Francis Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon

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Francis Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon
Memorial to the Earl in Ashby Church

Francis John Clarence Westenra Plantagenet Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon (30 January 1901 – 24 August 1990), styled Viscount Hastings until 1939, was a British artist, academic and later a Labour parliamentarian.

Background and education[edit]

The son and heir of Warner Hastings, 15th Earl of Huntingdon by his wife Maud Margaret (née Wilson), he was educated at Eton College, Christ Church Oxford, and the Slade School of Art, London. At Oxford, in 1922, he represented its Polo Varsity Team.[1]

Artistic and academic career[edit]

Huntingdon was a pupil of the Mexican mural painter Diego Rivera and held exhibitions notably in London, Paris, Chicago and San Francisco. He was also appointed a Professor at the Camberwell College of Arts and the Central School of Arts & Crafts, London. He later served as Chairman of the Society of Mural Painters between 1951 and 1958.

Public life[edit]

During the Second World War he was Deputy Controller of Defence of the Andover Rural District Council from 1941 to 1945. Huntingdon succeeded in the earldom in 1939 and took his seat on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. He served under Clement Attlee as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1945 to 1950.

He was author of The Golden Octopus and Commonsense about India.


Lord Huntingdon married firstly Cristina Casati, daughter of Camillo, Marquis Casati Stampa di Soncino by his wife, the artistic muse Luisa, in 1925; they had one daughter:

Huntingdon and his first wife divorced in 1943 (Cristina then married Wogan Philipps, 2nd Baron Milford and died in 1953). Huntingdon married secondly Margaret Lane, daughter of Harry George Lane, and former wife of Bryan Wallace, son of the writer Edgar Wallace, in 1944. Lady Huntingdon was a writer and critic and published books on Beatrix Potter, Samuel Johnson and the Brontë sisters. They had two daughters:

Lord Huntingdon died in August 1990, aged 89, and was succeeded in the earldom by his first cousin once removed William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass. His wife, Dowager Countess of Huntingdon, died in 1994.


  1. ^ "Polo Archive". Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "To Move and To Shake" by Geraldine Bedell. The Independent on Sunday, 24 November 1996.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "p. 7908 § 79071". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  7. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "p17069.htm". The Peerage. [unreliable source]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Donald Scott
The Duke of Norfolk
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries

with Percy Collick 1945–1947
George Brown 1947–1950

Succeeded by
George Brown
The Earl of Listowel
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Warner Francis John Plantagenet Hastings
Earl of Huntingdon
Succeeded by
William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass