1859 - 1925
Curzon, English politician. Conservative M.P. (1886-98); traveled widely in Asia; undersecretary of state for India (1891-92), for foreign affairs (1895-98). Viceroy and governor general of India (06 Jan 1899 - 18 Nov 1905); stabilized financial relations between provinces and the government, reduced salt tax, executed reforms; resigned as result of disagreement with Lord Kitchener. As chancellor of Oxford U. (1907), inaugurated constitutional reforms. Member (from 1908) and leader (1916-24) of House of Lords. Lord privy seal in Asquith' s cabinet (1915-16); president of air board (1916); lord president (1916-19); one of four ministers composing the war cabinet. Secretary of state for foreign affairs (1919-24); submitted to dominance of diplomacy by Lloyd George (till 1922); obtained suspension of Russian anti-British action and propaganda in Asia (1923); condemned French expedition into Ruhr (1922-23) and gained approval of advisory committee of experts (later the Dawes committee) to consider German reparations. Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopaedia, CD Rom version --------------- Curzon heirs eye Indian adventure - Viceroy?s grandson agrees to attend Kaziranga centenary celebrations AMIT ROY Lord Ravensdale with wife Verity London, Jan. 15: He is 82 and has to use a walking stick, but Lord Ravensdale displayed all the English upper-class spirit of adventure, which had been a characteristic of his famous grandfather, Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905. Yes, said Lord Ravensdale, at his elegant home in north London, he and his wife Verity would be ?delighted? to accept the invitation from the Assam government to celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Kaziranga National Park from February 11-18. The wildlife sanctuary dates back to 1905 when Curzon set aside nearly 60,000 acres of the Kaziranga forest because his wife wanted the one-horned Indian rhinoceros saved from extinction. ?That must have been one of the last things she did in India because in 1905 Lady Curzon came back to London and died in 1906,? said Ravensdale, who used to be called Sir Nicholas Moseley before he succeeded to his title as the third Baron Ravensdale. ?So that must have been her last gift to India ? her bequest,? he pointed out. In conversation with Ravensdale, The Telegraph discovered that starting with Lord Curzon, five generations of his family have maintained close links with India. While his wife, who has been on three extended trips to India with her husband, noted that ?the English do have an affinity with India?, Ravensdale also conceded: ?One knows the English were not always good. Sometimes they were a pain in the neck. The Indians must have a double feeling all the time but there obviously is a great bond between the English and Indians.? If they could make it to Assam next month, they would treat the trip as their ?last great adventure?. The faxed invitation from R.P. Agarwalla, secretary of the Kaziranga Centenary Celebrations Committee, sent on December 24 was interrupted in mid-flow and the couple has not heard since. A second invitation sent to another of Curzon?s grandsons, David Metcalfe, has been sent to the wrong David Metcalfe in Edinburgh. Ravensdale is the eldest son of Curzon?s middle daughter Cynthia, while Metcalfe is the eldest son of the youngest daughter, Alexandra. The right David Metcalfe, a financier who lives and works in London, said: ?This trip is something in which I would be interested.? But he wanted confirmation and a formal letter, pointing out: ?This is a major, major trip. It?s not like going to tea in Tunbridge Wells.? Another descendant, the Hon James Curzon, whose grandfather was Lord Curzon?s elder brother and who himself has Calcutta connections, also expressed a keen interest in attending the Kaziranga celebrations. Although Curzon has a mixed reputation in India ? he did untold harm by partitioning Bengal and adopting a ?divide and rule policy? ? his descendants, like many Indians, also acknowledge his many positive achievements. This includes sanctioning the building of the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, where there is still a statue of the Viceroy in the garden. And there is Raj Bhavan, once called Government House ? a replica of Kedleston Hall, the stately Curzon family home in Derbyshire. Flicking through two treasured family albums filled with evocative photographs of Curzon in India ? seated with Indian princes and other dignitaries at regulation tiger shoots, inspecting parades in Calcutta and so on ? Ravensdale said: ?All the family accepted that he had made an enormous contribution. He spent an enormous amount of time and his own money repairing ancient monuments, notably the Taj Mahal.? Ravensdale, who is a biographer and a prize-winning novelist in his own right, has written a two-part volume on his parents, Sir Oswald and Cynthia Moseley. In the first volume, Rules of the Game, he described his mother?s early life in India. Curzon and his wife, an American heiress, Mary Leiter, whom he genuinely loved but whose fortune he also needed so that he could lord it as a Viceroy in India, had taken their three little daughters to India. For the sea voyage to India, disclosed Verity, ?they took a cow with them? ? perhaps the only recorded instance in history of an English cow being transported to the land of sacred cows. The youngest Curzon daughter, Alexandra (nicknamed Baba), ?had to have milk on the boat?, said her nephew. Since Curzon never had any sons, he could not pass on any of his many titles ? baron, earl, marquess ??because that was the English custom?. Ravensdale continued: ?So in 1911, he had a specially made new title, which could for one generation go through the female line.? When Curzon died in 1925, his eldest daughter Irene became Baroness Ravensdale, but she never married, and when she died, the titled passed to the eldest son of Curzon?s second daughter. ?Which was me ? it was all completely crazy,? said Ravensdale, who was two when Curzon died and only nine when his mother passed away. When Nicholas Moseley, as he then was, was at school, he had little interest in ?Grandfather Curzon?, whom he dismissed as simply another ?English grandee?. But as he grew up, he devoured books on Curzon and came to admire him and learn more about him from his two aunts. Ravensdale, who has travelled widely in India, often by bus, summed up his view: ?Curzon always hoped the British would have a overseeing role of the Raj. He did believe in the role of the British Raj ? I don?t think he was of the generation that would really change that much. At the same time, he was noted for trying to encourage Indian civil servants so that, on that level, they would be responsible for their own affairs.? The link with India remains alive. Lord Ravensdale?s son Marius went to India in his gap year ?and he spent most of a year working at a school for blind children in Delhi?. And two years ago, a grandson, Matthew, now 20 and at Oxford, ?taught at a school in Sikkim and thought it lovely. Afterwards my oldest son Shaun visited him and father and son went for a trek in the mountains?. Ravensdale counted: ?So that?s Curzon, my mother, me, my son Marius, and my grandson, Matthew ? that?s the fifth generation.? ----------------- Teenage aristocrat faces jail for stealing £117,000 cheque from pensioner By Caroline Davies Last Updated: 5:16pm BST 17/08/2006 A teenage student from one of the country's oldest aristocratic families could be jailed after admitting stealing a cheque for more than £100,000 belonging to a pensioner neighbour. Andrew Curzon, 19, grandson of the late 3rd Viscount Scarsdale and heir to the Scarsdale title, opened a letter mistakenly delivered to his family's Wimbledon home. Inside was a cheque for £117,533, Wimbledon magistrates were told. Curzon, a law student who had aspirations to be a barrister, wrote his name on top of the name on the cheque, which was made out to a 70-year-old woman whose pension fund had matured. He tried to deposit it at his local NatWest bank. advertisement Suspicious bank staff told him to return in a week for the cheque to be cleared. He was arrested on his return. Curzon, an Old Etonian whose uncle is the current Viscount Scarsdale, pleaded guilty to forgery and using a false instrument. Presiding magistrate Frances Wellby rejected a plea by Mandeep Sehmi, defending, for a community service order and committed the case to crown court for sentence. Curzon told the court he "could not explain" why he had taken the cheque and he was "as sorry as could be". Mr Sehmi said he was suffering from stress when he made the "inexplicable" decision to substitute his name for the one on the cheque. His client "had a bright future ahead of him, ironically as a barrister. He was working very hard and had had little sleep in a stressful environment when this happened. "He cannot explain why he did what he did. The temptation must have got the better of him. He accepts what he did was totally wrong". Mr Sehmi said Curzon suffered from dyspraxia, a condition which made him unable to think logically, "particularly when under stress". "He comes from a very respectable family. The effect this conviction has already had is quite significant. He was aspiring to be a barrister and is now tainted." Curzon was accompanied to court by his father, the Hon David Curzon, who is brother and heir to Peter Curzon, the 4th Viscount Scarsdale. The family can trace its ancestry back 900 years to Robert de Courson, who was among William the Conqueror's knights. The name is recorded in the Domesday survey of 1089. The most famous member was the Marquis of Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1899-1905 and later Foreign Secretary from 1919-1924, and who organised the famous Delhi Durbar for Edward VII shortly after his coronation. More recently the family attracted attention after a dispute between the present Viscount Scarsdale, who lives in America, and his late father, the 3rd Viscount Scarsdale. The row centred on the 3rd Viscount Scarsdale's decision to hand over the family's ancestral home, Kedleston Hall near Derby, to the National Trust in 1987 in a deal with the Government to settle huge death duties following the death of the 2nd Viscount Scarsdale. The house and grounds were ceded to the nation with the Scarsdale family retaining the right to live in a 23-room wing. This led to a rift with Peter Curzon, his eldest son and heir, who demanded the house be put on the open market so he could obtain the 10 per cent bequeathed to him. Eventually he agreed to accept £1.15 million instead and waived all future rights to the estate barring the title, which he now holds. The row led to the two becoming estranged until the 3rd Viscount's death in 2000. Father and son had enjoyed a difficult relationship since the breakdown of the 3rd Viscount Scarsdale's first marriage to a Belgian opera singer, Solande Hanse. Peter Curzon was said to have blamed his father for his mother's alcoholism, which saw her ending her days as a waitress in the Golden Egg cafe in Leicester Square. She died alone in 1974. The bad feeling was further exacerbated after the breakdown of Peter's own marriage which ended when his first wife, Karen Curzon, hired a private detective who caught him with a prostitute in 1995. He later married the prostitute, Michelle Reynolds, in Barbados. No date has been set for Andrew Curzon's crown court appearance. He was granted unconditional bail.
|Born: Kedleston, England 11th Jan 1859 ||Baptised: |
|Died: 20th Mar 1925||Buried: Kedleston, 1925|