Samuel Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey

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The Lord Vestey

Trooping the Colour, senior offices.JPG
Lord Vestey, Master of the Horse, riding to The Queen's Birthday Parade in 2009
Born (1941-03-19) 19 March 1941 (age 77)
ResidenceStowell Park, Gloucestershire
EducationEton College
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
OccupationChairman, Vestey Group
Title3rd Baron Vestey;
Master of the Horse
PredecessorSamuel, 2nd Baron Vestey
Political partyConservative
Kathryn Eccles
(m. 1977; div. 1981)

Celia Knight
(m. 1981)
Parent(s)Hon. William Vestey
Pamela Armstrong

Samuel George Armstrong Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey Bt, KCVO, GCStJ, DL (born 19 March 1941), is a British peer, landowner, and businessman.

Lord Vestey currently serves as Master of the Horse to the Royal Household.[1]

Early life[edit]

Samuel Vestey was born on 19 March 1941, the son of Captain Hon. William Howarth Vestey, a member of the Scots Guards who was killed in action in 1944 during the Second World War. Through his mother, Pamela (née Armstrong), he is a great-grandson of the celebrated opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.[2] He was educated at Eton College, before attending Sandhurst and serving as a Lieutenant in the Scots Guards.

Business career[edit]

Vestey has been the chairman of the Vestey Group since 1995, and was the chairman of the Meat Training Council[3] from 1991–95. He is also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. In 1980, A Sunday Times investigation revealed that he and his cousin, Edmund, were found to have paid just £10 in tax on the family business's £2.3m profit made by the Dewhurst chain.[4][5]

Wave Hill walk-off[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Vestey's battle with the native Australian Gurindji people over working conditions and native land claims was chronicled in Paul Kelly's song "From Little Things Big Things Grow", originally released on his 1991 album Comedy. Vestey also features in Ted Egan's song "Gurindji Blues", which is about the land rights and working conditions of Australian aboriginal people at Wave Hill Cattle Station in the Northern Territory.[6]

Public Service[edit]

In 1954 Vestey succeeded his grandfather in the peerage title at the age of thirteen. His family seat is Stowell Park Estate in Gloucestershire, where his father is buried.[7] [8]

He was Chancellor (1988–91) and Lord Prior of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (1991–2002) having been appointed Bailiff Grand Cross (GCStJ) in 1987.[9] He became a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire in 1982.

Vestey has served as Master of the Horse to the Royal Household, to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom since 1999, who appointed him Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.[10]

KCVO insignia

Personal life[edit]

Vestey married Kathryn Eccles (died 13 December 2017) [11] on 11 September 1970 and they were divorced in 1981. They have two daughters and four grandchildren:

  • The Honorable Saffron Alexandra Vestey (27 August 1971). She married Matthew Idiens and they were divorced in 2001. They have two children. She married Charles Foster in 2008.
    • Megan Rose Idiens (27 July 1998)
    • Alfred Idiens
    • Evelyn Grace Foster (6 March 2009)
    • William George Foster (7 November 2011)
  • The Honorable Flora Grace Vestey (22 September 1978). She married Laurence J. Kilby and they were divorced in 2010. She married James Hall in 2011.

He married Celia Knight on 22 December 1981.[12] They have three children:

  • The Honorable William Guy Vestey (27 August 1983). He married Violet Henderson on 6 February 2013. They have one daughter:
    • Ella Victoria Vestey (13 July 2015)
  • The Honorable Arthur George Vestey (1985). He married Hon. Martha Beaumont in June 2015. They have one son:
    • Frank William Vestey (25 July 2016)
  • The Honorable Mary Henrietta Vestey (1992)

His elder son, The Hon. William Guy Vestey,[13] served as a Page of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II from 1995 to 1998.[14][15]

The Vestey family's combined wealth (Lord Vestey, with his cousin, Edmund Hoyle Vestey) amounts to approximately £1.2 billion according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.[16]

Titles, styles and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 19 March 1941 – 4 May 1954: The Honourable Samuel Vestey
  • 4 May 1954 – present: The Right Honourable The Lord Vestey



Baronet's Badge ribbon.png Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png

Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png UNFICYP Medal bar.svg QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Service Medal of the Order of St John Ribbon.jpg




  1. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015. Archived 25 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015. Archived 5 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Bryant, Chris (7 September 2017). "How the aristocracy preserved their power". Retrieved 10 May 2018 – via
  5. ^ "Heirs and disgraces". the Guardian. 11 August 1999. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Gurindji Blues". Collaborating for Indigenous Rights. The National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  7. ^ "CPT William Howarth Vestey", 17 July 2017.
  8. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015.
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015.
  10. ^ "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 3.
  11. ^ "Samuel George Armstrong Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey", 17 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Vestey, Baron (UK, 1922)" Cracroft's Peerage, 17 July 2017.
  13. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 4004 (VESTEY, B). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  14. ^ "No. 54036". The London Gazette. 16 May 1995. p. 6949.
  15. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015.
  16. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Vestey
(2nd Baron)
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Baron Vestey

Heir apparent:
The Hon. William Vestey
Court offices
Preceded by
The Lord Somerleyton
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Master of the Horse

Designated successor:
The Lord de Mauley
Other offices
Preceded by
The Lord Grey of Naunton
VOSJ Grand Priory Coat of Arms.JPG

Lord Prior of St John

Succeeded by
Colonel Eric Barry
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
The Earl Peel
as Lord Chamberlain
Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
The Duke of Somerset