Rowland Hood, 3rd Viscount Bridport

Rowland Arthur Herbert Nelson Hood, 3rd Viscount Bridport, 6th Duke of Bronté (22 May 1911 – 25 July 1969), of Castello di Maniace, near Bronté, Sicily,[2] was a British naval commander and Conservative politician.

Arms of Hood, Viscount Bridport: Azure, a fret argent on a chief or three crescents sable,[1]

OriginsEdit

He was born on 22 May 1911 in Walhachin, near Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, the son of Lt. Hon. Maurice Henry Nelson Hood (1881-1915),[3] who was killed in action aged 34[4] during World War I at Gallipoli, the 2nd and eldest surviving son and heir apparent of Col. Arthur Wellington Alexander Nelson Hood, 2nd Viscount Bridport (1839–1924). His mother was Ethel Rose Kendall (c.1890-1931), an actress under the stage-name "Eileen Orme",[5] a daughter of Charles Kendall of Wokingham in Berkshire[6] and a cousin of the actress Denise Orme (1885-1960) (Jessie Smither, Duchess of Leinster).[7]

Hon. Maurice Henry Nelson HoodEdit

 
Lt. Hon. Maurice Henry Nelson Hood (1891-1915), killed in action at Gallipoli, father of the 3rd Viscount

Having left school his father Hon. (Maurice Henry) Nelson Hood (1881-1915) joined the Merchant Marine and in 1895 (aged 14) and 1900 was an apprentice on the Brilliant, an iron-hulled sailing ship based in Aberdeen.[8] In 1902 he qualified as a second mate of a foreign-going ship. Having in 1907 been invalided out of the Royal Naval Reserve, he started a career as an insurance broker, but in 1910 was declared bankrupt due to "living beyond his means; inability to find work; illness; and losses by betting and otherwise".[9][10] He then moved to Walhachin, near Kamloops, British Columbia, where he resumed work in insurance, and where his son the future 3rd Viscount was born.[11] He later moved to Vancouver where in 1912 he became a provisional lieutenant and signalling officer with the 72nd Highlanders of Canada. At the start of World War I he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and later served with the Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division (named after his illustrious three-times great grandfather Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724-1816), or after the latter's brother Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport (1726-1814), or after their first cousin once removed Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet (1762-1814)). He was last seen alive at Gallipoli on 4 June 1915 when with 20 other men he came under heavy fire in a trench subsequently re-occupied by Turkish soldiers and is commemorated at the Helles Memorial.[12]

CareerEdit

In 1915, when Rowland was aged 4, his father was killed in action during World War I. In 1924, aged 13, he succeeded his grandfather in the Viscountcy. He served in the Royal Navy and achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. From 1939 to 1940 he held political office as a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) in the National Government of Neville Chamberlain.

Duke of BronteEdit

In 1937 he became the 6th Duke of Bronte, a Sicilian title inherited from his childless and unmarried great-uncle Alexander Hood, 5th Duke of Bronté (1854-1937) (a younger son of the 1st Viscount Bridport, 4th Duke of Bronté) of Castello di Maniace, Bronte and "La Falconara" (aliter "Villa Nelson"),[13] Taormina, both in Sicily.

He took up residence at the Castello di Maniace.[14] On April 27 1948 he sold Villa "La Falconara" to Gaetano Marzotto, Count Marzotto (d.1972),[15][16][17] of Valdagno near Venice,[18] one of Italy's leading textile manufacturers (see Marzotto Group)[19] and wine-makers,[20] founder of the Jolly Hotels chain and father of the racing driver Gianni Marzotto. Its name was then changed to Villa Marzotto,[21] until its sale in 1973. It was offered for sale in 2020 (variously as "La Falconara" and "Villa Nelson") for 15 million Euros, fully furnished with antique contents.

Marriages & issueEdit

He married twice:

  • Firstly in 1934 to Pamela Aline Mary Baker, a daughter of Charles J. Baker, from whom he was divorced in 1945;
  • Secondly in 1945 he married Sheila Jeanne Agatha van Meurs (d.1996), a daughter of Johan Hendrik van Meurs, by whom he had issue including:

Death & successionEdit

He died in July 1969, aged 58, and was succeeded by his son from his second marriage, Alexander Nelson Hood, 4th Viscount Bridport (b. 1948).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968 , p.174 (Viscount Bridport)
  2. ^ 1968 address "Castello di Maniace" in Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968 , p.174 (Viscount Bridport)
  3. ^ Hon. Maurice Henry Nelson Hood, Birth Date: 16 Jan 1881; Baptism Date: 6 Mar 1881; Baptism Place: Cricket St Thomas, Somerset, see image [1]
  4. ^ Not 24 as per Imperial War Museum, with photo portrait
  5. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), December 13, 1908, page 14, column 3[2]
  6. ^ http://www.thepeerage.com/p15214.htm#i152139
  7. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), December 13, 1908, page 14, column 3
  8. ^ https://westendvancouver.wordpress.com/biographies-a-m/biographies-h/hood-maurice-henry-nelson-1881-1915/
  9. ^ The Times (London, England), Friday, February 11, 1910, page 4[3]
  10. ^ London Gazette, January 11, 1910, issue 28328, page 296; [4]
  11. ^ https://westendvancouver.wordpress.com/biographies-a-m/biographies-h/hood-maurice-henry-nelson-1881-1915/
  12. ^ Imperial War Museum, with photo portrait [5]
  13. ^ http://www.bronteinsieme.it/2st/Rassegna/nelson_messina1.htm#Faconara
  14. ^ 1968 address "Castello di Maniace" in Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968 , p.174 (Viscount Bridport)
  15. ^ http://www.bronteinsieme.it/BrIns_en/1mo_en/ducea_1_en.html
  16. ^ https://italychronicles.com/the-admirable-admirals-villa-in-taormina/
  17. ^ See youtube video, virtual tour[6]
  18. ^ Obituary, Gaetano Marzotto, Count Marzotto[7]
  19. ^ https://wwd.com/business-news/human-resources/giannino-marzotto-dies-at-84-6082421/
  20. ^ https://daily.sevenfifty.com/the-wine-legacy-of-the-marzotto-family/
  21. ^ As printed on picture postcards sent by the Count and his guests

External linksEdit

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Wellington Alexander Nelson Hood
Viscount Bridport
1924–1969
Succeeded by
Alexander Nelson Hood
Titles of nobility
Preceded by
Hon. Sir Alexander Nelson Hood
Duke of Bronté
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

1924–1969
Succeeded by
Alexander Nelson Hood