Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne

Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne, LVO, DL (born 21 February 1941), styled Earl of Shelburne between 1944 and 1999, is a British peer and Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire from 2012 to 2016.[1][2]

The Marquess of Lansdowne

Coronet of a British Marquess.svg
Marquess of Lansdowne.svg
Member of Wiltshire County Council
In office
Personal details
Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice

(1941-02-21) 21 February 1941 (age 80)
Political partyConservative
Lady Frances Helen Mary Eliot
(m. 1965; div. 1987)

Fiona Mary Merritt
(m. after 1987)
ParentsGeorge Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne
Barbara Chase
ResidenceBowood House
EducationEton College
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps

He is also Earl of Kerry in the peerage of Ireland (1722); Earl of Shelburne and Earl of Wycombe in the peerage of Great Britain (1753 and 1784); Viscount Clanmaurice, Viscount Fitzmaurice (1751), and Viscount Calne and Calston; the 30th Baron of Kerry and Lixnaw in the peerage of Ireland (1181); Baron Dunkeron, and Baron Wycombe.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Lansdowne is the elder son of George Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne, a Conservative politician and landowner, by his marriage to Barbara, daughter of Harold Stuart Chase, of Santa Barbara, California.[4] His father inherited the peerage titles (and the Bowood House estates in Wiltshire) from a cousin, the 7th Marquess of Lansdowne, who was killed in action in 1944, when the present Marquess became known as the Earl of Shelburne, a courtesy title. He was educated at Eton College[3] and was Page of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II in 1956–1957.[5]


Lord Shelburne (as he then was) served in the Kenya Regiment from 1960 to 1961.[3] In 1962 he was gazetted a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry[6] and in 1971 transferred with the rank of Lieutenant to the Royal Yeomanry attached to the Royal Armoured Corps.[3][7]

He was a member of Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council from 1964 to 1973, President of the Wiltshire Playing Fields Association from 1965 to 1974, a member of Wiltshire County Council from 1970 to 1985, and a councillor of North Wiltshire District Council from 1973 to 1976.[3][8] He was chairman of Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council from 1970 to 1973 and of North Wiltshire District Council from 1973 to 1976. Shelburne also served as a member of the South West Economic Planning Council from 1972 to 1977 and chaired its Population Settlement Pattern Working Committee during the same period. He was a member of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (English Heritage) from 1983 to 1989; Deputy President of the Historic Houses Association from 1986 to 1988 and President from 1988 to 1993; President of South West Tourism from 1989-2006; President of the Wiltshire Association of Boys Clubs and Youth Clubs from 1976 to 2003; and President of the North Wiltshire Conservative Association from 1986 to 1989.[3]

In 1990, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire, and served as the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire from 2012 to 2016.[9][10] He has served as President of the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust since 1994[11] and of the Wilts & Berks Canal Partnership since 2001.

At the 1979 general election, he contested Coventry North East for the Conservatives, coming second behind Labour's George Park.[3]

On 25 August 1999, his father died and he became Marquess of Lansdowne and a member of the House of Lords.[3]

In 2001, Lord Lansdowne was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, shortly after retiring as a member of the Prince's Council of the Duchy of Cornwall (1996-2001).[12]


On 9 October 1965, he married, firstly, Lady Frances Helen Mary Eliot (6 March 1943 – 6 January 2004), daughter of Nicholas Eliot, 9th Earl of St Germans, but they were divorced in 1987, having had four children:[citation needed]

  • Lady Arabella Helen Mary Petty-Fitzmaurice, now Lady Arabella Haldane Unwin (b. 30 August 1966), married Rupert William Haldane Unwin, and has issue, three children:[13]
    • Abrahm Arthur George Haldane Unwin (b. 15 November 1996)
    • Gala Ellen Theadora Haldane Unwin (b. 11 August 1998)
    • Evie May Hermione Haldane Unwin (b. 25 January 2001)
  • Lady Rachel Barbara Violet Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 30 January 1968), married James Spickernell and has issue, four children:
    • Benjamin Thomas Richard Spickernell (b. 15 September 1994)
    • Frederick Charles William Spickernell (b. 16 October 1996)
    • Olivia Spickernell (b. 4 March 1999)
    • Jemima Spickernell (b. 3 May 2001)
  • Simon Petty-FitzMaurice, Earl of Kerry (b. 24 November 1970), married Nadine Mentior in January 2016, and has issue:
    • George Henry Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, Viscount Calne and Calstone (b. 3 February 2020)[14]
  • Lord William Nicholas Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 25 September 1973) married (engaged 29 April 2003, married 2004) Rebecca Sansum (b. 1982), of Chippenham, Wiltshire.[15][16] They have three daughters:
    • Zara Frances Elaine Petty-Fitzmaurice, (b. 1 November 2006)
    • Isla Mary Rose Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 30 August 2008)[17]
    • Alexandra Jane Caroline Petty-Fitzmaurice (Lexie) (b. 20 November 2013)

In 1987 Lord Lansdowne married, secondly, Fiona Mary Merritt (b. 1954), daughter of Donald Merritt and Lady Davies,[3] an interior decorator known by her married name of Fiona Shelburne.[18]

The heir apparent to the title is Simon, Earl of Kerry (b. 1970), elder son of the Marquess.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i 'Lansdowne, 9th Marquess of' in Who's Who 2014 (London: A. & C. Black, 2014)
  4. ^ 'LANSDOWNE, 8th Marquess of, George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice' in Who's Who 1999 (London: A. and C. Black, 1999)
  5. ^ The London Gazette, Issue 40733 of 16 March 1956, page 1583 online
  6. ^ London Gazette, Issue 42793 of 25 September 1962, page 7579 online
  7. ^ London Gazette, Issue 45917 of 26 February 1973 (Supplement), page 2677 online
  8. ^ Charles Maurice Mercer Nairne Petty-FitzMaurice, later Petty-FitzMaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne Archived 3 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine at, accessed 21 May 2010
  9. ^ London Gazette, Issue 52202 of 4 July 1990, page 11412 online
  10. ^
  11. ^ Colin Johns, Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust 1967–2007 (2007) online, Appendix 1
  12. ^ London Gazette, Issue 56430 of 31 December 2001 (Supplement No. 1), page S3 online
  13. ^ Charles Mosely, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 2003
  14. ^ Simon Kerry. "Birth announcement: Petty-Fitzmaurice".
  15. ^ Paul Theroff. "News of Other James I Descendants, 2003" in "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link). Retrieved 27 September 2007
  16. ^ Anon. "Lansdowne Family Tree" from Bowood House website. [1]. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  17. ^ Isla Mary Rose Petty-Fitzmaurice 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2008
  18. ^ Jill Shearer. "The English Look" (PDF).[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit

Court offices
Preceded by
Hon. Simon Scott
Page of Honour
Succeeded by
Oliver Russell
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Petty-FitzMaurice
Marquess of Lansdowne
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Marquess of Lothian
Order of Precedence of the United Kingdom Followed by
The Marquess Townshend