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John Lambton, 3rd Earl of Durham

The Earl of Durham as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, December 1887
Garter-encircled shield of arms of John Lambton, 3rd Earl of Durham, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel.

John George Lambton, 3rd Earl of Durham KG GCVO PC (19 June 1855 – 18 September 1928), known as Viscount Lambton until 1879, was a British peer.

Durham was the eldest twin son of George Lambton, 2nd Earl of Durham, and his wife Lady Beatrix Frances, daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn. His grandfather was the famous statesman and colonial administrator, John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, and his great-grandfather was Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.

As a young man he served as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards and later became Honorary Colonel of the Durham Heavy Brigade, Royal Artillery, the 6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, and was awarded the Volunteer Decoration.[1][2]

Durham served as Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham from 1884 to 1928 and also bore the Queen Consort's Ivory Road with Dove at the Coronation of King George V in 1911 and was Lord High Steward to George V during his visit to India from 1911 to 1912.[3] He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1909 and admitted to the Privy Council in 1911. From 1919 to 1928 he served as chancellor of the University of Durham.

Lord Durham married Ethel Elizabeth Louisa, daughter of Henry Beilby William Milner, in 1882. The marriage was childless, and Lady Durham was committed to a mental institution for most of her adult life. Lord Durham produced a child, John R. H. Rudge (b. 1892), out of wedlock with the dancer Letty Lind, whom he could not marry because his wife's illness prevented a divorce. He and Lind were together for many years until her death in 1923.[4] He died in September 1928, aged 73, and was succeeded in the earldom by his younger twin brother, Frederick. Lady Durham died in 1931.


  1. ^ Army Lists
  2. ^ Burke's Peerage
  3. ^ "No. 28536". The London Gazette. 29 September 1911. p. 7121. 
  4. ^ Hollander, Bertie, Before I Forget. Grayson & Grayson, London, 1935, p. 11.

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Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Lord Lieutenant of Durham
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Chancellor of the University of Durham
Succeeded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Lambton
Earl of Durham
Succeeded by
Frederick Lambton