Christian Mary McEwen

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Christian Mary McEwen, Dowager Lady Hesketh, OBE, DL[1] (17 July 1929, Marchmont House, Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland – 7 April 2006, London)[1][2] was a British politician, journalist and educationist.

Early life[edit]

Christian McEwen was born on 17 July 1929 at Marchmont House, Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland. She was the only daughter of Captain Sir John Helias Finnie McEwen, MP, and his wife, Brigid Mary (née Lindley). Her brother was Rory McEwen (1932–1982), the artist. She was brought up a Roman Catholic and educated at St Mary's School, Ascot.[2]

Public service[edit]

From 1952–1983, she was county organiser for the WRVS and a member of the Arts Council from 1960-1963.[1] She wrote several works of history and obtained a PhD from King's College London with a thesis published in 1999, The Political Opposition to the Government of Charles I in Scotland. She was a part-time journalist including rugby correspondent of The Spectator for a while.[1]

In 1981, Lady Hesketh was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Northamptonshire (as her husband had also been) and also served as High Sheriff in 1981. She was awarded the OBE in 1984.[1]

Lady Hesketh was a chairman of Daventry Conservative Association and also became a County Councillor for Northamptonshire from 1989-1993, and Daventry District Councillor with special interest in education. She was chairman of the Governors of the Sponne School, Towcester.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On 22 November 1949,[2] she married Frederick Fermor-Hesketh, 2nd Baron Hesketh (1916–1955).[2] They had three sons (a fourth son was stillborn soon after her husband's death.[2]):

After her husband's early death, which left her a widow at the age of 25 with three young sons, she took charge of the family house and estate of Easton Neston, near Towcester, Northamptonshire. She had two serious motoring accidents, both on the M1 Motorway; in the second of these, in 1972, she lost an eye.[2]

Following her death in 2006, a number of her jewels were auctioned off, including a diamond floral tiara[5] and an aquamarine and diamond tiara.[6] She was survived by her two surviving sons, Alexander (the 3rd Lord Hesketh) and John.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Dowager Lady Hesketh dies ... Historian with indomitable spirit", The Independent, 12 April 2006; accessed 18 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Dowager Lady Hesketh dies", Daily Telegraph, 12 April 2006; accessed 18 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Robert Fermor-Hesketh killed in traffic accident in California",; accessed 26 August 2014.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed 26 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Noble jewels - Lady Hesketh's jewellery auctioned". Sothebys. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Aquamarine tiaras of Lady Hesketh on auction". Order of Splendor. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.