Francis Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon

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Memorial to John Francis Clarence Westenra Plantagenet Hastings 15th Earl of Huntingdon in St Helen's Church, Ashby-de-la-Zouch

Francis John Clarence Westenra Plantagenet Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon (30 January 1901 – 24 August 1990), styled Viscount Hastings until 1939, was a British artist, academic and Labour politician.

Background and education[edit]

Lord Huntingdon was the son of Warner Hastings, 15th Earl of Huntingdon, and his wife Maud Margaret (née Wilson), and was educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford, and the Slade School of Art, London. At Oxford he was part of the Polo Varsity Team in 1922.[1]

Artistic and academic career[edit]

Huntingdon was a pupil of the Mexican mural painter Diego Rivera and had exhibitions in notably London, Paris, Chicago and San Francisco. He was also a Professor at the Camberwell College of Arts and the Central School of Arts & Crafts, London. He was later Chairman of the Committee of the Society of Mural Painters between 1951 and 1958.

Public life[edit]

During the Second World War he was Deputy Controller of Defence of the Andover Rural District Council from 1941 to 1945. Huntingdon succeeded in the earldom in 1939 and took his seat on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. He served under Clement Attlee as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1945 to 1950. He was the author of The Golden Octopus and Commonsense about India.


Lord Huntingdon married firstly Cristina Casati, daughter of Camillo, Marquis Casati Stampa di Soncino, and his wife, the artistic muse Luisa, in 1925. They had one daughter:

Huntingdon and his first wife divorced in 1943 (Cristina then married Wogan Philipps, 2nd Baron Milford and died in 1953). Huntingdon married secondly Margaret Lane, daughter of Harry George Lane, and former wife of Bryan Wallace, son of the writer Edgar Wallace, in 1944. Lady Huntingdon was a writer and critic and published books on Beatrix Potter, Samuel Johnson and the Brontë sisters. They had two daughters:

  • Lady Selina Shirley Hastings (born 5 March 1945).
  • Lady Caroline Harriet Hastings (born 12 June 1946).

Lord Huntingdon died in August 1990, aged 89, and was succeeded in the earldom by his first cousin once removed William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass. Lady Huntingdon died in 1994.



External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Donald Scott
The Duke of Norfolk
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries

with Percy Collick 1945–1947
George Brown 1947–1950

Succeeded by
George Brown
The Earl of Listowel
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Warner Francis John Plantagenet Hastings
Earl of Huntingdon
Succeeded by
William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass