John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland

John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland

General John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland GCB, GCH, PC (2 February 1784 – 16 October 1859), styled Lord Burghersh until 1841, was a British soldier, politician, diplomat and musician.


  • Background 1
  • Military career 2
  • Political and diplomatic career 3
  • Musician 4
  • Family 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Styled Lord Burghersh from birth, he was born at Sackville Street, Piccadilly, London, the son of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, by his wife Sarah Child, daughter and heiress of the wealthy banker Sir Robert Child, builder of Osterley Park. His sister was the well known social hostess Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey. He succeeded his father in the earldom in 1841.[1]

Military career

Lord Burghersh was commissioned Ensign in the 11th Foot without purchase in 1803. In 1804 he transferred to the 7th Foot as a Lieutenant and in 1806 he transferred to the 23rd Foot as a Captain. He later transferred to the 2nd West India Regiment. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army in 1809 and then transferred to the 91st Foot. In 1811 he exchanged back into the 7th Foot and later the same year purchased the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 63rd Foot. In 1814 he was promoted Colonel in the Army. He was an extra aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington (his wife's uncle) and fought at Talavera and Busaco during the Peninsular War.[1] He was promoted Major-General in 1838 and General in 1854 and was appointed a Colonel of the 56th Foot in 1842.

Political and diplomatic career

Lord Westmorland sat as Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis between 1806 and 1816.[2] He served as Minister to Tuscany between 1814 and 1830, as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Prussia between 1841 and 1851 and as Ambassador to the Austrian Empire between 1851 and 1855. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1815, a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order (KCH) in 1817, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1838 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1846 and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1822.[1]


Lord Westmorland was also a composer and a founder of the Royal Academy of Music. He was a great music lover who devoted most of his leisure hours to the study of music, was a good violinist and a prolific composer. This fact helped to improve the standing of the musical profession in England. Like many aristocrats, however, he regarded Italy as the only source of good music.


Lord Westmorland married Priscilla Pole-Wellesley, daughter of the Honourable William Wellesley-Pole, later first Baron Maryborough and third Earl of Mornington, on 26 June 1811.[3] He died in October 1859, aged 75, and was succeeded in the earldom by his fourth but eldest surviving son, Francis. Lord Westmorland's fifth and youngest son Julian Fane was a poet and diplomat. The Countess of Westmorland died in February 1879.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d General John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 4)
  3. ^   

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Westmorland
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. Thomas Fane
Henry Fane
Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis
With: Henry Fane
Succeeded by
Henry Fane
John Thomas Fane
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Hon. William Wyndham
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Tuscany
Succeeded by
Sir George Seymour
(as Resident)
Preceded by
Lord George Russell
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Prussia
Succeeded by
The Lord Bloomfield
Preceded by
The Viscount Ponsonby
Ambassador to the Austria Empire
Succeeded by
Sir George Hamilton Seymour
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Fane
Earl of Westmorland
Succeeded by
Francis Fane