Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sir (Hugh) Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake
Sir Hugh Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake.jpg
circa 1910–1920 by Henry Walter Barnett
Mayor of Maidstone
In office
1915–16, 1923–25, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1939–44, 1949–50[1]
High Sheriff of Kent
In office
Personal details
Born(1881-05-22)22 May 1881
Died24 October 1964(1964-10-24) (aged 83)
ResidenceCobtree Manor
OccupationBusinessman, zoo owner, author

Sir (Hugh) Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake DL JP (22 May 1881 – 24 October 1964) was a businessman, zoo owner and author. Between 1915 and 1950, he was twelve times the Mayor of Maidstone, Kent and was High Sheriff of Kent in 1956–57.

Tyrwhitt-Drake was born in Maidstone on 22 May 1881,[1][2] the only child of Hugh William Tyrwhitt-Drake, a brewery manager, and his wife Anne (née) Hopper.[1][3][note 1] He was educated at Charterhouse School.[1] In 1925, he married Edna Mary Vine.[1]

Tyrwhitt-Drake was a director of several companies, including the Medway Lower Navigation Company, and was heavily involved in local politics, serving on the council of the Borough of Maidstone for 48 years and as its mayor twelve times.[1][4] From 1930 he was an honorary Freeman of the borough and in 1936 was knighted for political and public services to the County of Kent.[5] He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent in 1945,[6] and High Sheriff of Kent for 1956–57.[7]

He lived at Cobtree Manor, Sandling, where he used part of his estate to house his private zoo – the largest in Great Britain – in which he kept lions, tigers, bears and elephants.[4][8][note 2] Tyrwhitt-Drake wrote two books: Beasts and Circuses; My Life with Animals (1939) and The English Circus and Fairground (1946).[1] As mayor, he was a major benefactor to the town of Maidstone, establishing the carriage museum that bears his name in 1946[9] and donating the buildings of the College of All Saints in 1950.[10] In 1951, he established the Cobtree Charity Trust to ensure that the grounds of Cobtree Manor would be used for the benefit of the inhabitants of Maidstone and the surrounding area. Following his death in 1964, parts of the estate are now open to the public as Cobtree Manor Park, Cobtree Manor Golf Course and Kent Life open-air museum.[8][11]

Tyrwhitt-Drake's portrait as Mayor of Maidstone is contained in the collection of Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery.[12]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ The Tyrwhitt-Drake family originated in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, where the family home was Shardeloes.
  2. ^ The zoo was open to the public from 1934 until its closure in 1959.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Drake, Sir (Hugh) Garrard Tyrwhitt-". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press/A & C Black. 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.(subscription required)
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ "England and Wales Census, 1881". FamilySearch. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake (Obituaries)". The Times. London. 26 October 1964. p. 15. Retrieved 28 June 2014.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "No. 34296". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 June 1936. p. 3996.
  6. ^ "No. 37188". The London Gazette. 20 July 1945. p. 3787.
  7. ^ "No. 40738". The London Gazette. 23 March 1956. p. 1731.
  8. ^ a b c "Exhibition celebrates glory days of Maidstone Zoo". Kent Life. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Maidstone Carriage Museum". Maidstone Borough Council. 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  10. ^ "14th Century Buildings For Maidstone". The Times. London. 22 February 1950. p. 8. Retrieved 28 June 2014.(subscription required)
  11. ^ "About the Cobtree Charity Trust". The Cobtree Charity Trust Limited. 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake (1881–1964), Mayor of Maidstone". Your Paintings. BBC. Retrieved 28 June 2014.

External links[edit]

Newsreel film "Private Zoo" showing Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake feeding zoo animals (1951) from British Pathé (Record No:1301.23) at YouTube