Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon

Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon

Infobox Governor General
honorific-prefix = Most Honourable
name = The Marquess of Willingdon
honorific-suffix = PC GCSI GCMG GCIE GBE

order = 13th
office = Governor General of Canada
monarch = George V
primeminister = William Lyon Mackenzie King, R. B. Bennett
term_start = August 5, 1926
term_end = April 4, 1931
predecessor = Julian Byng, Viscount Byng of Vimy
successor = Vere Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough
order2 = 32nd
office2 = Viceroy of India
monarch2 = George V
primeminister2 = Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin
term_start2 = April 18, 1931
term_end2 = April 18, 1936
predecessor2 = E. F. L. Wood, Earl of Halifax
successor2 = Victor Hope, Marguess of Linlithgow
birth_date = birth date|1866|9|12|mf=y
birth_place =
death_date = death date and age|1941|7|12|1866|9|12
death_place =
spouse = Marie Adelaide Freeman-Thomas
profession = Politician
religion = |

Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon GCSI GCMG GCIE GBE PC (12 September 1866 – 12 August 1941) was a British Liberal politician who served as Governor General of Canada and Viceroy of India.

Born Freeman Thomas, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He assumed the surname "Freeman-Thomas" by Royal Licence in 1892, and was Member of Parliament for Hastings and for Bodmin from 1900 to 1910.

He was raised to the peerage as Baron Willingdon, of Ratton in the County of Sussex, in 1910, and was further created Viscount Willingdon, with the same territorial designation, in 1924, Earl of Willingdon and Viscount Ratendone, of Willingdon in the County of Sussex, in 1931, and finally Marquess of Willingdon in 1936. This was the most recent Marquessate created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

He donated the Willingdon Cup to the Royal Canadian Golf Association in 1927, for Canadian interprovincial amateur golf competition. The cup has been contested annually since that year.

The Willingdon Club in Bombay was established with membership open to both Indians and British after he was denied entry, although he was Viceroy, with Indian friends to the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. The Willingdon Club continues to flourish today.


Lord Willingdon was the Chief Scout for India, in which he served with real and sincere interest, not simply in an "ex officio" position. He was convinced that Scouting was contributing to the welfare and development of India, particularly in the villages. At his request, J. S. Wilson paid special attention to the cooperation of Scouting with village development.


He died in 1941, and was succeeded by his younger son Inigo, Viscount Ratendone, his elder son, Lieutenant the Hon. Gerard Freeman-Thomas, having been killed in the First World War whilst serving with the Coldstream Guards. He and his wife are buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey.


He was a good friend of Roland Gwynne, who was Mayor of Eastbourne from 1929 to 1931 and lover of the suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. [Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9]


External links

* [ Governor General of Canada biography]


* "Scouting Round the World", John S. Wilson, first edition, Blandford Press 1959 p. 91-93

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