Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford

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The Lord Lilford
Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford in his study at Lilford Hall
Born18 March 1833
Died17 June 1896 (1896-06-18) (aged 63)
Lilford Hall
Other namesThomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford
Occupation Aristocrat and ornithologist
Known for4th Baron Lilford

Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford (18 March 1833 – 17 June 1896), was a British aristocrat and ornithologist.



Lilford was the eldest son of Thomas Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford, and Mary Elizabeth Fox, daughter of Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland. He was born in Stanhope Street, Mayfair, London, on 18 March 1833. [1]

He succeeded his father as fourth Baron in 1861. [2] Lilford was one of the eight founders of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1858 and its president from 1867 until his death. He was also the first President of the Northamptonshire Natural History Society.

Lilford travelled widely, especially around the Mediterranean and his extensive collection of birds was maintained in the grounds of Lilford Hall, his second residence was Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire, which he inherited from his father (3rd Baron Lilford), who inherited it from George Anthony Legh Keck. [3] He inherited the Holland Estates from his mother's family. Until 1891, his aviaries featured birds from around the globe, including rheas, kiwis, Pink-headed ducks and a pair of free-flying Bearded vultures. He was responsible for the introduction of the Little owl into England in the 1880s. [4]

He wrote about birds including Notes on the Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood (1895) and Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands, which was completed by Osbert Salvin after his death. [1]

A species of European lizard, Podarcis lilfordi , is named in his honor. [5]


Emma Elizabeth Brandling, later Lady Lilford (George Frederic Watts) Emma Elizabeth Brandling, later Lady Lilford, by George Frederic Watts.jpg
Emma Elizabeth Brandling, later Lady Lilford (George Frederic Watts)

Lord Lilford married, firstly, Emma Elizabeth Brandling, daughter of Robert William Brandling, in 1859. After her death in 1884 he married, Clementina Georgina, daughter of Ker Baillie-Hamilton, in 1885. [1]

He died in June 1896, aged 63, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son from his first marriage, John. Lady Lilford died in 1929. A metal plaque commemorating a "Cedar of Atlantica" planted by Lady Lilford in 1897, was found in 2005 and is displayed in the visitor centre at Bank Hall. [3]


Coat of arms of Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Lilford Escutcheon.png
A lion's jamb couped and erect Gules, holding a staff headed with a fleur-de-lis also erect Or.
Or, a lion's jamb erased in bend dexter, between two cross crosslets fitchee in bend sinister Gules.
Dexter, a reaper habited in a loose shirt, leather breeches loose at the knees, white stockings, and black hat and shoes ; in his hat ears of corn, in his right band a reaping-hook, and at his feet a garb, all proper. Sinister, a man in the uniform of the' Northamptonshire yeomanry cavalry, riz. a green long coat, orna-mented on the cuffs and button-holes with gold lace, yellow waistcoat and breeches, and black top boots ; a black stock ; a round hat, adorned with a white feather in front and a green one behind, the sword-belt inscribed with the letters N.Y. and the exterior hand resting on his sword sheathed and point downwards.
Parta Tueri (To maintain acquired possessions). [6]


  1. 1 2 3 Woodward 1901.
  2. Biography of 4th Baron Lilford, Lilford Hall, retrieved 25 July 2010
  3. 1 2 J Howard (2011) "Bank Hall Timeline", "Bank Hall Bretherton Online - Bank Hall Timeline". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  4. "The sad decline of the little owl" . . Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  5. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN   978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Lilford", p. 158).
  6. Debrett's Peerage. 1840.

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Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Baron Lilford
Succeeded by