William Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield

The Right Honourable
The Lord Huntingfield
17th Governor of Victoria
In office
14 May 1934  4 April 1939
Monarch King George V (1934-1936)
King Edward VIII (1936)
King George VI (1936-1939)
Preceded by Lord Somers
Succeeded by Sir Winston Dugan
Personal details
Born (1883-01-03)3 January 1883
Gatton, Queensland
Died 20 November 1969(1969-11-20) (aged 86)
Hove, East Sussex, England
Alma mater Wellington College

William Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield, KCMG (3 January 1883  20 November 1969) was a British Conservative Party politician, Governor of Victoria and Administrator of Australia. He was the first native-born governor of an Australian state.

Early life

Born in Gatton, Queensland, he was the son of Hon. William Arcedeckne Vanneck and Mary Armstrong. He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, whereafter he joined the 13th/18th Hussars reaching the rank of captain. He succeeded his uncle in 1915 as 5th Baron Huntingfield of Heveningham Hall and 7th Baronet Vanneck of Putney.

He married American born Margaret Eleanor Crosby (d. 1 March 1943), the daughter of Ernest Howard Crosby and Fanny Kendall Schieffelin. [1] From her paternal grandmother Margaret Evertson Givan, Crosby was descendant from Dutch, French Canadian and Scandinavian ancestors who settled in North America. She was also a descendant of King Robert III of Scotland. [2]

They had four children:

Political career

Between 1923 and 1929 he was member for Eye, Suffolk in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was successively Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Home Office 19267, and then to the President of the Board of Trade between 19278.


In 1934 Lord Huntingfield became the Governor of Victoria, Australia, being the first Australian-born governor of an Australian state (although he was always considered British).[3] (Despite this, Victoria was the last of the states to appoint an Australian as governor, Sir Henry Winneke in 1974.) His term expired in 1939. He served as Administrator of Australia between March 1938 and September 1938.

Although he was offered the post of Governor of Southern Rhodesia in 1942, he did not take up the position due to ill-health.[4]


He was a freemason. He was initiated to the craft in 1919, in the United Lodge No. 1629. He became a member of the United Service Lodge No. 330 in Victoria as a Past Master in 1934. Shortly after that, in 1935, he became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria. After his return to England, in 1940, he was appointed Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.[5]

Honours and later life

He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of St Michael and St George in 1934. He was Colonel of the 58th Battalion, Company of London Home Guard during World War II. He was given the rank of Honorary Air Commodore in No. 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force. Finally he was invested as a Knight of Grace, Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

His first wife having died in 1943, he married Muriel Mary Georgina Duke (d. 13 May 1953) and had one daughter:


  1. ThePeerage.compage 14879 http://www.thepeerage.com/p14879.htm#i148781 Accessed August 27, 2015
  2. Dobson, John Blythe RECENT LITERATURE ON THE DUNCANSON SISTERS OF NEW NETHERLAND. New York Genealogical and Biographical Record October 2013 pages 306-309.
  3. Australian Dictionary of Biography Huntingfield, fifth Baron (1883–1969). Retrieved 4 September 2015
  4. http://kenthenderson.com.au/m_papers03.html
  5. http://kenthenderson.com.au/m_papers03.html
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Lyle-Samuel
Member of Parliament for Eye
Succeeded by
Edgar Granville
Government offices
Preceded by
The Lord Somers
Governor of Victoria
Succeeded by
Sir Winston Dugan
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Joshua Vanneck
Baron Huntingfield
Succeeded by
Gerald Vanneck
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 2/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.