PEOPLE – ZETLAND Dowager Marchioness of

Accreditation – The Cleveland Standard 07/01/1933, and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society of which he was a member.

The Dowager Marchioness of Zetland
By Hugh W. Cook. Redcar

   When I called at Marske Hall, that stately old Jacobean mansion, a few days ago, I was most cordially invited by the kind hearted Dowager Marchioness of Zetland, and after a very homely talk with her I was conducted around the hall by her lady ship, whose knowledge of the history of the mansion is most remarkable and accurate.
   The dowager lady pointed out to me the most interesting and historical parts of Marske Hall, which since the death of her husband (the late Marquis of Zetland) about four years ago, has been her permanent home, and she is dearly loved and respected by all sections of the community.
   The dowager lady married on August 3, 1871, and her son and heir, the present Marquis of Zetland resides at Aske Hall, near Richmond when he is residence in the North. This was also the former home of the dowager lady, and is one of the oldest mansions in England. It dates back to the Saxon period, and is mentioned in Doomsday Book as “Asse.”
   Her ladyship is keenly interested in ambulance work and is a Dame Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. "Both the Order of St John and the British Red Cross Society have done some very good work and are still doing it," remarked Lady Zetland.
   The late Lord Zetland (and the present Lord) always had a great interest in Redcar and I am sure that the Dowager Marchioness can claim to have an almost equal interest in Coatham, as she is the direct lineal descendant of the lords Lumley, who for many generations in the middle ages were lords of the manor of Kirkleatham. They owned most of the property in Kirkleatham and Coatham.
The lordship of these places and the property came into the Lumley family in 1374 on the death of Thomas Thwenge, clerk to the Holy Orders, and Rector of Kirkleatham.
   This noble family, of which the Earl of Scarborough of Sandown Park and Lumley Castle, the Dowager lady’s brother – is also a member, is one of the oldest families in England and they settled around the North Country district long before the Norman Conquest.
Lady Zetland is referring to the ancient pedigree of her family laughingly remarked, “I think history goes back nearly to the days of Adam.”
Her Ladyship is the third daughter of Richard, ninth earl of Scarborough, and is well-known all around Aske, Richmond, Marske and Redcar for her charitable and kindly deeds, as she has always given to the poor and needy.

A Fairy Godmother

   She is a real "Fairy Godmother" to the people of Marske and always happy when amongst them.
Place of worship, concerts, hospitals, nursing homes, and everything organised for the poor and needy always cordially supported by the kindly heart        of the dowager lady. "We must do what we can for the most unfortunate ones, and there are many in Marske alone just now," stated Lady Zetland to me.
   Her ladyship paid a high comment to Redcar and the wonderful enterprises carried out there during the last few years, which is further evidence of the interest she takes in the welfare and prosperity of the North Yorkshire Borough.
The noble family of Dundas, into which the dowager lady married into in 1871, is a very old and historic Scottish family, but the Marske and Redcar property passed by purchase into the hands of the family about 150 years ago.
 Hall was the former Cleveland seat of the family, but it was demolished over 30 years ago, and only a few traces of this once commodious mansion now remain. After its demolition The Marquis of Zetland took over Marske Hall as the Cleveland seat and here house parties were usually entertained by the late Marquis and the Marchioness for Redcar and Stockton races and grouse shooting.

A Delightful Home 

   Marske Hall the delightful old-world mansion was built about 1650 by Sir William Pennyman Bart.
   It is a neat commodious mansion, and on the front I notice are two shields, one bearing the arms of Pennyman and Atherton the other the arms of Pennyman viz., a chevron, between three arrow heads.
On Sir William Pennyman dying without issue the matter came to the Lowthers, who sold it to the Dundas family, ancestors of the Marquis of Zetland.
   Marske Hall, however is not on the original site, as a mansion at one period stood in a field just south of Marske station, where the broken ground still testifies to the buried foundations.
An assignment of the dowager of Dame Joan Fauconberge, dated October 26, 1408, mentions this old hall and through this deed we catch a glimpse of the surroundings of the older hall.

   The Dowager Lady Zetland has just celebrated her 81st birthday, but in spite of this she bears her years very lightly, and she assures me she enjoys very good health and keeps fairly active.
On the conclusion of my visit, her ladyship pointed out to me the beautiful carved entrance-arch just inside the hall, which is a most exquisite piece of workmanship, and still bears the arms of the Pennymans. Some very fine stained glass window glass was also pointed out to me, some of which came from Cromwell’s House at Loftus. To me all these were exceptionally interesting.
I sincerely trust this good kind hearted unassuming titled lady will be spared to reside many more years at the beautiful old Jacobean mansion and amongst the people who love her so well.
In her younger days the dowager lady was affectionately known as the "lovely Lady Lilian Lumley,” a title which I should say most ably befitted her.
   The family consisted of two sons and two daughters, i.e. the present Earl of Zetland, the Hon. G. Dundas, the Countess Fitzwilliam, and Lady Southampton.
The Zetland coat of arms is Argent, a lion rampant gules, within a double tressure, flory, counterflory. The rest is a lion’s head affronted gules, encircled by a holly bush.
   Her ladyship is an advocate of good living of good clean sport, and of all that’s best in English village life.


dean March 17, 2010 People & Characters