Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath
The Marquess of Bath
|Marquess of Bath|
30 June 1992 – 4 April 2020
|Preceded by||Henry Thynne|
|Succeeded by||Ceawlin Thynn|
Alexander George Thynne
6 May 1932
|Died||4 April 2020 (aged 87)|
|Political party||Liberal Democrats (UK) (1992–2020)|
|Wessex Regionalists (1974–1992)|
|Occupation||Landowner, artist, author|
Alexander George Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath (6 May 1932 – 4 April 2020), styled Viscount Weymouth between 1946 and 1992, was an English peer and landowner, owner of the Longleat estate, who sat in the House of Lords from 1992 until 1999, and also an artist and author.
Lord Bath was in the media spotlight for his hippy fashion-sense and his many "wifelets". The Sunday Times Rich List 2009 gave him an estimated wealth of £157 million.
Early life and education
Thynn was born in London, the son of Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath and Daphne Fielding, and grew up at his family seat, Longleat, a grand Elizabethan house set in Wiltshire parkland landscaped in the 18th century by Capability Brown. After attending Ludgrove School and Eton College, he joined the Life Guards for National Service, being commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1951. He then went up to Christ Church, Oxford, where he was President of the Bullingdon Club, before embarking upon a modern-day European Grand Tour. During the 1950s, he studied art in Paris.
As Viscount Weymouth, he stood in the February 1974 General Election as a Wessex regionalist, believing that Wessex would be better off as a devolved region of the UK. Shortly after that General Election, he became one of the founders of the Wessex Regionalist Party. He stood for the party in the first ever elections to the European Parliament in 1979.
After succeeding to his father's marquessate and other titles in 1992, Lord Bath sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat, until he lost his right to sit in the Upper House following New Labour's House of Lords reforms which ousted all but 92 of the hereditary peers. Among other issues, he spoke in favour of devolution for the regions of England.
In 1969, Thynn married Hungarian-born Anna Gyarmathy, also known as Anna Gaël, by whom he had two children, Lady Lenka Abigail Thynn and Ceawlin, 8th Marquess of Bath, both of whom were educated at comprehensive school. Lord Bath also acknowledged an illegitimate daughter born c. 2000. He had open sexual relations with over seventy women during his marriage, many of whom lived "grace and favour" in estate cottages. Lord Bath referred to his mistresses as wifelets.
Born with the family name Thynne, he dropped the "e" in 1976, as he wanted to emphasise its correct pronunciation to rhyme with "pin" and not "pine". He was known for his colourful style of dress, which he acquired while he was an art student in Paris, and was a prolific amateur painter who decorated rooms of his home with erotic scenes from the Kama Sutra.
After his father's death in 1992, he dismissed his younger brother Lord Christopher Thynne as estate comptroller, evicting him from his home on the Longleat estate. In early 2010, he passed the management of the business to his son, then Viscount Weymouth. By one account, the Viscount intended to evict the mistresses from their estate cottages. Some of his father's murals were removed, which caused a rift and led to a boycott by the Marquess of his son's marriage to Emma McQuiston.
Lord Bath was admitted to the Royal United Hospital, Bath, on 28 March 2020 and while in hospital tested positive for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic. He died of pneumonia whilst infected by the virus on 4 April 2020 at the age of 87.
Appearances and media
In 1999, Thynn appeared in series 6, episode 4 of Time Team, which dealt with the excavation of a cave in the Cheddar Gorge, an area of land owned by him. From 2000 to 2009, Animal Park, a television documentary about the life of keepers and animals at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, England, aired over nine series on the BBC. It also covered the daily life of workers in Longleat House, the estate and the gardens and regularly featured items about Lord Bath himself.
In March 2009, he appeared in episode 4 of Heston's Feasts. The Marquess of Bath, a book by Nesta Wyn Ellis, initially written with Bath's co-operation, was published in the autumn of 2010. Lord Bath's autobiography, collectively called Strictly Private to Public Exposure, was first published as a series by Artnik Books, and since 2002 has been republished by Top Spot Publishing. His other screen credits include an episode of Globe Trekker. He played an aristocrat in the music video for the Pet Shop Boys song Rent.
Artist and potter Grayson Perry interviewed the marquess in the third of his three-part 2012 documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry which focused on Britain's upper class. In 2014, Thynn appeared in All Change at Longleat, a three-part documentary of some of the issues as he passed the running of the house to his son.
- Bath, Alexander Thynn (2000). The New World Order of Alexander Thynn: Views on Politics, Society and Religion by the Marquess of Bath. London: Starhaven. ISBN 0-936315-13-X.
- Bath, Alexander Thynn (2002). Strictly Private to Public Exposure (Series 1: A Plateful of Privilege). London: Artnik. ISBN 978-1-903906-08-8.
- Ellis, Nesta (2010). The Marquess of Bath. London: Dynasty Press. ISBN 978-0-9553507-4-0.
- ^ "Formal Gardens". Longleat (official website). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- ^ "Loveless lord of Longleat". The Daily Telegraph. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- ^ "Oxford's Bullingdon boys: in a class of their own – Channel 4 News". Channel4.com. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ a b Savill, Richard (12 March 2010). "Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath: profile", The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Petridis, Alexis (3 May 2010). "Cider, morris dancing and 100% tax: an election strategy with a difference". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Fort, Linda (2 April 2015). "Wessex Regionalists want "devo-opt" for Berkshire and points west". Berkshire Live. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Savill, Richard (12 March 2010). "Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath: profile". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ a b Gyles Brandreth, "Loveless lord of Longleat", The Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2002.
- ^ a b Cooke, Rachel (10 March 2002). "The loins of Longleat", The Observer. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ "Marquess of Bath obituary". The Times. 6 April 2020. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
- ^ Bates, Stephen (5 April 2020). "The Marquess of Bath obituary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
- ^ Orr, James (11 June 2011). "'Wifelets' fight over affections of Lord Bath". Independent. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^ Guise, Richard (2013). A Wiggly Way Through England. Lulu.com. p. 71. ISBN 9780954558741. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^ Le Vay, Benedict (2005). Eccentric Britain. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 108. ISBN 9781841621227. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^ Lisners, John (2012). The Rise and Fall of the Murdoch Empire (Ebook). Kings Road Publishing. ISBN 9781857827439. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
- ^ "Obituaries | Lord Christopher Thynne". guardsmagazine.com. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- ^ "Marquess of Bath evicts younger brother", The Independent, 14 October 1992.
- ^ Simon de Bruxelles "Lord Bath announces retirement from Longleat safari park business", The Times, 13 March 2010.
- ^ Wyn Ellis, p. 189.
- ^ Carter, Claire (22 May 2014). "Viscountess puts wedding on display after father-in-law Lord Bath snubbed big day". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ "Lord Bath dies after contracting coronavirus". BBC News. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ "The 7th Marquess of Bath, Britain's most flamboyant and eccentric aristocrat – obituary". The Sunday Telegraph. 5 April 2020.
- ^ "Lord Bath dies aged 87 after contracting coronavirus". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Brown, David (5 April 2020). "Marquess of Bath, bus drivers and a Dam Buster are coronavirus victims". The Times.
- ^ "Time Team: Time Team - On Demand". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Quinn, Ben (9 February 2014). "Longleat lions destroyed after rise in pregnancies". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ "Roman | Episode 5 | Season 1 | Heston's Feasts on SBS". www.sbs.com.au. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Richard Eden "Libidinous Lord Bath is brought to book ", The Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2010.
- ^ "Lord Bath reveals his life secrets". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. 29 November 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Burke, David (27 November 2018). "The Lowdown: Pet Shop Boys". Classic Pop Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Graham, Alison. "All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry - S1 - Episode 3". Radio Times. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- ^ Mount, Harry (14 September 2015). "All Change at Longleat, review: 'dull without the Marquess in charge'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- 1932 births
- 2020 deaths
- 20th-century British painters
- 21st-century British painters
- People educated at Ludgrove School
- People educated at Eton College
- Alumni of Christ Church, Oxford
- British Life Guards officers
- British male painters
- British writers
- Liberal Democrats (UK) hereditary peers
- Marquesses of Bath
- Thynne family
- Deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in England
- Bullingdon Club members
- 20th-century British male artists
- 21st-century British male artists
- Hereditary peers removed under the House of Lords Act 1999