Henry Wellesley, 3rd Earl Cowley

Henry Arthur Mornington Wellesley, 3rd Earl Cowley JP (14 January 1866 – 15 January 1919), styled as Viscount Dangan between 1884 and 1895, was an English aristocrat.

The Earl of Cowley

Viscount Dangan Vanity Fair 12 January 1889.jpg
Caricature of Viscount Dangan, published in Vanity Fair, 12 January 1889.
Personal details
Henry Arthur Mornington Wellesley

(1866-01-14)14 January 1866
Wilton Place, London
Died15 January 1919(1919-01-15) (aged 53)
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Lady Violet Nevill
(m. 1889; div. 1897)

Hon. Millicent Wilson
(m. 1905; div. 1913)

Clare Stapleton
(m. 1914; his death 1919)
RelationsHenry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley (grandfather)
Thomas Peers Williams (grandfather)
ParentsWilliam Wellesley, 2nd Earl Cowley
Emily Gwendoline Williams
EducationEton College

Early lifeEdit

The Coat of Arms of the Earl of Cowley

Henry was born at Wilton Place, London on 14 January 1866. He was the eldest son of William Wellesley, 2nd Earl Cowley (1834–1895) and the former Emily Gwendoline Peers-Williams (1839–1932). His only sibling, Lady Eva Wellesley, married, as his second wife, Randolph Wemyss, Laird of Wemyss Castle and Chief of Clan Wemyss.[1]

His mother was the second daughter of Col. Thomas Peers Williams MP for Great Marlow and the former Emily Bacon (a daughter of Anthony Bushby Bacon of Elcott). His paternal grandparents were Henry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley (the eldest son of Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley and Lady Charlotte Cadogan, the daughter of the 1st Earl Cadogan) and the Hon. Olivia Cecilia FitzGerald (a daughter of the 20th Baroness de Ros and Lord Henry FitzGerald, the fourth son of the 1st Duke of Leinster). His grandfather, the 1st Earl Cowley, was Queen Victoria's Ambassador to France for fifteen years and was a nephew of the 1st Duke of Wellington and the 1st Marquess Wellesley. Lord Cowley's aunt, Lady Feodorowna Wellesley, was married to Francis Bertie, 1st Viscount Bertie of Thame,[1] who also served as the British Ambassador to France.[2]


He attended Eton College between 1880 and 1881.[3]

He was a Captain in the Wiltshire Regiment and gained the rank of Lieutenant in 1893 in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Upon his father's death in 1895, he became the third Earl Cowley. Between 1899 and 1900, Lord Cowley fought in the Boer War with the Imperial Yeomanry.[3]

He held the office of Justice of the Peace for Wiltshire.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

On 17 December 1889, he was married to Lady Violet Nevill, at St George's Church in Hanover Square, London. the daughter of William Nevill, 1st Marquess of Abergavenny and the former Caroline Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone (a daughter of Sir John Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone, 2nd Baronet).[4] Before she divorced him on 2 February 1897 alleging "misconduct", they were the parents of one son:[1][a]

He married, secondly, Hon. Millicent Florence Eleanor (née Wilson) Cradock-Hartopp (1872–1952) on 14 December 1905 at Colombo in Sri Lanka.[8] Millicent, the divorced wife of Sir Charles Cradock-Hartopp, 5th Baronet, was a daughter of Charles Wilson, 1st Baron Nunburnholme and the former Florence Jane Helen Wellesley. In 1912, while still married to his second wife, Lord Cowley was a named as a correspondent in the divorce suite of Geoffrey Charles Buxton against his wife. Before she divorced him in 1913, citing his "desertion and misconduct with Mrs. G.C. Buxton",[9] they were the parents of:[1][b]

His third, and final, marriage was to Clare Florence Mary (née Stapleton) Buxton on 19 January 1914.[11] Clare, who was by then divorced from her husband Geoffrey Buxton of Dunston Hall, was a daughter of Sir Francis Stapleton, 8th Baronet and Mary Catherine Gladstone. They were the parents of:[1]

  • Hon. Henry Gerald Valerian Francis Wellesley (1907–1981), who married Doris Caroline Sabia Kennedy, daughter of Edward Robert Kennedy, in 1929. They divorced in 1953 and he married Nancy Joan Hilliam, daughter of Bentley Collingwood Hilliam, in 1954. His second marriage was annulled in 1955 and he married Marina Isabel Sherlock Eustace, daughter of Frank Rowland Eustace, in 1957. They divorced in 1969 and he married, fourthly, Valerie Rose Pitman, daughter of Christian Ernest Pitman, in 1969.[1]

Lord Cowley died at Chippenham in Wiltshire on 15 January 1919, at age 53.[3] He was buried at Chippenham.[1] His widow, the Dowager Countess of Cowley, died in a fire on 8 May 1949.[12]


  1. ^ After their divorce, Lady Cowley married Col. Robert Edward Myddelton (1866–1949) in 1898. They were the parents of Idina Joan Myddelton (wife of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe), Ririd Myddelton (who married Lady (Mary) Margaret Petty-Fitzmaurice, a daughter of Maj. Lord Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice and Lady Violet Elliot-Murray-Kynymound and sister of George Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne), and Thomas Foulk Myddelton.[5]
  2. ^ After their divorce, Lady Cowley married, thirdly, to Major Grey William Duberly (1875–1915), a grandson of Marcus Sandys, 3rd Baron Sandys, on 25 July 1914. Major Duberly was killed in action in World War I in 1915.[10]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cowley, Earl (UK, 1857)". cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  2. ^ "LORD FRANCIS BERTIE, DIPLOMAT, DIES AT 75; British Ambassador to France from 1905 to 1918 and Once Ambassador to Rome". The New York Times. 28 September 1919. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "LORD COWLEY IS DEAD.; Ex-Army Officer Whose Marital Affairs Gave Him Notoriety". The New York Times. 16 January 1919. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  4. ^ Walford, Edward (1860). The county families of the United Kingdom; or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Dalcassian Publishing Company. p. 313. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  5. ^ A Memoir of Chirk Castle and the Myddelton Family, A.D.1011 to A.D.1859. H. Roberts, printer. 1859. p. 46. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  6. ^ TIMES, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK (30 May 1926). "LORD COWLEY ASKS DIVORCE; "Actor Earl" Married May Picard, an Actress, Here in 1914". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  7. ^ "THE EARL COWLEY WEDS.; Reno Divorce Followed by His Marriage to Mrs. Mary H^, """. The New York Times. 19 June 1933. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  8. ^ "SEQUEL TO ENGLISH SCANDAL.; Earl Cowley and Lady Hartopp Are Married in Ceylon". The New York Times. 15 December 1905. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  9. ^ Times, Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph To the New York (18 July 1913). "DIVORCES EARL COWLEY.; Countess Once Divorced Herself -- This Is Second Time for Earl". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  10. ^ TIMES, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK (23 July 1914). "LADY COWLEY ENGAGED.; Fiance, Major Duberly, Served with Distinction in the Boer War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  11. ^ TIMES, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK (22 January 1914). "Earl Cowley's Third Marriage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  12. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (9 May 1949). "COUNTESS DIES IN FIRE; Lady Cowley a Victim in England -- 6 Escape Seagry House Blaze". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2020.

External linksEdit

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Henry Wellesley
Earl Cowley
Succeeded by
Christian Arthur Wellesley