Sir Gyles Isham, 12th Baronet

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Sir Gyles Isham, actor and baronet
from a 1935 publicity photo

Sir Gyles Isham, 12th Baronet (1903-1976) was an English aristocrat, actor (who appeared in several films in the 1930s) and historian.

Life and career[edit]

Gyles Isham was born 31 October 1903 in Lamport, Northamptonshire, England to Sir Vere Isham, the 11th Baronet of Lamport, and his wife Millicent Vaughan. He graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford in 1930 with an M.A. degree and became an actor, appearing from 1933 to 1937 in ten films, including the acclaimed Anna Karenina. He also acted From 1929 to 1938 in several Shakespeare plays at the Old Vic Theatre in London, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and other venues. Enlisting in the British Army during the Second World War, he was commissioned an officer in 1940 in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and served in Libya in the Western Desert Campaign, reaching the rank in 1943 of Lieutenant-Colonel. He also succeeded in 1941, during his Libyan service, to the Baronetcy of Lamport with the death of his father, thereby becoming Sir Gyles Isham. He served after the war as Defence Secretary Officer in Palestine. He contested the 1950 General Election as Conservative Party candidate for Kettering, finishing second. Returning to his family manor at Lamport Hall, he served in 1952 as Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, was a member from 1955-1964 of the Northamptonshire County Council, and served in 1958 as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. He was a trustee in 1964 of the National Portrait Galley, and president between 1968 and 1976 of the Association of Genealogists, during which time he authored several books and pamphlets on the history of Northamptonshire. He also opened Lamport Hall, the family manor, to the public for the first time in 1974 and established the Lamport Hall Trust, to which the manor passed at his death. Sir Gyles died on 29 January 1976 at the age of 72 at St. Matthew's Nursing Home, Northampton, England. He had no children and was succeeded as baronet by Sir Ian Isham, a distant cousin of his descended from the 7th baronet.[1][2]


  • Purse Strings (1933) - James Willmore
  • What's in a Name? (1934) - Schultz

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Correspondence of Bishop Brian Duppa and Sir Justinian Isham 1650-1660, Northamptonshire Record Society, 1954.
  • Sir Thomas Isham: an English collector in Rome, 1677-8,: A Selection of Pictures, Engravings, Books and Manuscripts Lent by Sir Gyles Isham, Bart., from Lamport Hall, Northampton: Exhibited at Central Art Gallery, Northampton, 12th July to August, 1969, County Borough of Northampton - Museums and Art Gallery, 1969.
  • He also annotated the 1971 translation by Norman Marlow of The diary of Thomas Isham of Lamport (1658-81), Gregg Publishing, 343 p.


  1. ^ Mosley (2003), v. 2, p. 2065-2066.
  2. ^ Lamport Hall (official guidebook).


  • Lamport Hall - Past and Present (the official guidebook), 1992, Lamport Hall Preservation Trust, Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire, 28 p.
  • Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A, and London, England, 3 vol.

External links[edit]

Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Vere Isham
(of Lamport)
Succeeded by
Ian Isham