Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne

The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Born Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice
(1941-02-21) 21 February 1941
Title Marquess of Lansdowne
Nationality British
Predecessor George Petty-Fitzmaurice
Spouse(s) Lady Frances Helen Mary Eliot (Divorced) Fiona Mary Merritt (1987)

Charles Maurice Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne, LVO, DL (born 21 February 1941), styled Earl of Shelburne between 1944 and 1999, is a British peer and Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.

He is also Earl of Kerry in the peerage of Ireland (1722); Earl of Shelburne and Earl of Wycombe in the peerage of Great Britain (1753 and 1784); Viscount Clanmaurice, Viscount Fitzmaurice (1751), and Viscount Calne and Calston; the 30th Baron of Kerry and Lixnaw in the peerage of Ireland (1181); Baron Dunkeron, and Baron Wycombe.[1]

Early life

Lansdowne is the elder son of George Petty-FitzMaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne, a Conservative politician and landowner, by his marriage to Barbara, daughter of Harold Stuart Chase, of Santa Barbara, California.[2] His father inherited the peerage titles (and the Bowood House estates in Wiltshire) from a cousin, the 7th Marquess of Lansdowne, who was killed in action in 1944, when the present Marquess became known as the Earl of Shelburne, a courtesy title. He was educated at Eton College[1] and was Page of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II in 1956–1957.[3]


Lord Shelburne (as he then was) served in the Kenya Regiment from 1960 to 1961.[1] In 1962 he was gazetted a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry[4] and in 1971 transferred with the rank of Lieutenant to the Royal Yeomanry attached to the Royal Armoured Corps.[1][5]

He was a member of Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council from 1964 to 1973, President of the Wiltshire Playing Fields Association from 1965 to 1974, a member of Wiltshire County Council from 1970 to 1985, and a councillor of North Wiltshire District Council from 1973 to 1976.[1][6] He was chairman of Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council from 1970 to 1973 and of North Wiltshire District Council from 1973 to 1976. Shelburne also served as a member of the South West Economic Planning Council from 1972 to 1977 and chaired its Population Settlement Pattern Working Committee during the same period. He was a member of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (English Heritage) from 1983 to 1989; Deputy President of the Historic Houses Association from 1986 to 1988 and President from 1988 to 1993; President of South West Tourism from 1989-2006; President of the Wiltshire Association of Boys Clubs and Youth Clubs from 1976 to 2003; and President of the North Wiltshire Conservative Association from 1986 to 1989.[1]

In 1990, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Wiltshire, and currently serves as the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.[7] He has served as President of the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust since 1994[8] and of the Wilts & Berks Canal Partnership since 2001.

At the 1979 general election, he contested Coventry North East for the Conservatives.[1]

On 25 August 1999, his father died and he became Marquess of Lansdowne and a member of the House of Lords.[1]

In 2001, Lord Lansdowne was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, shortly after retiring as a member of the Prince's Council of the Duchy of Cornwall (1996-2001).[9]


On 9 October 1965, he married, firstly, Lady Frances Helen Mary Eliot (6 March 1943 – 6 January 2004), daughter of Nicholas Eliot, 9th Earl of St Germans, but they were divorced in 1987, having had four children:[10]

In 1987 Lord Lansdowne married, secondly, Fiona Mary Merritt (b. 1954), daughter of Donald Merritt and Lady Davies,[1] an interior decorator known by her married name of Fiona Shelburne.[14]

The heir apparent to the title is Simon, Earl of Kerry (b. 1970), elder son of the Marquess. He is unmarried, so his heir presumptive is his younger brother Lord William Petty-Fitzmaurice (b. 1973) who is married but has no sons. The next heir is Lord Robert Mercer Nairne (born 1947), the younger brother of the present Marquess, who is married with two sons, both of whom also have sons, and one daughter. If Lord Kerry and his brother fail to produce legitimate sons, the entailed estates and titles will pass in due course to a descendant of their uncle Lord Robert Mercer Nairne.



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 'Lansdowne, 9th Marquess of' in Who's Who 2014 (London: A. & C. Black, 2014)
  2. 'LANSDOWNE, 8th Marquess of, George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice' in Who's Who 1999 (London: A. and C. Black, 1999)
  3. London Gazette, Issue 40733 of 16 March 1956, page 1583 online
  4. London Gazette, Issue 42793 of 25 September 1962, page 7579 online
  5. London Gazette, Issue 45917 of 26 February 1973 (Supplement), page 2677 online
  6. Charles Maurice Mercer Nairne Petty-FitzMaurice, later Petty-FitzMaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne Archived 3 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. at, accessed 21 May 2010
  7. London Gazette, Issue 52202 of 4 July 1990, page 11412 online
  8. Colin Johns, Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust 1967–2007 (2007) online, Appendix 1
  9. London Gazette, Issue 56430 of 31 December 2001 (Supplement No. 1), page S3 online
  10. Paul Theroff, Lansdowne, retrieved 2 November 2008
  11. Paul Theroff. "News of Other James I Descendants, 2003" in "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-27.. Retrieved 27 September 2007
  12. Anon. "Lansdowne Family Tree" from Bowood House website. . Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  13. Isla Mary Rose Petty-Fitzmaurice 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2008
  14. Jill Shearer. "The English Look" (PDF).

External links

Court offices
Preceded by
Hon. Simon Scott
Page of Honour
Succeeded by
Oliver Russell
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Petty-FitzMaurice
Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded by
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