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George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland

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The Duke of Sutherland
Under-Secretary of State for Air
In office
31 October 1922 – 22 January 1924
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterBonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded byThe Lord Gorell
Succeeded byWilliam Leach
Paymaster General
In office
28 January 1925 – 2 December 1928
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byVacant
Succeeded byThe Earl of Onslow
Under-Secretary of State for War
In office
2 December 1928 – 4 June 1929
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byThe Earl of Onslow
Succeeded byThe Earl De La Warr
Personal details
Born29 August 1888
Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
Died1 February 1963(1963-02-01) (aged 74)
Political partyConservative
(m. 1912; died 1943)
Clare Josephine O'Brian
(m. 1944)
Parent(s)Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland
Lady Millicent St Clair-Erskine

George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland, KT, PC (29 August 1888 – 1 February 1963), styled Earl Gower until 1892 and Marquess of Stafford between 1892 and 1913, was a British courtier, patron of the film industry and Conservative party politician from the Leveson-Gower family. He held minor office in the Conservative administration of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin in the 1920s and was later Lord Steward of the Household from 1935 to 1936. As a noted patron of the British film industry, the Sutherland Trophy, awarded by the British Film Institute, is named in his honour.


Sutherland was the eldest son of Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland, by Lady Millicent St Clair-Erskine, daughter of Robert St Clair-Erskine, 4th Earl of Rosslyn. He was born at Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, in 1888 and was educated at Summer Fields School, Oxford, and Eton College.[1]

Military and naval service[edit]

Sutherland served in the regular army as a lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys from 1909 to 1910, and later in the Territorial Force as a captain in the 5th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders from 1910 to 1912.[2] From 1914, he was honorary colonel of the same battalion.[1]

He later took a commission in the Royal Naval Reserve, with which he served in the First World War, rising to the rank of commander. In 1914, he commanded HMT Catania and served on the British Military Mission to Belgium from 1914 to 1915. From 1915 to 1917, he commanded the Motor Flotilla sailing between Egypt and the Adriatic Sea. He was awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy.[1]

Political career[edit]

Sutherland succeeded his father in the dukedom in 1913 and took his seat in the House of Lords. The same year he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Sutherland (succeeding his father), a position he retained until 1944. He was Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1921 and then served in the Conservative governments of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin as Under-Secretary of State for Air from 1922 to 1924, as Paymaster General from 1925[3] to 1928, and as Under-Secretary of State for War from 1928 to 1929. He was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1929.[4] In 1936, he was sworn of the Privy Council[5] and appointed Lord Steward of the Household,[6] a post he held until 1937. In the latter year he bore the orb at the coronation of King George VI.[1]

Sutherland was the first Chairman of the British Film Institute, from 1933 to 1936, and remained its patron until his death. From 1958, the BFI awarded the Sutherland Trophy, named after him, to "the maker of the most original and imaginative film introduced at the National Film Theatre during the year".[7]


Sutherland married Lady Eileen Gwladys Butler, daughter of Charles Butler, 7th Earl of Lanesborough on 11 April 1912. After her death in 1943, he married Clare Josephine O'Brian (1903–1998) on 1 July 1944. Sutherland died in 1963, aged 74 and without issue. His titles were divided according to their patents: the Earldom of Sutherland and Lordship of Strathnaver passed to his niece, Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland, only daughter of Lord Alastair Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, while the remainder of his titles passed to the heir male, a distant relative, the Earl of Ellesmere.


  1. ^ a b c d The Complete Peerage, Volume XII. St Catherine's Press. 1953. p. 568.
  2. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1913. Kelly's. p. 1007.
  3. ^ "No. 33071". The London Gazette. 31 July 1925. p. 5130.
  4. ^ "No. 33505". The London Gazette. 11 June 1929. p. 3858.
  5. ^ "No. 34335". The London Gazette. 27 October 1936. p. 6833.
  6. ^ "No. 34306". The London Gazette. 20 July 1936. p. 4663.
  7. ^ 1963 London Film Festival Programme, London: BFI
Political offices
Preceded by Under-Secretary of State for Air
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Harry Gosling
Paymaster General
Succeeded by
Preceded by Under-Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
Court offices
Preceded by Lord Steward
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Duke of Sutherland
Succeeded by
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by Earl of Sutherland
Succeeded by