Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, 12th Earl of Shaftesbury
|The Right Honourable
The Earl of Shaftesbury
|Born||Nicholas Edmund Anthony Ashley-Cooper
3 June 1979
|Tenure||15 May 2005 – present|
|Other titles||Baron Ashley
of Wimborne St Giles,
Baron Cooper of Pawlett
|Known for||Philanthropy; musician; endurance running|
|Residence||London and Wimborne St Giles|
11th Earl of Shaftesbury
|Issue||Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Ashley
Lady Viva Ashley-Cooper
Lady Zara Ashley-Cooper
|Parents||Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury
Christina Eva Montan
Nicholas Edmund Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 12th Earl of Shaftesbury Bt, (born 3 June 1979) also known as Nick Ashley-Cooper, is an English peer, landowner and philanthropist. He succeeded his brother as Earl of Shaftesbury in 2005. The 12th Earl of Shaftesbury is the godson of Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, and Simon Elliot, brother-in-law of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Shaftesbury's father, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, had been murdered in November 2004 by the brother of his third wife, Jamila M'Barek. A month later, on 15 May 2005, the 12th earl's brother, Anthony, the 11th Earl, died of a heart attack and the peerage devolved upon Nicholas. Following his brother's death, Shaftesbury relocated to his family home from New York City and assumed the responsibilities of the earldom. He also holds the subsidiary titles Baron Ashley and Baron Cooper.
On 11 September 2010, Lord Shaftesbury married Dinah Streifeneder. Professionally, the Countess of Shaftesbury is a veterinary surgeon. Since inheriting the titles and estate, they have pursued the restoration of St Giles House.
Nicholas Ashley-Cooper was born on 3 June 1979, in London, the son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Swedish-born Christina Eva Montan (born c. 1940). Ashley-Cooper's elder brother was Anthony Nils Christian Ashley-Cooper. His mother was the daughter of Nils Montan, the former Swedish Ambassador to Germany. Lady Shaftesbury was also a divorcée with a son and daughter from her first marriage, the half-siblings of the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury. Ashley-Cooper succeeded his elder brother to the earldom. The 11th Earl died on 15 May 2005 of a heart attack in Manhattan, New York, while visiting his younger brother, Nicholas.
Ashley-Cooper attended Eton College in his youth, as his father did before him, leaving early, at age 16, to go to Canford School near his home in Dorset. He later attended Manchester University, and read Economics and Social Policy graduating in 2001. In 2008, Shaftesbury graduated from the London Business School, earning his Masters in Business Administration. While maintaining his musical interests, Lord Shaftesbury has also shown an interest in supporting charitable organisations, primarily those addressing the needs of children with disabilities, spinal injuries and mental health.
In December 2009, Lord Shaftesbury suffered serious spinal injuries in a riding accident, crushing several vertebrae in the fall. While he experienced initial paralysis necessitating the use of a wheelchair, physical therapy has helped restore his health to the point where he is able to walk, with limitations.
The village of Wimborne St Giles rests within the family estate itself. The Ashley family arrived in Dorset, originally from Wiltshire, where they owned the manor of Ashley, since the 11th century. The first ancestor to reside in Wimborne St Giles was Robert Ashley (born c. 1415), fifth great grandfather of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury.
Built in 1651, the family seat of St Giles House has fallen into disrepair and has been unoccupied for about 60 years. In 2001, St Giles House was recorded on the Register of Buildings at Risk, as a Grade I listed building, indicating neglect and decay. Buildings recorded on the Grade I list include those of "exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important".
Discussions regarding future use of St Giles House and the estate have been resumed following inheritance by the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury. Work on the house began in 2011 and since then the restoration has won several national awards including the 2014 Georgian Group Awards for the Restoration of a Georgian Country House, the 2015 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Award for Building Conservation, the 2015 Historic Houses Association/Sotheby’s Restoration Award and the Historic England Angel Award, Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Site . This has helped secure the future of the house as a family home and as a venue for a wide range of activities including weddings, concerts and corporate events.
- Mainsail Haul
During World War II, St Giles House was requisitioned and used as a girls school evacuated from London called, Miss Faunce's Parents' National Union School. At that time, the family took up residence at the dower house, known as Mainsail Haul.
- Lough Neagh
The earl owns the bed and soil of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. It is the largest lake in the United Kingdom. The lough supplies 40 percent of the region's drinking water and is also used as a sewage outfall (in a system only permissible through British Crown immunity). Discussions over the future management of the Lough have been ongoing with the Northern Ireland Assembly.
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Shaftesbury is an ambassador for the spinal cord injuries charity Wings For Life, a charity he began supporting following his own spinal injury.
Shaftesbury has competed in several marathons and ultra-marathons to benefit charitable organisations such as Phab Limited, AbleChild Africa, ChildLink and Wings For Life. He has completed races in the Sahara, Atacama, Gobi, Namibia and Nepal as part of the 4 Deserts and Racing the Planet series of events. He also completed the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2011. Following his spinal injury in 2009 Shaftesbury was the recipient of the Spirit Award, presented by 4 Desert and Racing the Planet officials in honour of completing the 4 Desert’s Atacama race.
Shaftesbury is a patron for Parallel London, the world's first fully inclusive mass participation event, designed for all ages and abilities.
Before succeeding to the earldom, Shaftesbury was an in demand house DJ and music promoter in New York. He has been professionally stylised as nick ac. He formed the notable collective ROBOTS in 2004 with several other New York DJs. In the summer of 2006, he spent time in residency at Privilege Ibiza.
Previously Shaftesbury was employed as the chief operating officer with GoMix, which was an interactive music software platform company. Prior to signing on with GoMix, he served as part of a team that raised over $5 million for Saatchi Online, which is an online forum and art gallery. Prior to his work with Saatchi Online, he worked in Digital Strategy and Business Development with Terra Firma Capital Partners, following their acquisition of British music company EMI Group Limited. Shaftesbury's earlier work involved providing strategic analysis with Discovery Networks Europe as a member of the strategy team for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The network offers "a portfolio of channels, led by Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, that are distributed in virtually every pay-television market in the world".
Dinah Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury, was born Dinah Streifeneder on 12 September 1980 in Munich. She is the daughter of Dr Fritz Streifeneder and Argentinian-born Renata Leander-Streifeneder. Her mother is a physiotherapist, while her father is a retired orthopaedic surgeon. She spent her early life in Rome, Italy.
She and the Earl married on 11 September 2010 in Dorset, gaining the titles of Countess of Shaftesbury, Baroness Ashley and Baroness Cooper. The couple have three children. Their son Anthony Francis Wolfgang Ashley-Cooper, Lord Ashley was born on 24 January 2011. He is the only person in line of succession to the earldom as his father's heir apparent. He was followed by a daughter, Lady Viva Constance Lillemor Ashley-Cooper, born on 22 April 2012, and younger daughter Lady Zara Emily Tove Ashley-Cooper was born 17 October 2014.
Styles of address
- 1979–2005: The Honourable Nicholas E. A. Ashley-Cooper
- 2005–: The Right Honourable The Earl of Shaftesbury
- "The murder the curse and the DJ earl". The Times. London. 12 June 2005.
- Baxter, Sarah (12 June 2005). "The murder, the curse and the DJ earl". London: Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Bonding with charitable cause following fall". Bournemouthecho.co.uk. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "New Earl died of heart attack after father's death | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 10 August 2005. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- Kay, Richard (18 January 2010). "Curse of the Shaftesburys strikes again | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- Mosley, Charles editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage [Genealogical Books] Ltd, 2003), volume 3, page 3576. ISBN 978-0-9711966-2-9
- Timbs, John; and Alexander Gunn. Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales – Their Legendary Lore and Popular History, Read Books, 2006, pp. 444–446. ISBN 978-1-84664-342-2
- Burke, John. A genealogical and heraldic History of the extinct and dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland and Scotland: By John and John Bern. Burke, John Russ Smith, p 18, 1844. ISBN 978-0-8063-0739-8
- "Listed Buildings". English Heritage. 2012. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "English Heritage | English Heritage". Risk.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "St Giles House on 2001 Register of Buildings at Risk". Archive.thisisdorset.net. 28 June 2001. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- East Dorset District Council Policy Planning Division Supplementary Planning Guidance No. 16 April 2006, Wimborne St Giles, East Dorset District Council, 2006
- Belfast, Telegraph (10 April 2012). "Lough Neagh's future still up in the air". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- AbleChildAfrica (26 October 2008). "Nick Ashley-Cooper is fundraising for AbleChildAfrica". Justgiving.com. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- Child-Link (17 May 2009). "Nick Ashley-Cooper is fundraising for Child-Link". Justgiving.com. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- "Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2013 Official Website". 4deserts.com. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "The Great Shaftesbury Run". TGSR. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- "RA: Nick AC". Residentadvisor.net. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- Tyzack, Anna (7 August 2015). "How a tattooed young raver unexpectedly became 12th Earl of Shaftesbury". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "e10vk". Sec.gov. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "Index". Streifeneder.de. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "Wedding joy for 12th Earl (From Thisisdorset)". Thisisdorset.net. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- Interview following the Atacama Desert Race
|Peerage of England|
|Earl of Shaftesbury