Edward Algernon Fitzroy


Edward Fitzroy was born in St Pancras, London on 24/7/1869.   His father was Charles, 3rd Baron Southampton, Fitzroy, born 1804, died 16/7/1872 while living at 7 Audley Square, London.   His mother was Ismania Catherine (Lady Southampton) Nugent, died 18/8/1918 while living in Enfield Green, London.

As a boy , Edward served as Page of Honour to Queen Victoria.

The 1871 census shows him living at The Mansion, Whittlebury, Northampton and in 1881 living in Harlestone.

In 1891 the Honorable Edward Fitzroy, aged 21, was living in Regents Park Barracks, described as an “Officer”.

On 19/11/1891 he married Muriel Pennant (Born 1869, died 1962).   Upon the death of her husband she was given a Viscountcy, the customary retirement honour for Speakers, as Viscountess  Daventry

It is not clear when the Fitzroys moved in to Foxhill Manor.   By process of elimination it would appear to be 1893.   The 1891 census  shows Thomas Ratcliff was in residence at Fox Hill, where he lived with his only daughter.    In September 1982 notice was published of the sale of Fox Hill Farm livestock etc by Mr Ratcliffe ‘who has disposed of the estate.’   It is believed that it was then purchased by the Fitzroys.

The earliest reference to be found of the Fitzroys in West Haddon is the report of the Royal Show in Cambridge in June 1894 when a poultry prize was won by the Hon. Mrs E A Fitzroy, Fox Hill, West Haddon.

In 1901 he was living in St George, Hanover Square, London.   The family had eight servants.

A member of Northamptonshire County Council from 1896 to 1921, FitzRoy first entered Parliament in the 1900 General election as Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire South.  He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Northamptonshire in 1901.  He was re-elected during the January 1910 General Election for Northamptonshire South. He held the seat in the December 1910 General Election.

The 1911 census shows him living in St Georges, Hanover Square, London, aged 41, with Muriel his wife, also aged 41.   He is shown as Head of House and employed as a Member of Parliament, farmer and land proprietor.   Also living there was their daughter Nancy Jean aged 16 – born Brompton Square

During World War I, whilst still an MP, he served in the military as a Captain of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards, and was injured at the First Battle of Ypres.   He commanded the mounted troops of the Guards Division from 1915–16.

During the war the Fitzroys housed a family of Belgian refugees in a cottage believed to be in the grounds of their property.

In the 1918 General Election, he was elected for the seat of Daventry. He held the seat in the 1922 General Election, the 1923 General Election, the 1924 General Election, the 1929 General Election, and the 1935 General Election.

Edward Fitzroy, Speaker of the House of Commons
Edward Fitzroy, Speaker of the House of Commons

He was Speaker of the House of Commons from 20/6/1928 until the time of his death, in Speaker’s House, Westminster, on3/3/1943.   He was a descendant of Charles I.

The record of effects  of Probate, Llandudno 8/7/1943 shows he left ££635,253 6s 11p to his widow the Rt. Hon. Muriel, Viscountess Daventry.

[He was the father of John Maurice Fitzroy, Michael Algernon Fitzroy and Robert Oliver Fitzroy whose names also appear on the Roll of Honour]

Jim Blakey

4th November, 2016