Lord Desborough

Welwyn Garden's Lord Of The Manor

Lord Desborough
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Panshanger House
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

The charismatic Lord Desborough, although born at Taplow Court, Buckinghamshire, his family is closely linked with the Panshanger estate near Welwyn through his marriage to Ethel Anne Priscilla Fane (Ettie to those closest to her). She inherited Panshanger in 1913 upon the death of her aunt, Countess Cowper. 

Wartime losses

The couple had three sons and two daughters. Tragically their eldest son, the poet Julian Grenfell, and their second son, William (Billy) Grenfell were both killed in action during WW1. Their third son, Ivo, died in 1926 following a car accident.  

Mistaken identity

Lord Desborough had the unfortunate distinction of having his obituary mistakenly published in The Times on 2 December 1920, having being confused with Lord Bessborough. He actually lived to the age of 90 and died at Panshanger in 1945.  

This page was added on 07/09/2009.

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  • Where I grew up in Tewin Wood, one of the roads was Desborough Drive which lead to Cowpers Way, 2 roads I walked each day from Bishops Road, to catch the school coach.

    By Laurian Snowden (22/08/2015)