Thomas Anson, 1st Earl of Lichfield
|The Right Honourable
The Earl of Lichfield
|Master of the Buckhounds|
24 November 1830 – 14 November 1834
|Prime Minister||The Earl Grey
The Viscount Melbourne
|Preceded by||The Lord Maryborough|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Chesterfield|
22 May 1835 – 30 August 1841
|Prime Minister||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Preceded by||The Marquess Conyngham|
|Succeeded by||Viscount Lowther|
|Born||20 October 1795|
|Died||18 March 1854|
|Spouse(s)||Louisa Philips (d. 1879)|
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
Thomas William Anson, 1st Earl of Lichfield PC (20 October 1795 – 18 March 1854), previously known as The Viscount Anson from 1818 to 1831, was a British Whig politician from the Anson family. He served under Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne as Master of the Buckhounds between 1830 and 1834 and under Melbourne Postmaster General between 1835 and 1841. His gambling and lavish entertaining got him heavily into debt and he was forced to sell off the entire contents of his Shugborough Hall estate.
Background and education
Anson was the eldest son of Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson, and his wife Anne Margaret, daughter of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. Major-General the Hon. George Anson was his younger brother. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.
Anson was elected to the House of Commons for Great Yarmouth in June 1818, but had to resign the seat already the following month on the death of his father and his succession to viscountcy of Anson. Anson later served under Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne as Master of the Buckhounds from 1830 to 1834 and under Melbourne as Postmaster General from 1835 to 1841. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1830 and in 1831 he was created Earl of Lichfield, of Lichfield in the County of Stafford, in William IV's coronation honours.
Anson was also known for his excessive gambling and lavish entertaining at his Shugborough Hall seat. He also purchased the estate at nearby Ranton, Staffordshire, where he built Abbey House and developed the estate into a great sporting centre. However, his extravagant lifestyle and gambling put him and the family into debts of £600,000 and led to Anson's financial collapse in 1842. The entire contents of Shugborough Hall were sold off to pay for the debts. Abbey House at Ranton burned down in 1942. The ivy-covered ruins can still be seen.
Lord Lichfield married Louisa Catherine, daughter of Nathaniel Philips, in 1819. They had four sons and four daughters. His second son the Honourable Augustus Anson was a soldier who received the Victoria Cross, and his fourth son the Right Reverend the Honourable Adelbert John Robert Anson was a clergyman who served as Bishop of Qu'Apelle in Canada. Lord Lichfield died in March 1854, aged 58, and was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Thomas. Lady Lichfield died in August 1879. Lord Lichfield is buried at St Michael and All Angels Church in Colwich, a short distance from Shugborough Hall.
- thepeerage.com Thomas William Anson, 1st Earl of Lichfield
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Yardley to Youghal
- leighrayment.com Privy Counsellors 1679-1835
- The London Gazette: . 10 September 1831.
- Michael Raven, A Guide to Staffordshire and the Black Country, 2004, ISBN 0-906114-33-0, p.253
- History of Shugborough
- Thomas Anson's Library and Art Collection
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Lichfield
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Edmund Knowles Lacon
|Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth
With: Charles Edmund Rumbold
Hon. George Anson
The Lord Maryborough
|Master of the Buckhounds
The Earl of Chesterfield
The Marquess Conyngham
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New title||Earl of Lichfield