Christopher Beckett, 4th Baron Grimthorpe

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Christopher John Beckett, 4th Baron Grimthorpe OBE, DL (1915-2003) was a soldier, company director, landowner and peer of the turf.

Personal life[edit]

Christopher John Beckett was born 16 September 1915, eldest son of Ralph William Ernest Beckett, 3rd Baron Grimthorpe, TD, (1891-1963), a partner in the banking firm of Beckett and Co., of Leeds, Yorkshire, by his first wife, Mary Alice, daughter of Colonel Mervyn Archdale, 12th Lancers and Mary Kate de Bathe, daughter of Sir Henry de Bathe, 4th Baronet. He grew up at Easthorpe Hall, Malton, in North Yorkshire where his father and his second wife Angela ran a stud where they bred Fragrant Mac which won the Scottish Grand National in 1952. The best horse they owned however was Fortina, winner of the 1947 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Christopher Beckett was educated at Eton. He succeeded his father as fourth Baron and eighth Baronet in 1963.

In 17 February 1954, he married Lady Elizabeth Lumley, daughter of Roger Lumley, 11th Earl of Scarbrough of Lumley Castle, Lord Chamberlain to the Queen. The wedding took place at the Queen's Chapel, Marlborough Gate, sometimes called the Marlborough House Chapel, by special permission of the sovereign, and the wedding reception took place at St James's Palace. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, & the Duchess of Gloucester attended. In 1973 Lady Grimthorpe joined the household of the Queen Mother as a Lady of the Bedchamber, and remained in that post at Clarence House until the death of Her Majesty.

Lord Grimthorpe was a director of Thirsk Race Committee, and was a member of the Jockey Club. He also served as a consultant and sales representative with Sir Alfred McAlpine and Son Ltd. In 1973 he joined the board of Yorkshire Post Newspapers where his uncle, the Hon Rupert Beckett, had been chairman for 30 years, 1920-50. Lord Grimthorpe was appointed OBE (military) in 1958.

A memorial service was held at York Minster on 16 July 2003. He is survived by Lady Grimthorpe, two sons, Edward John and Ralph Daniel Beckett, and a daughter, Harriet.

Military career[edit]

Lord Grimthorpe, of Westow Hall, near York, had a distinguished military career, retiring from the Army in 1968 as a Brigadier.

He was Colonel Commanding the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers from 1955 to 1958 and Brigadier Royal Armoured Corps Western Command from 1961 to 1964. He was deputy commander of Malta and Libya from 1964 to 1967 and served as an ADC to the Queen.

In retirement he was a Deputy Lieutenant for North Yorkshire from 1969 and Colonel of the 9th/12th Lancers from 1973 to 1978.[1]


  1. ^ "9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's)". Archived from the original on 17 December 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ralph William Ernest Beckett
Baron Grimthorpe
Succeeded by
Edward John Beckett