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Giles Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester

Left: Arms of Strangways: Sable, two lions passant paly of six argent and gules. The Earl of Ilchester's arms are Strangways quartering Fox[1]; right: Canting arms of Fox: Ermine, on a chevron azure three fox's heads and necks erased or on a canton of the second a fleur-de-lys of the third

Giles Stephen Holland Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester GBE DL (31 May 1874 – 29 October 1959), styled Lord Stavordale until 1905, was a British peer and philanthropist.

Background and educationEdit

Fox-Strangways was the eldest child of Henry Fox-Strangways, 5th Earl of Ilchester, by Lady Mary Eleanor Anne Dawson, daughter of Richard Dawson, 1st Earl of Dartrey. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford[2] and was an officer in the Coldstream Guards, promoted to Lieutenant 5 March 1902.[3]


From 1922 to 1959, Lord Ilchester was a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery (and Chairman from 1941–59) and of the British Museum from 1931-59. He was also a Member of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England from 1939-59 (and Chairman from 1943–59), President of the London Library from 1940–52, President of the Royal Literary Fund from 1941–51, President of the Roxburghe Club in 1940 and a Steward of the Jockey Club from 1937-40. Lord Ilchester was awarded for his work by being appointed a GBE in 1950.

Holland HouseEdit

His historic mansion Holland House in Kensington, London, built in 1605, was burnt down by German incendiary bombs in 1940, during WW II. The building remained a burned-out ruin until 1952, when he sold the house and fifty-two acres to London County Council for £250,000.[4] He wrote various works on the history of the house, including:

  • Fox-Strangways, Giles (6th Earl of Ilchester), The House of the Hollands 1605-1820, London, 1937
  • Fox-Strangways, Giles (6th Earl of Ilchester), Chronicles of Holland House, 1820-1900, London, 1937
  • Fox-Strangways, Giles (6th Earl of Ilchester), Catalogue of pictures belonging to the Earl of Ilchester at Holland House, London, 1904


Lord Ilchester married Lady Helen Vane-Tempest-Stewart, daughter of the 6th Marquess of Londonderry. The society wedding took place at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, London, on 25 January 1902, and was conducted by the Archbishop of Armagh (Primate of All Ireland). It was attended by the Duke of Connaught, his daughter Princess Margaret of Connaught, and the Duke of Cambridge.[5]

The couple had four children:

The Countess of Ilchester died in January 1956, aged 79. Lord Ilchester survived her by three years and died in October 1959, aged 85. His eldest son Edward Henry (known as "Harry") succeeded in the earldom.[2]


  1. ^ Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968, p.607, Earl of Ilchester
  2. ^ a b Giles Stephen Holland Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester
  3. ^ "No. 27413". The London Gazette. 4 March 1902. p. 1542.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Marriage of Lord Stavordale and Lady Helen Stewart". The Times (36675). London. 27 January 1902. p. 11.
  6. ^
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Henry Fox-Strangways
Earl of Ilchester
Succeeded by
Edward Henry Charles James, 7th Earl of Ilchester