Francis Needham, 4th Earl of Kilmorey

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Francis Charles Adelbert Henry Needham, 4th Earl of Kilmorey PC (NI), OBE (26 November 1883 – 11 January 1961), styled Viscount Newry from 1883 to 1915, was an Irish peer.


Kilmorey was the eldest son of Francis Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey, and Ellen Constance Baldock.

Military career[edit]

He was commissioned into the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1901, and in March 1902 transferred to the 1st Life Guards as a Second Lieutenant.[1] He was promoted Lieutenant again in 1904 and Captain in 1907. He resigned his commission in 1911. He returned to the Army during the First World War, reaching the rank of Major. In 1930 he was appointed Captain in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was the second Commanding Officer of HMS Caroline, the RNR base in Belfast, where his photograph can be seen today.

Political career[edit]

He also served as High Sheriff of County Down in 1913, as Lord Lieutenant of County Down from 1949 to 1959 and as Vice-Admiral of Ulster from 1937 to 1961. From 1916 until his death Kilmorey sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer, becoming the last surviving Irish representative Peer. In 1936 he was admitted to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland.


Lord Kilmorey married Lady Norah Frances Hastings, daughter of Warner Francis John Plantagenet Hastings, 15th Earl of Huntingdon, in 1920. He died in January 1961, aged 77, and was succeeded in his titles by his nephew Francis.

The ancestral Mourne Park Estate, of some 800 acres (3.2 km2), in County Down, Northern Ireland (including the lordships and manors of Newry, Mourne and Greencastle) was not, however, inherited by the 5th Earl who opted to inherit contents to the value of the estate as he lived in England. It is currently owned by the Anley family, descendants of the late Lady Eleanor Needham, elder daughter of the 4th Earl of Kilmorey.



Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Lord Lieutenant of County Down
Succeeded by
Sir Roland Nugent, Bt
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Francis Needham
Earl of Kilmorey
Succeeded by
Francis Needham