Hugo Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss

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The Earl of Wemyss and March

Lord Elcho Vanity Fair 26 March 1892.jpg
Lord Elcho as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, March 1892
Member of Parliament for Ipswich
In office
1886 – 1895
(with Charles Dalrymple)
Preceded byJesse Collings
Henry Wyndham West
Succeeded byCharles Dalrymple
Daniel Ford Goddard
Member of Parliament for Haddingtonshire
In office
Preceded byLord Elcho
Succeeded byViscount Haldane
Personal details
Hugo Richard Charteris

(1857-08-25)25 August 1857
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, UK
Died12 July 1937(1937-07-12) (aged 79)
Political partyConservative
Mary Constance Wyndham
(m. 1883; her death 1937)
ParentsThe 10th Earl of Wemyss
Lady Anne Anson

Hugo Richard Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss and 7th Earl of March DL (25 August 1857 – 12 July 1937), styled Lord Elcho from 1883 to 1914, was a Scottish Conservative politician.

Early life[edit]

He was the fifth but eldest surviving son of The 10th Earl of Wemyss and his wife, Lady Anne Frederica Anson. His sister, Evelyn Charteris, was married to The 4th Viscount de Vesci; their only child (Mary Gertrude Vesey) was the second wife of Aubrey Herbert (second son of The 4th Earl of Carnarvon), whose daughter Laura Herbert married the writer Evelyn Waugh and was the mother of Auberon Waugh.[1]

His father was the eldest son, and heir, of The 9th Earl of Wemyss (and 5th Earl of March). His mother was a daughter of The 1st Earl of Lichfield (and 2nd Viscount Anson).[2]


He entered Parliament for Haddingtonshire in 1883 (succeeding his father), but lost his seat in the 1885 general election. He returned to the House of Commons in the 1886 general election as one of two representatives for Ipswich, a seat he held until 1895. He succeeded his father in the two earldoms in 1914 and served as Lord-Lieutenant of Haddingtonshire from 1918 to 1937.

Personal life[edit]

Portrait of his wife, and her sisters, The Wyndham Sisters, by John Singer Sargent, 1899 (Metropolitan Museum)
The grave of Hugo, 11th Earl of Wemyss and 7th Earl of March, Aberlady Churchyard

In 1883, he married Mary Constance Wyndham (1862–1937), daughter of the Hon. Percy Scawen Wyndham and sister of George Wyndham. They were both two of the original members of The Souls. His married life was detailed in the book The Wild Wyndhams by Claudia Renton.[3] Among their children were:[2]

  • Captain Hugo Francis Charteris, Lord Elcho (1884–1916), killed in action during the Great War, whilst serving with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial.[4] He married Lady Violet Catherine Manners, the daughter of Henry Manners, 8th Duke of Rutland, in 1911.[2]
  • The Hon. Guy Lawrence Charteris (1886–1967).
  • Lady Cynthia Mary Evelyn Charteris (1887–1960), a writer who married Herbert Asquith (1881–1947), son of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith.[2]
  • The Hon. Colin Charteris (1889–1892), who died young.[2]
  • Lady Mary Pamela Madeline Sibell Charteris (1895–1991), who married married Capt. Algernon Walter Strickland (1891–1938), son of Algernon Henry Peter Strickland, in 1915. After his death, she married Maj. John George Lyon, son of John Stewart Lyon, 4th of Kirkmichael, in 1943.[2]
  • Second Lieutenant The Hon. Yvo Alan Charteris (1896–1915), also killed in action during the Great War, whilst serving with 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards. He is buried in Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery, five kilometers southeast of Bethune.[5]
  • Lady Irene Corona Charteris (1902–1989), who married Ivor Windsor-Clive, 2nd Earl of Plymouth (1889–1943).[2]

By 1912, Lady Angela Forbes was his mistress, sharing his house in East Lothian, while his wife lived at Stanway in Gloucestershire.[6][7] Although he and his mistress lived together for many years, he remained married, and his wife became Countess of Wemyss when he inherited the earldom. She died in April 1937, aged 74.[8] Lord Wemyss survived her by three months and died in July of the same year, aged 79. He is buried in the family burial enclosure on the north side of Aberlady churchyard.


Lord Wemyss was succeeded in his titles by his grandson David; two of his sons, Captain Hugo Francis Charteris (1884–1916) and Lt Yvo Alan Charteris (1896–1915), had been killed in action during the First World War.[9] Hugo's second son was Martin Charteris, Baron Charteris of Amisfield.

His granddaughter was the socialite Ann Fleming,[10] and his grandson, Hugo Charteris, was a renowned post-war author and screenwriter. He is the great-grandfather of the Scottish cartoonist Jamie Charteris.

An affair with Hermione Fitzgerald, Duchess of Leinster, allegedly produced a son, Edward FitzGerald, 7th Duke of Leinster.


  1. ^ John Howard Wilson, Evelyn Waugh: a Literary Biography (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press 2001), p. 111 ff.: see also "Lady Evelyn Charteris", The Peerage, 30 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Wemyss, Earl of (S, 1633)". Cracroft's Peerage. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ Renton, Claudia (30 January 2014). Those Wild Wyndhams. William Collins. ISBN 978-0007544899.
  4. ^,-lord-hugo-francis/
  5. ^,-the-hon.-yvo-alan/
  6. ^ Clayre Percy, "Forbes [née St Clair-Erskine], Lady Angela Selina Bianca (1876–1950)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (OUP, 2007)
  7. ^ Arthur Balfour, Mary Elcho, The letters of Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho, 1885-1917 (Hamilton, 1992), p. 295
  8. ^ "Mary Constance Charteris, Countess of Wemyss". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  9. ^ Guest, Philip; Guest, Wendy (2012). "A Prime Minister and his Family at War: Part II". Siegfried's Journal. Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship. 22 (Summer 2012): 17–23.
  10. ^ Andrew Lycett, "Fleming , Ann Geraldine Mary [other married names Ann Geraldine Mary O'Neill, Lady O'Neill; Ann Geraldine Mary Harmsworth, Viscountess Rothermere] (1913–1981)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2014 accessed 9 Feb 2017


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Elcho
Member of Parliament for Haddingtonshire
Succeeded by
Richard Haldane
Preceded by
Jesse Collings
Henry Wyndham West
Member of Parliament for Ipswich
With: Charles Dalrymple
Succeeded by
Charles Dalrymple
Daniel Ford Goddard
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Haddington
Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian
Succeeded by
The Lord Polwarth
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Francis Charteris
Earl of Wemyss
Succeeded by
Francis David Charteris
Earl of March