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Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde

Thomas Gair Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde (5 February 1855 – 1 May 1933) was a British industrialist, philanthropist, Liberal politician, and peer.

The 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde
Thomas Ashton
Thomas Gair Ashton.jpg
Ashton in 1895
Full name
Thomas Gair Ashton
Born(1855-02-05)5 February 1855
Died1 May 1933(1933-05-01) (aged 78)
Spouse(s)Eva Margaret James
FatherThomas Ashton
MotherElizabeth Gair

Early life and careerEdit

Ashton was born at Fallowfield, Manchester, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Ashton (died 1898) and Elizabeth Gair, daughter of Samuel Stillman Gair of Rhode Island. The Ashton family had been prominent in the cotton and cloth manufacturing industry for many years. He was educated at Rugby and University College, Oxford, and later managed the family business. Ashton was elected to the House of Commons for Hyde in 1885, but lost his seat the following year. He unsuccessfully contested the same seat again in 1892, but in 1895 he was returned for Luton, seat he held until 1911. The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashton of Hyde, in the County of Chester. During the First World War he served as Chairman of the Cotton Exports Committee. Apart from his political career Ashton was a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire and Sussex and was invested as an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University in 1923.


Two of Lord Ashton's sisters married Lupton brothers; Sir Charles Lupton to Katharine and Arthur Lupton to Harriet. Lord Ashton's first cousin, Helen Potter (née Leech), was the mother of Beatrix Potter.[1][2] The Lupton family are the paternal ancestors of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.[3] Ashton married Eva Margaret James, daughter of John Henry James and his wife Jane Ramsden Ashworth, in 1886. They had four children, two sons and two daughters:

  • Thomas Henry Ashton (8 October 1887 – 20 September 1897)
  • Hon. Marion Evelyn Ashton (born 1890); married Major Robert Wood.
  • Hon. Margaret Joan Ashton (born 1893); married Hugh Whistler.
  • Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton (2 October 1901 – 21 March 1983); succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Ashton of Hyde.


He died in May 1933, aged 78, and was succeeded in the title by his second but eldest surviving son Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton. Lady Ashton of Hyde died in 1938.


  1. ^ Walker, Tim (22 July 2014). "Duchess of Cambridge is related to Beatrix Potter". The Daily Telegraph. p. 8.
  2. ^ Reed, Michael (5 April 2015). "Duchess of Cambridge not posh? Her ancestor was lord mayor of Leeds". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 1 January 2016. Sir Charles Lupton, was lord mayor of Leeds, and the brother of Kate's great-great-grandfather Francis. His wife's brother was Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde (also a northerner).
  3. ^ Rayner, Gordon (23 June 2013). "How the family of 'commoner' Kate Middleton has been rubbing shoulders with royalty for a century". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 16 December 2014.

External linksEdit