Margaretta Finch-Hatton, Countess of Winchilsea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham
Viscountess Maidstone.jpg
Photograph of Viscountess Maidstone, 1922
Personal details
Margaretta Armstrong Drexel

(1885-03-01)March 1, 1885
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 22, 1952(1952-12-22) (aged 67)
London, England
(m. 1910; died 1939)
RelationsAnthony Joseph Drexel (grandfather)
John Armstrong Drexel (brother)
Anthony Joseph Drexel III (brother)
Parent(s)Margarita Armstrong Drexel
Anthony Joseph Drexel Jr.

Margaretta Armstrong Finch-Hatton, Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham (née Drexel) (March 1, 1885 – December 22, 1952) was an American heiress who married into the English aristocracy.

Early life[edit]

Margaretta was born in 1885 into a wealthy Philadelphia banking dynasty. She was the daughter of Margarita (née Armstrong) Drexel[1] and Anthony Joseph Drexel Jr.[2] Her brothers Anthony Joseph Drexel III and John Armstrong Drexel were also bankers (John was a partner in the securities firm of William P. Bonbright & Co. of London and New York along with her husband).[3] In 1917,[4] her parents divorced and, the following year, her mother married Brinsley FitzGerald (the son of Peter FitzGerald, 1st Baronet of Valencia) in 1918.[5]

Her paternal grandparents were Anthony Joseph Drexel and Ellen (née Rozet) Drexel and her maternal grandfather was John Armstrong of the Baltimore Armstrongs.[6]

Margaretta was presented at court in 1908 by Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, the Duchess of Connaught.[7] Reportedly, after her presentation at court, she "at once attained great popularity in London society. Her modesty and simple, easy manners, attracted everyone. Among her reported suitors were Prince Christopher, sixth son of King George of Greece; Prince Francis of Teck; and Prince Francis Joseph, second son of the Duke and Duchess of Braganza, whose eldest son Prince Miguel, had married her cousin, Miss Anita Stewart."[8]

Personal life[edit]

On 8 June 1910, Margaretta was married to Guy Finch-Hatton, Viscount Maidstone by the Bishop of London at St Margaret's, Westminster by the Bishop of London.[7] The reception was held at the Drexel home in Grosvenor Square.[9] He was the son of Henry Finch-Hatton and the former Anne Jane Codrington.[10] His two siblings were Gladys Margaret Finch-Hatton (who married Capt. Osmond Williams, a son of Sir Osmond Williams, 1st Baronet) and Denys Finch Hatton, a noted big-game hunter. Together, Guy and Margaretta were the parents of three children:

In 1927, upon the death of his father, her husband became the 14th Earl of Winchilsea and 9th Earl of Nottingham,[17] and Margaretta became known as the Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham.[18]

Lord Winchilsea died in London on 10 February 1939,[19] and was buried at Ewerby in Lincolnshire.[17] In September 1939, Lady Winchilsea survived the sinking of the S.S. Athenia, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Lady Winchilsea died in London in 1952.[8]


  1. ^ "MRS. BRINSLEY FITZGERALD". The New York Times. 13 February 1948. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. ^ "ANTHONY J. DREXEL, BANKER, DIES AT 70; Head of Famous Philadelphia Family Succumbs Here After Illness of Eight Months, RESIDED LONG IN ENGLAND Keen Yachtsman and Owner of Celebrated Craft -Had Been Host to Edward VII. i". The New York Times. 15 December 1934. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  3. ^ "J.A. Drexel on 2 Bank Boards" (PDF). The New York Times. 1 June 1934. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  4. ^ "DIVORCES A.J. DREXEL.; Wife of Philadelphia Banker Obtains a Decree in London". The New York Times. 26 May 1917. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ "MRS. BRINSLEY FITZGERALD" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 February 1948. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  6. ^ "MR. DREXEL'S BRIDE.; THE YOUNG BANKER'S MARRIAGE TO MISS RITA ARMSTRONG". The New York Times. 15 September 1886. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b "MISS DREXEL IS ENGAGED.; Will Marry in London Viscount Maidstone. Heir to Two Earldoms" (PDF). The New York Times. 8 February 1910. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b "U.S. Born Countess, Former Miss Drexel" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 December 1952. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  9. ^ "MISS DREXEL WEDS VISCOUNT MAIDSTONE; St. Margaret's, Westminster, Thronged at Nuptials of Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Drexel. 8,000 OUTSIDE THE CHURCH Many Americans Attend Ceremony—Ten Pretty Bridesmaids in Procession—Reception at Drexel Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 June 1910. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Henry Stormont Finch Hatton". Marriage licence. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Gladys Szechenyi Becomes Bride Of Viscount Maidstone in London: Nobility and Ambassadors of Many Countries Attend Brilliant Church Ceremony — Both Are Members of Prominent European and American Families". The New York Times. 12 July 1935. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Countess of Winchilsea Dies" (PDF). The New York Times. 24 June 1964. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Whitney Straight to Wed in England". The New York Times. 11 April 1935. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Deaths STRAIGHT, LADY DAPHNE MARGARITA". The New York Times. 5 June 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  15. ^ "DAUGHTER OF EARL ENGAGED TO MARRY; Lady Henrietta Finch-Hatton Affianced in England to Peter Frank Tiarks NIECE OF A. J. DREXEL JR. Father Is Lord Winchelsea—She Is Kin by Marriage of Vanderbilts and Whitneys" (PDF). The New York Times. 19 February 1938. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  16. ^ Staff. "The Tiarks family of Chislehurst". Kemnal Road, Chislehurst, Kent. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Winchilsea, Earl of (E, 1628)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Margaretta Armstrong Finch-Hatton (née Drexel), Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham - National Portrait Gallery". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  19. ^ "EARL OF WINCHILSEA, 14TH TO HOLD TITLE; Married A.J. Drexel's Daughter in Brilliant Ceremony in 1910" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 February 1939. Retrieved 30 January 2020.

External links[edit]