Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale

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Lord Ribblesdale, 1890

Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale (29 October 1854 – 21 October 1925), was a British Liberal politician.


Born in Fontainebleau, France, Ribblesdale was the eldest son of Thomas Lister, 3rd Baron Ribblesdale, and his wife Emma (née Mure) daughter of William Mure, and succeeded his father in the barony in 1876.[1]

Political career[edit]

Lord Ribblesdale sat on the Liberal benches in the House of Lords and served as a Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) under William Ewart Gladstone from 1880 to 1885 and in 1886 and as Master of the Buckhounds under Gladstone and later Lord Rosebery from 1892 to 1895. Apart from his political career he was also a Captain in the Rifle Brigade and a Trustee of the National Gallery from 1909 to 1925. His portrait was painted by John Singer Sargent and is said to epitomise the British aristocrat.


Lord Ribblesdale married Charlotte, daughter of Sir Charles Tennant, 1st Baronet, and sister of Margot Tennant, in 1877. His eldest son, Captain the Hon. Thomas Lister, was killed in action during the Somaliland campaign of 1903 to 1904 while his youngest son the Hon. Charles Alfred Lister died from wounds received at the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War.[1] His second daughter the Hon. Laura married Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat, and was the mother of Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, and Sir Hugh Fraser. His third daughter the Honourable Diana married firstly Captain Percy Lyulph Wyndham, secondly Boy Capel and thirdly Vere Fane, 14th Earl of Westmorland. Lady Ribblesdale died in 1911. Lord Ribblesdale married secondly Ava Lowle Willing, daughter of Edward Shippen Willing and former wife of John Jacob Astor IV, in 1919. He died in October 1925, aged 70. With his death the barony became extinct.[1][2] Ava Lowle Willing died in 1958.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Lord Ribblesdale Dead". New York Times. 22 October 1925. Retrieved 2008-08-11. Lord Ribblesdale, who wed in 1919 the late John Jacob Astor's first wife, the former Miss Ava L. Willing, known as Mrs. John Astor after she had divorced the New Yorker, died this morning at his mansion in Grosvener Square at the age of 71. His two sons had been killed in wars, and the barony is now extinct. He gave to the National Gallery as a memorial to his sons a portrait of himself in hunter's costume, done by Sargent. 
  2. ^ "Ribblesdale". Time (magazine). 1925-11-02. Retrieved 2008-08-11. He was 65 when he married Mr. Astor's wife (Ava Willing, Philadelphia). No children were born. One of the two fine sons of his earlier marriage was killed in Somaliland, one in Gallipoli. His title dies with him. 
  3. ^ "Lady Ribblesdale Dead. First Wife of John Jacob Astor IV. Mother of Vincent Astor.". New York Times. 11 June 1958. Retrieved 2008-08-11. Ava Willing Ribblesdale, she took up residence here. She continued to be listed in the telephone directory as Lady Ribblesdale. ... 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Coventry
Master of the Buckhounds
Succeeded by
The Earl of Coventry
Preceded by
The Earl Waldegrave
Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Lord Denman
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Kensington
Liberal Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Lord Denman
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Lister
Baron Ribblesdale
Succeeded by