Gerard Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth

Gerard Vernon Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth (16 May 1898 – 28 September 1984), styled Viscount Lymington from 1925 until 1943, was a British landowner, writer on agricultural topics, and politician involved in right-wing groups.

The Earl of Portsmouth

Earl of Portsmouth
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Wallop arms.svg
Tenure10 February 1943 – 28 September 1984
PredecessorOliver Wallop, 8th Earl of Portsmouth
Other titles9th Earl of Portsmouth
9th Viscount Lymington
9th Baron Wallop
Hereditary Bailiff of Burley, New Forset
BornGerard Vernon Wallop
(1898-05-16)16 May 1898
Died28 September 1984(1984-09-28) (aged 86)
ResidenceFarleigh Wallop
Mary Lawrence Post
(m. 1920)

Bridget Cory Croban
(m. 1936)
Oliver Kintzing Wallop, Viscount Lymington
Lady Anne Camilla Evelyn Wallop
Lady Phillipa Wallop
Lady Jane Wallop
Hon. Nicholas Wallop
ParentsOliver Wallop, 8th Earl of Portsmouth
Marguerite Walker

Early lifeEdit

Gerard was born in Chicago, the eldest son of Oliver Henry Wallop and Marguerite Walker. His father moved to Wyoming, where he was a rancher and served in the Wyoming State Legislature. After the deaths of his two older brothers without sons, Oliver succeeded as 8th Earl of Portsmouth, and renounced his American citizenship to serve in the House of Lords.[1] Gerard was brought up near Sheridan, Wyoming in the United States, where his parents farmed. He was educated in England, at Farnborough, at Winchester College and at Balliol College, Oxford. He then farmed at Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire. Wallop was commissioned a temporary second lieutenant (probationary) in the Reserve Regiment, 2nd Life Guards on 19 January 1917,[2] was transferred to the Guards Machine Gun Regiment on 10 May 1918,[3] and commissioned a temporary lieutenant on 19 July 1918.[4]

Conservative Party politicsEdit

Lord Lymington was Conservative Member of Parliament for the Basingstoke constituency from 1929 to 1934. He stepped down and caused a by-election in March 1934 (Henry Maxence Cavendish Drummond Wolff was elected). At this point he was in the India Defence League, an imperialist group of Conservatives around Winston Churchill, and undertook a research mission in India for them.

He attended[citation needed] the second Convegno Volta in 1932, with Christopher Dawson, Lord Rennell of Rodd, Charles Petrie and Paul Einzig making up the British representatives.[5][6] It was on the theme L'Europa.[7]

His exit from party politics was apparently caused by a measure of disillusion, and frustrated ambition.

Newton papersEdit

In 1936, he sent for auction at Sotheby's the major collection of unpublished papers of Isaac Newton, known as the Portsmouth Papers.[8] These had been in the family for around two centuries, since an earlier Viscount Lymington had married Newton's great-niece.[9]

The sale was the occasion on which Newton's religious and alchemical interests became generally known.[10] Broken into a large number of separate lots, running into several hundred, they became dispersed. John Maynard Keynes purchased many significant lots. Theological works were bought in large numbers by Abraham Yahuda. Another purchaser was Emmanuel Fabius, a dealer in Paris.

Right-wing groupsEdit

Wallop was a member of and important influence on the English Mistery,[11] a society promoted by William Sanderson and founded in 1929 or 1930. This was a conservative group, with views in tune with his own monarchist and ruralist opinions.

A split in the Mistery left Wallop leading a successor, the English Array. It was active from 1936 to the early months of World War II, and advocated "back to the land".[12] Its membership included A. K. Chesterton, J. F. C. Fuller, Rolf Gardiner, Hon. Richard de Grey, Hardwicke Holderness, Anthony Ludovici, John de Rutzen,[13] and Reginald Dorman-Smith.[14] It has been described as "more specifically pro-Nazi" than the Mistery; Famine in England (1938) by Lymington was an agricultural manifesto, but traded on racial overtones of urban immigration.[15] Lymington's use of Parliamentary questions has been blamed for British government reluctance to admit refugees.[16]

He edited New Pioneer magazine from 1938 to 1940, collaborating with John Warburton Beckett and A. K. Chesterton. The gathering European war saw him found the British Council Against European Commitments in 1938, with William Joyce. He joined the British People's Party in 1943.[17] The English Array was not shut down, as other organisations of the right were in the war years, but was under official suspicion and saw little activity.[18]

Organic movementEdit

Wallop was an early advocate of organic farming in Britain.[19] He has been described as a "central figure in the organic movement’s coalescence during the 1930s and ’40s."[19]

He founded the Kinship in Husbandry with Rolf Gardiner,[20] a precursor of the Soil Association. It recruited Edmund Blunden, Arthur Bryant, H. J. Massingham,[18] Walter James, 4th Baron Northbourne, Adrian Bell, and Philip Mairet.[21]

Family and personal lifeEdit

He was married twice and had five children.[1]

On 31 July 1920, he married Mary Lawrence Post (divorced 1936), daughter of Waldren Kintzing Post, of Bayport, Long Island. They had two children:

In 1954, he married secondly, Bridget Crohan, only daughter of Capt. Patrick Bermingham Crohan MBE by Edith Barbara Cory (later Bray), of Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire. They had three children:[1]

  • Lady Philippa Dorothy Bluet Wallop (21 August 1937 – 31 August 1984) who married Charles Cadogan, Viscount Chelsea and had issue[22]
  • Lady Jane Alianora Borlace Wallop (born 24 February 1939)
  • Hon. Nicholas Valoynes Bermingham Wallop (born 14 July 1946), married Lavinia Karmel, only daughter of David Karmel CBE

Gerard Wallop succeeded to the title of Earl of Portsmouth in 1943, on the death of his father Oliver.

After the war he moved to Kenya, where he lived for nearly 30 years. His seat at Farleigh House was let as a preparatory school from 1953.

The Earl's elder son, Oliver, predeceased him; on his death in 1984, the title passed to his grandson Quentin.[1]


  • Spring Song of Iscariot (Black Sun Press, 1929) poem, as Lord Lymington
  • Ich Dien - the Tory Path (1931) as Lord Lymington
  • Famine in England (1938)
  • Alternative to Death (1943)
  • A Knot of Roots (1965) autobiography


  1. ^ a b c d Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 3192–3193. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ "No. 29918". The London Gazette. 23 January 1917. p. 934.
  3. ^ "No. 30864". The London Gazette. 23 August 1918. p. 9954.
  4. ^ "No. 30921". The London Gazette. 24 September 1918. p. 11420.
  5. ^ Luisa Passerini, Europe in Love, Love in Europe: Imagination and Politics in Britain Between the Wars (1999), p. 71.
  6. ^ Christina Scott, A Historian and His World: A Life of Christopher Dawson (1992), pp. 104-5.
  7. ^, in Italian.
  8. ^ The Sotheby Sale of Isaac Newton's Papers in 1936
  9. ^ Cambridge University Library Online Archived 24 July 2009 at the Portuguese Web Archive
  10. ^ Michael Cyril William Hunter (editor), Archives of the Scientific Revolution: The Formation and Exchange of Ideas (1998), p. 148.
  11. ^ Julie V. Gottlieb, Thomas P. Linehan, The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain (2004), p. 189.
  12. ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations (2003), p. 181.
  13. ^ Dan Stone, Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain (2002), p. 49.
  14. ^ Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, p. 182.
  15. ^ Richard Griffiths, Patriotism Perverted (1998), p. 53.
  16. ^ Katharine Knox, Refugees in an Age of Genocide: Global, National, and Local Perspectives (1999), p. 148.
  17. ^ Thomas Linehan, British Fascism, 1918-1939: Parties, Ideology and Culture (2000), p. 140.
  18. ^ a b Stone, p. 53.
  19. ^ a b Conford, Philip (2005). "Organic Society: Agriculture and Radical Politics in the Career of Gerard Wallop, Ninth Earl of Portsmouth (1898-1984)" (PDF). Agricultural History Review. 53 (1): 78–96.
  20. ^ Jeremy Burchardt, Paradise Lost: Rural Idyll and Social Change in England Since 1800 (2002), p. 137.
  21. ^ Gottlieb and Linehan, p. 187.
  22. ^ "Deaths – Viscountess Chelsea". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 4 September 1984. p. 2.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Richard Holbrook
Member of Parliament for Basingstoke
Succeeded by
Henry Maxence Cavendish Drummond Wolff
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Oliver Wallop
Earl of Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Quentin Wallop