George Herbert Duckworth
Early life and family
The son of Herbert Duckworth, a barrister, of Orchardleigh Park, Somerset, by his marriage to Julia Prinsep Jackson, a niece of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, Duckworth had a younger brother, Gerald, who later founded the London publishing firm of Duckworth & Co, and a sister, Stella (d.1897). After Herbert Duckworth's death, Julia Duckworth married secondly the author Leslie Stephen, and Duckworth was thus a half-brother of the painter Vanessa Bell and the writer Virginia Woolf, leading members of the Bloomsbury Group, and of Thoby and Adrian Stephen. Both sisters, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf later accused their two Duckworth half-brothers of molesting them as children and adolescents.
From 1892 to 1902, Duckworth acted as secretary (without pay) to the philanthropist Charles Booth, and then from 1902 to 1905 as secretary to Austen Chamberlain, at a time when Chamberlain was in the Cabinet, first as Postmaster General and then as Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1906 to 1908 Duckworth was secretary to the Treasury Committee on War Risks of Shipping, and from 1908 to 1933 Secretary to the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. During the First World War he was appointed deputy Director of Munitions Finance, serving from 1915 to 1918, and in 1918 as Controller of Labour Finance. In 1919 he became a Companion of the Order of the Bath. After the war, from 1919 to 1920, he was Controller of Munitions Housing Schemes. In 1924 he became a Trustee and first Chairman of the Irish Land Trust, which had the aim of providing houses and land for ex-service men in Ireland. In 1927 he was knighted and the same year served as a member of the Royal Commission on London Squares and Open Spaces. The next year, 1928, he was on the Advisory Committee on the New Survey of London Life and Labour.
On 10 September 1904, Duckworth married Lady Margaret Herbert (1870–1958), a daughter of Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, and together they had three sons. They lived at Dalingridge Place, West Hoathley, Sussex, while in London Duckworth was a member of the Travellers and Garrick Clubs.
Duckworth's son Henry George (died 1992) married Mary Katharine Medina (1911–2009), the younger daughter of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Chatfield. Their twin daughters Harriet Angela Victoria and Sarah Margaret Katharine were born in 1951.
Anthony Duckworth-Chad is Duckworth's grandson.
- Roger Poole, The Unknown Virginia Woolf (Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 27-34
- "Duckworth, George Herbert (DKWT886GH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- 'DUCKWORTH, Sir George Herbert', in Who Was Who (London: A. & C. Black)
- Lady Margaret Leonora Evelyn Selina Herbert at thepeerage.com, accessed 25 July 2011
- Henry George Austen de l'Etaing Herbert Duckworth at thepeerage.com, accessed 25 July 2011