Charles Wyndham, 3rd Baron Leconfield

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The Lord Leconfield

Charles Wyndham, 3rd Baron Leconfield.jpg
Lord Leconfield, 1908
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
In office
Preceded by15th The Duke of Norfolk
Succeeded by16th The Duke of Norfolk
3rd Baron Leconfield
In office
Preceded byHenry Wyndham
Succeeded byHugh Wyndham
Personal details
Born(1872-02-17)17 February 1872[1]
Petworth, Sussex, England
Died16 April 1952(1952-04-16) (aged 80)
Petworth House, Sussex
Spouse(s)Beatrice Violet Rawson
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1892–1898; 1917–1918
RankHonorary Colonel
Unit1st Regiment of Life Guards
CommandsRoyal Sussex Volunteers
Battles/warsWorld War I
Arms of Wyndham, Baron Leconfield and Egremont: Azure, a chevron between three lion's heads erased or a bordure wavy of the last. These are the arms of Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham differenced by a bordure wavy, for the illegitimacy of the 1st Baron Leconfield

Charles Henry Wyndham, 3rd Baron Leconfield GCVO (17 February 1872 – 16 April 1952) was a British peer, army officer and political figure. He succeeded his father as third Baron Leconfield in 1901.


Wyndham was born at the family estate, Petworth House, in Sussex. A direct descendant of Sir John Wyndham, he was the second but eldest surviving son of Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield, and Constance Evelyn Primrose, daughter of Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny. His grandfather, the first Baron Leconfield, was the adopted heir of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, from whom the family derived their considerable wealth.[1]

Military career[edit]

He served in the 1st Life Guards from 1892 to 1898 and He was appointed a lieutenant of the Reserve on 27 January 1900,[2]. In 1901, during the Second Boer War, he became the commanding officer of the newly-reformed Sussex Yeomanry (originally raised at Petworth by the 3rd Earl of Egremont).[1][3][4]

During World War I he rejoined the 1st Life Guards and commanded the Royal Sussex Volunteers from 1917 to 1918. In World War II, he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the 5th Battalion of the Border Regiment (representing Cumberland, of which he held significant lands), and of the 98th Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Sussex between 1917 and 1949.[1]


Lord Leconfield inherited the family seat, Petworth House, as well as significant land in Cumberland, including Cockermouth Castle and Scafell Pike. In 1919, he placed Scafell Pike—the highest peak in England—under the custody of the National Trust in honour of the soldiers of the Lake District who served in World War I.

Lord Leconfield also opened the state rooms of Petworth House, the 17th-century marvel with considerable artwork, to the public. In 1947, he gave Petworth and its 735-acre park to the National Trust as well.

Later life[edit]

Lord Leconfield at the head of a horse drawn coach

Lord Leconfield married Beatrice Violet Rawson, daughter of Colonel Richard Hamilton Rawson, in 1911. Wyndham had two adopted children, Peter and Elizabeth Geraldine Wyndham (born Betty Seymour).

He was a dedicated sportsman, a master of foxhounds, and served as president of the Marylebone Cricket Club for the 1927–1928 season. He also served as president of the Pratt's club in London.

He died in April 1952, aged 80, after a lengthy illness. Wyndham was succeeded in the barony by his younger brother Hugh (1877–1963) as his adopted son Peter was disqualified from inheriting his adoptive father’s titles and estates. Wyndham left an estate of £2,136,439 (equivalent to £60,381,731 in 2018).[5]

His adopted daughter Elizabeth Wyndham was a socialite and civil servant, born on 15 December 1922. She died on 13 May 2008, aged 85 in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire. As an accomplished polyglot, during the Second World War, she worked as a linguist in the British codebreaking department at Bletchley Park.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lord Leconfield: A Life of Public Service". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 18 April 1952. p. 7.
  2. ^ "No. 27157". The London Gazette. 26 January 1900. p. 518.
  3. ^ Army List, various dates.
  4. ^ L. Barlow & R.J. Smith, The Uniforms of the British Yeomanry Force 1794–1914, 1: The Sussex Yeomanry Cavalry, London: Robert Ogilby Trust/Tunbridge Wells: Midas Books, ca 1979, ISBN 0-85936-183-7, p. 7.
  5. ^ "Wills and Bequests". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 26 August 1952. p. 6.
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Wyndham: socialite and civil servant". The Times. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Wyndham
Baron Leconfield
Succeeded by
Hugh Archibald Wyndham