Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer

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"Albert Spencer" redirects here. For the English footballer, see Albert Spencer (footballer).
The Earl Spencer
Albert Spencer, Viscount Althorp, in WW1 uniform. Painted by John Singer Sargent, in 1915.
Born Albert Edward John Spencer
(1892-05-23)23 May 1892
London, England
Died 9 June 1975(1975-06-09) (aged 83)
Northampton, Northamptonshire
Predecessor 6th Earl Spencer
Successor 8th Earl Spencer
Spouse(s) Cynthia Spencer, Countess Spencer
Parents Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
Margaret Baring

Albert Edward John Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer FSA FRSA (23 May 1892 – 9 June 1975), styled The Honourable Albert Spencer until 1910 and as Viscount Althorp from 1910 to 1922, and known less formally as "Jack" Spencer, was a British peer. He was the paternal grandfather of Diana Spencer, who was just under 14 years old at the time of his death. Diana would go on to marry Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, six years later.

Lord Spencer was born in London, the son of Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer, and his wife, the former Margaret Baring, second daughter of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke.[1] His godparents included King Edward VII.[2]

After his education at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge,[3] Lord Spencer served in the First World War as a Captain in the 1st Life Guards,[4] and was active in the local politics of Northamptonshire as a Conservative councillor. He opened his ancestral home, Althorp, to the public and was a well-known art connoisseur, being a trustee of the Wallace Collection and chairman of the Royal School of Needlework.[5] He was a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Society of Arts, and for eight years in the 1960s he was Chair of the Advisory Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Spencer was active in the Territorial Army for 43 years from 1924.[3] He was Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire from 1952 to 1967, and Chairman of the Governors at Wellingborough School from 1946 to 1972.

He was a friend of Lionel Lupton, who studied the same subject at Trinity College from 1910. They signed up together to fight in World War I. Lupton was the brother of Olive Middleton, née Lupton – the great grandmother of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.[6] Kate Middleton married the great-grandson of Lord Spencer, Prince William, in April 2011.

Lord Spencer married Lady Cynthia Hamilton, second daughter of the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, in 1919 and they had two children:

Lord Spencer died at St Matthews Nursing Home, Northampton, after a short illness,[7] and was succeeded by his son, John, the father of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Styles of address and coat of arms[edit]

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1892–1905: Mr Albert E. J. Spencer
  • 1905–1910: The Honourable Albert E. J. Spencer
  • 1910–1922: Viscount Althorp
  • 1922–1975: The Right Honourable The Earl Spencer

Coat of arms[edit]

Arms of Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Spencer Arms.svg
A Coronet of an Earl
Out of a Ducal Coronet Or a Griffin's Head Azure gorged with a Bar Gemelle Gules between two Wings expanded of the second
Quarterly Argent and Gules in the 2nd and 3rd quarters a Fret Or over all on a Bend Sable three Escallops of the first
Dexter: A Griffin per fess Ermine and Erminois gorged with a Collar Sable the edges flory-counterflory and chained of the last and on the Collar three Escallops Argent; Sinister: A Wyvern Erect on his tail Ermine similarly collared and chained
Dieu Defend Le Droit (God defend the right)


  1. ^ Williamson, D., The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist's Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6), pp. 192–199, and vol. 20 (no. 8), pp. 281–282.
  2. ^ Mosley, C. (ed.) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage & Gentry (UK) Ltd., Stokesley, North Yorkshire), 2003; vol. 3, p. 3695.
  3. ^ a b Who was Who, 1971–1980 (Adam & Charles Black, London, 1981), p. 746.
  4. ^ Mosley, C (ed.) Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th edition (Burke's Peerage, Crans, Switzerland), 1999; vol. 2 p. 2673
  5. ^ The Times, Thursday, 12 June 1975; p. 20, col. F.
  6. ^ Gutteridge, Nick (2 July 2016). "Kate's hero relative died at the Somme after signing up to fight alongside Diana's grandad". Daily Express. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  7. ^ The Times, Tuesday, 10 June 1975; p. 30, col. B.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Exeter
Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire
Succeeded by
John Walkelyne Chandos-Pole
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Spencer, 6th Earl
Earl Spencer
Succeeded by
John Spencer, 8th Earl