Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 1st Earl of Ancaster

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"A great officer of State". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1881.

Gilbert Henry Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 1st Earl of Ancaster PC (1 October 1830 – 24 December 1910), known as 2nd Baron Aveland from 1867 to 1888 and as 25th Baron Willoughby de Eresby from 1888 to 1892, was a British Liberal politician and court official.

Born Gilbert Henry Heathcote, he was the son of Gilbert Heathcote, 1st Baron Aveland and Clementina Elizabeth Drummond-Willoughby, 24th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

In 1852 Ancaster was elected to the House of Commons for Boston, a seat he held until 1856, and then represented Rutland until he succeeded his father as second Baron Aveland in 1867. In 1872 he assumed by Royal license the additional surnames of Willoughby and Drummond. He held the office of Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain from 1871 to 1901 and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1880. In 1888 he succeeded his mother as twenty-fifth Baron Willoughby de Eresby and four years later he was created Earl of Ancaster, in the County of Lincoln. This was a revival of the title held by his maternal ancestors the Dukes of Ancaster and Kesteven.

Lord Ancaster married Lady Evelyn Elizabeth Gordon, daughter of Charles Gordon, 10th Marquess of Huntly, in 1863. They had ten children:[2]

  • Lady Evelyn Clementina Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1864–1924), married Maj.-Gen. Sir Henry Ewart, 1st Baronet of White House.
  • Lady Margaret Mary Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1866– ), married in 1902 Gideon Macpherson Rutherford, barrister-at-law.
  • Hon. Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1867–1951), succeeded as 2nd Earl of Ancaster.
  • Lady Nina Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1869–1940).
  • Brig.-Gen. Hon. Charles Strathavon Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1870–1949), fought in the Second Boer War and World War I.
  • Lt.-Col. Hon. Claud Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1872–1950), fought in the Second Boer War and World War I, and was a Conservative politician.
  • Lady Cecilie Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1874– ) married Thomas Clarence Edward Goff.
  • Lady Alice Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1876–1951).
  • Lady Mary Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1878– ), married the 14th Earl of Dalhousie and became the mother of both the 15th and the 16th Earl.
  • Lt-Cdr Hon. Peter Robert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, RN (1885–1914), naval officer killed in the sinking of HMS Monmouth at the Battle of Coronel.

Lord Ancaster died on 24 December 1910, aged 80, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son


  1. ^ "Willoughby, Gilbert Henry Heathcote (WLHY849GH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Burke's


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James William Freshfield
Benjamin Cabbell
Member of Parliament for Boston
With: Benjamin Cabbell
Succeeded by
Herbert Ingram
Benjamin Cabbell
Preceded by
Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bt
Hon. Gerard Noel
Member of Parliament for Rutland
With: Hon. Gerard Noel
Succeeded by
Hon. Gerard Noel
George Finch
Court offices
Preceded by
The 23rd Lord Willoughby de Eresby
Lord Great Chamberlain

Succeeded by
Preceded by
as Deputy
Lord Great Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Cholmondeley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Ancaster
Succeeded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby
Preceded by
Gilbert John Heathcote
Baron Aveland
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Clementina Elizabeth Drummond-Willoughby
Baron Willoughby de Eresby
Succeeded by
Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby