-1728 and 1734-1740
26 Jan 1740 5 Francis Henry Drake 3 Sep 1723 22 Feb 1794 70
MP for Beeralston 1747-1771 and 1774-1780
22 Feb 1794 6 John Savery Drake c 1740 Mar 1810
to Extinct on his death
Mar 1810
DRAKE of Shardeloes,Bucks
17 Jul 1641 E 1 William Drake 28 Sep 1606 28 Aug 1669 62
to MP for Amersham 1640-1648 and 1661-1669
28 Aug 1669 Extinct on his death
DRAKE of Ashe,Devon
31 Aug 1660 E 1 John Drake 4 Apr 1625 6 Jul 1669 44
MP for Bridport 1660
6 Jul 1669 2 John Drake 13 Jan 1647 13 Mar 1684 37
13 Mar 1684 3 Bernard Drake 1687
1687 4 William Drake 12 Jul 1658 28 Feb 1716 57
MP for Honiton 1690-1715 and Dartmouth
1713-1715
28 Feb 1716 5 John Drake c 1689 4 Sep 1724
4 Sep 1724 6 William Drake c 1695 21 Oct 1733
to Extinct on his death
21 Oct 1733
DRAKE of Prospect,Devon
28 May 1782 GB 1 Francis Samuel Drake 14 Sep 1729 19 Nov 1789 60
to Extinct on his death
19 Nov 1789
Sir Cholmeley Dering, 4th baronet
The following is based upon the Wikipedia entry for Sir Cholmeley Dering.
On 7 May 1711, Sir Cholmeley Dering was dining at an inn near Hampton Court when he
became involved in a dispute with Richard Thornhill. As the argument became more heated,
the two men came to blows and in the ensuing struggle Thornhill received a kick in the mouth
from Dering, causing him to lose several teeth. After the fight had been broken up by both
parties' companions, Thornhill challenged Dering to a duel, which took place on the morning of
9 May 1711 at Tothil Fields in Westminster. According to 'The Spectator' (number 84, 6 June
1711), Dering and Thornhill fought so close that their pistols touched each other. Dering was
wounded and died shortly thereafter. Thornhill was tried and convicted of manslaughter, but
three months later was murdered by two men on Turnham Green, apparently in a revenge
attack, since it was reported by Jonathan Swift, in his 'Journal to Stella' that, as the two men
stabbed Thornhill to death, they bade him remember Sir Cholmeley Dering.
A fuller account can be found in the records of the London Central Criminal Court, which
reads:-
'Richard Thornhill of St. Margaret's Westminster, was Indicted for the Murder of Sir Cholmeley
Deering, Baronet, by giving him one Mortal Wound under the Right Pap with a leaden Bullet
discharg'd from a Pistol, on the 9th instant, of which he soon after died. He was likewise
Indicted upon the Coroner's Inquest for the Murder aforesaid. It appeared by the Evidence,
that the Prisoner and the Deceased were at the Toy at Hampton Court with about 15 other
Gentlemen, on the 27th of April: That there they dined very friendly together, but towards
the Evening some Words happen'd between them. Upon which the Deceased struck the
Prisoner in the Face, beat him down, and when he arose, his Lip was observ'd to be swell'd,
and several of his Teeth out. A Drawer hearing a noise, came up, and found the Prisoner and
the Deceased against the Wainscot of the Room, but immediately parted by the Gentlemen.
After this they sat down, and seemed to be friendly again, but look'd a little disturb'd. This
Evidence further depos'd, that as they sat together, the Prisoner said, Sir Cholmeley, you
know where to find me. Upon which Sir Cholmeley reply'd, I know not where to find you; and
then the Prisoner gave him the Lie. This witness observ'd the Prisoner's Lip much swelled
before the giving the Lie, but saw not the Blows given. It further appear'd, that the Deceased
seemed to beg the Prisoner's Pardon at that time; but the Prisoner told him, asking of Pardon
was not Satisfaction for the Loss of his Teeth. As to the Fact: It appear'd that the Prisoner
and the Deceased were seen in Tuttle Fields, about 12 Yards distance from one another, with
Pistols in their Hands, that they advanced very boldly toward each other till they were within
4 yards, and then fir'd at one another. That the Deceased dropt, and the Prisoner lifting up his
Hands in token of Sorrow, willingly surrender'd himself, and offer'd one a Guinea, and another a
Half-Guinea to go for a Surgeon. It further appear'd, that a Surgeon was sent for, who dress'd
the Deceased's Wound upon the Spot, and sent him in a Chair to a Gardiner's House. He being
ask'd by several of his Friends, as well as others, the Occasion of the Dewel, reply'd to this
effect: That the Prisoner was a Man of Honour, and acted like a Gentleman; and desir'd his
Friends to be spoke to, least one Misfortune should follow another, and that he heartily
forgave him, etc. It further appear'd, that he said he was challeng'd, but gave no Account
after what manner, whether by Word of Mouth or by Writing. Neither did it appear from him
by whom he was challeng'd, but when his Papers were taken out of his Pocket, a Relation of
his had receiv'd one, among the rest. (but from what hand he did not know) which he put
into his Pocket, and read after the Deceased was dead, and found it to be a Challenge. It is
as follows.
"SIR
May 8th, 1711
I shall be able to go abroad tomorrow Morning, and desire you will give me a Meeting with
your Sword and a Brace of Pistols, which I insist on. The worthy Gentleman who brings this
will concert with you for the Time and Place. I think Tuttle Fields may do well. Hide Park is at
this time of Year full of Company. I am Your very Humble Servant, Richard Thornhill."
'This Challenge being produced in Court, a Person of Honour, one of the Prisoner's intimate
Friends, who had seen his Hand frequently, being ask'd whether he believ'd it to be the
Prisoner's Hand, reply'd, that according to the best of his Knowledge it was not, for he us'd
to write in another sort of Character, but a Foot-boy belonging to the Prisoner having the
Letter shewn to him, said he did believe it to be his Master's Writing, upon which it was read.
'The Prisoner in his Defence produc'd Evidence, to prove how much he was abus'd by the
Deceas'd; how that from the time of his Wounds given, he hath lain in inexpressible Pain and
Anguish, so that he could take only Broth and small Beer, for almost a Fortnight, for his
Sustenance, was thrown into a Fever, and his Life dispair'd of, and his Jaw-bone at this time
in great Danger of mortifying, and the Necessity of loosing more of his Teeth. He further
prov'd that the Morning the Dewel was fought, the Deceas'd sought after him, came at 6 in
the Morning to Kensington, where he formerly lodg'd, to enquire where he then lodg'd; that he
came by 7 to his Lodging in a Hackney-Coach, with a Brace of Pistols in his Hands; went in,
and run up the Stairs, and was let into his Dining-Room. Upon which the Servant acquainted
the Prisoner, that Sir Cholmeley was there, that the Prisoner then got up, and ask'd him
whether he would drink a Dish of Tea, or any small Beer, the Deceas'd chose the latter; and
when he had drunk, and the Prisoner was dress'd, they both went down and took the same
Coach the Deceas'd came in, and went directly to the Place where they fought the Dewel;
and as to the written Challenge, the Boy that swore to it, swore likewise, that he never saw
him write it in all his Life time, and so might possibly be mistaken. The Prisoner likewise
produc'd a great Number of Witnesses, Men of Quality, that had been his intimate Friends
and Acquaintances from a Boy; all which gave him the Character of a very kind, affable and
courteous Gentleman, never given to Quarrelling in the least: And on the contrary, produced
Evidence, who prov'd the Deceas'd was unhappy that way; he likewise produc'd Evidence,
who proved his Serviceableness to the Deceas'd in his Election for Member of Parliament, of
his expending several Hundreds of Pounds in his Service, and procuring about 800 Votes for
him; and that there had been an entire Friendship between them. Till this sad Accident. After
the Trial was over, the Jury went out; but return'd to be inform'd, whether there was two, or
four Pistols mentioned by the Witnesses; and the Witness to the Fact being call'd up, depos'd,
that there was four Pistols found in the Field: Upon which they went out again; and in a little
time return'd, and found him guilty of Manslaughter only.'
Sir James Dick, 1st baronet [NS 1677 and 1707]
Sir James was present at the sinking of the "Gloucester," an English man of war which was
transporting the Duke of York (later James II) between London and Edinburgh, when, on 6 May
1682, the ship ran aground on a sand-bank and broke up, resulting in large loss of life. The
following letter, written by Sir James Dick to a friend in London, describes his ordeal. The letter
was included in William Playfair's "British Baronetage" published in 1811.
"Upon Sunday last at eight o'clock at night, his Royal Highness [the Duke of York] and his
retinue that were alive, arrived safe here, there being a most sad disaster upon the Saturday
before. At seven o'clock in the morning, the man of war called the Gloucester, Sir John Berry
[c 1636-1690], Captain, where his Highness was, and a great retinue of noblemen and
gentlemen, whereof I was one; the said ship did strike in pieces, and did wholly sink, upon the
bank of sand called the Lemon and Oar, about some twelve leagues from Yarmouth. [The entry
for Sir John Berry in the DNB places the sinking off the Yorkshire coast, whereas the Oxford DNB
places it 25 miles ENE of Cromer, which substantially agrees with Sir James's account]. This
was occasioned by the wrong calculation and ignorance of a pilot, which put us all in such
consternation , that we knew not what to do , the Duke and the whole that were with him
being all in bed when she struck; the helm of the said ship having broke, and the man being
killed by the force thereof, at the said first stroke. When the Duke had got his clothes on, he
inquired how things stood, she being sunk nine feet of water in the hold, and the sea coming in
at the gun ports; and all the seamen and passengers were not at command, every man
studying his own safety, forced the Duke to go out at the large window of the cabin, where his
little boat was ordered quietly to attend him, lest the passengers and seamen should have
thronged so in upon him as to drown the boat: which was accordingly so conveyed, as that
none but Earl Winton [George Seton, 4th Earl of Winton], and the President of the Session (Sir
George Gordon, of Haddo, afterwards Earl of Aberdeen), with two of his bed-chamber men,
(one of these was John Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough), went with him, but were
forced to draw their swords to hold people off. We seeing his Highness gone, did cause tackle
out with great difficulty the ship's boat, wherein the Earl of Perth [James Drummond, 4th Earl
of Perth] got in, and then I went by jumping off the shrouds in the boat; the Earl of Middleton
[Charles Middleton, 2nd Earl of Middleton] immediately after me did jump into the same upon my
shoulders; withal there came the Laird of Touch, with several others, besides the seamen that
were to row, which we thought a sufficient number for her loading, considering there was going
such a great sea, occasioned by the wind N.E., and that we saw that at the Duke's boat there
was another overwhelmed by reason of the greatness of the sea, which drowned the whole in
her except two men, who we saw riding on her keel, which they say were saved. This made
us desire to be gone; but before we were aware, there leaped from the shrouds about twenty
or twenty-four seamen in upon us, which made all the spectators and us to think we were
sinking; but not being able to come at, being so thronged, and all having given us over for lost,
did one hundred more to leap in upon us. Among them that were left, were my Lord
Roxburgh, and Laird Hopetoun, and Mr. Littledale, Roxburgh's servant, and Dr. Levingston, the
President of the Session's man; all being at the place I jumped would not follow, since it seems
they concluded more safety to stay in the vessel, than to expose themselves to any other
hazard, all which persons in an instant were washed off and all drowned. There perished in
this disaster above two hundred persons; for I reckoned there were above two hundred and
fifty seamen, and I am sure there were eighty noblemen and gentlemen, their servants being
excluded; my computation was we were about three hundred and thirty in all, of which I
cannot understand one hundred and thirty to be saved.
"Our difficulties and hazards that were in that boat were wonderful to be all saved, for if they
had not thought us all dead men, I am sure there would have been many more jumped into
the boat above us, for we were so thronged we had no room to stand; so when we were
forcing ourselves off the ship, she being sinking by degrees all the time, was like to sink our
boat down, and besides, the waves were so boisterous that we were like to be struck in
pieces upon the wreck so sinking; this was not but with great difficulty we forced out the
boat from the ship; and when we came to row to the nearest yacht, the waves were such,
and we overloaded, that we every moment thought to be been drowned; and being about
midway to the yachts, there were a great many swimming for their lives, who catched all
a dead gripe of our boat, holding up their heads above water crying help; which hinderance
we kept off, and their hands loosed, telling them they would lose both themselves and us.
This would not do to make them loose their grip; but they were forced by several in our
boat, except one that took hold of me, which I caused catch in the boat, lest I should have
been pulled down; and when it pleased God to bring us wonderfully to one of the yacht's
sides, being much less as one quarter mile distant, they not daring to come nearer by reason
of the bank of sand on which we were lost. And if it had not been that there were guns shot
from our ship, showing them our distress by that sign, the other men of war that were
immediately following, would have come into that same disaster; but they immediately did
bear off, and the four yachts came up as near as they durst, and sent off their boats to
help; but all that could be done could not prevent this great loss of two hundred men, as I
have said.
"I was in my gown and slippers lying in bed when she first struck, and escaped as I have said
in that condition. When unexpectedly and wonderfully we came to the yacht's side called
Captain Saunders; we were like to be crushed to pieces by the yacht, which by reason of the
great seas was like to run us down, till at length a rope was cast which was so managed that
we came to the leeside, and there every man clam for his life, and so did I taking hold of a rope,
and so made shift upon the sides till I came within men's reach, when at last I was hauled in.
When I looked back, I could not see one bit of the whole great ship above water, but about a
Scot's ell [about three feet] of the staff, upon which the royal standard stood, for with her
striking she came off the sand-bank which was but three fathom; and her draught was eighteen
feet, so there was eighteen fathom water on each side, where she struck, for she broke in the
deepest place. Now, if she had continued on the three fathom, and broke in pieces there, all
would have had time to save themselves; but such was the misfortune, that she wholly over-
whelmed and washed all into the sea that were upon her decks, expecting relief by boats
which certainly would have been, if she had but staid half an hour more. So that to conclude
this melancholy account, all the above persons, our countrymen there were of respect I have
told. There are of English respect dead, my Lord Obrien, and my Lord Hyde's brother, who was
and so made shift upon the sides till I came within men's reach, when at last I was hauled in.
Lieutenant of the ship."
Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 2nd baronet
In July 1885 Sir Charles, who was a Cabinet minister in Gladstone's administration and thought
by many to be a future Prime Minister, was accused of seducing Virginia Crawford, wife of
Donald Crawford (MP for Lanarkshire North East 1885-1895). This was alleged to have
happened in 1882 when Virginia was only 19. She claimed the affair continued on an irregular
basis for the next two and a half years.
Dilke had, both before and after his first marriage, been the lover of Virginia's mother, Ellen
Eustace Smith. The accusations of his relationship with Virginia destroyed Dilke's political
career, and caused him to lose his parliamentary seat at the 1886 general election.
Inevitably, Donald Crawford petitioned for a divorce. The only evidence offered was her
husband's account of Virginia's confession - Virginia was not in Court - and some vague
accounts made by the servants. Dilke did not give evidence, probably because of his
vulnerability over his affair with Virginia's mother. The Judge, Mr Justice Butt, said "I cannot
see any case whatsoever against Sir Charles Dilke." In a masterpiece of paradox, he found
that although Virginia had been guilty of adultery with Dilke, there was no admissible evidence
which proved that Dilke had been guilty of adultery with Virginia. He therefore dismissed Dilke
from the case and granted Crawford his divorce.
The paradoxical nature of Mr Justice Butts' finding left doubts hanging over Dilke's
respectability. He therefore sought to clear his name by applying, in April 1886, via the Queen's
Proctor, to annul Crawford's decree nisi before it became absolute. Unfortunately for Dilke, his
legal team blundered badly. Though they planned to subject Virginia to rigorous cross-
examination, Dilke, having been dismissed from the case in the first hearing before Mr Justice
Butt, had no standing, since he was not a defendant, merely a witness, and he proved to be
an unconvincing one under devastating cross-examination by Henry Matthews (later Viscount
Llandaff). The jury found, after only 15 minutes deliberation, that the decree absolute should
be granted. Dilke was ruined and for a time seemed likely to be tried for perjury.
After the trial, various rumours circulated about Dilke's alleged sex-life - for example, he had
invited a maidservant to engage in 'troilism', where he had introduced her to 'every kind of
French vice.'
Dilke spent much of the remainder of his life and much of his fortune in trying to exonerate
himself. He returned to Parliament in 1892 and remained an MP until his death in 1911.
In hindsight, the balance of opinion today appears to be that it was likely that Virginia lied.
She (and her sisters) appear to have been promiscuous. They are reputed to have visited a
Knightsbridge brothel where they met a Captain Henry Foster. One theory has been proposed
that it was to protect Foster that Dilke was falsely named. Other theories have implicated the
Earl of Rosebery and Joseph Chamberlain.
Sir Tristram Dillington, 5th baronet
The Dillington baronets lived at Knighton Gorges, one of the largest houses on the Isle of
Wight, situated near Sandown on the island's eastern coast. The house itself was demolished
in 1821 by its then-owner, whose daughter had married a clergyman without his permission. In
order to prevent the daughter from inheriting the house, the owner had it torn down and all
that remains today are two stone gateposts. These gateposts feature in ghost stories, usually
being sighted with gargoyles being perched atop them, even though no such gargoyles exist.
The area around the demolished house is said to be haunted by various ghosts, and even the
vanished house is said to reappear on occasions. One story has it that a man was out walking
when he came across a large house and, peering through a window, saw a crowded drawing-
room full of revellers in Georgian costume.
The last of the Dillington baronets was Sir Tristram, the 5th baronet. He is alleged to have
committed suicide in 1721. The cause of his suicide is variously stated to be grief over the
death of his wife and their children from a 'fever'; alternatively, other sources say that he
killed himself after incurring heavy gambling debts after the death of his wife. In any event, all
stories agree that Sir Tristram's faithful valet (or butler) let Sir Tristram's favourite horse loose,
with the baronet's dead body mounted on the horse, in order to fake a riding accident. This
was done in order to mask the fact of suicide, since, in those times, the property of suicides
reverted to the Crown. It is said that a ghostly Sir Tristram mounted on a horse can be seen
on the anniversary of his death.
Laurence Michael Dillon, brother of Sir Robert William Charlier Dillon, 8th baronet
(1 May 1915 - 15 May 1962)
Laurence Michael Dillon was born Laura Maud Dillon in 1915, and in 1946 became the first
female-to-male transsexual to undergo sexual reassignment. The story of this change is told
in a book entitled "Michael nee Laura: The Story of the World's First Female-to-Male
Transsexual" by Liz Hodgkinson [Columbus Books, London 1989]. The following article, written
by Kathy Sheridan, which appeared in 'The Irish Times' on 8 May 1989, is a review of that
book:-
'Trinity College, Dublin, has much to boast about in the alumni who have passed through its
hallowed halls over the centuries. Now it can add yet another accolade to its list of distinctions.
Michael Dillon, son of the heir to the baronetcy of Lismullen (County Meath), qualified there as
a medical doctor in July, 1951. He was also the world's first female to male reconstructed
transsexual.
'His story, as told in Liz Hodgkinson's new book, is a short, fascinating and ultimately tragic
one, beginning with the birth, in a west London nursing home on May 1st, 1915, of an
anatomically and biologically normal healthy female child - and ending with the mysterious
death of the same individual, by now a Buddhist monk, in India aged 47.
'Seven months after she married his father, Robert Dillon, in London, Michael's mother, Laura
Maud, gave birth to their first child, christened Robert William Charlier Dillon, a delicate, sickly
baby. The mother, still not quite recovered from the birth, gave birth again within a year. This
time it was a healthy, robust girl but Laura Maud (already a tragic widow when she met Dillon's
father) died two days later of puerperal fever. She was 27.
'The father, distraught and unable to cope with the death of his young wife, refused to even
look at the new baby. His only directive was that she was to be named Laura Maud - after her
mother - and the birth was registered six weeks later, not by the baby's father but by the
maternity nurse who attended the birth.
'Rejected by her father on the day she was born, never to know the love or pride of a mother,
baby Laura and her brother were packed off to Folkestone to be reared in the all-female
household of Dillon's three unmarried sisters. Laura remembers seeing her father only three
times between then and his death when she was 10.
'Aunt Melita (known as Toto) ruled the roost and was a pathologically miserly woman with
neither vision nor imagination, still less any of the sensitivity required in the rearing of two
young children. They were reared according to strictly orthodox, upper-class convention;
the boy to be a gentleman; the girl to be secondary, passive, kept in the background. From
early on, Laura gave notice that this was a role that didn't greatly suit her.
'Far from being compliant, demure and pretty, she became a tomboy who turned her new-found
sewing skills to fashioning a Red Indian suit in which to hunt down 'palefaces.'
'While on a visit to the barber's at around the age of five or six, she announced to the nanny
that she wanted her hair cut just like Bobby's - but it remained in its girlish, beribboned bob. It
was, ironically, her father's mistress, Mrs. Hearns - who was Irish - who first picked up on
Laura's craving to be a boy. One of Laura's short and very few visits to the hotel owned
by her father, and managed by Mrs. Hearne, the woman suddenly declared: "We'll take you
to the blacksmith's and have you made into a boy."
'It was only when Bobby was sent to prep school while Laura remained at home with a
governess, that she began to discover the profound differences between boys and girls, and
not just in the anatomical sense. Not only was she excluded from Bobby's school, which she
passionately wanted to attend, but she was also rigorously excluded from his new-found set
of friends. When the seventh baronet died three weeks after Laura's father in 1925 the rift
between her and her brother became final with Bobby's consequent elevation to the
baronetcy.
'The Dillon's ancestral home at Lismullen, formerly a 14th century nunnery, was the last of the
great houses to be burnt down by Sinn Fein. But with Bobby's accession to the title, Mrs.
Hearn (as one of their guardians) decided that a new house should be built on the estate.
The Government gave appreciable sums for new buildings but tiny amounts for restoration
projects. Between the ages of 10 and 14 Laura spent summer holidays there in what was
clearly a magical atmosphere for children, and estate of 360 acres which included a lake, pond
and woods, plenty of barns, stables and haylofts.
'Meanwhile, she had begun to menstruate in the normal way, which was bad enough, but Laura
was so horrified to find her breasts beginning to develop that she wore a belt around them to
flatten them. At school, the singing mistress found her increasingly deep singing voice so
objectionable that she recommended that she abandon her singing lessons. Her home life was
unspeakably miserable and she responded to her aunts' insensitivity by becoming spiky, sullen
and rude.
'She won a mighty battle with her aunts and succeeded in winning a place at Oxford but before
going there she had an experience - a perfectly insignificant one to any observer - which was
to change her life. Out on a walk with a friend, he stood back at one point to let Laura pass,
just as he would for any woman. She was aghast. "He thinks I'm a woman," she thought and
for the first time became aware that other people had an impression of her that was quite
distinct from her own. She wasn't aware at that point that she was a transsexual but she knew
for sure that she didn't feel like a woman. She was 5 foot 6, a perfectly normal biological
woman with a slightly androgynous build. Otherwise, mentally and emotionally she was a man.
'Aged 24 and working in a laboratory, she at last found a sympathetic doctor, who subsequently
got nervous and backed away - but not before giving her a supply of the male hormone,
testosterone, newly available in tablet form. These stopped her menstruating; they also caused
her voice to deepen and hair to grow on her face - but she continued to wear a shirt, a sight
which made the garage proprietor blink twice when she applied for a job as a petrol pump
attendant. For a miserable four years she stuck it out; it enabled her to make a lifelong friend in
Gilbert Barrow, another garage hand, but it also allowed her to "disappear" while she made the
changeover from female to male. She also began to call herself Michael.
The breasts were the main source of anguish by now. When Michael underwent a bilateral
mastectomy, it was one of the great moments of his life - in spite of the ugly triangular scars
left behind and the continuous vomiting caused by the general anaesthetic. He became a man,
officially, a fortnight before his 29th birthday, when his birth certificate was amended to read
Laurence Michael instead of Laura Maud, and "girl" made to read "boy."
"Male and female created He them" was Toto's reaction to the news but Bobby (managing his
Irish estates and called to the Irish Bar) responded with a shudder of disbelief and horror and
thereafter cut Michael out of his life and consciousness until his death in 1983 [sic - 1982].
(According to the book's author, even now, the remaining members of Michael's family are
reluctant to discuss the matter).
'Undaunted, Michael got in contact with Sir Harold Gillies, who professed himself willing to
have a go at constructing a penis on a biological female - something he had never attempted
before.
'While waiting for the operation, Michael got a place in Trinity College's medical school (having
failed the preliminary examinations at both Edinburgh and London) and arrived there in the
autumn of 1945. A contemporary, Patricia Leeson, was one of the few who became his friend
and knew of his past. "He was a very nice person, although always rather remote.....quite
hardworking, never brilliant, completely ordinary...."
'Dr James Morrow, another contemporary, recalled that he had heard that Dillon was a woman:
but to tell the truth, I didn't believe it."
'Michael's holidays were spent at Sir Harold Gillies's hospital at Basingstoke, where he underwent
many protracted and painful operations. Gillies had mastered the "tube pedicle" technique, a
means of transporting living flesh from one part of the body to another. By raising two
abdominal tubes and inserting one into the other, he was able to produce a penile shaft and
urethra. Into this he implanted a cartilage to produce a semi-erectile condition, and although
it was "rough-hewn" by all accounts, it worked in a manner of speaking.
'At least the recipient could urinate from it, if nothing else. From this point of view, the
operation was as successful as it could have been and Michael's new equipment apparently
gave him no further cause for concern during the rest of his life.
'He qualified as a doctor in 1951. While in Ireland, he had had a paper published in the Irish
Medical Journal while still a student. He also won first prize in the all-Ireland students' essay
competition in which he spoke about the newly introduced National Health Service (he was
against it).
'He bought a house at 9 Oaklands Park, Ballsbridge, in Dublin, and got a job as a resident
medical officer "at a small hospital in the north of Dublin" which paid the princely sum of
1 a week. He used the experience to improve the quality of life for many long-stay hospital
patients by introducing occupational therapy, head phones for each bed and days out in the
country. Later, as a ship's doctor, he crossed what seemed to him the final hurdle in shedding
his past for good. He called on the editor of Debrett's Peerage with his amended birth
certificate and requested that the entry should now be changed to Laurence Michael. The
editor readily agreed (acknowledging Michael's claim to the baronetcy as the next male in
line to his married but childless brother Bobby) and assured him that changes in Debrett were
automatically followed in Burke's.
'But Burke's failed to pick it up and it was the resulting discrepancy that led to Michael's
eventual exposure. While his ship lay in Baltimore Harbour, he was handed a telegram. It read:
"Do you intend to claim the title since your change-over?" For nearly 15 years he had taken his
place as a man without challenge or comment and now Laura had come back to haunt him,
thanks to this volley from the 'Daily Express.' His secret of 15 years standing was out.
'Although he met with some surprising kindness during this trauma, for Michael Dillon, what the
'Daily Express' had done (and others that followed) was unimaginably cruel. Assuming that his
naval career must now be over, he put ashore at Calcutta on the next sailing and never
returned to the West. He became a Buddhist monk, adopting a new name, Lobzand Jivaka, and
instructed his Dublin lawyers to dispose of his estate while he was living. It was a hard way of
life - certainly contributing to his early death.
'His money was all given away - and there were substantial amounts of it. Some of it went
towards supporting struggling university students as well as his fellow Buddhists. His Aunt
Toto's miserliness had had the opposite effect on him. But quite apart from that, Michael Dillon
was a complete original. He embraced Buddhism long before it became a trendy religion in the
West and championed greater tolerance to homosexuality and lesbianism when people were far
more confined to stereotyped gender roles than they are now. He also wrote his memoirs
which - in view of his crying need for secrecy - probably represented the most intimidating
hurdle of all.'
The two oldest sons of Sir John Talbot Dillwyn Llewelyn, 1st baronet
Sir John lost his two eldest children in accidents, the first by drowning and his second son in a
gun accident. Taking the deaths in reverse chronological order, the following report is taken
from "The Dundee Courier & Argus" of 28 Aug 1893:-
'A great sensation was caused at Swansea on Saturday morning by the news that Mr William
Llewelyn, eldest [surviving] son of Sir John Dillwyn Llewelyn, had been found dead, shot through
the heart, in Penllergaer Woods. It appears that the unfortunate gentleman was out on Friday
with a shooting party, and as at a late hour he did not return home a search was made for him,
when he was discovered lying dead with his gun by his side. The deceased, who was born in
1868, and was a Justice of the Peace for the county of Glamorgan, was engaged to be married
shortly to the eldest daughter of Lord Dynevor. It is conjectured that Mr Llewelyn shot himself
accidentally. The deceased was a nephew of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach [later Earl St. Aldwyn].
Mr Llewelyn was a well-known cricketer, and was a member of the Oxford eleven. His young
brother, Charles, was married as recently as Thursday to Miss Venables, and the house of
festivity has thus been suddenly transformed into one of mourning. Deceased's elder brother
was drowned some years ago in Caswell Bay.'
The subsequent inquest was reported in the "Nottinghamshire Guardian" of 2 September 1893:-
'The inquest on the body of the deceased was held on Saturday afternoon. Sir John Llewelyn,
the father of the deceased, said he last saw his son alive at 11 o'clock on Friday morning,
when he was returning from Dynevor Castle. At about 12.30 on that day he suspected
something was wrong, because his son was not at the house to meet the Hon. Miss Gladys
Rice, the young lady to whom he was about to be married, and he made a search for him but
was unsuccessful. The deceased had gone out with his gun and fishing rod, as he was
frequently in the habit of doing. In the evening a further search was made in the neighbourhood
of the Cai Garw Lake, where the deceased's basket, fishing rod, and hat were found, and about
20 yards distant the body was discovered. There was a gunshot wound over the heart, and
deceased's waist-coat was singed. The gun was found lying by the side of the body with the
nozzle pointing towards deceased. Witness had no doubt that the deceased met his death by
accident. The gun was a hammer gun, which had not been used for two years, and there might
have been an element of danger in going back to it after using others. A tenant on the estate
said he saw the deceased in the morning, when he told him to tell all the men who had been in
camp at Aldershot that he intended giving them 2s. 6d. each that evening. They were to meet
deceased in the Drill Hall. - Dr. Ebor Davies said death had occurred several hours previous to
the discovery of the body. The left lung was penetrated, and the large vessels of the heart
were divided. Death must have been instantaneous. Everything pointed to accident. A verdict
of "Accidental death" was returned, and a vote of condolence passed.'
The elder brother referred to at the end of the "Dundee Courier & Argus" report was John
Michael Dillwyn Llewelyn, who drowned while swimming on 27 August 1878, as reported in the
Cardiff "Western Mail" of 29 August 1878:-
'On Tuesday afternoon a sad occurrence happened in Caswell Bay, near the Mumbles [near
Swansea in Wales], by which John Michael Dillwyn Llewelyn, the eldest son of Mr. John Talbot
Dillwyn Llewelyn, of Ynisygerwn, Neath, and high sheriff of Glamorganshire, lost his life. It seems
that Mr. Llewelyn is now staying with his family at Caswell, and on Tuesday afternoon the
deceased, who was 12 years of age [other reports give his age as 14], went into the sea with
his two brothers to bathe. This was about four o'clock, and shortly afterwards the attention of
Mr. John Lewis, of Fairfield House, was called to the boy, who appeared to be in distress. The
sea is generally rough in Caswell Bay, and on Tuesday it appears to have been unusually strong.
Mr. Lewis, however, proceeded as fast as he could to the place where the deceased was
struggling, and succeeded in getting hold of him once, but the sea threw him about with such
force that he was compelled to let go his hold, and the unfortunate boy disappeared beneath
the waves in the sight of his mother, who was on the beach at the time. Miss Maskelyne, a
cousin of the deceased, then attempted to rescue him. She swam boldly out, heedless of the
danger which she was encountering, and bravely battling with the waves which seemed at
times to render her helpless - in fact, those on shore thought that she too would become a
victim in her bold attempt. Unfortunately she did not succeed in finding her cousin, and after
being in the water for a considerable time, she was thrown against the rocks in an exhausted
condition.......From that time until midnight search was made for the body amongst the rocks
and on the sands by the large number of persons who had by this time assembled, but it was
not until about twelve o'clock that it was washed ashore almost at the feet of....the father...'
As the baronetcy still exists, details of the members of the family can be found in "Burke's
Peerage." However, not all members are shown - there is no mention at all of John Michael
Dillwyn Llewelyn, nor, as far as I can tell, has there ever been any mention of him in my earlier
editions of Burke's, going as far back as 1900. It is as if he never existed.
Sir John Holdsworth Dimsdale, 2nd baronet, and his wife
'The inquest on Sir John Holdsworth Dimsdale, Bart., son of a former Lord Mayor of London,
found dead from bullet wounds in Seasalter Churchyard, Whitstable, ended yesterday evening
in a verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind.
'Evidence showed that Sir John, who had been residing at the Bear and Key Hotel, Whitstable,
received a telephone message from a local bank manager on Tuesday morning that a cheque
for nine pounds drawn on another bank had been returned marked "Not sufficient." Sir John,
surprised, said he had paid in 250 to the bank in question on the previous day. At his request
the cheque was presented again.
'Other evidence showed that, meanwhile, on Tuesday, after ordering breakfast, Sir John went
apparently to Seasalter and shot himself with a revolver, being discovered lying dead in the
evening by a local builder. No valedictory letter was left.
'Lady Elizabeth Grace Dimsdale [sic], his wife, who had been living in the hotel opposite Sir
John's, stated that she thought the motive must be financial worry. The Coroner said it seemed
a very unlikely motive for a man to take his life because of 9.
'The witness said that Sir John had told her that there was no occasion to worry about money
matters. She had been married to Sir John nearly eleven years. He had many times threatened
to take his life when he was cross, but she did not take any notice of it.
'The Coroner, in summing up, said the motive did not seem to him to be an adequate one. It
was, however, the only evidence that had been given.'
After Sir John's death, his widow apparently could not carry on. A report in the Manchester
Guardian of 27 October 1923 states that 'Lady Dimsdale was again before the county
magistrates at Canterbury yesterday charged with attempted suicide.' The use of the word
'again' indicates that this was not the first occasion she had attempted to kill herself. Lady
Dimsdale admitted that she had made several attempts to drown herself by walking into the
sea at Whitstable, but on each occasion the waves had washed her back to shore.
The magistrates dismissed the charge on the condition that Lady Dimsdale enter a home for
girls at Maidstone, where she would be placed in the home's kitchen to assist the matron.
Unfortunately, her stay in the girl's home was merely a temporary solution. After leaving the
home, Lady Dimsdale was employed as a 'social mistress' at a school in Greenwich, Connecticut,
but had returned to England at the time of her death in October 1926, when she died as a
result of drinking a bottle of Lysol, a popular cleaner and disinfectant.
Sir Willoughby Wolstan Dixie, 7th baronet
Sir Willoughby spent the last few years of his life in hot water, being twice arrested on
different charges. The first report is taken from the 'Caledonian Mercury' of 30 July 1825,
reprinted from the 'Leicester Journal' :-
'The town of Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, has been thrown into an unusual state of
excitation during the past week, owing to the committal to the county gaol of its principal
inhabitant, Sir Willoughby Woolston Dixie, Bart., on a charge of maliciously shooting.
'It appears that as the Rev. Mr. Wright, the vicar of that place, and his son, who is also a
clergyman, were returning in a gig from the visitation held at Leicester, on Saturday, they
were fired at from a window in the Baronet's house. Not having been living of late upon the
best terms with their wealthy but eccentric neighbour, the Reverend Gentlemen naturally
became alarmed at the occurrence, and lost no time in laying the facts before the Rev. Mr.
Fell, a Magistrate of the county, who appointed Monday last to investigate the matter. Mr.
Bond of this town [i.e. Leicester], Sir Willoughby's solicitor, having been sent for, the affair
underwent inquiry at the public room at Bosworth, which ended in the Rev. Magistrate making
out his warrant of committal against the Baronet, who is to take his trial upon the charge at
our Assizes next week. This circumstance becoming known, the inhabitants, with great
numbers of whom the Baronet is very popular, began to assume a tone and attitude which
rendered it necessary to call in a strong civil power. In consequence thereof, the Under
Sheriff (Mr. Miles) procured the assistance of a considerable number of constables from the
surrounding neighbourhood, who, arming themselves with staves, hedge stakes, etc. took
their station in the town, to preserve the public peace. Notwithstanding these precautions,
however, a chaise, which had been sent for from Hinchley, had its traces cut, and other
symptoms of a turbulent disposition were manifested, which rendered it advisable not to
remove the prisoner till the crowd had dispersed. There appearing little probability that this
would be the case up to a late hour, it was determined that he should be brought up to
Leicester early the next morning. Accordingly, at break of day, a chaise and four drove up to
the George Inn, and Sir Willoughby having taken his seat therein, with a constable on one side,
and his solicitor on the other, drove off for Leicester, followed by six constables on horseback.
About five o'clock the Baronet reached the county gaol.. On getting out of the chaise he
surveyed the building, and then walked into prison with his usual sang froid. His carriage and
four fine iron-grey horses entered the town shortly after, and drove to the Bell Hotel. Sir
Willoughby has apartments in front of the gaol, but is not allowed to have his servants wait
upon him. He has, however, a person in attendance, who is constantly with him. His solicitor,
of course, is also permitted to see him. We understand that the Baronet has been in the habit
of frequently shooting at birds from the window above alluded to, which is his billiard room,
and that the defence to be set up to the charge upon which he is committed will be, that he
was doing so on the day in question. The distance of the premises from the road on which the
Messrs. Wright were passing is more than 150 yards, and the shot discharged at them was of
the description used in killing small birds. None of the shot took effect upon their persons,
although they fell very near the. Bail to any amount has been offered, but refused.'
Although Sir Willoughby was committed for trial, when the time came to hear the charges the
two clergymen declined to prosecute the matter any further, and Dixie was therefore released.
Sir Willoughby returned to the news in 1827, when in May of that year he was again arrested.
The following report appeared in the 'Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser' on 12
October 1827 [which illustrates the time taken for English news to reach Australia in the days
before the opening of the international telegraph line] :-
'On Thursday week, a warrant was issued for the apprehension of the above gentleman [Sir
Willoughby Dixie], living in the county of Leicester. The charge preferred against the Baronet
is of a most serious and revolting nature, inasmuch as the warrant set forth, that he has
"violated and feloniously made an assault upon his own daughter, Eleanor Francis Anna Dixie,
an infant under the age of ten years." The warrant was placed in the hands of Unwin and
Lambert, two experienced officers in the borough of Leicester. The Magistrates suspecting
that some resistance would be offered in the execution of their fiat, ordered Unwin and
Lambert, not only to arm themselves, but to select four other officers to assist them in the
business. Accordingly, the six individuals alluded to took a post-chaise from the Crowns Hotel,
Leicester, two of them as outriders, and proceeded about four o'clock in the afternoon of the
day mentioned, to Bosworth-hall, a distance of fifteen miles, and arrived there about six
o'clock. The outer door of the mansion was open, and three of the officers, with Unwin at
their head, entered, and inquired of the footman where his master could be found. He replied
he could not possibly be seen. He was then charged in the King's name to aid and assist,
which he also refused, and endeavoured to obstruct the officers in the execution of their
duty. Unwin then produced his fire-arms, and expressed his determination to shoot him or
anyone else who interfered. The premises being very extensive, the officers perambulated the
various passages, and tried all the doors they could find, two of which they broke open, and
entered one of the rooms. He was not, however, to be found, till after the lapse of two hours,
when the room they suspected was forcibly entered with the assistance of a carpenter, and
there they discovered the Baronet. He made no resistance, but insisted upon remaining in the
house all night; this was complied with, as the officers knew how extremely popular the
prisoner was amongst his tenantry, at Bosworth. During the night, he made several
observations to the officers, denying the charge in toto: and further added, that "if he had
loaded his six-pounder and fired it off, he should have blown them all to ---- together."
five o'clock in the morning permission was granted that Sir Willoughby should ride to Leicester
in his own carriage, in consequence of a doctor's certificate, which stated that the chaise
would not be a proper conveyance, owing to an inflammation in the Baronet's leg, which
required it to be kept in a horizontal position. The equipage, with four grey horses, drew up at
the hall door, but Unwin insisted that the postillion from the Crowns [Hotel] should drive the
leaders, with two officers as outriders. They arrived in Leicester about seven, and the Baronet
was safely placed in the county gaol. At first he refused to get out unless the gaoler came to
receive him with proper honours. On Saturday the Magistrates entered into an investigation of
the affair at the county public-office, which lasted several hours, and the case stands
adjourned till a future day."
In early September 1827, the 'Leicester Journal' reported that 'the case of Sir Willoughby Dixie,
Bart., for an alleged violation of his own daughter, did not come before the Court at our
assizes. It is said to have been disposed of in a private room of the Castle, between the
Counsel on both sides.' Sir Willoughby died shortly after.
Lady Florence Caroline Dixie, wife of Sir Alexander Beaumont Churchill Dixie,
11th baronet
Lady Florence was the sister of the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, famous for implementing
the Marquess of Queensberry Rules for boxing and for his vendetta against Oscar Wilde. Lady
Florence was born 24 May 1855 and married, on 3 April 1875, Sir Alexander Beaumont Churchill
Dixie, 11th baronet. Due to his initials, Dixie was known as Sir A.B.C.D.
In March 1883, she caused a sensation when she claimed to have been kidnapped by Irish
agitators. According to the report in 'The Times' of 19 March 1883:-
'On Saturday afternoon [17 March] in broad daylight and attempt was made by two persons
to assassinate Lady Florence Dixie, whose letters in reference to the funds of the Irish Land
League are supposed to constitute the motive for the outrage. The miscreants were dressed
in female attire, but are supposed to have been men in disguise. Sir Beaumont and Lady
Florence Dixie reside at the Fishery, a pleasant riverside residence on the Berks[hire] shore
of the Thames, two miles and a half from Windsor and between that town and Maidenhead.
The high road passes close to the house, which is situated between the road and the river.
On Saturday afternoon about 4 o'clock Lady Florence Dixie was walking in the road between
the Fishery and Surly-hall, which is a short distance off, when two persons, seemingly women,
approached her. Lady Florence turned into the grounds adjoining her residence and observed
the two persons follow her by the same entrance. She was at that time leaning against some
railings, but she at once faced and walked towards them. One asked her what o'clock it was,
and Lady Florence replied that she had not got her watch with her. Immediately one of the
assailants rushed upon her, knocked her down, and filled her mouth with mud to prevent any
cries for assistance being heard. The other then stabbed her with a knife or dagger in two
places in the left breast, the point both times apparently striking the steel of her stays, and
preventing the weapon from penetrating the body. Lady Florence had with her a large Mount
St. Bernard dog, which attacked the assailants; and as a cart was heard passing along the
road the miscreants made off. Sir Beaumont Dixie was at the river side at the time of the
occurrence, and before he was aware of what had occurred they had disappeared. No trace
of them has since discovered. Sir Beaumont immediately procured a conveyance from Surly-
hall Hotel, proceeded to Windsor and gave information to Mr Superintendent Hayes, of the
Windsor Borough Police, of the occurrence. It was a quarter to 6 when he arrived at the
station. The crime not having been committed within the borough, Mr Hayes directed Sir
Beaumont to the Berks County Police-station at Clewer, near which he must have passed on
his way to Windsor. Some valuable time was lost; but telegrams were quickly sent to
Maidenhead and Reading, and Superintendent Iremonger, of the former place, at once sent
out men in search. Information was also telegraphed to Scotland-yard. The dress worn by
Lady Florence Dixie at the time has been examined by the police, who find that a knife has
passed through the bodice to the steel of the stays, as stated above. Her life had been saved
by the circumstance of the weapon striking a hard substance. Lady Florence became faint on
returning to her house, but this morning had almost recovered from the shock which the
attempt on her life had naturally occasioned, as she only complained of being a little dizzy.
Her impression is that she had a blow on her head, although there is no mark there. She is
able to give only a very imperfect description of the two persons who attacked her. One wore
a veil, and both had smooth faces. She was also unable to say what direction they took on
leaving the grounds. It is supposed that they came from the direction of Windsor, as just
before the occurrence a village cart was seen going at great speed along the road from
Windsor, and in this cart there were two women - as they appeared to be - huddled up. The
police have as yet obtained very little information. There were people on the road near the
Fishery, including a soldier, who from his uniform is supposed to be a pioneer of the Grenadier
Guards, and who, it is thought, may have seen something of the two persons. In the evening
information was conveyed to the Queen. The police are still engaged in making inquiries, but
with very little hope of success. Lady Florence Dixie was not attended by any medical man as
the injuries were not such as to render it necessary; her hands were, however, much cut in
her efforts to seize the weapon.'
Lady Florence's story was front-page news in all of the contemporary papers, but, as time
passed, the words used in the various headlines began to subtly change. Initially, the
headlines were of the nature of 'Dastardly attack on Lady Florence Dixie', but over the next
fortnight, the tone of the headlines began to change, firstly to the 'Reported attack on Lady
Dixie' and then to the' Alleged attack on Lady Dixie'. Eventually, the headlines began to query
whether she had been attacked at all - for example, some newspapers reminded their readers
that Lady Florence had been mistaken on other occasions, citing a recent incident in which
she had published a letter from the Zulu king, Cetewayo, which he denied having written. She
had also published a poem in 1879, following the death of the Prince Imperial [son of Napoleon
III of France], which she claimed to have written six years earlier as a result of a prophetic
dream.
Her credibility was seriously damaged by the evidence of 'an Eton gentleman' who swore that
he had Lady Florence in his sight during the whole of the period in which the alleged attack
was supposed to have taken place and that no such attack was made. Nothing was ever
proved either way, as far as I can ascertain, nor were any suspects ever arrested, but it
seems that a good proportion of the public believed that the alleged attack was a figment of
Lady Florence's imagination.
Notwithstanding this incident, Lady Florence was remarkable in many other ways. She
travelled throughout Patagonia and published a book detailing her travels; she was a war
correspondent during the First Boer War and the Anglo-Zulu War; played a major role in
establishing the Women's Football Association and was an early feminist, publishing in 1890
the book "Gloriana; or the Revolution of 1900" which is described by I F Clarke in his "Tale of
the Future" as 'a melodramatic romance written around a campaign for women's rights.' Lady
Florence died on 7 November 1905, aged 50.
The attempt in 1976 to claim the Dixie baronetcy
Following the death of Sir Alexander Archibald Douglas Wolstan Dixie, 13th baronet, in December
1975, the baronetcy became extinct. However, he was survived by two daughters, the elder of
whom attempted to claim the baronetcy for herself. The following article appeared in 'The New
York Times' on 23 June 1976:-
'Bosworth Park, England - A pub in this pastoral Leicestershire village is named for the Dixie
family. Nearby is the now defunct Dixie Grammar School, which gave Samuel Johnson his first
teaching job. The Dixie's ancestral home still stands, although now it is the local infirmary.
'Three Dixies live here today, all women. There is Penelope Lady Dixie and her daughters,
Eleanor, 23 years old, named for the wife of Henry III, and Caroline, 16. The daughters' paternal
great-grandfather gambled away the old house and nearly everything else of value, but there is
no apparent concern over depleted fortunes.
'What does worry them is that Eleanor, the elder child of the late Sir Wolstan Dixie, has been
banished from the ranks of the English nobility, probably with all future Dixies. The reason is
simply that Miss Dixie is a woman.
'Miss Dixie has stirred up a storm over her plight, appealing all the way to Queen Elizabeth II, a
woman who was able to ascend to the throne. In a country where traditions and titles are
often more highly prized that money, property or anything else, Miss Dixie's difficulties have
aroused considerable interest.
"My father," she said, "was a baronet. He was the 13th in a line of Dixie baronets. I want the
baronetcy to go on."
'Other noble family trees have withered in Britain when they stopped sprouting men, and that
was the end of them. But Britain has awakened to womens' rights, and late last year the
Government enacted a comprehensive law against sex discrimination. It took effect just hours
after Sir Wolstan's death on Dec. 28, 1975.
'So far, though, the law hasn't helped. Miss Dixie wrote first to the Queen, who passed the
letter on to the Home Office for advice. The Home Office told Miss Dixie that it had advised the
Queen against granting the appeal but did not give a reason. Miss Dixie then wrote to the Equal
Opportunities Commission, which was created under the new sex discrimination act. But the
commission told her that the law did not cover hereditary titles.
'Miss Dixie is now collecting signatures for a petition that she will present to the Home Office.
In only three days, 400 people signed it, but she wants hundreds of thousands. "The idea,"
she said, "is to make them change their mind about their advice to the Queen."
'The Dixies live in a large brick house whose ground floor they have made into a restaurant and
low-keyed discotheque. It stands on the edge of Bosworth Field, where in 1485 an embattled
Richard III is said to have offered his kingdom for a horse. He died there instead.
'The house is bathed in family history. Large oil portraits of the baronets of Bosworth Park and
their wives fill the walls. Part way up the stairs is an elaborate chart tracing the evolution of
the family's coat of arms. Miss Dixie and her mother seal their letters in wax, stamping it with
the family crest on their rings.
'Within easy reach in the house is a weathered sheet of parchment creating the baronetcy in
1660, about 20 years after Charles I authorized it. There, in laboriously written Latin, are the
words behind Miss Dixie's difficulties.
'They say that the baronetcy, the lowest order of hereditary nobility, may be passed on only
through the male line. Sometimes the rules creating noble families allow daughters to inherit
titles in the absence of males. But that is not the case in most noble families and it is not the
case for the Dixies.
'The baronetcy could go to a male cousin, but the only one the Dixie women recall died at
Dunkirk. An American Dixie could try to claim it, but the cost of tracing his lineage back to
Boswell Park could be prohibitive. Two centuries ago, a branch of Dixies settled in Harlem,
where they tried to grow tobacco. They failed and moved south.
'The first Wolstan Dixie, Lady Dixie said, rallied to the cause of Charles I, providing him with
funds to field a regiment for three years. Charles believed he ruled by divine right, a position
that cost him his head at the hands of a Parliament against which he had waged civil war.
'Before then, though, Charles took care of Wolstan Dixie. "The Crown couldn't afford to pay
him back," Lady Dixie said. "Even kings get hard up, you know. So instead he gave out honors."
'Eleanor Dixie is hardly a feminist revolutionary, or any other kind of revolutionary. She still
supports male prerogatives when there are males around to claim them. And if she is asking
the state to modify a tradition that discriminates against women, she is doing it to preserve
a tradition that discriminates on the ground of one's parentage.
"My aim," she said, "is to have the title lie dormant until I produce a male heir."
Sir James Henry Domville, 5th baronet
Sir James committed suicide by shooting himself in September 1919. The following report of the
subsequent inquest appeared in 'The Manchester Guardian' on 16 September 1919:-
'At the inquest at Westminster yesterday on Sir James Domville, a retired naval officer who was
found at the United Services Club on Saturday suffering from a gunshot wound, and
subsequently died in hospital, his brother, Cecil Lionel Domville, a retired army officer, who
succeeds to the title, gave evidence of identification.
'The witness said he did not know from his own personal knowledge that his brother was in
financial difficulties, but he had read so in the papers. He believed his brother had domestic
troubles, and that there was a petition out against him for a divorce. He was very bad with
enteric [typhoid fever] after serving in the Mediterranean.
'A valet at the club said he saw Sir James before midnight on Friday, when he came to the
witness and made arrangements about sending his things to his mother. The witness was under
the impression that Sir James was leaving town. The next morning witness found him lying on
the bed, fully clad, in evening dress. Blood was flowing, and a revolver was lying at his right
side as if it had fallen from his hand.
'The night porter said he took a cup of tea to the bedroom at 5 a.m. on Saturday, and Sir
James was then lying on the bed and was fully dressed. He asked for some brandy, which
witness took him, and left him reading.
'A letter found in the room was addressed to the secretary of the club, and said:- "I much
regret this should have taken place in the club. Glad if you will convey this sentiment to your
committee."
'The verdict was of suicide whilst of unsound mind, brought about by physical, financial, and
domestic troubles.'
Sir William Henry Don, 7th baronet
Sir William died in Hobart, Tasmania, in March 1862, where he was engaged in a very successful
series of theatrical performances. The following article appeared in the 'Bathurst Free Press and
Mining Journal' (reprinted from 'The European Times') on 2 August 1862:-
'The career of Sir William Don has been rarely paralleled in real life for its chequered and
adventurous character. Born in 1825, the eldest son and heir of an old Scottish baronet, he
lost his father when he was only two years old [he was actually less than a year old], and from
a very early age he seems to have become his own master, and to have made a very bad use
of such a privilege. Although, according to his own statements, the family estates of Newton-
Don, in Berwickshire, were worth at least 3,800 a year, he had, before attaining his majority,
not only run through the immense profits which ought to have accumulated from his father's
death, but his debts were so heavy as to compel him to alienate the whole property. This was
in 1846, and after rambling about the Continent for some time, "living upon his wits," he
determined upon embarking for America. He accordingly landed in Canada about the beginning
of 1848, and having adopted the stage as a profession, he passed the ensuing years in various
parts of the United States, gaining, it is said, some reputation as a light comedian. His money,
however, was spent as fast as it was made, and in 1855, when he wished to return home, he
had not the wherewithal to pay his passage, and was forced to engage as an ordinary seaman.
Soon after landing in England we find him carrying on business as a brickdealer, and afterwards
as an underwriter; but these pursuits must have been very unprofitable, for in 1856 he became
a bankrupt under the Scottish law. After securing his discharge he again turned to the stage,
his attachments to which had probably increased through his marriage with a very pleasing
actress - Miss Emily Saunders. But his expenditure was still maintained far beyond his income,
and in December, 1857, only after 18 months after the Scotch bankruptcy, and while Sir William
was carrying out a temporary engagement in Bristol, he was apprehended by the bailiffs, under
a writ of ca. sa. [capias ad satisfaciendum - a writ of execution]. In consequence of this
catastrophe he petitioned for relief, as an insolvent debtor, and his case was heard at great
length by Sir Eardley Wilmot, Bart., in March, 1858, when he again obtained his discharge.
Since that time he has been continually engaged as a comedian in all parts of the country, and
though his talent as an actor was far from extensive, and his eccentricity was remarkable, he
has always been somewhat popular with the lovers of the drama. Last year he made a very
profitable engagement for a series of performances in Australia, where he has died just as he
had seemed to have turned the corner of a luckless career.'
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