Gerard Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth

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Gerard Vernon Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth (16 May 1898 – 28 September 1984), styled Viscount Lymington from 1925 until 1943, was a British landowner, writer on agricultural topics, and politician involved in right-wing groups.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Chicago, the son of Oliver Henry Wallop, who later became the 8th Earl of Portsmouth, and Marguerite (née Walker). He was brought up near Sheridan, Wyoming in the United States, where his parents farmed. He was educated in England, at Farnborough, at Winchester College and at Balliol College, Oxford. He then farmed at Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire. Wallop was commissioned a temporary second lieutenant (probationary) in the Reserve Regiment, 2nd Life Guards on 19 January 1917,[1] was transferred to the Guards Machine Gun Regiment on 10 May 1918,[2] and commissioned a temporary lieutenant on 19 July 1918.[3]

Conservative Party politics[edit]

Lord Lymington, as he then was, was Conservative Member of Parliament for the Basingstoke constituency from 1929 to 1934. He stepped down and caused a by-election in March 1934 (Henry Maxence Cavendish Drummond Wolff was elected). At this point he was in the India Defence League, an imperialist group of Conservatives around Winston Churchill, and undertook a research mission in India for them.

He attended[citation needed] the second Convegno Volta in 1932, with Christopher Dawson, Lord Rennell of Rodd, Charles Petrie and Paul Einzig making up the British representatives.[4][5] It was on the theme L'Europa.[6]

His exit from party politics was apparently caused by a measure of disillusion, and frustrated ambition.

Newton papers[edit]

In 1936, he sent for auction at Sotheby's the major collection of unpublished papers of Isaac Newton, known as the Portsmouth Papers.[7] These had been in the family for around two centuries, since an earlier Viscount Lymington had married Newton's great-niece.[8]

The sale was the occasion on which Newton's religious and alchemical interests became generally known.[9] Broken into a large number of separate lots, running into several hundred, they became dispersed. John Maynard Keynes purchased many significant lots. Theological works were bought in large numbers by Abraham Yahuda. Another purchaser was Emmanuel Fabius, a dealer in Paris.

Right-wing groups[edit]

He was a member of and important influence on the English Mistery,[10] a society promoted by William Sanderson and founded in 1929 or 1930. This was a conservative group, with views in tune with his own monarchist and ruralist opinions.

A split in the Mistery left Wallop leading a successor, the English Array. It was active from 1936 to the early months of World War II, and advocated "back to the land".[11] Its membership included A. K. Chesterton, J. F. C. Fuller, Rolf Gardiner, Hon. Richard de Grey,[12] Hardwicke Holderness, Anthony Ludovici, John de Rutzen,[13] and Reginald Dorman-Smith.[14] It has been described as "more specifically pro-Nazi" than the Mistery; Famine in England (1938) by Lymington was an agricultural manifesto, but traded on racial overtones of urban immigration.[15] Lymington's use of Parliamentary questions has been blamed for British government reluctance to admit refugees.[16]

He edited New Pioneer magazine from 1938 to 1940, collaborating with John Warburton Beckett and A. K. Chesterton. The gathering European war saw him found the British Council Against European Commitments in 1938, with William Joyce. He joined the British People's Party in 1943.[17] The English Array was not shut down, as other organisations of the right were in the war years, but was under official suspicion and saw little activity.[18]

The Kinship in Husbandry, which he also founded with Rolf Gardiner,[19] was one of the precursors of the later Soil Association. It recruited Edmund Blunden, Arthur Bryant, H. J. Massingham,[18] Walter James, 4th Baron Northbourne, Adrian Bell and Philip Mairet.[20]

Family and personal life[edit]

He was married twice and had five children.

In 1920, he married Mary Lawrence Post, daughter of Waldren Kintzing Post, of Bayport, Long Island. They had two children

In 1936, he divorced Mary Post and married Bridget Crohan, only daughter of Capt. Patrick Bermingham Crohan by (Edith) Barbara Cory (later Bray), of Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire. They had three children

  • Lady Philippa Dorothy Bluet Wallop (b. 21 August 1937, d. 1984) who married Charles Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan
  • Jane Alianora Borlace Wallop (b. 24 February 1939)
  • Nicholas Valoynes Bermingham Wallop (b. 14 July 1946).

Gerard Wallop succeeded to the title of Earl of Portsmouth in 1943, on the death of his father Oliver.

After the war he moved to Kenya, where he lived for nearly 30 years. His seat at Farleigh House was let as a preparatory school from 1953.

The Earl's elder son, Oliver, predeceased him; on his death in 1984, the title passed to his grandson Quentin.


  • Ich Dien - the Tory Path
  • Spring Song of Iscariot (Black Sun Press, 1929) poem, as Lord Lymington
  • Famine in England (1938)
  • Alternative to Death (1943)
  • A Knot of Roots (1965) autobiography


  • Conford, P., Organic society: agriculture and radical politics in the career of Gerard Wallop, ninth Earl of Portsmouth (1898-1984), The Agricultural History Review, Volume 53, Part 1, 2005


  1. ^ "No. 29918". The London Gazette. 23 January 1917. p. 934. 
  2. ^ "No. 30864". The London Gazette. 23 August 1918. p. 9954. 
  3. ^ "No. 30921". The London Gazette. 24 September 1918. p. 11420. 
  4. ^ Luisa Passerini, Europe in Love, Love in Europe: Imagination and Politics in Britain Between the Wars (1999), p. 71.
  5. ^ Christina Scott, A Historian and His World: A Life of Christopher Dawson (1992), pp. 104-5.
  6. ^, in Italian.
  7. ^ The Sotheby Sale of Isaac Newton's Papers in 1936
  8. ^ Cambridge University Library Online
  9. ^ Michael Cyril William Hunter (editor), Archives of the Scientific Revolution: The Formation and Exchange of Ideas (1998), p. 148.
  10. ^ Julie V. Gottlieb, Thomas P. Linehan, The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain (2004), p. 189.
  11. ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations (2003), p. 181.
  12. ^ Son of John Augustus de Grey, 7th Baron WalsinghamLundy, Darryl. "p. 24644 § 246437". The Peerage. [unreliable source].
  13. ^ Dan Stone, Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain (2002), p. 49.
  14. ^ Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, p. 182.
  15. ^ Richard Griffiths, Patriotism Perverted (1998), p. 53.
  16. ^ Katharine Knox, Refugees in an Age of Genocide: Global, National, and Local Perspectives (1999), p. 148.
  17. ^ Thomas Linehan, British Fascism, 1918-1939: Parties, Ideology and Culture (2000), p. 140.
  18. ^ a b Stone, p. 53.
  19. ^ Jeremy Burchardt, Paradise Lost: Rural Idyll and Social Change in England Since 1800 (2002), p. 137.
  20. ^ Gottlieb and Linehan, p. 187.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Richard Holbrook
Member of Parliament for Basingstoke
Succeeded by
Henry Maxence Cavendish Drummond Wolff
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Oliver Wallop
Earl of Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Quentin Wallop